Estremera: Life beyond where we are stuck in

GETTING in a yellow cab from Naia 3 at almost 2 p.m. last Monday, the driver radios asking for traffic situation in Edsa. The dispatcher replied: "Ganun pa rin (Like before)", meaning, it's as bad as ever.

At around that time I received a text message requesting two short articles for an end-report that a friend had to render on a project we were involved in.

Seeing that it's a long drive from Naia 3 to Shangri-la Edsa, I took out my phone and started tapping my thoughts for those two short articles. We finally arrived at the driveway of the hotel at 5 p.m. just after I sent the two articles through email using my phone. Two articles written using my phone and emailed using the same.

On our flight home late evening Tuesday, I finalized my lecture presentation scheduled the following day using Keynote, the presentation app in my phone. The following day was a breeze.

Having been studying on where journalism is headed amid all these technological advancement, and having just attended Digital Asia 2017 in Singapore a month ago, how print media is morphing into a different plane is still top of mind to me. I have this tendency to explore new technologies just as I learned hypertext manual language or HTML to create scripts for the Sun.Star Davao website in 1997.

Internet first arrived in Davao in 1995 and no community newspaper was yet online anywhere in the Philippines, and so I explored that world. It was the same when I explored Lotus, SPSS, and other Microsoft programs in 1987 when Sun.Star Davao's predecessor, Peryodiko Dabaw, shifted to desktop publishing -- the first to do so in Davao City.

After those major developments, all upgrades and developments were easily handled by different staff members with job description saying they are the ones in charge.

There was nothing new to explore in the print media, and so I just faded away from the scene. Until social media changed the algorithm of things and the mobile generation required upgrading the brain.

Just the other week, I searched for online lessons on Coding and making applications. My braincells were becoming curious, they have been spiked into asking how this sector that has quietly been minding its own business away from my own existence may be harnessed to move things forward, faster. But work and obligations got in the way, I shelved the idea.

Saturday morning, upon waking up, I checked the time, checked the email, checked Facebook, and was about to log out when the icon of "iTunes U" caught my attention. It's been there since I got the unit, it just didn't interest me. I don't know why on Saturday morning, the icon looked enticing. I clicked on it and it opened to various courses and learning resources on Developing iOS apps (of different versions), and the "Everyone Can Code: Book Series". I thought that was cool. It was exactly what I wanted to learn about and it's all there in my mobile. I posted my discovery on Facebook and my friend Mabelle commented that she uses iTunes U a lot to study about her specialization, Psychology, and that it offers a lot of courses and learning resources that will interest you.

That was when it hit me...

Through my activities online, my mobile phone knew what courses and learning resources interested me, and was thus ready with a list when I clicked on iTunes U for the very first time.

Yes, it's creepy, knowing that your mobile phone has already profiled you, but then, you realize that that is how it is now and will forever be in the next generation. We are now living the sci-fi novels we feasted on when we were young.

Isaac Asimov was my favorite and I thought his idea of the supercomputer whom he named the Multivac. The idea of the Multivac became real just two decades later and it's called the Internet. Seeing the sci-fi today's kids are now feasting on, I'm just glad I'm nearer retirement than youth, because I don't think I would relish living in a world where zombies walk around threatening to eat human brains.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, however, showed me a different perspective... the perspective that Yoda has taken, and I think that was really cool for a sci-fi. It somehow tells us that while we may soon be fighting wars over different universes, our universe will come around full cycle to what has been -- harnessing the innate power of the human, and that was just too cool, it was mindblowing. But then I stop and realize, Asimov blew my mind before, now his Multivac is an obsolete predecessor of what I have in the palm of my hand, which has profiled me up to my latest interest.
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