Some stories are best told on stage.
I get asked, from time to time, to perform on stage telling about how the forgotten stories of our ignorant past are connected to our beautiful and modern current times. How ancient technology today looks ridiculous.
But it’s all too easy to laugh at yesterday’s news. When we look at our outdated technology from the 80s, and the way we used to admire it, many of us are quick to believe that we’re so much smarter now.
We shouldn’t laugh at history. But it’s hard not to.
Why did kids wait for 15 minutes to load up a game? How could we endure computer screens that weren’t controllable by a simple finger stroke? And what good was a computer that wasn’t connected to the Internet, anyway?
We shouldn’t laugh at the 80s. In fact, we shouldn’t laugh about anything in history – but it’s hard not to.
People in the future shouldn’t laugh at us. But they will.
Ask yourself today; who’d you laugh at more? My father, who in the 60s thought a black and white television was fantastic – or me, who in the 80s laughed at him while admiring my 200 pound color CRT screen?
Odds are, that one who’s making fun of 20 year old stuff and habits will get even more laughed at in another 20 years. That’s how technology and society works. Historically, we think the way we do for a reason – no matter what times we happen to live in. Humans are logical and reasonable beings that act out of experience and knowledge but our reasons tend to get forgotten over time – while the images and memories are not.
So, who’s the funny one? The person who acts from what she knows, or the one that laughs because she simply doesn’t understand the first person’s world? I say both are quite funny. Humanity – and it’s relationship to technology – is funny.
Remembering ol’ times is fun. And good for you.
I tell such stories on stage all the time – because they are good stories. And we all laugh at them, but afterwards I would like people to think about what their children – or even the yet unborn – will think of our times in the future.
Our 3D-printers, our virtual reality-sets, and our smart phones with streaming video services – they will all look ridiculous through the veils of time, and us too. If you want this little touch of retro perspectives on your conference or event – I suggest you give me a call …