I remember going on a high school class trip, back in the day, to our local IBM office … you remember “big blue” IBM? THE computer giant of its time. This was back when a 20-meg office computer was the size of a room, complete with built-up floors with circulating air conditioning underneath, generators for backup power, and media storage was on a disk the size of a 78-rpm record … uh, we’re not gonna go THERE!
So, anyway, our business ed class went to the “big city” of Jefferson City, in central Missouri, to tour the IBM facility. The office standard for the era was the electronic typewriter, the IBM Selectric if you will, with little round typewheels that could be interchanged for Elite, Pica, and Script typestyle. (OMG, somebody get me my cane and oxygen!) The “newest and best” technological breakthrough at the time was the wordprocessor, basically, an electric typewriter that had a 200-page memory on a vinyl “floppy” disk the size of a 45-rpm record – that would be something like a salad plate. Boy, were we excited that we got a chance to see this modern marvel and to sit down at this wordprocessor and type a letter, correct it as we go, and watch it print out when we were done with a picture-perfect business letter! How much easier could it be?!!
Advance to today … and I don’t even KNOW most of the electronic advances that have come out recently … We have memory chips the size of a post-it note that can hold gigabytes of storage (that’s, like, millions of billions of electronic bits of binary information) on hand-held computers that can connect with people worldwide. Those same computers can order and ship products worldwide, buy and sell billions of dollars of investments in less than a second, transfer funds from one country to another, connect you with family and friends throughout the world, and, literally, run countries (or destroy them) with the touch of a button or a single keystroke!
Yes, we’ve come a long way … and all we focus on is what somebody in the public eye said to a group meeting 25 years ago, whether or not somebody’s blue dress is stained, or if a want-to-be celebrity is in or out of rehab!
We’ve come a long way … or have we?!!