Future Shock

Future Shock

Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv

I came, I saw, I conquered[1],

iPad, iPod, I squandered[2];

Little is left[3] of meaningful[4] life

To lift[5] the weight of the world[6] and his wife[7].

 When the first ‘moving stairs’ (i.e.[8] escalator[9]) was installed in Harrods[10] in 1898, a liveried[11] member of staff[12] waited at the top with a glass of restorative alcohol for any gentleman who found the experience too exhilarating[13]. For the ladies the servant had smelling salts[14].

Surely the effect of new technologies on us – effectively marginalizing us to the point of irrelevance[15] – is much more traumatic. So, where’s my liveried11 member of staff12 with my glass of brandy?

[1] I came, I saw, I conquered – (veni, vidi, vici) Julius Caesar’s supposed words on invading Britain

[2] to squander /’skwondə/ – waste, misuse, dissipate

[3] to be left – remain

[4] meaningful – consequential, worthwhile

[5] to lift – (in this case) ease, alleviate

[6] the weight of the worldall the problems and responsibilities one encounters

[7] the world and his wifeeverybody

[8] i.e. – (id est) that is

[9] escalator – a mechanical means of ascending or descending

[10] an exclusive department store in London

[11] liveriedwearing a special uniform (like that of an aristocrat’s servant)

[12] member of staff – employee

[13] exhilaratingthrilling, exciting

[14] smelling salts – a pungent restorative substance for sb. who has lost consciousness

[15] to the point of irrelevance – (in this case) until we are irrelevant


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