I recall how, not long ago, some futurist predicted – before the ATM age, we would become a cashless society. One of my 2020-plan items is to go cashless, in part as a way to limit and better account for impulse spending. So far, I’m without cash in my wallet without difficulty…
What am I on about?
I believe, as we better understand technology, which is speeding up and improving everything we do, the boundary between us and our technology is less clear, fuzzy/blurred, and with overlapping edges if any boundaries still exist…
Are humans becoming more like technology, or is technology becoming more human? I don’t mean the plot in some comic-to-movie scenario of cyborgs and technology of the future; I’m talking about the challenge of getting up to speed on old technology as recently as today – and choosing to guard against the future, or at least try to catch up with the recent past.
We’ve gravitated, some with great zeal. Some with great reluctance. Away from single-function devices in favor of convergence of technologies and features, Alexa and similar tools are no longer only cell phone functions – they’ve migrated to kitchen tables, rec-rooms, and home theatres.
Voice-activate tools, like Blue-tooth, will be rendered obsolete by 5G and then 6G and so on until devices will be thought activated. Facial, retina, and thumbprint recognition – becoming old hat. Already our search habits and writing can be recognized – at first it seems refreshing that we are recognized and marketed to for what we like, what we want – but we are now known less by our IP address, password or thumbprint, but by our unique search and keystroke history which recognize our snowflake-like uniqueness in the online blizzard…
Pace of change increases exponentially – we only manage, if we manage at all, how far it is we are lagging behind.
Convergence of technologies is ubiquitous, understood by most people, and for those who claim they don’t understand – they too probably have an iPhone or equivalent device in their hand as proof that telephony, computing, clocks, apps, music, streaming, podcasts, weather reports, and a calculator can all be in one tiny box at the same time – yet it seems they remain oblivious to those marvels on engineered magic they have in their pocket.
And every element of that convergence can easily be at work, all at the same time…
The phone, like all roads leading to Rome, is a metaphor for our body, for our life and sustenance.
Much like our brain, awake or not, is the convergence of software and experience, the outside world, and the inside thoughts. At the same time, our body’s operating system causes our breath to rise and fall, caused our blood to flow when our heart is the circulating pump in a closed-loop system. Digestive tract and muscle systems gurgle and grown too – simultaneous with inputs of sight and sound, of feeling and feelings.
Top to toe, that’s how we go, and go, and go until there is no more go – like a Timex watch (remember those?) that takes a licking and keeps ticking, even though most of us if we still wear a watch, don’t use one that ticks.
Before we flip our calendar pages many more times – everything will be connected, everything will be connected to some form of sensor; and beyond that ubiquity, the data and what it tells us will contribute to better health, longer life, new industries to replace ones rendered obsolete – but will they make life on this planet better? Before we start booking vacations on the moon or emigrating to Mars, we need to fix this planet. It’s great to fix our bodies, fix every process we’ve ever invented, but we need to clean up our mess. The oceans and the air won’t clean themselves. This planet has seen many species come and go – a few million years, often less – and we’re still youngsters in the evolutionary maze, yet look what we’ve done. Much of what dazzles us is new, improved, and far beyond what we used to call hi-tech. We’ve gone far beyond plug-’n-play, we are increasingly constantly connected to everything. Amazingly Mozart, Shakespeare, Newton, Gallileo, Shaw, Einstein, Edison, Bohr – to name only a few – worked with pens and pencils, the had no apps or laptops – most of their work done before the slide-rule (a term/device most people under 40 don’t know).
To all those Canadian families: God, I am so sorry. A second changes everything. It seems worse that it was a “mistake”. It's wrong. It's just wrong, MO, Salinas, CA
You nailed it. I cannot understand why more of the cause of that plane crash has not been levelled at Trump – not that it would move the needle on his popularity or those that do his bidding and prostrate themselves before the man. Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell , Mark Meadows, John Kennedy – all examples of a disgusting display of groveling for power, RT, White Rock, BC