It’s probably clear by now that I’m very interested in the rise of technology. Part of this is being of the right age to have been a part of the meteoric rise of many very notable technological advances– the internet, the ubiquitous cell phone, the video game. Another part is seeing the potential in the future.
When I was little, I would watch Star Trek with my mom and dad, and reveled in the optimistic technology of that show. Now, I have a device not unlike a tricorder that I carry around in my pocket. At one point, I got a brand new video game console so that I could play games like Final Fantasy. I needed a box the size of a shoebox, an external controller, and a TV to plug everything into. Now, I can play Final Fantasy on a device the size of a single eight-and-a-half-by-eleven floppy disk.
Soon, I may be able to have a heads-up display at all times, thanks to Google Glass and similar. I can have continual, up-to-the-minute messaging and information. At the same time, all of these technological advancements come with a massive amount of social upheaval. With the cell phone, business spread from the office to everywhere else. With the smartphone, we need no longer debate facts; access to facts is at our fingertips and the debate can move beyond establishing data. With Google Glass, we may be able to better find and display information about ourselves and each other, saving ourselves time and many awkward social moments.
Any one of these might end in disaster, or have unintended, unwanted side effects, but one way or the other we’ll see what happens. The rise and spread of technology is relentless.