Continuum: political with a possible guide to future tech

Continuum is a Canadian sci-fi series about time travel. It discusses possible futures which have evolved from various political/tech industry situations. For instance, what if a Mark Zuckerberg-ish character did end up running the world? What would that be like and what if he had regrets about how he got there and who he was?

A brief summary of the story features a young police officer (in a world where police work for corporations) called Kiera and a rebellion group called Liber8 in 2077. Liber8 in Kiera’s time are terrorists who are fighting for a world not run by corporations such as the one owned by Alec Sadler (who runs a tech company which essentially controls politics). Before they are punished for thier crimes they initiate a time travel device to send them and Kiera back to present day where Kiera meets a 17 year old Alec Sadler who she tries to keep on the right track and joins a local police force to help them fight against Liber8. However, as more is revealed about what Kiera’s future really entails, Kiera’s ideals are blurred and she doubts whether a world run my mega-corporations is the one she should be fighting for.

Not only was this an awesome plot, I think it is interesting to note what the writers thought the future of technology looked like in 2077.

Kiera’s gear

Keira arrives in the present day with standard issue police suit. This is fully bullet proof with a built in smartphone-esc device. It can can change colour and allow her to go invisible. She also had chips implanted in her head which make holding a phone or attatching a Bluetooth device to speak on the phone a thing of the past. Her eyes automatically record everything she sees which in her present day is used for evidence. She can also create a hologram anactment of almost any crime scene.

Tangible money is a thing of the past

This is already something that there is less and less of in the real world. It is not an unbelievable portrayal of a future world that people can automatically add or deduct credits.

Citizenship chips

Not a nice thought but not an unbelievable concept…

Conclusion

Continuum gives an interesting ideas in to what the world might look like if it was taken over by Silicon Valley giants. It also gives an interesting and not inconcievable view of the future of tech. I would recommend this series to anyone who like Sci-Fi with good political plotlines!

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Fashionable words series: Disruptive

My thoughts on the word Disruptive vs Enhanced

Some thoughts on the meaning and implications of the word “disruptive”.

Night Skyline Zoom Burst 1” (CC BY 2.0) by sagriffin305

What does disruptive really mean any more? As an aspiring technology lawyer, I read a lot about “disruptive” technology. At first, this term surprised me. I found myself wondering why was new technology disruptive. Why was it not innovative, a game-changer?

I had always thought of the word “disruptive” to be an unwelcome event, such a disruptive class or a disrupted night’s sleep. I thought that technology did not disrupt me, it aided my work and I was glad I could have it at my disposal. New technology for me has always been exciting, and enhancing. Disruptive implied, to me, some kind of unwelcome interruption.

The dictionary definition of “disrupt” includes:

  1. To cause disorder or turmoil:
  2. To destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance of unity of; interrupt;
  3. To break apart
  4. Business: to radically change (an industry, business strategy, etc.), asby introducing a new product or service that creates a new market.

(courtesy of dictionary.com)

The business definition is often in a positive light in order to portray new innovations. A new method or machine which will make our life, better, easier, quicker, more efficient etc.

However, some people really are disrupted by technology. For example, the person who always received their bank statements in the post now has to go download them, or the person whose job it was to package chocolate is now superseded by a machine which does this ten times faster. For them, technology is disruptive.

Conversely think of innovations for green energy, new medicines and prosthetic limbs. Think of how easy it is to check an email, see how many steps you have walked or have a face to face conversation with someone halfway across the globe. This is not disruptive. It is enhancing.

In general, I love new technology. I see that it aids life in the modern world and makes it more efficient and exciting than I ever would have imagined 10 years ago. I am not disrupted. My life is enhanced.