Tag Archives: future

The future is an angry place, potentially

Apparently, according to this that I just gone done read, the future of gaming (and computers in general) will see software that can read and register your emotional state. It can then react accordingly – maybe a game will make a character talk to you differently, or the system will automatically play music to suit, or change, your mood, or maybe it will offer to talk to you OH ROBO-COMPANIONSHIP WHY AREN’T YOU HERE NOW?

Ahem.

But I fear this future (it will recognise my fear). Not because I’m a fuddy duddy Luddite from ah-ha-ha the past, but for one very good reason: when I am sat in front of my games console, TV, a movie screen, my computer or whatever else I only ever experience two emotions: angry and angrier (and sometimes hungry. Is that an emotion? What about fire, is that an emotion?*).

The system wouldn’t even have to be complex to deal with my technological-viewing states, meaning I would feel it to be a bit of a waste of money and scientific endeavour. On the other side, the computer would probably end up confused – if it’s been programmed to get confused – and not know why it could never please me with anything it does.

Poor potential future computer – it’s not your fault. The problem lies with the fact I am an angry and hateful young (old) man. I shout at videogames because they are SHIT and WRONG. I shout at the computer because it is SHIT and WRONG. I shout at TV because it sometimes has David Cameron on it so it is therefore SHIT and WRONG. I am angry and angrier, in general, because things are SHIT and WRONG.

So this future-tech isn’t the way we should go. Not because it won’t work, or scares me, or might take over the world or anything like that. No, we shouldn’t go this way because I don’t want to risk confusing, upsetting or alienating a hypothetical computer.

I think I need to go to bed, on that note.

*Ah, stealing from Eugene Mirman. You’ll know him as the landlord in Flight Of The Conchords. Look him up, he amuses me.

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Egypt, speeches, and the future of a nation

We sat, transfixed, taking in every chunk of light beamed into our brains from the gogglebox. The entire nation of Egypt was undergoing a huge transformation*, its people had taken to the street in their millions to demand a shift in power – people weren’t just sitting around and taking it anymore. It was in part horrifying, it was in part beautiful, it was in part a bit boring on rolling news channels.

Then came the defining moment of recent weeks – a speech by Hosni Mubarak. With the power of words alone, everything changed. Let’s see what he said:

“To the people of Egypt – to my friends, my brothers, sisters, daughters and sons – we have seen a period of chaos in our nation for many days now. I am here to assure you: we are listening. We hear you. We have heard your cries and we have spoken to each other, deliberating long and hard on what should become of our great nation that we all love so dearly.

It has been hard, but we will get through this. I can announce that part my power will be delegated to my vice president, and that I will remain in charge of Egypt until September, where I will stand aside for fair, democratic and free elections to take place. I must implore you, those who have been causing such a menace on our streets, to go home. Go and sleep. Rest. Wake up in the morning, and go to your jobs. You are needed – your country needs you, and you have been heard. You are part of the history of this nation, of the next step in Egypt’s evolution. This is what will come to pass, and this is what will become of our country – we have listened, I have listened.

The future is bright… the future, is Orange.”

Suddenly, we all realised it was one giant marketing campaign for the mobile phone company known so well for its pretty good cinema deals on Wednesday. We feel cheated.

*Unless it doesn’t.

[Idea shamelessly stolen from these two, and ‘the future is bright’ was actually said by the vice pres. Soz.]

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The future is sterile, and so are you

I’m currently sat on a train, again, writing this – only this time I can actually post the entry onto the world wide supernet interhighway. Why? Wireless dongles, stupid. They’re like the future, distilled into slightly-cumbersome USB adapter form. Seeing as I now apparently live in the future, why don’t we discuss how things have changed in our lifetimes?

It’s not like we’ve seen the exceptional change the likes of my Grandma have – TV being invented, commercials coming to prominence, TV being ruined by commercials coming to prominence: it’s an incredible amount of change to think about, and far too hard to consider experiencing in any real way. Oh, she saw the dinosaurs go too, which must have been fun. Made going to the shops a lot safer, that much I do know.

Then there’s my parents and their generation, which was raised on endless promises of what the ‘future’ would be like: flying cars; meals in pill form; less foreigners – that kind of thing. It’s no wonder they’re such an angry generation who don’t believe in climate change when you realise how much they were promised in their youth. What do they have out of it? My Dad’s still waiting for his robot servant to be delivered, I think. That would explain the lack of movement, at least.

But I don’t think our generation falls as cleanly in the middle as you might assume – we’re far more towards the side of the grannies etc with the amount of change we’ve experienced. It was invented before I was born (I think), but I distinctly remember the internet coming to power. That has completely changed the technologically-civilised world, of that there is no arguing. Then there are other inventions of convenience that we BLAH BLAH TAKE FOR GRANTED BLAH – yes, everyone goes on about it, but they are important. The MP3 players, digital distribution and mobile dongles of today make everything so utterly bloody convenient. It’s a similar curse that particularly affects those of a game-playing persuasion: now is boring, the past is gone, all we want to see is what’s next. Bollocks to paying attention to what’s around now, we’re happy just taking that for granted, finding the smallest of faults with it and criticising it no end for whatever non-event is “wrong” with it.

It’s interesting that I write that on my tiny, easily-carryable portable computer (which can also run decent entertainment-o-trons) to post onto the internet using my DONGLE that allows me to connect to the internet wherever I am in the country (just about) and allow everyone in the world to read my worthless prattle through the WordPress site. Even at 15, I wasn’t aware this kind of thing would be possible. Hence: today I will appreciate the now, today and what we have available to us – foibles and all.

I do still want a flying car, mind you. Basically, I want to live in the future of Blade Runner. And I’m still not getting an iPhone.

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