Via city of sound, a fabulous 1975 (update: or possibly 1965) commercial about the future of air travel:

The commercial is like a catalog of things that make futurists' professional lives hard.

  • The design tries really hard to Look Like the Future. Everyone is wearing these robe-and-cowl things (the women look like Bene Gesserit going clubbing). Chairs have been replaced by giant eggs. (Perhaps in the future people are hatched; the commercial doesn't go there, thankfully.)
  • Absolutely ordinary human activities have been automated. People don't walk any more: instead, their chairs are pushed around by robots or something.
  • More seriously, the commercial makes the classic mistake of positing vast technological changes, with no accompanying social changes. When you watch, notice that the pilots are all men, and the cabin crew is all female. This is something you see in lots of "home of the future" exhibits. Geoffrey Nunberg wrote about this (PDF) so eloquently, it should be called the Nunberg Error.

But, on the plus side, the commercial does have a personal jet pack.