Encouraging a Ready? Aim, Fire! approach to the future of humanity, rather than Fire! Ready, Aim.

SOCIETY

Bizarre leaked Pentagon video is a science fiction story about the future of cities

October 29 2016 – Via ArsTechnica

Comment: Effective urban planning, including¬†wide tree filled public spaces and recreational parks will improve the QOL (Quality Of Life) for residents, as opposed to cramming buildings together. A lot can be learned from how people live in rural areas, some of which are idyllic and could act as tried and tested¬†models for future mega ‘garden’ cities.

TECHNOLOGY

Autonomous vehicles

“Hic! Car? You better take me home, I’m in no condition to drive!”

Some manufacturers will program their vehicle AIs to put the life of the driver (you) over others. Will your car take the lives of several to save you, the one?

Who is responsible in the event of an accident?

  • You, the owner?
  • The AI?
  • The company that programmed the AI?
  • Or if you are renting or using a vehicle sharing service, the hire company?

Virtual Reality

  • How will staring at a screen half an inch away effect vision?
  • Even playing non immersive video games for a lengthy period can affect the social skills and physical well being of young people, so what does¬†being cut off entirely from the outside world do?
  • Most importantly, will an obsession with Utopian 3D ‘artificial’ worlds detract us from real world issues, such as environmental disasters? Or could offering Virtual Reality tours through an Indonesian forest convince us to prevent it’s destruction?

As it happens, we have always been bullish on anything that blends the real world with the artificial and encourages physical activity. For the former, Augmented Reality (AR) offers huge potential whilst the hand controllers supplied with some recent VR headsets solve the second problem, so there is hope!

Further reading

The Eyes of the Overworld by Jack Vance

Director of London’s¬†V&A Museum rejects virtual tours (May 31 2017)

MOVIES, TV & BOOKS

Some older films and books, in particular science fiction, provide a clear warning as to our future if we allow certain concepts to spiral out of control.

Demolition Man (1993)

Slick and semi tongue in cheek, this film accurately predicted a future where even relatively harmless behaviour, such as bad language, is punished instantly by an automated, therefore unquestionable authority. Demolition Man also made some accurate predictions regarding electronic communications.

Logan’s Run (1976)

Somewhat camp, but envisions a dystopian world where the majority of the population are clueless to their fate. Many such films feature characters who have little understanding of how the technology they use or rely upon works. The opposite is the youngster who acquires a first car and fixes and upgrades it thanks to a college apprenticeship or parental input.

Lord Of The Flies (1954, William Golding)

What occurs when young people gain power before empathy and self control.

The Fugitive (1993)

Compelling thriller whose plot highlights the incredible power of the pharmaceutical industry. In the movie, like most such productions, although the carnage is exaggerated, in reality, the industry does apply¬†brute force to entice¬†doctors to prescribe drugs we don’t always need, when natural alternatives suffice, such as garlic, honey etc.

Star Trek (1966 – Present)

Gene Roddenberry’s vision for a species¬†that has moved on receives less focus today, in a world of shallow celebrity culture, reality TV and fairly violent and narcissistic content. However, the values it discusses, from the Prime Directives that govern how The Federation interacts (or not) with other species¬†– to the obsolescence of money – to questioning reality¬†– to the quest for knowledge – will all be critical to our present day survival and QOL (Quality Of Life). The alternative is a return to eternal conflict, out of control climate change and social disharmony.

Some compare the Star Trek ‘Universe’ to communism. You decide!