There are certain gifts that age blesses you with, knowledge, wisdom (hopefully), and a sense of continuity with the past. One of the things I’m always grateful for is remembering what people thought the future would look like.
Now I feel I have lived long enough to actually see the future. The future I remember as a young person was best demonstrated by the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1962. Its theme was ‘Century 21’ which is of course is here right NOW.
It went like this. There was a general assumption that quite a few of us would be joyfully living on the moon. Of course anybody, who was anybody, would be flying in their car. The Bell Telephone Company had a huge exhibit extolling the virtues of all of things that the phones of the future could do. Such as leaving a message for someone WHO WASN’T HOME WHEN YOU CALLED!! Another modern marvel was a handset THAT DIDN’T HAVE A CORD!! You could actually walk from the living room to the kitchen without ripping the phone off the table. Also there was a device I tried at the fair, it was a writing pen that was connected to a device on a pad, when you wrote on it, the same device at your neighbor’s house would would automatically write your note (the first fax, which is pretty much a futuristic relic now).
Of course they missed a few things too, like, computers, cell phones and oooohh, a little thing called the internet.
This comes from a guy who was 23 when the first phone answering machine came out (I wouldn’t leave a message, because I wanted to talk to a real person). And a few years later, the first VCR came out (“You mean they can show a movie without a projector?!”).
Sound funny? Well don’t laugh to hard. It is easy to think at anytime that you have finally invented the ultimate technology that will solve all of the world’s problems forever. WRONG!
I’m writing this blog on an iPhone 6+, I created two estimates while I was waiting for my oil change. I also answered emails, texts, posted pics I took on all my social media sites. I haven’t touched my laptop in a week! My technology is friggen AWESOME!
There is one group who is not quite as impressed with it as we are. The eight year olds. This has been around their whole lives. This is not new stuff, it’s the same old stuff.
That’s the one problem with new stuff; as soon as someone assumes that the new stuff has always been there, it becomes old stuff. That’s also what the problem of thinking about what’s coming in the future. You extrapolate what you’re using now, put new wings on it, and really think you’ve done something. You haven’t done anything.
When that eight year old is 18, we should have moved past phone batteries, manually driven cars, and anything that requires a key.
What we are not talking about, is Artificial Intelligence that attaches to your brain permanently or temporarily, nonverbal thought talk between groups of people, food printing, exoskeletons, remote presence, crowd economics, and something to replace the internet.
We need to push the future, not just accept what comes along and tells you it’s the future. Define YOUR needs and go out there and find out who is solving YOUR problems. Don’t think the iPhone 6 is the future, it’s the past. The fact that they call it a phone makes it the past!! The best reason to push for the future is: you own it, it’s yours!
And do it for the eight year olds.After all, they don’t want to be like their parents!