This post is primarily a prediction, and secondarily a rant. 

When I was a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's, the future looked awesome. Flying cars, moving sidewalks, cities on the Moon.... Now of course we have none of that. The technology of real 2022 is no match for what was envisioned.

This however is not what I choose to rant about today. No, my complaint is that the technology of 2022 is bland compared to what we had already in the 70's. 

Hollywood knows this already, which is why the John Wick series, The Mechanic, the Loki series, etc. use retro technology.

Technology has become more capable but less beautiful, and frankly less cognizant of human needs.

Example. 1964 versus 2023:

1964 Studebaker Avanti interior. Photo by dave_7

Tesla Model 3 interior. Photo by Leo Nguyen

The Studebaker interior is carefully designed. Every element has a specific purpose and a specific stable and predictable haptic design. One can reach and manipulate any control without taking eyes off the road.

The Tesla has a cheap tablet glued to the dashboard.

Some call the Tesla design elegant. No it isn't. No design is elegant which functions poorly. Make no mistake, the driving factor in this design choice was cheapness. But I don't need to dive deeper into the particular case of Tesla, which has been and continues to be well commented on elsewhere.

So I call your attention to this strange discrepancy---it doesn't mean I'm the first to catch on to it. As noted above, Hollywood is wise to it. One more example: in the James Bond movie Spectre:

When Bond gifts Moneypenny with an "untraceable" phone, it's not another featureless rectangle but actually has physical, touchable buttons. This was an older Samsung model that was already obsolete when the movies came out. But a contemporary phone would have been just too bland.

You've heard of "steampunk" I hope? Appreciating the beauty and elegance or steam-era technology. The best example I know is Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

although I'm pretty sure the term "steampunk" didn't exist when this movie was made. Perhaps less well known is "dieselpunk"

which celebrates the aesthetic of World War II-era technology. Note that both of these are rather fuzzy terms, and the elements "steam" and "diesel" refer more to an era than a literal energy source. 

And so it would seem to be time to coin a new term Transistorpunk. Celebrating the aesthetic of technology from the 60's and 70's more or less. Not limited to transistors, but including vacuum tubes, nixie tubes, definitely tactile push buttons.

You're welcome.

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