It’s hard to imagine that the above was once cutting-edge technology. Looking back from a hundred years from now, I wonder what people will think the equivalent is today?
Thanks to Frank Diana over at Reimagining The Future I am putting on my dreamer’s hat for this post. I really think, or at least pray, that once that despicable person leaves the Oval Office, we will go on to make our future bright indeed. That is what this post is all about.Read more
There seems to be nothing that some people won’t fret about. They fear imaginary rapists crossing our borders by the thousands. They fear liberals who are intent on destroying their way of life. They see the media as an enemy of the people. They fear whatever their cult leader tells them to fear.
If you must really live your life focused on fear, then at least fear something that is real. Fear something that will actually do you harm and from a recent column in the New York Times by David Brooks that something is CHINA. Here are a few quotes about that. I would highly encourage you to read the entire article.
No, I don’t think we have to fear that China will invade our country but they are in the process of taking over our leadership role in science and technology and that in itself will lead to world dominance.
According to a report just released by Marco Rubio, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, China’s artificial intelligence industry has grown by 67 percent over the past year and has produced more patents than its U.S. counterparts. One estimate suggests China is investing as much as 30 times more capital in quantum computing than the U.S. My colleague Thomas L. Friedman notes that China already has the No. 1 and No. 3 drone manufacturers in the world, and it is way ahead of us on technologies like facial and speech recognition…
Fourth, the Chinese challenge is no longer just economic; it’s moral and intellectual. It’s a clash of two value systems. And many people around the globe now believe that Beijing’s values are better.Source: New York Time – David Brooks
Quantum computing, Artificial intelligence, and robotics along with renewable resources will be the drivers for the 21st century. To see that we are for the most part turning domination of those technologies over to the Chinese is scary for our future. To see China almost totally focused on the future while we are obsessed with the next quarterly dividend is writing on the wall so to speak.
In a capitalist system such as ours, it is the government’s responsibility to push the capitalist toward a longer view. In the past, they have done that through regulations and tax incentives as well as some targeted goals, such as “putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade” of the 1960s. Today our government is so gridlocked that none of that is happening. They now spend all their time battling the “other” side who they deem their enemies. That very counterproductive world just might prove to be the fall of the democratic empire so to speak. That gridlock and pathetic leadership is something you really need to fear.
I ❤️ SciFi movies, particularly Star Trek. I love the futuristic scenes and scenarios, but perhaps what I love the most is how advanced humanity is portrayed. We no longer treat people of different skin colors differently, Heck, they don’t even have to resemble homo sapiens. As long as they can do their jobs they are respected. It’s kind of like Martin Luther King’s speech personified to the utmost.
Then there is today. We have a LONG way to go to get even close to what we are supposed to be, according to the SciFi flicks, in the not that distant future. To me, one of the basic impediments to accomplishing what humanity is capable of is our seeming inability to overcome obstacles that prevent us from using our technological advances for the good of all of us.
One of those advances is the Internet. It allows us to communicate one-on-one with anyone in the world. It allows us to put our grievances and their possible solutions out there for everyone to see. As a result of this blog, I have been able to freely talk to some new Russian friends. I have learned that they are not very different from me. They are not an angry mass ready to throw nuclear bombs at us. Yeah, their leaders, just like ours tell them what to believe, but because of the Internet, they can see the truth or untruth to their words.
Because of Google, we can now get answers to almost any of our questions with the touch of a few buttons. The world is at our fingertips quite literally. Yet there are so many who see this opportunity as a liability. They see it full of people wanting to rob them or to lie to them. They see it mainly through fear as a negative instead of the mammoth positive that it could become if only we learn how to use it and regulate it properly.
Eventually, there will come a time when no one has to be enslaved in mind boring work in order to just survive. Robotics will soon be freeing us to begin to achieve at least a small degree of our individual potential.
The current advances in our life-giving and life-saving technology are going too FAST for many to be able to take advantage of it. The advances in technology now far outstrip the advances in our humanity.
What will it take for us to make full use of what technology can provide for us even today let alone in the future? One of the probable solutions is for my generation to finally die off. There are too many of us who were born before personal computers and the things that followed them who will never embrace what’s in front of them. Another is that, like healthcare, we have to quit making technology a privilege of only the ones who can afford it. We need to get Internet access fully implemented including rural areas.
And finally, it will happen when we can strip ourselves of the “Mitch McConnells” in our leadership who would rather throw a huge anchor in our path forward and condone incompetents instead of embracing changes needed for the good of all of us.
I think that there will come a time in the not too distant future where we will finally become unleashed from our fear of the future and begin to fully embrace changes available to us to accomplish things that too many of my generation could hardly imagine.
Yeah, I know there is quite a bit of anxiety out there about driverless cars but I am not one of those. I hope before I die I am able to buy one.
Ford Motor has set a goal of producing a self-driving car with no steering wheel and no pedals by 2021, allowing time to make sure such technology can be managed safely.
I love to travel but don’t particularly like to drive, but I hate flying even more. That is a dilemma that would be solved by being able to program in where I want to go and then just enjoying the scenery and reading about my destination while getting there.
Being a techie who is usually an early implementer I can’t wait to jump on board. Before you jump to any conclusions, no the final design will not be anything like the picture above. All of that stuff on the top will be miniaturized and virtually disappear before it is consumer ready.
I have been away from the details of technology for too many years now to even speculate how all this stuff is accomplished. My most basic question is how does the car distinguish between a plastic bag in the road from a large rock? I would love the see the algorithm that accomplishes that task.
What about you? What do you think about driverless cars?
Everything has two sides, a good side and a dark side, a happy side and a sad side, but nothing is totally black and white. How’s that for an opening sentence. 🙂
The main crux for this post is about all those who want the “good old days” back as to mean when we didn’t have so much technology in our lives. They constantly complain about how so many people seem to be glued to their cell phones and such. But if they thought it through would they really like to go back fifty year or more?
Would they give up all the medical advances that technology has provided? I personally recently had a traumatic brain event that would more than likely killed me if it were 50 years ago. Today, with all the advanced imaging techniques they could precisely determine the locations and severity of my brain bleed and fix it with a two hour surgery. So, personally I can answer that I am very grateful for all the technology advances of the last fifty year. Especially in the medical field.
I can remember in college when I had to write some papers on a subject I had to spend hours going through the card files at the university library and then spend even more hours finding and studying the sources that were on those cards. Writing a routine paper was usually a twenty hour event. Today most questions can be answered with a Google search which takes seconds to do. We can all learn about almost any subject at least enough to be dangerous in a matter of minutes. 🙂 How many of us would give all that up and return to all those dusty 3 x 5 index cards?
I can remember as a kid living close to the “Army Finance Center” in Indianapolis. It was a HUGE building containing about 4,000 desks and probably 50,000 filing cabinets. The job of all these people was to issue the monthly paychecks to military personnel. Today that job is probably handled in closet sized space and a couple racks of computers.
For at least us guys out there I know we wouldn’t want to go back to having our wives nag us to ask for directions when we are traveling. Even when we did stop most often those directions were either wrong or too complicated to remember. Then there was the time when we were visiting a southern State and they gave us completely bogus directions because they saw our plates were from a northern State. I thank God for GPS and would never want to go back to what is was fifty years ago.
Ok, just one last example and I will let this all rest. Fifty years ago an average car lasted for about 40,000 miles before it was a complete junk. It probably got no more than a dozen or so miles per gallon and broke down on a monthly basis. Fast forward to today and my little 2012 Chevy Sonic gets 35 mpg and has had nothing but a few very minor problems. It should easily last for 200,000 miles or more. And it has twelve airbags to protect me in case of an accident.
If you really want to give up all these and thousands of other things then by all means do it. But, don’t ask the rest of us to join you in your retrograde desires.
DO YOU THINK WE RUN THE RISK OF “TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT” WHERE MACHINES TAKE ALL OF OUR JOBS?
HAWKING: The outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
I’m not a fan of Stephen Hawking, he just seems to be a guy who dreams up stuff that is impossible to verify. Just because you can’t be proven wrong doesn’t make what you say right. But his words above are insightful but not unique to Mr. Hawking. I recently read a book entitled Machines of Loving Grace – The Quest For Common Ground. It is about automation and the two completely different approaches to it. I will be getting into the book and quotes from it soon but wanted to mention it during this post.
There weren’t any blogs or 24/7 reporting during the first industrial revolution but if there were I’m sure many would be lamenting how all the farm jobs were disappearing and how fearful they were about the future. Change, especially sudden change is a very traumatic thing to many of us then and now.
Replacing humans with robots started more than fifty years ago and it now expanding at an exponential rate. It will soon be that any job that simply requires repetition will be done by robotic means. This phenomenon started out with physical activity and is now quickly moving into the intellectual area. From blue-collar to white-collar with no end in sight. Where there was once a good paying job in industries such as auto, and office work they are now replaced by robots and computers who work twenty-four hours a day with no breaks.
I personally think that eventually this will be a good thing. Humans will be rid of the mind numbing work of the past and can then move on to more creative and productive endeavors. This revolution could also cause the family unit to be stronger than it has been in a century. Recently we have farmed out the care giving and moral education of our children to others so that both parents could work at providing income for the family. Now with robotics doing much of the day-to-day work there will be no need for double income so a permanent care-giver can once again be the norm. Another possibility is for a 30 hour work week.
Of course this all hinges on how the gains due to robotics are distributed. Will it go to the stake holder or the remaining workers. Right now the top 1% are getting a very inordinate share but that doesn’t have to be the case. Unfettered capitalism naturally favors them but if proper regulations are put in place things could quickly change to even out the distribution of the gains.
I have high hopes that, even though I won’t be around, things will be much better in the future than they are now. We will be more educated, informed, and diligent citizens. We will reign it the capitalistic greed that is inherent to our current system. Yes, I am a dreamer…. and if you are going to dream why not dream big positive things… 🙂