Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Things We'll Miss Tomorrow

You will recall, Dear Readers, ... or, at least, I hope you'll recall ... that yesterday I shared with you a few nostalgia-type photos sent to me by my friend Ken, who managed to get off his motorcycle long enough to pass them on to me. As I'm a child of the 50's and 60's, I remember a lot of things that are long gone ... like filling up my parents' car with gas and getting change back from a five (and having the service station attendant wash the windshield and check the oil and tires), seeing lots of those duck's ass and flat-top haircuts held in place by Code 10 ("It's Invisible, Man"), and mailing letters for four cents an ounce.

Yes, it's been a while.

But in the comment she left on yesterday's post, Peg asked an interesting question: What do you think we'll miss from today?

Indeed ... when my grandchildren look back from their vantage point 50 or 60 years down the road, what are the things we accept and take for granted today that they will look back on with sepia-tinted nostalgia? I can think of a few ...

Kiribati - it sits in the South Pacific Ocean, and no part of it is more than six feet above sea level. The president of Kiribati predicts that in 60 years, as a result of global warming and the rapid rise in the sea level, his country - home to more than 100,000 people - will disappear.

Telephone Poles - as land line telephones disappear, so will the good old telephone pole. Of course, it's already being replaced by the cell tower.

Coral Reefs - climate change, pollution, and overfishing are killing off the coral reefs that are home to thousands of species of ocean life.

"Wet Signatures" - it won't be long before nobody signs their name in ink any more ... we'll "sign" documents* digitally by typing in a password or identification number, or biometrically with a fingerprint or a retinal scan. My youngest grandchild may not understand the expression "sign on the dotted line." And that brings up the pending disappearance of ...

Cursive - the need to master traditional cursive handwriting is rapidly vanishing in the age of keyboards. I find this particularly sad, and will have more to say about it in future posts.

The Black Rhinoceros - habitat loss and extensive poaching in the belief that their horns have medicinal or aphrodisiac value have driven the black rhino to the point of extinction.

Postage Stamps - if no one is sending personal letters and bulk mailers use meters, there won't be a need for postage stamps in the not-too-distant future.

Stunt Doubles - it will be cheaper and safer to use increasingly realistic computer animations of actors for dangerous scenes in action movies.

Privacy - between the government and big business, there's not much left now; I think it'll be extinct by the time my youngest grandchild, Ava, is old enough to worry about it.

And finally, for now ...

Books - the rapid growth and proliferation of digital readers is rapidly driving the traditional ink-and-paper book into obsolescence.

What do you think, Dear Readers? What are the things you think will be disappearing in the next half-century or so? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of us.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* "Documents" are going away, too. Before long, it'll be all digital.


Duckbutt said...

I think that network news, and possibly the original three networks, will be a thing of the past soon.

Electronically based books for e-readers will largely replace old-style books.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

...sorry about that.
See I'm just too depressed now after realizing those things are going to be gone.
Ah, I think I'll go write my name with my good penmanship inside my books and hold them close.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

My guess is that this is headed for extinction in the near future.

1. Tenured faculty positions in universities.
2. Louisiana Creole as a spoken language.
3. County weekly newspapers.
4. The cheniers on the Louisiana coastline.
5. The two major political parties as we know them.
6. The Whooping Crane.
7. Kirtland's Warbler.

Mike said...

Save magazines by giving gift subscriptions to your kids.