Wednesday, September 1, 2010

future shock today

Here is a discussion prompt re: the pace of change.
Every so often, it hits home that we are actually living in one of those science-fiction worlds that I read about as a young nerd in the 1970s. Not, it turns out, one where we commute with jet packs; nor are Soviet and American colonists bantering about just how red the Red Planet should be. But now, while putting my keys in my pocket, I will sometimes accidentally hit a button on the BlackBerry that causes a robotic female voice to bark, "Say a command!"
Never having gotten around to programming any in, it always feels like I'm letting her down.

We're all walking around carrying devices that are in contact with unimaginably vast systems of information. You get used to it. It ceases to seem strange – which is, arguably, the strange part. Future shock becomes second nature. (To remember what things were like before requires something like the exact opposite of the willing suspension of disbelief.) And discussing any of this with friends or colleagues in their 20s is out of the question. It leaves me feeling like I have become my own grandfather...
source, Surrendering to Tomorrow [September 1, 2010 by Scott McLemee]

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