The future is not what it was

... as the old joke goes.

Although some post card makers around the turn of the century (I am old enough to think that means ca 1900) pictures the year 2000 not that incorrectly. The industrial production of chickens we had for a long time. There is of course the usual dream of individual flying as everyday transportation. One looks a bit like the Amazon idea of parcel delivery by drone. There are also some odd ideas about underwater activities. Were people in those days obsessed by open water? Automation is the dream, replace manual work with machinery. I would never use a baking machine, but then I am a duffering luddite mwahaha. I love this image:

Class room of 2000, pictured in 1900. Brainwashing idea.

School as brainwashing on mass scale is not new, it is even part of the concept, but that image is great. I just remembered this: When I want to school in the 1970s we had some of the language learning in what was called (iirc) AV studio. We sat with headsets and walls between us, and heard sentences to repeat etc. Sort of like a modern language app, but with scheduled collective attendance, and no visuals. The teacher could listen in so we tried as best as we could. We did not know when teacher listened, so it was a rather perfect instance of Bentham's Panopticon. I never liked it, not due to the Panopticon aspect, but that it was so impersonal and machine like. It was of course "modern", a concept that often indicates the promoter is stupid.


  1. There is a bit of an underwater theme to several of those cards. I’m wondering now whether people were expecting dry land to be come unlivable, or too overcrowded, or something.

    Individual headsets for language learning was a novelty too far when I was at school. For German lessons the teacher would stand at the front of the class and play a tape with some dialogue on it, then ask questions about what we’d all failed to hear. I want to say it was a reel-to-reel tape, but I’m probably misremembering now — the course was certainly old enough.

    French was worse, though. There were no tapes with this one and the text books had all been written in the 1930s.

    Languages were never my strong point 😉

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