Monday, March 11, 2013

The Future is Now!

One of my favorite movies is Dinner at Eight, made way back in 1933. There are many great moments in the film, but one in particular inspired today's post.  And if you're a fan of the movie, you probably know which one!

Marie Dressler & Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight
In the closing scene, gold-digging Kitty Packard (played by sexy Jean Harlow) talks to matronly Carlotta Vance, a former 1890's Broadway star (played by Marie Dressler):

Kitty:  I was reading a book the other day.

Carlotta: (appears startled) Reading a book?

Kitty: Oh, yes, all about civilization or something; a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said machinery is going to take the place of every profession?

Carlotta: (looks Kitty up and down) Oh my dear, that's something you need never worry about.

For a good laugh, watch the scene here.

The future is now, as machinery (computer technology) has replaced several jobs in the marketplace. Machines, as well as robots, are used on some parts of assembly lines.  And in addition to ATMs, there's electronic banking, electronic billing, and my favorite--electronic shopping!

I remember the days of full-service gas stations.  Later there was the option of full-serve or self-serve.  The full-service option has been out of existence for several years, but something relatively new at the supermarket is the self-checkout machine.

And nowadays, instead of using library staff to help with research, there's the Internet.  Oh, and you can check out your books at the self-checkout machine by the door!  When I stopped working as a librarian 14 years ago to raise a family, talk was that in the near future, you'd be able to read a book on a computer.  I thought that sounded pretty ridiculous, but what did I know?

Electronic books have turned the publishing industry upside down! Today a book can be published in a matter of minutes, and publicity can be generated by social media.

In closing, here's something amazing, with the advent of 3D printing, machines are capable of making machines themselves!

Beautiful Jean
Kitty Packard was right! It looks like machinery is well on its way to taking over every profession, with the exception of the world's oldest.

Have you ever seen Dinner at Eight? Also, how has technology transformed your work environment?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!


Maria Perry Mohan said...

I plan to see that movie now. It seems like one that I'd love. And yes, I came across automated checkouts when I was at home in Ireland this year. In India, we still have the traditional system. I bought an e reader last year and I've never looked back, although I still enjoy the feel of a print book. Who wouldn't? Oh yes, the times they are a changing.....

William Kendall said...

I've seen the automated check outs at some grocery stores, but not many.

I've heard of the movie before, but have yet to see it. I think I've seen Marie Dressler in another role at some point.

Old Kitty said...

Ah but only a good librarian will know how to assist with relevant academic literature searching to help systematic reviews over any internet search. LOL!!

And I don't mind having self service machines to buy one's groceries but do they have to make the machine voices SO LOUD? LOL! It's like there I am struggling to get my card out to pay and the machine keeps yelling "please insert your card. Please insert your card. Please insert..." or "unauthorised object in the bagging area, unauthorised object..." as I put my handbag down where you bag your groceries while I struggle to get my card out...

Am I ranting now?!? LOL! Off I go! Take care

shelly said...

Lets hope robots don't start writing novels.

Hugs and chocolate,

Shelly said...

Technology is mind boggling. I had to explain to my own girls how a record on a turntable worked, and that there actually used to be people at service stations who would fill your car, wipe your windshields, and check your oil. Ah well.

No, I haven't seen the movie, but I certainly want to now!

Nas said...

Hi Maria,

I had to use automated check outs in a Seven-Eleven on a recent trip to LA, and believe me it was a first for me!

I would love to watch this movie.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Maria: I got a Kindle for Mother's day last year and I love it! Nothing like instant gratification;).

@William: I know you love old movies, so I'm surprised you haven't seen this one! I think you'd enjoy it;).

@Kitty: We still do need our wonderful flesh and blood librarians, don't we? Please, rant all you want! Those self checkout machines are a pain sometimes;).

@Shelly: I think we're safe from that, thank goodness;).

@Shelly: The good old days! They really don't seem that long ago--then I remember my age!

@Nas: When they first appeared at the Kroger where I shop, I avoided them for a while!