Sunday, March 18, 2012

The future is now...

Remember back in the day when you had to find out stuff by looking them up in the encyclopedia britannica? I was trying to explain that whole concept to my kids an they just could not understand this idea of buying a book - nay, a VOLUME of expensive books in which you would have to look stuff up for reports or if you wanted information.  My kids said "How would that even work wouldn't it be outdated soon?"  and "Weird."  Because my children cannot imagine a world without the internet and all it's information being at their fingertips.

And honestly, I almost can't imagine that anymore either.  And yet the majority of my youth was spent without any notion of this idea whatsoever.

I like to tell my kids the story of when I was at BYU in 1987 - there was this guy named Dave and he was a computer major (of what sort I can't engineering or something) and he was one of the only people I knew who actually had a computer in his dorm room and he explained to us that he was talking with one of his friends on the computer while he was sitting at his desk.  I mean the concept of email was just this weird foreign concept.  I remember we were like kind of laughing at him behind his back.  We were saying "'ve heard of phones right?  Couldn't you just like CALL him?"  We thought we were so hilarious.  He was trying to explain this new thing called the internet and email and we just were comparing him to guys that are into ham or cb radios.  Big nerds and no one else is ever going to care about that except other big nerds.

I kind of look like an idiot now.  It must have been frustrating for him to know all this information that he was trying to share with us and we just didn't get it at all.  I know by about 1992 I had email myself.

We certainly never thought everyone would have cell phones and that we would be able to text each other.

The future is now, is how it kind of feels to me a lot of the time.  The future looked so different and well..."futurey" when I was a kid.  It looked kind of like Star Wars or something.  And it turns out the future looks a lot like the past except with cool gadgets.  We aren't all wearing polyester jump suits like Captain Kirk.

I kinda like the future.  I have no idea what my kids future is going to look like but I doubt it will have polyester jumpsuits in it either.

I'm not all that sentimental about most things really  - I don't lament the demise of the encyclopedia britannica at all.  But at the same time there is something really cool about SOME old school things.


How gorgeous is this bookstore in Holland?  I LOVE a cool bookstore.  I hope that iPads and nooks and don't become so popular that we ever reach a point where we don't want actual books and when we don't have cool bookstores like these

(another cool book store in Paris France)

Who doesn't love the smell of old books?  You can't replace that with an e-reader.

One thing the computer has effectively done away with is the typewriter.  I would LOVE to find one like this.

If I see one like this I have to buy it.  Just for nostalgia's sake.  

Granted, typing on a computer is so much easier.  You can fix a mistake a million times faster and more efficiently!  But still.  There was something great about learning to type like this (which is how I learned, Thanks Miss Singleton and Miss Gray - possibly one of the best and most useful "Skills" I ever learned in my secondary education).  Holden bought one of these old ones in a case the other day at a rummage sale because it was "cool".  I mean, I don't know who uses these, but it seems like we should never totally quit using them.  Just for the sake of coolness.  Actually Woody Allen still types all his stuff on an old black typewriter.  

I also really love these, and will totally buy one if it comes in a cool color.  In fact Jordan and I have bent talking about maybe getting our phone line back.  It just doesn't make that much sense when we all carry cell phones around all the time - I eliminated the home line a couple of years ago and I really haven't missed it that much.  But I'd like to get one back if only to have a working rotary dial in the house again.

Is there stuff you miss from the past?


Raven Blackmane said...

My mom told me a story that years ago my aunt was trying to tell them about an article she read. I think it was about late 80's. It was about how you would be able to shop from home with a click of a button; they laughed at her too. I'm not terribly nostalgic about anything really. In fact when I watch Seinfeld I keep thinking how much easier their hiccups would have been if they could have just called each other on their cell phones.

Cynthia said...

Love this post.
1. I remember having to ride my bike to the library to get resourses for my research papers. Glad those days are over.
2. Love the old typewriters. My grandma had one that typed in a script font. I LOVED it. I hear there is a typewriter sales and repair store out in Mesa that is doing a great business these days. I went to a reception recently and they had a typewriter out for the guests to type their well wishes. It was cool.
3. I want a rotary dial phone. there is nothing like the click click click of that dial. It's kind of slow - but so awesome.
4. Who would have believed that one day we would type on a 9 button keypad with our thumbs. How stupid!

Suzanne Barker said...

Somehow it seems a little like cheating to me to not really have to do "research" as I knew it to be. It does seem odd to think of going to the library and getting a huge pile of books and trying to find out if it even had the information that you wanted.
I can't hardly imagine my life without my smart phone. It is a pretty amazing little tool.
when i was a kid and we wanted to try and win a radio contest, you would take the rotary phone and dial all the numbers except the last one. then wait for the cue to call and dial the last one. amazing that it would let us do that for what seemed like forever.


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