6 Ways You Remember The Past (That Will Baffle Your Kids)
Nostalgia is generally a pleasant experience, but soon you're going to find yourself nostalgic for nostalgia, because nostalgia as we know it is dying off. Society is heading toward an era when there will be no wistful memory of better times and fun things we all enjoyed back in the day. What the hell are we talking about?
Social Media Has Already Ruined Future Historical Figures
Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, there will never be a time when we can hold our politicians and musicians and actors up to an otherworldly standard. There will never be a Churchill or a JFK again, not because people with their ideals won't exist but because people with their faults do exist, and we don't let faults go unmocked anymore.
There were probably days when JFK walked out of the White House with a whiskey in his hand yelling obscenities at some fat kid on the street. But no one knows because cellphone cameras didn't exist. All we remember is JFK being charming and then getting assassinated. Likewise, you can't have the mystique of Marilyn Monroe or the legendary charm of Cary Grant anymore. Grant would use Twitter to advise you against vaccinating your kids, and the paparazzi would have given us so many upskirts of Marilyn that we would have lost interest years ago.
Even Cary Grant upskirts would get old after a while.
So powerful is the ability of a celebrity or politician to dig their own grave that political campaigns actually hire people now to trawl social media for dirt. If that sounds dramatic, tell it to Britain's first-ever Youth Police And Crime Commissioner who -- at the ripe age of 17 -- resigned after the media dug through her Twitter profile and found a bunch of dumbshit tweets.
This is our fault for not locking every child in a cupboard until they're 25.
Over half of Americans are currently on Facebook, so future celebrities and politicians will have nearly their entire lives cached somewhere and available to be scrutinized. We're either going to have to start A) accepting that everyone on the planet is a douchebag at some point in their lives, or B) electing robots (who will also be douchebags, because we built them).
In The Future, Every Generation Will Be Nostalgic For The Same Movies
Thanks to what we can call the creativity sarlacc, we're in the midst of a nostalgia loop that we may never actually escape from. Right now, if you're an adult of a certain age, movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers aren't just Michael Bay's efforts to make you weep -- they're targeted attempts to fist you right in the nostalgia hole. You want to see those movies because you loved those shows back in the day. Your parents would probably get nostalgic for a porn parody of All In The Family or that reboot of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Your grandparents might be nostalgic for polio.
"Those leg braces built muscle and character, dadgummit!"
But here's the thing -- we just closed a 20-year gap on the Ninja Turtles, so in another 20 years, future 30-year-olds, and future 50-year-old you, will be nostalgic for Ninja Turtles and Transformers all over again. And then in another 20 years, your 70-year-old ass can take your 50-year-old-kid, their 30-year-old kid, and their 10-year-old kid to the next Ninja Turtle reboot directed by Michael Bay Protein Construct 83-X.
Don't worry -- it gets better the blinder and deafer you get.
By taking something from our childhood and completely remolding it for new generations, parents will want to see it because it's from their childhood, and kids will want to see it because it's aimed at them and no one in Hollywood has to stop doing coke long enough to jam a Q-tip in their ear and force a new idea to plop out.
That Said, Kids Of The Future Won't Be Nostalgic About The Same Stuff
The very idea of having "your show" has gone bug fucky, though, thanks to the pantload of options available to kids today.
On top of your standard television programming, Amazon and Netflix are both in on original programming, developing nearly a dozen new shows for kids between them. Sky just became the biggest children's broadcaster in the U.K. by increasing its on-demand library six times over, with 4,000 episodes of insane Euro children's shows. And all this is in defiance of evidence showing children are more and more frequently turning from TV to Internet and handheld devices. This means competition for young viewers is ever-increasing and harder to manage.
It's like comparing dick sizes, except the dicks are now Netflix queues.
Go any place that's full of children now and you'll see all the little buggers with tablets and smartphones watching Smosh or Slugterra, video game walkthroughs, Minecraft tutorials, even unboxing videos. Young teens and what people insist on calling tweens are the age group most using the Internet for just about everything now. Over 50 percent watch videos on YouTube on a weekly basis, and 20 percent of British kids between 9 and 12 subscribe to more than 50 YouTube channels. YouTube itself is now getting into original programming in an effort to hold onto and make more money off of this audience.
When these kids become parents, they're going to be nostalgic for videos that showed them other people having fun. And they won't even be able to share the feeling with a friend since those friends will be nostalgic for an entirely different walkthrough or series of three-minute prank videos. Your kid? That one dude who vomited up a 21-year-old beer that one time is basically his He-Man.
And this will be his Skeletor.
Technology Has Created An Event Horizon For Visuals
Remember the thrill of watching Pump Up The Volume on VHS when you were a kid, having to adjust the tracking when the picture started veering to the left a little, because old technology, like all things old, was laughable and foolish? Of course you do. You can watch that in DVD quality on YouTube right now, if you're so inclined.
You haven't seen Christian Slater be the shittiest rapper ever until you see it in crystal-clear HD.
The adults of tomorrow won't have craptastic-quality images as part of their nostalgia experience, thanks to humanity's tireless efforts to make technology and reality one and the same. Movie quality has now matched, and surpassed, what the human eye can even see. HDTV was a big deal in the mid-2000s when it hit, but we haven't stopped there. You've probably seen videos on YouTube that display in 4K, and there's even a video on YouTube you can theoretically watch in 8K if you have one of the few devices that exist that can display up to 16K on which to watch it.
More Ks certainly sound better -- who wouldn't want lots of Ks, right? The problem is that 4K, which really does look amazing, looks so amazing because the human eye can barely discern anything more clearly. The only step left after this 8K chicanery is to head to virtual reality and images that display in 16K to 32K. At that point, the human eye is no longer is able to distinguish pixels. The borders between pixels will be so microscopic that it will have, for all sensory purposes, achieved the resolution of "real life," if there were such a thing.
After blowing all our dough on these TVs, we won't be able to afford
the peyote needed to actually see the difference.
Past generations were introduced to TV in black and white, then endured the indignity of the color of the 1960s and '70s, then slowly eased themselves into the place we are now. For future TV watchers, everything is going to be one shade of perfect. A film made in 2020 is going to look exactly like a film made in 2090, in stark contrast to the difference between movies made in the 1920s to the 1990s. In other words, future generations are going to be nostalgic for entertainment that looks exactly like the entertainment they have in front of them.
Technology Changes Faster Than Generations Do
If you went to high school in the 1990s, you probably traded in a Walkman for a Discman at some point. Say either of those words to a kid starting high school in 2015 and they will probably call you something like "Old Man Crazy Talk" or whatever the kids say these days to crazy-talking old men.
Research shows that 75 percent of the companies on the Standard & Poor's 500, your go-to list of 500 big-ass companies trading on the stock exchange, will be replaced by the year 2027. The life expectancy of those companies used to be 75 years. Now it's barely 15 years. Technology is changing so rapidly, only the companies that are able to adapt survive. Smaller companies simply fall off or get acquired. Large companies need to roll with the times or risk obsolescence. For instance, Kodak, The New York Times, Palm (as in PalmPilot devices), and Compaq all used to be on the S&P 500, but now have been replaced by companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix.
Homemade nudes that once took hours to develop, Google can now deliver in microseconds.
It's not just companies that vanish; it's everyday products. How often do you replace your television these days? People more than ever are willing to go out and buy a new TV, not because their old one broke but simply because there are newer, fancier TVs available. One-third of all product replacements are motivated by a desire for better products. And we do make better products. Higher-resolution TVs, washing machines that can talk and tell you you don't smell so bad, fridges that can make ice in like three sizes; it's amazing.
So today you're probably grumpy about teens and their damn cellphones, but kids will be bitching tomorrow about how they never had Oculus Rift to help them relive historical events when they were in high school, and their kids will be bitching about how they didn't have functional cyborg servants to do their homework for them.
"You dang space kids have it easy. In my day, we only lived on one Earth, and we liked it!"
These technological leaps aren't insignificant -- they'd be world-changing in past generations -- and they happen so often now that no two generations can expect to have the same or even similar technological upbringings ever again.
The Internet Is Literally Changing The Way We Remember Stuff
How much do you rely on Google these days? Does it spell your words for you? Does it remember important dates and explain various tasks? Don't feel bad; that's what it's for. The company's tools work together like a portable brain that knows way more than we do, and sometimes what it knows is just a bunch of bullshit GIFs on a really awful blog about moon-landing conspiracies and how hot Bea Arthur was in her 20s. But it's literally changing the way your brain stores information.
What, you thought we were kidding about Bea Arthur?
In an experiment with trivia statements, participants were tested on their memory with statements they were told would be saved in search results and statements that would not be saved. The test subjects remembered the trivia they were told they couldn't look up later. If they thought the information would be accessible later, their brains basically just said, "Screw this; I need space for my drum set," and decided not to save the info.
A study on brain activity at UCLA in 2007 also showed that brain activity in Internet experts was markedly different than the brain activity in novices at Internetting. The experts had increased activity in the prefrontal cortex than the new kids on the block. Six days later, with the newbies having been asked to spend the interim using the Internet, they were all subjected to another brain scan that revealed the novices had all developed the same brain activity as the experts, in just six days of Internet use, one hour per day. The experiment was repeated again later, with completely new subjects, and the same result was achieved.
This is your brain ...
This is your brain on YouPorn. Any questions?
If you're feeling a little nostalgic now for the time before Internet, that's cool. Do you miss the show Small Wonder, for some terrible reason? You can just watch it online now. Or Transformers. Or Perfect Strangers. And then you can realize, holy shit, those shows actually sucked and you only remember them fondly because you were watching them at a time you thought Pixy Stix should be their own food group and you may have invented masturbation. But now you know better, and it's kind of sad.
And if remembering things at all isn't your bag, why not Jurassic Park that shit and bring it back from the dead with Kickstarter? It worked for Reading Rainbow, a show that ran for almost a quarter of a century based solely on the strength of the idea that reading could actually be interesting.
"I like to pretend my entire career was Geordi trapped in the holodeck one crazy afternoon."
It was canceled in 2009 when it was determined teaching kids to like reading was less important than actually teaching kids to read. Douche move, PBS. But LeVar Burton resurrected the show in a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that reached its $1 million fundraising goal in just 11 hours. It doubled that the next day and ended the campaign with over $6 million, including a $1 million donation from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. That's how powerful nostalgia can be.
"If not for reading, I never would've been inspired to write that scene where
Peter whips the shit out of his kids."
Shenmue 3 set a world record for being the fastest video game in history to raise $1 million via crowdfunding, pulling it off in just 102 minutes and beating the game Torment: Tides Of Numenera, which did the same in six hours and five minutes in 2013. No word yet on that Battletoads sequel we've all been hoping for, but there's still time. You hear that, Battletoads haters? There's still time!
That fucking wind tunnel will be a breeze once the game does it for you.
At this rate, there will be a time when nothing actually has to go away if people with cash in the bank don't want it to go away. Two And A Half Men could be immortal. You think about that.
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