One day, the radio arrived. They soon imagined that it would replace the theater.
When television emerged, many decreed the end of the radio. And cable television would seal the end of the cinema.
When I was young, I saw with surprise in the movies theaters characters chatting on cordless phones as they traveled in their cars.
Everyone was amazed, with the characters from the Star Trek series, chatting in small devices that looked like telephones. Detail: cordless phones, and with the image (color) !!! That, at a time when television was still black and white.
In the case of a person, just imagine. Like the cute robot from “Lost in Space.”
The film “Fantastic Voyage,” 1966, which tells the story of a micro ship, with a medical team, which was injected into the body of a patient, with a severe disease, which on the other hand, was cured.
Actually, I came to the conclusion that I was living on the threshold of another era, which would soon arrive. But the fantasies were such that we doubted them. Could it be that one day all that would be realized?
The computer capable of drawing in three dimensions. What’s more, the 3D printer. The assembly line, without the human presence, the automobile with an automatic pilot, the plane that practically dispenses with human piloting. Microsurgery with the help of computer, telephone photography, communicating with images, paying the bill, answering all, and any query. The robot who answers the phone, which gives information, who is almost there to have emotion. The ship that travels the limits of our solar system and that goes beyond, the scanner that makes exact copies of faces. The possibility of meeting someone beyond borders, of having friends and even of loving that someone who is on the other side of the horizon. Someone who, until recently, would be impossible to know.
Graphical images are more perfect than reality itself. The little drug that seeks that sows, that protects, that photographs with art, that spies… that kills.
We live, no doubt, in a magical, fascinating time. Where the size of the impossible is reduced to the minimum. Everything can be done, magic does not surprise anymore, an era that goes much further, of the most audacious fantasy, of my times as a young man.
But so what?
The radio didn’t end with the theater. Not even the television, with the radio. Or cable TV didn’t surpass cinema.
And humanity adapted to radio, TV and cable TV. We adjust, we don’t succumb to every evolution.
But then I see people around a table. Everyone is talking on their cell phone, but not with anyone else around them. I know the tyranny of individual social networks, from which many are not liberated. If I look at the internet being used for good, I also see it being used for evil.
I see thefts taking place from humans in assembly lines, or in other activities, to customer service. If before it was a soft and sweet voice, who answered a call of mine, to inform me about something, today I hear a metallic sound, impersonal.
Today I receive e.mails or messages from someone whom I never gave my address. Today the Bank knows more about my life… than me!
On the computer screen, an infinite number of advertisements glow. Real temptations, challenging to yield to your invitations. How do you know my address? How do you know what I need? What do I like? In social networks, they go so far as to choose women with whom I would have more affinities.
And there it goes.
I remember, then, Big Brother from ”1984”, George Orwell’s book. I also remember catastrophic forecasts, an imaginary revolution of machines that would enslave us. Our dependence is growing on them. Two questions have afflicted me since I was young: What will the future be like? The future of the ”New Man”. Will you adapt to your taste, judgment, and control of all this? Will you take the reins of all that revocation?
Or will that ”New Man” be a slave to his own creation? And will he end up dominated by it?
But there is a third option: Perhaps there is no such thing as a “new man.” Yes. What always existed, is an ” Eternal Man ” that, by more roads and misadventures of history, he always eternalized … and never succumbed !!! He owns his destiny.
Márcio Barker is Brazilian, from Sao Paulo. A graduated historian, who studied at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Márcio has moderated programs at educational radio channels and TV-Stations for 35 years. Among others, the Radio and TV-Cultura, in the City of Sao Paulo and the radio web of the Sao Paulo Cultural Centre. Márcio is the author of the book for Children-and Juvenile Literature: “22 Contos e o Dom da Liberdade” published by “Editora Voces – Petropolis, Brasil.”