My experience of living in a fairyland.
Most of my childhood time was spent in a village. It was a small village with no electricity, no paved road, no running water, no cooking gas, no hospital, and a small school. But for me, it was the most beautiful place on earth. I still remember every minute of my childhood years spent in the village. I feel nostalgic remembering those days – running barefoot in freshly plowed paddy fields and playing in mango orchids in summer noons. I still remember bathing under rainy water flowing through the corner of our straw roof. I still remember sitting around the fireplace in the winter mornings.
How can I forget the hide and seek game with my friends, racing in fields during densely fog winters and fishing in ponds during the rainy season? How can I forget that I knew nothing about science and cities? Everything was a miracle for me, from rising sun in the morning to darkness engulfing everything. From the sky falling down over the distant horizon to rustling leaves causing the wind. I and my village were untouched by modernization but it was no less than a fairyland.
And, suddenly I was woken up from my dream.
One morning I got to know that I along with my parents and siblings will be moving to a nearby town. Within a few days, I was in a new place. I was a stranger to everyone and everything was a stranger to me. I could never image a town with coal tar roads, electric wires crisscrossing the sky and concrete houses sitting on top of other houses instead of side by side! Ehh… people called it two and three-story buildings.
My first interaction with technology was with the light bulbs and fans. When we got the fan installed on our ceiling, I used to fix my eyes on one of the blades and try to chase the rotating blades by moving my eyes as fast as I could but would lose the race every time the fan picks up the speed. In those days CFL or LED bulbs were not in common use. We had filament bulbs in the house. Yeah… the same incandescent filament light bulbs that Edison had invented in 1879. When it used to get fused (Fusing of bulb means the breaking of the filament inside the bulb); I would take it out and try to connect the filaments together by rotating the bulb in every possible direction so that the broken filament could touch each other. I would feel like Edison if I could connect the broken filament and the bulb could turn on!
You cannot imagine what is feels like to interact with technology if you are the millennials born after 2000 or born experiencing technology all the time. I think it is an awesome experience interacting technology for the first time in life. It’s like seeing the river first time after spending all life in a desert. It is magical!
Technology provided me with magical things.
Fast-forward today, I have worked for technologies where a thumb-tip size SSD can hold the entire books that a library can have. A rice-grain sized processor can do calculations faster than any math’s wizard in the world. The smart TVs that are so smart that it will turn on when you step inside your bedroom, listen to you and can show you programs as you speak to them!
In just over 20 years technology has evolved so much. It has penetrated far-flung villages. It has changed everyone. It has changed my village too. Today we are living in the age of inventions. One may not find any reference for this anywhere on the web. But if you see around yourself then realize that we are living in the ‘Age of Inventions’ today.
Let’s compare with ‘Age of Discovery’. The Age of Discovery, also called as the Age of Exploration, was a period in global history ranging from the 15th to the 17th centuries. During this era, many European and Asian nations learned about the globe, establishing new trade routes, creating better maps, and meeting new people. Similarly, the Age of inventions has totally changed the world. Today world has become a global village. Everyone is connected with technology, be it mobile phones,TVs, cars, bulbs and so on.
The invention of the telephone changed the world for how we communicate and will communicate in decades to come. Cotton Gin, Television, Automobile, Camera, Stream engine, the Light bulb, and Penicillin are the inventions of the modern world that have changed us forever. But, the most important inventions that 20th-century people experienced was the computer. With the advent of computers, the world has changed like never before. The world today is sliding into another age – ‘Age of Innovations’.
We are not equipped with the skills needed for innovations
Today people are innovating things in a way that disrupts the entire industry. The 21st century is the age of innovations. The age of innovation will be experienced by the new generation, the millennial who were born after the 2000s. It was started in the year 1970 when the internet started to take shape. When it was globalized it changed the entire electronic industry and created a new internet industry which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon are some of the biggest internet companies. It would not have been possible without the internet.
Now the disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and IoT are changing the world quite fast. The newer generation is experiencing them the way we experienced the technologies during our time. Innovative technologies like AI, VR and IoT will change the way we interact with each other. It will change the way we eat, live, and feel the world around us. The technologies like block-chain and crypto-currencies will change the way we do commerce today. Hyperloop and SpaceX will change the way we travel places.
The technology is changing very fast. Sometimes, I wonder if we can be able to download a real apple from the internet. Maybe, we will be able to transport a human in real time through a wire or a cable. Possibly, time travel becomes a reality. We never know how the future turns up to our children. That’s why people call today’s innovations as ‘disrupting’. But, whatever may happen in the future it’s going to be very interesting and many of us are not yet prepared.
In a few years, the traditional education system will become worthless.
Let’s be frank. Teaching A for Apple on a tablet and Smart Boards is not an innovative method to impart education. Artificial intelligence is going to open a new industry. Robots and self-learning machines will render all our science and literature books useless. So it does not matter if we use a real book to learn ‘ABC’ or use a tablet to learn ‘ABC’. Until now all the education system is knowledge based. And, our children cannot compete with machines in this. We need to find new fields and new ideas to learn things.
Today’s innovative technologies are going to change everything very fast whether you are ready or not. We all know TV, mobile, and electricity knocked everyone’s door suddenly even if they had no food to eat and no home to live. And, people had to accept it before they had the toilets in their home.
Note that during the 1990s when the graduates from Arts and Commerce came out in the market. They had very little opportunities for the job as the industries were already looking for computer engineers. Today there is no such demand for computer engineers also. Industries are already looking for people to help them build their AI, VR or IoT ideas. It is now the high time to stop chasing schools and look around and think about creative ideas that the new generation could learn.