Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: nintendo 3DS, robots, technology, the economist
If there’s one thing I enjoy predicting it’s the coming war against the robots, when humankind is finally consumed by the technology that it created but can no longer either control or understand.
And now, I feel, that war is one step closer. Thanks to a games console.
I was walking along a stretch of scrub land in the surprisingly pleasant city of Johannesburg, listening to the Babbage podcast from The Economist, which covers technological matters. The two journalists were talking about a remarkable device – a games console that works in 3D without any need for those funny glasses that they started handing out in the 1970s.
Remarkable. And how does it work? A sensible enough question, but a chilling answer.
It knows where your head is.
IT KNOWS WHERE YOUR HEAD IS.
In the future, as the survivors of the war against the robots tramp soullessly across the wastes, in search of shelter and whatever slimy half-rotten potatoes they can find, they’ll think back to this grim games console, and shudder.
Of course there’ll be a new version of this Nintendo 3DS in a year’s time that knows where your face is. And another after that that knows what you fear. Then another that wants you to help it. Then one that can’t let you do that.
It’s time to start stockpiling those tins of beans.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 1950s, duncan goodhew, old people, robots, roman empire, yul brynner
What’s so bloody good about the modern world? Sure, I quite like memory cards and podcasts, let alone the fact that it’s easy to buy plump and delicious blueberries from Britain’s shops without having to search too hard. Yes, these are seriously good developments, but there’s a lot that’s rubbish too. Those silly tight jeans that barely cover the arses of young people, for a start. Oh, and an increasingly widespread belief that every moment is made better by the playing of music.
So if somebody asked me whether I would like, perhaps when old, to live out my days in the comforting surroundings of a more preferable time (when denim was cut properly and some people believed silence was a precious thing), I’d say yes. And that’s what some of our old friends are now able to do. Check this out:
Who wouldn’t like that? And it needn’t be the 1950s. What about being a colonial administrator in 1870 Northern Rhodesia? What about taking part in the Great Hunnic Raid on the eastern Roman Empire in 375? What about being an American soldier based in England in 1943, taking advantage of some English soldier’s wife with the help of a pair of nylons and some chewing gum?
But hold on to your hats: it’s even more exciting than it looks. For a start, something is bound to come alive or go wrong. Remember this?
That’s right – live out your holiday fantasies in a robot world of guns and girls from the Wild West, Middle Ages or Ancient Rome. That was the idea in the film ‘Westworld’. But keep an eye out for Yul Brynner’s gun slinging robot going nuts and hunting you down like an angry Duncan Goodhew with a stetson. If I was one of those two lovely old ladies in ‘1950s World’ above, I’d be keeping a beady eye out in case the 1950s push-along toy dog blew a fuse and bit my leg off. And remember – in 1950s medical care wasn’t as good as it is now. I’m just saying.