On this day in 2013, in Orlando, Florida – at the Lender Decades of Distinction event – my audience of several thousand had a huge amount of fun as I took them on a voyage into the future by looking at the past. Here’s a brief moment!
The story? It’s based upon a book my wife and I worked on together, and one which to this day I am most proud of — Surviving the Information Age.
Although it’s a bit dated, I still think it’s a great read! That’s because of the unique stories it shares of a generation that was often terrorized — by COBOL, punch cards, and computer mainframes.
Christa and I spent *a lot* of time on research for the book, digging out articles from libraries with articles featured in Readers Digest, Time Magazine and other publications from 1960 to 1975. Unique stories on a period of time that no other generation in the history of mankind will ever have to go through..
Here’s the back jacket copy:
Whether it’s HAL the murderous computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey or billing systems demanding payment for $0.00, baby boomers have grown up with a simple message — computers are not to be trusted! We are skeptics, but let’s face it, we know our discomfort with technology is leaving us behind as the world of work and leisure changes. It’s no longer something we can afford to ignore — quite simply, we must adapt to survive the dramatic economic change arising from an increasingly wired planet.
Originally published in 1997, Jim Carroll’s Surviving the Information Age is an engaging, humorous and non-technical account of the challenges that baby- boomers faced in the early days of the computer revolution. With today’s hyper-connected world of Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, it’s all too easy to forget just how strange the early days of the computer revolution happened to be. The book takes a fascinating look back at what happened when the technology first began to invade our lives – and the challenges and opportunities that it presented along the way!
The next time you laugh at a boomer and tech, you might want to consider what they/we went through. It was pretty ugly!