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Tuesday
Sep302008

Spinnin' Around

Over at The Side Dish today. I wrote about The Decline And Fall Of The Weather Channel.  I'm already seeing this important matter as a generational divide; the born-with-a-BlackBerry vs. those of us who typed a lot of GOTOs and required twenty minutes to heat up a baked potato in the microwave.

See, when cable arrived at my house, it was in the form of an enormous faux wood paneling box, which hulked on top of the television set with enormous clicky switches and an only slightly smaller remote control, one remote, which was easily classifiable as a blunt weapon.  After the technician hooked up the mass of cables, Pinwheel blinked on.  (And... looking back at the thing, I'm starting to understand just a little bit about why I'm now in regular psychotherapy.)

Man.  We had no idea.  The question, of course, is... what on Earth, technologically, will Jim The Small Child Nephew and Will The Smaller Child Nephew smirk about when they're thirty and all, "Remember when we had to use a computer to send an email instead of just flicking the side of our heads?"  I cannot imagine where we can go from here.

Holograms? Crap, I hope not.  Then freelancers will have to start showering again.

My grandfather was born six years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight; when he died, human beings had established a continuous presence in lower Earth orbit-- and that was well below modern expectations.  We were supposed to be honeymooning on Pluto by now, if you ask the boomers.

But really, right now... all I want is the ability to automatically filter any and all usage of "outside the box" from my whole entire life.  That's all.

clicking over to the channel which tells you what's on all the other channels at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

tip the bartender

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Reader Comments (6)

The military is currently funding research in the development of a helmet that can read and transmit the thoughts of the wearer; next year gamers will have a crappy crude version of this technology. So yes, electronic telepathy IS coming.

Holograms are already here, they're just too damn expensive. I'll give them 15 years before we have our private holodecks. Even before that, we'll have whole walls covered with OLEDs that will transmit any form of multimedia entertainment we want (remember that cool humongous scroll the Chinese dudes showed during their opening ceremony? same thing, only better)

But alas, our jet packs are nowhere near sight :-(

Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe with all that tech connecting the world, we'll stop our obsession with speed.

We should ditch airplanes and go back to blimps, that could be solar-powered —yes, I know you wouldn't be too happy with that Josh, but planes are the only means of transport where alternative energy are very difficult to implement; biofuels are no alternative unless we bioengineer algae that spew cheap hydrogen, or we devise a way to create ethanol out of waste cellulose.

That, or we tinker with our DNA, so everybody grow some wings ;-)

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

Man,
I am so old fashioned. I wrote you a letter today. On paper. And mailed it at the Post Office.
Honestly, thinking about all the technology out there and what we are capable of and where we are going makes me sad. I rather like writing letters and reading actual books made of paper.
I cringe to think of what I'll have to do in the coming years.

KB

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

My parents live in northeast Indiana (about an hour or so east of South Bend, right where Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan come together). The area of the county they live in does not to this day have access to cable TV or high-speed internet. They have only very spotty cell phone coverage. My sister and her family have a satellite dish, but if it rains too hard, they're out of luck. And satellite internet is still way too expensive. The longer I'm out here in Arizona where everything is digital and where everyone is "gadget-happy", the more sentimental I become about growing up on our farm in Indiana. A big adventure really did involve going outdoors. We had a tire swing made from a real tire! We climbed trees and took our Barbie Dolls outdoors to make them go camping. Life was so much simpler then. I miss it, and I'm so glad my niece and nephew get to experience it. I love hearing their tales of building a new trail through the woods to grandma and grandpa's house so they can walk there anytime. They catch fireflies in the summer time and jump in piles of leaves during the fall season. They wear blue jeans and sweatshirts and go for nighttime walks with their parents and grandparents. I wish all kids could be so lucky.

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemming

I don't remember "Pinwheel." At all. I got nothin'. Sorry.

For what it's worth, while Jim and Will might have a completely new world, thanks to our obsession with retro, they'll still understand a lot of it. My friends' kids love all the "old" shows on Boomerang and think that many of the NES games I grew up on are as fun as "Guitar Hero." So they will never get too far away from you.

You'll never keep up with their kids, though.

Pinwheel, spin wheel, spinning around. Look at my pinwheel and see what I've found...

Nickelodeon is largely responsible for my upbringing.

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterToni

I was just mentioning to my husband that people who died in say, the 50s, would be astonished at what we can do today - the electronic billboards that change ads, how fast we drive. how many cars there are, the phones that everyone has attached to their heads, etc. I can't even imagine when we are old and gray what new-fangled contraptions ;) they'll be using. I plan to be technologically adept, but not addicted to a crackberry-esque device when I'm old.

I vote for teleportation. I believe that would be environmentally conscious. Beam me up, Scottie!

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris
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