Where’s my jet pack?
Come on Apple. Wake up 3M. And Microsoft, well I really don’t know what to say to you.
You set our expectations so high. You gave us the internet in the palm of our hands. The ability for my mother to see me on a phone call between the US and the UK (on second thoughts, thanks Apple). And not least, the ability to watch a movie on my lap while camping or sitting on a bus or even walking down the street (not my thing, but apparently the kids like it). You made maps a piece of real life archeology, video recorders redundant and phones or computers tethered to anything.. well, lame.
So I have one question.
Where are the jet packs?
I distinctly recall that in the 1970s, watching a British ‘technology’ show (“Tomorrows World”) that we were promised jet packs. The ability to fly around on our own. Just propel ourselves from ‘walking down the street’ to ‘flying over that intersection’. Jetting off to the grocery store. Taking a quick trip to Paris for dinner.
Yes, I know.. lots of technology we were promised after the first space flight didn’t emerge – pens that wrote upside down, the ability to live on the moon, machines to replace sex – but lots of promises did actually prove out. Food can come in pill form (and powder, thanks Gatorade), vacuum cleaners can be self propelled (iRobot) and yes, our cars now talk to us (albeit in a slightly snotty British accent). We can research anything at anytime, practically anywhere (though AT&T still hasn’t conquered Sherman Street in Denver), and that 2002 ad that asked us to ‘imagine, accessing any movie or CD at any time, anywhere’ isn’t fantasy… its called ‘iTunes’.
So expecting my jet pack isn’t really as far fetched as it sounds.
We even have some which work. We all watched them at the Olympic games in Atlanta which was 17 years ago. Since then, our phones became computers, we got GPS, fingerprint log on, bluetooth speakers and, for gods sake, 3D television. Our car can park itself (Ford), you can print out a gun on a 3D printer and use it, oh, and men can now take a pill to get a 4 hour erection.
So what happened to my jet pack?
(And actually, what about high heels that don’t hurt, birth control that works 100% of the time or even equal pay for women and men? Hmmmm. Maybe some things are more important than others?)
I guess if we all had jet packs, society would actually fall apart. Because instead of rushing to work, we’d all actually be jetting off to Borra Borra, or taking a quick trip to Napa. Flying drunk to NYC for dinner and maybe taking a nap in Italy. At the very least we wouldn’t be tethered to freeways and daily commutes. Which I guess means we’d be less controllable. Less predictable.
If we could all fly maybe we would just stop showing up for work.. cos really, who’s going to sit down and code a ERP system for 12 hours if you can fly? Plus our millennials really hate to work anyway… they’d all be off to Africa to solve world hunger and playing real life Quidditch. So I guess if I’m in charge of 3M, i can kind of see the reasons why you might not want to fast track that jet pack. Why it remains a bizarre novelty trick for sports arenas and very geeky millionaires.
But that doesn’t excuse the high heel issue. Can someone get on that please?