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March 26, 2008

WE DIDN'T REALIZE WE HAD IT SO GOOD

...thanks to our 300-mile-per-hour self-driving cars, zipping between our domed cities, where we reside in our self-maintaining homes.

Key Quote:  The average work day is about four hours.

(Thanks to Larry Martell)

Comments

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Interesting. A few of his predictions are pretty on target.

'Scuse me, gotta get back to my undersea vacation.

Trust the Traffic Computer, Luke!

The young ladies on the left side of the screen looked fairly modern. Wait, what was the story about again?

I've sure got the pre-packaged food out of the freezer working, too. Unfortunately it won't walk itself to the microwave.

(yea, my "traffic computer" is my 9 year old telling me I ran a red light)

Hey, he's talking about November, 2008. We got time.

In 1968 we couldn't wait to get to 2008 and now in 2008 we wish we could get back to 1968...

I also initially misread the line as "...zipping between our doomed cities..." and thinking, well, they got that part right, anyway.

"Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet."

'nuff said

*snork* @ Doc. Some things never change!

"Modemixer"? Sounds like some new appliance from Amana...

*Packs up the Internet, as it's obviously not ready*

"Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"

Dang it all! Mahatma, that was my line. So, let's see. "Jeeeeeeeeet-SOOOOONNNN!!!" Not quite as effective but I do admire a man who makes a career of sprockets.

What...no fresh food? Ick! I'm ready for the self cleaning house. Any day, now.

Everything on that blog is hilarious!

I wonder which of today's crazy concepts people will be reading and laughing about 50 years from now?

low-rise jeans, Expat.

Florida, Expat.

In 50 years Florida will be the 11th Canadian province.

Good thing I'll be frozen by then, Expat.

"People have more time for leisure activities in the year 2008. The average work day is about four hours."

It would have been nice if that had come true.

Tex Avery was better:

The TV of Tomorrow

The Car of Tomorrow

The House of Tomorrow

The Farm of Tomorrow

These are my all-time favorites!

**resists urge to watch cartoons**
(reminder: watch later)

As the MST3K guys so pithily put it: "Oh, our old future."

Florida got it right...
Driving 150 mph in traffic while reading the newspaper.

My vision of 11/18/2008 . . .

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, and you wake up to a digital NPR news broadcast covering the 2008 presidential election, which technically should have been over 2 weeks ago, but the Democratic party hasn’t decide on a candidate yet and Florida completely forgot to vote at all. You slide into your two ton, 13 miles to the gallon SUV to drive the 5 miles to work. With regular gas at $5.25 per gallon, you would like to trade the vehicle in for something more fuel efficient, but you figure that, with housing prices in the toilet, you’d rather be upside down on only one loan instead of two. A Metro bus runs a red light at the end of the street and, but for the fact that you’re still trying to shave at the light, you would have been right in its path.

After a quick stop at the McDonald’s drive thru for hash browns, coffee and a McGriddler -- that strange combination of pancakes and other breakfast foods toped with cheese – you merge onto traffic. You answer emails on your Blackberry with one hand while you hold your coffee cup and the steering wheel, occasionally, with the other. This is all possible because you’re not actually whizzing anywhere. Some shmoe has a flat tire and can’t figure out how to get into the far right lane. A taxi cab cuts you off without signaling so you put down the coffee and engage in a little offensive retaliatory driving. Twenty minutes later, you can see your destination in the distance, but it will take another 15 minutes for traffic to creep along. Transportation is a key issue, but there’s not a lawmaker alive who would risk raising taxes for new roads or suggesting that workers bike to work. Incidentally, the election still hasn’t been decided, but Al Gore has just announced that he is back in the race.

Finally, your exit arrives and you accelerate to 150 mph to get through the yellow light at the bottom of the ramp, barely missing the moron who though he’d cross against the light because he is just so gosh darn special and the world revolves around him. You pay to park at the cheapest parking lot, and walk three blocks to the office, passing underneath the railroad tracks and cutting through a dark alley that will be very creepy when the sun goes down later.

Although it’s mid-November, the weather is warm and muggy thanks to global warming. Of course, you start sweating because your fat butt hasn’t been the gym in over a year.
Your office building is equally sweltering. The engineers, fooled by a brief cold snap at the beginning of the month, have started the heat. HVAC systems work about as efficiently as they did 75 years ago. Of course, the windows were sealed three years ago to prevent biological weapons from penetrating the building.

An hour after leaving your home, you settle into your desk chair and start surfing the internet. You didn’t turn off the computer last night to save electricity, because the boot-up process is so slow and boring. You read the papers online and work two crossword puzzles and three suduko for the next two hours. Dick Cheney has now decided that the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not apply to him and that he will be the next president.

Homes in your socio-economic bracket are practically worth less than they were during the Great Depression. You want to renovate the kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, but you already maxed out the credits cards purchasing the 52” plasma television, the weekend trip to Vegas and your afternoon chai teas from Starbucks. Besides, if you’re going to walk away from the property and your mortgage, why make any more investment in it.

Dwellings for the most part are assembled by illegal aliens from Latin America. They all look alike and have brick facades, plastic sides and great rooms with two story ceilings (the dwellings, not the illegal aliens). Such homes easily can be decorated from the Pottery Barn catalog or trips to IKEA. All the furniture is cheaply made in Southeast Asia, thus contributing further to a growing trade imbalance and a falling dollar. A typical wedding present for the 21st century newlyweds is an IKEA or Target gift card – although care must be taken to use the gift card before it expires – which was usually two weeks before you received it.

Other illegal aliens from Latin America ease kitchenwork and other housework. At preset times, they dust and mop and clean the and clean the bathroom. Of course, you can never run for public office, because you haven’t paid any employment taxes or social security. In fact, you haven’t even paid minimum wage, but at least your toilet shines. Meals come from places like Whole Foods and Harris Teeter counters where everything is precooked. The sodium content of most of these foods is off the chart. Meals are slid into the microwave oven in handy disposable plastic trays. Technically, these trays are recyclable, but that would mean actually rinsing them off and maintaining a separate disposal bin. The trash is anonymous. The meal then is served on Wedgwood china, also financed on one of your credit cards. You leave the dirty dishes in the sink. If the help chips one, you’ll get at least a week of free service for it, otherwise you’ll threaten to call INS.

The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer with internet access. Followed by the Wii. These electronic brains don’t govern much, but you can check your Netflix queue and shop for unneeded consumer goods from the comfort of your own sofa. Good luck finding a repairman to show up and fix any problems, or even a customer service representative that speaks coherent English to walk you through the problem.

Computers also handle travel reservations, relay telephone messages, keep track of birthdays and anniversaries (if you’re a woman), compute taxes and even figure the monthly bills for electricity, water, telephone and other utilities. Granted the airlines won’t actually keep the reservations and get you or your luggage to your destination on schedule, but the thought is nice.

Money has all but disappeared. For those lucky to have jobs, employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Salaries increases have declined though. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance and tracks your purchases and sends you tons of junk mail to encourage you to buy more. They also record that porn purchase you made last April, just in case you get the idea to run for public office.


People have more time for online gaming and television watching in the year 2008. The average work day is about ten hours, but who needs sleep. Yeah, the lack of sleep is killing you, but there’s a marathon of Designing Women on TV Land beginning at midnight.

Most schooling—from first grade through college—consists of crowded classrooms, overworked teachers and crumbling infrastructure. Students visit a campus after passing through a metal detector. Progress of each student is followed by a national testing regime that does nothing to improve education. The verdict on the effect of binge drinking, at the high school and college level, is still out. Besides school lessons, other educational material is available for TV viewing on shows such as CSI and Inside Edition.

TV screens cover an entire wall in most homes and show most subjects in High def glory. In addition to programmed TV and the multiplicity of commercial fare, you can follow all the antics of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Best-selling books on little hand held devices, but why bother to read when audio books can be downloaded from iTunes.

A typical vacation in 2008 is to spend a week at one of the Disney properties where long lines lead to fisticuffs and employees in themed character costumes will, allegedly, molest your children. European vacations are beyond the reach of most Americans as the dollar now trades at about 1 to 4 with the Euro. Other past tourist destinations like Miami and New York are awash with Russian oligarchs in tacky fur length fur coats and International Male thong swimming suits – and that’s just the men.

Another vacation is a trip into orbit. Regrettably, few can pony up the $20 million or so for this ride and attempts to raise funds to send Lance Bass there failed. Maybe if it were Paris Hilton.

While city life in 2008 has changed greatly, the farm has altered even more. Farmers are multinational conglomerates running operations as automated as factories and paying Washington lobbyist exorbitant amounts of money to keep Government subsidies flowing. Savvy firms are abandoning the production of actual food in favor of corn and soy beans for ethanol production, thereby reaping profits from both fuel and rising food commodity prices. Our illegal alien friends work in subhuman conditions processing genetically enhanced, antibiotic rich chicken, pork and beef.

Farming isn't confined to land. Mariculturists have turned areas of the sea into beds of protein-rich seaweed and algae – at least in those areas that have not been polluted or overfished. Areas in Southeast Asia bays or close to shore have been turned into shrimp, lobster, clam and other shellfish ranches, like the cattle spreads of yesteryear. This seafood is most likely laced with mercury, but it comes frozen and its cheap so families can have steak-like meals twice a day without feeling a budget pinch. Of course, crab fishing does make for good reality television programming.

Medical research has guaranteed that most babies born in the 21st century will live long and healthy lives, but good luck affording medical insurance to actually pay for the services. Heart disease hasn’t been eliminated, but you can wear a ribbon to remind you that you too may die from any number of illnesses. Resistant bacterial strains are also on the rise. France has already surrendered, although Dick Cheney has reportedly barricaded himself in the oval office with is hunting shotgun and we all know he is not afraid to use it.

Medical examinations are a matter of sitting on a cold table in a little paper dressing ground that exposes embarrassing parts of the anatomy. Good luck if it’s a prostate or colon issue.

No need to worry about failing sexual prowess either. Enhancement pills are another 21st century commodity for which you receive hundreds or emails daily. Everyone is able to use his full sexual potential, even Bob Dole, who has decided to throw his hat back into the presidential race, too.

Boo, do you have the Reader's Digest version??

Boo, we're in the future now. We don't have time to read all that.

"Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet."... as the leading cause(s) of death.

Pith helmet off to Boo who has wayyyyy more time on hands than I do. If he types as fast as I read (43 wpm) there is still the chronicling of events to consider, no small feet when the metric system is adopted.

Pith helmet off to Boo who has wayyyyy more time on hands than I do. If he types as fast as I read (43 wpm) there is still the chronicling of events to consider, no small feet when the metric system is adopted.

And the courtesy double-postings available for no extra cost from your friendly foreign-built and now defunct (it was funct when I bought it)computer which costs more to repair than replace but the credit is maxed out soooooo...

*submits Boo's column for a Pew-lits-her Prize*

This was my comment on the site..."The world will not change because there are people who want to remain in the past - theirs or their ancestors. I’m not talking about conservation or parkland - I’m talking about wanting to preserve battlefields! A small area of a battlefield , like Gettysburg, ie, would be enough - educate the people about the tragedies of war, but don’t enslave the populace to maintain and keep a field that can be used for desparately needed housing or something more … usable. History needs to be learned, but not at the cost of the future." JMHO

Don't knock it, it's not Nov. 18 yet... things may still change.

I should've read AWBH's comment early on before I cracked my wiseass one. Sorry AWBH.

But seriously, reading that article, is it any surprise that we're here now? If that's the goal our predecessors were aiming for, clearly, the drugs in the 60s were powerful. Imagine dreaming that someday, you'll live in a plastic environment completely insulated from nature and actually looking forward to it. I want my money back, please.

Just now finished reading Boo's snooze. Re: your last paragasp- Bob Dole attempted to throw his hat in the ring, but when he tossed it, it got caught on something.

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