Category Archives: The Future

Are We Really Ready?

The headlines today say that Facebook is creating  “an immersive environment called Horizon to tempt people into spending more time in virtual reality.”  They’re calling this virtual world “Horizon”.

I just recently finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is about a future in which a worldwide virtual reality called “Oasis” has become the reality for most people.  Despite there being some seriously bad guys in the story, Ready Player One is much more optimistic about this future virtual world than I am.

Having just written yesterday about my unhappiness with my phone game addiction, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to jump into a virtual reality world with both feet. I mean, if you spend lots more time in “Horizon” or “Oasis” or “Eden”, who does the dishes and vacuums the dog hair?  My job of physically sending people to exotic destinations would be kaput.  In Ready Player One, many people got jobs in the Oasis but it still doesn’t answer the question of who makes your frozen burritos and who maintains the building you live in.

So I think I’ll pass. At least for now.

You just got a new planet for your birthday. What would you call it?  Anything special about it?

Back to the Future

A weird coincidence resulted in three dystopian future books hitting my reading list in the last month. First there was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel that was a Blevins Book Club selection.  Then there was The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch then Ready Player One by Ernest Kline.

Normally I like the dystopian future genre but by the time I got to the end of Ready Player One, I was ready to renounce any other titles that come my way.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m feeling like a dystopian future is already on our doorsteps or if it was just too many of these books in a row.  Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to a Jane Austen title I just picked up from the library!

Do you have a favorite genre? Do you ever get tired of it?

Branded For Life

I read with a great deal of amusement about the redheaded two year old who drove his electric John Deere tractor to the Chisago County Fair.  He made the national news and it was a relief to see something fun in the media for a change.

He is certainly an enterprising youngster, and I am glad his adventure was a safe one. I only hope this isn’t something that people bring up  for the rest of his life.

I hope there are other, more edifying things that will define him.  It would be terrible to be branded as a wild man at age two.

Tell about your experiences at the fair.

Strange Portents

The cats and I noticed something alarming in the garden this morning-a large flock of Chipping Sparrows fluttering around the pea fences.  (Well, I was alarmed. The cats were merely curious.)

I usually see birds flocking around the time school starts in mid to late August. It is only mid to late July, and I certainly hope that this isn’t a portent for an early winter. Our garden is a couple of weeks behind as it is, and we will need as many frost-free days as we can get for a good harvest.

How good are you at predicting things?

Getting Dumb and Dumber?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

According to an article I found on BBC.com, it looks like our IQs are starting to recede, or at least not continue upwards as they have been doing.

Intelligence tests (IQ tests) were invented a little more than a century ago and since that time, our scores have been increasing at a steady rate. According to studies “even the average person today would have been considered a genius compared to someone born in 1919”.  (Unless you’re comparing yourself to Albert Einstein (born 1879), then all bets are off.)  This steady increase in IQ is known as the Flynn Effect.

But now scientists have uncovered evidence that this trend may be slowing down and perhaps even reversing. Does this mean we’ve peaked as a species?

Of course the cause of the Flynn Effect has never been agreed upon by the scientific community; most seem to think that multiple environmental factors are involved (increased health, increased food availability, increased access to education, removing lead from gasoline), but nobody really knows for sure. It’s my guess that if there is a decline of our collective IQ on the horizon, no one will understand that either.

Who is the smartest person you know? Or what smart person would you LIKE to know?

Been There, Done That

We traveled to Los Angeles in early May.  I hadn’t been there since 1978. The air was certainly cleaner this time around.  Our accommodations were lovely. We had a very nice time, ate in great restaurants, and had fun with our daughter.  The people we met were very friendly. Our flight connections worked as well as could be expected, and we had no major glitches in our travel plans. Aside from some cool and rainy weather, it was a great trip.

It was kind of surprising when both husband and I independently stated that, as far as we were concerned, neither of us had to go back to Los Angeles ever again.  We had been there, done that, and now we wanted to move on to other things.

I suppose it could be a sign that we are aging, and the fast pace of such a vibrant city was more than we could tolerate. I don’t think it is only that, though. I think it means that it is more important for us to do things that are truly meaningful and feed our souls. While I dislike how the word is bandied about, we want to be more mindful when we travel.

What are you relieved to be finished with?

 

 

Burger & Fries

Once a month, after I volunteer at Loaves & Fishes, I drive east on 98th Street on my way back to 35W to get home. Imagine my excitement to see that the Denny’s there has been sold and will be a new Snuffy’s coming spring.  While the Edina Snuffy’s isn’t actually that far from me, it’s not convenient to get to so I don’t think about it often.

But a Snuffy’s where I have to drive right by it? I’m thinking I’ll be having Snuffy’s take-out once a month from now on.  Veggie Burger, fries and a malt – either Oreo or Brownie or the Dreamsicle.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Do you have a favorite take-out place or meal?