Forget overhyped cryptographic advances, and never mind laser weapons; we don’t need those sorts of things as much as we need a different kind of invention — one born in the minds of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry in the mid-1960s.
But we don’t need it to keep our conversations private, no. We need an enforced Cone of Silence on others, those who do not understand “indoor voices”, those who have no idea how to talk so that they can be heard clearly across the table, but not across the room.
Those such as the young woman facing us in the photo to the right (no larger version this time; you don’t need to make out her face).
I snapped the pic with my BlackBerry on Friday afternoon at the wonderful Black Cat Café in Irvington. It’s a small place, and a quiet one, usually. There were six people in the cafe at the time, making it about one third full, and you could hear not a peep out of five of us. But the sixth, the woman in the photo, was holding forth long and loud, projecting as to fill the Metropolitan Opera House with sound. It didn’t help that she was facing into the room.
For that, we need the Cone of Silence. Just picture it in the photo above, as in that video with Maxwell Smart and the Chief.