The evening before I wrote this piece, I watched an episode of the original Star Trek. In this March 1968 episode of “Assignment Earth,” the Enterprise goes back in time for the purpose of historical observation. Apparently, the year 1968 is very interesting to future humans. In the episode, Kirk and Spock encounter an enigmatic interstellar agent (Gary Seven) who is planning to intervene in a missile launch. As his actions could change history, Kirk and Spock are unsure what actions to take.
What was amazing to me was to consider the conceptions of what future computers would look like. The depicted computers (of both the Enterprise and Gary Seven’s office) had flashing, strobing lights that apparently had no function, beeping and “electronic” sounds that seemed to serve no purpose (except to show functionality?), and a stiff robotic voice. Now that we have cell phones that function as communicators (with GPS and all sorts of apps, as a bonus) and have computer-ish devices in some of our homes (Amazon’s Echo – and she talks normally); the apparent change from 1968 is amazing.
As student Alyssa Fisher writes in her article on page 19, “Change happens all the time and affects people in many ways.” I was roughly the Alyssa’s age when the Star Trek series was being produced. What will the world look like when Alyssa is able to join AARP? What current shows will she watch that will bring great mirth and amazement to her and her peers? For example, remember those early cell phones? Who doesn’t look at those with some amazement, considering what we have today? My first computer was an Osborn 1. The Osborn 1 cost around 1,800 dollars; it had a 5” monographic display, two 90k floppy drives, 64k RAM, and it weighed 24.5 pounds. I got it to write my master’s thesis. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! By way of comparison, my S6 Samsung phone has a 5.1” color display, an Octa-core processor with 3 gigabytes of ram, 64 gigabytes of storage, weights 4.86 ounces, and only cost me 300 dollars (used)!
Change comes, and often we don’t notice it so much, until we look back. This is why the Vail Preservation Society’s articles, written by J.J. Lamb, are not only interesting, but informative as well. Beyond that, our local history serves as a sort of anchor as we sail into the uncharted waters of the future.
This history, and specifically the history of Vail, is being written daily. Some days will record more history than others, like our upcoming General Election. The coming elections are not only about the future we envision, but also the history that our current actions will write. As I read Alyssa’s article, I noticed that while she writes about change, she also tells a story of perseverance. Change is not always easy nor welcomed. However, like it or not, change happens. Sometimes we just have to endure to get through the change, even when the change is a good thing (like the Colossal Cave Road closure). What is important is to recognize that our actions, however small, however difficult, do have an effect. On Election Day, we help write our history and bring about change – please vote.