X-Message-Number: 28903
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: Re: Postponing "the future" to the 22nd Century (Chris Mannin...
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 07:03:09 -0800

In Cryonet #28897, Chris Manning writes,

>Another way of looking at it might be to cast our minds back to 1907. How 
>would the 20th century have looked then? People then might have thought the 
>20th century looked pretty lame so far.

People in industrializing countries had access to electricity, telephones 
and factory-made goods back then. A few could even afford automobiles. They 
lived a lot more like we do than people before the Industrial Revolution.

(As an aside, when I read gun magazines, it strikes me how progress in 
firearms pretty much stopped about a century ago. These publications still 
print articles about the latest tweaks to the Colt M1911 .45 ACP, a handgun 
design patented before the First World War but still considered competitive 
with today's models.)

>How many people then foresaw the very medium by which you are reading this 

If you had to explain email to your technologically unsophisticated 
grandmother, you would compare it to sending and receiving telegrams from 
home instead of having to go to the Western Union office. Telegraphy dates 
from before the American Civil War, in case you didn't know. A book a few 
years ago even called telegraphy "the Victorian Internet." The first 
successful telegram sent at a distance signaled a much bigger breakthrough 
in communications than the first email.

Mark Plus

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