Monday, April 11, 2011

Ahead of the Curve

I finally have it. I have an idea which I sincerely think will be feasible and practical and yet will be the wave of the future. As far as I know, it hasn't been done yet and it CAN BE DONE. I am going on record by putting it here so that when, in 3 months, Google makes a bajillion (that's a one with a squidillion zeroes after it) dollars on this, you will all know that I thought of it first. Hashtag that, baby.

So here it is. You go to a central site, subscribe (for free) and enter information about yourself - yes, some personal, but nothing that you haven't already posted in 10 other places. Name, age, occupation, location, hobbies, news stories you like, musical tastes, pets, relationships. All in one place. Instead of having a profile here or there, the cloud now has a snapshot of you in all dimensions of your personality, from your religion to your shoe size.

The service then spits out a qr code thingy for you. You take it, print it out and maybe even laminate it.

When you get anywhere (especially if you travel) there is, in addition to the ubiquitous video screen, a scanner (like the lens of a camera phone). Pass your qr code in front of it and type in (touch screen) a password (or use some sort of biometrics for security) and the screen then puts out info tailored for you. Video news on the topics you follow, tourist information tailored to your tastes and of course (have to pay the bills...) ads addressing your purchases and preferences. The radio then plays music you like and the screen recommends restaurants in line with your tastes.

For the tourist this would be invaluable. You can change your profile before the trip to put in "special requests", you can use it along with a guest login to access basic info on other people (like before a date, the women could give the guy a limited password to her account so that he will know what kind of food she likes, what allergies she has etc). Sort of like Facebook but in real life.

Yes, the stuff you put into your profile is voluntary and not confirmed, so it could be false, but if you use it to inform yourself so that your radio gives you just what you want to hear while you ride the subway in the morning -- the songs you like, the news stories about the industry you follow, the scores of whatever teams you follow -- giving true info would help. The content is a series of aggregated material pieced together from all the mainstream news services that something like Google news uses already, but assembled with the occasional ad to be personalized to you and only you.

Groups could make group qr codes so a business could control what employees listen to in the office or watch on TV. Schools could also so when a class takes a trip, content can be filtered into hotel rooms.

This CAN be done. We have camera phones that can scan qr codes. All this needs is a dedicate lens that connects to a single cloud based server, and your identity travels with you. This is MY IDEA. If you use it and get rich and famous, show a little love to me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am immortal except for the dying

I was at another of my favorite activities -- a memorial service. I went to pay respects to a woman who lived on the block where I grew up. Nice lady. She had a well maintained garden and had a cool accent (two things which I cannot contribute to anyone's childhood memories). One thing which was stressed time and time again (note: 2 times) was her achieving immortality through the memories others carry of her. So I wish to write this to those people who show up to my scheduled memorial service. I am assuming that the service will be on a Sunday much like today, except in the year 2179. If I am not dead by then, have the service without me. I'm probably off having fun somewhere else.

Dear all future people (that's how people talk in the future...with an uncanny awareness of themselves as the future incarnations of all the people in the past's imagination...heady time, the future),

Thank you all for coming to pay tribute to me. I hope that in my time on earth (and other affiliated planets) I had an effect on your life that allowed you to formulate a positive impression of me. And if I gave you a hair sample, please clone me so that I can see the release of Windows 192 SP3.

I would like to think that you have all kept those memories of me, the moments we shared and the good deeds which I hoped to have accomplished in your (memories/hard drives/memory chips/optical crystals/brain implantables/virtual nodes/inter-dimensional nexi) and will be able to relive our time together over and over, or at least over. I hope that through my teaching, my humor and my saving our solar system countless times, I have given you stories to share with your own children and now-talking-dogs. So, please don't wait to help me achieve the immortality that our best scientists were unwilling to sell to me. Post to whatever is our future version of the internet (possibly, the internet) now, even as my still handsome body lies here in Repose, Iowa (where I chose to make my summer home because of its view of the beach...remember the time that everything west of Iowa was teleported to somewhere else for the sake of this anecdote? Yeah, that was AWESOME!). Make sure that for the foreseeable future (I assume that now in the 2179, we can all foresee the future) the world knows that I was here and I tried make a difference. And a sum. And a total. And a dividend (HA! dead in 2179 and I still got it!).

Try the space ice cream and don't forget to tip your cow-waiters.

Yours futurely,

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm going through some changes

I have heard some people say that we totally change all the cells in our body every seven years. Apparently that means something to the philosophers out there, but to me, it never made much sense. The entire question of identity and strict philosophical sameness is fascinating but the reality of the situation is that I have always been pretty confident that I am me (or "I" depending on the case).

But I have noticed recently that I am, indeed, changing. Foods that I used to like, I no longer have a taste for. Foods that sat well in my stomach now upset me. Activities, hobbies and habits that used to define me and my personality now aren't on my happy list. Yes, I have a happy list. You wanna fight about it?

It seems that I really am "growing up" and not just in that more parts of me hurt more often. There are some real changes in my physiology and personhood. I am only writing this down so that in future years, when we are all star children and look back on the quaint internet, we can see how man confronted not only his own mortality, but how he spent the time till his mortality kicked in.