The problem with cleaning out closets is that you find things you think you may want to keep. Often they are the very things that your spouse has been encouraging you to toss.
So it was that I found myself flipping through a seven-year-old copy of Smithsonian Magazine dedicated to what would be happening 40-years from now.
Reading those 40 things that will be happening 40 years from now, I can imagine a number of them changing the way we live in Boone County.
See if my imagination is too crazy:
• Light rail – with the price of gas well over $7 per gallon and MoDot perpetually out of money, the State of Missouri installs a number of light rail trains in targeted locations as a part of a private-public partnership, among them Jefferson City to Columbia. Large numbers of Ashland residents now board the train daily to go to work.
• Farm funding – The SoBoCo school district builds new facilities and subsidizes its budget based upon a new six-figure funding source: Eagle Farms.
Formerly simply an elementary school outdoor classroom program called the Learning Garden, Eagle Farms balloons into dozens of acres of farm ground. Each acre includes a “living skyscraper” which houses more than 10,000 leafy vegetable plants – lettuce, spinach, herbs, etc – and is hydroponically operated.
As many corporate farms experience boom-and-bust cycles, Eagle Farms provides a small-scale antidote to industrialized agriculture’s excesses, including chemical fertilizers and the high costs associated with them.
• SoBoCo students will be monitored differently as well, including:
1) Flu/virus sensors at school building doorways will be utilized to keep ill children from entering a school building, keeping illnesses from spreading and cutting absenteeism in half.
2) Miniature electronics embedded in a child’s tooth in order for parents to communicate with their kids so they know where they are and what they are doing after school.
3) High school students are fitted with contact lenses that function as computer screens. The screens include a tiny radio for receiving data and LED for displaying data. If wirelessly connected to a smartphone, a hearing-impaired person could see a speaker’s words translated into captions. A person listening to a someone speaking in Italian could see the translation before his eyes and students could have teachers correcting them in real time as they did their homework.
4) Embedded technology – whether powered by our bodies or in our clothing will provide data wherever and whenever a student needs it. These miniature electronics will aide teachers delivering their message and enhance learning as they plug students into computer and communications networks.
No, there still won’t be an personal spacecraft like that of George Jetson, however, the country will be only a few decades away from running only on public transit or battery-powered cars and trucks. Most of those will be self-driving and nearly eliminating the need for auto insurance.
But 20 years ago you would have thought I was crazy if I told you that I could use an app on my phone to turn up the heat in my house, raise the garage door and start my Instant Pot.