Future Shock

The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.
William Gibson

Q. “How can you tell who the pioneers are?”
A. “They’re the ones with the arrows in their backs.”

spiff01 The world continues to spin and for the “straights” one day looks pretty much the same as the last. I can only guess that it looks this way because the Future is in no way uniform in it’s distribution and doesn’t announcement it’s arrival. In fact whenever there is an announcement about the Future being “here,” rest assured it the just the drumbeat of “the machine” trying to hide the fact that they have no fucking clue about what’s coming next, and they’re hoping you won’t notice for all the noise.

So, we’re left to wonder, with Calvin & Hobbes, where the hell our flying-cars and jet packs are…

And even though I’ve had a video-capable chat client on my macs & PCs for years I can’t remember when I’ve ever successfully fired up the sucker for some futuristic video-phone action. But these observation ignore the fact that I live in the Future every day without fanfare or consternation. I live in the Future in that every morning and pretty much every day I chat with my best-friend whom I’ve only met face-to-face a handful of time and lives 3,000 miles away in Washington, DC. I live in the Future in that I disconnected my TV cable (partly ’cause my apartment building won’t switch to digital cable, damn!) and get all my current event News via podcasts and video cast delivered to my mac mini and watched when I choose on my 5th gen iPod or big-ass TV. And over the past few weeks the Future has gotten even weirder ’cause my TV has started to talk back to me.

hollychat2Actually I’ve been watching a weekly mac-centric live video-podcast, Your Mac Life, for sometime where the hosts routinely field questions and comments from viewers via an Internet chatroom. But a couple weeks ago nationally syndicated tech-journalist, Leo Laporte, started to live video-simulcast*** his three hour Saturday & Sunday radio show, The Tech Guy. And during the commercial breaks he turns down the commercials on the live video-stream and answers questions and comments. Instead of passively listening to detached guru, we have a three-hour many-to-one-to-many video conversation. I don’t have a flying-car or video-chat with my mom in Arizona, but my TV now talks to me and I can talk back to it. Living in the Future is very weird, indeed.

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  • William Gibson quote: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/25815.html as of 05/17/2007
  • The term “straights,” was used by Leo Laporte, does not refer to sexual orientation, but to those who catch on to the “latest thing” generations after the technology pioneers. Another term for the “straights” might be the “mundanes,” a la “Babylon 5.”


  1. holly

    this to shall pass my friend.. resolve will find you sooner than later. We really need to try to have a successful video chat one evening… you are one of the few who beat me in my tech-gadget stardom! so we need to use it!


  2. joe.bustillos

    OMG… a human created comment! I’ve been fighting off the comment-bots (“Thanks!” Argh!!!!) for the past month so it is wonderful to get a comment that isn’t a slick attempt to link my site to some dubious unrequested product. Ack. Yes, we shall most definitely needs to get a little video ichat happening. I was really hoping to have the gorgeous Adium chat interface in the part of our quoted chat above (‘specially with your wonderful chat icons) but i didn’t have any open windows from previous chats and the boring text scroll was all that was available in the chat log. Damn. Then I thought of adding little thumbnails of our chat icons to the text but then, besides the hassle, i thought it’d lessen the believability of the story ’cause no one would believe that the hot chick in the icon would be chatting with moi. Besides i already posted your stylin’ stare in “House on Fire” (http://joebustillos.com/?p=32). ’til next time, my friend, xo, jbb


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