1975: And The Changes To Come

Nowadays, it’s pretty much over. We’re all slowly coming awake to the realization that we’ve squandered vast tracts of our future for an illusory past, our intellectual capitol for a culture that’s lost its memory, our once-noble ambitions for a population hooked on cheap thrills, our emotional strength for a brittle autophobia. Boxed in by increasingly limited options and driven to near madness by denial and distraction, the population casts about uselessly, desperate to ignore the darkness at the periphery. Eruptions occur with increasing frequency, stressing the structure at all strata, applying constant pressure on the facade, laying more and more bare the true face of what’s in store for us. The smart ones are just trying to keep still while they wait for the other shoe to drop — best to not stir up the dust any more than necessary.

But that’s all changing in the world that’s coming. Fifteen years hence, the far-flung world of 1975 offers challenges and opportunities undreamed of by past generations. From the classroom to the dining room, from the work place to, yes, even outer space, quixotic, compellingly-designed products will enhance every aspect of our lives. And soon we’ll wonder how we ever got along without spherical audio systems and food preparing devices, bacon you pop into the toaster just like bread, and learning devices that make education no more cumbersome than punching a time card.

Oh, it’s not all good news. Increased drilling opportunities and advances in fuel economy may increase the attractiveness of the automobile so much that engineers may be forced to start building roads on top of buildings! And the shortage of medical professionals may lead to decentralized drive-in high-rise hospitals (in the round, of course) manned by limited-skill equipment operators who merely facilitate the transmission of diagnosis from remote specialists. And shortages in recreation area may force home designers to come up with living spaces so compelling that citizens will chose to spend their vacation in the comparative spacious isolation of their own property.

And that’s not all: enjoy these scans from "1975: And the Changes To Come" by Arnold B. Barach, which I picked up in a thrift store somewhere. In no time, this quick trip to the near future will leave you howling, “where’s my irradiated canned meat??”

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