Most of us here in Richmond Hill, and all across the fruited plane, recall the memories of events of yesterday. The high school days, local movies, soda shops, hot rod racing, walking around with a cigarette hanging out our mouth like Humphrey Bogart, romance at the drive-ins and many other precious memories.
We oldies are referred to as the aging society. But even so, we are far more capable of separating the good from the bad. We oldies can draw from our rich lot of ideals and philosophies. We can enjoy and appreciate far more all the advancements in technologies and strides in science of today. We can compare.
Now, we are at the beginning of the entrance to tomorrow. Today’s generation was born into all the new technologies and strides in science. They probably don’t know when there were no computers, no television, no miracle drugs, no knowledge of what we did for entertainment, and on and on. They accept all these new advancements as a natural way. Of course, there are exceptions.
This generation, however, and the ones to come, can probably see more clearly what has to be the goals for tomorrow. Soon, and it’s not as far off as we think, people will be taking vacations on the moon and other planets. It’s just a matter of will, money and courage. We oldies have no choice but to sit back, watch and adapt.
We have seen inklings of tomorrow, like rocket science and all kinds of electronic gadgets, computers, a radical change in communication, and on and on. Being a ham radio operator, I feel that my mode of communication is already obsolete. The most spectacular evidence of tomorrow is the entrance of robots. At this very moment, in our everyday life, we oldies have to deal with some sort of a robot. Almost every time we pick up a phone, we find ourselves talking to them. For us oldies, it is downright frustrating. We want to talk to a human, not some cold robot.
Whereas, those who have been born into this generation know only the robot; they would be surprised if they find themselves talking to a human. There are robots replacing fighter pilots, replacing fireman going into dangerous places, robots replacing people in industrial manufacturing plants, and on and on. We can think of some things that have vanished, or will vanish forever. Yesterday, words like computers, memory drives, megabits, gigabits, rockets, space travel, and on and on, are words we never heard of, except in science fiction stories. A good piece of evidence of tomorrow is the movie “Star Wars” and the television series, “Star Trek.” Most of us oldies have seen these movie productions.
Remember some of the commands? Commands like,”Beam me over there, or up here, or in some place on another planet.” When you think about it, it’s just a matter of transferring atoms and molecules from one place to another, reassembling them in the original shape and size. These things can be people. There are problems, of course, but they are being worked out by the scientists. At this very moment, you can bet your sweet “be pe” these scientists are slowly resolving these problems.
Here are a couple of typical examples of tomorrow: Suppose you want a large TV screen, instead of the usual sizes. All you have to do is call the TV dealer and ask him to order you a screen that will fit your wall. He simply asks you for the square feet. Then, he will send you a roll of special wallpaper. Or, if you want to buy a car, you visit the dealer. If your choice is not on the lot, and since there will be no steering wheel, he may ask you how many passengers and where do you want the control panel.
I can only sum it all up by reminding us of what Al Jolson, a famous American jazz singer, once said, “You ain’t seen nothin yet.”
Bond is an occasional columnist for The News.