A year ago I published a piece titled We Live in the Future, boldfacing items in my day that didn't exist ten, or even five years before. I had another day like that last week.
I spent some time at the library with my laptop, using their free wifi signal and inputting a blog article on the backend of this site (notice the hyperlink?) This involved embedding a movie trailer, and playing it full-screen, taking screen capture shots, and digitally editing them to use in the article.
Got home. My girlfriend had a friend over for dinner, who whipped out her iPhone and showed us pictures of the guy she's seeing, and we read his profile on the dating site where they met. She clicked to another folder and showed us pictures of her cats. My girlfriend reciprocated with pictures of her brother's puppy on her own iPhone.
We told her about the car-sharing service we'd just signed up for. An app identifies a nearby car, you go to it, swipe your card on the reader, the doors unlock, the key's in there, you drive. A screen on the dashboard walks you through the procedure (which also has GPS and radio stations listed by name). You park, swipe your card, and get charged thirty-five cents per minute for your trip on your credit card, which includes gas and insurance. You can park in permit only areas. And it's a Smart Car, so it fits in tiny spots.
I found a song from the new Black Keys album on youtube and played it. A pop-up ad suggested I buy it from iTunes, and I'd heard a glowing review for it on a podcast I listen to, so dammit, I did. Paid ten bucks on my credit card, downloaded the album (took about a minute), and we listened to it twice. I put it on a memory stick for our friend.
Later my girlfriend booked train tickets online. We watched an episode of True Blood we'd downloaded - a TV show with nudity, swearing, and various gay and bi characters amidst the straights - and the integration of gays into the mainstream as a theme ("God Hates Fangs" says a sign in the intro). Then, an episode of The Office - a network TV show with a Latino gay character who displays no gay or Latino mannerisms. It partially took place in a gay bar, and one character referenced grinder.com. There's also an East Indian character with no ethnic mannerisms.
None of this seemed unusual to us.
There were also plenty of elements in my day that had nothing to do with recent technological advances: eating a grapefruit, exercising, buying mushrooms and green beans from the supermarket, reading a novel printed on paper, taking a shower.
But the Canada Post trucks in my neighbourhood are electric. My local Shopper's Drug Mart boasts of being a zero-waste certified facility. Some of the food we ate came from a home delivery service whose bill lets us know how many kilometres every item we'd bought (chosen online) had travelled to reach us. The grocery store I went to was Whole Foods. And we watched those TV shows using our LCD projector, nice and big on the wall like a private movie screen.
I like living in the future. I hope we can make it sustainable.
And check out the utter simplicity and effectiveness of this Black Keys video, and the raw power of a catchy, driving song played with guitar, bass and drums.