Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hey, remember the future?

People used to be fascinated about how technology could affect their lives and what kind of lives to expect in a not too distant future. Remember how World Fairs used to be the place to see prototype cars and dioramas of cities that looked like they were out of "Metropolis?"

Jet packs – We were all going to commute to work by jet pack. And moving sidewalks. And highways that controlled the speed and safety of driving

And yet, I don't remember – correct me if I'm wrong – people in the 1930s through '60s predicting home computers, debit cards or cell phones – the three things that have undoubtedly changed life and society the most in the past 25 years.

Oh and Oxyclean as well. In fact about any product hawked by Billy Mays.

The magazines such these often depicted inventions that made impacts to our infrastructure and yet that seems the part of American society that has seen the least technological improvements. Other countries have bullet trains, elaborate subway and trolley systems. We make headlines with collapsing bridges.

Today people talk about how television and the Internet are going to be combined and whether or not we'll have an electronic device on which to read magazines and books. Compared to monorails and jet packs, our future just isn't as interesting.

© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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