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(Smithsonian Magazine)   Why a 50-year-old kiddie cartoon still matters. "Thanks in large part to the Jetsons, there's a sense of betrayal that is pervasive in American culture today about the future that never arrived"   (blogs.smithsonianmag.com) divider line 102
    More: Interesting, distillation processes, Google Alerts, Los Angeles Auto Show, Apollo program, American culture, Sputnik, Jane Jetson  
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3104 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Sep 2012 at 12:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-19 07:24:46 PM
By definition, the future never arrives.

This author seems to be about 12 years old and stuck there.
 
2012-09-19 09:07:57 PM
Mouthy robot maids, an over-reliance on a cog/sprocket-based economy and wives deafened to the cries of dog walk mishaps? Not a future I want to live in.
 
2012-09-19 09:18:33 PM
Won't the future be GREAT!
ionetheurbandaily.files.wordpress.com

There's a joke in here somewhere....

amidoingitright.jpg
 
2012-09-19 09:30:28 PM
Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have. Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.
 
2012-09-19 09:42:08 PM
Music of the future was better on The Jetsons.

Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah
 
2012-09-19 09:51:26 PM
I'd post but I have push-button-itis.
 
2012-09-19 10:00:36 PM
James Cameron talks about the future of interactive movies. ("There might be a certain amount of interactivity, so when you look around, it creates that image wherever you look," Cameron says. He concedes it is far off: "You're talking 'Jetsons' here.")

Oh shut the fark up, Cameron. Your so called innovations in moviemaking are bullshiat. Take a look at my reel though. EIP.
 
2012-09-19 10:22:33 PM
Where's my frikkin flying CAR?

/I'd like to beat George Jetson
 
2012-09-19 10:39:36 PM

Dahnkster: Won't the future be GREAT!
[ionetheurbandaily.files.wordpress.com image 640x414]

There's a joke in here somewhere....

amidoingitright.jpg


Yo Jetsons, I'm really happy for you, I'ma Let you finish, but Japanese animations from the '50s are the best future projectors of of all time.
 
2012-09-19 10:43:59 PM

GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have. Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.


As opposed to mandatory unpaid overtime. Now get back to work.
 
2012-09-19 11:03:56 PM
Great article (and I'm glad they mentioned the 80s syndicated reboot)

but where's the cigarette ads?

Guess the Jetsons were a bit too squeaky clean with 20th century products instead

They also went to Cellphone Shack

/just a dime a minute, how futuristic was that!
 
2012-09-19 11:58:40 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Where's my frikkin flying CAR?

/I'd like to beat George Jetson


Capt. Sisko asked that very same question about twelve years ago.
 
2012-09-20 12:30:24 AM
The Flintstones were Democrats and The Jetsons were Republicans
 
2012-09-20 12:45:40 AM

GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have. Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.


It'd also be extremely inefficient to have multiple people taking shifts at the same job. No one does things quite the same way (at least in a small business).
 
2012-09-20 12:46:30 AM

Mugato: James Cameron talks about the future of interactive movies. ("There might be a certain amount of interactivity, so when you look around, it creates that image wherever you look," Cameron says. He concedes it is far off: "You're talking 'Jetsons' here.")

Oh shut the fark up, Cameron. Your so called innovations in moviemaking are bullshiat. Take a look at my reel though. EIP.


Cameron has done some amazing things in film making. Not the actual movies mind you - but in the technology that goes into making them and he deserves credit for that. However - he is wrong that people care about interactivity. This dream of people choosing their own paths through stories have been proven wrong and wrong again. Most people don't want to work at their entertainment - they just want to sit there, watch reality shows, and drink beer.
 
2012-09-20 12:47:45 AM
There's no flying cars because most people are just barely able to handle the X and Y axis without adding Z in too.
 
2012-09-20 12:49:02 AM
Jetsons?

BS

I remember a children's book that told me I'd vacation on the MOON.

WTF? I want my moon vacation.
 
2012-09-20 12:53:10 AM
Not to mention a crippling fear of treadmills

imageshack.us
 
2012-09-20 12:54:28 AM
Well, maybe if science education didn't suck so much in public schools.....
 
2012-09-20 12:58:59 AM
No, when I was in elementary school, we had an assembly where the speaker told us that we had to study hard at math and science because while almost no one was an astronaut today, when we grew up 1 in 7 jobs would be connected to space. Then Challenger blew up, killed one farking teacher, and republicans had the excuse they needed to start strangling the life out of that dream. The Jetsons was just the show that came on after the Flintstones.
 
2012-09-20 01:03:46 AM
On todays science debate , we have a PHD panel of top credited scientists and engineers. To provide counterpoint to their views we have some guy we found screaming at squirrels in the park, he's got a diploma from some random online diploma mill so his opinion is "equally valid".

We report, you decide!
 
2012-09-20 01:05:36 AM
Eep op ork ah ah.
 
2012-09-20 01:06:54 AM
Yeah, the future never arrived while I talk to you all on my computer from wherever you are located anywhere on the world. I'm going to go read something about transplants now. They've became quite mundane.
 
2012-09-20 01:11:56 AM
You notice they're always on those floating platforms? That's because the ground is uninhabitable and toxic.

Oh yeah, bring on the future.
 
2012-09-20 01:13:05 AM
www.bohemianpixel.com
 
2012-09-20 01:15:49 AM
www.cartoonscrapbook.com

Spacepalm
 
2012-09-20 01:19:07 AM
The only authoritative book on the future:

2010: Life in the Future
 
2012-09-20 01:22:05 AM

GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have.

Well that's an urban legend and a half.

Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.

Because it would be so much better if all the scientists and engineers in the world were instead only working ten hours a week toward human subsistence. Who needs technological and medical advances. How dare the evil corporations force this upon us.

 
2012-09-20 01:27:44 AM
The farked up thing about the Jetsons was that it held that the 1950s faux-America "Leave it to Beaver" dreamworld would somehow still exist hundreds(?) of years into the future. Cultures that stagnate like that, well...they die.
 
2012-09-20 01:31:13 AM

aerojockey: GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have.

Well that's an urban legend and a half.

Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.

Because it would be so much better if all the scientists and engineers in the world were instead only working ten hours a week toward human subsistence. Who needs technological and medical advances. How dare the evil corporations force this upon us.


Well, I'm totally convinced because of the bold letters.

How about they actually find the smart people early on and give them a better education instead of tacking on a few extra credit book reports and having them do a bit of college math in high school? The current system seems to be designed to crush creativity, waste intelligence, and make many talented people work useless cog making jobs.
 
2012-09-20 01:37:43 AM
I recall an episode with George breaking the fourth and complaining about his income.

"A thousand bucks a week doesnt go as far as it used to."

The laugh track roared. 

/kinda blows me away there was just one season
 
2012-09-20 01:49:19 AM
I actually remember sitting there watching the show and really, really looking forward to when I'd grow up and live in a space needle.

//prime time entertainment
/whole family watched
 
2012-09-20 01:58:37 AM

FunkOut: Well, I'm totally convinced because of the bold letters.



How about they actually find the smart people early on and give them a better education instead of tacking on a few extra credit book reports and having them do a bit of college math in high school? The current system seems to be designed to crush creativity, waste intelligence, and make many talented people work useless cog making jobs.


Good idea, however I'm going to opine that even with a good educational system our scientists and engineers would not be four times as productive as they are now.

And if they were, then we (i.e., society) would probably still want them to work 40 hours a week and deliver four times the progress.

10 hour work weeks is a dream. When we (i.e. society) gain efficiency, we don't put it toward liesure time, we put to toward greater progress. Just like the idea that faster computers with more memory are going to make our computers work faster. It doesn't happen that way: the computers get more powerful and complex, but they still sit there for 20 seconds unresponsive loading drivers or starting a word processor.
 
2012-09-20 02:09:47 AM

aerojockey: FunkOut: Well, I'm totally convinced because of the bold letters.



How about they actually find the smart people early on and give them a better education instead of tacking on a few extra credit book reports and having them do a bit of college math in high school? The current system seems to be designed to crush creativity, waste intelligence, and make many talented people work useless cog making jobs.

Good idea, however I'm going to opine that even with a good educational system our scientists and engineers would not be four times as productive as they are now.

And if they were, then we (i.e., society) would probably still want them to work 40 hours a week and deliver four times the progress.

10 hour work weeks is a dream. When we (i.e. society) gain efficiency, we don't put it toward liesure time, we put to toward greater progress. Just like the idea that faster computers with more memory are going to make our computers work faster. It doesn't happen that way: the computers get more powerful and complex, but they still sit there for 20 seconds unresponsive loading drivers or starting a word processor.


What we need are time machines.
 
2012-09-20 02:20:56 AM

aerojockey: 10 hour work weeks is a dream. When we (i.e. society) gain efficiency, we don't put it toward liesure time, we put to toward greater progress. Just like the idea that faster computers with more memory are going to make our computers work faster. It doesn't happen that way: the computers get more powerful and complex, but they still sit there for 20 seconds unresponsive loading drivers or starting a word processor.


Come to think of it, these two problems cancel out. We just tell all the software engineers to work only ten hours (which of course would have a cascading effect all over the workforce, so that everyone has more free time). Then we are stuck using Word 5.0, which will run blazing fast on a recent Intel i7 system. Course, we'll have to kidnap the hardware engineers and force them to continue working long hours.

FunkOut: What we need are time machines.


Have you ever noticed that time machines are rarely ever machines? I mean, they might have mechanical parts to support the time travel apparatus, but the actual time travel is done by some kind of non-mechanical force field. It's not like anyone travels back in time by spinning a wheel real fast.
 
2012-09-20 02:33:24 AM

aerojockey: Then we are stuck using Word 5.0


Yes, because no one makes good software for free. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to close Firefox and go back to writing in LibreOffice on my computer running Linux Mint so I have time to edit some pictures in GIMP.
 
2012-09-20 02:45:49 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: aerojockey: Then we are stuck using Word 5.0

Yes, because no one makes good software for free. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to close Firefox and go back to writing in LibreOffice on my computer running Linux Mint so I have time to edit some pictures in GIMP.


You know you're an obsessed open source fanboy when you follow-up to a post that has absolutely nothing to do with software freedom, simply because someone name-dropped a piece of commercial software in the post.

We are having a discussion on social economics. We don't care about your silly little holy war.

(P.S. You know at least three of the softwares you listed are heavily supported commercially, and at least two have programmers assigned to them full time, right?)
 
2012-09-20 02:47:20 AM

aerojockey: It's not like anyone travels back in time by spinning a wheel real fast.


I tried a time machine that used a lever once but just ended up really far away.
 
2012-09-20 02:54:12 AM

FunkOut: aerojockey: It's not like anyone travels back in time by spinning a wheel real fast.

I tried a time machine that used a lever once but just ended up really far away.


The worst time machines are definitely inclined planes.
 
2012-09-20 02:56:50 AM
Meh. I guess I'm the only person in the world who never liked the Jetsons or the Flintstones growing up.

Too busy watching Loonie Tunes I guess.
 
2012-09-20 03:20:41 AM

SN1987a goes boom: The farked up thing about the Jetsons was that it held that the 1950s faux-America "Leave it to Beaver" dreamworld would somehow still exist hundreds(?) of years into the future. Cultures that stagnate like that, well...they die.


Unless, it's a society that has cycled back to those values.

/as Criswell has said, we must all think about the Future.
//it's where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.
 
2012-09-20 03:21:31 AM
Orbity sucked.. Annoying POS ruined the show. It was like Jar-Jar binks of The Jetsons.
 
2012-09-20 05:40:42 AM
I hated the 80's continuation of the series. The soundtrack stunk and all of the satire had been sucked out of it. And I wanted to kick Orbity into orbit.

Early 60's Jetsons couldn't have predicted feminism and the desire of millions of women to head into a workforce that had finally become safe and pleasant enough for them to work in. (And of course, the birth control which allowed them to have sex without continuously pumping out babies.) Housewife Jane Jetson seemed pretty damned bored most of the time so I suppose this was a good thing, although I do envy her all the free time she seemed to have....
 
2012-09-20 06:50:36 AM
Yeah man, the present sucks.


-sent from my insanely powerful PHONE THAT I CARRY IN MY POCKET that can shoot video, record high quality audio, play video games, and basically connects me to a huge network of intelligence that otherwise didn't existing 20 years ago.-
 
2012-09-20 06:51:48 AM
Subby is probably not far from the truth tho.

There were alot of things built in the era just prior to the health and safety focused future we ended up in. Moon rockets, jet packs, flying cars, flying podiums, private submarines and underwater homes. Commercial travel through space seemed just around the corner and living in the sky was a matter of engineering. The machines in James bond movies were real instead of CGI.
Somewhere after the 70's, we stopped thinking on how to build the future and started becoming obsessed with how to screw each other in the stock market. Then reality started catching up to us with the price of oil and the terrorism its paid for.

The sense that we could be living in the future at any moment was replaced by a foreboding gloom that the Apocalypse is just around the corner.
Which is an odd thing when you realize the cold war ended decades ago.
 
2012-09-20 07:00:23 AM

aerojockey: GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have.

Well that's an urban legend and a half.

Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.

Because it would be so much better if all the scientists and engineers in the world were instead only working ten hours a week toward human subsistence. Who needs technological and medical advances. How dare the evil corporations force this upon us.


Well that barely made sense.

Let's ask the Daddy of the Space Age what he thinks...
 
2012-09-20 07:11:16 AM

way south: Somewhere after the 70's, we stopped thinking on how to build the future and started becoming obsessed with how to screw each other in the stock market

we understood the limits of materials and energy sources and discovered that the enormous emptiness that is space doesn't lend itself to the delirious fantasies proposed by the Space Age gurus. Then, instead of benefiting from the technology and energy sources we *DID* have, we *LET* the companies and governments play these games.

It takes two to tango, and as long as people believe we MUST work 40 hours a week even though we have massive amounts of technology, well guess what, most of these jobs will be parasitical.

The 19th century at least was honest about what technology could do, the average worker's workweek went from 100 to 50 hours.

Funny that we can't match that progress anymore now in the 21st century. But hey, we need more lawyers and notaries and various other BS artists to make our lives as complex as possible.

Ever look at how many "jobs" are created for every square foot in a city? The amount of stifling paperwork and Byzantine administrative structures behind real estate?

We don't produce much anymore, but oh boy, if you want to put out a garbage can in front of a condo...
 
2012-09-20 07:21:29 AM
I was far more upset when I began studying history and found out that The Flintstones is a blatant misrepresentation of ancient man.
 
2012-09-20 07:33:06 AM

GAT_00: Fun fact: the national park system was kept at least in part because people in the '60s expected the low workweek prevalent in the Jetsons, as a counterweight to high productivity and therefore low number of hours necessary to work. So it was expected that by now we'd only be working 10 hours a week or so, and we'd need places to go to keep ourselves entertained with all the time we now have. Of course, it was also expected that multiple people work work the same job to maintain the 40 hour workweek we have now, so if George worked 10 hours, there would be 3 other people with the same job who would work when he didn't. It was expected for some reason that companies would do this and that they weren't evil, soulless bastards.


Two more decades and we'll need to look at solutions like that. Sure the futurists were wrong about how quickly most corporate workers would be replaced by robots, but it's still happening. And this is the decade where we turn a Moore's Law-type growth loose on robot manufacture. A little Googling will show you how many fully robotic factories making robot parts have opened in the past few years. Production is ramping up so fast now Foxconn has already ordered 1,000,000 robots over 3 years to replace Chinese workers.

The infamous flying cars were also only delayed. Obsessed people like Paul Moller have demonstrated that we can build flying cars if we want to. Several companies have sold personal helicopters for ages. But there isn't enough demand to bring the cost down because helicopters and Skycars are unstable and so are dangerous and hard to fly compared to personal airplanes. Automate those problems away, and backyard helicopters will become a new upper-middle-class status symbol overnight.

The funny thing is, both those things turned out to be the same problem. Both boiled down to, "How do we make robots safe enough to interact with the general public?" And that problem is now sufficiently solved that the EU has certification standards for such robots now and Nevada is letting robot cars drive on the streets.

I have faith it'll all result in a better world. But we're all in for some terrible future shock during the transition. Well, probably not me, but the younger folk. :)
 
2012-09-20 07:33:22 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: we understood the limits of materials and energy sources and discovered that the enormous emptiness that is space doesn't lend itself to the delirious fantasies proposed by the Space Age gurus. Then, instead of benefiting from the technology and energy sources we *DID* have, we *LET* the companies and governments play these games.


The needed technologies existed. You are entitled to your opinion on the matter, but you can't argue against the engineering. Going places in space or living in far off locations is now just a matter of doing the math and building things. We wrote off alot of technology because of fears that it might have undesirable side effects, but that didn't make the goals impossible, just more difficult.
.
Companies make the choices they did because they want more money, and not for any love of mankind or long term vision. Governments make the choices they do because they want to be popular with the people who have money, and from there they can afford to craft any public image they need to be elected.
The creation of jobs is just another part of the image crafting. They need a statistic that says "more were made" and don't really care if it was more telephone sanitation experts. The fighting of wars is another part. It doesn't matter where we go or who we kill, the act of doing it makes you appear tough on the subject.

In the days before, people required monuments as proof their government was powerful and healthy. Stone cuttings and pyramids became bullet trains, bridges, skyscrapers and spacecraft. All visible examples of how great a nation has become.

Now we only require statistics.
...and statistics you will have.
 
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