Posts tagged “Technology

Vision

This friday I will go to the hospital and have a laser fired into my eye. Five days later I will have the same thing done to the other eye. The idea is that I will be able to see without the help from glasses or contacts afterwards.

 

I have always had rather poor eyesight. Today going outside without glasses or contacts is just not an option for me. I would not be able to function in traffic and would probably walk into things. The world is a blur to my naked eye and if I gaze more than 20 m or so into the distance everything just melts together into this white/grey fog. It’s like walking around in a giant bubble. On top of that I have a tendency to generate double images, an effect even contacts have a hard time negating, because my eyes have a pronounced difference in lens strength (I believe it’s called). My brain can’t make the two images mesh as “normal” people do. Especially when I am tired or distracted it’s hard for me to avoid seeing two of everything.

I wonder how long my eyes have been like that. How strange the world must have seemed to me as a kid. I have this faint memory of using a disposable camera to take a picture of a playground and then being surprised at how clear and focused everything looked on the photograph. I wonder if my disadvantage when it comes to discerning fast moving objects kept me from playing sports or if my tendency to be introverted was because it was easier to deal with my own images than the blurry ones the world offered me. Or perhaps having perfect eyesight would not have made any difference at all.

 

This operation is not guaranteed to cure my double vision as this can be caused by a malfunction in the brain just as well as the state of my eyes. There’s just no way to know until we’re done. The operation will, however, be able to give me not only “normal” but “excellent” eyesight. I am lucky enough that my handicap is rather simple (as such things goes). I am told it will be a simple matter for them to adjust my eyes. The technology is rather impressive.

Besides the obvious advantages of having good eyes and not having to rely on contacts and glasses this operation will ensure that I can wake up in the morning and see the world. For the first time in my life.

 

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Androids Already!

Robotics never cease to amaze me. Which is amazing considering how much effort still goes into making machines do trivial tasks.

I notice how this robot interacts with the swinging fridge door. Seemingly there’s still some way to go in the fields of  robot reactions and sensing their environments. Or maybe it’s just a matter of  enough processing power? Perhaps the quantum computer will be the next breakthrough?

Do I sound impatient? Well I’d hate to have read this book for nothing.


Bounce, bounce… TWIRL!

 

These people got the right idea. Only the machine needs to work all the time so you don’t look so darn silly when dancing in the street. Not only will there actually be music this time… the music will fit what youre doing!

Beat it awkward stares!


Tea: Earl Grey, hot

Reading about all the fantastic new technology that’s likely to be avaliable in the coming decade always excites me. It seems to me, however, that the tech profets tend to underestimate the human capacity for inertia. “Valkyrie Ice”, surely a name that inspires visions of competence and scientific perspective, names “greed” as the primal human instinct that will carry us forward. If the new and promising technology will cut the middle man (men) as well as reducing the cost of materials and amount of invonvenience… well… what’s not to like?

So call me a pessimist but it seems to me that the one force that will keep the overwhelming power of human greed in check will be the human fear of the unknown. The primal fear of letting go of the set ways. Those people making the calls feel pretty comfy in their corner office and why should they risk what is prefectly profitable now in favor of a venture that basically means the demolition of every single assembly line on the face of the planet? (I do paint a dramatic picture don’t I?)

One could argue that established firms reluctant to embrace the new technology would get left behind as trailblazers explore the possibilities opening up to us. Also, the ability to grow new organs on demand would surely be such a boon to the human race that there’s no way we could choose not to explore this new avenue. Who would, in the end, choose to stand in the way of advances that means a healthier, richer, less complicated world? All the people with the ability to do so.

Where is the design for the energy efficient car? Why do we spend more money on cereal commercials than we do on stem cell research? And why oh why does the entire fucking world still revolve around the current avaliability of a smelly black substance?

All of it is held up in inertia. There’s a lot of people with some pretty effective tools working pretty damn hard at keeping things the way they are: with said people on top of the pile. Research and future prospects are not going to cut it. The ability to do something (and we probably could  make a car run on butterfiles if we wanted to) is not the same thing as it actually being done. I know we can grow ears on the back of a mouse, conjure images of the big bang and all that and that is great. It doesn’t, however, change the fact that the most radical technological advance of this decade has been the iPhone touchscreen. So don’t tell me that I’ll be printing my bacon at home by 2020.  If I can get a HP printer to scale my pictures right on a regular basis by then I’ll count myself lucky.