After almost 10 years, we decided to sell our car. But we didn’t put it on the market until we had cleared our newly sold house of things we didn’t yet know what to do with and had hauled and put them in rented storage. The car, an Innova, with seats that folded away, had proved to its last days a good conveyor of both people and things.
Even though we were told it could have gone on and on—it had run far fewer kilometers than most of its contemporaries, and we took real good care of it—we decided to replace it. It might have been wiser to keep it and put it to easier use by alternating it with a hired Uber or Grab, thus extending its natural life and at the same time save us money.
There appear other wisdoms. By 2018, says an Internet warning, the first self-driving car will be on the market and, by 2020, electric cars will become mainstream, possibly public transport—far less noise and no more pollution! With those prospects, I imagine no more privately owned cars and carpark structures.
Spaces for such irrelevant structures will give way to promenades and recreational parks. And all this could happen even before I turn 80!
My younger and one and only brother is the smart one—always been the more frugal one, anyway. He and I bought our old cars at the same time. He has used his more and kept it and, with repairs, it’s still going serviceably. Me—I have been made poorer and may be proved dumber by my new car purchase with technological changes.
How does one prepare for such changes at this age? As it is, I’m barely able—but I’m learning without resistance—to work the simple technology I have in my hands.
I just love my cell phone and can’t do without it. It has replaced many old familiar things—family albums (did I ever think I’d stop taking pictures with a Kodak after 2001?), directories, calendars, datebooks, alarm clocks, to mention just a few. It keeps me connected to my loved ones and the rest of the world.
It affords me a continuing education and supplies me with practical medical knowhow, something a full-fledged senior like me can definitely use. At my age, I’m trying to cope as fast as I can, which will never be fast enough.
My husband, however, is right here, quite in step, although he stops short of using the device for business transactions. We’re still banking and shopping the old-fashioned way. We prefer watching movies in movie theaters, munching on popcorn and sipping cold lemonade. We grab every opportunity to listen to live music wherever and whenever we can catch a performer we particularly like.
On TV the other night, we caught a group of Australian computer hackers who used a robot to crack a safe in 50 minutes. If we can believe the Internet, by 2030, computers, aka artificial intelligence, will become more intelligent than humans!
I don’t know what exactly that would mean for us humans, but, at 99, I couldn’t care less.
Science is moving exponentially fast, as I imagine it may have been meant to do, and it would have been ideal indeed if man would have developed at the same speed—his moral and spiritual aptitude, as his Creator might have hoped. Alas, he was given a free will and has chosen to lag behind.
We may have even been sliding backward, in moral fiber and nobility of character. There was a time the Filipino was noble, patriotic, selfless and God-fearing. He lived by a code of conduct by which his word was as good as his honor. His life’s priorities were as highly set as were his moral values.
Technology, soon to become more intelligent than humans, with all its awesome power to do good or evil, to create a heaven or a hell on earth, will be in the hands of men still—men in power and authority.
Arroceros Forest Park
Only last week, we of the Winner Foundation received a letter from the mayor of Manila telling us in no uncertain terms to hand over the care and management of Arrocerros Forest Park, which we have built and been caring for for the past 23 years in partnership with the Manila Doctors Hospital and the Catholic Women’s Club.
The letter reminded us that the park is owned by the city. We can only hope it will be retained as a green open space.
When, within my lifetime carpark buildings and lots may be, in the absence of cars, transformed into parks, here’s one park already in existence for decades that is now in danger of being transformed regressively. Century-old trees and other indigenous species may be cut down, and in their place perhaps another condominium will rise.
The future may be here, but what quality of men will be in charge of harnessing it?