Tag: Futurism

TV History 10: Face-to-Face Television

 
1927 Illustration, Wagner Magazine, Germany: Women of the year 2000, flying their personal airplanes to meet friends at lunch.

Drinking in midday and smoking as casually as men, both women at the table are distracted by the little video screen in their hands, paying more attention to it than to each other. In one woman’s case, she’s looking in on her child, and on the other’s tiny round screen, a man, a lover in all probability. There’s a lot of fashionable, imaginative conjecture here in one picture, but nearly a century later, minus the aviatrix hats, wouldn’t this be a pretty close 2019 approximation of two young women at lunch, wearing earbuds, using FaceTime on their phones? For almost 90 years this idea looked futuristic. Now, the liberated lifestyles of those modern ladies of leisure and the pocket “mirrors” of their hand-held video screens are commonplace 21st century reality.

TV was always supposed to be two-way, face-to-face communication. The idea of television was born in the wake of the telephone, not radio; the idea of mass broadcasting, one to a million, wasn’t yet dreamed of when the first dense webs of phone wires were formed. The image of the ladies on their picture phones was what most educated people of 1900-1925 expected the television of the future to be like.

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Joel Kotkin joins Seth Barron to discuss China’s urbanization, class tensions in Chinese cities, and the country’s increasingly sophisticated population surveillance. Rapid migration from China’s countryside to its cities began in 1980. Many of the rural migrants arrived without hukou, or residential permits, making it harder to secure access to education, health care, and other services. The result: the […]

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The Future Is Coming for You

 

It may be irrational to fret about the solemn frippery contained in a BBC editorial. Still, I can’t help but shiver in absolute terror when I read pieces like this. Roman Krznaric, the author, believes that our political order is fatally flawed. Why? I’ll let him explain:

The time has come to face an inconvenient reality: that modern democracy – especially in wealthy countries – has enabled us to colonise the future. We treat the future like a distant colonial outpost devoid of people, where we can freely dump ecological degradation, technological risk, nuclear waste and public debt, and that we feel at liberty to plunder as we please.

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The real problem isn’t that the Green New Deal is an unworkable Utopian fantasy built on ideas that have failed everywhere they have been tried and that furthermore will lead to massive impoverishment and environmental damage if implement, (breath) it’s that Conservatives have no vision to counter it. The Democrat-Socialist-Progressive Left has a vision for […]

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In 2009, Microsoft brought the game show format online through Xbox Live. Every owner of an Xbox 360 video game console had a cartoonish avatar to represent the player in a variety of virtual interactions. In the trivia game show 1 vs 100, these avatars could fill a virtual crowd of a hundred players competing […]

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Newt seems to like the idea of self-driving cars. I have to admit that it is an appealing idea that a line of cars could all accelerate at the same time to the same speed and use the drafting of the car in front. Here’s what Newt reports about the experience: The car drove itself […]

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The Abundance Revolution — Rob Long

 

James Pinkerton is one of our side’s most original thinkers. I’ve known Jim since the George H. W. Bush Administration, and he’s never failed to make me think, and think hard, about America’s future.

Here he is at Breitbart.com looking back at America from a (mythical, possible) 2064. He ties some things together —North Dakota’s natural gas boom, the feckless Obama Administration’s foot-dragging on the Keystone XL pipeline, federal land grabs, anti-progress environmentalists, Chinese competition, and American entrepreneurship — and delivers a pretty optimistic summation of what he calls the great Abundance Revolution. It starts in Nevada, on the ranch of Cliven Bundy.  From Breitbart.com:

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