Today everywhere we travel, from the U.S. to Europe, we only need turn on WiFi and find a connection, in the air, on the train or bus, in the hotel or bar. The rest will all be similar: you find where you want to go, which tube, tram, or bus you need take, check the map online, walk to the nearest stop, purchase your ticket through the ticket machine, get on the unassisted tram or bus (except drivers still exist in present days), read the chart or listen to the radio for your stop, and then get off. You don’t need talk to anyone because they are all strangers. You don’t need ask for directions, because they barely know more than you do.
Imagine such a future, everything is connected online. You call a driverless taxi to shuttle you to a train station or airport. You buy a cup of coffee or a piece of croissant through a vending machine. Your credit cards or mobile pay apps are accepted just the same. All buses or trains are unmanned. It is a silent world of WiFi and automation.
No one needs to be present with you. No one cares if a human or alien standing next to you. You think you own thoughts, hear your own giggling, speak to yourself. You don’t need know or talk to anyone. The supermarkets or magazine stands are selling the same brands that you are very familiar with. The radio in the station sounds the same tone. You see silent buildings and landscape. Then you retreat back to you own home, similar to everyone else’s house – a silent world of WiFi and automation again.
Every once a while, when you feel dreadful in the silence, you may think about traveling to some different world where you can still talk to a taxi driver or a street vendor, bargain a little, learn a few foreign terms, imitate some strange accents, and buy a piece of handmade local craft or artwork. Wouldn’t you feel wonderful? But be very careful, your next money-making idea could be, ‘how can I automate these people and things so that they can merger into my world’?
Do you really want them to be in your world?