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Entries in future of work (2)

Sunday
Jun262011

Leisure in 2006 A.D. (1906)

What's the biggest problem people thought we'd be facing in the 21st century? Mid-air jetpack collisions? Disobedient robot servants? No, the greatest problem of our futuristic world was supposed to be too much leisure time.

It was believed that a push-button future of automation would bring about a world of unprecedented convenience and leisure. The question was only how to pass the time.

Many imagined a leisure-centric society driven by wholesome degeneracy, jet-setting golfers and sixteen hour work weeks. The mundane nature of such a simple push-button future would even drive people to suicide!

In reality, the amount of time spent on purely enjoyable activities hasn't really changed much in the last hundred years. But to steal a line from one W. Elias Disney, if we can dream it, we can do it! Feel free to leave your comments below about how to push ourselves into such a wondrous dystopia of automated despair.

The March 26, 1906 New Zealand Star told the story of leisure one hundred years into the future, through the lens of a more efficient and time-saving bath. Onward into our freshly scrubbed dystopia!

Probably the speediest dresser of our own day does not consume less than a quarter of an hour over his morning tub and the operation of drying himself. A hundred years hence people will be so avid of every moment of life, life will be so full of busy delight, that time-saving inventions will be at a huge premium. It is not because we shall be hurried in nerve-shattering anxiety, but because we shall value at its true worth the refining and restful influence of leisure, that we shall be impatient of the minor tasks of every day. The bath of the next century will lave the body speedily with oxgenated water, delivered with a force that will render rubbing unnecessary, and beside it will stand the drying cupboard, lined with some quickly moving arrangement of soft brushes, and fed with highly dessiccated air, from which, almost in a moment, the bather will emerge, dried, and with a skin gently stimulated and perhaps electrified, to clothe himself quickly and pass down the lift to his breakfast, which he will eat to the accompaniment of the morning's news, read out for the benefit of the family, or whispered into his ears by a talking machine.

 

Wednesday
Dec302009

Video Resumes of the Future (1989)

Imagine LinkedIn, with fewer networking tools and more VHS tapes of you performing awkward magic tricks. That seems to be the future of job-hunting according to this article from the October, 1989 issue of Omni magazine.

I mean, even Arthur Radebaugh's prediction 40 years earlier of interviews via videophone was closer to the mark.


A standard printed resume suggests little, if anything, about how a job candidate talks, acts, and looks. But now there is a video resume, giving a prospective employer the chance to size up the person before the interview takes place.

Advantages? An employer can judge how well personalities will mesh before subjecting himself or the applicant to the pressure of a face-to-face interview. Just pop the video resume into a VCR.

It's also advantageous for the job seeker. "Paper resumes screen you out. Video resumes get you screen in," says John B. Kelman, president of Res-A-Vue, a video marketing company in Connecticut. "You can really put your best foot forward - no interruptions, no smoke blowing in your face."

Video resumes run about five minutes and cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars. To prepare one, a job seeker tells about his abilities and ambitions before a studio camera. The tape is then edited, complete with on-screen titles and background music.

The video resume can be used to illustrate skills that might seem unimpressive on paper. For example, a human resources vice-president prepared a video resume in which he performed magic tricks. It was shot on location all around the country. The cost: $12,000. In another instance, a scientist gave a video to his boss to prove he was management material. Says Lise Christensen, a public relations executive who recently found a job by using a video resume, "Employers get to meet you. You have an edge over anyone with only a piece of paper."

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: