Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Living in the future

I remember seeing a commercial a number of years ago which had the following plot: A man walked into the lobby of an unassuming motel. Asked the young woman at the front counter if there were rooms available, and what they had in the way of food. She replied with a bored tone of voice, "Donuts and coffee". He looked tired and irritated. Then he asked her about what TV service was available. She said in the same monotone voice, (I'm paraphrasing from memory): "We have every movie ever made, in every language, available anytime." He assumed an expression of shock and wonder, and said "How is that possible?" as she handed him the keys to his room.

I don't actually remember what service this ad was for (I'm a horrible consumer in that way, go me) (* edit - see below), but I feel that we're coming ever closer to that reality. I was watching a DVD with boyziggy the other day of an animated film I remembered fondly from high school (when it was rebroadcast on some TV channel), Fantastic Planet, which featured one humanoid race enslaved as pets by another. I mentioned to Ziggy that the enslaved race should have attempted to prove their intelligence to their captors by doing something like tapping out prime numbers, which Picard did in an episode of ST:TNG. He said he didn't remember that episode. I said I had never actually seen it either, just a scene from it during a (very engaging) talk about the science of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss.

So a couple of days later I Googled "Picard Star Trek prime number" and immediately found the episode, Allegiance. We queued it up on Netflix and watched it. Then I did my usual post-watch Wikipedia and IMDb debriefing, and saw that the episode loosely resembled a Twilight Zone episode, Five Characters In Search of an Exit. So I queued that up and we watched it too. Then I started reading about the famous play that that episode loosely resembled, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. And I have no doubt that if I wanted to, I could be downloading and reading that play within 90 seconds. (ETA: Yep, the Wikipedia page has a link to the script.)

I feel spoiled by the Internet...

* Found it! It was an ad for Qwest.

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