We tend to think that the future will hit us like lightning, but it’s quite clear that we experience it more like rolling thunder. Let’s look at the slow digitization of our world for examples of this.
There are digital billboards cropping up all along my commute. At first, this doesn’t strike me as particularly futuristic, it’s just a digital billboard that changes every 7 seconds and sometimes animates. But by swapping out one billboard at a time, we’re slowly achieving a reality that looks a lot more like the world of advertising from Blade Runner.
Similarly with books. E-books have been around for almost a decade now (and dedicated E-Book reading devices for half that long), but you still see only a glimpse of a Kindle or iPad on trains and planes in 2010. Even the endangered newspaper is taking an awfully long time to fully fade away.
The future is insidious. Keep your eyes open for it, or it might sneak up on you.