The Future

Today I will do a forward 2 and one half into my crystal ball and tell you what I see in the future:
  • First of all computers are getting cheaper and more efficient. I see their playing a bigger part in our lives in controlling and reporting essential services. Their ability to measure things on time each time will help us move air from areas of the house too warm to areas too cold. Combine this with alternate energy (and renewable) and it should allow us to cut our energy costs.
  • The movement of fiber optic cable into our homes will create some new and easy ways to get and send information quickly. I see AT&T soon being able to provide out phone, electronic surveillance (burglar alarm), cable (or at least streaming video) and feedback such things as the electric meter reading, gas meter reading and water meter reading to the utilities.
  • Books will change and libraries will someday get out of the $25.99 hard cover business. It may take introduction of a better way to read the books than DVD or CD but there is a change on the Horizon. After all how long has it been since Green Mile was serialized and changed a lot of perceptions of how we buy books? The history channel has brought our history to life. Perhaps a lot of what we just read will now be video stories or perhaps live pictures from the event. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech is a hell of a lot more impressive when you see him speak those great words from the Lincoln Memorial.
  • We must brace ourselves for the coming change. As we move from a society where we produced most of our own products to one where we import them things will change. Jobs that were once important will go away and there will be a new group of terms and technologies arrive on the campus.
  • Teaching has a big opportunity to be different. On the leading edge of this was the i-pod. Students in one of the schools nearby had the opportunity to listen to a book on a great sound system as they read it. It brought the book to life for them and I think I learned a bunch more from hearing and reading the book. Computers have the ability (and lack of boredom) to provide the student with individualized instruction. Students can be introduced to a subject and tested with periodic reviews to renew skills and influence retention of key facts. There will always be a need for teachers but the job is changing as we speak. For the price of books for a couple of years, we can purchase and plug our students into technology. Now for the Schools to catch up.
  • Can you imagine a Government so well informed that some of the things mentioned in the book 1984 will be bypassed. Will I carry a device that identifies me and my desires? Will I no longer have to write a letter to the editor as he will know what the public thinks/wants? Will this influence the lives of our children?
  • Transportation will be different. I see a time where I won't own the car, but chose from a car pool the kind of car I need based on what my plans are for the day/week/month. On those days where I am not going to go anywhere but around town I could have a single seat modular vehicle. If my wife wants to go we can add her module to the vehicle. If we need to haul something perhaps a trailer for groceries? Could there be a time when the transportation system could be so advanced that I won't need a car to travel to Idaho? Perhaps the same module with a generator in the trailer to power the vehicle? Alternative fuels? Stop by the local dumps and pick up a supply of methane gas? Sooper pooper unleaded? Can we compost our own waste and bio-solids?
  • Investing will become a lot more controlled. You will be able to plug an amount into the system and have a near guaranteed return on your money. Changes because of unknowns will become minimal.
  • I think there will be an increased use of computer "modeling" by decision makers and they will put us on a stable track. So stable that we will probably have to resort to some random generation thrill programs to fully enjoy life.
That's it folks. I wish someone would build a machine that will build the front porch for my rental house. Plug in the design and tell it to be delivered. In the mean time I am going out in 90 degree heat (and brutal humidity) to build one.

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