Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Hindsight...

As the decade comes to an end (a year from now for the purists and math majors out there), it's always fun to look back.  This will come as a shock to a lot of the readers, but I did not get a cell phone until I was a sophomore in undergrad.  Internet? Got it while in HS and even then it was dial-up.  Instant messaging programs like AIM or ICQ (stands for I Seek You, for you young ones) were great, but they were mostly an additional form of communication.  You still called or actually met people to settle on plans.  No texting.  Can you imagine that?  Nowadays, even I'm turning into an antisocial hermit who panics at the sound of human voice or actual emotions that are not created by the combination of grammatical symbols.  If someone is not on my GChat list, I may not talk to him/her for years.  And thinking about the future just makes my head spin.  Are my kids going to laugh when I mention BluRays, Blackberries, movie theaters, GPS, DSL, etc.? So, please rant about what we leave behind in "the aughts" and what we have to look forward to in "the teens." 

Of course, we need a bit of levity as well.  My brother has a theory that about half the Seinfeld episodes would not exist if they had cell phones (e.g., meeting at the theater, setting an alarm, etc.).  In that vein, this video takes a look at some of the movies that would have turned out differently if they had cell phones. 



Blogger Sean said...

AND you had to walk uphill BOTH WAYS to dial your ISP!

12/30/2009 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These pretzels are making me firsty.

12/30/2009 2:26 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Oh, man, what a great list. Armen's not the only codger around here.

Someone recently told me about a study of children under the age of (I think) ten. Among other things, it found that they didn't recognize the sound of a dial-up modem.

Here are some additions to the list:

1. Zip drives. Remember when zip disks came out? How they were so much better than a floppy? And then remember when the HUGE 100 mb zip disk came out?

2. The USB flash drive. That's new.

3. Digital cameras.

4. Bluetooth.

5. The human genome project.

6. iPods.

7. The iMac. It rose and fell in the last decade.

8. Online file sharing and RIAA suits. 2000 was the first year the RIAA sued anyone for file sharing. (Remember Napster?)

9. "Google" as a verb. Or for that matter, as a search engine. In 2000 it was infoseek. Then yahoo.

10. The inception, crash, and burn of satellite radio.

11. The inception, crash, and burn of MySpace.

12. Distressed denim.

13. Track suits.

14. Those goddam Che t-shirts.

15. Geek chic glasses.

16. Blogs. At least as something other than an online journal type thing. Remember

17. Last but not least, The Big Lebowski. It came out in 1998, but the 2000's are when it took root and found itself as a cult icon. Two NYT articles on that very point, one published yesterday, and the other today.

12/30/2009 6:07 PM  
Anonymous bathmate said...

I love this blog.I think this site will do better in future.


12/30/2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Uh oh, N&B has been hit by a spammer!

12/30/2009 10:59 PM  
Blogger ibz said...

I am older than either of you and, Patrick, it was never infoseek.

12/31/2009 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so old I had a party line phone until I was 13.

12/31/2009 8:10 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

8:10, ha! YES! We had a party line until I was about the same age. Actually, we might still have it as I don't think we ever actually got rid of it -- our neighbors one by one paid for private lines, leaving us the only party. Classic economic holdout problem, I guess.

Or maybe not holdouts, but rational self-interested actors, since I don't think my parents would have paid any amount for a private line; I don't think they minded waiting their turn to use the phone and didn't care if our neighbors overheard their conversation.


Oh, and sorry about infoseek. Maybe I have confused it with something else.

12/31/2009 1:43 PM  
Blogger Boomtime said...

It was Altavista.

1/03/2010 1:15 PM  

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