Future vibes, future hypes

Sunday 16 September 2012, 4.22am HKT


LET’S talk about things we see.

Or hear or read in public.

The stuff we see, hear or read in public that give off strong future vibes.

Personally, seeing CGI (computer-generated imagery) doesn’t blow me away. Seeing CIGS (copper iridium gallium selenide solar cells) does.

Especially since I caught sight of solar panels for the first time in Los Angeles back in the early 1970s.

I love how it feels to see someone using crazy future technology, especially future technology that gets the job done right beside technology that doesn’t get the same job done.

Smartphones are pretty crazy, though not exactly helping us to get the job done. Once people start walking around with augmented-reality eyeglasses, I might go out into the public just to look at them tripping out and tripping over into the sidewalk and getting run over by buses swerving to avoid them.

It’s damn eye-opening just how futuristic and sci-fi some of our mainstream techno-shiz is.

What else is cool right now that makes us think of the future? What technologies can we look forward to? What buses are avoiding us?

Future towers

The flippin’ skyscrapers and sundry towers of capitalism/socialism/quantitative easing we build these days — imagine how effing cool they will be when they’re being built for gardening and don’t need residents! Civilisation!

Wishful thinking. They’ll never get built (for gardening, less residents) because only insurance carriers and subprime mortgage companies will have the money to build them. Oh well…

These are the droids looking for you

Finally within touching distance are androids, grandroids and assorted robots — the haemorrhoids of humanitoids dreamt up in the last hundred years.

Now that 3D printers have become reality since 10 years ago, we now have the satisfaction of knowing that a few more years down the road we can have biomechanical Xeroxes made of our favourite psychopaths.

“We have the technology to rebuild him.” Into what?

Bionics. “My body parts from supermarket carts.”

That’s just awesome. I didn’t realise bionic technology was so far advanced after reading various techno journals lately. To hell with Google’s Glasses. We gonna get The Six Million Dollar LED Fleshlight That Can Do French Cooking and English Tea soon.

Now that I’m officially ‘old’ because of having to wear bifocals, it got me thinking. Couldn’t bionics be the future of virtual reality? Instead of having some huge 360° machine or a holodeck-type device, couldn’t we just have self-adjusting lenses (contact or otherwise) that project graphics to create a sense of immersive environment? All we’d then need is maybe a $500 omnidirectional treadmill and 25 bucks of Chinese-made motion sensors to capture movement — voila! virtual reality!

If reality is too much for you…

The various journal articles I’ve read lately basically say the holodeck is a horribly primitive way of going about 3D immersion.

For now, the best way apparently is to ‘release’ (read: inject) nanobots into the brain and network them to coordinate electrical impulses to stimulate the brain. The new electrical impulses generated would cause the brain to ignore regular stimuli so that a new virtual reality is built just as real as reality.

That’s dynamite on paper. If those nanobots go on the fritz, your brain is going to be supper for the nanobots.

If robotics (nano or otherwise) isn’t your cup of tea, try biology.

The latest research is heading towards the retrovirus approach. Insert special, precisely manufactured genes into your neurons (brain cells). Send in a light signal or some other kind of signal via a cable, and the augmented cells will transmit electrical signals throughout your brain.

Will any of you plug in once the animal testing is over?

They promised us flying cars. So where the hell are they? How long are we still going to have to wait?

The flying car was first promised to us in Jules Verne’s “Master of the World” (1904).

Actually, flying cars might be a terrible idea after all, considering the unending litany of traffic accidents and deaths we have already for ground-based vehicles. Flying cars with the proverbial well-oiled nut behind the wheel (joystick?) ramming into each other mid-air and raining down flying debris doesn’t make for punctual supper time for most of us.

Instead of flying cars, we have the next best (or dangerous) thing: driverless cars.

Oh, man, chill, baby, chill, while your car drives you where you need to be at your whim and quim. You could even sleep whilst the car drove itself. Round the bend or over a cliff. The possibilities of population reduction

Reality is just Avatar-level CGI

Roadtrip? Blaze all day. I’ll plug in and never return — assuming it’s indistinguishable from real life. Also assuming I could modify the simulation on the fly to do whatever eff I want.

Just like that crap electronic music called dubstep or whatever the hell it’s called.

If 3D imaging is your ‘thing,’ try this video: CES ’11: Japan’s Laser 3D Image Display — it’s the ‘realest’ 3D imaging we can get, no?

Kind of goddamn dangerous too. They’re shooting a laser powerful enough to explode air.

If you have a yen for dangerous living, build your own fusion reactor. Sure, it’s still in concept stage and currently nobody has one or can operate one for more than a fraction of a second.

Every torus reactor that has ever been built has been pretty much for experimentation. No one has produced any energy from such reactors — but you’re assured your input electricity bill will be sky-high and contribootin’ to the national economy. That must count for something, right?

Deus Ex Machina Ex Healthcare Ex Common Sense

Medical breakthroughs are some of the things that most impress me. Not always for the right reasons, but they impressed all the same.

If you’re into transhumanism (and other big words that you don’t know the meanings of), here is a YouTube excerpt of the documentary “Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Transhumanism” — it’s about real-life cyborgs.

Kevin “Captain Cyborg” Warwick, the world’s first cyborg hailing from Coventry in England, had a microchip implanted into his arm that he could use (successfully) to control basic household objects.

The first impressive thing about his chip-in-the-arm technology was that it was already done in the early 2000s.

The second impressive thing was this: the guy’s an idiot — can’t he just walk over to the household objects and fiddle them about with his own hands? Test it on a paraplegic, not on yourself, stupid.

Personally, I’m still waiting for bioprinting or 3D organ printing to fix my left knee and ex-split pelvis that I spent 37 months on crutches because of. My eyeballs need fixing too because they ain’t what they used to be and need bifocals (short for Birth-Interrupting Faggot Optical Crap-Attracting Lamer Spectacles).

The National Geographic magazine ran a feature (“The Big Idea: Organ Regeneration,” March 2011) about growing body parts.

Well, slay me, buddy boy, I’m gonna set up my mid-air secret underground wine cellar in my 15th-floor home just to grow my own (eyeballs, for instance), now that Quantitative Easing 3 (‘QE3’) looks set to destroy national healthcare services worldwide and the water here in Hong Kong ain’t thrilling to write home about.

* * *

Whatever the technology, be sure they’ll build HER first
for your brother from another mother
with the winner, winner, chicken dinner…

.

… while the rest of us make do with THIS
tryin’ t’get lucky in K’ntucky

* * *

In most pulp sci-fi of old, our technological breakthroughs set us free.

Instead most people have become slaves to it.

_____

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© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. (B12288)

Images via apina, c4c, m4f and author | Flying car via Popular Mechanics | Reality via Faris Yakob | Frankenstein via Phi Stars.

4 Responses to “Future vibes, future hypes”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Slaves, indeed. I’m not too impressed with the whole idea of this reality in the first place, but I’m pretty sure anything we come up with won’t be any better.

    Like

  2. Guus said

    I’ve been watching Star Trek: Voyager lately. It’s amazing how much of the science fiction technology has been achieved and over-achieved already. Their electronics look bulky.
    But the optimism of what technology can do… it’s so … 90s

    Like

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