Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Senior Citizen Event Horizon

A friend at work today mentioned a news report he saw about some driver-less car going up a mountainous road with no guard rail and with passengers on board but with no one actually driving. This comes as part of a blitz of developments in smart cars and appliances, bots, the Internet of Things, wireless everywhere and Artificial Intelligence. I recently bought a smart TV mostly because I finally wanted HighDef. The TV is a 2015 model so not so smart. As far as I am concerned, this is a good thing. With OPM, the DNC, banks and businesses, etcetera, falling victim to an alarming array of professional and military hackers, I really am comfortable with all the inanimate devices I use being dumb and unconnected. I've come to realize that the ever-increasing wave of technological change has swept by me and that's okay. I'm comfortable in the world of pre-2016 things. I really don't need to live in the world of future tech. It's beyond my event horizon. I don't mind doing my own shopping list and don't see myself buying a fridge that will do it for me. My washer and dryer have settings I can set. The house thermostat responds directly to my pressing its buttons. My car does allow hand-free calls and hooks my music through Bluetooth from my iPhone. But I like driving it myself. (I even have stick.)

Those who have grown up after the time when users could write his/her own programs – I used Basic to do a recipe program on my Commodore 64 – and even more those now getting iPads in school will feel quite comfortable traveling through a world best captured in the sci-fi series of The Golden Age. Hopefully, it won't all collapse into a singularity.