Saturday, January 01, 2005

The whole idea of places "being closed"

Since today is "New Year's Day", just about everything is "closed". The malls are closed. Most retail stores are closed. Lots of Grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, libraries, post offices, museums, businesses... almost everything is closed. About the only thing open is the occasional convenience store and fast food restaurant.

When you think about it, this is incredibly sad. We are talking about trillions of dollars in real estate and inventory, all sitting completely idle and accomplishing nothing. Tens of millions of people would like to buy things today, but they cannot because everything is closed.

"Being closed" is an artifact of a human work force. It is easy to imagine, in the not-too-distant future, that every store, business, restaurant, museum, theater, etc. will be staffed not by people but by robots. Robots will never go on vacation or need a break, so everything will be open 24x7. If you need a sheet of plywood at 3AM, or want to go look through the clothing racks at the mall at midnight on Tuesday, there will be nothing to stop you -- the mall will never close.

When you sit your grandkids down and tell them how stores "in the good old days" closed every night at 9PM and did not open again until 9AM the next morning, your grandkids will laugh. "Closed???" they will exclaim, "What does that mean?"



At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last Sunday I drove to Best Buy. It was 7:15 PM. It closed at 7:00 PM. I was standing at the door with money to spend and they were closed. Sad.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Blue Laws in Bergen County NJ. The traffic there is so bad that people are relieved that everything is closed on Sunday. I'm not opposed to that arrangement myself, you want to shop on Sunday, go to Amazon!

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I always complian is that when I am working everything is open, but when I finish and I have free time to go to the shops to buy things everything is closed. This bothers me a lot.

At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, so, in fourty or so years you are going to institute a labour force of inexhaustable robots.

Ok, fine. What are you going to use for their energy source?

And for that matter, where on earth are you going to pinch the neccesary resources to manifacture the robots?

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