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September 10, 2007 2:52 AM   Subscribe

Some Futurists got it Wrong. Others simply got it awesome and awesomer.
posted by Lord_Pall (41 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
MetaFilter: A society rich in leisure, and taken-for-granted comforts.
posted by Poolio at 3:03 AM on September 10, 2007


I shall alert the communal service agency for replacement.
posted by Lord_Pall at 3:18 AM on September 10, 2007


The future ain't what it used to be.
posted by MtDewd at 3:28 AM on September 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


The part where they fall downwards in artificial gravity (the kind that always pulls you towards the floor, no matter what angle it's at) is the best.
posted by Eideteker at 3:39 AM on September 10, 2007


The second clip is missing the part where the father, frustrated by his wife's high maintenance costs, dials in to OmniFilter and posts snide remarks, or "snarks", until he has enough favorites to bolster his failing self-esteem.

Also missing is the part where they explain the reason that everyone shops from home is because personal transportation has become prohibitively expensive and no one wants to risk InstiCancer by going outside anyway. I mean, c'mon, the scene outside the kids' playroom is obviously a painting to hide the charred and barren landscape left behind in the aftermath of the Oil Wars and our old friend, Global Warming (which is still just a cyclical climate phase).
posted by Eideteker at 3:52 AM on September 10, 2007 [7 favorites]


The apocalypse would be worth it if my computer would cook healthy meals for me!
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:15 AM on September 10, 2007


Actually, Pal wasn't that far wrong, except for the giant hostile sponge ball chasing the smoking hood-ornament.

Maybe your awesome kitchen worked like that in 1999, but mine didn't.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:26 AM on September 10, 2007


No cal beer? Heresy.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:48 AM on September 10, 2007


maybe other than the microwave, kitchen technology doesnt seem to have changed so much in the last 40 years.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 5:20 AM on September 10, 2007


hm, maybe the "wife" is actually a robot.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 5:21 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


This weekend, for some reason that completely eludes me, I watched one of the Alien Nation made-for-TV movies. It was set on New Years Eve 2000, but made in 1994.

Outside of the likely big changes to the "future" owing to the crashlanding of an alien slave ship in California, the show was at times surprisingly accurate and horribly off the mark regarding The Future.

Some rights:
- George Stephanopoulos was a TV News Anchor (although on FOX News)
- The alien detective's son bought a "Pentium 360" computer/game system.
- A Fox sitcom was horrible and canceled after one airing (actually at the first commercial break - if only that had happened to The Winner)

Some wrongs:
- No cellphones. This would be a minor if humorous omission if not for a plot point being easily overcome if characters had a cell.
- All computer had touch screens (and ergonomic keyboards!), but still had bulky CRT monitors.
- No laptops, either, but there were magic virtual reality boxes.

There was also Future Cop, who was a glorified extra in busy police station scenes that would occasionally parade through and shout something weird and futury for the sake of the audience, like how Johnnie Cochran was a great astronaut mayor or something.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:27 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Heh heh. This kinda stuff is always entertaining. Thanks for the post!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 AM on September 10, 2007


Cheeseburger!
posted by kittyprecious at 5:48 AM on September 10, 2007


I totally assumed this was about the futurists and their intellectual marriage to fascism. Yes, I may need to get out more. That said, those were lovely, lovely clips.
posted by Kattullus at 5:52 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I totally assumed this was about the futurists and their intellectual marriage to fascism.

Relax, you're not the only one. You & I can revel in our esotery.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:56 AM on September 10, 2007


Fuck the technology, I want their furniture. Especially the swan chairs. Within Reach, my ass.
posted by mckenney at 6:26 AM on September 10, 2007


I think the Google Video comments say it best when they say that "this aint the future this is gay a*s s**t from the 60 this aint the future this is f**king s**t."
posted by sklero at 6:33 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's a huge house that kid must be running through. It took him 70+ seconds to run to the kitchen from the bathroom.
posted by papercake at 6:39 AM on September 10, 2007


He must be a Family Circle kid.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:45 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


SPACE SPEED INDICATOR
(miles per hour)


heh
posted by Widepath at 7:14 AM on September 10, 2007


I want to know what hallucinogens are in the flowers that Mom keeps sniffing. That must be what keeps her from poisoning the CHEESEBURGER! guy.
posted by misha at 8:04 AM on September 10, 2007


that's wink martindale....
posted by atomicmedia at 8:16 AM on September 10, 2007


Luckily, in the future, man will still have access to that robust technology on which all future innovations will depend: the subjugated wife.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:20 AM on September 10, 2007 [5 favorites]


Because in the awesomest future, EVERY girl gets to marry Wink Martindale!
posted by miss lynnster at 8:37 AM on September 10, 2007


BTW, prior to finding that video, I'd never heard Wink Martindale sing. I'm still in a bit of a daze from it.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:38 AM on September 10, 2007


Cheese BURGER
posted by lazaruslong at 8:57 AM on September 10, 2007


"What the wife selects on her console will be paid for by the husband at his counterpart console."

I'm gonna be saying that over and over again all week.
posted by rokusan at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2007


C'mon Mom-slave, where's lunch? 3-2-1...
posted by arcticwoman at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2007


I want my next computer to come with a separate console that shows the prices of the pretty things I want to buy to a man who will summarily pay for them all. That rocks.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:05 AM on September 10, 2007


I want my next computer to come with a separate console that shows the prices of the pretty things I want to buy to a man who will summarily pay for them all. That rocks.

Isn't this why God invented the camwhore and the Amazon Wish List?
posted by Skwirl at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


So did al Qaeda ram something into that space station or what? I'm guess the topsy-turvy life of men who live as no other men have lived before has me confused.
posted by moonbiter at 10:45 AM on September 10, 2007


Sudo make me a sandwich!
posted by bicyclefish at 11:07 AM on September 10, 2007


Some wrongs:
- No cellphones. This would be a minor if humorous omission if not for a plot point being easily overcome if characters had a cell.
- All computer had touch screens (and ergonomic keyboards!), but still had bulky CRT monitors.
- No laptops, either, but there were magic virtual reality boxes.


We're talking about 7 years ago(!) when many people still used CRTs, and not everyone had a cell phone either.
posted by delmoi at 11:15 AM on September 10, 2007


They were amazingly accurate with function, overall. They got the actual forms wrong, but knocked it out of the park in terms of what would be possible.

It's interesting seeing what they got wrong; the subscreens, for instance. The whole concept of a windowed display didn't exist in 1967; any given screen carried just one signal, so if you wanted to chat with your family, well, you had a separate screen for that. And nobody used keyboards! I'm not sure if this was sexist (typing is 'women's work') or because they thought it was too difficult to learn. Their "email" was handwritten, because they just couldn't imagine people learning to type.

They were wrong about the nutritional computer interfacing with the food in your freezer, but there's no actual reason why we couldn't do that tomorrow. The food companies just don't want that, because they'd sell less food if people were paying close attention to what was in it. The technology is ready, we just forgot we wanted it.

That second bit was highly focused on how you could have lunch ready in two minutes for three people. It ended up not being that fast, but toss three frozen dinners in the microwave and all three meals will be ready in about ten minutes, with almost zero attention. They were just off a little in terms of the speed of microwave cooking.

They did get it right, though, with how little effort, relatively speaking, everything would take: instant shopping, instant food, instant bill paying, instant.... everything.

It's also interesting how little the fundamentals have changed; we still do all the same things we once did. A 1967 person (or a 1900 person) would transplant to modernity with little effort, because we're doing the same stuff. We're just doing it.... faster.
posted by Malor at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


When that music came on in the kitchen segment I was certain it was an eerily prescient ringtone.
posted by whir at 11:29 AM on September 10, 2007


This weekend, for some reason that completely eludes me, I watched one of the Alien Nation made-for-TV movies. It was set on New Years Eve 2000, but made in 1994.

One of the episodes of Quantum Leap (probably from '92 or '93, but set in the near-future of 1995!) had future-cars that didn't make engine noise when they went by. I remember thinking how unlikely that was...

Come to think of it, Al had a PDA sort of thing in that series, too, starting in 1989 or so. Neat.
posted by vorfeed at 12:08 PM on September 10, 2007


I would like to point out that contrary to every bad-movie convention I know or have ever seen, in Conquest of Space the part of the globe visible is, incredibly, INDIA, rather than the US. I bet that mat painter got fired.
posted by nax at 2:44 PM on September 10, 2007


Fun post, Lord_Pall - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:22 PM on September 10, 2007


I still have a bulky CRT monitor, no laptop, and no cell phone.

*sits back, waits for alien slave ship*
posted by pracowity at 3:29 AM on September 11, 2007


Anyone know who the mother is? She's familiar. IMDB has no entry for this, for the supposed title "1999 A.D." nor under Martindale's name (who apparently can't be bothered to provide a PR photo to IMDB).

I loved this stuff when I was a kid, like, when this was made.
posted by Goofyy at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2007


Maybe we get better at predicting the future as time goes on. Given global warming, etc., that's quite a disturbing thought.
posted by treepour at 8:03 PM on September 13, 2007


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