5 tech advancements I look forward to (if I live long enough)

I doubt I’m the only person to think this way. I couldn’t possibly be. People rarely think of something that’s never been thought of before.

So, what are the 5 most exciting things you look forward to in terms of advancements in technology?

First a disclaimer: Like most normal people on the planet are bound to feel, it would be great if a cure for Cancer was found. It would be absolutely wonderful if a cure for H.I.V was discovered, if Dementia was defeated and Alzheimer obliterated.

But I’m not really referring to that kind of thing.

I’m also not referring to utopian sentiments of a world devoid of trouble.

No disagreements, no confrontation, no fights – everyone be nice.

It would be wonderful if the dynamics that prevent trouble could be found within mankind, for all of mankind,  and the world would undoubtedly be a much better place to live. But irrespective of whether such harmony is achievable or not, that’s not really what I’m referring to.

What I mean is what things, tangible gadgets, innovations you will be able to buy in a shop,  have you thought of  (or can you think of) which we could see in the near future or which scientists have the potential (outside sci-fi) to bring to the real world, and which are terribly exciting stuff as far as you are concerned?

Without this question sounding like a call for speculative ridiculous contraptions, for me the 5 that top the list, and which would smash my appreciation of technology are as follows:-

1. Driverless Cars . Forget Google glass, imagine getting into your car, typing a postcode (e.g.  HP22 5BG), and <–| Enter, then sitting down to watch your favourite movie, show, to reply to emails , or more importantly, to catch up with some sleep. Several hours later, an alarm alerts you that you have arrived in Aylesbury, your destination.

It would save me tons of time, my efficiency would shoot up overnight.

What if it runs out of fuel?

Well, it should be smart enough to refuel itself? You’d kind of expect that from a thing that can drive itself.

It would do more. The 15 minute morning commute to the office would be a time to have a cup of tea, and read a newspaper. I’d be able to spend more time with my family while we are on the move (and we’re always on the move). Traffic jams would be tolerable as your mind would be distracted, watching TV, your favourite drama or sleeping.

2. Mind Reader: Just so we are absolutely clear, I’m talking a device, not a person. Whatever form this gadget will take, tech doesn’t get better than this. Epic in every meaning of the word. Point ‘the sensor’ of the device not to your wife, but towards that politician who seems to smile all the times … what’s beneath that smile? Going to meet your banker? Well, take this along, and before you sign that document, listen to his mind for a few seconds…just in case someone isn’t thinking you are making a huge mistake.

3. the D.I.A.D.T: your average general practitioner or doctor is probably overworked, overpaid, has a massive ego, a pseudo-salesman for some large pharmaceutical giant, is possibly on the payroll of some insurance company/ lobbyist group and probably thinks he / she is God.

Not to worry, the D.I.A.D.T (Disease or Infection Automatic Diagnosis and Treatment) will put him/ her in their place. Picture this:- Imagine walking into a state of the art medical centre, your body ridden full of disease, nasty microbes and illness, and being directed into a gadget chamber by a friendly medical practitioner, a chamber in which some routine medical tests are to be undertaken: Urinate here, Spit there, drink this – it’ll get rid of the usual suspects, dab that under your armpit, it’ll analyse your sweat, oh and attach these tiny electrodes to your head and wrists for a few seconds, we need to check your neural oscillations, heart rate and several other tests. Suspecting a broken rib? Right, stand here, and press that for the X-ray…

None of that invasive and archaic blood sample collection nonsense that can delay treatment (and cause unnecessary pain). No nasty moody nurses to argue with. No NHS Bureaucracy obsessed with gagging orders and secrecy to worry about. No time wasted in waiting rooms that have dodgy deathly odours.

No MRSA.

Minutes later, some clever analysis informs you exactly what is wrong with you, prints out a prescription and recommends a further meeting that same day, or  several weeks later, to monitor your progress. If additional tests are required, the machine immediately informs you and alerts nearby medical staff, who then quickly come to your assistance. Guess what, it can even make appointments on your behalf, it can call the mobile or landline phone number you provide, to remind you of your appointment (or in the event that you miss an appointment, to re-book one). It’s a friendly and generally helpful robot-doctor, than can perform some clever tests but also thoroughly disinfects itself – ready for the next chap.

How awesome would that be? The convenience, the efficiency. How many hours of valuable medical staff would it save? We could place some of these gadgets inside supermarkets or within shopping malls so that the location of your medical examination / appointment can be anywhere in the country, not just at your GP clinic’s physical location? Surely we could do that?

4. Sea Explorer: Remember how they say aeroplanes opened up world travel to the masses? Well, imagine what kind of device would open up sea travel to the masses? Considering land is only 30% of the earth.

I’d like to swim side by side with Orcas, hear the echoes and songs as they swim the vast oceans. I’d like to mingle with dolphins, swim and race along with them as they play. I’d like to whisper to sea turtles, to the great Leatherback and rare Hawksbill.

5. P. S.A. Projectile Shield Armour.  So, an electromagnetic field can do fancy things with electricity right? And your platoon has these tough armoured trucks which are heavy, safe and functional for the battlefield? Well, what about when you are on foot, and a  concealed sniper from the terrorists’ camp decides to shoot in your face? Aha!

Imagine a ‘field’ (it may not be electric or magnetic in nature) that can divert or repel things thrown or shot at you? No need for bullet proof or Helmets that cover your face (and make you appear unfriendly to the children of the locals)

Maybe I watch too much Tv (btw I don’t own a television set), but how many people who are sent into war, and who don’t make it back alive, could that device save – had it been in use?

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Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan

The link below is concerning (and bad news for someone like me, who loves books), but there is a property bubble in several countries and cities across the world, which is affecting businesses, especially small businesses, and this often includes independent bookstores. Unsurprisingly, most leaders and politicians who have the power to change things don’t seem to mind, and are often found citing that if the government intervenes too much (i.e. build a lot more properties to control the prices), it could cause property prices to crash and lead to inflation. I disagree, primarily because whichever way there’s only so far that property prices will rise, and a burst in the ‘bubble’ is inevitable. It would be better to control the rise of property prices by intervening to maintain them at an acceptable level that does not discriminate against small businesses, than leaving it all to the market (and we all know what can happen when important things are left to the ‘market’), leaving it all to chance.

Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan