Enduring trends

Technologists are enthusiasts. Their progress are documented in hockey-stick trends. Meanwhile  we as ordinary human are still reacting out of fear as if we were still living in caves. The reptilian brain vs rapid rise of chip speed, guns vs germs, technology vs anthropology!

As early as 1950’s, graduates would hear something like: “boy, you get that desk job, stay there, work your way up and cash out . You will be set, boy.” In short, seniority and being an institutional memory keeper equal “iron rice bowl”.

Not in the 21 century. Take Yahoo. A darling of Silicon Valley (I am still using yahoo mail, reliable), but increasingly, moving into the slot left vacant by AOL. (Facebook, if not careful, might fall into the MySpace hole).

When I took Science, Technology and Society at Penn State in my senior year, I realized then that not all technology were meant to take off, or were a blessing. They are both blessing and curse. (I must give the US Post Office some credits for converting its entire fleet to Electric Vehicles a years back).

These trends will stay with us:

– socks (short or long)

– jeans

– baby pics, mobile apps

– slow rock (romantic)

– sunset, virtual or real

– kind words, kind gesture, roses

– birthday cakes

– tomb stones or equivalent if cremated

– shoes, shorts and sandals

– contact lenses (as flat screens)

– vitamins, although God knows what they put in there.

The Economist has its cover story this week about our human body, as composed of bacteria cells.

But how come those bacteria got vibrated with Streisand’s Evergreen? With Nocturne? Chopin and Bach?

Until technologists learned that we are more complex than the mind can understand, then they get somewhere.

Invent only that which benefits mankind, stuff that people can use. Don’t chase lab stuff only. Solve  problems:

how to get your hair done the quickest way in the morning, how to get to work using the best route, nearest gas station that charges less (or use EV) glove compartment that can store today’s aviation sun glasses, games that kids can play and learn something while at it, profile  algorithms that make friends out of strangers. Science, Technology and Society. When they plugged in the electricity for the first time at the Chicago fair, many thought it had been Heaven. Now, we took it for granted. Let’s hope for some break-through, even when many will fail. Try again. Keep in mind, the reptilian brain. How we still react like cavemen. Still love like cavemen. And yes, jealousy still is a big part. Those are enduring trends you can bet on.


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