Man walked on the moon in 1969. 43 years later, music has gone digital. CDs cower on various desks and shelves in our homes – if they're lucky. If not, their owners delegate them to a cardboard box in the garage, and not because they're done listening to the music that's laser-etched into the underside of the flat little circles. Rather, they're done with the vessel. The music has been transferred to an MP3 player or an iTunes account, there to stay forever, taking up no tangible space. It just is. It just exists. It sits in nirvana.
Before 8:00 a.m., I viewed my bank balances and transferred money, checked the weather, sent two text messages and checked my email – all while listening to music. Each of these activities was performed on the same device. I'll record an interview on it later in the day. It woke me via alarm at a predetermined moment early this morning. I'm no longer forced to remember things, because I program my phone to remind me, at intervals of my choosing, what I need to be reminded of. Directions are no bother because I GPS them on the way to where I don't know how to get to. All on my phone.
I was made to think of technological paces recently upon uncovering a box of cassettes. I remember recording CD mixes to tapes over the course of many hours, because such a thing as burning didn't exist. The word had yet to enter our vocabulary. I remember using a Walkman. 8-tracks are something I encounter only when scanning the aisles of thrift stores and flea markets – I'm not old enough to remember those.
I even remember the original Atari gaming console. I wonder if any high school students are reading this. Are you guys aware that I used to blow on the original Nintendo games to clear their circuits of dust? Only then could you slide them into place, click them downward in the machine and play. And you either finished the game in a compulsive 12-hour session, or you began again the next day. There was no such thing as saving your spot.
Years ago, I read of a Japanese scientist that had developed an invisibility cloak. The idea merges the simple and the complex. Tiny cameras are built into a video screen which is worn like a rain poncho around the body. The cameras project the foreground image onto their reverse position. This is applied in a 360-degree fashion. On button – person invisible. Off button – person visible. This type of technology can be applied to walls and is currently being incorporated into all aspects of the military. Decades it may be before it's applicably functional on the battlefield, but it's in the works, regardless.
In the name of machine-like efficiency, we may one day not have to eat. Forget life extension technologies, which we all know are being developed by mad scientists on unnamed islands somewhere in the world today. What? Do you think, if they have the ability to map a squirrel genome, that they're not splicing and dicing in a manner that puts incest at the top of the moral ladder?
One day, smokers will have tiny nano robots traveling around their lungs and arteries, cleaning up the mess left behind by smoke. That is, until cigarettes go digital.
Ahh, wait, they already have. Google it. One day, I assure you, we will have the ability to not eat – if you can deem not eating an ability. Little molecularly constructed machines will deposit all the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need into our bellies. And that, boys and girls, is how you go full circle and relate the cassette tape industry to the world of nutrition and efficiency.