Ray Bradbury has long been one of my favorite writers. Although he wrote "The Murderer" in 1953 and died in 2012, Ray Bradbury offered this vision of the future--which applies as much to the new release of the Apple Watch as it does to most contemporary technology, but particularly given the ubiquity of two-way "wrist radios," as he describes them.
"The Murderer" is the story of a man tired of technology--miniaturized, pocket-sized, constantly keeping man "in touch" with fellow man--that chirps incessantly at him. He takes matters into his own hands:
"Then I got the idea of the portable diathermy machine. I rented one, took it on the bus going home that night. There sat all the tired commuters with their wrist radios, talking to their wives saying, 'Now I'm at Forty-Third, now I'm at Forty-fourth, here I am at Forty-ninth, now turning at Sixty-first.' One husband cursing, 'Well, get out of that bar, damn it, and get home and get dinner started, I'm at Seventieth!' And the transit-system radio playing 'Tales from the Vienna Woods,' a canary singing words about a first-rate wheat cereal. Then--I switched on my diathermy! Static! Interference! All wives cut off from husbands grousing about a hard day at the office. All husbands cut off from wives who had just seen their children break a window! The 'Vienna Woods' chopped down, the canary mangled. Silence! A terrible, unexpected silence. The bus inhabitants faced with having to converse with each other. Panic! Sheer, animal panic!"
"The police seized you?"
"The bus had to stop. After all, the music was being scrambled, husbands and wives were out of touch with reality. Pandemonium, riot, and chaos!"
The inset image, featuring the gleeful murderer preparing to use his machine on all the chattering machines around him, is from the 1990 television adaptation in an episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater.