Jun 27 2011
This is what happens when computers take over. No more blank envelopes! You won’t find them anymore. All those science fiction movies that depict a world taken over by computers show something really diabolical, but real life is at once more imaginative and less exciting (up to now!). On the other hand, for those thrown out of work by computer automation, it’s probably just about as sinister, if they really thought about it.
Now it’s true that technology has always changed our lives, often in a most disruptive manner, and blank envelopes won’t be made here again anyway – and even then, it will be machines that do the making. After all, papermaking used to be quite a skill, and yet machines have long taken over that trade. But even these overseas workers will be thrown out of work soon enough thanks to all the wireless communications that’s revolutionized just about every facet to how people interact.
Is there anything better than firing off an e-mail or text message at practically the speed of light? Nothing to be printed out, no postage to fumble around for, and never a necessary wait on a response – never mind having to go out and do a drop-off at the nearest mailbox! Well, at least not unless one’s correspondent isn’t interested in communications anyway!
The need for blank envelopes is at an all-time low these days. It’s now hard to find them, even, and one must resort to dedicated stationary stores oftentimes. And it’s all due to the computer revolution that’s totally changed just about every aspect of our lives. It’s a far cry from the first envelopes used by man, which would appear to us today to be more like pottery than anything else, made as they were from clay that were dried or even baked in order to be “sealed” – never mind the breaking necessary to be opened!
There is nothing new, then, to the impact of technology. It is, moreover, dramatic in impact but not necessarily in that immediate, visceral way of fiction. Therefore, the actual year of 2001 gives us unmanned drones and the worldwide web while the film 2001 envisioned moon bases, space travel, and artificial intelligence.
So no more blank envelopes. You can bet the family jewels that that will be the most dramatic impact of our advancing technology. Soon there won’t be any envelopes at all in the whole world!