And here comes 2010! And I feel… old…

We’ve reached the end of another cycle around the sun. But this is semi-special again: we are entering the last year of another decade and it has a special psychological significance. We are not in the 2000s any more, were are in the 2010s! Thinking back in the past, I had a completely different expectation of what 2010 was going to be about: not really flying cars or robots helping us on everything we do; but where technology was more part of our surroundings.

Yes, we carry our pocket computers (our phones), but there is still a lot of “old style” things around. Newspapers, magazines and books can be found in every corner, in most people’s hands in the bus. The bus also is not as connected as I was envisioning. I can theoretically check status of the buses in Seattle on their tracking website, but not all buses are available and it just doesn’t feel like it’s something that people believe needs to be there (for example, my bus that I take to work always says “no information available”).

Cars also are only timidly more technological. Only the higher-end models have GPS (although I see a good amount of people with “tiny” GPS units glued to their windshield), collision detection, blind spot warning, back-up camera… Driving in 2010 is not really any different from driving in 2000.

Also, I’ve been observing negative effects of technology. People going around with their lives outside listening to their iPods not paying attention to what is going on, and whether somebody actually needs their attention. I feel bad for bus drivers when they have to make an announcement. Very few people in the bus are actually listening.

Oh, well, that’s what progress is about. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. The hope is that when it’s bad we are learning and it will eventually turn into something better. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Progress is always better on the other side of our dreams.

Happy 2010!

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