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The teacher of a voice class I took in 1995 gave us a questionnaire to fill out. The first question asked why I wanted to improve my speaking voice. I answered that internet bandwidth would soon increase to the point where it would be routine to communicate by voice online and I wanted to be able to present myself well when the time came.

I was a technophilic grad student at the time; the only grad student in a class full of freshmen and sophomores. I doubt that more than one or two of my classmates could have produced a workable definition of "internet bandwidth." They couldn't have Googled it. The company wouldn't exist for another year.

At the time, having read Hans Morevec, Eric Drexler, and Marvin Minsky, my head was abuzz with fantasies of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. Voice over the internet seemed like small potatoes compared to the stuff I was I was expecting to come spilling out of the technological cornucopia.

The term 'podcast' hadn't been coined yet, so I couldn't say I knew I would one day host one, but I knew voice over the internet was inevitable. If you had told me in 1995 that Skype and podcasts were still ten years off, I would have given you a pedantic lecture on the accelerating pace of technological evolution.

From my perspective, that stuff was the low hanging fruit. Now, more than two decades later, artificial intelligence finally seems to be picking up steam. Virtual reality too. The world I thought was five to ten years away in the mid 90s seems like it might actually be five to ten years away now.

I like to play the curmudgeon on the topic of technology these days. I have zero interest in Oculus Rift and whatever the other big names are in VR gear. I see Facebook as a cross between technologically-induced OCD and a heroin habit. The less I use it the better I feel about myself and my choices.

But I do like YouTube. And my current livelihood would not exist without Skype. And computers are finally starting to get good enough at voice recognition and natural language processing to be useful, though I have no plans to incorporate an Amazon Echo or Google Home into my life.

Still, the things that I find most valuable now;  yoga, weight-lifting, gardening, radio, were freely available to me in the mid 90s. It never even occurred to me to get involved with the college radio station when I was in school. It was there. A friend of mine did it. Not me. I was looking ahead to the whiz-bang technology I knew was glittering on the near horizon.

That near horizon was a temporal mirage. It was a shimmer of heat above the desert sand, but I was convinced that I could smell the fresh water and hear the wind blowing through the palm trees of the oasis.

Now, my rational mind tells me that it's okay to get excited about the stuff I was dreaming about back in my late 20s. But I'm not excited about it. I tell myself that I got tired of waiting, but it was more than that. I got pissed off waiting. I resent the future for taking iso long to arrive and for failing to mention that the first thing it would do when it got here was make everybody poor. Well, not EVERYBODY. It's making some folks extremely rich. That's even worse.

I'd rather be tired of waiting than pissed off and resentful. Impatience would be a step up from my current attitude toward information technology.

611 words.

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