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.
Today: Added time at which the video was made.