Friday, April 22, 2011
I received this email today. I hope it's a joke. My comments afterwards are heavily imbued with cynicism, sarcasm and humor. (This is a long one so go get a sandwich first. Good luck.)
Things That Will Disappear in Our Life Time
1. The Post Office. It's so deeply in financial trouble that there's no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Check. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This will help the death of the post office. If you didn't receive & pay your bills the post office would be gone.
3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. & certainly don't subscribe to home delivery. Reading the paper online, get ready to pay. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance with big computer and the major cell companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.
4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages? I said the same thing about downloading music. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I discovered I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less. It's also convenient! You'll forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. You're paying double charges for phone services if you have a cell phone. Already the cell phone companies are letting you call customers with the same provider and include long distance calls, unlike the land line companies.
6. Music. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading, but the greed and corruption. Record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with by older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit.
7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV what they want to watch online and streamed to their TV's and computers. They're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. On top of that cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
8. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. 24/7 "they" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something it's put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will be customized to you. Of course, "they'll also send ads to try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.
THAT'S ONE GUY'S OPINION. THIS IS MINE: These things won't become obsolete any time soon. (Except for # 8 which, I fear, is already true. How cheery.)
First of all there's too many people without computers. What about blind people? Paralyzed people? Those without fingers? Hire someone to describe the pictures?
Computers run on electricity. What about people that can't afford the higher electricity bills?
How are people who don't have enough food going to get computers and more electricity? Who's going to issue computers to every man, woman, and child in the world and teach them to use them--especially 80 to 90-year-olds and illiterate people?
This responsibility (and cost) will fall on government which is already understaffed and in debt up to the eyebrows.
Oh, I forgot, medicare and medicare will be out of money so all the old folks, poor folks and handicapped people will be dead. Or living in the woods foraging for food. (No more food stamps.)
Are they going to download the food via computer to refrigerators?
No, wait, the forests will all be gone. Maybe since paper is obsolete the trees can grow back. Oh, without trees there won't be any oxygen so we'll ALL be dead.
In the meantime what are we going to use for toilet paper?
The mail service is run by private companies already. You can bet the farm it makes a profit, mostly from the government who use the services.
Post Office being obsolete will "unemploy" all the postal workers.
A million employees who did all the manual work before computers took over will all be let-go too. These people will all want unemployment benefits and welfare. We can pay them with computers but they won't get these benefits because they won't we be able afford computers or electricity.
We'll all be screwed because our taxes are going to be so high we'll each need our own electronic bank to pay them.
With all this heavy computer use, we'll have to train people to run the computers. Computers can't program themselves, can they? Not yet anyway. We'll need programmers to do that. There'll be a lack of programmers because they won't be able to afford college. Whoa, colleges won't exist! They won't be able to afford all the electricity needed to run everything by computer.
Electric cars will have to be produced too since fuel will be gone by them. Yay, no fumes to poison the skies. But it won't matter because most of us will be dead from the pollution and insecticides we use right now and from bad guys killing & robbing us to pay for their computers and electricity. Oh, wait. They'll be killed off by pollution too. DUH.
If we can't afford to pay benefits for unemployed, poor, handicapped and old people, how will we afford to pay for wars and help poor countries who don't even know what computers are yet? I mean, where is a remote African in a village going to plug in their computers anyway?
We won't be able to kill off everyone without war, will we? We'll eventually have a shortage of military to do the killing and be available to be killed. They'll already be unemployed and dead. I guess computers could kill each other with on line war games.
What about land line phones? Not everyone has a cell phone. Remote areas can't get cell reception. It'll take more signal towers, so's who's going to build them? And pay for them? The government will still be broke, and people'll be poor or dead with no work/money because they couldn't afford computers or electricity.
Whoever builds signal towers would have to buy property to build them on or the government can take the land away from already poor people who still don't have computers and electricity.
But the government, being broke, won't have computers and electricity either.
Also, most wireless computer services go through land lines. So without a land line they won't have internet access. The question will be: will they have enough computers at the library?
Computers are not secure nor safe and it's getting worse. They "crash" and lose all saved material. So there goes, for instance, all the billing data. Nobody gets paid on either end. (I'd like to see rich guys like Donald Trump trust the internet totally to run their business.)
I think doing away with money is a good idea, though. I use my debit card for everything already. I don't like cash or checks. I pay most of my bills on the internet. Internet providers can't stop people from hacking into stuff now...what about when it's all bigger and more complex? No one's electronic money will be safe.
Add in the extra electronic load of billing and paying that will slow connections down even worse, and...oh, I forgot--all those unemployed people won't be paying bills. So never mind.
Terrorists will have a new target, an easy way to stop civilization as we know it--hacking and destroying electronic signals and the world-wide-web. Assuming they won't have to use computers or electricity which they won't be able to afford because they won't be getting rich on oil production anymore.
No oil, no gas, no cars, no jobs, no electricity, no land lines. It'll snowball in a chilly chain reaction. Stephen King would have a ball. But then no one could read his "books" without computers/electricity. Well, you get the idea.
There's nothing anyone can do to stop bands and orchestras from playing LIVE music. Even if there is no electricity they can use non-electric instruments. We could have one band on every street corner...heck, IN the street if there're no cars due to no oil. At least the bands can play til dark. With no street lights for the same reasons overstated several times above.
But what about no more sales from CD players? Won't manufacturers and stores be gone eventually? World economy won't just drop, it would fail completely without being able to sell stuff to everyone and his brother. I mean, China would go out of business.
Oh, of course! Silly me. Everyone will be unemployed, stuck at home in the dark with no food. Or dead. Problem solved.
People are publishing their own books and music more and more. How are we going to stop them? Door to door search to arrest people who write, publish, sell, and read paper books, or musicians and music fans?
We'd have to burn the books we already have. Oh. We tried that a couple three times, and it didn't work. Whew. (That also included burning up a lot of people. That's out of vogue now. Whew again.)
This all sounds like that stupid idea to make everyone use fluorescent bulbs. The little ones with toxic gases in them. So what if the broken ones kill a bunch of kids? They'd only grow up to be unemployed and starving at home with no computers and electricity anyway.
Of course there won't be any homes at all with all the repair people & builders who will all be unemployed as their tools run on unaffordable electricity. They couldn't get paid on computers they don't have. Not to mention being too weak from not having food. And/or dead of course.)
Who is going to take care of all this mess? The government? Not if taxpayers go the way of the dinosaurs and congress won't get paid.
What are the courts going to do with all the overload of people cited or arrested for reading paper books, listening to CD's, and using incandescent light bulbs? Of course Court will be convened on computers and closed circuit TV. What'll they do when someone fails to show up? Swear out a bench warrant for the computer?
I'm wondering when we're going get devices planted in our heads so we can receive signals directly into our brains. We can even include medical diagnoses and treatments with that. Then guess what? No hospitals just unemployed doctors and nurses.
I don't go by predictions much. The predictions from my childhood said we'd have hovercrafts by now instead of cars. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway because the new ice age would've been here by now, and I'd be frozen as stiff as a CD. If my teachers weren't all retired or dead by now, they could verify they mentioned it. But they'd have to have your email address and without any computers or electricity--forget it.
If you didn't have a computer or electricity you wouldn't be reading this anyway. So...have a good laugh. Turn off your computer right now and give your electricity a rest. Hopefully, computers'll become obsolete and we can get back to cooking over campfires and living in caves. Ah the good ole days.
None of this'll actually matter because people'll become obsolete. All the computers will be completely bored and commit electronic suicide. Assuming they have electricity.
As Anonymous said, "Life is short. Eat dessert first."