We are living in the future

OK, first the good bit:

Right now, today, I can order a programmable T-shirt.

(Link from Fred).

Sure, it’s only one-colour, and simple stuff right now, but the step from “no programmable clothes” to “simple programmable clothes” is a lot bigger than the step from “simple programmable clothes” to “tricked out programmable clothes”.

I can’t stop thinking about this. I want a t-shirt like this so I can have Quote of the Week Friday. I want it be able to attach it to an SD card so that the text and image can change ever 10 minutes all day. (The all Russell Quotations T-shirt! The random non-sequitor T-shirt!). I want to integrate other sensors, so I can have mood-based programming, and so that when I pass out the shirt can change to an “If found, please return to…” message. I want to have a shirt that displays the entire text of the Fagles translation of the Odyssey, one line at a time. And so on.

The sad realization is that many of those things are only cool when programmable clothes aren’t common. As soon as everyone has them, that would quickly become annoying. Oh well.

Now the bad bit:

You know those science-fiction novels where the ex-urban future is a kind of “Road Warrior in the landfill” scenario? The ones from before nanotech was going to give us the Diamond Age? That kind of Max Headroom dystopia where scavengers survive by boating through a literal stream of garbage?

Yeah, that’s here too:

River Of Garbage

Apparently that area was absolutely pristine twenty years ago. That’s some shocking change in a relatively short time.

You can read the full story, and see some other images, at the Daily Mail. Oh, and the story gets worse:

And the doomsday effect will spread. It is one of two major rivers that feed Lake Saguling, where the French have built the largest power generator in West Java.

Experts predict that as the river chokes, its volume will decrease and the generator will not function properly.

The area will be plunged into darkness.

  3 comments for “We are living in the future

  1. June 11, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Time, I think, for a “The rivers of the world were choked on the waste of mankind and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirt.

  2. June 11, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Oh, and the programmable T-shirt thing appears to have been an April Fool’s Day joke, unfortunately. I don’t think we’ll be quite so lucky with the rivers thing.

  3. June 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    I am heartbroken.

    Now my whole “See Jack Run” shirt-i-mation idea is ruined.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.