Brave new world media technology

Brave new world media technology

Nathan Stapleton

Brave new world media technology

Annie Clarkson

On election night, I watched in amazement at the new technology being employed by the media to cover the elections. One station beamed the live image of a person into the room for purpose of a live interview. Those “Star Trek” writers were truly visionaries.

All of my fellow middle-aged non-trads agree that computers have completely changed the college experience. Most of the traditional-age college students have never lived a day without computers and cell phones.

It made me wonder what’s next. What technologies are we likely to see in our lifetimes we’ve never imagined possible?

Some believe money, as in dollars and coins, will one day be obsolete and everyone will carry only plastic cards and have to remember PIN numbers.

There are scientists who actually believe that time travel may be possible in the future. Wouldn’t that be weird, if the movie Back to the Future actually was prophetic? I would definitely change the “time-space continuum” with the flux capacitor.

I’m dreading the very real possibility that communication by phone or computer will include live images. That would be great for the hand gestures I could give to the telephone solicitors but bad for those who call early in the morning or late at night.

Medical technology is amazing. For example, the electronic voice synthesizer, such as used by Stephen Hawking, turns thoughts into words and text. Transplant technology saves more lives every day. Some diseases, which were once life-threatening, are now manageable or curable. Hopefully ,a cure for the common cold also lies in our future.

Predictions are hard to make. Bill Gates once said “We will never make a 32-bit operating system.” In 1936, the New York Times reported, “A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.” Charlie Chaplin said, “The cinema is little more than a fad.” Thomas Edison said, “Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” Albert Einstein said “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable.”

For every new advancement, including television, communications, transportation and space travel, there was an expert who said it would never work. Fortunately, there will always be those who say “Yes we can.”

I can’t imagine what the future holds. On a macro level, I hope that future technologies benefit the millions of people in need. On a micro level, I hope college educations never become “Internet only.” I hope I can one day afford a solar-powered car and a housecleaning robot. And I hope that the fashion trends of “Star Trek” never become a reality.