Vintage Future   Leave a comment

One thing that always fascinates me is how the past foresaw (or foreseed?) the future.  You know, way back in the day, say, around 1935 or so, the year 2000 seemed as remote as jetpacks (also a futuristic object we’re still waiting on).

Bored, putting off my writing for the day, I chose to do a bit of research.  You know, the kind that kind of involves what you’re working on but not really (just because it’s science fiction doesn’t mean it’s my particular brand of it, but it’s sci-fi nonetheless).

Traveling around YouTube, I found a bit of what I wasn’t looking for: fashion.

Women’s clothing seems pretty cool, if not entirely practical.  Men’s?  Hmm.  Overall, I wonder what made these designers think that clothes would progress this way, especially a dress made out of aluminum.  I mean, how you gonna sit without scratching the hell out of your body?  And what was the reasoning behind metal as fabric?  Then there’s the net dress that’s pretty va-va-hoochy-koochie-voom.  It’s kind of modest by today’s standards.  The bridal dress isn’t out of line with what people’d consider high fashion today.  At the end of the video, there’s really no rationale for the male outfit; none that I could find, anyway.

This one has some of the above in it, but what I find funny is that when this video shows the future, it has exactly the same airplanes with a few tweaks, buildings pretty much look the same too and there’s no real innovations, just…bigger things.  Why?  Could no one figure out how things progressed logically?

Okay, now this one’s not really a prediction, nor is it science fiction in the truest sense, but when you look at it, you’ll know what I mean, and you’ll smile:

Ah, nostalgia!

Right around when this video was made, I was sitting at my desk when our computer guy, Jim, came in with a box and some wires in his hands.  “I’m hooking you up to the internet,” he said.

Really?” I said.  “Wow!”

We tinkered about for a moment.  Each of us in my department had to keep a little logbook of how long we were on the internet, and why, and that included email.  See, they paid by the hour and even then they didn’t want us goofing off on it.  So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that distinctive modem tune that told me I was engaged to the world!  Oo!

Five seconds later, it all froze.  Log out, unplug, log in, repeat.

Eventually, I did get to this page called Webcraller.  It had a search field, plus this “Surprise” button.  You pressed it and it kind of gave you a tour of the internet in all of its innocent youth.  Why, I saw helpful plans for a plumbing schematic, recipes for pie, horoscopes, bits of news from around the world, pictures of people doing things, and the like.  I was hooked!  And felt special, too. Right there in my tiny office, on the top of my steel-and-formica desk, the entire world waited for me to log on and discover all its wonders.

Now, why couldn’t they see that in 1920?

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