Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{March 29, 2008}  

The other day I Twittered “Why is no one emailing me when I’m desperately wanting a distraction from this work I’m doing?” Well, my friend Dan rose to the challenge, emailing me no fewer than FIVE distractions (thanks Dan!  I knew I could count on you)!  One of the said distractions was this article: “What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968),” through which I learned that the author, writing in 1968, was able to accurately predict:

  • laptops
  • web conferencing
  • touch screens
  • prefab houses
  • the US population (predicted: 350 million)
  • online shopping

But was a wee bit off the mark on predicting:

  • cars that travel 250 mph on cushions of air and are controlled by a “traffic computer,” a system that has eliminated all traffic accidents
  • rocket travel between continents
  • robots that do the housework
  • despite predicting that computers will control pretty much everything, the author felt that, in 2008:”Not every family has its private computer. Many families reserve time on a city or regional computer to serve their needs.”
  • work-life balance: “The average work day is about four hours”
  • vacations in undersea resorts or on satellites (yes, satellites)
  • “steak-like” meals made from seaweed
  • “Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet” – as cardiovascular disease is still the number 1 killer in North America, he really couldn’t be more wrong on this one
  • an “intelligence” pill given to “slow learners” and forgetful
  • and women’s rights:

The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week, then slips prepackaged meals into the freezer and lets the automatic food utility do the rest.

Apparently it did not occur to the author that women might have JOBS in 2008. I mean, what with the robots doing all the housework and all. Of course, since the men are only working 4 hours a day, I guess there just isn’t much work to be done.

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“robots that do the housework”

Roombas!

They’re a start, at least.



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