This is somewhat irrelevant to the subject of the piece, otherwise I would have added it as a comment, but this section triggered a memory:
Can you imagine the design equivalent?
What if Photoshop began with a rock and a stone and you had to wait millennia for the first quill to be used or writing to be developed? What if your word processor began with just one font and only released more fonts if you typed a certain number of documents. Or if your letters started to decay the longer you used the program without upgrading?
This reminded about a story I heard about the Mac’s crayon colour picker (one of a number of ways of choosing colours in OSX), apparently over time the crayons wear down, which struck me as a nice incorporation of time into a seemingly static interface.
I believe that someone changed their system clock to sometime in the future to check this – although I wouldn’t recommend doing this as it might confuse your system. I can’t find any reference to this now, so it may be a myth. Ho hum.