From the hype surrounding Kindle, Amazon’s baby genius that threatens to threaten the institution of paper books, to this week’s New York Times article featuring self-proclaimed “futurist” scientist (“Are you depressed by the prospect of dying? Well, if you can hang on another 15 years, your life expectancy will keep rising every year faster than you’re aging”), the future is the focus at present.
In fact, waxing philosophic and futuristic is so en vogue at the moment that those on the fringe of media and technology are clearing their throats and weighing in with their own colorful theories on the future of journalism, paper, and even their old middle schools.
In today’s Washington Post, Peter Whoriskey interviews Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on “Yahoo and the Future,” in which a discussion about a future business merger between Microsoft and Yahoo devolved into something quite different.
“Here are the premises I have [for the future],” Ballmer begins. “Number one, there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electric form .
If we want TV to be more interactive, you’ll deliver it over an IP network. I mean, it’s sort of funny today. My son will stay up all night basically playing Xbox Live with friends that are in various parts of the world, and yet I can’t sit there in front of the TV and have the same kind of a social interaction around my favorite basketball game or golf match.
The fantastical prospect of interacting with Steve Ballmer over a golf match is indeed titillating.
“Also in the world of 10 years from now, there are going to be far more producers of content than exist today.” True, Steve. But how do you see this affecting your life most profoundly? “I always take my favorite case: I grew up in Detroit. I went to a place called Detroit Country Day School. They’ve got a great basketball team. Why can’t I sit in front of my television and watch the Country Day basketball game when I know darn well it’s being video-recorded at all times?”
And just in—red wine: the key to immortality. That means that I can watch ALL of the Detroit Country Day School basketball games from here on out!