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Mark Mccurdy's profile photoChong Kaixiang's profile photoJohn Jainschigg's profile photoMitch Wagner's profile photo
Amazingly prescient, no? It's fascinating to think that -- back when this was made -- even engineers were still thinking in terms of 'appliances' for news-browsing, weather and telecommunications. It's easy to snicker at the idea of the 'news/printer,' etc., and miss the fact that they got one thing hugely right: the need for multiple screens on a single computer that does 'all the above and more.' And of course, the appliance idea has come back around too, as mobiles and tablets, each also incorporating its own screen and UI. All in all, what Cronkite is showing here is not that divergent from my reality.
+John Jainschigg Yes, very similar. Of the rooms described in that documentary, only the kitchen seems far off from how things developed. 
Don't we all have a housemaid named Rosie? 
+John Jainschigg Your refrigerator and oven would automatically prepare and cook your food for you in a microwave oven, and drop it onto plastic plates that had been extruded on the spot. 

Instead, we go out and get frozen dinners from the supermarket. 

They got the microwave right, though. 
Well, and they got 'extruded on the spot' right, too -- what with 3D printing. It sounds like what they didn't get right was food preservation, cold-chain maintenance to the point of consumption (inefficient), and maybe consumer preference for choice at the point of sale, near time of consumption (i.e., people like to shop for the week with dinners in mind, whereas any kind of efficient system as described would require shopping online a month at a time, assembly of desired meals in a cold-chain container, delivery and installation of same (imagine carrying a month's worth of frozen meals for a family of four up two flights and installing them in the refrigerator/microwaver appliance - kind of like refilling a coke machine) and other inefficiencies).

Reminds me of ST:TNG, in those scenes where Picard, alone in his quarters, goes to the vicinity of the en-suite replicator and says "Tea ..... Earl Grey." Like, they have tech that makes complex material objects out of pure energy (infinite duplicates of a perfectly-brewed, perfectly-hot portion of Earl Grey Tea in a perfect cup), they have casually-perfect transhuman-intelligent AI, but for some reason, replicators are still stand-alone appliances with 'voice menus?' Like 'Dinner ... Beef .... Stroganoff .... sour cream .... no onions ...'
+John Jainschigg This relates to a societal trend over the last century. In the Victorian era, even a middle-class family would have servants. And we still do -- sort of -- but it's modernized and industrialized. Instead of a cook, we get fast food, take-out, heat up a frozen dinner, or have something delivered. Instead of a nanny for children older than toddlers, we have a DVR and PC and so forth. 

As for ST:TNG -- we have a computer that can understand plain English when it needs to, and can remember all the knowledge of all the species of the Galaxy. Why can't Picard just say, "Computer, tea," and have the computer know how he likes it?
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