Visions of the future

In a rather timely fashion I received two items of interest from Kevin and Tyson looking into the history and the future of information technologies.

Just an extraordinary piece of vision is the excerpt from Life Magazine from 3 August 1962, entitled ‘Telstar, Telstar, Burning Bright’ (see extended entry for the image of the full article). Arthur C Clarke was actually speaking of the satellite launched in the early 1960s, and predicting how such technologies were to be used in the future, but he has virtually flawlessly presented the nature of the use of the internet today. He accurately predicted email, electronic libraries and the need for information search engines, the growth of English as a digital language, and even a complete breakdown of censorship. Given the date of these predictions, prior to even Licklider’s ideas about connectivity, such vision is absolutely remarkable.

On the other end of the spectrum is the predictive ‘history’ of media development in the flash presentation (you really do need broadband to watch this), suggested by Tyson. In this presentation, the growth of the internet, the development of Google and news aggregation techniques and the growth of ‘consumer copy’ (blogs, etc) is set against the fictional fading of a print media giant, The New York Times. A rather fascinating take on the future of news media production.

Great stuff. Thanks guys.


Life Magazine excerpt

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