Keeping an Open Mind



What sort of innovation do you see happening in the future? I know that looking into the past we can see how things used to be how different they were.

It's hard to imagine a time before cameras, before phones, before computers, before cars, before all the things that we take for granted. We can see how things have changed just in 20, 30, 40 years time when it comes to those technologies. But what is the future going to look like?

With the advancements that we've witnessed in cell phone cameras, in the future, the greatest DSLR camera that we have today will be of the same quality of a mid-range cell phone. Cars could become much faster and safer. We could have highways where the speed limit is easily twice what we have today, cars could become more efficient and safer through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Smart highways could help make that happen. The most powerful supercomputers of today could become personal computers that everyone owns.

There could also be changes that we do not expect and changes that are for the worst. While we look at the past as something that we may not long for, I do wonder about the advancements that are coming from tracking, spying, and other intrusions of privacy.

No doubt, there are some benefits to having increased surveillance. However, for people who would like peace of mind, knowing that their thoughts are their own and there is not constant mining of data, I fear that this is inevitable.

From smart devices in our homes or cell phones or computers, traffic cameras, security cameras, surveillance satellites, tracking cookies, digital ledgers of transactions and bank account statements, we are all tracked in a way that would have been unthinkable to people in the past. What you say and post online, what you search for, what you read and what you buy formulates an identity of who you are.

This information is used to suggest what you should read next, what you should buy and ultimately what you should think. Keeping an open mindset is important for who you are and understanding other sides of the story. Reading between the lines is what we must do so that we are not influenced and controlled.

I see this with the divide that happens on various issues of today. For example, the trucker protests in Canada. The vaccine mandates, the mask mandates, Republican versus Democrat, abortion, housing affordability and student loan forgiveness. Take the trucker protest for example, if you read on Reddit you will see many people having strong opinions one way or the other. No doubt they're influenced by the stories that they read and the people that they have talked to (who've read stories that they have been targeted to read).

Something interesting to me is how different people react to the blocking of roadways. Back when there were protests around BLM and George Floyd, people were of the opinion that blocking roadways was wrong or they thought it was a correct way to protest depending on if they believed strongly in what they were protesting. Many people then seemed to switch regarding the trucker protest if they didn't feel strongly about what they were protesting and doing. Obviously there is a difference in the scale of what was being blocked but people could be completely for one thing but against that same thing in a future situation (i.e. blocking roads as a form of protesting).

There are also strong opinions on both sides of Canada's handling of the protest. Some think that freezing bank accounts sets a dangerous precedent to people who are protesting. Others think that the protest are causing immense damage by blocking the highways. The bridges and borders from the US to Canada being blocked, combined with noise from honking, the government is in the right to take these drastic steps.

The same is true regarding vaccinations and people's rights to autonomy over their body in a way similar to abortion rights. Someone who is completely anti-abortion could be completely pro vaccine and vice versa. Again, these are obviously different situations, but at the core if you take it as your rights to choose what happens with your body, there are valid similarities. I know that this in itself has many arguments that can be made both completely disputing this and also backing it up.

Much can also be said about the divide of opinions regarding Republican and Democrat. In many ways they are simply two heads of the same beast. For many core issues, both parties don't seem to fix anything for the majority of people. Yet for things that people do agree with one of those two political parties on, they seem to hold their views with an iron grip.

My opinion is to not fall into either camp whether it be Republican versus Democrat vaccine mandates, trucker protests or other divisive issues. Maybe that just makes me a moderate, but I like to think that I refuse to put myself into just one of two groups. I am willing to hear all sides and formulate my own opinion based off of the information that I can obtain.

Information is unfortunately filtered no matter where I hear it from, but at least I am aware of that bias! If the future leads to where I think it will, people are only going to grow further in their divide. The technologies that we have today have great benefits, though the terrifying possibility of greatly enhanced technology can make society unrecognizable to what it is today.

There may be fascinating advances that greatly benefit us all, but on the other side of the coin there can be a sharper division in our ability to think freely. Much like Klaus Schwab of the world economic forum and the mantra of "you'll own nothing and be happy," we may become like A Brave New World, high on Soma, but ultimately a controlled population with a strict hierarchy that you will not be at the top.