In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight), In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight)…..

2008, so distant, so far away, so foreign, mystical and so unknowable to any of us. Travel with me as we peer 40 years into the future to see what it’ll be like in the year 2008 AD.

Translation: A while ago, I was on someone elses’ site, where I found this most intensely interesting article, taken from a scientific magazine called, Mechanix Illustrated, from 1968, where they do the ol’ “let’s look into the future” thingy thing and I felt that today, since everyone is going to start putting up their Best of ’08 lists and do their look backs, this would be a good time to post this article and we can look back and forward at the same time (trippy huh?) Plus I haven’t posted anything for a week or two so I figured this would be a good mini-reboot. The article is extremely interesting in how much they got right and, for the most part, the things they got wrong are for reasons that really couldn’t be foreseen at the time. Societal shortcomings or just plain logistics couldn’t be accounted for in ’68. One of the interesting thoughts I come away from the article is that we, as a whole, seemed to have slowed in our creation of life sweeping  inventions, I’m talking inventions that change everything for everyone. The last big things have to be the cell phone and the internet, neither are from this millenium. The first cell network was implemented in the 70’s. The internet (ARPAnet) was connected in 1969 and the World Wide Web began in the late 80’s. Yo, the web , is almost 20 yrs old (not the internet, which is way older. Man, I just got that ‘I’m old’ feeling). But If you think about the middle of the last century, they have space travel, computers, satelites, playboy magazine (what? who said that?…the articles?…), supersonic transport, Rock and Roll music, etc, etc. We need the next big thing to come, OUR big thing that we can clearly stamp our name on as completely original and no one can take it away. But while I work on that, let’s all jump into this Delorean of an article and head, Back to the Future, “I think he took your wallet! I think he took his wallet.”

Notes:

  • This is from a magazine, so it is formatted as such, therefore, you may have to skip a section on some pages because they’re from another article.
  • Come on, look at those drawings, classic. You have to love some of the artistry of those old magazines, even a utilitarian one such as this. It’s pretty cool to see how art was done before digitally aided graphics, so interesting, stylistic and meticulous.
  • The terminology in here is fantastic: Electram, Modemizer, Climatizer’ It’s all so retro futuristic. It really screams “Jetsons”. It’s funny compared to the terminology we use for things. Theirs’ is to give a description of the function while “futurizing” it, we on the other hand try to characterize our stuff (The Breeze, The Storm, The Chevy Envoy) or make it sound more important than it is (XBox 360 Entertainment Console, Personal Digital Assistant, Personal Grooming System, Smartphone). Come on man, I know what that is, it’s a game machine, a address book, some clippers and a phone w a PDA attached (see #2). I kinda like their way better, they don’t seem to be trying to shit you as much, well maybe they are, but somehow the nostalgia of it makes it seem more innocent.
  • Check out some of those ads, they’re pretty interesting and some are scary, but most of all, it is good to know that even in the late sixties, they had get rich quick schemes, they just didn’t come on at 2am on channel 224. I wonder if they had Girls Gone Wild and Extenze ads too?
  • I have to thank the site http://blog.modernmechanix.com/, because I basically plagiarized their article and used it for my own purposes, but come on, something this good, I have to share with my 2-3 readers. I will probably also be stealing stuff from them in the future, so if you see an article kinda like this one, it probably originated there. Your comments would tell me if I should.
  • And now, the Article:

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2 Comments on “In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight), In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight)…..”

  1. Joops Says:

    The dude sure got the computer stuff right. Many of the other things are currently possible and/or available. However, we’re already entrenched in a working system which reduces the ease and motivation to redo the entire thing. Many cultures, for example, never had a landline telephone yet now all have cell phones while our country has been slow to change over.

    Another thing he forgot is that it takes many years to construct even something as small (relative to a city) as a stadium or a skyscraper. Even if plans were underway in the 60’s to build domes over cities, I don’t know that one would be complete, let alone many. Same goes for plastic roads and self-driving cars. For the record, I can’t wait for those cars.

    But yeah, there really isn’t a huge invention yet this century, just lots of refinements. I mean, there are like organ printers and stem-cell innovations and whatnot, but those take ages to test and troubleshoot, not to mention the heaps of opposition from the religious. Lots of inventions exist but haven’t permeated society yet. I forget where I read about the phenomenon, but the ability of new things to be accepted slows down under certain societal conditions. I’m starting to repeat myself, but I think we’re in one of those conditions. The space race happened so quickly because we felt threatened. We don’t really have that sort of push anymore.

  2. adrilla Says:

    You make a good point about society in general, I think two, no three things, contribute to the retardation of advancement. One is attitude. There’s apathy, a lot of people don’t care or dismiss what they can’t grasp yet and the other large reaction is fear, In almost every single piece about the Hadron Collider, they mentioned zapping us all out of existence, while this chance is insanely miniscule, it got great attention, even though we already have enough things on this planet, natural and synthetic that could wipe us out (btw, we’re still here for the moment).

    Two, no one wants to fail in any part of the chain (except maybe the science part, which is basically built on the concept of failure, until you get it right.) So no one wants to fund flights of fancy, support it, sell it, all the little things that are necessary to get it out there, until it’s perfect, which is a major catch 22, if you can’t get the resources, how do you make it perfect? The advancements of today are not cheap and everyone is a skeptic, so you have to be damn convincing to even get someone to listen to a new idea (and connected) and the turndown rate, i’m sure, is astronomical.

    Three, isolation, everyone wants to do their own thing. Everyone has their causes so ventures have smaller pools to draw from and everyone wants their secrets so information that could be shared to build something new isn’t, therefore everyone has to start from their own square one, which severely hampers the whole thing. If more people worked together, things would get done quicker, but Intel doesn’t want AMD to know how they make their processors and even if AMD reverse engineered it, they cant use it because of patent law. (Here’s an arguement directly from slashdot.org) If information were free, more people benefit. Moore’s law (in the example of CPU’s) would have whiplash from the leaps that would be made w/ universal common knowledge . But it’s all about money and certainty, so the rest of us suffer from basic selfishness in 8 million ways.


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