Tongue in Cheek: The 4th Industrial Revolution
Tongue in Cheek: The 4th Industrial Revolution
Post written by Paragon Interiors   September 7, 2018

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It would appear we’re revolting for the fourth time in as many centuries.

Muskets, spears and angry mobs have been swept aside by a number of bright sparks who’ve thrown the cat among the “how-we-do-business-so-get-with-the-programme” pigeons. However, the cries that herald change inevitably ruffle the feathers of those resistant to it. After all, if Winston Churchill’s secretary managed perfectly well with a Remington portable and noiseless typewriter while German bombs rained down from the heavens, what purpose would a jittery IT technician on a bicycle bound for the War Office in the dark, have served?

Back then things were made to last. Today, old laptops are as disposable as errant husbands.

The 1st. Industrial Revolution in the late 1700’s put the steam engine locomotive firmly on the tracks and birthed the men-to-boys brigade that still exists today. Originally conceived by Richard Trevithick for transporting iron, George Stephenson snatched the invention prize of the century by designing a more sophisticated locomotive that could transport both goods in bulk and passengers. Since the steam engine billowed plumes of soot into the air, we assume there weren’t too many takers for the front carriages. Nonetheless, halfwits have been in existence for centuries and there’s one born every day – like those who stuck their heads out of the window for a blast of fresh air and arrived at their destinations looking like white-eyed chimney sweeps.

We thought we’d conjure up a little malarkey in which old meets new.

Just imagine if Professor Robert C Ettinger had lived in those times and introduced Trevithick and Stephenson to his concept of cryogenics! Inspired by the Arctic ground squirrel which literally freezes itself for nine months of the year and pops back to life for the three months of spring and summer, he may have been able to convince Trevithick and Stephenson to become his guinea pigs (completely unrelated to Arctic ground squirrels, mind you). The merits of cryogenics would have been clearly outlined before these inventors perished. Ettinger would have explained that once dead, they would first have every drop of blood drained from their limp and lifeless bodies. Then they’d be shoved into a thermal sleeping bag, immersed in liquid nitrogen and stored in an aluminium pod that would preserve them at 200 degrees below zero. Just to be clear, the Arctic ground squirrel preserves itself at – 3 degrees below zero so the temperature difference is quite dramatic.

Fast forward to 2018. Trevithick and Stephenson are thawed, reanimated and taken on a field trip to NASA and Silicon Valley. Probably a little stiff and short on working synapses from years of languishing in liquid nitrogen, the poor chaps would probably have been goggle-eyed and in need of stretchers to carry them home for a cup of tea and a lie down.

Technology has taken us from a denary system (the decimal standard number system which uses 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to represent all numbers) and introduced us to binary, the standard number system used by computers and other electronic devices. Barcodes are prime examples of the binary system in action. A computer can recognise two numbers i.e. 1 (the dark lines) and 0 (the white lines). All barcodes have 95 evenly spaced lines. Fascinating. Fortunately, Shar pei puppies don’t give a toss. We wager, however, that the barrage of expletives could easily exceed 95 as we try to get to grips with the concept. The good news is that these number systems seem to be moving backwards alphabetically. We live in hope that the “winery” numbering system is destined to become the most universally understood numbering system of all.

References to mobile app architecture, algorithms, data layers, bandwidth, interface and navigation trip off the tongues of those in the know. BTW, bandwidth has nothing to do with belt size or waistline. Now there’s talk of mobile supercomputing, robotics, self-driving vehicles, neuro-technological brain enhancements and genetic editing as well as blockchains, quantum computing and nanotechnology. The older generation can feel completely vindicated when they invoke Captain Kirk’s “Beam me up, Scotty” in the face of being challenged by the complex workings of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. And when the nanobugs hit town, they’ll all be living happily on the Starship Enterprise. There’s one in virtually every retirement facility.

Speaking of the Starship Enterprise, it’s only fitting then, that we round off with the International Space Station. Built in space in 1998, it has seen scientists scurrying back and forth for 20 years. We feel it’s time for a refurb. Can anyone out there provide us with the name of a useful contact at NASA? We have some great ideas.

In the meantime, Donald Trump has yet to scare up the notion of becoming the first President in space. But before Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping commence their celebratory jig in Red Square and The People’s Square respectively, they’d do well to remember that Trump can still tweet from the ISS! Oh gawd. Calling Scotty…