100 years ago if you were to show someone an iphone you would be considered some sort of mystical being or god (even though being the only one in the world with an iphone is not that practical). Today you show someone an iphone and it’s still a neat device but it’s almost expected. Think about how far we have come with technology. Remember the old video game systems like Nintendo or Atari? There is no way you can compare that to today’s Xbox 360 or PS3. What about computers? Remember that old computer you used to have with the little “turbo” button to help speed it up? What about that 56k dial up modem you used to have? Now we have blazing speeds that allow you to stream and download virtually anything.
We have made tremendous progress in the world of technology but where do you think it’s headed? Think about how “connected” everyone is right now, the more and more “connected” we get the more and more artificial we can be. I mean, now everyone has a phone/pda/laptop, etc. In 100 years are we going to be born or implanted with iphones or tech devices? Are even going to have to speak to communicate or will we just be able to look at each other and have circuits register our thoughts? Are games going to be 3d virtual reality games that simulate the same killing or fighting that we are used to now? Is the internet going to be a ubiquitous blanket across the world, where all you need to do is turn on a laptop to “plug in?” What are the relationships going to be like, will we still go out for coffee with our friends and will we still have wine tastings and house warming parties?
Now, if you own a PS3 you don’t even need to move to go rent a movie, you can order directly from your system. If you want to do grocery shopping you don’t need to go to the supermarket, you order it online. If you want to chat with someone or have a meeting you no longer need a physical presence, you can do so on skype. If you want to buy a cd you can get one via torrent, stream it, or just buy it online and have it delivered to you. If you want to get good you don’t need to go to a restaurant, you can order it online and have it brought to your door. I can’t help but think of that scene in Wall-E where all the humans become these large immobile objects…you know the scene.
With the emphasis on being “connected” we may actually become disconnected. I don’t know what the future of technology will be like or what web 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 will look like but I hope 200 years from now when we look back we won’t be saying “wow, I wish we could go back to web 2.0.”
The reality is that it’s so hard for us to see where we are going, in fact we can’t because we are not the observers, we are the participants. Think about being in a relationship, have you ever had a friend of yours tell you “I’m so glad you broke up with him/her you guys were not a good fit and he/she was crazy!” When you are in a relationship you can’t see what other’s see, you are not the observer and therefore you are limited in perspective and thought. You are constrained to see and believe in what you are engaged in, the same goes for everyone else. I can see what others can’t and others and others can see what I can’t, but collectively we are blind, we are all in a relationship with technology and with the world as a whole and it doesn’t matter how hard we try to see things as observers, we can’t. This is a type of paradox we live in, a paradox in which we can create almost anything yet see nothing.
So I ask you, where do you think technology is headed? What do you think will happen in 100/200 years and beyond?
Thanks for reading