The Lazy (Time-)Traveler from 2001

I had a ‘Future Visions’ page back some 20 years ago, on my university’s free student homepage. Kind of started blogging there. I wrote these small pieces of essays, very much about societal change and the future. Well! Here we are now!

Dated in 2001, I wrote about ‘The Lazy Traveler’:

The ‘information society’ comes with its downsides, too. First there is the lack of true communication between possible partners; take travel companies for example. You want to go to a holiday. What do you do? Check up the sites of various travel companies, each with their own categorization, “superious offers” et cetera. They have their own club-cards and all the trinkets which make up an equivalence of quite a fascinating adventure game, if that were your interest at the moment (it isn’t; it’s taking a holiday with the least level of hassle that probably interests you).

Travel companies have experts hired there to create adventures for you, but not the kind of adventures just described in the previous text.
How would I ideally want to travel?

This scenario is very selfish, but that’s the way it should be In My Humble Opinion. I manifest that I want to travel from Helsinki airport to Ibiza, and want to stay there for 2 weeks in a three-star hotel, and the travel should have a maximum cost of NNNN credit units. I am willing to expose some of my digital profile to the travel companies (‘sharks’ in this story — I am called the ‘bloody piece of meat’).

The digital profile could be some kind of standard, perhaps XML would do the trick at the moment (name / date-of-birth / address-and-other-contact-info / …) The exposition of every field would be decidable by you.

I throw my flesh into the digital market, and let the sharks do the fighting. They throw offers at me, of which I pick one and optionally let the others know I have turned them down this time.
The baseline of the story is…

I just wouldn’t want another piece of plastic in my wallet to take a holiday trip somewhere, and I wouldn’t like to go through myriad of web pages. The information which I have to enter to various web sites already exists, and I wouldn’t like to type it all over again every time. Yes, I’m very lazy.

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