Post of the Day
July 10, 1998

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Tom Gardner's Place

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Subject: Re: FOOLISH FOUR NOW
Author: Oak

"Mind you, I'm cautious in declaring the advent of utopia, but I haven't found a way to upend this train of thought, either."

Utopia means it's perfect. You can double your standard of living forever and not reach perfection.

Considering that a few thousand years ago a cave was the absolute best anyone could ever hope to aspire to, that one thousand years ago getting your daily turnip was a sign of the good life, that a hundred years ago smallpox was unstoppable, that ten years ago Dan Quayle was the vice-president of the united states, and that these days you can play "Star Trek 6" on your CD-Rom drive... It's been a pretty consistent upward trend, yeah.

  "We're still living on a single planet. Give us time and we'll change that."

We're still living on a single planet. Give us time and we'll change that. (Currently, nobody makes any money off of mars. Nasa may not change that, put the people who come after nasa certainly will. May take a while to actually turn a PROFIT, but that's the idea...)

Think of what somebody in the middle ages would have thought if you said that standing right here I can speak with someone a thousand miles away any time I want to. These days we take it for granted, it's called a cell phone. And right now, cell phones are way too inconvenient, unreliable, and expensive to be considered anywhere near "finished". Give it a battery that lasts 100 times as long, make it voice activated, stick it in your wristwatch, make it unlimited usage for a flat monthly fee, and make it talk directly to low earth orbit sattelites so you don't have dead spots driving between cities, and make it cost about five times what you're willing to pay for a decent lunch. After we've got all that, of course, we'll want the sucker to directly interpret brainwaves so we don't actually have to speak out loud, but we'll tackle that one once we've got all the other improvements first.

"Landing on the moon was extremely silly. It takes a real Fool to come up with silly ideas like these..."  

(P.S. The brainwaves thing sounds silly today. A few decades back, Dick Tracy's wrist radio sounded silly, and that's exactly what I'm suggesting in the above paragraph. Landing on the moon was extremely silly. It takes a real Fool to come up with silly ideas like these...)

Somebody's going to make a lot of money off of a wristwatch cell phone. A lot of people have already gone broke trying and failing to pull it off, but someday, somebody's going to make a whole lot of money off of it. And they'll probably decide to make a paper fortune without actually selling out their ownership in their company, via an IPO. (Either that or they'll get bought by AT&T or somebody and drive their profit margin up a fraction of a percent. Either way, investors will have the opportunity to profit somehow...)

- Oak


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