The Speed of the Future

These are unprecedented times we live in, similar in some ways to the American industrial revolution of the early nineteenth  century. That was a time of rapid advancement where new tools and new processes seemed to affect everyone’s life almost daily.

With large companies like Google, Facebook and others having excessive resources and a willingness to invest in new technology, advancements will continue to come really fast; thanks to those huge corporate bankrolls.

My heritage is something I’m pretty proud of and I come from a grandpa who once rode a horse to his one room school house every day. He was born about the time broadcast radio began to shape the future of communications and entertainment. He got to see men walk on the moon and the first color TV. I believe he was about sixty-eight the first time he flew on a jet airliner. As the plane lifted off the end of the tarmac you could hear him yell at the pilot, “Give’em hell Charlie!”

I often marvel at the changes he witnessed in his lifetime, as I continue to marvel at the advancements in my own lifetime and ponder what things my children and grandchildren might see.

Technology is something that makes my heart start to pound with excitement. New computers, tablets and phones are always a treat. With each new step the features get better and the displays get bigger. What we carry in our pockets have more computing power than all the instrumentation Apollo 12 took to the moon in 1969. Jet rockets not included.

I remember the whole journey quite well. I once did business on car phones; they were just too big to physically carry around. That was before Fax and email came along too. We had just started moving into Windows based computers and the birth of the Internet. It is pretty fascinating to have lived through those changes. But of course all that was only the beginning.

The Internet as we know it was essentially born in 1995 when it was commercialized for broad public use.  The way we see and interact with our world has endured many transformations. These companies and others have positioned themselves to invest heavily in new technology on almost every level.

More and more I hear about cars that drive themselves, wearable technology and drones delivering packages.

As we move through these modern times we will continue to embrace “The Internet of Things”; or not. In short this refers to the interconnectivity of basically anything and everything we can run by computers and smart phones through WiFi and Cloud Internet. For example, the lights in your house come on when you enter a room, your refrigerator reorders your groceries, your car tires notify you when they need to be replaced, and wherever you go, there are tips and suggestions on where to eat or buy those new tires.

Cars that can drive themselves and drones delivering packages are only the start of the robotic movement. We can order our meal from a video screen now at our favorite restaurant. But when it comes to serving food, drones are certainly out while robots just might have a shot at this job. Who knows? Ten years ago, who would have imagined ordering your meal from a video screen at the table?

Maybe it’s all just because of my age, or maybe some things tend to seem a little silly, which could also be due to my age. But for me, a quiet spot on the edge of the woods with plenty of trees is good. I still like to build things with my hands, plant trees and cut grass. (Hey! It’s good exercise.)

The future keeps coming at us, seemingly faster and faster. As humans we have moved into a time, much like the industrial age, where these things change us on a daily basis.

Regardless of these great advancements, we are still mortal and human. We live in a world where we have to relate to other humans and deal with the basic elements of life such as eating, exercise and work. The tools and technology may create a world where we can be lazy about ordering groceries or turning on the lights, but we still need to know how to take care of our bodies and our minds.

The speed of the future remains constant. Advancements are coming rapidly, but the basics of life will never change.

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