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Saturday / July 2.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: Where to Now?

The Last Word: Where to Now?

A number of videos which have gone viral lately on YouTube beg the perennial question: What Does It All Mean?

The answer isn’t all that complicated when you watch the amazing ‘Did You Know?’ videos. It becomes quite obvious that technology is changing so fast that what we know is increasing at an exponential rate. So too is what we don’t know.

Here is just a small sample of the statements researched and produced by Americans Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and Jeff Brenman:

  • The Top 10 in-demand jobs today in the U.S. did not exist in 2004
  • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist, yet using technologies that haven’t been invented to solve problems we don’t know are problems yet
  • There are 540,000 words in the English language – about five times as many as in Shakespeare’s time
  • The amount of new technology is doubling every two years
  • For students starting a four year technical degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study
  • By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.

Consider these snippets of information and apply them to the eye health professions, which rely so much on personal knowledge and technological applications. It makes the development of a bionic eye a mere bagatelle.

Consider these snippets of information and apply them to the eye health professions, which rely so much on personal knowledge and technological applications. It makes the development of a bionic eye a mere bagatelle

What is even more extraordinary is that the ‘Did You Know?’ video and others like it are already dated, having been made more than a year ago. The curve is very steep.

We are only too familiar with the pace of technology when it comes to eye care and health. Optometry is increasingly becoming more technologically driven, as is ophthalmology.

Life itself is revolving around technology more than ever and we will become even more dependent on it at an even faster rate. We can already see the signs of our dependence. People are losing the ability to communicate face-to-face as keyboards and texting take over; kids are becoming less physically active as they stay pinned to their computers, Wii and Xbox; the quest for information is far less demanding as Google intervenes and social activity is becoming more virtual with the likes of My Space and Facebook.

In fact, ‘Did You Know?’ there are 31 billion searches on Google every month… and the number is increasing dramatically? And, if My Space was a country, it would be the fifth largest in the world and Facebook, with its 500 million members, would be third?

The overriding lesson is simple – embrace it and advance or ignore it and retreat. In saying that, let us never lose the ability to do some things for ourselves… ‘real pleasures’ rather than ‘virtual pleasures’ such as meeting people face-to-face, going out to dinner, kicking a footy around, going to the movies, having a coffee at a café, etc., etc.

There are some things that technology can not and should not replace.

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