Wednesday, April 30, 2008

34 Years Ago and Cable TV

A quote from 1984:

Ten years ago, when cable was young, it was envisioned as a technological wonderland, a purveyor -- through an "ultimate box" of 108 channels atop the television set -- of a lavish menu of two-way services, home banking, and tele-shopping, home security and energy monitoring, video games, polling, news and sports scores on demand. Some telecommunications experts predicted that the revenues of such services would eventually dwarf the sums realized from cable's more conventional home-entertainment fare.
The New York Times
Sandra Salmans, March 4, 1984
c/o BK

Yes ok you're thinking it's describing the interwebs. But more abstractly, no it's not. The idea to do everything through a connection to the home has been around a long time. This way we just sit at home all day and become the perfected consumer. These ideas were attached to videotex in the 1980s. What, you've never heard of videotex? But you have forgotten:
Videotex is the quintessential medium of the 21st century.

Lowenstein, R., & Aller, H. (1985). The inevitable march of videotex. Technology Review, 88, 22-29. (Quote from p. 22.)