o you remember what you thought the future was going to be like when you were a kid?
I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so my earliest memories were of the flying cars on The Jetsons, and of rubber faced aliens on Star Trek. Sure, there were shows including Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars set in space, but what I was really fascinated with was the technology they used in the shows.
Transporters to take you from Point A to Point B. Replicators to give you your cheeseburger in a matter of seconds. Flying cars. Lazer weapons. Jump ahead to 2019 and several of those things are now a reality. Our iPhones have more computing power than the entire Apollo space missions. And they are Swiss army knives. They can tell you how closely a bolt of lightning just hit, or direct you to the nearest adult bookstore. All in the, ahem, palm of your hand.
But in many ways, the creators of technology have lost their way. The idea that one black box can do everything, I feel, is slowing down advancement. If you can’t get an iPhone to do it, or an iPhone to talk to it, forget about making it.
There’s a refrigerator on the market today that will send you a photograph of the inside of the refrigerator while you’re sitting on the couch thus saving you the 45 seconds of getting up, opening the refrigerator, and then sitting down again.
How is this advancing us? Making a toaster send you a push notification when your toast is about to be done instead of just waiting for the smoke alarm to go off just seems overindulgent.
Is anybody still working on that cure for cancer? Did we ever clean up that water outside of Detroit? No? Well, we got that BMW to be able to place your Starbucks order via WiFi when you get within five miles of the store. So that’s something.
And we’ve all gotten way too needy with technology. Last week when all of the registers at Target stopped working for a few hours, you’d have thought Overland Park was going to burn to the ground. Just think of all those poor folks in Liberty who couldn’t get their Bluetooth-enabled Charmin toilet paper and Wi-Fi rompers for a few hours. The humanity!
At some point the idea of less is more was thrown out the window for the mantra of more is more, and that was even trumped by way more is even more than more. Along the way, the big technology ideas of commuter bullet trains and powering the world and those flying cars went away in a chase for the dollars from getting your thermostat to call Baskin Robbins to put in an order for mint chocolate chip when the temperature rises above 78. My 3D printer is able to print off a key to a car that will never fly.
It’s time for the inventors to stop making $1,000 monitor stands and start standing for human advancement.
–Sent From My iPhone Bicycle Microwave
(Get more from Chris Kamler on Twitter where he is known as @TheFakeNed or check him out on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube)