We’re told that the Happylife Home system cost "thirty thousand dollars installed." Bradbury published this story in 1951 and, due to inflation, it turns out that $1 in 1951 is worth about $9 today. Given this, how much would the Happylife Home system cost in today’s dollars? Would there be a market today for such a system? Why or why not?

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It's easy to do the math on the Happylife Home system and determine it would cost about $270,000 in today's money. This shows that housing prices have inflated beyond the average inflation since the the 1950s, as $270,000 would now seem like a reasonable, even low, price to pay for such a home.

Even were the price to be much higher, there would definitely be a market for such a home today. What makes this story so relatable is that we are still as much addicted to technology as people were in the 1950s. This is clear because people now endlessly flock to the latest new technology, be it a "one pot" cooker, a "smart phone," or a Barbie that converses with children.

We, too, just as in Bradbury's world, desire convenience. We love to buy gadgets that promise to make our lives easier. Many people would undoubtedly gravitate to a house with pneumatic tubes sending you to the second floor on a cloud of air so that you wouldn't have to climb steps, one that sings to you and rocks you to sleep, and one that does all the housework for you, including cooking your meals and cleaning up afterwards. Giant view screens to keep your children constantly entertained would be another plus.

Bradbury's story shows the destructive effects of letting technology run our lives, and, especially, gain control over our children's minds. The story couldn't be more relevant today, when news reports emerge repeatedly of privileged people, such as royals in England or Silicon Valley parents (the very people developing the technology) keeping their children entirely away from computer "screens" of any sort. They fear the ease with which their children, like the Hadley's Peter and Wendy, could become addicted to another reality.

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