Right now, I’m at Pittsburgh Podcamp 8. This is a social media get-together where we can learn about various aspects of online interactions. I wasn’t going to mention this day. UnSpace is about science.
What was I thinking? As a child, computers were huge machines that took up rooms and required several technicians to keep running. The average person didn’t have access to these computers. None of the science fiction stories envisioned something like Twitter and Facebook.
We take these science advances as normal. iPhones more powerful than a 1978 Cray supercomputer. Werner Von Braun would have loved to have had even one of the laptops.
We are living in a science fiction story. Science fiction explores the implications of science on humanity, and the impact of computers on our society is astonishing. And that’s just social media. On the way to PCPGH8, I saw an advertisement for depositing a check using a cell phone. My car has numerous computer processors in it–with far more power–than the spacecrafts that went to the moon. A toaster might have more computing power than the lunar module.
The seminar I’m in right now, by William Reynolds Young, is discussing the implications of social media for marketing. He just mentioned that businesses are getting far fewer phone calls and more texts, Twitter and Facebook messages.
Not everything is better. Will also mentioned Miley Cyrus. Certain politicians taking photos of body parts or texting to their mistresses also come to mind.
What would a science fiction TV show in 1966 called “2013″ have looked like? Imagine explaining paying with a debit card at the self-checkout line at the grocery store.
We live in a science fiction story, but it has become normal for us.