Don’t sweat the brave new world

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Thou­sands of school chil­dren in Porirua head back to the class­rooms over the next day or so.

They might not have had much of a sum­mer to en­joy, but nonethe­less, it’s time to get back to the busi­ness of train­ing our young­sters for the chal­lenges life will throw at them.

The days in the old school yard are right up there among the sub­jects peo­ple choose to rem­i­nisce about, usu­ally through rose tinted spec­ta­cles. Many par­ents, and prob­a­bly more so


grand­par­ents, will shake their heads as the younger gen­er­a­tion head off to school with iPads hav­ing re­placed the hum­ble 1B5 and pen­cil case.

Ok, maybe not re­placed, yet, but it’d be a good bet that it won’t be long un­til pa­per and pen­cil is a sideshow at best, given the cur­rent rate of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance.

There’s barely even time for nos­tal­gia th­ese days, as things that have been part of our lives slowly give way to the seem­ingly un­stop­pable tech­no­log­i­cal tide.

Video stores are on the way out, so is cash be­com­ing an­ti­quated, and re­mem­ber 20 years ago when the in­ter­net was barely a dot on the av­er­age per­son’s hori­zon. By the time a 5-year-old start­ing school to­mor­row is 25, who knows what world they’ll live in.

There’s no use pin­ing for the sim­ple way school was. Our chil­dren will need a dif­fer­ent tech­ni­cal skillset to make their way in the world, es­pe­cially as au­to­ma­tion carves away tra­di­tional jobs.

If you’re not thrilled about the way the fu­ture looks your options to try and al­ter it are few.

The first thing you should do is get rid of your smart phone - no more mo­bile bank­ing or work emails on the fly. You’ll want to give up your Net­flix ac­count, buy an En­cy­clopae­dia Bri­tan­nica set and get rid of that collaborative im­poster Wikipedia. For­get about Face­book and dust off your let­ter writ­ing set - and that’s just the start of the list.

The big­gest prob­lem will be get­ting the masses along­side you. Most of th­ese changes are, for many, too con­ve­nient to lose.

Many will wel­come the new world in any case - es­pe­cially the chil­dren about to head off to school. The ex­cite­ment they’ll feel at the on­set of re­al­is­tic vir­tual re­al­ity will prob­a­bly mir­ror the ex­cite­ment many of us felt at buy­ing a Nokia phone with Snake on it.

If you worry too much about the fu­ture, you won’t en­joy the won­ders of the present. Your kids will help shape a dif­fer­ent world, so let them go for it.

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