Not A Cloud In The Sky

Not_a_cloud_in_the_sky

I thought this picture was sort of humorous.

This lady is walking down the street with this big green umbrella, but there is NOT a cloud in the sky.

In fact, you can see in the upper right that it is a beautiful and clear sunny day.

Also, where she is walking, it is clearly shady and cool–so the umbrella is not needed as a sun screen either.

From a technology annoyance perspective, it is long past time to invent something more creative than a cheap, crappy umbrella–like from Charlie Chaplin and The Umbrella–to protect us from elements.

Someone, please come up with a push-button protective bubble that envelops us–clear for visibility, of course–and keeps us dry and temperate.

A beautiful, futuristic clear dome over the city would be nice too, but probably cost prohibitive and not as adjustable for each indiividual and their respective needs.

Hopefully, someday soon. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Are You Thing 1 or 2?

Tees

The old Dr Seuss story of The Cat In The Hat had the crazy part when “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” jump out from under The Cat’s hat and proceed to make a messy house disaster even worse.

Recently, I saw some people wearing the matching type shirts–you know the ones that that generate attention–bright red, with one shirt saying “Thing 1” and the other person’s shirt saying “Thing 2.”
It was cute the way the family members were connected through the shirts, and I smiled to myself thinking, like in the children’s story, which one is the bigger “trouble-maker” in this family–Thing 1 or 2?
Today, I saw this picture online of these twins, again with these matching type t-shirts, but this time, one said “Ctrl + C” and the other one had written on it “Ctrl + V” — these are the well-known Microsoft commands for copy and paste.
I guess with twins, the copy-paste imagery makes a lot of sense–copy kid 1, paste, and there you have it, kid 2.
Generally, t-shirts have messages about peace, rock and roll bands, corporate branding, or satire of some sort–I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a fashion statement, but more of an identity thing–how we choose to brand ourselves in a world of 7 billion people. It’s not necessarily about who we are, but more like how we choose to identify ourselves–a meaningful one for example, is for breast cancer awareness.
I remember as a kid, my sister, who was a budding biomedical scientist, bought me t-shirts from a scientific catalogue–so that I was wearing the Periodic Table and Einstein on my chest from very early on in life.  While I always did like science too, it was not what I ended up pursuing, but I would still wear these shirts today, because in some ways, I still identify with science and psychology and learning and so on.
These days, if I had to choose some t-shirt themes, I am pretty sure technology and futurism would be in the mix. Then again, my current t-shirts include a hefty mix of Rocky and Everlast–you see identity is a complex subject. Also, a whole bunch came 4 for 10–who can say no to a sale? 😉
A simple t-shirt, and the messaging can take you from Dr. Seuss to Microsoft, the Periodic Table and to the future (or even to the bargain bin).
What are you wearing–who are you?
(Source Photo: here)

Replacing Yourself, One Piece at a Time

Here is a wonderful idea to help people who use prosthetics–a smartphone built right in to the artificial limb.What was once a challenging task to hold a smartphoneand make calls, write emails and texts, or just search the web is now just a push of a button or voice command away.This is a user-centric and functional integration of technology with medical science to help those who have either lost limbs or been born without them.While a step forward for the disabled, perhaps this is also a move towards future technological augmentation of regular body parts as well.What was once a tattoo or body piercing on the periphery may soon become an implanted smartphone in the body part of your choosing.The concept reminds me of the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” where run-of-the-mill cars are completely made over into new awesome vehicles by stripping them and rebuilding them with better, cooler parts.Is this where we are going with our human bodies–where one day we are an old beat-up minivan only to have our parts swapped out and replaced with biotechnology to become a new hotrod convertible once again.Now we are moving from leveraging technology for medical purposes to tinkering with our our physical bodies, using technology, for preference.Yes, this is already being done with facelifts and other cosmetic surgery, but how about replacing entire body parts not because they are diseased, but because you want or can afford an upgrade?Lot’s of exciting and scary implications to think about with this one–as our body parts become replaceable almost like legos–snap on and off.In the future, becoming a better, stronger, faster person may not be just a function of what you do, but how much you can afford to replace.

Deus Ex-Overtaken By Technology

 

Deus Ex is an action role-playing game (RPG) and first person shooter game. It sold more than a million copies as of 2009 and was named “Best PC Game of All Time.”

 

A prequel Deus Ex: Human Evolution is due to be released this month (August 2011). 

 

You play a coalition anti-terrorist agent in a world slipping further and further into chaos.

 

The time is 2052 and you are in a dystopian society where society has progressed faster technologically than it has evolved spiritually–and people are struggling to cope with technological change and are abusing new technology.

 

The challenges portrayed in the trailer show people using/abusing technological augmentation–the integration of technology with their human bodies–replacing damaged limbs, adding computer chips, and even “upgrading themselves”.

 

There are many issues raised about where we are going as a society with technology:

 

1) Are we playing G-d–when we change ourselves with technology, not because we have too (i.e. because of sickness), but rather because we want to–at what point are we perhaps overstepping theologically, ethically, or otherwise?

 

2) Are we playing with fire–when we start to systematically alter our makeup and change ourselves into some sort of half-human and half-machine entities or creatures are we tempting nature, fate, evolution with what the final outcome of who we become is?  As the end of the trailer warns: “Be human, remain human”–imagine what type of cyborg creatures we may become if we let things go to extremes.

 

3) Technology may never be enough–As we integrate technology into our beings, where does it stop? The minute we stop, others continue and we risk being “less intelligent, less strong, and less capable than the rest of the human race.” In short, are we facing a technological race toward dehumanization and as enhanced machines.

 

4) Drugs and other vices follow–To prevent technology augmentation from being rejected, mankind relies on ever larger and more potent doses of drugs.  We not only risk losing elements of our humanity to technology, but also to drugs and other vices that make us forget the pain of change and rejection (physical and perhaps emotional).

 

Deus Ex literally is Latin for “G-d out of the machine.” Perhaps, future dystopian society starts out by people trying to play G-d, but I think the risk is that it ends with the proverbial devil displacing the best laid intentions. 

 

While technology holds the most amazing of promises from curing disease, solving world hunger, and endless innovations (even including developing the archetype bionic man/women–“We can rebuild him…we have the technology”), without a solid moral compass and frequent check-ins, we run the risk of technology getting away from us and even doing more harm than good.

The World Peaceularity

World_peaceularity

Futurist, Ray Kurzweil laid out his vision for a time when artificial intelligence surpasses the pure human kind–this he called The Singularlity.

Now people from around the world are building a presentation in Google Docs with alternatives visions of our future–it is both fascinating and humorous.
The image on World Peacularity was my contribution with a vision for a future as stated in Isaiah 2:4 “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Hope you like it and that we can share the desire for and pursuit of World Peace together.

>The Exponential Road To Peace

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When Charlie Rose interviewed Ray Kurzweil, the renown futurist (BusinessWeek–March 7-13, 2011), Kurzweil assures us that in just 8 more doublings of solar power output (each, which is happening every 2 years), we will be able to meet 100% of our energy needs.

This is the amazing power of the speed of exponential technology change to potentially solve our seemingly unsolvable human problems.

As always, Kurzweil’s optimism about our future is noteworthy.

I hope that Kurzweil and the Prime Minister of Israel who discussed energy advice also shared insights about the prospect for Middle-East peace.

Let the amazing promise of technology coupled with the ultimate in faith (and a strong military deterent) bring genuine peace to us soon. Amen!