About thirty-five years ago Wimberley, Texas, where I lived at the time, experienced a major snowstorm. It didn’t bother me. I had a fresh bottle of Wild Turkey, plenty of firewood and a Franklin stove. The fire was roaring, the level of the bottle was dropping and I was warm and toasty or toasted. I stared at the stove and marveled. Here was a stove designed by Benjamin Franklin 200 years ago. Other than improvements in the manufacturing process, it was essentially unchanged!
A second look showed me that I was wrong. Modern man had changed the original design and it was obvious. There, cast into the stove front was the notation: “Warning May Be Hot When In Use!” I couldn’t see that the sign did anything to improve the performance of the stove. I wondered what it said about people in the 20th Century.
My mother told me stoves were hot thirty years earlier, when I was two. It was a lesson I still recalled. I didn’t need a sign.
Things haven’t improved in the ensuing 35 years. In fact, things may have gotten worse. All you have to do is read the signs.
Technology marches on leaving the end users scrambling to catch up. In the meantime there will be signs to guide us.
Is this in our future?
Very soon there likely won’t be any televisions available for sale that aren’t capable of “listening” to what’s going on in the room and recording not only everything you watch but what you do in your living room.
When I was five or six and TVs were black and white. I worried that the people on the TV were watching me as I watched them. Who knew? I was ahead of my time.