I have a smart phone, it is incredible what I can do with it. I could run my entire work day from it if I wanted to. I can check email, instant message on slack, and manage projects from that little screen. It wouldn’t be easy but it is possible and reliable with a good wifi connection or 3/4G. One thing bothers me though, I still can’t guarantee that I will have a crystal clear conversation with somebody. The fundamental feature of a phone is to have a vocal conversation with somebody, so why is it that we as a community skipped that problem of the unreliable cellular network? I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had a phone call cut short or broken up because I cannot hear the other person clearly or the connection has dropped due to signal issues – good thing I can reliably play candy crush though.
We have a printer in our office, not true actually, we have 3 printers for about 20 people max. None of these printers are reliable, each has their own quirks and some people have their favourite because they have worked out how to use it, I know I have. We are apologists for crappy technology, we work around their flaws to meet our goals and forget about it. As a species we have skipped the office printer and gone straight to the 3D printer, even though 3D printers wont allow me to print that document I need. It’s like a kid trying to concentrate and then catching sight of the playstation and forgetting all about their homework.
Airplanes crash, a lot. A lot more than they should do I feel. Frankly I think it is crazy that we (myself included) are willing to climb into tubes with wings and thrust into the sky. Remember this, a passenger plane is just a train carriage with wings. Everything we travel in is basically a tube with appendages to suit the external environment. So airplanes crash, trains crash, cars crash, but apparently the most important thing to do right now is fly out of our atmosphere and travel 54 million kilometers to another planet. Yet we cannot rely on our current forms of world travel.
Have you ever watched Blade Runner and wondered how this version of our future selves has managed to create human like androids that are so convincing as humans that even the android itself cannot realise it is not human, and yet for some reason nobody has fixed those leaking street pipes. Los Angeles is more polluted than ever, over populated, and everywhere you look there are derelict buildings. This is the world we are moving into by skipping the fundamental things nobody has solved yet because they got distracted by the shiny things. We will end up in a world where the poverty gap is even greater, and the technology gap will be just as great.
Blade Runner underlying them isn’t some futuristic robot chick flick, it’s the resulting disparity of technology and its impact on the human race as a culture.