Monday, 16 November 2009

Age Of Irrelevance. We Haz It.

Age of Irrelevance. We haz it.   I was watching 2012 - and the books the good doctor Helmsely was reading on his desk - and it occurred to me:  He was reading Steinbeck? Obviously someone chose the books on the desk with a bit of care, to set the scene and give cues as to the character of the man.

But we're at this point in the timeline of human knowledge where books lose their relevance to us pretty much immediately. Where even material published online dates in months rather than years as material in printed form did last century, and certainly nowhere near the centuries that printed material retained it's impact in times before that.

The Mars rovers launched towards mars in mid 2003.  For the best part of the next 12 months, they were the talk of the town as they outlived expectations.  Then they were the talk of the town for a week or two each time something went wrong and was recovered by a combination of engineering, mental agility, and the seemingly dogged determination of the little robots to hang in there.

Today I read that they are finally going to move the bogged rover after six months of scenarios and tests - and I barely registered it. People I mentioned it to, had to stop and remember what Spirit and Opportunity were, and then wondered why I was even mentioning something as trivial as that.  After all, we have robots that can walk, run, play soccer or ken-do, fly, launch missiles, and dive to the ocean depths.

So I wonder what 2010 will bring us? And when it happens, will anyone actually devote attention to it?

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