Wondering What Won’t Be Here

As of late, I’ve started wondering what technologies we’re used to are just going to go away. That’s also a great way to close out the end of the year.

Of course technologies always fall by the wayside. Some don’t work, some get replaced, some get improved, some aren’t practical. There’s a lot created in human history that’s not in widespread use in Western society. Technologies going away is normal (as is reviving them, but that’s another story).

I wonder as of late how many technologies we’ve created are a mix of unsustainable and actually just useless. How many will just go away or could because there’s no reason to keep them or we can’t.

Mostly I’m thinking about “computer stuff,” because that’s what I’ve worked on almost all of my career. I just feel like the last decade or so things have gotten faintly ridiculous.

  • Embedding computers and wireless into everything. I’m missing simple electro-mechanical solutions, cable connections, and of course I wonder about security issues. Plus how sustainable is “microchips everywhere.”
  • So-called “AI” which is really just large language models and or algorithms. There’s a ton of hype around it, while it consumes resources and creates all sorts of legal and information issues. AI hype also eclipses really good tools for things like image analysis and searching that aren’t as sensational.
  • The ads in everything. Yes, we can put ads in everything, but it feels like it’s gotten overdone. Also how much web technology has grown around serving damn ads.
  • Social media. I think we’ve started to see people rethinking how it’s used – let alone the social, security, and technical issues. Also it seems everyone keeps trying to undermine everyone else. Oh, and ads.
  • Streaming. Maybe I’m old but I’m starting to miss cable.
  • Graphic cards. Do I need the latest particle effects when some games run on the CPU? Also, this stuff is getting used for crypto.

And so on.

I’ve been wondering if what we see in technology is basically a lot of people made money, so they can “make” things succeed by investing their word and considerable money into it. Others already had a lot of money so they can try to “make” a market. Combined together I wonder how much of our technological world is just propped up by money, hype, and newness.

And I wonder how much of that is going to be around because what’s the value proposition. Streaming is nice and all, but it’s hard to keep track of everything and it gets pricey. Computer everything doesn’t seem sustainable between costs and the fact it seems we’re well on the way to see refrigerators infected with malware. How much of the technology out there is needed versus just hyped, and we race to get ahead? How oversaturated are markets?

Also can any of this survive our various crises in the world? I mean stuff is kinda shaky right now.

I don’t know. But I have the gut feeling that there’s changes coming as some things can’t be sustained or that no one wants them, needs them, or can pay for them.

Steven Savage