1. The Post Office.
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Cheque.
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheques by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque. This plays right into the death of the post office If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.
3. The Newspaper.
The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.
4. The Book.
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from Amazon. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone.
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’re always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates simply self-destruction. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they’re playing games and doing all lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.
8. The “Things” That You Own.
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.
In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?” Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7 “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again. All we will have that possibly can’t be changed are Memories.
Tags: amazon, cheques, copy cd, eventual demise, fed ex, financial trouble, groundwork, junk mail, latest music, laundry man, leaving home, magazine publishers, milkman, mobile internet devices, plastic cards, post office, preview chapter, subscription services, ups, younger generation
What I find almost amusing, if it wasn’t a serious issue, is this whole concept of recycling.
When I was a kid, my mother would sent me to the local store to buy groceries. I always took a large cloth shopping bag. She kept one in a closet in the kitchen solely to keep vegetables in.
I would go to the greengrocer, and get the potatoes first. They went into the bottom. Not wrapped up, you understand, just loose potatoes from the greengrocers scale pan. Then the other vegetables went on top.
After that I would go next door to the bakers and get the bread. Fresh baked earlier that morning, unsliced. It would be put in a brown paper bag. My mother used those paper bags, along with some greaseproof paper, to wrap my fathers sandwiches for work.
I’d perhaps have to go to the grocers to get some ham and cheese, again it was wrapped in paper. The same at the butchers. No plastic wrap in sight.
Milk was delivered to the door step each day in glass bottles, that we put outside when empty which the milkman took away again to re-used, sterilized, and re-filled with more fresh milk. If we bought soda, it was in a glass bottle, on which we paid a few pennies deposit, and got back when we took the bottles back.
If my father went to the hardware store for four screws, he got just that. Four screws. We also had a local tailor and shoe-mender. New zips got put into pants, and soles on shoes, socks got darned. Oh, and if the TV or radio developed a fault, there was a nice man in another store that would usually be able to fix it for us.
Now, fast forward 40 years.
We go to the supermarket across town, using gas to get there. The potatoes are in a plastic bag, as are all the other vegetables, and the bread. The ham, cheese, and meat, and in sealed containers now. The milk is in a large plastic carton. Soda is in cans, and PET bottles.
Those hardware items like screws now usually come in a plastic container of 48 screws, that practically takes wire cutters to open, or cut fingers if trying to do it by hand.
Tailor? Get a zip sewn in? Heck, no, throw the pants away, and get a new pair! Same with the TV. It’s lasted 3-4 years, it’s time for a newer, bigger, higher definition one anyway. That one can go to the dump.
Now, there’s all this clamor for recycling projects and plans. It’s good. Sure. But, what about cutting back on some of that plastic? Do we need to have so much packaging? What about using glass again, and re-using the bottles?
Surely if we were to re-adopt some of those ideas from 40 years ago, we’d have a lot less going in the landfill to start with? That’s before we start spending more money on any other municipal recycling schemes.
Tags: butchers, cloth bags, fresh milk, garbage, glass bottle, glass bottles, greaseproof paper, greengrocer, groceries, grocers, hardware store, local store, milkman, new york times, nice man, paper bags, plastic carton, plastic wrap, recycling, shopping bag, soles, trash, waste, zips