Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pea in Your Ear

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Technological Advances.

When I was growing up, I remember hearing people remark about how amazed really old people must feel. "Just imagine! They were born during horse and buggy days and now we've sent a man to the moon and can watch it live on TV! Such an amazing time to be alive!"

Yes, it is remarkable but I'm guessing old people born in 1910 probably got just as bored at seeing amazing new inventions every ten years as we do at seeing them every ten seconds.

When I was small, there were four channels on TV if you could get the antennae to work, there were about five computers in the whole country, each filling an entire room, and if you didn't already have the bust line you wanted, you just had to get over it because there was no such thing as a boob job. Cable TV didn't exist. Recording was something you could do to sound, but recording pictures off of TV was crazy talk. Movies were something you could watch on TV once a week on Saturday night, or at one of the three movie theaters in town, each playing only one film each. Phones had wires that connected to the wall and you couldn't even unplug them. If you didn't want to be disturbed by its ringing, you left it off the hook. Nobody but tobacco executives knew that cigarettes caused cancer. Typewriters sounded like machine guns and to correct a mistake you had to use white paint. Dark-skinned people used different water fountains and restrooms and no one batted an eye. If you wanted to cook something you had to use heat and wait half an hour – "microwave" was a word only astrophysicists recognized. Larry King was a middle-aged guy on the radio.

But today if you told me that I could stick something the size of a pea pod in my ear and hear the thoughts of any person from the past 10,000 years, alive or dead, just by thinking about them, I'd nod my head and say, "cool." Nothing surprises me except what we can't do. I'm still surprised an airplane is the fastest way to get from L.A. to N.Y.C. How quaint. When are they going to work the bugs out of that teleportation thing? Airplanes bore me, even with 42 channels of TV in the back of the seat. I can't surf the web on my laptop while we're in the air? What am I, Abraham Lincoln?

Perhaps I was born too soon.

8 comments:

spyra said...

I remember hearing that because Steve Jobs was vegan, the "iSeed" was also a potential name candidate for the iPod.

FSM_Ed said...

Dan! Who are you flying with? I just flew with Delta a few weeks ago and they had wireless Internet available on the flight. You had to pay and could only use it while taking off and landing. I didn't try it myself but my boss who travels a lot swears by it.

Josh said...

I'm only 22 and I occasionally have to deal with people who don't remember the fax machine. It's scary.

Anonymous said...

Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

doug nicodemus said...

somethings never change...i still plant my garden every spring the same way that my great grandfather did...he of course did not BELIEVE that we landed on the moon...at 86, when i was 10, he told me it was done on a movie lot..

Waldo said...

...and my kids mock me because I call my iPod a Walkman.

oroboros said...

Dan, it looks like your 'bust line' link has been hijacked...or I'm just not getting something here. Also, I think that you can use wifi on flights that offer it (AA does) *except* during takeoff and landing.

Mr. Smith said...

I'd like to point a mistake. In the line "...could get the antennae to work...", antennae is the wrong spelling of the word. The way you spelled it (antennae) refers to the appendages many insects have. However "antenna" is a device used to pick up electronic signals.