Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Future Is Now

 

I was promised flying cars. A robot butler. Vacations on the moon. Living in the 21st century, I do have access to all kinds of technology I never would have dreamed of as a kid. Still, one of my most common interactions with robots is waving my hands back and forth hoping that the machine will grant me access to a piece of paper towel so I can dry my hands. And it could get worse…

Do you ever look at new technology and ask (in the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park), “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should?”

There are 57 comments.

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  1. Kay of MT Member

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    • #1
    • January 28, 2019, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    Now, that’s funny.

    All you aspiring writers out there, this post is better than an expensive writers’ workshop at a Ramada Inn, which you really can’t afford on a McDonald’s Client Care Associate’s salary.

    • #2
    • January 28, 2019, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    And what if your facial expression says, “While using it, I think about using this toilet paper to clean up the ruling class.” Will it still give you paper?

    • #3
    • January 28, 2019, at 6:44 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    The lede here is actually “Citizens of totalitarian socialist country reduced to stealing toilet paper.”

    I could and would crack that 10 cent lock in about 30 seconds. Some incursions on liberty just cannot stand.

    • #4
    • January 28, 2019, at 6:58 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  5. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Holy (CoC)!

    I wonder how many bullet holes one of those would attract around here?

    • #5
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:13 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  6. Aaron Miller Member

    In Stallone’s film Demolition Man, there is a great scene where the crude man from the past replaces the “three sea shells” in the bathroom with toilet paper by cussing until he is fined enough by an automatic monitor to wipe himself with the tickets. 

    My most recent interaction with useless technology is a computer mouse with decorative lights that can be changed to any color. 

    • #6
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:16 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    And what if your facial expression says, “While using it, I think about using this toilet paper to clean up the ruling class.” Will it still give you paper?

    Sorry but misunderstand how this will be used. Accountants and management will use facial recognition to determine if you are authorized to use the restroom the proper amount of time and at the correct time while water, toilet paper and other items will be charged back to you.

    • #7
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:44 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. James Gawron Thatcher

    Vance,

    C’mon Vance you know you were just expecting this when you wrote this post.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
    • January 28, 2019, at 7:50 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Vance Richards: I was promised flying cars. A robot butler. Vacations on the moon.

    Take a moment and think, who promised you those things?

    Chances are, it was Hanna-Barbera.

     

    • #9
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  10. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    I guess you have to run around going, “Excuse me, may I borrow your face for moment?”

    • #10
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Personally, my favourite piece of futurist fiction (in terms of prediction accuracy) is a short story by E.M. Forster from 1909.

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    • #11
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:14 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Now, that’s funny.

    All you aspiring writers out there, this post is better than an expensive writers’ workshop at a Ramada Inn, which you really can’t afford on a McDonald’s Client Care Associate’s salary.

    Thank you. When I saw that video my first thought was “this is not the future I had hoped for as kid.”

    • #12
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Vance,

    C’mon Vance you know you were just expecting this when you wrote this post.

    Regards,

    Jim

    T-Rex gets to enforce the TP allotment? Anyway, that scene is only funny because he’s a lawyer.

    • #13
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:17 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: I was promised flying cars. A robot butler. Vacations on the moon.

    Take a moment and think, who promised you those things?

    Chances are, it was Hanna-Barbera.

    As opposed to who? The scientist who ensured us we would all be dead due to overpopulation and acid rain before we ever made it to the 21st century? The Jetson’s got more right that the “experts”. 

    • #14
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:23 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  15. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Are you getting upset about the amount of free toilet paper you get from free public toilets?

    You want more stuff? Pay for it. You want privacy? Pay for it.

    Bring back pay toilets.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #15
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:26 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Al French, Count of Clackamas Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    And what if your facial expression says, “While using it, I think about using this toilet paper to clean up the ruling class.” Will it still give you paper?

    Sorry but misunderstand how this will be used. Accountants and management will use facial recognition to determine if you are authorized to use the restroom the proper amount of time and at the correct time while water, toilet paper and other items will be charged back to you.

    In any event, it will be reflected in your social credit score.

    • #16
    • January 28, 2019, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    What if you have diarrhea? Will you get enough paper to clean yourself up?

    And what if your facial expression says, “While using it, I think about using this toilet paper to clean up the ruling class.” Will it still give you paper?

    Sorry but misunderstand how this will be used. Accountants and management will use facial recognition to determine if you are authorized to use the restroom the proper amount of time and at the correct time while water, toilet paper and other items will be charged back to you.

    In any event, it will be reflected in your social credit score.

    This might backfire in a country where toilet paper is such a recent innovation in the first place.

    Note: This video is from 2010. Considering the rate of social change in China, these sorts of public facilities may have become much more rare since the video was produced.

    • #17
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:29 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Bishop Wash Member

    Who remembers the hand drying apparatus that was a loop of a cloth towel with a portion hanging out of the box? You’d crank it around to find a dry/clean portion to dry your hands with. I think I saw one within the last five years at a small town gas station.

    Also reminds me of Adam Carolla’s thoughts on automation in the restroom. He’s kind of okay with it, as long as automation isn’t removed once it enters the bathroom order of things, i.e., toilet -> sink -> soap -> towels. Once an automated device is introduced, he expects the rest of the chain to be automated.

    • #18
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:45 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher

    You can get your flying car now! (well this summer) only 450K, not including taxes.

    However the folks who made them are already admitting they think they are obsolete by an Uber like system, and electric mega sized drone like carriers.

    So stop whining about those flying cars…. (you did not say anything about being affordable now).

    • #19
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. OldDanRhody, 7152 Maple Dr. Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Personally, my favourite piece of futurist fiction (in terms of prediction accuracy) is a short story by E.M. Forster from 1909.

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    I had my boys read this in the 1990’s, but I thought it had been published in 1928.

    My computer is named, “O Machine Machine.”

    • #20
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:52 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: I was promised flying cars. A robot butler. Vacations on the moon.

    Take a moment and think, who promised you those things?

    Chances are, it was Hanna-Barbera.

    As opposed to who? The scientist who ensured us we would all be dead due to overpopulation and acid rain before we ever made it to the 21st century? The Jetson’s got more right that the “experts”.

    On the contrary, the Jetsons goes all-in on Malthusian eco-apocalyptics. After all, you never see the surface of the Earth on that show, and the number of humans portrayed on the show is remarkably small. The Jetsons portrays the Earth after overpopulation and acid rain destroyed the planetary ecosystem and the most privileged of the rich found refuge in the sky.

    (There’s a fan theory that we do, in fact, see the surface of the planet … whenever the Jetsons meet the Flintstones. Bedrock is what the Earth’s surface civilization has become in the far future, rather than the distant past. The Jetsons are the sky people, and the Flintstones are the surface people.)

    • #21
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:52 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    (There’s a fan theory that we do, in fact, see the surface of the planet … whenever the Jetsons meet the Flintstones. Bedrock is what the Earth’s surface civilization has become in the far future, rather than the distant past. The Jetsons are the sky people, and the Flintstones are the surface people.)

    I think some people have too much time on their hands ;)

    • #22
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:54 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  23. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: I was promised flying cars. A robot butler. Vacations on the moon.

    Take a moment and think, who promised you those things?

    Chances are, it was Hanna-Barbera.

    It’s still legally binding. 

    • #23
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:33 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  24. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    (There’s a fan theory that we do, in fact, see the surface of the planet … whenever the Jetsons meet the Flintstones. Bedrock is what the Earth’s surface civilization has become in the far future, rather than the distant past. The Jetsons are the sky people, and the Flintstones are the surface people.)

    I think some people have too much time on their hands ;)

    Others, not enough. Still others, just enough.

    • #24
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:47 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    • #25
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Flicker Inactive

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Personally, my favourite piece of futurist fiction (in terms of prediction accuracy) is a short story by E.M. Forster from 1909.

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    Thanks. I’m still reading The Machine Stops. I would say it’s obvious and derivative if it hadn’t been written over a hundred years ago, before most of the inventions of the world. And still, I think it rather accurately predicts and describes much of the Western world today.

    • #26
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  27. Randy Webster Member

    GLDIII Intermittently Non Esse&hellip; (View Comment):
    You can get your flying car now! (well this summer) only 450K, not including taxes.

    I’ll take two.

    • #27
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:34 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  28. Randy Webster Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    The Jetsons are the sky people, and the Flintstones are the surface people.)

    Sort of like Eloi and Morlocks?

    • #28
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:36 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Flicker Inactive

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Personally, my favourite piece of futurist fiction (in terms of prediction accuracy) is a short story by E.M. Forster from 1909.

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    I see the similarities to Time Machine, Forbidden Planet, The Matrix and others of a particular sort of dystopian speculations, but this story is different because its gadgets can clearly be identified as the tech toys of today. Not our cell phones as communicators like Star Trek, but i-phones replacing face to face interaction and to be used as things to counteract boredom and pacify an otherwise active and curious mind.

    I can recognize even Alexa (even her quirky errors) and Amazon’s automated delivery to your door. The complacent isolation is not at all much different from today. Not to mention the eugenics.

    • #29
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. dnewlander Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Personally, my favourite piece of futurist fiction (in terms of prediction accuracy) is a short story by E.M. Forster from 1909.

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    Just read that.

    It’s spooky. If “The Machine” were about 5″ tall and hand-held, it’d be an amazingly accurate prediction.

    • #30
    • January 28, 2019, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 6 likes
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