The Internet through the Crystal Ball

Friday, January 11, 2008

The below video, which I encountered at Snopes.com, is a remarkably good projection from the mid-1960's of certain aspects of how computers would eventually be used on a daily basis in America.


Regarding the general accuracy of the predictions, the urban legend site states that:
[A]lthough the technological concepts expressed in the video may be familiar to us, the specific forms used to realize them are somewhat different than their common modern implementations. [For example, t]he bills and tax forms the husband works with are scanned images of paper forms rather than electronic forms. [my bold]
One thing not mentioned at Snopes pops up at the tail end of the clip, which names an Orwellian-sounding "communal service agency" -- Was I supposed to capitalize that? -- as being in charge of the whole network.

One thing these prognosticators sound like they completely missed -- just like all the science fiction programming that confidently projected us all as socialists by now -- was that it would be capitalism that would bring the potential of computing to fruition and that increased government involvement in the day-to-day running of the Internet looms as a very serious threat to everyone who wants to take full advantage of this spectacularly useful means of communication.

-- CAV

Updates

Today
: Added time at which the video was made.

2 comments:

Dismuke said...

So the husband gets and pays the bill from the wife's computerized shopping trips? And notice he has a really ticked-off look of almost utter disbelief when he sees the electronic bill. That sure dates this video as being from the years before feminism came on the scene.

Gus Van Horn said...

Dismuke, usually, you are spot-on, but you are only half-right here.

Post feminism, the husband still foots the bill. He's just not permitted to even hint that he thinks all that junk was a waste of money!

Of course, I'm half-joking here!