How plausible is the future envisioned in this novel?
The large screen televisions are believable - in fact, technology is currently leaning towards 48, 56" TVs that nearly fill up the whole wall. When this book was written, it seemed like an obscure possibility that TVs would ever be that big.
The Seashell earphones are like CD players. People can be listening to them in one ear and having a somewhat normal interaction with the half of their brain that's not listening to the music. In the futuristic setting, people are constantly being bombarded with what seems to be a normal radio, customized to use their name. Moreover, people listen to their seashells and watch TV at the same time. They need to be constantly stimulated from more than one source to keep them constantly entertained and that way they have no time to think.
People in our society today multitask much, much more than in the 50s. People today talk on their cell phones and drive at the same time. They always have access to MP3 players, Discmans, 24-hour television broadcasting, even TVs and DVD players in their automobiles and in the plane.
In the 50's, these appliances seemed futuristic, way-out, so to speak, but in the 21st century, we find them coming all too true.
The cars are capable of going about two hundred miles per hour, and people are arrested for driving too slowly. It seems that the people are always going so fast that they don't have time to think. They're arrested for driving too slowly - the government doesn't want to give its people any leisure time to ponder. "'If you showed a driver a green blur, oh yes! He'd say, that's grass! A pink blur! A rose...