Sample responses to Then and Now assignment

Version 1.0


Matthew Beal



John awakes from his straw covered bed to the intense yell of a hen welcoming sunrise over the furthest hills. Quickly he puts his leather shoes on and opens the door of his small shelter to let the vast warm sun rays into the dwelling.

In the surrounding village children are already awake and chasing many animals down the dirt roads that intersect village shelters. Others are dragging wagons full of fruits, meats, and bread to a central trading location.

John's stomach growls for his friends fresh cooked bread. Excited about the day being so beautiful and warm John walks across the dirt road and talks to William. John and William talk about many different subjects and they loose track of time. John gives William a coin in exchange for the cooked bread and John enjoys his bread for many meals.

John is truly delighted about how great tasting his bread is. He thinks that William is the best bread maker and he lets his close neighbors know where to buy William's bread.


John awakes on his apartment floor after a very long night of drinking tequila shots at the local bar. It's three o'clock in the afternoon and John thinks that he possibly drank too much. He thinks that he just needs to eat something to take the edge of the hangover. He leans up, grabs the remote control to the TV and turns it on. Blasting in digital surround sound is Oprah Winfrey discussing bulimia. The thought of bulimia at this point makes John get off the floor. What to eat what to eat John thinks to himself. 

 John walks outside and hops in his Cadillac Escalade, and drives a mile through one stop light to the local supermarket. In a dazed confusion John sluggishly drags his feet through each isle. John sees a huge isle of bread. Every kind of bread that he can imagine is perfectly packaged in rows upon rows. John decides on pre-sliced wheat bread for $.99. John looks in his wallet to see how much money he has. There are no coins, no cash, just a bunch of plastic skinny cards with numbers on them. He walks to the end of the store and walks up to a beautiful attractive girl to trade the bread for money. She blurts out $1.05 PLEASE! She doesn't even look at John. John pulls out his wallet and drops ten of these small plastic skinny cards on the floor. The girl gasps in disbelief and rolls her eyes. John picks up the ten skinny cards and looks at each one of them. He can't remember which one has money and which one doesn't have money. 

 Through luck of the draw he picks a card and gives it to the girl. A piece of paper comes out of the register, and the girl whips it across to John to sign his name. John is so relieved at this point that he darts out of the store with his bread to get back in his Cadillac Escalade. John enjoys his bread on his one mile long journey back to his apartment. John is excited with joy that one of his plastic cards worked to get his bread, and watches Dr. Phil for the rest of the day.


John awakes from his sleeping tube located in the sleeping tube central headquarters. John has been eating many pills that make him think that he is never hungry. There is a pill for not being tired, a pill to sleep well in the sleep tube, and a pill for whatever emotion John does not want to feel. John throws his pill below his sleeping tube and crushes it with his heal. 

 John wants to eat bread very badly. He takes the elevator down to the lower floor of the complex. There he walks up to a very large keyboard panel. A voice welcomes John and asks what he would like. John says that he is sick of being controlled by the eating pills, and he wants bread. The voice turns into a hologram and delivers warm bread to John. 

John is pleased with the warm bread. The hologram asks John how he would like to pay for his bread. John says, "I would like to take it out of my arm." John lifts his arm with a small bar code embedded into his body. His arm is what they used to call checking accounts. His heart is where what they used to call saving accounts. Before John notices the Hologram points at the embedded bar code in his arm and a number appears in his arm. That number is his remaining balance. John is pleased for the time being and returns to the sleeping tube with his bread.

Gained & Lost

The biggest aspect that has been lost through money transactions is personal contact. Gone is the idea of having time in the day to discuss whatever concept the trader and the seller would like to discuss. These are the days the consumption rate is so high, the seller wants to make maximum margin, and the two sell and trade almost unconsciously. With a market that is producing faster and faster elements there is no down time in which margin can be lost to a competitor. This is the age of 90 hour work weeks in which the human body is expelled of all input/output stimuli. We are a culture that believes in never stopping, always progressing, and never downshifting into a smaller realm of reality. Money transactions between purchaser and seller will proceed into faster and faster technologies. I believe this to continue until the entire society sees the larger concept that margin isn't the most important thing in a human's life.

Aaron Boothroyd


The place is Bordeaux, France, 1862. Monsieur Poissant lays awake in his bed, rereading his favorite book "Madame Bovary", by the light of his paraffin lamp. He turns to page one-hundred-and-sixty-eight and suddenly comes to the realization that he needs to relieve himself. He nonchalantly reaches beneath his bed and retrieves his large, decorative chamber pot. After attending to his needs, he promptly discards the contents of the pot out of his third story window, onto the street below. He returns to his warm bed, feeling refreshed and looking forward to his continued reading.


The place is El Dorado Arkansas, 2006. Gunner Jackson stomps down the hallway of his mobile home, blindly groping the walls in utter darkness. He soon finds what he is looking for. Gunner twists the handle of his bathroom door and stumbles inside. He fumbles around until he finds the rim of the toilet. Not wasting any time, he adjusts himself appropriately for urinary expulsion. Only when he hears the stream of urine splashing on the outer porcelain lid, does he remember that he should have "lifted the seat up". "Loretta is sure to give me hell tomorrow morning", he says under his breath. He quickly finishes and returns to bed, forgetting to flush.


The place is Earth's moon, 2113. Zulu Sanchez is attempting to readjust the calibration settings on her new maidtech 600s. While diligently attending to this task, Zulu feels no urge to go to the bathroom whatsoever. In fact, Zulu has never felt the need to do so, her entire life. This is all thanks to the nanobots living within her digestive system. In 2084, Dr. William Randolph created a self-sufficient nanobot that fueled itself on the waste materials of the human body. So, while Zulu must eat and drink organic and synthetic materials to power her own body, the nanobots are able to monitor her vital signs internally, all the while, converting her waste into their fuel. The human acts of defecation and urination have become obsolete.


All of these technologies (chamber pot, toilet, and nanobots) attempt to make a necessary human function more bearable to their unique culture. There are definitely pros and cons to all of them.

Chamber pots are completely portable and easy to use. However, they are not very sanitary and waste disposal systems, during the time in which they were used, were atrocious.

Current toilet technology has greatly improved the ease of use and sanitary conditions (sometimes), when going to the bathroom. Toilets are also extremely wasteful, flushing away gallons and gallons of water every time someone urinates 10 fluid ounces. Where does the waste end up? That's still a giant problem.

Nanobots are the solve-all to sanitation and waste management issues. There is no longer any need to go to the bathroom (aside from powdering your nose), or to dispose of any human waste. But, I can only imagine the ramifications of shutting down one of the body's most vital functions. Moreover than that, this process could adversely affect sexual reproduction. Plus, nanobots can malfunction...

Elizabeth Foltz

The Camera Obscura

Scene 1

Setting: circa 17th--18th century countryside.

A man stands atop a hill overlooking the scene he is about to create. In front of him sits a wooden box with a small lens at one end. Inside the box, the man finds inspiration for his work. As he peers into the box, he sees the entire countryside, upside down, that will soon become his masterful composition. This wooden box is called a camera obscura. It aids the painter in his pursuit of recreating reality by providing him with the very image he is to paint. Light enters the camera obscura in a straight line and when some of the rays reflected from a bright subject pass through a small hole in thin material they do not scatter but cross and reform as an upside down image on a flat surface held parallel to the hole.

Scene 2

Setting: September 2006 on a college campus.

A young man heads off to college equipped with a brand new digital camera. The camera is a gift from his mother. She wants her son to capture this exciting time in his life so he can have something to remember it by. The young man enjoys taking photos of various events happening over the course of his college experience. When he goes home for winter break his mother asks to see his photos. Luckily, before he left for home, the young man edited out all the beer cans, alcohol and crack from his collection of photographs. His mother views his pictures and rejoices that her son is enjoying college so much and staying out of trouble.

Scene 3

Setting: the future…you can estimate, anywhere from 5000-10,000.

A man steps off of a spacecraft after a long and grueling 30 minute trip. It is his first trip to earth and he plans on soaking up the sights and reliving some history. In the true tourist fashion, he brings along a device to record his experiences. This device looks somewhat like a digital camera does today, but it does much more. While memories are being constructed in the man's brain, the device picks up these waves and captures them. When the man returns to his home planet and looks back at his travels, he can show his friends what he saw, felt, smelled, heard, and tasted. The person viewing the memory is practically transformed into the physical and mental space that the person who experienced it was in. The viewer perceives the man's thoughts and feelings of the place at that time. As well as being able to view the captured moment from the traveler's perspective, the viewer has the option to view the scene from a more distant perspective, which is created by the device picking up a series of memories captured from surrounding people and life forms.

Gains and Losses

With each new technology comes its pros and cons. With each new documentary technology, we try to get closer and closer to portraying reality. The camera obscura was intended to aid painters in accurately depicting scenes, the digital camera is intended to allow people to capture great amounts of visual information instantly and be able to work with and mold this information as they please, the futuristic memory recording device is intended to create exact replicas of the experience recorded. In the shift from camera obscura to film and digital cameras, we lose a sense of artistic quality and interpretation to reality. With the camera obscura, the artist is in control of how he wants to portray the image and it is up to the viewer to decode the visual information. With film and digital cameras, we the viewers have become lazy, because we assume that photographs are completely accurate and precise depictions of reality. This sense of documented truth is losing it's credibility with the advent of the ease of digital manipulation. In the shift from the digital camera to the memory recording device, the viewer has lost all active interpretation of the image or event, instead they are fed how to view the situation, what to think, feel, and react. There is no process of encoding and decoding a message. The message is handed to the viewer on a plate, ready for him to consume.


Each technology reaches its goal of aiming for that realistic ideal, but with each new advancement comes the loss of a certain quality of interactivity and mindfulness.

Eryk Salvaggio

1. 1549

Humbert was having a hard time with the cats.


They wouldn't let him finish the tune, and that was how Humbert earned his living: by showing off his cat piano, in private to the very rich and in groups to the very poor.


It wasn't very nice, what he was doing. The cats resented him like hell. But as a minstrel, you had to have a schtick.


Such was Humberts: 7 cats, in small wicker baskets, their tails tied to individual keys of a piano. The twine was taut, wrapped around a pole, and split at the end, so that when a key was pushed, the basket opened and the cat's tail pulled a mew of just the right pitch to please the crowd. Particularly when, in succession, the effect was a musical event composed by felines at the end of an unpleasant surprise.


The poor loved it. The rich loved it. The cats, though; the cats resented him like hell.

2. 2006

Humbert was having a hard time with the animal rights activists.


They wouldn't let him finish the tune, and that was how Humbert earned his living: by showing off his cat piano, in private to the very rich and in groups to the very poor.


It wasn't very nice, what he was doing. The cats and the animal rights activists resented him like hell. But as a travelling minstrel these days, you really, really had to have a schtick. Last year some guy recorded a cd of "synthesized cats" singing christmas carols. Everyone just loved that one. Why not the real thing?


The poor were confused. The rich were appalled. The cats, though; the cats resented him like hell.

3. 2549

Humbert was having a hard time with the cats.


They wanted him to finish the tune, and that was how Humbert stayed alive: by showing off the piano to the cats, in private to the very rich cats and in groups to the very poor ones.


It wasn't very nice, what the cats were doing. The cats resented him like hell. But as a human trying to make a living after the cat revolution, you had to have a schtick.


Such was Humberts: his body forced into small wicker baskets, his hair tied to individual keys of a piano. The twine was taut, wrapped around a pole, and split at the end, so that when a key was pushed, the basket opened and Humberts hair pulled out a yelp of just the right pitch to please the crowd. Particularly when, in succession, the effect was a musical event composed by felines at the end of an unpleasant surprise.


The poor loved it. The rich loved it. The cats, though; the cats still resented him like hell.


James Gilks


Hunter opened the bus window and admired the rolling hills of American countryside that stretched on forever in the distance. With a grunt of effort and a chanced hernia, he rolled the monstrous typewriter on to his lap and pulled hard on the sheet of ink stained paper that would not escape its grasp. It's metal teeth gripped down on the slice of dead tree with all the ferocity of a rabid velociraptor. Finally machine gave way to might as 9/10ths of the document ripped forth in to Hunters hand, leaving only the most important bits logged securely in the belly of the beast. With no small degree of loathing for this mechanical dinosaur of steel and wood, he flipped the now torn page and stuffed it violently in to place. "Feed the bastard what it wants." Heavy fingers hit the keys, not caring that the "E" had long since fallen off and began a trend among the other vowels of civil disobedience. The A, now stuck half way down, required an extra punch which he was all to happy to provide, while O and sometimes Y seemed in the midst of an identity crisis, masquerading as adjacent letters on the page. "Screw em." He thought out load. "Who needs vowels anyway. Many fine books have been written souly with the use of consonants and it's high time these uppidty letters learned their place." As minutes fell to hours and his legs fell asleep, the pile of half mangled paper at Hunters feet grew in to more than just a tribute to a now deceased forest. It took the form, though marred with typos, tears and generous rivers of white out, as a manuscript that would survive the ages. It would be an everlasting mark upon society. It would be a glorious affirmation of mankind's triumph over metal monsters such as this and would stand tall among the greatest works ever forged from ink or pen or broken keys. At least… it would have if not for the strong breeze at Hunters side that swept up the sheets in a beautiful whirlwind of tragedy and sent them, like doves from a cruel magician out the busses open window. As he watched this, his one and only copy soar in to the distance of those serene and rolling hills, he gripped the heavy typewriter with white knuckles and, with a grunt of effort and a chanced hernia promptly heaved its bulk of wood and steel and disobedient vowels through the open window. "Screw em." He said to know one in particular. "Many fine books and been written without any letters at all."


Douglas sat in the crowded coach section of an East bound flight to New York, trying in vain to open the tiny package of honey roasted peanuts that now seemed to mock him with it's childproof safety sign. He could have afforded first class. Hell, with the money he was going to make off his next book, he could have easily bought every seat and saved himself the slack jawed stares of nearby passengers as he bit feverishly on the small plastic prison that kept his snack from him. But, wealthy as he had become, Douglas could never bring himself to pay hundreds of dollars more for a seat eight rows closer to a plane crash. After all, no one ever sees a plane smash into the ground ass first and all the free drinks in the world could not change the fact that those first class bastards would be the first to kiss hot tar if this giant metal bird did a swan dive. Giving up on ever tasting peanuts again, he pulled his shiny new laptop from its case and prepared to put the finishing touches on his masterpiece. As he typed the world below got smaller and the world inside his airborne home lost it's importance. Who needs peanuts and tiny free drinks that disappear in one gulp? None of this mattered compared to the brilliance being spewed forth in long and elegant lines on his word processor. The thin, metal computer purred as it's internal organs juggled alphabets and congregated long unused punctuation with the expertise of a veteran English teacher. A cartoon dog periodically poked its head from the side of the screen with helpful captions that where, almost but not quite, never of any help at all. Douglas ignored the dogs advice but still appreciated it's presence, as if to say "Good job buddy. Keep up the great work." As the plane began its descent in to New York, Douglas finished with a final page that surprised even he in it's originality. With a last touch, he let the computer check his spelling and stroked its metallic head approvingly. The cartoon dog did one more flip and then, like a pet that bites it's owners, promptly turned off. Douglas, his work unsaved and now blown away in to the digital ether, had indeed been right to fear a crash. He tore again at the pack of honey roasted peanuts and signaled the stewardess to bring him an obscene amount of tiny little drinks.


Taco sat in the comfort molding foam seat the Pantrack Seatrain, watching the ocean jet by outside his window. At this speed, the schools of fish and plants looked like nothing more than dimly lit blurs that made his stomach do uneasy summersaults. The trip from New York to Tokyo would take a little under two hours with an automatic transfer in lower Africa. "God." He thought. "I hate these long flights." To his left an old man was angrily pulling paper from some oversized metal contraption that looked like relic from the stone age and on his right another man swore in hushed tones at a package of freeze dried soy cubes. Taco flipped the white noise generator on his seat and pulled the small metal tube from his shirt pocket. He unrolled the pen sized cylinder to reveal the touch sensitive video paper screen inside then stretched it to the right length and used the magnetic corner locks to make it as firm and flat as a old school TV tray. It was, he thought, a truly impressive bit of technology, even by today's digitally desensitized generation. On it's screen shown an exact copy of the smart desk he had at home (complete with working vidphone, telenet ipod and, of course, a copy of his latest novel). But the best feature of all, the thing which had set him back nearly three months of advancements and a hefty chunk of his last books royalties, was the AIAuthoring component (a beautiful union of word processing and artificial intelligence that would revolutionize the way mankind writes books). As Taco hit the flat digitally generated keys on his video paper, the AIAuthoring program learned his writing style. After a while, it automatically made certain letters on the keyboard bigger based on what words he was most likely to type. After several chapters, it would create buttons devoted to entire words for him to select instead of typing them by hand and before long, the computers brain, analyzing not only his style but also the plot, dialog and characters personalities, would be able write the entire book for him. Taco assured himself that it would never come to this. "After all," he thought. "No computer could ever write as well as a flesh and blood human." But it was still reassuring to know that if the deadline reared it's ugly head to soon, he could always fall back on the AIAuthoring program to… "help it along." As the trip grew longer, Taco helped himself to several tiny bottles of synthesized banana whisky and was surprised at the ease in which he surrendered creative control to his new electronic co-writer. What started as sentences, gave way to entire paragraphs and by his eighth round of deliciously intoxicating beverages he had taken to simply pressing the "ACCEPT AI SUGGESTION" button with the end of his plastic umprella drink stirrer. How anyone managed to write before this, he would never understand. As they switched tubes near Madagascar, he smiled happily at the thought that his new book would be done in record time and as they approached the Tokyo seaport, he giggled drunkenly while emailing the finished product to his editor back home. Fast, user friendly, completely secure from viruses, hacks and computer crashes. This was the the technology of the future and the only one minor drawback of it all, is that Taco's new manuscript was almost word for word a copy of War and Peace.


The point is, technology is neither our friend nor our enemy. It is simply a tool used to convey ideas and like the inept construction working who swings his hammer upside down, the finished product is only a result of how we use it. The real danger of relying on technology to express yourself is not in the risk of losing your completed project, but in becoming dependent on that medium to create it in the first place. Paper disintegrates, CDs decay and even cave paintings get eroded in time. The decision to preserve a particular media is soley the responsibility of the creator, not the tools used to create it.

Ashley Senecal


The year is 1883. Mary-Jane, a post office worker, lives in the tiny town of Tulsa, which encompasses a post office, drugstore, jail, and bar. At the end of her long hard day at the post office Mary Jane decides she wants to get a drink and to dance to the Organetta.

The Organetta is a brand new organ the bar just purchased. The bar replaced the old organ with this one because it is mechanical and magical and because it was simple. The bartender puts the perforated paper into the music reader, turns the crank on the side of the Organetta, and then the Organetta starts to play music, without an accompanist. As the night moves on, more and more of Mary-Jane's friends come into the bar to have a drink and to dance to the Organetta. After a few hours the bartender puts the perforated paper in the Organetta and everyone in the bar joins in dancing the night away. What a perfect ending to the day.


Sara, a post office worker, lives in the tiny town of Arundel, which encompasses a school, post office, drugstore, and gas station. Sara always wanted to learn to play the keyboard. On her 13th birthday Sara's parents gave her a self-teaching keyboard. Although Sara was extremely happy to get what she had always wanted she just never had the time to sit down and play it because of academics and extracurricular activities. With all of this happening in her life, Sara took the keyboard and put it in the back of her closet. Every time Sara went into her closet she would see the keyboard and wonder if she could play it. One day, at the age of 19, Sara decided that she would take the keyboard out and attempt to play it. When she turned it on, the keyboard lit up and Sara was instructed to choose song to learn to play. Sara looked through the songbook on the keyboard and she decided she'd try to play The Entertainer. Once she input the numbers of the song the keyboard lit up and started to play the song. Sara followed the lights underneath the keys that helped to teach her to play the song and before she knew it, she could play the song without the keys lighting up on the keyboard.


Diana, a wife and mother of two, worked two jobs. She was a high school teacher during the day and on the weekends she was a conductor to an orchestra. Diana didn't conduct just any orchestra; she conducted a no-person, all-hologram orchestra. The instruments were projected onto the stage. The instruments would play themselves but they needed a person, such as Diana, to conduct them to keep them in order. When Diana first took this job she was a bit skeptical because it didn't sound like it would work. All she had to do was program the instruments to go with the flow of the music and tempo. If she did all of what was required then the piece of music would be successful.

Things Gained/Lost

I guess the thing that I would consider saying that was lost in the transition from Past to Future was the interactivity between humans with the instruments. The bar got the Organetta so they didn't need an accompanist and Diana didn't need people to play the instruments she just needed the instruments to follow her conducting. Interactivity is something that we as humans need to have because if it all fades away how will we communicate between each other. I mean it's already starting to fade but will keep getting smaller if this all keeps up. (i.e. having holograms instead of real things.) A thing that I would say was gained was simplicity. I say simplicity because it doesn't require a whole lot human work to make these "inventions" work.

Daniel Pierce



Victor walked into the Museum of Fine Arts and browsed the fine works that were preserved there. His favorite piece was a panoramic painting of a famous war scene from long ago. The panorama was such an amazing work compared to the other boring paintings, because the panorama completely engulfed his vision and allowed him to become lost in the battle itself. Horses rearing and men with swords running around on either side of him, Victor began to become disoriented and had to look away for a second just to clear his mind. It was as if he was involved in the battle for a few minutes of his simple life.


Sam enters the IMAX theatre in Boston Massachusetts and stands in a long line to get his ticket. He pays and then stands in line to order his popcorn, candy, and carbonated beverage. Sam enters the dark theatre and sits down in a comfortable chair with a large screen projection directly in front of him. The lights go down and the film begins. Sam's heart races as he partakes in everything from sky diving to skiing down a massive mountain, and then base jumping off of a cliff. His vision is completely engulfed by the images projected on the screen and he has to close his eyes at times to bring himself back to reality. Leaving the theatre Sam feels like he has actually experienced the activities viewed in the IMAX theatre.


Kain Karin beams himself to his upstairs bedroom where he steps inside a cylindrical tube and vocally requests "Lord of The Rings." A voice prompts him and asks "Character?" Kain replies "Frodo." And the cylindrical tube around him appears to melt away and a semi-holographic screen surrounds Kain on all sides as well as above and below. He is positioned in each scene with the POV of Frodo Baggins character, which enables him to progress the story of the film without deviating too far from the actual happenings. Not only is Kain involved with the film as an audience, but he is playing a key role of interaction between himself and the media before him. By the end of this interactional film Kain vocally closes down the program and has a completely different feeling of the film through the eyes of Frodo than he did the last time he used the program as the Ranger/King Aragorn.


What is gained over time is a higher level of interaction and experience based on advanced technology affecting our senses on a very different level than that of the past. A much more exciting experience is delivered in which the audience becomes less passive and more active in the idea of the panorama.


A price is paid by advancing the panorama in this way, mainly the loss of imagination and concentration. Original panoramas allowed the viewer to concentrate on every subtle detail and focus in on a singular still image. The present day panorama goes from the single image to about 30 images per second of viewing, which creates a higher level of processing for the human mind. The futuristic panorama takes this even further and creates a 3-dimensional realm in which the user is aware of and interacting with the space. There is also a physical loss in which what started as a very meaningful portrayal of a significant event has been turned into a form of entertainment, possibly at the expense of quality.

Samuel Foster


(Attaching a note to an arrow and shooting it towards a desired location.)

Past : Arrow Mail!

It was a calm and clear afternoon in 1040 A.D. Thomas eagerly watched as the sun moved across the sky, anticipating a shift change. It wasn't that he did not like being a castle guard, he merely felt like he had been at his post forever. On top of that, Thomas had not seen anything remotely close to suspicious during his shift. While this was obviously good for the kingdom it made for an especially boring work day.

An arrow suddenly whizzed by Thomas' head, planting itself in the beam behind him. Alarmed at first, it was only until Thomas saw its paper tie that he relaxed. Wrenching the arrow from the wood, Thomas removed the note to see that it was from one of his fellow guards.

"Hey Thomas, it's Marcus. We going clubbing after our shifts end?"

Whipping out his quill and ink, Thomas wrote, "No doubt Marcus, I hear there are some new wenches that just started working at Gawain's Pub. We'll have to hit it up!"

Nocking the arrow into his bow, Thomas took aim towards Marcus' post. When ready, he let loose his message arrow. After a few seconds he heard a thud, along with a small groan. Thinking nothing of it, Thomas went back to scouring the land before him.

Having finished his shift, Thomas went to meet Marcus at the pub. However, Marcus never arrived. Thomas later received word that he had been killed by a rogue arrow while on duty.

Present: Skype

Chad was very excited to be home from school. He was a star athlete and popular, exactly what a high school senior would want to be. His high status made him popular with the ladies as well. In fact, the first thing he did was Skype his new girl Tina. Chad tended to jump from girl to girl which was great for him, especially since none of the girls he dated seemed to notice. His jock friends were supportive of this lifestyle and complimented him on his achievements in the "field". In fact, as he talked to Tina, his friend Bill sent him a message.

"yo you dump tina yet? its almost been two weeks"

Chuckling to himself, Chad typed, "haha, she will b dumped soon. tinas cute and all but im starting to get bored of her"

As he hit send, Chad realized to his dismay that before he had begun typing, Tina's chat window had popped up over Bill's. Because of this the message intended for Bill had just gone to the very girl they were both talking about. Needless to say, it wasn't Chad who did the breaking up that day.

Future : Laser Message Watches (Bzzzt!)

Ben was freaking out. Here he sat in Calculus, staring at his unfinished test, wondering why he had blown off studying. He stared at the clock; only fifteen minutes to go. Suddenly he had an idea. Pointing his message watch towards his friend Steve's head, Ben typed the message "You gotta help me, what are the answers to the last three problems of this test?!" Pressing 'Send', Ben imagined he could see his message traveling through the air and planting itself in Steve's head. Sure enough, in a few seconds Steve's head perked up and he began typing a message back. Ben soon heard a voice in his head, "Way to not study buddy, I'm not helping you."

Steve inevitably failed the test. In frustration, Ben signed his friend up for spam messages from various companies around the city. Steve slowly began to go insane from the voices in his head and he and Ben's friendship soon ended.

Pro's and Con's

It is pretty easy to see the benefits of using Skype over Arrow Mail. For starters, Skype is much faster than Arrow Mail in the sense that right when I hit the Send button, whoever I'm talking to instantly receives the message. Skype also allows people to communicate over a much larger area than you could ever achieve with an arrow. As shown in my scenario Skype does not have the potential for injury that comes with firing a sharp arrow towards a living target.

The cons of media evolution in this case are much more subtle. For starters, Skype has this annoying thing called spell check. Because of the over exploitation of this function, it seems like no one knows how to spell anymore. Why worry about it when everything is corrected for you after all? Firing an arrow also takes skill which Skype does not. That is to say anyone can send a Skype message, but only mature and trained people could fire an arrow accurately. I believe this would cut down the spam we see a lot today in modern society.


Davis McCarthy

Stored Sound


John Cage is running around in the woods with a tape recorder. He's recording sound on magnetic tape so that he can later use the sounds that he heard of the birds, wind blowing through the trees, and that waterfall at his own discretion. What John is going to do is cut the magnetic tape up, and patch it back together differently so that he has edited the sound, rearranged the sound, and ultimately changed the sound(s) from what it was to something different. He's audio engineering at its earliest. Now John has an arrangement of sounds from the woods that sound like it could be from the surface of Mars. He transports the cut up magnetic tape to an auditorium, and plays it for 100 people, 20 of them really like it. The other 80 are confused as to what they're hearing, and leave 2/3's of the way through.


Jason just digitally recorded his electro-funk-pop band's new remix of that awesome song you heard playing, yes, with the female vocalist and the violins with the portamento automation, on his basement computer. Jason's scrolling through the .WAV files he recorded of the bass-line, the drums, percussion, and keyboard on his DAW. He finds that some of the parts could use a little sprucing up. He EQ's all the tracks, and adds some effects to the bass-line; making it more electronic, and less human-made. He notices that the drummer lost beat a few times, so he cuts up the sample of the drums; dissecting each kick, snare, and hi-hat into individual sound clips and .WAV files. Jason then arranges the clips in the DAW so that the beat is precise, and it never gets behind. Jason does a few more edits, then loads the vocal loops from the song his band is remixing; adds some reverb and compression to the voice, and then side-chains it to the drums to pop a little bit more on the kick. Happy with the result, he uploads the remix to, and in no time they've made Top 10 for that week, with 3,000 downloads. And at $2.49 a pop for the remix, the band makes its first payday, yay "Sunrise Lovin'--Blonde-White-FromtheSouthstereotype (ZuZu Bass ReMix).mp3."


Ron and Paul really want to record the sound of a trashcan falling down the stairs, and then mix it into a song. They're both 11 years old, and throw a full garbage can down a stairwell. It's a metallic one, with a dent already in the side of it, and it makes one hell of a noise. Paul recorded the noise on his iPhone 90G. It has a better microphone in it than any other phone on the line, as well as being a more comparable microphone than any standalone product currently on the market, under the cost of the iPhone 90G. Ron grabs his iPhone89G, which is still okay because he has upgraded the memory tubes to Chaos Tubes Two. Ron hits up the app store, and for $4.99 buys "The Remix App." Using Aquamarinetooth technology, Paul sends Ron the .loud file of the trashcan. Now Ron and Paul sit down on the stoop of their elevated resting environment, and begin to mix the noise in with the remix app. The boys upload the sound, and start to add drums, 10,000 different beat options exist to them. Instead of listening to even one or two samples of an individual drum part, they choose a beat from the "Beat Presetter" option, and go with a later 90's style drum and bass beat, with a heavy amen snare. Neither of the boys have any sort of musical backgrounds; Ron did listen to the abridged versions of Mozart though. After simply choosing a few presets, and determining how long they wanted the remix to be, they hit export. The massive rendering capabilities of the iPhone89G with Chaos Tubes Two, allows for a fully EQ'd, .loud files to be produced with builds, breaks, and musical variations based on a few optional clicks of presets. They logon to their accounts (formally known as and share the song they deemed as "Dancing Trashcan" with all 1,100 of their friends. 800 screeches later, the ambient crashing of the trashcan, with an irresistible beat have Ron and Paul getting 125,000 views a day. Ron and Paul also got to hold hands with the Stacey twins, after school on a Tuesday, it was an awesome 300 seconds.


In the past, people gained the ability to record what they heard and then play it back later, not just in a studio with lots of fancy equipment, but at home. They were also given the opportunity to edit the sound by cutting the magnetic tape and pasting it back together.

Presently, we have the ability to record multiple sound sources, from multiple places, with or with not actually being there. One can record a drum sample in California and then send it via e-mail to Maine for someone to work it into a song, where he himself recorded all the other parts in his living room. That man in Maine can then digitally add in all the effects, reverb, delay, echo, etc that would have taken hours to cut, copy and paste the magnetic tape to even begin to have a delay line in it. People presently have gained the access to sound design, development, creation, etc in their home, on their laptop. And more so, the man in Maine can make the sounds sound better than when they were recorded, whether he uses filters, or an EQ. People even have the option to create their own sounds uses sine, square, triangle waves etc from synthesizers.

Futuristically, people may have too many options for storing their sounds, and using them. It will be commonplace to have multiple technologies at hand, like on a phone. As the technology gets better, "everyone" will be able to do what a "musician" could have done in the past, effortlessly. Like the two boys in the story, it's more of a fad/popularity thing where the boys can goof around and make something of "quality" without the qualifications.


Hong Yi Dong

Past: Tamagotchi

    Recently, Simon has been enjoying the pocket-sized virtual pet device that his dad bought for him during his last trip to Japan - So called the Tamagotch, an "egg watch". It was a present different from what the young boy's dad had given him in the past, as if his dad had introduced him a new family member that is contained in this little plastic case. And it seems that he is having a good time with his virtual dinosaur.


    In fact, he is having too much of a good time with it. He carries his pet device with him where ever he goes, and whatever he does. Sometimes, he even wakes up intentionally in the midnight to "feed" his pet dinosaur. It was not long until his parents noticed his unusual behavior. Out of the concern towards their child, they are left with no other choice but to take out the batteries from the device. Although they feel sorry for Simon, it is probably the best thing to do before the young boy becomes overly attached to his virtual pet.

Now: Simulation software

    It is not the first time for Lauris to listen to his girlfriend's incessant comment about the unicorns and dogopuses that she is raising in a game. They are supposed to be in a festival right now, if his girlfriend did not overslept because she stayed up playing game on her smart phone the previous night. Apparently, her excuse is that she "found out that mermaids can give birth to harpies." Sometimes, Lauris thinks she is cute, and sometimes he can't help but to imagine sewing her lips together. A better solution, he thinks, perhaps is to just uninstall her game next time he gets hold of her phone.

Future: Life simulation system

    "Good morning Eugene, what would you like for breakfast today?" the maid android asks with a smile on "her" face. Eugene stares at his android's charming appearance, it is barely distinguishable from a human... Maybe more attractive than a normal female. For some reason, Eugene never has any luck when it comes to relationship. The fact that he owns a female android right now is probably the closest encounter that he ever had with a female-like existence, other than growing up with his two elder sisters. However, after he brought home the newest model of android last week, he soon realized that he fell in love with his house maid. "As usual please," he says while thinking about how to get his family to accept his relationship with his new girlfriend.

Transition of technology

    A more realistic simulation means that the user will become more attached to the the technology. In that sense, the gap between the technology and user also becomes progressively narrower, and thus increases the emotional attachment of the user to the technology. This itself is both a gain and a loss at the same time. We have gained more humane features (user-friendly, etc), and that our appreciation towards technology will also improve over time. What has been lost, however, can be crucial: Because of the emotions involved in the process, we become more dependent of our technology - Both physically and emotionally.


David Gordon

The Cryograph


It was the Middle Ages...the time of Kings and Lords, Vassals and Peasants. King Henry was a noble ruler, a fair and honorable man. His kingdom vast, full of rolling hills, wide open fields, thick forests, winding rivers, lakes and ponds. There was fertile soil for farming, grassy fields for livestock and plenty of drinking water to go around. King Henry had many loyal subjects who lived happily throughout his kingdom, but not everyone was so happy, or loyal. There were many Lords living throughout the kingdom, each of them granted land in exchange for goods and services. Some Lords tried to take advantage of King Henry in his old age, but the good king had a plan.

For each of his 'loyal' subjects, a legal document was to be created to ensure their agreements were understood and kept fair. Two copies of the agreement were written on a single piece of parchment separated by large fancy lettering. The parchment was then cut in half through the lettering in an unusual/irregular way to help prevent forgeries. One copy went to the king, the other was for his subject to keep. If there was ever any doubt about an agreement, both copies of the cryograph would be used to authenticate the document. As you might guess, great punishments would follow such dishonesty. It seems this method was quite effective for keeping honest records.


Josh had been waiting a long time for this day. After years of saving his money and building up good credit, he's ready to buy that fancy new car. Josh knew exactly what he wanted and couldn't wait to sit in that drivers seat. As he arrived at the dealership it was almost overwhelming. The salesman came out to greet Josh and quickly realized it was his lucky day too! It took no time at all for them to get right into the details of the sale. A few credit checks here, a down payment there and now just a signature on the dotted line. Josh eagerly and confidently scribbled his 'John Hancock' on the sale agreement and handed the pen back to the salesman. The salesman turned to his assistant who then notarized the document. Stamped with an official seal, the duplicate copy was handed back to John for his records along with his brand new set of keys! It was official, the car was finally he jumped behind the wheel, chills went down the back of his spine. A quick turn of the key and she came alive. Seconds later, Josh vanished from the parking lot in a flash.


In the not-so-distant future, the business world continues it's journey into the digital age. By this time, over 95% of companies have gone completely green with totally paperless transactions. Technology has advanced to a point where people are walking around with digital implants instead of wallets. There is no real need for paper money or even credit cards anymore. Everything you need is stored on microchips and carried with you wherever you go. It doesn't mean everything has changed, just look at Bob...

Bob's a successful businessman. He's great at what he does and he also still believes in some of the old fashioned values his dad taught him when he was young. Bob is a people person, he's a great talker and pleasant to be around. Unfortunately in this line of business, he can't always conduct a live face to face meeting. He is often forced to conduct client meetings and presentations within the confines of a virtual conference room. Bob will jump at every opportunity talk to his clients face to face. Bob feels there is something special about being in the same room with a potential customer, maybe that's why he's so good.

His father used to tell him, "there was a time when a handshake actually meant something!" Bob always remembers that and even though things are different now, the handshake still means something. After closing a sale and shaking a clients hand, you can hear it...the little microchips implanted in their hands go "beep! beep!" signaling a completed transaction! I'm sure Bob's dad was actually referring to the time "when a handshake meant something" WITHOUT needing a microchip implant to close a deal...hahaha.

Gained and Lost

With each transition, I see an increase of validity and reliability. An agreement seems to gain much more strength once there is recorded proof of it. An official document with witness signatures, seals, watermarks, etc. suggests an even more genuine nature, more authority. However, I feel that a digital signature or agreement tends to head back in the other direction, less valid. Data is so easy to manipulate, it would be hard to prove that it was actually my roommate who ordered the spice channel that one time or NO, I did NOT agree to sign up for your lame newsletters.

The loss I see throughout each of these transitions is faith in people. Someone "giving their word" or using one's handshake to symbolize a mutual agreement or commitment has almost lost all meaning. We now rely on officially signed documents, laywers and judges to be able to trust someone. Kinda sad.