Friday, September 21, 2007

The World at 2100

Stephen's Lighthouse points out an interesting "curation at The Bibliothèque nationale de France. There is a wonderful online gallery of illustrations by Villemard from 1910 imagining what life would be like in the year 2000."

A few envision the world of mass transport:

A few envision automation:
  • Construction (one architect with a bunch of machines)
  • Barber Shop (I would never...I repeat, NEVER go to a place like this)
And another envisions warfare (sort of a Mad Max scene - SHOOT AT THE TIRES!). And this is interesting as this is prior to World War I and the introduction of the tank. Tanks did not really come into play until World War II. And the French and British did not think that the tank was that important... until Germany showed them how the tank was supposed to be used. So the fact that a French artist in 1910 saw mobile fighting units as being important in the future is interesting indeed (sorry for the historical aside...)

So why is this series important? The paintings envision a future with the tools that were possible (sort of) at the time that the paintings were made. It is difficult to plan for or predict the future when you have no idea what tools will be available for you at that time.

I started working at the library 10 years ago in LINC at the Main Library. We did not have one public Internet access computer in the building. I don't know if I would have predicted the library's importance in providing that access to the public. Because I would not have known that companies would be "forcing" people to fill out online job applications, that e-mail accounts would be a necessity for all.

And when I started my current job as Technical Trainer just three years ago, I had no clue that I would be placing so much content on the Web for all to use. Because these tools were not readily available then.

So how will the library adjust over the next five, ten years? We can certainly envision what we can do with the existing tools at hand. But we cannot predict what new tools will become available to us during that time.


Beverly said...

Enjoyed the "historical aside", I thought of CBU...I liked the pictures, he was pretty close with the train. It looked like the tram at Disney World...

Miss Mary said...

I could use those skates...