#3 of 5 Ways 'Inspector Gadget' Totally Predicted the Future
Teenagers Know More About Computers Than Trained Professionals
30 Years Ago:
As we mentioned before, Inspector Gadget's niece, Penny, and her iPad tended to be the one to save the day in most of the episodes, despite her uncle's name being the one on the name of the show. She's brave, resourceful, and more tech-savvy than even her part-robot Uncle.
Perhaps because her brain hadn't been replaced by a helicopter engine.
Penny isn't the only smart kid in this show: In the episode "Japanese Connection," Dr. Claw steals the world's most advanced computer chip and brings it to his Japanese counterpart, Ichi Waruta-san. Penny breaks into the bad guy's castle, digitally transfers the specs to her Japanese friend, Atsuko, and she manages to make a "anti-chip" while Gadget is busy fucking around with sumo wrestlers or some bullshit like that.
"Man, and I thought our cartoons make no sense."
Now let's consider the other major adult character in the show, Chief Quimby, Gadget's superior who somehow manages to get his own self-destructing messages to blow up on his face at the beginning of every episode.
"Fool me once shame on you ... Fool me 7,453,643-- "
It's like the show is set in a world where kids have a better hang on modern technology than adults.
As the thousands of teenagers who keep having to explain to their parents how to "get the Nintendo to play Matlock" know very well, nowadays, children tend to be as much or more tech-savvy than their parents. A study made in 10 countries found that most kids aged 11 have "adult skills when it comes to technology" -- a different UK-based study concluded that 70 percent of parents of 12-15 year olds think that their kids know more about the Internet than they do.
"-- so you turn off 'safe-search', type 'busty+asian', and boom! Now you try, Dad."
But this is only natural, since these kids grew up surrounded by technology and had a head-start in learning it. It's the same reason why the children of the '70s are still the undisputed experts in operating broomstick horsies. However, it goes further than that: Just as Penny was able to outsmart a criminal mastermind like Dr. Claw in every episode, today a teenager has single-handedly stayed ahead of the biggest tech company in the world.
However, his dog sidekick mostly stays home and licks itself.
Starting in 2010, then 17-year old Nicholas Allegra managed to hack pretty much every new Apple product as soon as it was released, allowing users to install any app they wanted just by visiting the site jailbreakme.com -- if you've ever "jailbroken" your iPhone or iPad, it was probably thanks to him. Apple tried to put a stop to it by blocking the website and fixing the vulnerabilities he was exploiting, but their highly-paid team of experts just couldn't keep up with a teenager.
Eventually, Apple gave up and brought the hacker in as an intern. If Dr. Claw had only thought of that, he probably could have gotten rid of Gadget in about 15 minutes.