Friday, March 12, 2010

Why Can't the Future be NOW?

Photo courtesy of C. Jagoe, KPRDSB

Last week, I had the very cool experience of seeing and talking with my entire school, as we set up a video-conference between myself here in Vancouver, and 500-odd staff and students gathered in the school gym back home.

I had great fun, watching all the kids file in and wave at the picture of HenryHudson Bear and myself which was being projected on the big old screen on the stage of the gym. The kids asked all kinds of naturally young kid questions -- no, I DIDN'T get to meet Sydney Crosby yet, and no, I didn't jump down on the ice and take his hockey stick and gloves! But yes, HenryHudsonBear DID enjoy having to take a bath yesterday after all!

It was incredible fun, but I really have to say that the experience reminds me so clearly of the times when I was a kid (yes, my lovelies, back in the dark ages) when we all gathered around our new black and white television set, and watched the first transmission of pictures and sounds from astronauts travelling in space -- the pictures all out of focus and gravelly, the sound coming through filled with static and echoes. But that new experience of communicating with someone at such an unbelievable distance right in front of our own eyes, nonetheless always elicited huge excitement and joy in that new "This-is so-cool-that-they-can-actually-DO-this" ability!!

And I can picture these very same kids 30 years from now telling THEIR kids the story of how they once sat on a hard gym floor and participated in their school's very first school-wide live video-conference -- and know they will be telling them "how archaic" it was!!! The picture all out of focus and gravelly, the sound filled with static and echoes, they all had to be VERY very quiet so the teacher at the Olympics could hear, and how some questions had to be repeated 3 TIMES before she could actually make out the question. "And can you believe at the time, we thought it was so COOL?!?"

Because I completely believe by that time, they'll all be carrying a single piece of technology in the palm of their hand which instantly provides seemless real-time picture and sound (and smell and feel?) connections, which will allow them to communicate with anyone around the world OR in outer space. I'm totally convinced, and I'm not nuts, that they'll have access to their entire lives through one single small device which connects them with family and friends around the world, educational and recreational activities, business and commercial enterprises, transportation systems, homes and 4- and 5-D virtual realities, where life-skills technologies operate through the same little one single tool (oh, to be able to order a home-made dinner cooked and ready at precisely the time you get home!!!)

"Your imagination is the preview to life's coming attractions." AE

So if I can imagine it, why can't all of that future just be transported here right NOW ?!?
Think of the things we could do, and the FUN we could have!!!

But for now, fromVancouver,

yours, in all my present-day limitations,
my apparently backward smiles (-:
and my pure technological impatience,

cb/beachcat11/Miss Beach ( =

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