[WE109] Weekend Engagement: Future Nostalgia

{WE109}  Weekend Engagement: Future Nostalgia

As bad as things are, many of us will look back at 2022 as "the good old days"; what's in 2022 to be nostalgiac about?

Cover Image made using HTML and CSS with light edits made using MS Paint. Emojis used for graphics.


Generally speaking, the last few years haven't been anything to brag about. Political turmoil has increased. SARS-CoV2 had entered the world via something called COVID-19. Responses to COVID-19 have ranged from minimal to laughable to outright dystopian. Gasoline prices are setting records. Shortages of items across the board are taking place worldwide. Freedom of speech is under attack as never before.

While today's conditions have many of us nostalgiac for "the good old days" of 2019 and earlier years, what is there in 2022 that we may be nostalgiac about decades from now? Even though 2019 was just 3 years ago, it may as well have been 30 years ago or 300 years ago. So what in 2022 will we be missing? Many things, for sure, but here are 5:

🗺️ Long-Distance Travel (100 mi/160 km)
🍔 Genuine Beef Burgers
⛽ 5-Minute Vehicle Refueling
🎞️ A Day at the Cinema
💰 Cash

🗺️ Long-Distance Travel (100 mi/160 km)

For much of human history, people essentially stayed near where they lived. While travel beyond the town was possible and done by many people, it wasn't an activity to be taken for granted as it is today.

Advances in both propulsion and fuel technologies, combined with mass-production of goods, made long-distance travel available to anyone who could pay for it. Trips which used to take weeks were cut down to days. Trips which used to cost a couple of ounces of gold were reduced to a few ounces of silver.

These days, with fuel prices skyrocketing to levels not seen since the late 1970s and early 1980s, travel is being cut down to only those trips which need to be made. Say goodbye to trips to the beach from landlocked cities. Forget that cross-country motorcycle ride.

With all-encompassing systems of commerce and trade falling apart, it's just a matter of time before regional-level systems of trade and business return to the spotlight. Long-distance travel may be reduced, only to be replaced by plenty of short-distance travel. Instead of nations spanning multiple time zones, time zones will span multiple nations without exception.

We won't be living the Mad Max or Road Warrior scenarios, but 1850 is more likely but with better fashion sense.

🍔 Genuine Beef Burgers

Many of us are meat eaters, and our preferred meat is beef. We can't help that. (How much beef we consume? That's another matter altogether, but that's a topic I leave for others.)

Beef has been targeted for "extinction" along several fronts:

  • Artificial manipulation of supply and demand;
  • Regulatory;
  • Legislation;
  • "Lab-grown meat";
  • "3D-printed meat" is similar to lab-grown meat but on a smaller scale;
  • Meat replacements made to be indistinguishable from real meat (I don't want to publicize or promote them, but some were good enough to be sold-- for a while-- at fast food chains such as Burger King and White Castle);
  • Bugs as meat; as with any food, this is an acquired taste, and some will acquire it sooner than others.

All of the above are taking place, and there will be a day when people will look at us funny when we mention words such as "barbecue" or "greaseburger" or "hamburger".

⛽ 5-Minute Vehicle Refueling

If you drive an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, it may take you between 5 and 10 minutes to refuel your vehicle using gasoline, petrol, diesel fuel, or some other combustible fuel. You also have the added bonus of a mature refueling infrastructure in which location is a concern only for the price of the fuel rather than the presence of the fuel.

If you drive an electric vehicle (EV), not so much.


  • Adding EV charging infrastructure will place additional strain on an already fragile electrical grid;
  • Charging an EV from a properly-wired house can take between 10 to 12 hours;
  • "Fast-charging" an EV can take about 30 minutes, and that's if it's available to you;
  • Whatever problems you've encountered with cellular phone batteries are similar, only magnified due to the size of the EV battery pack;
  • Replacing the battery pack of an EV is neither cheap nor quick.
  • Because of the nature of the EV, entire days need to be planned around it (which charging stations are nearby, how much time is available, is the temperature within acceptable parameters, etc.);

This is just for keeping the EV refueled. Other considerations exist for an EV, and we won't hear about them from the boosters in corporate media and the governments they endorse.

🎞️ A Day at the Cinema

Just watching a feature-length movie was an all-day affair as late as 2019: finding a convenient location, transportation to and from the location, maybe a meal before and/or/ after the movie, maybe buying outrageously-priced snacks at the theater. But for certain movies, it was worth the added expense. It was an event, as much as attending a live music concert or sports outing.

Streaming services were coming into their own before 2019, but going to the movies was an experience, an event to anticipate eagerly. Then there were movies which needed to be seen on various screens to appreciate the added features: a home television screen, a regular cinema screen, maybe an IMAX screen, maybe a 3D screen, maybe even an IMAX 3D screen. Again, it was an event.

Fast-forward to 2022, and it just doesn't feel the same anymore:

  • The response to that thing called COVID-19 (not the actual virus) killed the cinema/theater experience for many people (including actual operators of cinemas and theaters);
  • Higher prices across the board even before consumer price inflation began getting out of control;
  • Movies themselves changed in how they presented their messages to us;
  • Performers we used to respect in 2019 and earlier (even if we disagreed with them on certain issues) came to disappoint us afterward to the point where they lost many of their fans;
  • Streaming became the go-to option for distribution.

Cinemas and theaters survived the high inflation days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, so they may survive this period. How they adapt is another matter.

💰 Cash

Even in years before 2019 there was a movement to move away from cash. Events since March 2020 accelerated this process.

Some countries are further along than others in their transformation into cashless societies. Various technologies are converging toward this goal: media streaming, mass transit, e-commerce, banking, even medicine.

Along similar paths and approaching intersection are Central Bank Digital Currencies, CBDCs.

Many governments are hostile to cash because some of it is beyond their control. Tax evasion and money laundering are the usual excuses to limit cash activity, but other reasons exist:

  • Capital controls (limits on daily withdrawals);
  • Removal of large-sized bills (e.g., no bills higher than USD 100 or EUR 500);
  • Since 2020, determination that cash is a "vector" for germs and disease;
  • Reporting transactions over "some" amount to the government.

Cash is a financial instrument of freedom and flexibility. It tends to be universally accepted, or at least locally honored. When electronic forms of payment failed, cash would come to the rescue. Once cash is replaced and a society goes cashless, society will be a sadder and less colorful place for us.

Just My Two Sats

We already look back at life in 2019 and earlier as "the good old days" thanks to events of 2020. 2022 seems like a dark age in comparison, but even this particular year will have things on which we will look back fondly decades from now.

With fuel costs skyrocketing and supply chain woes becoming part of everyday life, long-distance travel is going to become a luxury rather than the convenience it is today.

Many people are used to eating beef, and the movement to move away from beef consumption is gathering momentum. Beef's days look numbered.

The only good thing about expensive gasoline is that it still takes a few minutes to refuel a vehicle. No matter how hyped EVs are, they will remain inferior to ICE vehicles until the refueling problem is solved. So expect total coast of ownership of EVs to stay high not just in terms of money by also in terms of time.

If cinemas or movie theaters survive into the future, they will need to adapt to life in 2022 and beyond. Many factors are working to make them a thing of the past.

Cash is king, even in a cashless society, yet the movement towards a cashless society is accelerating (with or without cryptocurrency). "The king is dead, long live the king!" is just as true about cash.

🗺️ 🍔 ⛽ 🎞️ 💰 🎞️ ⛽ 🍔 🗺️

There must be other things about 2022 we will be missing in later years. What could they be?

Thank You for Reading.  Keyboard Warriors Wanted.



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