Dr. Strange's recent post. I do find it rather odd that quite a few of the comments were using the future tense as though it wasn't something happening right now. This was not some theoretical test for the unforeseeable future, it's current news. That is the big point; this isn't the future it's now and if you fear it, well, hold on to your pants because the rest of your life is going to get bumpy.
One of the things that excites me about technology is the whole idea of wetware and BCIs. Integrating circuitry into our bodies for the improvement of mankind, obviously I am a fan of the works of William Gibson and the sprawl trilogy not to mention Philip K. Dick. Even things like Nano Ink are exciting, the possible applications are just amazing. The sub-dermal implantation of RFIDs is already happening and making some people's lives easier The advances we are making in every field and walk of life are amazing and it is all for and because of technology. Great minds are working everyday to make our lives easier and information more rapidly available.
The rapid acquisition of information is not a fantasy it's the reality of today. Smart phones are everywhere, going somewhere without internet access is almost unimaginable. No longer is our data stored on bulky cards, disks, and drives; it's everywhere. We cannot fear this, it's our life. Fearing the inevitable reality that our students will be using outdated technology is simply laughable. I don't have many friends who use libraries for anything besides entertainment, we needn't leave the house for our research. We can carry a plethora books using e-readers and ipads in package smaller than most of the paper print books I own now.
We must teach our students how to use the technology that will surround them for good, that is our job. We will not be spouting facts and using transparencies like the schools we have grown accustomed to. We must teach them how to utilize every available resource, the old and the new. Dictionaries still have their place but they have websites too. Encyclopedias are laughable with each volume containing a single letter and barely scratching the surface of topics compared to the information available online.
The future isn't now but the tech we are learning about now, if you want to see scary tech start reading tech blogs and what's up ahead. Will we tremble in fear when displays float in the air and hand gestures are the accepted user input method? I certainly hope not!
People have always used robots and it's a word that has changed definition in the eyes of popular thinking. Do you realize that there was a time when washing machines were considered robots? It's simply a term for something that makes human life easier. The what ifs we tie to robots, cybernetics, and the like can at times seem scary but that is also because we often look at worse case scenarios. Science fiction is filled with robot uprisings and demented AI, it's natural to fear things like that. We however should not fear the free flow information and certainly not seek to control it.
The idea of controlling information, especially digitally available information, is horrifying to me. I cannot imagine what the world would be like if that were to become the case. We cannot be the generation to put programs in place to limit what information is available to whom, we must be the generation that ensures information is free to all. Look at what happened in Egypt, now put that on a global scale. Yeah, pretty scary.
Technology is our friend, technology makes our lives easier, technology is our world, technology is this class, technology is the future. If you cannot accept these simple terms then maybe we are headed for a dystopian future and your fear is justified, perhaps those of us who embrace technology will be imprisoned with the AI in the revolution. Then again, maybe it is those who fear technology who will be left behind in the wilderness as technology ushers humanity into the next century. Maybe someday we will leave the bounds of this mass hurtling through space in search of new worlds to proliferate with information and devices assisted by our AI companions and sub dermal implants. Maybe someday science fiction will become reality and people will no longer learn but simply be injected with information via implants or RNA.
The future is coming and we are the ones seeking to prepare the next generation for the hurtles and technology they will face. How can we do this if we are not prepared to accept the facts of our current reality and the directions we are going? I don't want to scare you, but, TECHNOLOGY!