What looks brighter; the past or the future?


Well-known member
There's a saying: "Keep it Simple". That ship has sailed so I propose a new saying: Let's go back to what actually works. They say time goes by faster as we age, but I distinctly remember checkers at the grocery store running cash registers at lightning speed while simultaneously pushing our groceries to the box boy who had them bagged in organic and biodegradable paper, and in our cart in a fraction of the time it takes to scan, and place groceries into the plastic bags that are so ubiquitously blowing in the wind today.

How many people know how to program their television, microwave, VCR, computer, etc. to display the correct time? When a cellular company offers classes revealing how to use their phones, something is seriously wrong. This isn't convenient or efficient.

Some may remember a day when making a telephone call required simply punching the number on their phones. Now, one has to punch at least half a dozen buttons on the touchscreen of their smartphone just to bring up a display of numbers that were always displayed on phones just 20 years ago; and you didn't have to seek out shade or be in a dark room to see the numbers either. Back then you could buy a phone for $20.00. Now phones have a screen that renders it disposable as soon as it fails.

Back then it was practically impossible to accidently brush a button that disconnected your call, sent your report into some transcendent place in cyberspace, or sent all of your friends a picture of you in your bathrobe with curlers and a green mask on a face stuffed and dripping with hot buttered chedder cheese flavored popcorn.

Remember those days when you could call your bank, the grocery store, lumber yard, hardware store, car dealer, etc. and hear an actual person pick up the phone and say, "Hello, how can I help you"? How many prefer a seemingly endless menu of easily forgettable numbers associated with irrelevant subjects, only to be forced to leave messages that are never returned?

Ford has announced that they are dropping their production down by 50%. A Jeep Cherokee factory in Illinois is laying off over a thousand people. There are fields full of brand new automobiles, trucks, etc. waiting for computer chips to be installed into them. Nowadays, computer chips are an integral part of just about anything that relies upon electronics to operate, yet this wasn't always the case.

The first cars built didn't have fuel pumps. They were gravity fed. If a diesel engine stopped working, the problem was either no fuel, or no compression. Today, it could be any of a few thousand problems, but chances are it's something wrong with the computer. Some people in Southeast Asia still use a sheet of polished tin to heat water, and cook food. They can get water to boil faster than your stove for free, and their "stove" will never need a computer chip. It will never fall apart right as your placing your Thanksgiving turkey into a cold dead oven.

The American automakers sell trucks in Southeast Asia, India, Central and South America, etc. that get better mileage, have better towing capacity, have side rails that fold down or flat for more carrying capacity for a fraction of what we pay for a truck in the US without ANY of those features. Since when is having no choice a characteristic of a free people?

For those who are now discovering that they may have to keep the car they usually lease for a few years before trading it in on a new model, you're going to find out what happens when that cheap Chinese touchscreen on your dashboard goes blank, or that circuit that is no longer available to lower your windows or unlock your doors fails.

Cars and trucks we all drove over 30 years ago that don't have any of these fancy Chinese electronic components are selling for $30k, and well worth the money if one wants to get reliably from point A to point B. For those who have never been to Cuba, you're about to find out exactly what it's like living there. Wait until the banks are hacked (or claim they've been hacked), and all of those digitally numbered accounts go "Poof".

Reliability and dependability are hallmarks of the past while the future holds the false promise of an efficient, yet foreboding "sorry our computers are down" uncertainty.