Our week on the topic of technology is just about over, but I'm still fascinated by one of the things we discussed:
On the show we talked about the idea of having a chip in your head that lets a movie play out right in front of your eyes, because the movie is being beamed straight into your coconut. Yeah, it's years out, many years out, but while I'm intrigued by the notion of expanding our abilities via the internet (which would be part of our consciousness), you have to wonder about practicality.
I get in trouble with my girlfriend now for constantly checking my e-mail, the show's stats, etc. on my iPhone. What the hell is going to happen when I can constantly, without her knowing, be playing Mario Kart in my mind?
More than that, what's to stop me from just sitting in a corner watching 30 Rock and googling funny pictures of dogs? What will keep me tethered to reality?
Yes, human interaction, I know. But don't forget about the huge role social media plays in our lives now.
Remember when there was that earthquake in Virginia back in August, 2011? The tremors from that quake could be felt along the entire east coast! The moment I felt it, I checked every news outlet I could, but they didn't have any information. Then I went on Twitter and immediately found out what happened. A buddy of mine in DC explained that he felt it too, and he had heard it was an earthquake.
Every news outlet was working to write up a story explaining why we all felt the quake. They needed to have the origin point, the magnitude, and the scope. They were busy getting the facts before they could report, while people on Facebook and Twitter were quickly talking to each other and reasoning out/passing along what information they could. It was damn near instant that I learned what had happened.
When we all have computer chips in our brain, will this be the closest thing our species will come to having a shared consciousness? Communication will literally be instantaneous. It's amazing and terrifying.
Remember the Matrix? No, forget that, remember Wall-E!?
Wall-E takes place in a future where humans have left planet Earth because the atmosphere is overpolluted, so now all the surviving people live on a big space ship filled with shops. We all just sit in floating recliners that come complete with cupholders and a personal TV right in front of your face. If Bobby and I lived in the future that Wall-E depicts, and we're sitting side by side, instead of turning to him to speak, I just video-call him. Is that the future? We're all plugged in? And fat as shit by the way, with decreased bone dencity and cute little robots falling in love all around us?
Doesn't sound half bad, honestly, aside from the smaller bones and the robots, I'm basically there already. But won't we still require data plans? Is there a possibility that Bobby and I will be halfway through watching the new Die Hard (or playing the new Mortal Kombat) but then the signal will cut out because I didn't pay the bill?
What would you do in that case? If you were disconnected from what has become the cyber world and now you not only can't google "Bears waving like people" but you also can't communicate with anybody?
I say fuck that. Keep your chips out of my brain!
Instead, I think that we should morph the human body to become more versatile. Think Inspector Gadget.
What's that? It's raining? No problem, a robot arm wearing a nice white glove will pop out my head, holding an umbrella!
You want to go skating, you say? Sounds good to me, MY FEET ARE SKATES!
Maybe I'm being an old man again. Maybe I just have a limited scope of what can be accomplished by merging the human consciousness with the internet. Maybe I honestly won't live to see the day that this becomes a reality, but nevertheless I do think this is what we're all heading toward and expecting. And as dumb as it is, I much prefer my Inspector Gadget idea.
It's more useful to me to be put in my place using my iPhone too much than to get away with staring at the internet because all the function is taking place in my mind. I want to not only have access to the advanced technology, but I want to be chastised for doing it too much. So give me a finger that can become a cork-screw and I'll keep my phone in my pocket.
And if someone could come up with a way for my ass to turn into a chair, that'd be great too.
What do you think? Am I going to far?