Here is the point in my blogging career in which I ensure that I will forever be labeled as old. . .
I’m in love with how amazing the world is today versus “when I was a kid”. (ugh that hurt coming out).
I mean, seriously, I remember as a child growing up seeing as the new technology being developed and being amazed each time something new came around. Video games on CDs? What?!? Seriously. . . that blew my mind for some reason. But looking at the world today, well, let’s just say I had never imagined looking back on my childhood and seeing it as being so, well, primitive.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we had technology all around us as kids. We were one of the first people we knew to have a computer in the home, and we kept upgrading that sucker as time went on. I had a BBS of my very own for a year or so. (For those not nerdy enough in the late 80s/early 90’s, a BBS, or Bulletin Board System, was something that incredibly nerdy, socially awkward people set up on their computers and then hooked their PCs up to a phone line so other incredibly nerdy, socially awkward people could log into their computer and leave pointless messages and play games, all while the initial nerdy person could sit and watch them do their activities and choose to chat with them if they so wished). We had an Atari before all of that, but not the trendy Atari 2600 gaming system, no, we had the Atari computer with a floppy drive and a modem and all that junk.
In other words, we were well stocked with gear.
But today. . . seriously. If I want to know how the weather is going to be in the next hour or so, I grab my phone out of my pocket and have the answer in a matter of seconds, as long as I am in communication distance with a cell tower. It wasn’t that long ago when the best option available was to watch The Weather Channel until they finally got around to telling you about your local weather. . . or, you know, waiting for the 10 pm news.
Watching a movie with an actor who’s face you remember, but you have no clue what you’ve seen him in, just as easy, thanks to IMDB.
But that’s nothing. I mean, these things have been around for a while (although I’m still pretty darn fascinated by them). Now, we have limitless entertainment literally in the palm of our hands. My phone has access to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (as well as a wealth of other lesser options) and within seconds of pulling the thing out of my pocket, I can be watching anything from episodes of the original Star Trek to last night’s episode of Walking Dead to the newly released adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Heck, that last one didn’t even come to theaters here in Eau Claire.
But on top of that is so much more. From my phone, through any 4G tower, the long-promised video phone is, right now, a reality. My kids can sit and see my parents who live over a thousand miles away and actually play peek-a-boo with them, while driving in my car.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, and, only focusing on consumer electronics. I mean, look at what’s being done for renewable energy today. The current movement in solar energy retrieval is outstanding. So much so that it won’t be long before everyone can afford to have solar panels on their house and be severely decreasing their reliance on non-renewable fuel sources.
We’ve landed on Mars! Sure, no people have gotten there yet, but we are regularly receiving transmissions from a completely different planet, seeing things that have never been seen before in an image quality that I still can’t believe.
And the speeds in which our wireless transmissions can occur still amaze me as well. I mean, I regularly play Words with Friends with my wife, and often while we’re sitting right next to each other. Depending on current network traffic, I often hear her phone buzz to alert her that I’ve made my move before my phone even completes telling me that I made the move. This isn’t my phone speaking directly with her’s. No, it’s communicating with my wireless router, to the cable modem, to somewhere in Charter Central, then, more than likely, to a satellite, to some other ISP, to the Words with Friends main server, to that other ISP again, to the satellite again, to Charter Central again, to the modem again, to the router again, and then, finally, to my wife’s phone. . . and, honestly, that’s simplifying it greatly.
Sure, it’s a minor amount of data being transferred, but the distance involved alone is incredible.
Oh, yeah, did you know that the astronauts on the International Space Station have a youtube channel?
It seems like every day I come across something new that just amazes me with how far from what I thought should be possible it is. Young-me comes out very often and sees this world and just smiles brightly. That’s all he can do, because even he realizes that this is nothing compared to where we’re going.
I can’t wait to see where we are in the next 30 years. It’s bound to be awe-inspiring. . . unfortunately, most of the world won’t realize it because they’ll be too pissed about their brain implants taking 2 nanoseconds to load their super-porn.