The Way it Was and the Way it Will Be

on November 9, 2012

My family and I have been up visiting my wife’s grandparents up near the Oregon-California border. We have visited this old-fashioned town many times but today a thought occurred to me as I looked at a dictionary prominently displayed in the living room.

The Websters Dictionary is from 1957 and just over 2300 pages long. It is old enough that the word computer states “one who computes, a reckoner, a calculater.” What strikes me when I look at that picture is not just how much things have changed–since that is undeniable (that entire book is replaced on the iPad with a 20mb app–but rather how many analog process we find commonly in our houses today that will someday be replaced by objects yet to be dreamed up.

I look at our grandparents and parents houses and find many low-tech things. I look around my house and find many high-tech things. But I wonder how many of the high-tech state of the art electronics I have today will look low tech, or be entirely foreign to my grandkids.

My children have no idea what a typewriter is or did. I wonder if their kids will have any idea what a PC is or did.

Will tablets still be around, will smartphones have evolved into something else entirely, or perhaps communications will be embedded into every screen embedded into countless electronics all over the public and private sphere.

It’s fun to dream.