The Honduran Bridge

An apt metaphor for disruption.

🚀 tech

An article from 2018 titled Why A Honduran Bridge Is A Perfect Metaphor For Disruption caught my eye. Take a look at this picture.

The New Choluteca Bridge today
The New Choluteca Bridge today

The New Choluteca Bridge in Honduras was constructed circa 1996-98, with the support of the US government. It was a region known prone to extreme hurricanes. As a result, some of the best architects and engineers were employed in its construction. It became the largest bridge by a Japanese company in Latin America.

In the same year it was commissioned for use, Hurricane Mitch hit hard. All roads around it were obliterated. But as a testament to its integrity, the bridge stood almost untouched. The hurricane wrecked the region so hard that the Choluteca River changed its course, bypassing the bridge itself. This is what is pictured above.

This is indeed a nice metaphor for disruption. Perhaps, this is a literal embodiment of Kuhn’s paradigm shift. The lesson here is that it is not enough to survey the landscape. Rather, it is imperative to anticipate the landscape dynamics - where it goes next. This is as true for life in general as it is for science and technology.