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Ross: Can we handle the future?

Tim Heywood Lonsdale, in his Corn Exchange office, talking to Robert Thom, who is in his office in East Cheap, via video-phone, London, June 23, 1964. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I noticed that Google just announced a new set of features for its smart phones, including a password checkup tool, plus a way to schedule your texts so you can text now and send later, and a better screen reader! And as I was reading all this for no particular reason, I suddenly flashed back to when my grandma took me to the 1964 New York World’s Fair and we saw … the Picturephone.

It was a phone booth where you dialed a number without a dial – you pressed buttons – and you sat at a desk and when you picked up the handset with the curly cord, you could look at a screen and see a PICTURE of the person you were talking to! Live!

A few months later, AT&T installed one at Grand Central where for $16 you could make a 3-minute call to the only other person with a Picturephone. That’s the equivalent of $135 today.

I don’t know how to break it to you all, but all of us are living in the future. Right now. You have access to every human being, every piece of human knowledge, the power to summon any piece of merchandise or any kind of food to your door.

And at the same time, there is an investigation going on to figure out why a bunch of people decided to storm the Capitol of the nation that pretty much made all this happen.

I hope they find the answer before the past catches up with us.

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