I had a dream, not a Martin Luther King type of dream but one which was very clear nevertheless, and it came before I ran across the other things I’m going on to mention in a moment. In this dream I was involved somehow with computer development across the world, which is strange because I am not a computer geek, I just use one for writing. In this dream we (don’t ask, I don’t know who else was in this dream) decided that to overcome the crime wave of Internet scams that is sweeping the world, the only way to overcome it was to entirely replace the entire stock of computers worldwide and shut down the WWW and create a completely new breed of computers that could only be used when they were identified with a particular person who could be identified as their owner-
And then came this news headline: “Apple has said that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two major flaws in computer chips. It emerged this week that tech companies have been racing to fix the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, that could allow hackers to steal data. Billions of PCs, smartphones and tablets around the world are affected -
And then I ran across Quantum Computing. Not wanting to be accused of providing material that creates headaches, I’ve done away with the usual light-
Then I ran across a quote about Stephen Hawking: “Stephen Hawking is concerned that artificial intelligence could replace humans. The world-
And then a well-
OK it is in fiction, but the scenario is built on present developments and the possibilities are very real. So which is the bigger nightmare? A world of computers that are utterly unsafe and which mega-
Let me finish with a conversation overheard which is faintly linked to some of these things. One person to another, talking about young people working behind the counter in the bar of a restaurant-
So here is the world you and I still inhabit. Should this article be renamed, “The Doomsday Forecast”? I don’t think so. What it does say to me, is that you and I are going to become vitally important in the lives of our grandchildren as they confront these issues that will be the norms for them. There are whole big areas of society that need our attention and they aren’t, as such, to do with these scary things above. Elderly people increasingly need affirmation and friendship and care as they grow older in a more and more bewildering society, and be helped to see that they have a very real role in stabilizing this society. Our young people increasingly need love, care, acceptance and friendship to provide an underpinning security in an ever increasingly insecure world, and that is where you and I come in. No, we are not redundant or obsolete in 2018; we are increasingly needed. Hold on to that.
And now for the adventurous, those quotes that come from a variety of places on the Internet, and if you understand beyond the first few lines, you are doing well:
“QUANTUM COMPUTING IS real. But it's also hard. So hard that only a few developers, usually trained in quantum physics, advanced mathematics, or most likely both, can actually work with the few quantum computers that exist.”
“Traditional computers store information in "bits," which can represent either a "1" or a "0." Quantum computing takes advantage of quantum particles in a strange state called "superposition," meaning that the particle is spinning in two directions at once. Researchers have learned to take advantage of these particles to create what they call "qubits," which can represent both a 1 and a 0 at the same time. By stringing qubits together, companies like D-
“Our qubits are not even material things. But then again, the elementary particles that physicists run in their colliders are not really solid material objects. Here we have non-
“Some physicists are not even sure that the particular quasiparticles Microsoft are working with — called non-
Well, I did warn you!