This is not a parody. This is a real TV news report from 1981, and, and I was there, in a sense, and maybe you were too.
In college, I used to try to write fiction on a Mainframe in a program called "Doctor." Then the old "Trash 80" came out, but I skipped over that as my father (generous man!) bought me an Osborne 1, and then a KayPro II. Then at work we had dedicated Burroughs word processors, and then later the association put up $110,000 (a staggering sum!) for an "IBM Series I" which is a computer with a 386 chip which could run a membership data base. This was all before Bill Gates, and everything was run on CPM not DOS.
The first graphics-based browser came along (Spry Mosaic), and then Apple kicked up the jam, even if they did not kick down the door in the world of business.
In the world of real jobs and real pay checks, we all went with IBM which embraced DOS, but the IBM machine was far more expensive than it should have been, and I remember going to little Vietnamese "screw driver shops" to get knock-off computers built for home use.
In the world of memory storage, we went from tape drives to big floppies and even big Bernoulli Disks. These traversed to small floppies and interal hard drives, and then external zip drives. Pretty soon everyone had email, and then list-servs and bulletin boards were developed, exploded, and then died away like the electronic weeds that they were.
Compaq computers soared like a rocket and then fell like a rock, and Dell Computers began its march into the mail order marketplace, while Best Buy colonized the mall. Small floppies traversed to CD Roms which have now traversed to thumb drives and online get-it-anywhere viritually unlimited free data storage.
Larrry Page and Sergey Brin created Google, which created Blogger and GMail and Google Reader, and .. well it just keeps going doesn't it?
Pierre Omidyar created Ebay, naming it after the Ebola virus (didn't know that did you?), while Jimmy Wales created Wikipedia, and Jeff Bezos created Amazon.
Today, my cell phone has more computer capacity and cool features than anything we could image or afford in 1981. Not only can it get the print news, it can get the weather, doppler radar, and many live television channels, such as CNN, and ABC and Fox. My cell phone can also play the radio, has an MP3 player in it, and can browse the Internet. It has a camera and a small video recorder. It has voice-recognition software in it, and also Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology, so if I am far from home and need a veterinarian, I just have to speak to it ("Veterinarian"), and not only will it find the vet, it will figure out where I am, map the travel route, and give me audio and visual turn-by-turn directions on how to get there. Of course, it also gets email and instant messages. And the whole thing is so small that when it's in my pocket I have to check to make sure it is even there. Cost? Less than $100 for the phone, and my unlimited service for everything costs less than what I paid for voice service alone just four years ago.
So is the world still going straight to hell in a handbasket?
No. Now it's going straight to hell in an electronic wastebasket!