It’s funny, I work in tech – not out of choice but some perverse destiny. I even spent a year plus of college taking programming classes because everyone thought that’s what I should do with my life – before I realized that programming, which I was competent at, bored me. I changed majors, for the last time in my college career, to Sociology – because it had at that point in my life been one of the few classes that actually engaged my brain a bit. Flash forward a decade later, and I’m a project manager for a credit bureau, and I spend most of my day bogged down in data.
I sit near a group that works in networking, which to me just sounds like the most jargon-filled nut-case job. Don’t get me wrong – I can tell by the passion of these co-workers that they have found the job which engages their brain and gets them going, but I don’t share the interest. I get tired of hearing people talk about IOS, JVM and “blobs” – I guess other than the killer kind from B movies, etc. And I wonder what brought me to this world other than pure blind chance?
Yet, there is a side to tech that just floors me. Last night I saw a brief bit of filler on the news about a new Robot Suit. The pictures are good but don’t do last night’s video justice. The image of a man bounding up the stairs assisted by an exo-suit responding to electrical impules generated on the surface of the skin – it just boggles the mind.
The engineers working on this sort of thing are standing in the doorway to the next chapter in human evolution, whether the door opens next year or 50 years from now, I don’t know, but I feel confident that they’re standing that close.
Can you imagine a world where the body’s failures can be shored up by machines? Where ordinary people can have extra-ordinary strength? It’s not a comic book – it’s on the horizon in our own mundane world.