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3 September 2012

Nine things that will disappear from our lives...

The Telephone Box - A Thing of the Past
Over the years things that we all take for granted, and assumed would always be there, have disappeared. Take for example the vinyl record and the cassette tape. At the time it was hard to believe that anything could, or would replace them. But then came the CD. And it wasn't long before that shiny little disc became so popular that it soon saw off its predecessor. Once, you could find a telephone box on every other street corner - now they are a rarity. And, of course we shouldn't forget the good old milkman, who at one time was the best, cheapest and most convenient way to get your diary products. But with the advent of supermarkets and their ability to keep prices low, it was inevitable that very few people would bother paying more to have it delivered when they could save money and collect it with the rest of their weekly shop.

So, what's next to disappear from our lives? The article below has appeared on-line many times and is also doing the rounds via email. I decided to reproduce it here because it is so thought provoking and, in a way, disturbing.

I don't exactly agree with item number 6 - Music - I can't see it disappearing altogether.It may well be distributed in a completely different manor in the future, but I believe music will always be apart of our lives. I do think that the rest of the article makes pretty good sense so why not read on and see for yourself which bits you agree with.

Nine things that will disappear from our lives

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, UPS and other courier services 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 Book - Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with the cheque by 2018. It costs the financial system millions of pounds a year to process the cheque. Plastic cards, Pay Pal and other on-line payment services will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque Book. And, as you will no longer be able to send payments by cheque through the post and most bills will be sent and viewed on-line, this will hasten the death of the afore-mentioned Post Office.

Can the Daily Paper Survive?
3. The Daily 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 pop 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 mobile 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 iTunes. 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! A whole library of books can be stored on a device that is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

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’ve always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service that you probably don't need. 

6. Music - 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 are simply self-destructing. 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.

7. Television - 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 lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV through such streaming services as Netflex. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator, so it's no wonder that television as we know it, is on its way out.

Everything is going to the "Cloud"
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 to store your pictures, music, movies, files, 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.” This 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.

9. Privacy - 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. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

I'd love to be able to credit the original author of this piece but I don't know who it is. If you know, leave a comment and let me know.

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