The Last Middle Class Family

I stumbled upon this tweet a while back about the Amazon Prime Air drone delivery service:

And it made me think…

The idea of replacing human workers with robots has been toyed with since (probably) the start of the industrial era. The problem is that it would have a severe impact on the number of menial labour jobs available to the public.

Don’t get me wrong. It would be good (no, great!) if humans could start focusing their efforts on real innovation and progression instead of just trying to make a dollar by doing a brainless job.

But that’s not the reality of the situation.

With the population booming, there can’t possibly be academic or intellectual jobs for everyone… right?

If we really got serious about moving beyond “just making a buck” and actually strive to grow and constantly learn, we could readily give up our menial jobs to the robots so that humans can get busy doing more important things.

The whole point of technology is to enable the human race to solve their menial problems so that they can move onto solving bigger problems.

Until we come to realize that, we’re just going to continue trying to flip companies, make useless apps for our phones, and live paycheque to paycheque so that we can get drunk on weekends before having to head back to our “boring” jobs on Monday.

It’s time to embrace technology as a mechanism for solving our problems so that we can go to the next level as a society before we just stagnate in this era of pointless entertainment and consumerism.

Otherwise, we risk losing the middle class (and widening the social divide) as we tread down this inevitable path of solving menial problems without chasing the bigger ones.

Markup Madness

I recently stumbled upon a very handy website that showcases the plethora of new changes to the upcoming HTML5 standard in a easy to read, fun method of explaining the new markup (trust me, making HTML sound interesting is a challenge).

For those of you who aren’t aware, the websites you currently see and use on a daily basis are written in some version of HTML, most likely either HTML4 or XHTML. The W3C has been working on HTML5 since 2004, and will likely be developed over time for years to come, but the main idea is that browsers like IE9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera have already started to implement HTML5 support, even before the specification is complete.

What this means is that developers will be able to start moving their websites towards the next step in HTML evolution. What does this mean for the end user? It means we’ll have a much more rich multimedia experience become standard on all the websites who adopt the new spec (which should be most of them, unless the site is defunct or the developer is daft). This is primarily because of how HTML5 allows developers to implement a variety of new elements to their websites with little to no effort at all. Soon you’ll start seeing websites with interactive media, including high def video, that will be supported by your computer right out of the box. No plugins, no extensions, and most importantly, no Flash.

So go on ahead, Dive into HTML 5 (this link is to the complete table of contents) and read up with Professor Markup on what’s new with HTML5.