Recently, I came back from the most advanced, newest addition to my local hospital's facilities, its emergency room. Blessed with living in a small southern town with the best of health care facilities and a certified trauma center reminded me of what some of the good things in technology bring to us.  I am better and I walked out — good outcome. A group of highly trained professionals treated me with respect and care from intake to discharge. People smiling and moving me along that narrow, one-way road of life to my ultimate outcome. When I get close to that point, whenever, I can only hope to be with some of my friends there under a carefully warmed blanket knowing that what next happens will be as it should be.

Waiting my turn, I watched people chatting while watching the latest news on a big screen LCD television while holding onto their seven-inch and 10-inch tablets or their five-inch smart phones. Getting mail, messages, voice mail, video calls, reading ebooks, playing games, checking their prescription histories, reading the USA Today or the local Thomasville paper. Automatic doors open and close, sensors adjust temperatures, fire detectors stand guard, video cameras watch patiently as we wait, come and go, talk or plan our day.  We are wrapped in a world of electrons so new that 15 years ago were only thought of and now are in place and functional.

We got to the hospital in a newer car that senses the outside air, the engine load, the vehicle speed, the octane of the gasoline, the occupied seating while it brings music from earth routed through a satellite back to the vehicle, or playing music stored in silicone called a stick. Our speed is electronically controlled with maximum efficiency by computer processors, which do many tasks for our comfort and yet shift the transmission while sensing the braking system, crash sensors, inside air temperature and so many other things like our speed those last thirty seconds before we hit the other car.

Can I share with you a small secret? Growing up, I read a monthly magazine called Astounding Fact & Fiction, or variations of that. It was filled with wonderful new ideas, concept, and fantasies. Today, around me, I see some of those things in my current world as tangible things I use every day, mostly without any thought of what was before. I can only guess dear reader what may be in store for you in the future but I do believe that it will be better and wonderful. I think most of us will live through the day no matter what happens on CNN.  Politics, publicity, public figures, and all those things of such great import at the minute will be but dust around the fringes of our lives forgotten before the next decade or sooner. I think we all have a great future no matter what the tax rate, the unemployment rate, or the Dow. All of these things will have influence and many of us will pay too much attention to them. Go forth in the certain belief that there is a tomorrow and it holds great promise.

John Johnson


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