Zukunftsaussichten machen vor allem dann Spaß, wenn sie nicht eintreffen und wahrscheinlich finde ich Raketenrucksäcke nur deshalb so toll, weil mir noch nie mitten im Flug ins Büro der Sprit ausgegangen ist. Denn wirklich spooky wird es, wenn ein nonfiktionaler Text von 1967 so zutrifft, wie dieser hier:
The modern computer is more than a sophisticated indexing or adding machine, or a miniaturized library; it is the keystone for a new communications medium whose capacities and implications we are only beginning to realize. In the foreseeable future, computer systems will be tied together by television, satellites, and lasers, and we will move large quantities of information over vast distances in imperceptible units of time.
Certainly the computer can help us simplify record-keeping by assigning everyone a “birth” number that will identify him for tax returns, banking, education, social security, the draft, and other purposes. This number could also serve as a telephone number, which, when used on modern communication mechanisms, would make it possible to reach its holder directly no matter where he might be.
But such a Data Center poses a grave threat to individual freedom and privacy. With its insatiable appetite for information, its inability to forget anything that has been put into it, a central computer might become the heart of a government surveillance system that would lay bare our finances, our associations, or our mental and physical health to government inquisitors or even to casual observers.