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Meet the Jetsons!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Revengeofthenerds, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
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    A few days ago a co-worker and I were doing the typical "kids these days" thing, how kids who aren't yet teenagers have cell phones and text whereas we'd actually get in our cars and no one would know where we were for hours on end unless we called in an emergency from a payphone.

    I told her that I believe my eldest son, who is 3, won't have to get a driver's license. That by the time he turns 16 he'll have to get a certification to pilot a car, and that vehicles will be largely drive-by-wire in the same way commercial airline pilots let the computers take over and monitor the controls (most of the time).

    I also said I believe my children won't have to learn how to type, that talk-to-text technology will be advanced enough that keyboards will go the way of the typewriter and that TVs will be replaced with screens controlled by voice activated home automation (Alexa and the like).

    Focus:
    What do we have right now that you believe "kids these days" won't fully experience? How do you think technology will change in, say, the next 10-20 years?

    Alt. Focus: What technologies are so ingrained in our culture that you think they'll stick around? Will there always be a market for people who want to drive for the sake of driving? Will the tides turn against automation and we'll see a continued growth of the homesteading trend?
     
    #1 Revengeofthenerds, Dec 14, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  2. walt

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    Bumped. I saw this in the suggestions section and thought it might be an interesting topic.
     
  3. walt

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    Focus: As to how technology will change in the next 10-20 years, I have no idea because it has been changing so fast I find myself in awe of what they come out with now. Having seen what our son's Oculus VR game is capable of, that is going to be big as it becomes cheaper to produce, I can see that.

    Thinking about it some, kids don't know the joys of reading the Sunday comics with a bowl of cereal as one by one newspapers go under because it's all online.

    Alt. Focus: I don't see self driving cars taking over for a lot of people. I know I would never be able to give up that kind of control. Since ROTN brought it up, I think even since he made this initial post we've seen an increase in people starting to grow their own food and look for ways to be self-sufficient. I also think you'll see more and more people wake up and unplug from the social media world. At least I hope.
     
  4. bewildered

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    I could see self-driving cars being used more for public or communal transportation. Even a new regular vehicle is pretty pricey in my opinion. Unless the cost can somehow magically be brought down significantly I do not see self-driving vehicles ever being a realistic purchase for the average person or family in the very near future. Having a fleet of self-driving vehicles closer to a taxi service would be more cost-effective for the average person. Eventually the market would widen. The freedom of that free time in the morning for long commutes would probably be worth it for a lot of people. I'm thinking people who live and work in and around L A for example. It is not uncommon for someone to drive two or more hours one way to work. That cuts into free time as well as sleeping.

    I do not see flying vehicles ever being a realistic possibility for the populace. Think of what it takes to keep all the flights in order around an airport. There's a lot of planning as well as orchestration from air traffic controllers involved. People are fucking idiots and the casualties from accidents would be astronomical.

    There are a lot of technological advances right around the corner that are pretty exciting, and kind of difficult to Fathom the long-term ramifications of. Some of the computing and optical improvements of networking and data transmission are right around the corner. I'm not an expert but I hear my husband talk about it because that's his specialty and it's pretty cool.

    One little technological device that has just come out is an older concept but we are just now to the point of being able to make it reality. Anyone read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? I think Google created some sort of translating earpiece very similar to the Babel Fish that can real-time translate. I think that technology will get better with time. Can you imagine language barriers never being a problem again? That's pretty cool.

    I really hope that social media is on the downturn. I don't know if it's the age I am now or the overall evolution of social media in general, but I am really not crazy about social media in general these days. I do confess, I have a Facebook. I don't keep accounts for browsing Reddit or anything else though. I fucking hate Instagram with a passion. It just seems to breed narcissistic and self-centered attitudes and behaviors. People looking and acting totally different from their online social media platform is weird to me. Yes I understand wanting to put your best face forward but the extreme measures people go to is weird and alien like to me. I would very much like to delete my Facebook all together but have a hard time letting go for some reason. It does keep me somewhat connected to people since I have moved around a bit. I cull my list pretty frequently and I try to keep my audience very limited. The privacy concerns and data mining aspects of it put me over the edge though. I could see myself deleting it entirely in the next year... Although you know Facebook leaves a hole shaped like you when you deactivate. Fucking Facebook.

    As for the interest in self-sufficiency and home homesteading... Hell yeah. I'm not sure why that appeals to me so much. It is definitely gratifying to do things yourself from start to finish though. I like being self-sufficient and self-sustaining. I like the ethical nature of creating things you can eat and use yourself right there on your own property. I do care about the future of our planet as a whole. Perhaps that common interest is what causes some people to get into some aspects of homesteading. Unfortunately there's a lot of start-up costs involved in having a true homestead with some property and maintenance of animals and such. Also my back is a big hurdle... I really cannot lift that heavy or perform repeated bending motions without fucking myself up for a long time. For now, I dabble.
     
    #4 bewildered, Oct 5, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  5. Aetius

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    Completely agree on most people not getting a driver's license. Human driving will be a specialty skill for rural folks who need to drive trucks and equipment off of standard roads; everything else will be self driving. I already own what I plan to be the last human piloted car I ever own.

    Disagree on typing going away. There will always be a value in privacy, which you surrender when you're saying all your thoughts outloud, and some things are simply faster to input to a computer via fingers than by speaking. I do think the traditional keyboard is ripe for disruption though, and we may see a microgesture based input system that's more similar to sign language than it is to physically pushing buttons or keys.
     
  6. wexton

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    To me driving is part of the fun, i cant see myself ever having a fully automated car. Maybe something like a tesla where i don't have to use it.
     
  7. downndirty

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    I highly doubt truly self-driving cars will be a thing in the next 10-15 years. Electric will become the standard, but fully automated no.

    Manual transmissions, for sure will be gone. Even for motorcycles, Honda has had a decent one for a few years now. The electric bikes I have seen essentially have one gear. It won't be long now.

    Most of car culture will die off, I think with the next generation. There simply won't be any room for casuals and the cost of entry will be prohibitively high. Most of the hot-rodders I know started out with a cheap POS in high school/college that they modded and hacked. As they earned more, they sunk more into this "hobby". Most of the kids I know actively resist driving, one of my staff's kids didn't get a license until she was 22. Also, I think about my classic car (1979 Corvette), and it's "speed" can be beaten off the line by a mid-level sedan. It's fun to drive, sure, but considering the ridiculous cost of maintaining it, I'm better off with a motorcycle or another hobby.

    I also think a lot of collectibles will be seen as baffling to kids. Shit like VHS tapes, baseball cards, antiques. I think about my early years of dorms, cheap apartments and constantly moving, there was NO benefit to accumulating a bunch of shit, even with sentimental value. I remember my ex's aunts house being packed to the rafters with knick-knacks, centerpieces, fake flowers and just...bullshit. Most of the girls' apartments/houses I've seen have precious little of that anymore. A book case, a tv, some boozery, and that's about it.

    I also think a lot of the taboos around sex, drugs and alcohol are fading. I see parents taking more interest in their kids' lives (by necessity), and being much more open about those things. I also see kids doing much less of them, and certainly with more control than we had.
     
  8. Kubla Kahn

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    This is interesting as I went out to some college bars after Friday's football game at my alma mater. It was family weekend but I was shocked to see groups of kids at the bars with their parents and the parents buying round after round of drinks for the group. Id never imagined bar hoping with my mom if I was that age.

    Earlier in the morning that same day at work some of the parents with kids in the mid teens were talking about handling this same thing. One exec has grown kids that were in high school maybe 7 years ago and even then he insisted his kids only drink at his house if they were going to drink. Not to be "the cool" parents but because he could control the situation much more tightly. The risk reward dynamic were both high to him but if it came down to him being able to control the drinking levels and cutting everyone off from driving over the traditional clandestine teen drinking where the kids made all the decisions (ie driving everywhere fucked up), despite the possible cost to him, he wanted to be the decision maker. He also set up an uber account for his kids to use any time.


    10-20 years is a pretty short frame of time. I actually do think there might be a "flying car" revolution but more along the lines of automated drone copters. It won't be some widespread thing but I could see places like LA having a new form of public transport where it would ferry 5-10 people from on major location to another, like a bus line, and it just ran back and forth all day.
     
  9. downndirty

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    No but 15-20 year old cars are still on the road now, so a fundamental shift in cars is at least that far away.

    Flying car might be a misnomer, but a "passenger drone" that takes you on short, helicopter-esque flights? Sure, why not.
     
  10. Aetius

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    The way it will happen is that urban and suburban areas will be serviced by massive fleets of self driving ubers, and people will only use cars in an on-demand fashion. It will be far cheaper than the cost of buying, storing, and maintaining their own car, and the elimination of finding parking will make it much more convenient as well. The market for 15-20 year old cars will completely bottom out and those cars will be scrapped. Most private car ownership (outside of rural areas) will be the upper or upper middle classes who own their own, late-model, self driving cars.
     
  11. downndirty

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    I actually disagree, there's too much chaotic shit going on in urban areas for a computer to navigate it all. The most common example is navigating a parking garage requires human intelligence. Suburbia doesn't make sense to not own a car. Think about all the difficulties getting an Uber NYE, except you are literally stranded. It's one of the things that bugs me about the rural and suburban areas: they are often islands, and no one is going to live on an island with no boat.

    Also, SOMEONE has to own the car, maintain the car, clean the car and we see fleet costs rarely being a game changer for businesses already because of that work that the owner assumes. So, I don't quite buy the notion that it'll be cheaper to rent a car all the time than to buy it. The marginal cost of adding the autonomous driving software to your car is essentially minimal (how much does a wifi download cost?), so it's safe to assume the mass market could have the same "driverless tech" as the fleet. So, someone has to own the car and that person has no cost advantage on the software deployed to drive it autonomously, they only have a volume discount on the car itself, with the added costs of cleaning and maintaining a fleet.

    Average cost of a car is around $36k. On a 5-year note, that breaks down to $600/month, or about $20/day. If I'm in the semi-rural suburbs, I have to have a car EVERY TIME I leave the house, so 2-3x per day. If you price it by trip, every day I'm going to the gym, then to work, then to dinner, then home. So rough math, you'd have to get each trip less than $7 for it to make financial sense to not buy an average NEW car. My prius cost $5k used, so unless you get the cost of a trip to essentially pennies, it won't work.

    Also, how much more would you pay to assure you always have a car handy, versus having to wait on a car or pay some equivalent of surge pricing? I'd wager the peace of mind and mixed utility of car ownership trumps Ubering everywhere, especially as electric car ownership costs decline. Sure, you could add to the cost of parking or legislate some advantages, but that would just drive folks out of one area into another.

    The car-less future isn't real in a country our size, except for a few areas with very good public transportation. Literally, everyone of my staff without a car (in DC) rents one on average every other month. I'd bet there are less than 20 cities in the US where no car ownership is even feasible, much less preferable. Robot cars won't change this, only public transportation can cheaply fill in those gaps.

    Adding to this, a driverless, car-owner less future assumes cities, but I think the exact opposite will occur. As electric cars become the norm, you won't need the massive infrastructure to essentially pipe gas every 20 miles to a station across thousands of gas pumps, you just need electricity...which you could generate with a solar panel (not enough to charge a car, but to charge a battery that dumps into the cars battery). So, gas stations become more autonomous, because...you need an outlet and a vending machine.

    So, you'll see an electric car driving more and more folks into the suburbs. You may even see the autonomous features of these vehicles making a long, highway commute more tolerable.

    The only things driving the concept of a future without car ownership are entities that don't want to pay drivers (Uber & Amazon), income inequality (plenty of folks can't afford a $36k car, thus the prevalence of 7 year car notes), and people that apparently have wild notions about the future of public transportation.
     
    #11 downndirty, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  12. Jimmy James

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    Focus: I think that access to the internet will be global and fast, via low latency low orbit satellite. This will mean true "always on" connectivity without dead spots. That connectivity will give mobile devices access to a huge amount of computing power that they didn't have before, because the network wasn't powerful enough to handle the amount of data going between the device and massive datacenters. Imagine an autonomous car being able to get real-time maps updates, traffic re-routing, and utilizing Amazon or Microsoft Azure to power the AI required to recognize objects on the road. Or a field doctor having a device in Africa that can connect to IBM's Watson to run cancer screenings. The applications for a high speed low latency network are absolutely astronomical.

    Alt. Focus: Anything that requires the use of your hands to create something will stick around, I think. Specifically, things that require creativity, like woodworking, painting, or pottery. Once you've built or created something tangible, there is a feeling of pride and satisfaction that is greater than doing the same thing in an app or game. I get a lot more satisfaction building a computer, completing a house project that I wanted to do or even building something in Legos than I ever did writing scripts or developing IT procedures. I have to imagine that a lot of other people feel the same way. And if farmer's markets are any indication, people will pay out the ass for handcrafted shit too.
     
  13. Binary

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    This laughably overestimates the amount of intelligence required to pilot a motor vehicle. Basic object recognition and a decision tree is not that complicated. Computers can see through/around solid objects, have no trouble with color differentiation, can see in the dark, can process 360 degrees at once, are far more sensitive to minor movements, and have a much more finely tuned/nuanced response based on speed/weight/traction.

    There are some barriers to autonomous driving right now. One is that the computer, in order to navigate, needs an incredibly precise and comprehensive map with rules and laws built in, which doesn't exist today. We also don't have a good set of laws that can handle fault. And frankly, the benefits of autonomous driving are really only fully realized when everyone is autonomous (or autonomous roadways are physically separate from human-piloted ones).

    I can't wait for the robots to take over driving. There are so many needless injuries/deaths that only happen because too few people take the responsibility of driving seriously. "I'm just checking my texts real quick."/"I'm totally okay after a couple beers!"/"My arrival two minutes earlier is more important than safety or others around me." It's going to be a glorious day when manually piloting a vehicle is restricted to private land or designated areas, and the rest of us can zoom around, hands-off, in the passenger seat, at high speeds with no traffic jams.
     
  14. dixiebandit69

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    Have any of y'all thought that technology might not be as good in the future? Specifically anything requiring satellites.

    I've been hearing for years about how it's only a matter of time until all of the debris in orbit collides together, creating a layer of supersonic shrapnel that 1) traps us on this planet, and 2) makes it impossible for satellites to orbit safely.

    That means no more GPS, no more satellite internet/ phones, etc.

    Also, what are y'alls' thoughts on how the internet might be restricted in the future? We have already seen the government and corporations try to crack down on internet content that they don't like; how bad do y'all think this will get?

    As far as self-driving cars go, speaking as a mechanic, I'm not holding out a lot of hope for those.
    They may be made legal some day, but I'm going to wager that you still need a driver's license to use one, in case shit happens.

    Because machines always break, eventually.

    Just ask me about all of the things on cars that weren't supposed to EVER fail, but did anyway. I could literally talk all day about this.