There’s an old adage which says, if you want to make God smile, tell him your plan. Well whaddya know! 2014 and I’m still here, grimly hanging on to the coat-tails of the past, the present and the future, all in one lump (Thank you Professor Einstein). As for the physical and mental travails that beset us humans, everybody else seems to have accepted there is no sanity clause, so why should I bother having a plan.
The New Year is a good time to show-off one’s credentials and exaggerate one’s prowess in one’s chosen field, but 2014 was still tottering on baby legs when unexpected drama kicked in.
For a long time I have advocated bringing technology into the classroom, in the shape of a tablet or computer, so seven years later than it might have been possible for the government of the day to supply every kid with some kind of device, its happening at least in private schools.
But even since the increasing use of tablets in schools gives me satisfaction, there’s a downside for my buddy and fellow Parky Ranger, the Mullah of Mount Leinster, Richie Kavanagh. One of Richie’s great songs was a anthem for kids.
Our schoolbags are too heavy
They’re clumsy, they’re always in the way
Our schoolbags are too heavy
Why do we have to fill them everyday.
Watching Richie’s video reminded me of seeing my own kids struggling with the weight of their schoolbags, but the new modern kid will eventually only have to carry a tablet that weighs very little. Not alone that, the tablet will enhance their education. Pupils, who in the past might have been written off as uneducable, now play sophisticated video games that require skill and intelligence.
Here we have the perfect paradigm for making God smile. It’s so easy forget Richie and his little ditty, but did any of the heavy hitters from the Garryhilll area in Carlow, ever investigate the extent of the heavy schoolbags problem? As for the song, the death of a song is a sad moment
Did anyone in power, for a single momen. consider giving Richie a back-channel bonus, or a top-up on his retirement fund, or even a job as a specialist advisor to the Taoiseach?
Since the advent of the mobile phone these illiterates can communicate and conduct business. Youth is inheriting a much more valuable heritage, which is only in its infancy and I openly envy them.
Of course, kids can drive you loopy with their antics on their mobile phones, texting each other across a table, taking endless selfies and offending social etiquette, by bouncing up from their table in the middle of a meal. But if there are any drawbacks, they are easily out-weighed by the benefits. There is still a huge number of people who are functionally illiterate, who in their normal situation, would be stuck in a mess they can’t get out of, but since the advent of the mobile phone there is a universal texting language that gets by on a cornucopia of acronyms, synonyms, antonyms, abbreviations, slang and new words.
My ambition is to last until 2020, when for one thousand dollars, I’ll be able to buy a computer with the computing power of the human brain.
And if I could hang about until 2045, my same thousand dollars would be able to buy a billion times more computing power than I did back in what would, by then, be referred to as the fuddy-duddy 2020s.
Gazing into the future is mostly a futile exercise, but because of the technology, we have never been on safer ground. Computers can click out numbers that are indescribably large.
Add in the further astonishment that 3D printers can print out guns, hi-fi speakers and circuit boards and who knows, I may not have to last all the way to 2020 to benefit from these advances, especially if the nanobots are doing their job properly.
Nanobots, I discovered, are microscopic robots. In an attempt to give them a visual identity, I picture nanobots as the Lollipop Kidz. They sound like cheekie chappies. Whilst they have so far only manufactured molecular nanobots, they are close to building tiny mechanical, robots, which can self-propel whilst being directed to specific parts of the body, possibly to kill cancer cells. By 2020, brain scans will be done from the inside.
Nanobots, will allow people to eat whatever they want, while remaining thin and fit and they will also provide copious energy, fight off infections or cancer, replace organs and augment their brains with AI.
While this technology-dominated future world sounds very rosy, the impact on ordinary punters could be immense. Just imagine a world without cookery programs on the television. Imagine if there were no more fat people trying to lose weight in public. Imagine if the supply of risible non-entities stopped suddenly. Imagine no more Mrs.Brown. Bliss.Article Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail, Saturday 4th January 2014 Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99 Free Kindle Reader – download app