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The Future ? Jane ~ Stop This Crazy Thing !!! Technology is Wonderful, but People Embrace the Familiar.

During the CBS Late Late Show, host Craig Ferguson sings the line during the opening theme song …

Jetsons_car“Tomorrow’s just your future yesterday.”

Devo encouraged …

“Duty now for the future.”

I agree with George Jetson …

“Stop this crazy thing!”

But of course this is all intended by me to get a chuckle out of you.

However, let’s ask ourselves –

Where are all those great modern conveniences they told us we would have by the year 2001 – or at the very least, by now ?
cyberpunk_does_not_care
Where is my hover car ?

Where is my robot maid ?!?

I was digging through and old box of VHS tapes

my_robot_maid… yeah, VHS tapes …

… and found some recordings of Frank Ogden (Dr Tomorrow), Timothy Leary ( burnt out acid king of the 1960s ), William Gibson ( SciFi author who wrote everything on an obsolete type writer in the 1980s ) and others talking in 1990 about what would be here in 20 years.

It is interesting that Leary said we would put on virtual reality helmets to have meetings in virtual reality environments instead of driving hours in a car or flying for hours in airplanes to meet and do business.

We now ( in their future ) meet simply by what was once called a video phone. But we do it via VOIP over that creepy built in camera on our notebook computer using WIFI.

world-of-warcraft-character-screenWe don’t do business in a field of daffodils as a white rabbit and cheshire cat – that would be distracting.

However, countless people do meet in virtual worlds to role play to kill armies of evil robots or live in a land of elves … such as in the World Of Warcraft.

Sorry Tim – that’s what acid does for ya … warps your vision.

However, Frank Ogden ( born in 1920 and who passed last year at 92 ) was always quite right on with his visions of the future.

Ogden didn’t go out on a limb of fantasy. That is why companies paid him big buck to tell them if their products would be obsolete before they even got started.

james_bond_doll_jet_packWe do not have personal rocket back packs or robot butlers making us breakfast – but look at what we do have.

Technology must fit into practicality.

In 1990s magazines I had an article out comparing broadcasting live (pre-recorded) vs “on demand” before even internet radio pioneers were thinking about recording programs to be played when the web site visitor was ready to “click the play button”.

Even as I was a guest on national talk radio back then I spoke of this practical technology while the hosts wanted me to talk about “that scary Y2K thing”.

“On Demand” was a logical step with that new “internet thing”.

Of course the concept of on demand broadcasting is old hat to us now.

We can now talk anytime to anyone, anywhere – and take motion pictures with sound to send anywhere.

And what are we doing with this technology ?

Geoff_Peterson_the_Late-Late-Show_robot_-_CC-ATTRIB_Jodi-KurlandPosting videos of dogs chasing thier tail and smart phone calling someone to ask “Where you at ?!?”

Ogden demonstrated those white, ceramic knives in 1990 and said they would be the end of those expensive steel knives dominated by a certain German community.

Sure – ceramic knives exist … cheap too. But they are a novelty with the public.

Why? Because while technology is a wonderful thing to embrace, people embrace familiarity more.

So advances in technology must reflect the familiar for a time to catch on eventually.

As we move into the future, it is in the same way we moved into the industrial era – with trepidation, timidity and a side dish of full-on resistance.

As some industries and business based on archaic methodologies die off, just as many are born doing things we never dreamed about just a few years ago.

So, for now … this is how we enjoy robotics at this point in history –

Filed Under: Tony Rollo Articles and EssaysTony Rollo Blog

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