Wednesday, October 6

Electricity Is Magic: A Thought Experiment (Part 2)



It isn't necessary, but reading Part 1 is recommended.

Now, undoubtedly you've had to exert a bit of mental effort in attempting to explain the sorts of technological privileges we enjoy today to a man entirely unfamiliar with, in fact superstitious of, electricity. It stretches the mind to describe the invisible mediums of information that "float through the air" and are organized into incredibly detailed moving images, rapidly displaying the complex psycho-social systems that are trivial for us to comprehend... then looking the man in the eye and saying, "I see and understand this everyday."

Maybe you've thought about how visually striking the change would be. What you read, wear, drive, and eat? Travel decades into the mid 20th century, at the advent of television. Watch these commercials, and see how they change over time...







If you were 10 years old during the 1960's, what would you think if the Cap'n Crunch commercial from 2002 just happened to be broadcast on your television one morning? For only 30 seconds, a brief glimpse of the future. It would be the most stimulating entertainment experience of your life.

At last, the final twist of perspective:

Consider two forms of the exponential evolution of technology:

For more than a hundred thousand years, the blunt object was man's weapons of choice. For a hundred thousands years. For thousands afterward, man dawned the spear, bow, and onto all manner of steel weaponry. Then for a few hundred more, man crafted the bullet. Within decades, man mastered the explosion... capable of destroying the Earth.

For more than a hundred thousand years, man was forced to travel by foot, from valley to valley. For millennium, the beast was the prime method of transportation. Then for a few hundred years, gasoline, oil, and steam powered our machines. Then the skies were opened anew, man capable of traversing the globe at supersonic speeds. Then within decades, the final frontier is realized, and our satellites escape the solar system.


Imagine yourself as the 19th century man, transported to the future, and every sensation and thought that overcomes you. All the questions and every detailed answer. Using your 21st century knowledge, capture this state of mind and now shift roles.

You are the 21st century man, now transported to the 23rd century.

You're likely to land on an orbiting space-habitat, somewhere in the galaxy.

50 comments:

  1. weve come so far i cant wait to see what we can do in 10 years

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  2. it's an interesting thought, trying to figure out what's coming in ten years, or twenty, or a hundred.

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  3. I was never fond of captain crunch.

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  4. That's if we make it past 2012, you know.

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  5. older commericals are kinda creepy

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  6. its amazing what animation and graphic design has done to advertising.

    the ads go from being relevant and informative to completely random and nothing to do with the product.

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  7. wow man, if i did saw this 10 years ago, the ad from 2002, omg

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  8. Shit man that add was on 2002?
    wow time flies

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  9. That would of been mind-blowing, mindfreak style. :)

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  10. Everyone in the future is going to be lazy and they are going to forget how to do the simple things in life.

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  11. Thanks for commenting on my last post! Your input will help me with my next one.

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  12. I hear ya. I was watching old Tonka ads on youtube the other day. The one from the year I was paying attention was awesome. The one where they roll a tonka and a mining truck off a cliff, and... well, watch and see what happens, I won't ruin it :)

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  13. It's pretty funny never really paid any attention to cap n crunch till now

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  14. Yes, this past century has shown exponential growth in technology, and it's still expanding at a rapid pace without showing many signs of slowing down any time soon.

    I'm glad I was born in the age where personal computers were first starting to get popular and useful, but sometimes I like to think about how different things would be if I was born into the future, and trying to imagine how much technology would change by then.

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  15. To bada that Cap'n Cruch was available in Mexico until the 90's...

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  16. Great post! Following and supportin!

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  17. Great post! love to read this stuff, really

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  18. 2002? Jesus. But great post(s), really made me think. Keep em coming!

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  19. i just wanna say your blog looks super sweet and that im going to have to follow you. oh and the videos were great.

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  20. Capt Crunch still cuts the roof of my mouth...

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  21. consider the electricity inside yourself, that's how your brain works - bioelectricity. Anyways, supporting

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  22. I don't believe we will be exploring galaxies in the 23rd century, but there will be some cool new technology I'm sure. Google will probably have taken over the world too

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  23. Oh man, I love your blog. I love your thought experiments! Keep posting!

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  24. When it comes to your post, GTL can also stand for "Great Thoughts at Length"... keep it up!

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  25. Wow. This really puts the mind in motion.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post(s), man.

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  26. your posts are always really interesting :) keep it up man

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  27. wow holy crap that was such an interesting post. im going to keep reading for sure.

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  28. I don't think the ads these days tell the story as good. 'fuck this museum, I want fun cereal (that's maybe crunchy)' whereas the first was about differentiating the company. The kids aren't buying the cereal, their parents are. Technology made it better, but I think we all got a just a little dumber.

    Somewhat related video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx7bBVUrTXg

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  29. @nubr22

    that video was wonderful. ha. thanks.

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  30. You've made some interesting points... I also have some points (actually bubbles) on Enhanced by MS Paint :)

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  31. its amazing too see where we have came from

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  32. Hey don't mention it. I'm gonna try to update as much as possible.. Do you have an High Def background images too?

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  33. Interesting thoughts. Enjoyed the videos.

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