Unfortunately, I think Sam’s opinion piece over at ONJava is a bit diffuse. I like concrete examples of how language features and tools are often older than we expect. It resets our humility, as he observes, a bit, when we realize the latest new fangled toy we are playing with isn’t all that new.
My interpretation of his opinion is that he seems to think Java has some juice left in it to continue to evolve, at least some, to keep abreast of the state of programming languages and the latest “religions” or fads that arise. But he seems to be advising us to take a longer view, to find tools and techniques of more general value, regardless of where the focus of “best practices” may be at the moment.