Back When I Saw the Future

I just had reason to look back on a book proposal I wrote in December, 1990, three years before the graphical Web, called "I Have Seen the Future and It Is Nintendo (But Who Killed the Daily News?)"  The phrase "Daily News" was both a look at the ever-so-slow death of New York's Picture Newspaper and a metaphor for print newspapers in general, but I won't bore you recounting what we've all seen happening. I will, however, paste a paragraph that probably seems more prescient than it really is because I know I'm more of an early adapter than an original thinker:

"I see a future where individually tailored, interactive news and advertising will be called up by a generation made literate by playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo terminals. We will have even less in common. We will share even less of a cultural heritage. We will be defining our own images; constructing our own news. There are fundamental problems with this, but at the same time the potential is very exciting. We may be passing into an information revolution that more than ever puts the power of information into the hands of the people."

The proposal didn't go anywhere. The agent I sent it to educated me on what writing (and reporting) a proposal really entailed, and that seemed like an awful lot of work to do on spec. History has largely proven me correct on that score, too.

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