Back in a Bit

On Continuing

I’m lucky to have felt some of the consequences of the mistakes I’ve made in my life. Each time, I’ve grown and become a better person. That, more than anything else, should truly be valued.

As you progress through life, it becomes evermore tempting to try and shield those younger than yourself (perhaps those just starting their careers) from making the mistakes you made at their age. But, in doing so, you deprive them of the opportunities you had.

Perhaps the kindest thing you can do is to let them make those mistakes while they still have time to work their way back from them. To let them feel the consequences for themselves, to value what they earn, and to grow.

1 Jan 2014

Screens have evolved past being a means of displaying information to become an input device too, but touchscreens and devices that have them are not without considerable limitations. In fact, I would argue that this kind of interface is simply a stopgap while a generation of things we don’t currently consider “smart” evolve.

Smartphones aren’t actually all that smart, and they don’t need to be… Once more things are aware and connected, we needn’t rely so heavily on a single, fiddly device. Anything, given sensors and connectivity, could be “smart”, and could usher forward all kinds of interfaces appropriate to the task in hand.

Over the next year, tech togs of every variety will hit the market. They will allow us to control machines at a flick of the wrist, check our heartbeat and other bodily functions – thus revolutionising health and fitness – and even command computers simply by thinking.

WK recently allowed me some time to tackle a problem that plagues workers everywhere whether they are working in advertising or some other job that involves a lot of email typing. I’m talking about the problem of not being able to devote enough time practicing shredding the guitar. The solution of hooking a guitar up so that you could use it like a computer keyboard had been in my head for a few years and it was a real joy to get to follow through on it.

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we’re being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads.

Increasingly, what we do on the Internet is being combined with other data about us. Everything we do now involves computers, and computers produce data as a natural by-product. Everything is now being saved and correlated, and many big-data companies make money by building up intimate profiles of our lives from a variety of sources.

Nobody is sure when it will arrive. Google, which is testing a fleet of autonomous cars, thinks in maybe a decade, others reckon longer. A report from KPMG and the Centre for Automotive Research in Michigan concludes that it will come “sooner than you think”. And, when it does, the self-driving car, like the ordinary kind, could bring profound change.