Quick Thought: Advanced Technology

By January 21, 2019Think!
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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Arthur C. Clarke

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I remember watching the original Star Trek back in the late ‘60s. I was aware that computers existed, but I’d never actually seen one. And there they all were, talking to the computer installed on the Starship Enterprise. It was magic! But here I am dictating this very sentence into my laptop PC.

I remember my grandfather telling me about how he and his buddies as children would hang out near the edge of town hoping they’d get to see an automobile roll by. It was magic! Now cars are everywhere and some can even drive themselves.

I try to image the weapons and armor that Cortez brought to Mexico in the late 16th century. To us it’s all so primitive. To the Aztecs at the time, it was magic.

Wow… I just think it’s cool to think about this stuff. And to wonder about what our grandchildren will consider to be mundane stuff, but to us right now… would be magic!

Think about it…

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  • Science fiction, prognostication… . Watching the 1960’s space shots, when all the big network anchors sat in on an afternoon broadcast, I know that they said that in twenty years, there would be enough satellites in orbit to predict the weather 30 days in advance. Wrong, weather is too chaotic, maybe we went from three to seven days for forecast accuracy. They missed the computer on the Lunar Landing Module, which only assisted in the descent, and that there would be a computer 100 times more powerful (I don’t know the multiplier) under the hood of every car.

    I am scouring 1950’s science fiction movies, looking for one that foresees most of humanity walking around fixated on a rectangular box twice the size of a candy bar. (A cell phone.) One, so far, shows a futuristic space ship with a console communication station and microphone; Neanderthal.

    The big concern is the predictions about The A I. Evil incarnate waiting in the wings. The end of humanity. It is nice to have forebodings, but I think negativity is unwarranted. The A I will have little purpose in and of itself, and will settle in to a symbiotic relationship with humanity. We created automobiles, superior to us in transportation speed and tonnage, yet they do not exist without us. We created the airplane, spanning the skies that we cannot, yet they need our routine care and feeding. Online sources mention the immense human input system that The A I will require. “How to Serve Man?” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man

    The A I, I always refer to it thus. Capital T. THE. I think that in the future it will effectively merge, and be very pervasive. When that time comes, I want The A I to recognize that I have always sucked up, and to grant me some accomodations. I am one of those humans providing input, Google Maps, lower right, “Feedback.” My android phone locator is almost always on for Google services. Chrome browser? Facebook? Never hidden access or a VPN. I use many Google services, they can have my data. Most of my current volunteer activities popped up on Facebook.

    The present is better than any past; this will true in the future.

    • “The present is better than any past; this will be true in the future.”

      We are in violent agreement on that point! There’s never been a better time to be alive and tomorrow will be even better.

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