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Lost to the future

  1. Oct 23, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    What will soon – within 50 years or less - be history.

    I have a lifelong habit of trying to guess how, why, when, and what customs, organizations, significant problems, familiar activities, devices, structures, or technology commonly used or seen today, will disappear as a function of advances in technology and science, or other forces of progress.

    Not that I saw this all coming, but a few notables from my life thus far include 78s, 45s, and LP records; eight track, reel to reel, and cassette tape recorders or players; dial telephones; CRT displays [going fast], analog clocks [going], vacuum tubes - though I read not long ago that these are making a bit of a come-back on a limited basis. Later I grieved the end of the age when state-of-the-art electronic circuits could be built by hand.

    One that came to my attention today is the use of watches. CNN reports that people under thirty aren’t buying watches as have previous generations. It seems that the use of hand-held devices preclude the need for a watch. It did strike me some time ago that a very expensive analog watch can’t compete with modern digital technology, so the long revered Swiss analog watch seems destined for the novelty bin, but I didn’t think about digital watches going away.

    One age now ending is the age of getting lost - no more getting lost at sea, in the mountains, or deserts. In fact, already we approach the day when can’t even get lost while trying to drive our cars in unfamiliar territory. With the new GPS navigation systems for autos, maps are all but a thing of the past. So, I guess that before long, paper road maps will mostly be gone.

    Payphones

    UHF and VHF TV antennas

    The computer as a distinct device: Nearly everything will be or is a computer in some sense.

    The word "Robot": We will start making distinctions between different kinds of robots. In much the same way, we no longer think of automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles as variations on the horseless carriage. We see this already with the little robotic vacuum devices such as the Trilobite
    http://www.electroluxusa.com/node70.asp
    I would imagine that some name will catch on and stick - like the "shooter" or "clicker" did for remote controls.

    More?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2006
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  3. Oct 23, 2006 #2

    moo

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    Liquor perhaps, if recreational drugs are legalized on a comparable scale...

    moo
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    moo (moo') adj. Of no practical importance; irrelevant, such as a moo point (i.e. a cow's opinion).
     
  4. Oct 23, 2006 #3
    Remember those things they used to trim the edge of the lawn before string trimmers? They looked like a big pair of scissors that you squeezed the handle and cut the grass(trimmed the edges) one squeeze at a time. I think they were called grass clippers.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2006 #4
    In my house, the stove is just about obsolete. (thank you microwave and hot pockets!!):biggrin:

    It doesn't surprise me about what you said about watches, with everyone carrying cell phones nowadays.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2006 #5

    NoTime

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    Good question.

    I suspect that nanotechnology, now in about the state that electricity was in back in the 1800's, will eventually eliminate almost everything you're familliar with.

    Perhaps even your body.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2006 #6

    wolram

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    I doubt if we will loose any thing of consequence, i have been in the same industry for 30 yrs, we still use chains, gears, pnumatic clyinders, the real
    (progress ) is in electronic control systems, which basically means one has to chuck a block of electronics rather than replace a single component.

    We may not realise it, but the one thing we are slowly loosing is our freedom.
     
  8. Oct 23, 2006 #7

    NoTime

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    Yea. I'm afraid I have to agree with you.
     
  9. Oct 23, 2006 #8

    DaveC426913

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    True.

    Privacy, anonymity, the expectation that we are not being recorded in some fashion.
     
  10. Oct 23, 2006 #9
    Wooden railroad ties will be lost. They are finally starting to make them out of pre-cast concrete in the USA.

    Film cameras and photopaper developement seems to be giving way to digital cameras and printers.

    CRT television sets are disappearing.

    Some aspects of industrial processes may not disappear but they may all end up in China.

    If I had to place a bet on something that will still be around 100 years from now I would put my money on toilet paper.:wink:
     
  11. Oct 23, 2006 #10
    Most probably public Libraries as we know them will disappear. They will become more like museums. LOL probably they will be where the dissappearing items are kept.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2006 #11

    Danger

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    I've had too much beer to even try reading this thread, and W is seriously agitating for me to get to bed, but to answer your oringinal question...
    In 50 years, you will be history. Don't sweat it, though; I'll make sure that Tsu is looked after. :wink:
     
  13. Oct 24, 2006 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    Hah! I'm going to live forever, but I'm glad to hear that you made it out of bed today.


    Which reminds me: Alarm clocks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006
  14. Oct 24, 2006 #13

    Danger

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    Incandescent light bulbs are pretty rapidly disappearing, as are fluid-burning lighters. (Zippo will be around forever, but most people use disposable butane ones now.) Haven't seen a tire-iron in a few decades. I can remember when you had to turf a flat off of the rim and stick a new tube in it.
    I'm not sure about this, because there might still be some power issues, but cordless tools seem to be getting close to equalling corded ones for performance. They might take over completely.
     
  15. Oct 25, 2006 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think that to a large extent stores will disappear. In fact, we have made nearly all of our Christmas, birthday, business, and other misc purchases online for years now. I don't think I could tell you the last three times that I was in a mall.
     
  16. Oct 25, 2006 #15

    Mech_Engineer

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    Personally I don't think watches are in danger, since they are as much a piece of jewellry as a time piece. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if cell phones (as a distinct item) disappeared, instead getting integrated into watches ;) I find it far too tedious to pull my cell phone out of my pocket and press a button to take it out of power save mode and see the time, when I can simply glance at my watch.

    I have watches that have integrated compass, thermometer, and compass for outdoor sports, and even newer ones have come out with GPS built in. And yet despite all of the supreme features of today's best digital watches, when I dress up I thow on my Citizen, FAR more classy :cool:
     
  17. Oct 25, 2006 #16

    Mech_Engineer

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    What, no Demolition Man and the "Three Sea Shells"?

    I would say chalk boards are on their way out... almost all of the lecturers in classes use white boards nowadays, or projectors in conjunction with an ELMO or Laptop.

    Film cameras are definitely on their way out, ones of the 35mm variety anyway. Large format will eventually fall as well...

    Dial-up internet is going to be completely eclipsed within the next three to five years. Can't say I'll miss it.

    Incredibly enough I hardly even use data CD's with my computer, more and more computer programs are growing far too large to fit in 700Mb. When I back up pictures I am forced to use DVD-R's, and THEY almost aren't big enough at 4.7Gb.

    3.5" Floppies- long gone. I don't even own a computer with one on it :rolleyes:

    It's quite interesting to see the rise and fall of technologies...
     
  18. Oct 25, 2006 #17
    Cell phones. With nano technology I think that some type of cochlear or subdural implant will replace them.
     
  19. Oct 25, 2006 #18

    Mech_Engineer

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    And within the next decade or two-

    I would say hard drives will disappear, replaced with persistent flash memory similar to memory in your camera (a company has already come out with the prototype of this technology). There are just too many limitations when you have moving components.
     
  20. Oct 25, 2006 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Pink Flamingos

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2003320853_rippink25.html
     
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