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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16242/pushing-buttons-like-the-jetsons/

Pushing Buttons Like the Jetsons

March 28, 2011 by

It was the first show ever shown on television in color instead of black and white. It was neither utopian nor dystopian. It was the best of life as we know it projected far into the future. FULL ARTICLE by Jeffrey A. Tucker


Ampontan March 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

Nice article, but The Jetsons wasn’t even close to being the first series broadcast in color in the US, as fewer than five minutes research will tell you.

Jeffrey Tucker March 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

I should have specified: on ABC-TV

Caleb March 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

Society = Jetsons
Government = Flintstones

Haha, a great (and accurate) comparison. Another great article, Jeff!

augusto March 28, 2011 at 9:53 am

“The whole scene — which anticipated so much of the technology we have today but, strangely, not email or texting”

I spent a significant amount of time typing e-mails to summarize conversations I had just had with co-workers and superiors, “for the record” and “for your information”. In essence, we wanted to make sure that if something went wrong, we could point to an e-mail and say, “see, he knew I was about to do this”.

I suppose in a trust-based society, those e-mails would not exist. Another 40% of e-mails are spam, another 10% are social networks update messages… Really, I think the world could do well with about 30% of the emails that circulate today. Would e-mails then be profitable? Would they exist?

J. Murray March 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Google is making quite a bit with their context ads in GMail, so e-mail is pretty profitable. And they filter out nearly 100% of the spam with little of what I consider legit ending up in the spam folder. So, in essence, Google gets nothing out of the spam hitting their networks because I don’t read them and don’t generate advertising revenue.

The Fringe Economist March 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

E-mail is still the best way to market over the internet. Sure there are spammers, but the most profitable e-mailers are white listed and have very targeted audiences. Almost all have a “remove me from your list forever” option as well.

Kaizen Curious March 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

Ask someone to help you play with Heroku, Google App Engine, Amazon EC2, etc. Companies are popping up to compete to offer: Scale a web app at the push of a button. Something that costs orgs 10s of thousands of dollars back in 2001 is now within reach of almost anyone with Internet access, a few dollars a month, and time.

Although, some of those services are using sliders instead of push buttons to let you allocate resources for your app. Even the push button is being modernised =)

Dave Albin March 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Good article – I think the flip side is having technology forced on you by the government, such as the tv screens in every home in “1984″, which allowed the state to watch everyone at all times. The equivalent today could be the government using the gps component on our smartphones to track us, or the toll road-paying device to mark when people were where, etc. So, enhanced technology with the ever-growing state is a bad combination.

Freedom Fighter March 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

You know what I would like and what would really make my day.

It’s if all that technology would start to become conscious, develop a mind of it’s own and takeover all together and all those people in government that think they control us would also become controlled like everybody else, now that would be poetic justice !

Absolutely NO privilege for anybody except the machine !

This is the world I want to see happening and if I can do anything to make this come true, it will be my out most pleasure.

John Brock March 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm

“The advances have come along so quickly that articles on technology written just a few years ago now strike us as old-fashioned.”

This is a serious, serious problem.

The Fringe Economist March 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I don’t think this is a problem at all. In fact it is a blessing. One of the main reasons is not only because we’re getting machines that are faster and have more capabilities, but they are also getting progressively easier to use – allowing access to more and more individuals as the cost of understanding the technology keeps decreasing.

Dave Albin March 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

And, it goes to my point above – as technology becomes cheaper and more wide spread, the less likely the state can control it (and hence, control us). The state doesn’t keep up with advances in technology very well.

Freedom Fighter March 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

That’s what caused the fall of monarchy. It could not keep up with the “slow” pace of change in economy, commerce, people literacy and policies.

So I imagine a world where governments will fall one after another, replaced by cyberoneiric systems and cybertarianism.

Freedom Fighter March 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

One day, technology will advance so fast that articles will become obsolete before the writer can finish the first sentence. At this point we will stop writing technology articles, LOL !!!

Del Lindley March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm

This series left unanswered the burning social question of how parents, both with bright red hair, produced a blonde boy and a prematurely “gray” teenage girl. Perhaps those futuristic postal workers (sans email remember) were doing more than just “pushing buttons.”

BioTube March 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Never heard of hair dye, I take it?

Del Lindley March 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Mere conjecture! Give me an example of a cartoon character that resorted to using a hair-coloring product. And the indeterminate case of Betty Boop does not count.

Gil March 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Marge Simpson?

Ohhh Henry March 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

In the future, children will be genetically engineered.

augusto March 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm

don’t they already do this with dogs?

Dan March 29, 2011 at 5:37 am

Thanks for the great article, Jeffrey Tucker! Your elegant prose and insightful retrospection about the simple things in life is a lot of fun to read. As always, a true joy.



Jukka M March 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

and thank you Dan for formulating so well what me and certainly many, many others think. Mr Tucker’s articles are a joy to read.

GirlTuesday March 29, 2011 at 8:14 am

I liked the show as a kid but even back in the sixites it had a fair bit of utopianism for anyone that wasn’t middle class and white. Intact family, “only” two children, detached, single family housing and no significant concerns about money. It cerainly didn’t reflect too many families I was familiar with.

And compared with today – I dont’ know too many American families outside of the professinoal class that can afford for “his wife Jane” to stay at home AND have a maid.

David K. Meller April 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Girl Tuesday,

A worthwhile observation, but the fact is that the Jetsons lived in a world and a time, where governments–and their extortions and brutality–didn’t exist! Living “today”, we slave away with more than half of our income taxed–and inflated–away, to keep our heads barely above water, so that billionaires aligned with the State can foist a ” New World Order” of slavery and misery upon humanity, and the future promised by the ‘Jetsons’ never materialises!

David K. Meller

Vanmind April 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Pablum Post Alert.

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