Asynchronicity

 

“Hello, computer. Hello, computer. Computer? HELLO?”
 
Asynchronous communication is simply marvellous, isn’t it?  I can happily chatter away, pop off to buy some bits, pop back and continue where I left off with nary a “where were you?” or a “why didn’t you reply/heart/retweet my last message?”

Brilliant.

So brilliant in fact that I decided to write this particular blog post 32 years ago, at the age of ten. I say ten, more a shade before ten, but I hadn’t got the hang of the finer increments of time at that (this) point. Strangely I had got the hang of words like “increment”.  I’d also got the hang of meandering digression. Funny boy.

I say funny boy, actually it would be more accurate to say intensely shy, inward-looking boy. The type of boy who would hide behind his mam’s legs in the grocers as his mam chatted with the grocer. “Let’s have a look at this boy, then,” Mr Harris, the grocer, would say, jovial bordering on sociopathic. And I’d cling more tightly to the back of me mam’s legs with the tenacity of an extremely introverted, unmasked Mexican wrestler.

What was I talking about?

Oh yes. Asynchronicity. (Sounds like something Sting would say, doesn’t it? Although these days, 32 years into the future, he’s more likely to say ‘minstrelsy’ or ‘Deutsche Grammophon’. (The problem with digression as an art form (of which this is an example) is that you run out of punctuation in which to nest each digression (within a digression).)))

It’s incredible that I can be sat here, in 1983, approaching the cusp of double-digits, tapping away on a rudimentary Olivetti typewriter connected to a Atari 2600 that is in turn connected to DARPANET, even though my dad is a lorry driver and me mam works in a battery farm. And yet here I am, clattering away on this ramshackle device running the very earliest incarnation of WordPress. It’s such an early incarnation that there isn’t even a comparative to satisfactorily describe it to humorous effect.

I wonder what it’s like where you are, thirty-two years in the future. I wonder why I scheduled such a peculiarly specific, strangely arbitrary number of years to wait to publish this. I wonder if I’ll be around to read or comment on this post when it finally emerges like a Blue Peter time capsule on your screens in the future.

I’m guessing this blog’ll be read on some kind of holographic screen. Probably projected onto your retina. I’m betting all your shirts are collarless.

It’s Sunday here, 32 years ago: school tomorrow. I can’t imagine what school’s like for you (in your collarless shirt). I’ll bet there’ll be some fancy way to get knowledge into you that we don’t have here in 1983: like knowledge suppositories. Can’t wait for those. Save the bother of all this swotting and rote learning! We’re all stuck here, cramming for eleven pluses (in a bit), whilst you’re lording it and larging it (whatever that will mean) and sticking a laser disc of the Magna Carta up your future arses. Lucky swines.

I’ll be starting big school at the end of next year. Bit nervous, I’ll admit, but the school has a lathe and a typing pool. Me mam says we’ll be prepared for the jobs of “around 1976”; roughly 14 years prior to the year I’m scheduled to finish school (1990). That’s pretty cool and it’s quite reassuring to know that I’ll be making spice racks or taking letters. Mind, I’ll have to make sure me clothes are a bit baggier. It’ll be all melon-twisting and maracas in the 90’s, I reckon. I can be prescient like that.

By the time it’s 2015, I imagine you’ll be being prepared for jobs that are just coming on stream: real-time, just-in-time, push-it, ride on time (where did that come from?).

What it must be like to be being prepared for jobs that are just coming on stream, I can’t begin to guess. Digital-hat-strengthener? Thought Leader? Mick Hucknall’s PA? The possibilities are tantalizing and unlimited. They are too unlimited. (?)

I guess by 2017 or so, we’ll all be being prepared for jobs that haven’t even been envisaged yet. We’ll probably have to invent new words for talking about the future, like “inventeer”, “imaginate” or “futuank“. I’m having trouble, back here in 1983, imaginating the jobs you’ll be doing in 2015, let alone futuanking further over the horizon! Digital paperboy? Brand ambassador for space cheese? Mick Hucknall’s meals-on-wheels? The mind truly boggles back here in 1983, I can tell you.

Anyway, best be off. Mam’s calling me down for Angel Delight, and 2-40 Robert’s on in a minute.

See you in 32 years… and look after Mick Hucknall for me.

[Presses schedule and dashes downstairs for Angel Delight.]

“Coffee flavour?! Aw, Maaaaam!”

“Just eat it and be grateful: in the future they’ll all be shoving Angel Delight up their jacksies! And then where will we be?”

[Mam and I turn and look directly at you.]

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