Your Table Is Ready. Also, I Just Cured Cancer

Imagine the most banal piece of technology ever invented. One whose purpose is narrow, obvious, and only marginally required.

pageroneOkay. Got it?
I say its the restaurant table pager. You know these devices. Your host or hostess hands it to you when there is an hour wait at your favorite enchilada place. They flash, they vibrate, some even make noise. Their one function is to alert you when your table is cleared and ready for you.

It’s easy to imagine, with the current march of technology, that soon our table pagers will be smarter than us. The little device that tells us to have a seat will know more about the universe than we ever will.

Someday, these mundane devices will connect to the internet or some other future data sharing utility. They will be able to access the history of Rome, or the major philosophical differences between Hegel and Kierkegaard, or have the ability to perfectly draw a polystyrene molecule.

Can you do that? Nope.

Table pagers of the future may even write formulas to cure cancer during their shift breaks.


Technology Hurt My Feelings


How will super-intelligent restaurant pagers make us feel? I’m sure many people will want to climb back into the trees and feast on bananas like our primitive ancestors.

Imagine your coworker is forming a trivia team. You’re good at trivia. Naturally, you thinkpagertwo she will ask you to join the ranks. But she never does.


Because the team already has a secret, all-knowing weapon: a Chilis Bar and Grill table pager.

Psychologically damaging at best.

Many futurists and scientists call this event The Singularity. When technology surpasses humanity in knowledge with the ability of hyper growth. Technology will be able to transform itself, almost momentarily. Computers will rewrite their own programs. Robots will rebuild themselves into better forms, all while their software is learning like a rapidly evolving DNA strand.

We probably can’t stop this from happening.


Is There A Place For Me Tomorrow?

What will it mean to be a human in this environment, when we are finally outdone by our own technologies? I don’t know.

pagerthreeThere are a few things humans will control in this world of tomorrow. Our attitudes. Our outlooks. Our happiness. The meaning we derive from being alive.

We can look at that world with a very defeatist attitude. ie – Now that our technology is smarter than us, our existence is meaningless.

Or we can see that world as an amazing place. Where science-fiction has finally made the world science-reality.

Surely, the future will hold a whole new set of challenges. Yes, table pagers will be smarter than our best scientists. But let’s face tomorrow together, with open minds and the belief that humans can make anything possible.

Amazing things will happen when we put our heads together.

Come. Our table is ready.


About Blog Boss

Jim MacKenzie and Sarah Giavedoni are the creators of the blogs Stuff Monsters Like, the Incredible Vanishing Paperweight, and more. When they are not blogging, they are devoted to managing the Asheville Blogger Society, watching movies, running a completely unrelated nonprofit, and making money at their paid employment.
This entry was posted in Cultural Commentary, Futurism and the Tomorrow Mill, Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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