The Future is Now. . . Sort of

Technology moves so quickly today and it offers a natural solution to all our problems as if it were damn near instinctive. However it does hold a problem. Can our existing system and society evolve quick enough to accommodate the change? At the moment the world seems to me as if it were on the verge of collapse, but then they must have felt the same in the 1930s. The problem I see is that we're going to create a world where there's more people than jobs. Let me give you some examples. . .

For a start better healthcare and medicine is creating a world where people are healthier and have a longer life expectancy and at the same time the age of retirement is going up and up. So the knock on effect of this is people are going to be in their jobs for longer and this means less new blood coming into the work place or alternatively unfair dismissals as older workers are sacked to make way for younger employees.

Another problem is the lack of physical products. I don't doubt Kindle will replace paper books entirely at some point and obviously from an environmental point of view this is a good thing but how will it effect the lives of authors, publishers and printers? I think it's likely that fashion and lifestyle mags may become available as pure info downloads to your tablets in time also.

Also the full integration of tech into all in one items means a reduction in manufactured hardware and the people who used to be employed in its construction. For instance instead of having a PC, games system, Television and stereo you can now have all of that in one piece of equipment.

Downloads of movie and music again means no physical copies and again, great for resources but it will put a lot of people out of work. Already we're seeing mass closures as the business of the old world struggle to keep up with the changes the recession has forced upon us. Photo shops will probably close as people use their own printers and send pics purely as files. On line ordering and self serve checkouts - although not the standard right now - again would mean less workers IF they were to become the norm. In time we could have no physical stores at all, just shipping depts and storerooms.

This isn't to say new work and positions will be created by this technological revolution, for instance they'd need delivery drivers, self serve till maintenance and construction and the installation of said units. And this isn't to mention all the IT work that'll increase to be needed but the world that's being created around us is going to be very different. Will we need TV licenses when all viewing is downloaded to our box or pc or we watch programs purely on the net and we all skip the adverts, I'm not sure.

Already power prices such as gas and electricity are sky rocketing and it seems like a natural conclusion to switch to clean solar, wind, hyrdo and geo thermal sources but the plants take time to build and right now the world seems addicted to petroleum. The argument seems to be switch as soon as possible to save the environment but risk total collapse or allow the changes to take place at a rate the planet and its global economy can absorb it at. I believe the change will happen naturally BUT is it happening quickly enough? I'm not talking about some bone head, ill informed revolution here either. Instead just a change in societies' structure brought about by our existing governments, power companies and businesses. In truth the standard citizen works hard and doesn't feel overly bothered about the planet's health and if changes are to occur it has to be the existing power bases which make it happen. Recycling is now common in every house hold but it wasn't till the government made the decision to put out different bins and garbage pickups. Also a lot of companies now recycle too but would they have started to do so if public opinion hadn't wanted it that way? As always it depends on the individual in all walks of life, but the more people want to change things the quicker things will start to happen.

The last point I want to make is that at some points we're going to have robots fully integrated into every level of our society doing tasks that they're either more suited to do or humans just don't want to and again I'm talking about in decades and not in the immediate future here. Might sound like Sci-fi nonsense to you but one day we will have machines doing tasks like road sweeping, sewer cleaning and even performing life saving surgery which again mean much less jobs for people and in a world where the population is constantly increasing I see this as another problem.

Ultimately I think in some far and distant future we will universally abandon the concept of money but to do this the world would have to be united and due to different economies, political structures and religious ideas I don't see this happening any time soon. But one day it's gonna' be like Startrek I promise you! But without the Klingons. . ."

By kUZE rEN []