Life as I know it… plus commentary

Nothing new in 2020

with 9 comments

The teaser for tonite’s news invited watchers to stay tuned to see how LA will look in 2020 as they showed a helicopter flyby of downtown at night.  Sam, who over watching Lost, was fascinated but I said “See that picture.. that’s how LA is going to look in 2020.”

What a boring couple of decades we’ve just had.  Leaps and bounds are supposed to coming increasingly faster.  Remember how all anyone could do the longest time was throw sticks at mastodons and draw on cave walls and then suddenly someone comes up with the wheel.  Then people sat around for thousands of years wheeling things around until someone came up with the sail.  And half that time and we have metal.  And half that time we have an engine.  We were doing so well there for a while.  What happened?  Where’s my robot cleaning my house?  And why is my car still touching the ground.  We’ve failed to make the leaps and bounds that past decades have done, plain and simple. 

Disagree?  Think about this.  In1900 people spent most of their day preparing food, cleaning up or outside the house at work.  Then trains connected the big cities so people could get durable goods more easily.  And electricity was everywhere as well as refrigeration so you could get groceries for a week instead of shopping daily.  Then cars came and you could see beyond 20 miles from your house.  And then rockets, and space telescopes, and squeeze cheese, and compact discs, and personal computers, and the Internet and email and VOIP, and trains that run on magnetism.

But what’s new since the 80s?  Nothing.  Our hair is less permed and our clothes less day-glo but I wouldn’t call it a leap forward for humanity.  Since the 80s all we’ve gotten is Trimspa, Anna Nicole Smith, Brittney Spears, boy bands, grunge, emo, Nutella, American Idol, Harry Potter, smaller cell phones, political correctness and post modernism.

So when they try and tell me we’ll see a brave new world in 2020, what I see is the same LA with more traffic.

I assume some of you think differently.


Written by arnold

May 3, 2007 at 12:35 am

Posted in Life in (near) LA

9 Responses

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  1. You love nutella, though, right? Like I love emo.


    May 3, 2007 at 11:08 am

  2. Are you kidding me? I learned how to make crepes just so I could put Nutella and bananas in them.


    May 3, 2007 at 12:21 pm

  3. Umm, let’s see, 20 years. iPods, cell phones, the internet–isn’t that the holy gadget trinity?

    Peggy C

    May 3, 2007 at 1:04 pm

  4. (Not that the internet is, in and of itself, a gadget–but it makes the knowledge and acquisition of all other gadgets possible.)

    Peggy C

    May 3, 2007 at 1:05 pm

  5. Cell phone are nice but they’re not a generational quantum leap we should have had in 30 years. Shouldn’t we have Jetsons style video phones by now?

    And the iPod… it’s just a small ghetto blaster.

    The internet though is pretty cool. We didnt have email when I was in high school. And now IM/blogging/text messaging/email/fantasy football are the ways I keep in contact with my closest friends.

    OK. So 1 thing.


    May 3, 2007 at 1:27 pm

  6. You’ve made it somewhat difficult to disagree with you on this one…but that, of course, remains my purpose.

    Actually, the only reason it’s difficult at all is because you’ve decided to compare about a 15-year span to an 90-year span. But I’d say you’d be hard-pressed to find any other 15-20 year time span where change has been more rapid. Let’s leave aside for now the clear oversights like:

    1) The fast-changing political climate — anyone remember the U.S.S.R. and East Germany? Would you say nuclear weapons have brought about some change?

    2) The swift and unequaled improvement in music — once the likes of Vedder and Cobain took the mic, could we even call the noise from the 80s “music” by comparison?

    3) The rapidly evolving ethos of Western culture that you have breathtakingly narrowed down to a single, dismissive word — “postmodernism.”

    Leaving aside all of the things enumerated above, I have to take issue with calling the internet “one thing.” That’s like saying the only change to take place in the first 90 years of the century was one thing: transportation. I’m surprised that you, writing on your blog to who knows how many hundreds of people at once (while simultaneously checking other blogs from writers around the world), weren’t quicker to think of the internet as a significant change. Maybe it’s just become a way of life…and in such a short time, too. Maybe we get on the internet like we used to flip light switches. How quickly enormous advancements become mundane! Kind of amazing if you think about it.

    As far as the robots doing my chores, there I share your dissapointment in the progress of science. What have they been wasting their time on, anyway?

    the kyle

    May 3, 2007 at 7:24 pm

  7. So I take it you don’t have a Roomba or Scooba?

    Peggy C

    May 3, 2007 at 10:12 pm

  8. dude. i have a new blog. does that count?


    May 7, 2007 at 6:12 pm

  9. I think we’re working on the technology right now that sets the stage for the next big leap. The differences haven’t been along the same lines as trains and automobiles, but look at the impact mobile phones have had, and e-mail and the internet. The way we do life is radically different than the way things were done in the 80’s or 90’s. We don’t have flying cars yet, but we’re working on the next big leap. Just wait.


    May 19, 2007 at 9:20 am

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