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The priest talks with this lady of his congregation:
- I haven't seen you much in church lately, why is that?
- Well, you see ... my daughter has started playing the harp ...
- Is that true? But can her harp replace our wonderful church organ?
- Oh, that's not it. But I have been considering ... I am not sure that I will be able to handle harp music for an eternity...
For answering your question: I am happy to be as old as I am, as close to death as I am. The world changes, and as every aged person knows (and it has been that way for at least a hundred years in the Western world), it changes away from my own ideals, values and principles. When I was young, I expected to be allowed to live my life in my way, not the way my parents and grandparents would rather see it. Now, I grant young people the right to live their way, and shape the world and the society accordingly.
I feel like a stranger to a lot of the music being produced nowadays. To the books written. To movies. How people behave even out in the wilderness. Or at parties. The intense turf wars both in my own profession (SW development) and in social arenas. The way people communicate: When I want to ask or say something to another person, I cannot just say it. First I have to wave my hands before their face to make them look up from the smartphone screen, then wait for them to remove the earplugs before I start speaking. I get a brief answer while they impatiently hold the earplugs ready for plugging back in, with an attitude that clearly says: When are you done disturbing me? ... Not evrybody are that way, but quite a few. Noone will read any thorought and well thought out explanation - I can't tell how many times I have received a "tl;dr" in response (and I will for this post as well!). So always when I write something, I read it over to see if I can delete words, shorten sentences, remove marginal arguments... to make it accessible to more readers, by being short enough.
I do not relax until I am back in my own living room, with my own music, books, movies, and way of expressing myself. I am getting weary out in the real world. The day I retire, I guess I won't be leaving my house for anything but the food store. If there were anyone that might come to visit me - smartphone in hand - I would lock my door for them. I guess there will be noone. Then, when I have read all my books that today are sitting unread in my shelves, when I have watched all my movies enough times to start boring me, and heard my music so many times that none of it is exciting any more, then I have done my duty. Then I am satisfied, there will be nothing more for me to do.
I still dream of having my own library at home - and the time to read every single book at my leisure.
The library is possible, the leisure time less so - unless I live a loooong time.
A physicist friend of mine set up a Faraday Cage around his den (aka basement) so that when his friends came around to talk and play cards or board games they wouldn't ever be interrupted by their cell phones going off. Eventually, as smartphones became ubiquitous they noticed that they couldn't check things with google, etc. and kept running upstairs to get a signal rather than just doing without the answer instantaneously. I was the only one apart from him that didn't do this so we ended up getting new, older friends instead. The young ones couldn't take it!
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
A physicist friend of mine set up a Faraday Cage around his den (aka basement) so that when his friends came around to talk and play cards or board games they wouldn't ever be interrupted by their cell phones going off.
I have been considering something similar, but never learned enough about signal propagation to know how to do it properly. How realistic is it to make a successful shield?
The elevator at my workplace has a steel ceiling, steel walls, steel door, and I assume there is steel in the floor as well. It is a closed box of steel. I am not sure how good the grounding of the steel is. Even without grounding, I would expect at least some weakening of the mobile signals, but the signal indicator is at top of the scale all the time, even with the elevator going down to the basement. So what does it take to make an effective shield against the signals?
Is an ungrounded shield completely worthless - is that why the steel box elevator does "nothing" to weaken the signals? Is a mesh better than solid steel plates? If it is: Should the mesh size be selected according to the frequency? Cellular phones use a good handful of frequency bands, so do you need different meshes for each band?
Maybe we are wasted in this country: We expect excellent mobile coverage everywhere, from deep sub-basements to wilderness mountain plains a hundred kilometers away from any signs of civilization. We expect capacity to be unlimited, and signal strength to be at top of the scale, everywhere.
Maybe successful shielding is possible at some desolate mountain farm in an area where no mountain hiker ever goes (i.e. noone needs to update their FB profile with their most recent mountain climbing achievements). But how realistic is it to shiels cellular signals in a rural area?
There are already several billion too many people on this planet, and it's rapidly getting very much worse. It's bad enough with loads of people living to 100 or so, but the last thing the planet needs is extended lifespans. The only feasible way to allow some people to live for centuries would involve a major wiping-out initially, followed by an almost complete cessation of new births. They can be annoying little b****ers at times, but I think on balance I wouldn't want to live in a world without any kids. Who would you be able to say "ha! back in my day..." to?
I'd say, after 3 or so thousand years, you'd have seen all there is (new tech is fine & dandy but in the grand picture, everything develops in a spiral, not a straight line) so life would become rather boring.
If we're limited to the Earth, no. I would think the old proverb 'familiarity breeds contempt' would hold true. Eventually you'd have seen everything and pretty much done everything to do, so why stick around? Heh, everyone would be a know it all, and you know how hard it to be around them!
I am financially planning to reach 80 though I honestly doubt that I'll make 24 more years: overweight, inactive, diabetic, etc. I have already thanked my doctor for achieving the goal I requested of him many years ago: keep me alive until my kids are adults. I pointed out the rest is just gravy to me; however, he contends that, like most, I will become greedy for more life as I get older. Time will tell, but any way you look at it, there are a LOT more years in the rearview mirror than ahead through the windshield, and I am fine with that.
Tuesday, January 19, 2038, might be a concern for any 32-bit systems remaining. That's coming sooner than we might think, and heck, I might live to see it.