The Future :

Old stories I used to enjoy have manifested in unusual ways. For example, I love the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books – specifically the elves (I know, I know, I’m unfortunately following the cliche that all girls have a thing for elves – it’s a mystery). Now, I play World of Warcraft and interact with elves whenever I feel like it. When I was younger I was addicted to the Cyberpunk mythos – I recall very specifically an image from the Role Playing Game (RPG) booklet that was done in Patrick Nagel’s style and had the word “Nikon” etched in the curve of her iris. They had cyber modifications in-game that were fabulous and outrageous – like having cameras implanted into your eyes (although, amusingly, back then they assumed you’d have to insert a tiny roll of film into the pupil).

Now, I know we don’t have jet packs, but I can order dinner, groceries, and anything else I can think of online. I never have to run to multiple stores to find a sold-out item. I can scan a can of soup with my phone and have it tell me 6 stores that have it in the area, which one is cheapest, and then interpret the ingredients of the soup for me to make sure it’s in line with my dietary preferences. You can have your car read your texts to you and send them on your behalf.I have a pedometer that sends me updates on my progress, as well as tracks that progress on their website. I have 36 books on my Kindle right now and, while I’m reading, at any time I can highlight a word and have it defined for me, or highlight a passage and send it to my friends. Any time I have any problem I don’t know how to handle, I Google it. I don’t always find the answer, but I almost always at least find a good direction to further research or, more often, the search itself sparks other ideas in me that help me resolve the issue.

It’s funny though because I take it for granted. I get pissed off when my phone misspells a word in a text, or when I have to wait more than 5 minutes for just about anything, or that some stuff hasn’t evolved that well yet (okay, the Roomba exists, but it’s crap if your solution to vacuuming still makes you have to vacuum whatever the robot misses). When I stop and actually take it all in – the enormity and variety of advancements we’ve seen even just in my lifetime – it’s incredible. You’d think we’d have more trouble adapting simply due to the rate at which things are changing but it seems too… “stacked up” to feel like it’s happening all that fast. By that I mean, every advancement builds on the previous advancements, so then the progression seems natural. For example, computers. Once gigantic, then small enough to have in a home, then small enough to fit on your lap. Once the tablet came out, we were expecting it or something very similar because it made sense in the progression.

In a way, it’s a little sad that because we’re so comfortable with technology and advancement, we’re robbed of a little of the magic and wonder we could very easily be feeling in the face of where we as a species are technologically.

That said, I’m extremely disappointed that we have all of those awesome things that we have, but first off, a lot of the people on Earth don’t have access to most technology (or access to anytechnology, for that matter). Secondly, we’ve used this technology to tag me everywhere I go where I even slightly know someone, and then tell all of my friends and family that we each happened to be in proximity to one another as though that were a newsworthy event, but we can’t feed the world population? We’ve become more “global” with technology, we can buy goods from almost anywhere in the world, we can see how other cultures live, in real time, with a mouse click, but we can’t just let each other live without always fighting; wars, jihads, bullies, vendettas… Makes you wonder what use all this technology is.

Hopefully future advancements in technology will be geared more towards helping humanity as a whole and not just the ones with money.27


Creative Commons License

Tales From the Queue
by Shelly Schwimmer
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
http://blog.talesfromthequeue.com.

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