The future is here!

This is just so cool!!! Isn’t technology simply amazing? Sweeeeeeeet.

I think it’s a really swell idea… but you still need to make sure there’s a light switch near the main door when you come home, so you don’t trip over things in the dark, as you gingerly make your way over to this awesome remote controlled table.  Hurhurhurhurhur.

While mankind is make huge leaps and bounds into such technological breakthroughs, I really hope the rest of us catch up. No, I’m not exactly referring to the disparity between the growing divide between the rich and poor, but the progress of kindness and humanity. One battle at the time, trooper!

I remember a vivid interview with our very own Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, where he recounted a fleeting memory from his youth. He was studying in England and noticed an unmanned newspaper stand where commuters at the station would simply drop the money in a bowl and take a copy of the paper and be off on their way.

MM Lee had stood by in his quiet corner to watch and he keenly observed with interest that these folks would take only one copy which they paid for, and if needed back change, they’d be honest and wouldn’t take more than what was right. It was a highly civilised society and this was back in the 1940s.

Of course England wasn’t perfect because MM Lee did lament about the fact that most of the people he met there were extremely racist and thought they were above him, just because they were white and he’s Asian.

Back to my point.

All local friends I shared this with had the same reaction. They’d chuckle and say that a system like that wouldn’t hold in Singapore because you’d have an empty bowl and zero newspapers at the end of the day 😛

Some said that they were sure many Singaporeans would take a copy of the newspaper free, without paying. Others pointed out that the even more “kiasu” ones would go away with more than one, and the more jaded interjected that they wouldn’t be surprised if even the coin bowl (or money if any) also went missing.

Hilariously sad but true, to a certain extent… in this quirky little red dot where you can get a thirty dollar fine for sucking on a sweet when you’re in the train. So yes, it seems like they’d prefer you barf and make a stinky of a mess on the floor if you’ve got motion sickness… rather than pop a candy discreetly to make sure you aren’t giddy during the ride, while ensuring you didn’t litter in any way.

While Singapore’s also making much impressive progress with science, medicine and technology… sometimes the most foundational building blocks of it all is really common sense and compassion, which seems to be sadly lacking here in our concrete jungle. If we’re a truly civilized and advanced society, we wouldn’t have jokers like these who believe it’s their way or the highway.

Which makes me I wonder. Will we all become less human and more robot, when we’re given the privilege of uber technology in the near future? I already see so many lucid zombies in their sonambulistic state of mind… Also, before the television or radio, families sat together to eat and they’d talk. As a unit they’d have conversations and communicate. Now there’s even more distractions like portable video games, mobile phones, mp3 players, etc… which inevitably robs away precious bonding opportunities.

Such is life. So while I’m definitely impressed with all this new fancy smancy high-tech stuff, for certain things, old school is still the best school.

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