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They don’t make them like that anymore

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On my last day in beautiful Hampi I ran into this bridge / aqueduct:

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My first thought was: ‘they don’t make them like that anymore’. The scary thing is: it’s true! Not a single ‘modern’ building Many more complicated innovations abound: motorbikes, TV’s, mobile phones, but all of them aren’t produced and let alone designed here. It especially astounding that something as basic as a bridge connecting two sides of a town isn’t present anymore. The fact that the latter is a common good and the former are private objects probably explains a lot, but still…

I wonder what this means for the west. My initial reaction is that losing the skills / capability / money / interest for something this essential isn’t possible. We probably forgot how to make some old tools, but only because more efficient ones have emerged. However, I’ve also read about shopping malls, foreclosed homes and unused office space being transformed for new functions. But we still know how to make them. Maybe once a society enters the information age it can’t forget anymore? Or it understands the basic needs of it’s citizens better? Or my assumption that the bridge is essential is wrong?

Who can help here?

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