Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tangential Kerouac: The future of travel

The below is from an April 2016 Esquire article by Colum McCann about bitcoin titled, "Would You Trust These Guys with Your Money?"
The future of money might look like this: You're standing on Oxford Street in London in winter. You think about how you want to get to Charing Cross Road. The thought triggers itself through electrical signals into the chip embedded in your wrist. Within a moment, a driverless car pulls up on the sensor-equipped road. The door opens. You hop in. The car says hello. You tell it to shut up. It does. It already knows where you want to go. It turns onto Regent Street. You think, A little more air-conditioning, please. The vents blow. You think, Go a little faster, please. The pace picks up. You think, This traffic is too heavy, use Quick.TM   The car swings down Glasshouse Street. You think, Pay the car in front to get out of my way. It does. You think, Unlock access to a shortcut. The car turns down Sherwood Street to Shaftsbury Avenue. You pull into Charing Cross. You hop out. The car says goodbye. You tell it to shut up again. You run for the train and the computer chip in your wrist pays for the quiet-car ticket for the way home. (p. 101)

What does that have to do with Jack Kerouac? Two things come to mind. One, he wrote for Esquire. Second, I wonder what he would have thought about where we've come and where we're going with travel.

Kerouac aside, this passage really struck me as a look into a definite future that is right around the corner, The technology exists: it's a matter of making it safe, scalable, etc.

Just wow.

P.S. I know how to superscriptTM in Blogger, but within block text it always forces a new paragraph and in the above example that was not acceptable.

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