The Robots Are Coming (Yawwwn...)
January 22, 2002 5:02 AM   Subscribe

The Robots Are Coming (Yawwwn...). Yet another corporate futurist (with a bizarre 1996 Mosaic-type website) telling us that A.I. will deliver the "homework" robot by 2006 (now, is that January or December?). Also, look out for an emotionally responsive Barbie:

"We already have technologies that can measure stress, using simple cues like skin condition and temperature and it will be easy to put these in Barbie dolls which will be able to talk to little girls when they are upset and ask what is wrong." Ech.
posted by theplayethic (21 comments total)
 
I wish more websites (Is that one word or two?) looked like that. They load much faster, and work even on my tiny portable web browser.

Hurrah for the simple web.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:23 AM on January 22, 2002


Heh. The only reason I clicked on the discussion link was to say that I liked the old-style website.

I won't repeat Mwongozi's comments (which I agree with) but add that it's also much easier to navigate than most current websites.

Black on grey with blue links. The way the Web was meant to be.
posted by straight at 5:27 AM on January 22, 2002


Painstakingly hand-written gold lettering on vellum. The way the Book was meant to be.

As for futurologists, Max Dublin's Futurehype: The Tyranny of Prophecy (Penguin, 1992) is a useful corrective.
posted by rory at 5:40 AM on January 22, 2002




I only stopped to say: "Ah, the web as it was before the designers got hold of it."

Refer above to Mwongozi's and straight's comments.
posted by bjgeiger at 6:01 AM on January 22, 2002


...but about the same dress sense

this has got to be refering to the dull web site. Granted, that theres no point in jazzing it up if theres no need, but please dont say that the web was supposed to be like that - howwwww boring
posted by monkeyJuice at 6:14 AM on January 22, 2002


am I alone is finding the irony in a futurologist with such a dated website?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:56 AM on January 22, 2002


Many people confuse futurology and astrology, but they are very different. Futurologists normally use techniques which are based on logical deduction, science and mathematics. Astrologers simply talk nonsense, dressed up as science.

You could swap astrology for futurology and this paragraph would still make sense. By 2006 all astrologers will be robots!
posted by skallas at 7:02 AM on January 22, 2002


I wouldn't call it "dated" so much as noting that his interests lie outside of design. There are many current websites that look like that.

Personally, though, I don't like anyone who purports to predict the future.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:03 AM on January 22, 2002


Any "futurist" who predicts the comeback of the videophone loses all credibility, in my book. Especially when most of his other ideas seem to have been lifted intact from William Gibson novels. Idoru, anyone?
posted by ook at 7:23 AM on January 22, 2002


Painstakingly hand-written gold lettering on vellum...

I can't tell if that's supposed to be sarcasm, but if it is, it's a bad anology. A book is the embodiment of fixed page layout, you cannot resize a book, or display it in any other way.

By contrast, web pages can be displayed in almost an infinite number of possible configurations, ranging from printed to paper, a huge movie screen, or even holographically. (One day. Perhaps. :)

Therefore the purpose of a web page is not to dictate layout - that's the job of whatever is displaying the page. A web page should simply convey information.


posted by Mwongozi at 7:31 AM on January 22, 2002


To un-hijack this thread somewhat: An emotionally responsive Cherry 2000 would be a whole lot more fun.
posted by alumshubby at 7:40 AM on January 22, 2002


Mwongozi: Except that layouts *also* convey information, or in a more conventional sense, they *help* convey information. A quick-loading boring design is still boring and thus detrimental. I'm not taking sides here, but blue on gray? Yellow on gray? Who the hell came up with the standard gray background idea? What's wrong with good old plain white if we're going simple? Also, I'd like to hear the "old web standars" enthusiasts comment on Mefi's "non-standard" design...
posted by magullo at 8:01 AM on January 22, 2002


emotionally responsive Cherry 2000

I once heard a quote from Jaron Lanier (I think) re: virch to the effect of when Joe 6-pak is able to put on a computer suit and goggles and have sex with Cindy Crawford (dated I know, but the concept is applicable), it's going to make crack look like Sanka.

There will be scads of people no one will ever see again :)
posted by UncleFes at 8:12 AM on January 22, 2002


UncleFes, that's also what Scott Adams predicts in his Dilbert Future book. Reality is doomed.
posted by tommasz at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2002


According to predictions I'd have thought that we'd all have silver faces by now.
posted by Spoon at 9:16 AM on January 22, 2002


UncleFes, that's the greatest belly-laff I've had in a week! I look around my cubicle-farm at some of the guys here...they'll all be communing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer 24/7.
posted by alumshubby at 9:27 AM on January 22, 2002


Still robots, but on the opposite end of the web design spectrum: Cubix Robots for Everyone.

I found it more fun to play with than the futurist guy's grey site. But there's room for all approaches.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:10 AM on January 22, 2002


I remember wanting a computer when I was in middle school (1981 or so). I was sure that I could get it to do my homework.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:22 AM on January 22, 2002


All I want is the personal jet-pack I was promised...still a little bitter that I don't have one yet...
posted by Bag Man at 1:06 PM on January 22, 2002


I can't tell if that's supposed to be sarcasm, but if it is...

I can't tell if that's supposed to be sarcasm, but if it isn't, you're not very good at spotting sarcasm.

it's a bad anology. A book is the embodiment of fixed page layout, you cannot resize a book, or display it in any other way.

It's a perfectly good analogy. I was responding to the line that the Web was meant to be 'black on grey with blue links', not to whether it's resizable or displayable in any other way. If we're talking inflexibility, wishing that the whole web was 'black on grey with blue links' is pretty inflexible.

Therefore the purpose of a web page is not to dictate layout - that's the job of whatever is displaying the page. A web page should simply convey information.

A page shouldn't dictate layout (preferably), but if pages didn't suggest layouts then they would all look the same, and surfing the web would be like watching a TV channel where every part in every show is played by the same actor.
posted by rory at 7:20 AM on January 24, 2002


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