BELIEVE THEN VERIFY

With technology advancing so quickly, is it not surprising that we really can believe almost anything these days? Case in point: I was perusing YouTube videos and came upon a video about a new concept car that was hovering around the streets in China to the amazement of everyone, including this writer. I soon began to figure out how the normal driver would maneuver through sidewalks and streets, then I thought about something that would make everything okay…separate lanes for the Hover mobile, yes it can work! A couple of days passed, and as I thought about the neat little car that I would willingly sign up for, I decided to see how long it would be before the average consumer could possess the new-age product; sadly, I discovered that the Hover mobile was a lie! Thank you Snopes.com for bursting my bubble! At that moment, I realized that so many amazing inventions had occurred so quickly, many of us believe that anything is possible. To be honest, I still can’t truly comprehend the Worldwide Web, or for that matter, how a small chip could create artificial intelligence – not to shortchange myself completely, I can explain the fundamentals of computing, but it doesn’t mean I understand it. Looking back in history, it is safe to say that generations before my generation, the Boomers, were more skeptical; probably because most of their information was derived via word of mouth or the radio; and after Orson Welles, “War of the Worlds” broadcast in 1938, I guess it is understandable. For instance, my eighth-grade science teacher, only a few years from retiring, devoted an entire class on explaining to us why the landing on the moon was a hoax. Poor Mr. Brokowski could not image nor understand the possibilities of man landing on the moon, and as a science teacher, he did not want to perpetuate the ruse. Seeing is believing may have been commonplace a century ago, but with technology streaming information nonstop, amazing possibilities are broadcasted via unlimited avenues. Today we have to make choices to receive, believe, and store the information or receive, question, data dump and forget the information. I chose to store my information about the hovering mobile as a truth – even though I could not explain the rationale for its existence or really understand the concept. Naivety in adulthood is unpleasant to say the least … as a child, sure, but a certified, card-carrying adult? As an example of believing in possibilities; my bright eight-year-old granddaughter was sitting in the front seat of my high-tech car, and I was playing her favorite CD, the sound track to Frozen. As she was singing along, she asked to hear a particular song on the CD. With one hand on the steering wheel; I placed my other hand on the small wheel that controlled the tracks, and as I was turning the wheel, I was looking at the CD player glide through the tracks until it came to her song. Once it started to play, she asked, “How did you change the music?” Obviously, she didn’t notice my right hand moving, so I quickly said, “I can change it with my eyes.” She then said, “Can I do it?” I was surprised that this inquisitive little girl fell for the trick, but I eagerly noted that only the person driving could use her eyes. What an astonishment to fathom that 21st century children see nothing as an impossibility. So, with that, this naïve adult will continue to believe that anything is possible…but, unlike the 21st century children, I will believe then validate with Snopes.com.

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5 Responses to BELIEVE THEN VERIFY

  1. Sarah Nettinga says:

    Darlene,

    What an incredibly interesting perspective on technology and how it is changing people for the positive. Thank you for a great post.

    What a wonderful thing that our children will believe that anything is possible again. The fact that technology can take us to positive places is a conversation that people I know debate all the time. Some say that technology will only disconnect people and make the world a less desirable place to be. Others feel the excitement behind the future. I definitely fall in the category of those that are excited about technology. I worry what it will due to people’s direct communication, but I also wonder at the opportunities it might have to create a more positive reality.

    Even more interesting, however, was VW’s branding in the video that you posted surrounding the hover car. They are so clearly saying that they will be the first in technology that develops that makes your life easier. They are the future. How clever of them! They are making a brilliant subliminal suggestion that they are the one company to watch. Interesting choice for the VW brand. Not sure if it will pay off in the end because I don’t see how they can deliver on the value proposition that they are putting out there with this ad, but maybe they have a car coming that will make this a brilliant move. It will make me look at VW differently for the next year, but they need to deliver on this wild direction.

    Sarah

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for replying and for adding your perspective on technology and the communication between the masses. Additionally, your point on VW’s message that they are the lead in this technology makes so much sense because as I stated, I was set and ready to trade in the old MB and hover on!

  2. Linda says:

    Hi Darlene,

    I was fascinated with your post because of my own personal belief that my father taught me when I was little. He used to say, “believe half of what you hear and verify the other half!” But you brought another part of our sensory connection to the equation—sight! For a little while, the video had me believing that maybe a hovering car was possible. After all, we’re seeing it with our own eyes! But what we are seeing is the wonder of technology and how it is capable of tricking the human eye. Computers one, humans zero!

    On the bright side, many times an invention comes after an idea that seems far fetched. So, who knows? Maybe we’ll see a hovering car in a few years!

    Linda

  3. Darlene says:

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks for replying and I must say your father sounds like my late grandfather! My grandfather was a smart man but he definitely read between the lines on most occasions.
    I don’t consider myself gullible but the Hover car appears REAL! I like your bright side observation because I too believe that we will be hovering on the roads one day.

  4. Graham says:

    What a great story Darlene! I had my doubts when I saw this ad too but I was pretty sure that we weren’t there yet. I mean we only recently got hoverboards and even those have to be rode exclusively on metal halfpipes… Oh no, maybe we didn’t get hoverboards and I’m the gullible kid singing Frozen.

    If nothing else, these stunts still give us dream fodder and perhaps there still is some value in that.