Sometimes, technology is amazing. Other times it is, well, less impressive.
What are the least transformative and quality of life improving technological advances we enjoy today:
* We abolished the phone book without replacing it with a reliable way to look up people's phone numbers.
* Some of the most profitable technology companies in the nation are non-union taxi services.
* We replaced wristwatches with a battery life of several years with pocket watches that have to be recharged daily.
* The mall now has poles controlling whether you can get in or out of the parking lot that change colors when they are going to let you out, unlike the mono-color version that's been around since my grandparents were driving.
* Instead of having time cards stamped at a shared time card machine, working class Americans now have their own personal time card stamping machines (phones).
* We've figured out how to make it take longer to process a credit card transaction than it used to take.
* Select movie theaters now feature high technology features like recliner chairs, assigned seating, and alcohol services, none of which would have been possible for public performances before the Bronze Age.
* We have invented backyard play house for grown ups with little money.
* We have managed to dramatically increase the amount of time it takes to get from the ticket counter to the plane in a typical airport.
* We have managed to replace free meals on airplanes with pay a la carte meals on airplanes, which we now eat in smaller seats, on flights where we have to pay extra for both carry-on baggage and checked baggage.
* We have replaced supersonic jet service across the Atlantic Ocean with subsonic jet service across the ocean.
* We have dramatically increased the inflation adjusted price of a morning coffee.
* We have reduced the amount of service you receive from employees at gas stations, in the express line at the grocery store, and at the bank.
* We have replaced dishwashers that wash your dishes in half an hour with dishwashers that wash your dishes in three hours.
* We can again use 1940s passenger rail technology to make the 66 mile (by highway) trip from Denver's Union Station to the Winter Park Ski resort (which uses about $4 of gas), over 62 miles of rail at an average speed of 31 miles per hour (in about 120 minutes by train v. 82 miles per hour by car) at a cost of $37.50 each way.
* We have replaced five to seven times a day mail delivery service with six times a week mail delivery service.
* We have made car maintenance which were possible to do and which many people did do in their garages at home impossible to accomplish without expensive equipment.