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Greetings to you, ladies and gentlemen of the future. Welcome to the time capsule from the first international cathode ray congress of 1934. I am very excited to be here. I am your television editor Edward Russo. You're the host. What? They call them host Ed" television host. I am the host of this televisor recording. We are coming to you straight from the birth of a great industry. Ladies and gentlemen the first international cathode ray congress is a huge success. It is a wonderful seed out there on the congress floor now. There are over 300 electrical experimentors here, not just from the New York City area. Even from France and by the way, let me thank the boys at the pacific film archive in San Francisco for storing this time capsule until you can view it. This is the birth of the televisor, but this time capsule will remain sealed until the death of the televisor. Television man. What, television? That is what they call it now. Look kid, I have been covering the televisor industry since Nipkow invented the wheel. If the man has television, you need a televisor to bring in that vision. That is pure logic. I do not make the rules. Well I edit two magazines, when it comes to the words, I do make the rules. Look Bob, we are going to be a little busy here. So why do not you go out to the convention floor, buy some of the need for go out get us a snoot for if you know what I mean. No technology actually ever goes extinct. There are more people now making stone axes than there were ever were even 40,000 years ago. And this is one of those rare moments where actually a technology is forced to go extinct and it seems like a apropos thing for us, as the Long Now Foundation to do when Richard came up with the idea. I just thought, "Well, there is only one person that can do this eulogy, and it has to be Bruce Sterling," if I could get him we will do the event. And so after Bruce agreed and then the next person was who is going to do the history, and that was Paul and Paul is going to give you a little bit of the lead up, and then later on you will hear from Bruce. Paul" So, I am here to introduce Bruce Sterling" [laughter] The first time I'm going to introduce Steward Brand and Leif Elsenstein I just land it, I just flew in from Germany about an hour and a half ago. So, this maybe the first time in the time I have ever given talks where I fall asleep before the audience, so" [laughter] You know when I was thinking about this, I remember the comment made by a good friend of mine Brandon Yale, he said, television, half Greek half Latin, no good could possibly come from it. [laughter] and I think Brandon was kidding, but let us face it, most of the rest of us in this room, for most of our lives has spent our time sneering at analog television. I mean, the university intelligentsia in places like Berkeley and Stanford and elsewhere. And when I came in to college, I do remember in sophomore year, people fighting in the common room between watching Star Trek and I forget what the other name was" so, for the last of couple of decades netizens have been in agreement. They sneered at television and say this is a waste of time, you know this is awful. We got to build something new on the internet. And here at the moment at TVs passing and we have discovered our new found sentimentality for all things, analog. Which is a little odd because we have been trying to make television digital for a very long time. Hobbyist and consumer have been trying to do this sort of thing with Atari and so on. So, the question now is, what is it that we really missed is this regret for analog's passing really a proxy for something else. And I suspect that maybe a proxy for the sense that the digitization of television may just be, profoundly wrong headed, especially compared to what is going on to the internet, in general, the web in particular. But first go back in time, 60 years ago and you think of the birth of television. Now Bruce is going to go further in to the past, but I go back to the early 1950s when TV started to take off and that was the period that once a upon a time, television was like the web is today. A period of wild experimentation, entrepreneurs with shoe string budget big ideas and very little adult supervision trying to do all sorts of crazy things. This of course is the famous first interactive television show Winky Dink and You, Winky Dink and Me. It had a book spin off by and you put an acetate sheet on the screen and you drew in things to help save Winky, it was actually a big success even though as interactivity was a little dissatisfying by our standard. It was on the are from 53 to 57 and then abruptly pulled off the air, not because people were not interested. But parents suddenly realized their children were placing their heads two feet away from the very poorly screened cathode ray tube. This individual is actually a member of the California State Assembly and part of the reason why we do not have a budget. And it was not just that" we there from the very start tried to make analog TV interactive, in addition to Winky Dink and the like. We had the television remotes, the Zenith flash o-matic, my favorite device. The first TV remote" it actually did not work, it was sort of like the web, and its successor the space commander which did. So we kept trying to make TV more and more interactive. That was a period when TV was new, and it was entrepreneurial and a funny thing happened in the early 60s, TV grew up, it grew up it started growing up in the 60s and in the last decade or so it grew old, I mean think about the ads that you see on television today, they are aimed at people over 70, but it grew up in the 60s with colored TV and that need to convert to colored cameras and color equipment is what sort of squeezed the solo entrepreneur, the crazy ideas out of television and they got sort of more and more the land of the suits and the adult supervision, and then occasionally wacky things manage to find their way in, but for the most part it became more and more established. TV today however in my opinion is not dead, it simply fled to the internet, think about what happened over the last couple of years. It was what 4 years ago, 5 years ago that we had the first talk show in cyber space Damian Lacedaemion and This Spartan Life which is the only talk show I've ever watched where one time the guest got shot and killed before finishing the interview, and then of course more recently, just like the 1950's "sort of things came out of nowhere and took off like a rocket with Dr. Horrible sing-along wand, who knew Doogie Howser could sing. And it has been a huge, huge success it is now on a DVD and then of course we have Hulu, which is sort of the hottest thing in Hollywood at the moment, this is what all the sweetie, sweetie, baby, baby, have your girl call my girl, let us do lunch types, are all buzzing about, and television really has fled to the web. So, TV is alive it just happens to be digital, which raises a really interesting question "why are we doing this? Why are we doing digital TV and it is better than analog without a doubt in some ways, more channels, more quality, the opportunity for new kinds of experiences, but I do not know about you. I cannot quite escape the sense, that maybe digital television is a colossal oxymoron, in the same way that HD, DVD, and Blue-Ray and everybody fought the big battle. And then the battle is over, and basically consumer said, "we rather watch it on the internet," and so the poor consumer electronics companies are all dressed up with no where to go, where nobody to sell to. Now it is not a foregone conclusion, but you do have that sense that digital TV is just a little corporate and a little square. It is controlled by the suits. Not controlled by the wacky folks who are doing the wonderful things on the internet. So, I think we actually, getting back to the main point, we got to examine why we care about analog, and do we care about analog, or do we care about television. There are couple of things we should care about, one thing that everybody in this room should care about is the laggers, the people who have not been able to make the conversion to digital, and they are probably in your neighborhood, and one thing I suggest you do, when you go home after this is over. Look around, the older, the little old lady, who watches soap operas in her house. And she got a 20-year-old television, and she does not have a converter or she has one and she does not how to fiddle with the digital antenna. Unlike old fashion TVs where you got snow if you have bad reception, with digital you get a digital cliff and there is no signal. We should all be looking out for our neighbors, and helping people make that transition. Because there a lot of people, a lot of laggers where TV is important in their lives, they are not geeks like us. I try to suggest that amateur radio club should go out and do this as well. But we also need to examine what we care about, is it TV or is it digital? And maybe it is a different kind of analog than the analog that we are losing. Because I actually think this is not about bits versus waves. It is about freedom, it is not about technology it maybe about privacy. Digital TV does one thing and it allows you to encrypt it allows you to charge. So, it is in some ways an end of a commons and there are other technologies, other wireless technologies out there that have been analog that are going to digital and that maybe a problem, devices like this, this is state of the art in police scanner, this is a technical crowd, I am sure somebody here has an AOR communications receiver. When our police messaging goes digital, they could encrypt it and we cannot listen. And that maybe a problem, because we need to watch Big Brother, and when big brother can shut the public out and nobody can listen, that maybe a great social ill. It is not the freedom to watch, it is the freedom to watch back. As this graffito that I found up in Toronto some years ago. This is what we must focus on, in my opinion. This is the part of digital that I think we will miss, but I digress. Tonight is a wake and it is a time of celebration and recognizing, passing, so let us, as we go out and have drinks, celebrate analog's televisions decades of goofy gifts to us all, like these. [laughter] Show of hands, how many people remember the apple cobbler under the little aluminum hat, and if you ate it too soon it was like molten lava in your mouth. Or the brady bunch and who could possibly forget Andy William's Christmas special and that" of course that icon of 20th century telemarketing Ron Popeil and the vegematic none of this could have been possible without the wild inventors of the early analog age. But meanwhile it is also important to keep in mind, analog TV is not dead, in fact, it is immortal, we started sending this stuff out in to space decades ago, we started by bouncing it off the eco satellite which is why we all have Mylar, and gets" yeah, that is a guy down at the bottom there. This is the biggest government beach ball, this was before Prox Myer bouncing it off echo, and by 1962, we were beaming it, bouncing it, relaying it off the Telstar satellite. TV is forever and Teilhard de Chardin if he was here, would instantly recognize this as a 60 light year in diameter noosphere moving out in the speed of light. Television cross, we have 32 star systems within 15 lightyears, a 133 stars visible in 50 lightyears, this is the view of the 60 lightyears around us. And when I Love Lucy went on air in 1951 and it started passing out" just think about which stars it has gone past" by 1955, Lucy had passed alpha centauri, the same year that Roy Crock founded McDonalds. By 1957 six years later it was going pass Barnard Star just when Wham-o invented the Frisbee. 15 years later 1966 the Vietnam war it crossed Alter and of course that was the same year that the first pirate radio station anchored off the coast of Britain and 40 years before we discovered planet around Gliese 876 television passed those planets that may perhaps be habitable. So, we discovered approximately 200 extrasolar planets so far. But maybe they discovered us first. And they are sitting out there, watching reruns of Gilligan's Island or laughing. And now television is approaching the Hyades cluster and who knows what alien presences are wondering about, who in the world did this stuff. So, one wonders, who is watching Andy Williams even as we speak. Who is watching us, but also perhaps we weren't the only ones who invent analog television. So, maybe we should not recycle our television sets just yet. Instead perhaps we should aim our rabbit ears at little steeper angle and get out some aluminum foil and make a parabolic dish and aiming at the sky because who knows what signals are headed our way. Thank you. The first international cathode ray congress has been brought to you by our street and general family of magazines, great magazines for the whole family. Can you make this mags really big for our viewers Greta? Closer. Okay, right, let us get them close so they could get my latest issue, this is cathode experimenter, which I edit. The foremost magazine and the televisor field and this is one is our cultural publication amazing thunder. The star talents of amazing thunder are attending the congress, because they are eager to write for television, just imagine that. Amazing thunder, we will bring our own high literary quality to this exciting new means of expression. And special thanks to the gold sponsor of our congress Lucky Gold cigarettes, they are mellow, they are smooth. They are the champagne of the lungs and this is our Lucky Gold cathode commemorative ashtray. Created by modern industrial design. Look how rational it is, it is streamlined, and it is available for a very modest price at the Lucky Gold booth on the congress floor. That was quick Bob. I hope they do not get as noisy as they did last night. This is not the brown stuff is it? Nope. Are you sure? I got it from the Californians. Well, and this is the good stuff. What the heck! All the boys, they are having such a good time out there with the birth of this industry. Television is a wonderful thing to celebrate in this dark economic times. Cigars for everybody, cigars all around. Are we still rolling? Oh, okay" Ladies and gentlemen of the future at cathode experimenter, we saw to it that major experts on television will be with you here today. Our future aims, will be predicting the golden age of television. And of course setting the future date for the death of television. Let me check my notes there" oh yes, besides myself Ned Rosseter your host. We have Dr. Borislav Zworkin from the university of Krakow, Dr. Zworkin is a famous futurian, all the way from Poland. His opening speech here at the congress was very surprising, the engineers are still talking about it. And our second guest is from the literary side of course. Our favorite writer at Amazing Thunder Mr. H.P. Lovecraft. Mr. Lovecraft is the leading light of contemporary scientific fiction. This is sure to be a day to remember. How is it going there Greta, can we take a little break yet? No. Okay, then let us bring on our first guest professor Dr. Borislav Zworkin" What I hope this would do for you guys is set up a circumstance where you realized that this spectrum this bandwidth upon which you are sending out signals, is your property, it is public property. Constitutionally, the airwaves are public property, the FCC is an agency of the US government trying to allocate that frequency in the public interest. But increasingly it was meant that they allocate that frequency to the highest bidder. Congratulations on your keynote speech Dr. Zworkin" Thanks. Your reputation precedes you, people say you are a real wizard of the future" Yes, I am futurist. I am a true futurist. So, you tell us that television is here to stay for a while. Yes, at least television is truly here. That is great news. But how can you know the future? I read all the experts. So, you read H.G. Wells. Me too the great prophet of the future, H.G. Wells, and Herbert Spencer the master of evolution, Spensky the Russian scholar on the fourth dimension. Fourth dimension must be very useful for a futurologist. And what is this one? Oswald Spengler, the decline of the west, this book is in German. Why do you read Oswald Spengler? The future is where we are going to die. Really? Yes, everyone, all civilization. I guess that brings us directly to the point here the eulogy for the death of television. So Dr. Zworkin, tell us the future. When will television die? February 18, 2009. Really? You are sure about that? That is an awfully specific prediction isn't it? It must happen, there is no alternative. Look doctor, we have a new German color televisor here, it is very advanced, when do you think color television will reach the American home? 1954. And how about 2 way television, like with the telephone? That does not work. No? How about 3 dimensional television, 3D TV. No, forget it, there is no hope. Dr. Zworkin, in your keynote speech you said that a giant electronic brain will arise and then it will absorb television, a giant world network to hold all of human knowledge. Something like the famous H.G. Wells world brand. Wells is correct, that development is certain. But how could you know that? Nicolas Negroponte I never heard of this Alvin Toffler either. These futurists are not born yet. You are a futurist who studies future futurist? Of course I do, I read all of them, their brilliance. How is that possible? Look, I was not born yesterday pal. Dr. Zworkin if that's your real name! I put it to you that you are charlatan, a fake, futurian my eye, get the heck out of here! Get lost you huckster! Take a powder! That's right take your junk with you, you big fraud! I have to have you arrested! I apologize for that ladies and gentleman, unfortunately our young industry is completely haunted by this fly-by-night characters. The nerve of that big phony. I cannot believe it, I I bet he is not even Polish. Is Lovecraft ready yet? No. I tell you what Greta, we got some time here, why do not you come under the set yourself. No. But you are our technical expert, you can operate this full color German television. No. You work with Fritz Lang and the set of metropolis. That must be a great story to tell the future about. I bet Fritz really loves his life in Hollywood now. No. Oh, come on, do not be shy, you are almost as gorgeous as Lenny Riefenstahl. No. You are not afraid are you? Oh you big cry baby. Look, Dr. Goebbels is spending millions of reichsmarks on television. The future for German television is tremendous. Maybe even got rockets with television. They got everything. I am going to miss a lot about analog TV it is fantastic. Messing with the signal playing with magnets, snow, going to miss a lot of snow. I am probably going to miss not seeing giant blocks all over my picture when it is broadcast. I am going to miss the TV fuzz, yeah, we both are going to miss TV fuzz. I want to say good bye to analog TV static, squiggly lines, to color distortion, to the frustration and the beauty of analog distortion. I think when TV station stop hugging up the analog bandwidth, I am going to able to use these things, these little tiny transmitters that you can learn how to make if you are go to Tatsua Kagawa's website at anarchy.translocal.jp I can build more of these and play with the video signal on the TV because there would be empty frequencies that I can use to play with them, and be sort of a mad scientist and we were just tuning one of this earlier, and we realized that the best way to appreciate abstraction, whether in video of elsewhere is to try and tune one of this thing. Because the image gets all distorted and new and exciting ways and with the analog frequency gone, we can experiment and see the video distorted simply by broadcasting. It was very sweet of you to agree to come by Mrs. Lovecraft. This is Sonia Greene Lovecraft ladies and gentlemen. The wife of the famous author. Howard insisted that I read his predictions to you. That is a very nice hat. Oh thank you, I did it myself you know. No kidding. Yes. I am a hatmaker, I have my own shop at New York City. I am also a writer like my husband. I am a member of the American amateur press association. I am sorry to hear that your husband took ill at the congress. Crowd always upsets Howard. Crowds and cold air. He did not drink any of that brown stuff did he? Lips that touch liquor should never touch mine. So, can you tell us something, what does H.P. Lovecraft predict for us about the future of television? That it is not dead, which can eternalize, and in strange eons, even death may die. Fascinating. So basically he is saying, television does not really die" it is eaten alive by something even weirder? I think so, yes. He is so enthusiastic. Listen to this forecast. The craft cosmic horror will thrive with the Twilight zone of the outer limits. That does sound good. "I predict that the television would be the monstrous offspring of cinema, television will ooze from the center of all cars, invading homes through its spectral, gibbering screens. When the cathode ray shines everywhere bringing its torrent of mongrelized debasement, mankind will flee from the light of science to embrace the peace and safety of a new dark age." Peace and safety, how he predicts peace and safety for us. Yes, he does, my husband is a visionary" it is a shame that Hugo Gearns never pays him for those real tales. Howard works so hard on those. Oh, he could not, I mean, Howard never delivered that speech. Taxi fare. Do you mind if I smoke? Yes. So, does Howard have any predictions for us about the death of television? February 18, 2009. I think I will keep this if you do not mind, there might be something publishable here. Oh thank you Mr. Editor. Standard industry rates, 2 cents a word. Alright, 2-1/2 cents. May I please go now? Yeah, I guess so. Well, ladies and gentlemen of the future, we seem to have reached a consensus here. February 18, 2009. And you know what? I don't believe one word of that. Why? Because I've been in the electronic business for a long time. So I know that just a few talented people with a good idea up at the snow line can give one good shout, one good push, and a tremendous avalanche will sweep down the mountain side smashing every obstacle in its path. That is technical progress. And I'm proud to say that after this congress, I know, I know here in my heart, that progress is the fate of humanity. And I hope that you fine people in the future looking back on us from your 21st century, in your unisex suits, with all your flying cars and robots, when you finally open this time capsule, you will look each other right in the eye and you will think kindly about us because we are your own ancestors. And you will ask "are we just like them? Like those people in our archives?" And I'm sure the answer is yes, indeed you are.