Scary carolers

Here’s another in my famous bizarre statue series. This one was taken at the Lardville Museum at Christmastime. Scary. I have one more from this series in the Blog Fodder queue, so be prepared. And be afraid.

Spookily short ride home from work today. I drove the Miata for the first time in a few weeks – it’s been too rainy for it most days. The morning drive was right on par – two hours. This evening, though, it was slightly less than an hour and a half. There were almost no cars on the road! I can’t figure out why, but I’m not complaining.

Fine weekend. Sunday was a little more restful than the previous week, which was nice. We watched President Hinckley’s funeral on Saturday morning and got a few little things done around the house the rest of the day. I fixed a few loose towel racks, replaced a light bulb (there’s a highly technical job for you!), and worked a little on a couple of light switches. Oh, and we drained excess water out of the pool a couple of times. There was some pretty strong wind and rain on Saturday night, so it filled up again and we drained it on Sunday too.

The other day, I started reading Being Digital, by Nicholas Negroponte. It’s one of the books that spend time predicting the technological future. Since it was written in 1995, I expected to be amused. To my surprise, though, he was pretty much right on. A few of his predictions haven’t come to pass, but most of them still seem feasible and I expect to see them happen in the near future.

A couple of small examples come to mind. He talks about the difference between atoms and bits, atoms being the building blocks of physical objects and bits the components of digital objects. He theorizes that entertainment (music, movies, magazines, etc.) will stop being delivered via atoms and will exclusively come via bits. That’s right in the middle of coming true. Makes one wish somebody in the entertainment industry had bought this book ten years ago and studied it. The book was written after CDs were available but before DVDs were around. He completely skipped over that medium and saw what the entertainers still can’t see. In fact, he predicts the explosion of bandwidth and many of the options that offers.

He also talks about the coming of digital HDTV, which had been in work for quite some time when the book was written, and laments the entertainment industry’s lack of vision. “Eventually,” he says, “when you watch a baseball game, you will be able to do so from any seat in the stadium or, for that matter, from the perspective of the baseball. These are the kinds of changes that come from being digital, as opposed to watching ‘Seinfeld’ at twice today’s resolution.” Amen to that.

He can’t seem to figure out how to monetize the new media he predicts, although he rightly predicts that the then-current money models were about to disintegrate, and he thinks the telephone companies will have a much larger share of the pie than they do now. However, if they hadn’t been such short-sighted fools, his predictions might well have been right. It kind of reminds me of the old comment that the old railroad companies thought they were in the railroad business rather than the transportation business, and acted accordingly. Otherwise, we might be flying Union Pacific Airlines rather than United or Northwest.

Anyway. It’s a surprisingly good book and is full of great ideas and future vision, even thirteen years after its publication.

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.

Leave a Reply