There’s something about new linkage designs that is a bit reminiscent of early experiments in human-powered flight. To an outsider, they look unfamiliar, unwieldy and unlikely to ever work. But in the eyes their proud creators, they’re technology’s greatest achievement—provided they get launched off a high enough cliff. The problem is, that approach only works for so long. Eventually, reality will bring any unsound contraption crashing to the ground. Author Daniel Quinn made better use of this analogy in the book Ishmael as an indictment of industrial society, but it applies perfectly well here. Plenty of linkage designs have survived application on two, maybe three models before real-world beta testing exposed their flaws. Haro’s Virtual Link and Kona’s Magic Link made it into the wild and actually persisted for a short while until gravity eventually pulled them back to earth.

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