Post-modern transport is stuck in a rut. From car to commercial air travel was a quantum leap, but now we just have hybrid cars and bigger jets. These are incremental gains, which don’t even feel like it cause you’re still stuck in traffic or getting your crotch groped en route to sitting in a chair for hours. Nothings changed the game and it’s like we’ve stopped even thinking about it. However, in 1972 the Rand Corporation envisioned a vacuum tunnel system that would get you from New York to LA (2,500 km) in around 21 minutes. At potential speeds of up to 14,000 MPH. That never happened, but Tesla/PayPal genius Elon Musk is announcing a similar plan for half hour travel between San Fran and LA (381 miles).
Archive for the 'Future' Category
The final frontier of video is not having a video camera. Simply carrying a video camera into a situation changes the situation, and rarely for the better. This Diane Von Fusterberg/Google Glass collabo shows another way. The quality is not great, image isn’t really stabilized for walking, but it still shows a pretty good video edited from the head-mounted perspectives of designers, stylists and models at a fashion show. There are a lot of events that these videos would be great for, especially if the Google Glass head-mounted computers got a bit less obtrusive.
Traffic sucks. Sitting in traffic just feels completely unnecessary, and that’s the sort of feeling technology evolves to fix. So what will future traffic look like, in Sri Lanka especially?
I’ve often wondered what our monuments would be in a thousand years, how would posterity remember us? The Nugegoda flyover? Most of what we build today is for five year investment horizons, not for eternal life or the Gods. Here’s a novel thought though, what about our communications satellites, in geosynchronous orbit around the earth? These satellites aren’t going anywhere, and could remain there long after life disappears from the earth.
I have often wondered about Judgement Day. More than heaven and hell, this is the real afterlife of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Heaven and hell are honestly more Greek/Roman concepts. In Christianity and Islam there is a clear idea of judgement day, a day when everyone is called up and God sorts us out. So if you die before then, you’re essentially waiting in a queue. So what if that’s scientifically possible. What if you preserve your brain for a day when it can be restarted, perhaps attached to a robot body?
There’s nothing wrong with pornography, but there’s a lot wrong with porn. Nothing wrong with watching people have sex, but too often that sex is brutal, senseless and coerced. I mean how many couples are coming on each others faces every day? Hence, philosopher king Alain de Botton – after calling for a new atheism, replete with temple – is now calling for a new pornography. One which is “fit for thoughtful, good human beings”. Good idea.
Google is making Android glasses. You see a visual overlay in one eye and control the thing with your head, somehow. If they could make them look like Wayfarers I would be totally down.
I’ve started writing some fiction. Perhaps started is too ambitious. I wrote some shit that isn’t true. I got this book Plotto that suggests classic dramatic arcs, something I’ve always had trouble with. I’ve been messing with some skeleton plots. Here’s what I’ve started around “a person influenced by the occult and mysterious”. I’m interpreting that as an intersection between meditation, drugs and the Internet.
In predicting the future (which I kinda suck at, but you don’t know that yet), it helps to think of stupid problems. What are problems so stupid that someone, somewhere must think of a solution to them? For example, transport. A Swedish study found that “couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce.” This is a stupid problem. What’s to be done about it?
I read something interesting: “What people haven’t seemed to notice is that on earth, of all the billions of species that have evolved, only one has developed intelligence to the level of producing technology. Which means that kind of intelligence is really not very useful. It’s not actually, in the general case, of much evolutionary value” (Tim Maudlin).