A recent viral tweet by technology writer and editor Esther Schindler showed a picture of a magazine clipping from 1999, where the science fiction TV writer and novelist David Gerrold made predictions about the “future of computing” that turned out to be remarkably accurate.
“I’ve got a cell phone, a pocket organizer, a beeper, a calucator, a digital camera, a pocket tape recorder, a music player, and somewhere around here, I used to have a color television,” Gerrold wrote. “Sometime in the next few years, all of those devices are going to meld into one. It will be a box less than an inch thick and smaller than a deck of cards. The box will have a high-res color screen, a microphone, a plug for a headset or earphones, a camera lens, wireless connectivity, cell phone and beeper functions, a television and radio receiver, a digital recorder, and it will have enough processing power and memory to function as a desktop system. It will be able to dock with a keyboard and full-size monitor. Oh yes, and it will handle email, as well.”
“I call this device a Personal Information Telecommunications Agent, or Pita for short,” Gerrold continued. “The acronym can also stand for Pain In The Ass, which it is equally likely to be, because having all that connectivity is going to destroy what’s left of everyone’s privacy.”
Today, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote and sent a tweet to his 972,000 followers, perhaps using a box similar to the one that Gerrold described.
The tweet was about Russians meddling in his ass.
Technology was a mistake.