What will our kids think is stupid?

February 2, 2021

There is this thought experiment thing I like to bring up with friends where I ask what we things we currently consider normal that our kids (or grandkids) will consider ridiculous?

When Dad bought his first car, seatbelts were optional. Optional as in you could pay more for them but you the car didn't come with them...ummmm. He also tells a story about going out in his 20's and at some point in the night the home phone would ring and it would be a friend of a friend telling you where the single booze bus was that night so you would know if you could drive home drunk or not.

On the weekend we discussed what our version of this will be. My favourite example would go something like the following:

Grandchild: " you're saying that to communicate with someone, you had to press your thumbs on a screen hitting each letter individually until you'd spelled the word you wanted and then you hit 'space' and they wrote the next word?!"

Me: "Yes! Exactly."

Grandchild: "Didn't that take aaaaagggggeeeeesssssss?"

Me: "It's just what we did! It was totally normal."

Other fun things that came up were:

"You used to stand next to your car and fill it with actual petrol?"

"Everyone was just allowed to drive cars by themselves?"

"People used to eat meat?!"

"You carried physical money in your pockets?"

There are many more. It's hard to imagine what new technologies will solve for these, but it's not too tricky to find things we do today and imagine them seeming totally insane to future generations.

Related, I watched this 'look into the future' video by Westinghouse the other day. It was made in the 1950's and presents a view of what an all electric house could be. 70 years later, a bunch of it came true.