Obsolescence – the new challenge for mankind

That watch which cost you a bomb and has a fashion label that makes you stand out … Will soon be redundant or morphed into a phone, computer, BP monitor, etc etc etc. The fancy pen, that again cost thousands… Would soon be redundant. It already is for many people, except for the “physical” signature that’s required on contracts, cheques and other official documents, does the knowledge worker today use a pen ever ? Remember in school, how much we coveted the “ink” pen because we could write beautifully with it ? How we were scolded for not having a good handwriting… Soon, handwriting will be a thing of the past, because you will type everything or speak into something that will convert it into text in any language of your choice.

Guess what, language will no longer be a barrier… There is software already available that does conversion instantly. Just wait for it to become better, and translators as a job will be extinct, because I can speak in Tamil and if you understand only Hindi, the earphone or phone or handheld computer will just keep translating it for you in Hindi – there goes the language divide and just think what it does to millions of non-English speaking people around the world ? They can continue to speak the language of their choice and still work around the world. English classes will be passé !!

Ever since we got back to Gurgaon, we have not bought any newspaper of magazine … And till two years back, we would buy loads of them. Yes, that’s another one of those things on its way out ! When you can get news instantly as it unfolds and probably through video, the print option will soon be not needed. We haven’t missed the newspapers or magazines one bit. The next logical thing are books, we have given away close to 800 books to a couple of libraries because we have the digital copy via Kindle or just e-books. Again, many books are available on audio and that’s a good thing for people who don’t have the reading habit. And the internet is the largest library ever created !! Convert any place to a library as long as you have an internet connection. Awesome.

That brings me to the internet – hopefully paid internet will go too and soon. The economy needs to move onto the net and why would you need to pay for the internet ? Service providers will need to make money off the transactions and advertisements.

The fixed phones have already started to phase out and will soon be “antiques”. With your computer, tablet, laptop and TV all becoming phones besides the mobile phones. Everybody has a cellphone, the vegetable vendor, the roadside tea vendor and the carpenter, plumber, masseur, milkman, maid.. Everyone. Lenin dreamt of an equal society, we may get there will the cellphone and the new society may just be divided on the cellphone capabilities :):):):)

The workplaces as we know them now, will be gone. You probably will never meet your boss, just speak over video/phone and there would be no physical office for you to go to. Green world. Ofcourse there is a transition period, which is right now, when the office comes home with you on the blackberry or smartphone. Stores as we know them, will be gone… Already Amazon is the largest superstore, without a physical store. We already are window shopping on Windows :):) … Checking out what we want to buy on the net and e-commerce is real. Soon that will be all.

I haven’t been to a bank for ten years except where we were asked to sign something in person. Am sure for many people that’s a reality. Credit cards replaced cash somewhat, but soon net banking and digital payments will eliminate physical currency completely. Keep those coins and notes – antique value ! And the mints will be museums soon.

Your child today is growing up, touching the screen …. Keyboards are going the way typewriters did and sooner.

Please think of other things that are going out .. It’s fascinating to see all the changes. We just need to get prepared and wrap our heads around them, embrace them rather than sticking to what worked for us so far. Remain relevant or you become obsolete.

3 thoughts on “Obsolescence – the new challenge for mankind”

  1. Dear Bindu, Biggest thing that is going away is human interaction and communication with live people…not on mobile or mails or skype. That would be a big loss. In a family of four everyone would be glued to their screen or mobile talking with someone outside and not among themselves. How nice relationships would be if family sits together and talk with each other. This would be the biggest loss. Regards Syamala

    • Syamala, you are so right. I want to look at it optimistically and say that with all the “chores” out of our way and work patterns changing, hopefully the extra time would be spent with people, building relationships 🙂


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