Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.
@Duane: "I just want wireless into my brain so the information can be directly inserted into my thought process."
I totally agree. There are a lot advantages but also inconveniences around this...
One of the positive changes would be the change in education: no more memorizing data that will already be in your brain -- or you'll be able to download just by thinking in it. The main point would be being creative in order to mix and process all the available data.
As a negative one... I can appreciate the shadow of "Big Brother" around -- this would be a candy for the NSA, Google and so on ;-)
During my brief stint as an instructor, I gave open book exams where the students typically had to look up something in a table that was in the book then apply it to the probelm at hand. After the first exam where a number of students had decided that "open book" meant that they didn't have to study, I explicitly pointed out to them before the next exam that "open book" ment that they had to read the book to find out where things were and know what applied to which question. I also pointed out that the exam would have the same type of questions that they had already answered on their homework.
Max wrote: I love those Visual Dictionaries -- they are wonderful for trying to find the name of something like "that bit of wood that stickes up at the front of an old wooden sailing ship".
A friend of mine had an uncle in Scotland who owned a hardware store. His favorite sport was tormenting American tourists by refusing to understand what they wanted unless they used the proper (and sometimes archaic) British terminology. For example, if someone wanted a screwdriver, he would look perplexed and ask them to explain what a screwdriver is. Now, when you try to explain what an ordinary object is you feel like an idiot, and he did everything to enhance that feeling. He would bring over any number of unrelated screws and chisels and everything that could possibly relate to the victim's attempts at explanation. Finally he'd tire of the game and say: "Ohhhhh... you want a turnscrew!"
Max wrote: I bet in the future you could have a voice interface and try to vaguely describe something and for the servers in the cloud...
Sounds like my octagenarian Dad when he asks me to identify a movie with "that actor who... you know... the one who was also in that movie about... " and I answer something like "You mean le jour se lève?" and he says "yes! that one" and I say "oh, you mean Jean Gabin".
Actually, I ran a test today and was suprised to see that Google is finally able to find some items that I had been using as test cases for many years. I'll need to come up with some even more obscure ones :-)
One of them you'll find most amusing: Bob Rowsem's Epistle to Bonypart, a semi-literate letter of defiance from a British seaman to Napoleon regarding the latter's foolish idea of crossing the Channel to attack Blighty. An excerpt:
Come, I'll give ye a toaft: Here's hard breezes and foul weather to ye, my boy, in your paffage: Here's May you be fea-fick! we'll foon make ye fick of the fea...
Always having information available might imply that we have to change the way we do exams. Maybe they would have to look more like open book exam, where the problem is not to remember things, but to quickly figure out what you need and how to apply it to a problem.
I think there were similar concerns when the calculator showed up, but there are still math exams. In fact, many of these rely on students bringing their calculators.