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Friday, November 16, 2012

We don't need Tomorrow's World. We need Yesterday's World.

I can't see any reason to bring back Tomorrow's World. We're no longer amazed by the prospect of what technology is about to make possible. We assume it's already making it possible. All we're working on is a way to make it affordable.

Instead of Tomorrow's World I would like to see Yesterday's World, a programme that reminds us of what passed for daring new technology the day before yesterday.

One of those conversations came up at a dinner party the other day. Does anyone still use faxes? (Actually, football clubs still use them to register new players with the Football League.) When did you send you first email? Remember the internet before browsers? Who remembers pagers? Telexes? Magazine designers putting a slide in a projector and then drawing round the image on a layout sheet? The younger people round the table even shook their heads at the idea that it was ever possible to lock the keys inside your car.

We've lived through such a revolution in convenience over the last twenty years that we've forgotten the world of small inconveniences it swept away. This Dymotape dispenser (above) I came across recently is more than quaint. It makes you wonder how we ever had the patience to operate it and what we have done with the time we've saved by doing away with it.