If Everyone Knew Kung Fu

15 Sep

Books

I’m sure everyone remembers the scene in the original Matrix film in which Theodore Logan is injected with the knowledge of how to perform kung fu.

It wasn’t the first time science fiction has flashed information into someone’s brain – heck, it wasn’t even Keanu’s first time, as you may recall if you happened to be one of the ten people to see Johnny Mnemonic – and, given humanity’s tendency to seek out the laziest possible solution, I’m sure it won’t be the last.

It may not happen in my lifetime, but I do actually believe we’ll one day master a method to upload knowledge directly, and it raises a number of odd social considerations.

What will school-age children do when summer vacation extends all year long? (Or maybe 10 minutes a morning, while they sync that day’s lessons?)

Will universities transition entirely to research & development for the public good?

What happens at the site of a flood/earthquake/tsunami/hurricane/war if the Red Cross or Crescent can inject the survivors with advanced medical and survival knowledge?

Do job positions that depend heavily on learned processes, like clerical work, become as disposable as McDonald’s employees if those processes can be implanted in a ten minute “training session”?

Brain Scan

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2 Responses to “If Everyone Knew Kung Fu”

  1. bmj2k September 15, 2010 at 23:46 #

    ” as you may recall if you happened to be one of the ten people to see Johnny Mnemonic”

    I am not one of them, but my friend was, and he was SURE! POSITIVE! ABSOLUTE! that the next big catch phrase to sweep the nation would be “bring me the head of the mnemonic courier!” (Or something very close.)

    I have no clue why.
    I would like to note, however, that he never used it himself as far as I can recall.

    But as far as your post, “Will universities transition entirely to research & development for the public good?” I suspect most of them would close up shop as soon as endowments for their football teams shrivel up.

    • JRD Skinner September 16, 2010 at 09:17 #

      That’s a good point – maybe universities would give over to being straight up sports franchises.

      Maybe I’ll try to make “bring me the head of the mnemonic courier!” the next big thing around the house. (Actually, it just makes me think of the Peckinpah-film “Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia”)

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