Make Way for the Future!

Posted: September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Have you seen anyone ripping down the street in a horse and buggy lately? Unless you live in Amish country, probably not. We evolved beyond the need for them, we left them behind in favour of cars and most of the population has never looked back. Obviously humanity is making huge strides in technology on a daily basis but what are we going to be leaving behind in the next 5, 10, 20 or 50 years?

Here are some of the most likely next victims of our great technological revolution. Some day you will be trying to explain this crap to your uninterested grandkids while they humour you in hopes of getting in your will.

1) Phone Booths – These are already dead, I shouldn’t have to explain this one. Who wants to sit around in a urine soaked booth full of graffiti to talk to someone for 35 cents a pop? The fact that there are already far fewer of them around then even 5 years ago makes it an unreliable way to communicate anyway. This death spiral will continue until they are obsolete.

2) Keyboard and Mouse – Half the planet can’t even spell properly WITH a damn spellcheck but we still include long rows of jumbled letters and punctuation with every computer sold. It is just begging for people to violate the English language like a pervert in a truck stop bathroom.

With the advances in touch screens and voice recognition I don’t think it will be a stretch to see people of the future leaving greasy finger prints all over every monitor and babbling to their computer in order to send e-mails, tweets, facebook status updates or draft thing up in a word processor. This means the only way you will be able to tell a sane person from a complete nut job when they are sitting at a computer is whether it is actually turned on.

3) Computer Monitors – You know the fancy hologram projector thing that gets used in the Iron Man and Avengers movies? You see it a lot in sci-fi stuff now. It’s a combination of keyboard and monitor but it just sort of floats in the air. I saw it in the Mass Effect games too. Right now the movies are just using post production magic to make it happen but some day this will become a reality (it it isn’t being worked on already) and computer monitors will be done. Who needs a screen when any reasonably uncluttered surface would make a decent backdrop. It will also get rid of the need for keyboard and mouse interfaces if the voice recognition software and touchscreen don’t first.

4)Physical Media – Movie studios, record companies and game producers sure do like boxes, manuals and discs. It makes it much easier to sell the price tag on the front if it comes in a nice, hefty package to hold on to. Despite the fact that iTunes, NetFlix, Hulu and Steam are taking off in a big way, content creators are still holding on to the idea of buying and owning discs. Some day that will come to an end though, at this point it isn’t even a question of “will this happen?” or “when will this happen?” but “why the hell hasn’t this happened yet?”

Sooner or later they are going to realize the costs of having factories overseas where you exploit the hell out of the labour force with insignificant wages then have your product bulk shipped back to North America for distribution is still more expensive than putting some decent servers together and putting the digital file up for direct sale. Or to put it more plainly, they will finally figure out what internet pirates realized YEARS AGO and try to get on board to make a profit. Maybe instead of trying to shut down the big torrent sites they should be looking to partner up with them?

5) Books – I love books, not just the stuff on them but the smell and feel of the ink and paper of a book. I understand why people are so dead set against things like Kindles or Kobos or  iBooks. The problem is, I think us physical book lovers (that is not what I meant you pervert) are eventually going to lose. Truth is I have sat down and read entire books on my teeny tiny iPhone screen before. Want to know why? Same reason I stay up all night to finish “just one more chapter” of a real book, it was a damn good story and I couldn’t put it down.

Most North Americans that actually do bother reading are pretty trained to read things off screens now anyway. News sites, Facebook, Twitter if your desperate, WordPress Blogs if you are desperate and slightly masochistic. We are there for the content and although we might appreciate the pretty wrappings of a well designed site at the end of the day text is text, whether it is on paper or a screen isn’t as fundamentally important to your enjoyment of it as the fact that it is well written. In the end, the book will die for the same reasons that all physical media will die, it just might take a little longer for us to wrap our head around the fact that paper and bindings does not a book make.

6)Movie Theatres – I hear stories about how the poor movie chains are struggling to make it through with the movie studios screwing them out of box office take on one hand and internet piracy screwing them out of paying customers on the other. The question I always ask myself is WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING?!! The fact that most people would prefer to enjoy movies in the privacy of their own homes coupled with the fact that most people’s movie watching etiquette has become APPALLING means that internet pirates aren’t the only reason ticket sales aren’t what they used to be. Maybe instead of crying over the fact that they can’t sell overpriced popcorn and sugar water to people anymore the theatres could be thinking about how to repurpose themselves to become relevant again.

As with sports stadiums and arenas the big money sink is having massive amounts of space sitting empty most of the time while it still sucks up heat, water, power and tax money. They could be selling off their prime consumer real estate for good money and start investing in bringing first run movies to the internet or integrating it into the next generation of game console.

I will miss the thrill of going out to an actual movie as much as the next person but if that means I can get the movies I want in my home without trying to dig someone up to go with me so I don’t look like a huge dork than I am all for it. Nothing says “please silently judge me” like showing up at a semi-social event and sitting by yourself in awkward silence. Plus I don’t have to find a nephew or niece to drag to a Pixar movie anymore, nor will I have to put up with someone else’s kids shitty behaviour while I am there. Win-win for everyone really.

Feel free to add your comments below. Either tell me what you think will disappear from society or disagree and just call me a liar right to my face, whatever makes you happy.  

Rancid Monke

  1. sparkydavidcox says:

    Liked the article, well written as usual. Your reasoning is sound, and you may well prove to be prophetically right, but I disagree with you about every one of them except phone booths. Since I don’t want to just do a drive-by commenting, I’ll elaborate more fully later. Anyway, liked it, thanks!

  2. jonathan smith says:

    I’d love to see a delivery system for new movie releases directly into the home. You see the odd independent one come through iTunes but nothing mainstream yet

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