In 1977, a father who could glimpse the future told this to his son while fishing off a dock in Ocean City, Maryland:
“There will come a day in your lifetime, maybe not when you’re my age, maybe when you’re Pop’s age, that you will feel almost overwhelmed by the accumulation of all that will have changed since today.
“As improbable as it may seem, there will be computers, not just in everyone’s house, but in everyone’s hand. Like Dick Tracy’s watch, only beyond.
“Kids your age won’t be outside so much like they are today. They won’t play like you play. They’ll be in their rooms, with their computers in their hands, playing games and talking to one another and sending messages to people on the other side of the world.
“And they won’t send messages with full sentences or correct spelling, the way we have you write thank you notes. And they’ll be more shy, because they’ll lack experience looking other people in the eye the way we tell you to when you talk to adults or your teachers.
“And the kids’ parents, especially their grandparents—you’ll be a grandparent then—will say how wrong it all is, and how everything was so much better today. Which is what all parents and grandparents say when their kids and grandkids are different than they were growing up. Because every generation has its own identity and its own ego, and thinks they do things better than anyone who’s older.
“And all the while, the earth smiles. Because all these changes mean nothing, really. Not to the earth. To the earth, lifeforms come and go. One day we’ll be as extinct as the dinosaurs. And when that day comes, the earth will let out a sigh of relief and have a nice rest until the next forms of life come along.”