10 Things That Will Disappear

I came across a thought-provoking web page on Facebook today: 10 Things that will Disappear in our Lifetime. For some reason, I thought it would probably include cigarettes.

1. The Post Office. Well, yes, in the UK they’ve been gradually disappearing for decades, although I was in one today to top up my mobile phone. But did they mean letters and parcels and daily collections and deliveries? Maybe they did.

2. The Check. Or as we spell it  in the UK, the cheque. I must say I hardly ever use them these days.

3. The Newspaper. I never buy them these days, but that’s only because none of them speak up for smokers like me.

4. The Book.  I don’t see this happening for a while. I love books. And I’ve got bookcases full of them. There’s a solid permanence to them. I’ve used a Kindle electronic book a few times, but they lack something….

5. The Landline Telephone. I can believe this. I’ve got one, but I hardly ever use it. Although I used it today, just like the post office.

6. Music  This was a shocker. They wrote:

This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music the public is familiar with, older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit.

To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

My (small) understanding is that with the rise of online music, records don’t sell anymore. And the only way musicians can make any money is to perform live. And even then they can only make any real money if they’re established big names. Perhaps the music industry that grew up in the 1930s with acetate records is now dying?

7. Television.  Again, I can believe this. I no longer have a TV set. Again, that’s largely because the TV companies don’t speak for smokers like me. I watch stuff online instead.

8. The “Things” You Own.  They’re really talking about computer things.

Many of the very possessions we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of this is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” It means when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet.

But it may be more than just computer operating systems and memory storage. In Idle Theory I thought about the notion of ownership, and suggested that when something was in very short supply, it was held in common ownership – example: the village well. When supply became relatively abundant, everyone could own one of their own – example: my piped water supply, which is my private well. And when something becomes superabundant, you no longer need your private supply – example: air.

9. Cursive.  A.k.a handwriting. This is another shocker, but in an age of texting and keyboards, who writes very much by hand? Well, I write lots. And when I’m not typing away on my blog, I’m usually busy writing by hand. But I may be one of a dying breed.

10. Privacy.  Again they’re talking about computers and comms:

If there ever was a concept we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. It’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure 24/7, “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. The TV show “Person of Interest” isn’t as far out as you may think. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

I could add a few of my own suggestions:

11. Basic mathematical skills. Like knowing how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide without using a calculator. Also, I was taught to memorize my Times Tables. We used to have to repeat them out loud. “Once eight is eight. Two eights are sixteen. Three eights are twenty-four. Four eights are thirty-two…” All the way up to “Twelve twelves are one hundred and forty-four.” I bet they don’t do that any more.

12. Languages. Who needs to learn how to spell, when your text input device checks your spelling? Soon it’ll start checking your syntax too. And who needs to learn French, when online translators can do it for you.

13. Cash. As banking has become electronic, more and more transactions are electronic transactions via the internet. Less and less is bought using banknotes and coins. They’re on their way out. Soon, every single transaction you make will be recorded, including the lump of hashish you bought off your pal Eddie.

14. Freedom. This is something that is disappearing everywhere. Smoking bans are only one example of disappearing freedoms. We’re heading headlong into a new totalitarian era. The politicians who’re supposed to represent us don’t seem to give a damn about freedom any more.

Anyway, they didn’t list cigarettes and tobacco  as something that would disappear. And I don’t think they will either.


About Frank Davis

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27 Responses to 10 Things That Will Disappear

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    “ … It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it.”

    That’s one of my favourite hobby-horses, along with really great books, really great art, really great films, really great comedy, and really great TV shows. And I link it almost entirely to the steadily declining number of smokers in the creative fields. As the number of smokers have dwindled, so too have the number of truly great, original, groundbreaking creative works. Smoking both stimulates the imagination and focuses the mind at the same time, and this enables a person’s creativity to be stimulated in ways not possible under normal, everyday circumstances, but also – and this is what leads to the greatness – it focusses the rational mind, too, which enables that creative person to put his/her imaginative works into a tangible, accessible form and thus create something truly groundbreaking, different, original and popular. Pretty much everything that is deemed to be “creative” these days is nothing of the sort. It’s either a re-hash of something which was really good years ago, or is just a piece of short-term whimsy, produced by the so-called “creative” people who talk the talk, walk the walk, and pretend to be oh-so off-the-wall and “individual” but who are in reality just a mere shadow of the geniuses who came before them in their respective fields. Without tobacco, creativity grinds to a slow and painful halt.

    • Barry Homan says:

      I agree. I’m a performer, and I put together a nice little 5 minute act a few years back. A good portion of the practice consisted of sitting down, puffing on a cig, over and over again, and saying: it’s not working, it’s not working! Then I’d rise up, try again, then back to the cigarettes. I kept doing this for days, weeks, until finally…it worked. I achieved just the right curve and creative nuance that I wanted.

      I presented the routine in front of a huge crowd of fellow performers, some a lot more advanced than me – about 2000 people – and received a standing ovation. How did I do it? If asked, I’d say: CIGARETTES!

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think it’s actually worse than that. Not only is there not much in the way of innovation and creativity, but that creative people are being replaced by destructive people.

      For I often think that a lot of what’s now happening is purely and intentionally destructive. Smoking bans are socially and culturally destructive. The EU is nationally destructive. I often think that these people want to just smash everything.

      • junican says:

        I too have been thinking and saying the same thing. How many people are employed in tobacco control? And what is the objective of their work? It is to destroy tobacco via regulations which they demand, which employs lawyers, administrators, MPs, etc, etc. All these people are working to destroy. They really are like a vicious army, slashing and burning and raping. The IPCC is the same – slash and burn motor transport, energy, etc.
        The UN and EU, along with all their sub-divisions, are determined to limit our freedom over our own bodies, using lies and propaganda.
        It can’t last forever because human nature will intervene at some point and destroy the destroyers. How will that happen? It will probably be some surprise event, in the same way as the ecig has taken them all by surprise, and now they are trying to destroy that. Perhaps it will be found that lung cancer has little or nothing to do with smoking, that being morbidly skinny is as bad as being morbidly fat, that too much exercise buggers up your joints, etc.
        What is obvious to anyone is that these organisations which are, in effect, kingdoms with an unaccountable, greedy, King in the form of a faceless committee, will have to go.

        • Barry Homan says:

          I say it’s just the “trend”. The trend is now to treat smokers like a disease, and all the bourgeois twits out there (sheeple, baaa-baa) follow the “trend”, like sheep. The “trend” 20 odd years ago was to be totally wrapped up in O.J. Simpson, the trend in Victorian times was spiritualism and seances, in the McCarthy period it was chasing red herrings – just fling out the new current trend, and real in all the suckers. There where always be those who know how to profit from the current “trend”.

          Attention, calling all bozos, come join the next trend, you dimwitted lame-brained planks!

    • Some French bloke says:

      As the number of smokers have dwindled, so too have the number of truly great, original, groundbreaking creative works.

      Here’s an excerpt from The Creative Idea (1963), by Leo Rosten. Since this essay was written, the eventuality of original minds bringing occasional “relief” seems to have been slowly but surely taken care of:

      “The history of man’s politics is a shameful chronicle of violence and vanity—laced with endless greed, inflated ambitions and parochial fears. The history of man’s beliefs is an absurd story of ignorance, credulity, infantile terror, and magical beguilements. The history of man’s ideas is a story of stupendous stupidity, relieved by the occasional, sparkling eruption of original minds. It is impossible to spend 24 hours on this planet without encountering, in ordinary life, several hundred examples of folly, irrationality, lunacy, self-deception, buncombe, or idolatry. Common sense is certainly not very common. Reason is rare in human affairs. Non sequiturs seem to be dear to the human heart, and preference or wish-fulfillment seem to be the most powerful of human drives.”

  2. castello2 says:

    Luckily most of us will be dead when these things go away. Very sad about music but they did get greedy. This song always reminds me of the good ole days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiwktkw_rqE

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree cigarettes and alcohol won’t disappear. Hopefully tobacco control will disapear soon!

  4. Rose says:

    More nightshade fun.

    The Daily Mail rehashes an old story with a new anti-tobacco twist.

    The cancer risk from your CHIPS: Tobacco chemical IS present in fried food cooked at high temperature, health chiefs confirm – and children are most at risk

    Then they go and ruin it all by adding a little context.

    “‘The most important food groups contributing to acrylamide exposure are fried potato products, coffee, biscuits, crackers, crisp bread and soft bread.’

    But this article seems to be aimed at frightening people out of feeding chips to children by a tenuous link to tobacco.

    How little they know.

    Thursday March 6 2008

    Frying chips? Soak them first

    “Soaking potatoes cuts cancer risk,” according to The Daily Telegraph’s headline, suggesting that soaking potatoes in water before frying them can cut the levels of a potentially cancer-causing chemical by half.

    The Daily Mirror also reports that scientists have found that soaking potatoes reduces amounts of acrylamide, a chemical that is formed “when starch-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures”. Apparently, two hours of soaking reduces levels by 48%, half an hour by 38% and just washing them lowers levels by 23%.”

    If you don’t keep peeled potatoes in water until you are ready to use them they turn black, so it seems that we have been unknowingly minimising acrylamide formation all the time.

    I have news for the Daily Mail, if they want to go down that route, there is more than just one “tobacco chemical” in a potato.

    I checked with Pfizer, acrylamide isn’t mentioned.

    What’s in a cigarette?

    Cigarettes don’t just contain nicotine. Each cigarette contains over 4000 toxic chemicals many of which are added to make it more appealing to the consumer. Carbon monoxide is one of the better known ones, but there are others worth mentioning too.

    Acetic Acid (vinegar)
    Acetone (nail varnish remover)
    Ammonia (cleaning agent)
    Arsenic (ant poison in the USA)
    Benzene (petrol fumes)
    Cadmium (car battery fluid)
    DDT (insecticide)
    Ethanol (anti-freeze)
    Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
    Hydrogen Cyanide (industrial pollutant)
    Lead (batteries, petrol fumes)
    Methanol (rocket fuel)
    Tar (road surface tar)
    http: //web.archive.org/web/20090106012619/http://www.pfizerlife.co.uk/SmokingWhatsInACigarette.aspx

    • garyk30 says:

      Funny, no mention of the amounts of those chemicals or of how much it takes to be harmful.
      They never do.

      Let’s look at ‘Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)’.

      Formaldehyde is produced naturally by our bodies, is found in all cells and is a normal component of human blood.

      Formaldehyde levels in the blood do not increase as a result of inhaled formaldehyde.

      Health & Safety
      Is inhaled formaldehyde safe?
      Formaldehyde is produced naturally by our bodies, is found in all cells and is a normal component of human blood.
      In fact, formaldehyde is an essential chemical in the body and serves as a building block for the biosynthesis of more complicated molecules.
      Formaldehyde is one of the most studied chemicals in use today. Studies in rats, monkeys, and humans show that inhaled formaldehyde does not change the levels of formaldehyde normally present in the blood.

      What happens to inhaled formaldehyde in the body?
      Inhaled formaldehyde rapidly breaks down in the body from a gas into the soluble form of formaldehyde (methanediol) and then is changed into formate in the nose and upper respiratory tract.

      Formate is either used as a building block chemical for the body to make more complicated, larger chemical molecules or broken down into carbon dioxide, which is exhaled in breath .

      Thus, there is essentially no free formaldehyde available to interact with tissues, since the inhaled formaldehyde is broken down into the soluble methanediol (>99.9%) or gaseous formaldehyde (<0.1 %).
      The tiny fraction (i.e., < 0.1 %) of formaldehyde in the body that can exist in a gaseous form in small amounts (< 0.8 ppb to 8 ppb; that is 0.001 – 0.01 mg/m3)
      is exhaled in the breath.

      Consequently, formaldehyde levels in the blood do not increase as a result of inhaled formaldehyde.

      • Some French bloke says:

        “how much it takes to be harmful.”

        Any amount will do, since formalde-hyde, along with 3,999 other compounds, is evil if found in tobacco smoke, its toxicity having suddenly become “linear with no threshold”, and it can never return to being formalde-jekyll…

      • Rose says:

        Good isn’t it, Gary. I reverse engineered that list to find out where these formidable sounding chemicals occured in nature, they had only given industrial uses.
        Except the road tar of course, that was just a nonsense.

        For instance, did you know that the U.S. Deparment of Agriculture recommend using Lead Arsenateto kill Tobacco Hornworm in 1923?

        I mean, I know that arsenic used as a pesticide lasts a long time in the soil, but do we know if they are still using the same fields?

        U.S. Department of Agriculture
        Farmer’s Bulletin No.1356
        Issued June, 1923
        “Describes methods for the use of Lead Arsenate to control the tobacco hornworm and prevent damage to crops.”

        They also recommended arsenic as a pesticide in apple orchards.

        The Apple Bites Back: Claiming Old Orchards for Residential Development

        “LA was introduced in 1892 in Massachusetts for use against the gypsy moth. Two other arsenical pesticides (copper acetoarsenite, known as “Paris green,” and calcium arsenate) also were in use, although LA largely replaced them in the 1930s due to lower cost, greater efficacy, and lower phytotoxicity. Even though arsenic residue was recognized as a problem as early as 1919, LA was the most widely used pesticide in the nation—recommended by the USDA and applied to millions of acres of crops—until the late 1940s, when DDT (considered at the time to be safer and more effective) became available. LA continued to be used in some locations into the 1970s, and was ultimately banned in 1988.”

        Arsenic (ant poison in the USA)
        Lead (batteries, petrol fumes)

  5. Rose says:

    Now this is so deranged I can’t single out a quote, you just have to read it all.

    Making smoking history: the case for a smoker’s licence

    Simon Chapman
    5th June


    The reasoning is so deliciously warped and shows such contempt for the intelligence of people who smoke, that you just have to laugh.

    • RdM says:

      Fron Jackson-Webb
      Section Editor at The Conversation
      Comments will re-open on Tuesday 9am, AEST.
      5 hours ago

      Or shudder. Too weird indeed. Laugh, I could have …

      • RdM says:

        Oh, and on perceived typos;-

        Disclosure Statement
        Simon Chapman is part if a team which receives funding from the NHMRC to investigate unassisted smoking cessation. None of this funding benefits him personally.

    • Jude says:

      Chapman regurgitates this same old piece of fascism every couple of years, particularly when he’s not getting enough attention to satisfy his narcissistic personality. He wants desperately to be seen as “controversial”. He posted this same crap on the same website a few years ago, (a quick search will pull it up), so it was overdue for a re-run to drum up a bit of moral outrage and clicks, (The Conversation website has recently lost government funding so are desperate to get new readers and new people to donate).

      Hasn’t got many comments this rotation, so maybe people are just bored with the old narcissists attention seeking. Lol, Chapman’s retirement didn’t last long, he’s obviously addicted to being the centre of attention, and couldn’t handle being out of the limelight.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Chapman hasn’t really thought this through, has he? It’s notable that he seems naively convinced that no Government in the world would ever dream of raising the cost of this proposed, initially-cheap licence – to “discourage people from smoking,” of course – thus negating his argument against the possibility of encouraging a black market in cigarettes to flourish. This shows an astoundingly short memory, being as it is he and his ilk who have vociferously encouraged Governments down through the years to increase the price of cigarettes and he should therefore be only too aware of how eagerly they comply with any demands which mean that they can rake in more money. This scheme would simply give them another opportunity to make even more – does he honestly think they’d be able to resist?

      Neither has he considered the possibility that this licence might be used as a way to coerce people into giving up over time – another distinct possibility, given anti-smoker politicians’ calm acceptance of the prospect of using brute force to make people quit, as highlighted on Simon C’s blog yesterday – by gradually decreasing the stated daily maximum permitted. This in turn would lead to the very real possibility of canny non-smokers (or occasional smokers) getting a licence and then selling the “rights” to it to a smoker (at, probably, quite a large profit, if they’re sensible) and then buying and supplying cigarettes on their “licencee’s” behalf.

      It also disregards the very real possibility that smokers, now being only too aware of the constant and ongoing threats to one of their foremost pleasures, would almost inevitably apply for the upper limit of cigarettes. I know I would. I get through less than a packet a day, but I’d definitely apply for a 40-a-day licence so that I could build up a nice little store at home for the inevitable day when the maximum allowance is reduced to fewer than I actually smoke. And a really large excess of cigarettes could then easily be sold on to others, again, at profit (as any economist will tell you, shortage of supply inevitably leads to increased prices).

      In making this ludicrous suggestion, Chapman just doesn’t seem to recognise how anti-smoking Governments work, which is truly astonishing, given that it seems he’s spent most of his working life using those very same harshly prejudicial attitudes to push forward his own personal agenda and foisting his own lifestyle preferences on everyone else. Maybe the poor old fella’s starting to show the early signs of short-term memory loss (a.k.a. Alzheimer’s). He is a non-smoker, after all, so the chances are relatively high for him. Perhaps that’s why he “retired.” We can but hope …

  6. pubcurmudgeon says:


  7. John Watson says:

    Speaking of Mister Chapman, does anyone know who his replacement is? We have heard little if anything from him/her since Chapman ‘retired’. Maybe they could not find another candidate in their asylum’s.

  8. Rose says:

    Could this be the same man?

    Pembrokeshire’s education row councillor Huw George quits
    11 January 2013

    “A councillor in charge of education at a local authority accused of failures in safeguarding children is stepping down from the role.

    Pembrokeshire council’s education services have been under scrutiny since 2011 following claims children were locked in a padded “time-out” room.”

    “Councillor Huw George will now be responsible for the environment.”

    Two years later –

    Smokers banned from British beach as council steps up its health regime
    4 June 2015

    “The ban is expected to start with one beach in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, next summer and could be extended to others along the National Park coastline.

    Environment chief Cllr Huw George said: “We want young people to think smoking isn’t the norm and instil a healthy lifestyle.”

    A padded cell, eh?

  9. smokingscot says:

    To add to your list:






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