Little bit of tech

So I went to a tech conference today, you can almost consider it a gatecrash. I have no idea what it this conference about, but the session I  attended was pretty interesting.

I have been reading about blockchain, but have nearly really figured whether I know what is going on. But it still falls under the “interesting” category because it looks like it has ubiquitous applicability, or at least the potential of it. So, today’s was about Daimler using it to for financing their trucks. But of course, I end up with take-aways of trivia instead. For example, do you know that there are more than a hundred parts that can be IoT devices in a car? Ever thought of the issue if a self-driving car gets hacked? Ever considered which are the critical parts that cannot be IoT devices so that it is safe from risk of being hacked? Totally blew my mind away.

Useless info (for me), but very intriguing nonetheless.

I sat through a few other presentations, though I almost fell asleep during one of them. I finally understood what blockchain refers to, and what public and private ones are. I finally saw what a hardware for this can look like, and what Mining is about (broad picture at least).

It is also the attitude and the perspective that makes me thankful I attended this brief bit of it (it’s a three-day event held in many different halls!). During the Q&A, the presenters were very open about saying ‘this is where we are, not much depth we have delved into, but yea, we will get there at some point” and even “honestly, I don’t know, but we can try this and that, and let’s see how it goes”. To put it in my words – today we are at 0.01, but you never know we may be at 4.0 or 12.0 tomorrow, you never know.

I may be making a mountain out of a molehill, but what I saw was: 1. Once you take a first step, you can take the next and the next and the next, or even end up in an elevator perhaps; 2. Faith, trust and a lot of homework done – design time to market takes 6 years in a proprietary market and they have chosen to go open source in the hope that it will cut the time to a third (2years mathematically, they are in their third month chronologically); 3. The world is in such a state of flux and speed is important, therefore a closed door ivory tower approach will just be a self-obliterating move.

3 meant the most to me. I could not figure out why I am so peeved with the urban planning approach here in Singapore, but only found the words autocratic and hardline to describe it. Top-down autocratic hardliners. This thought had to arise again at Friday dinner, so I am sure these two ideas are meant to be correlated to iron out some storyline for my blog.

So it was not just a matter of being wistful about planning ahead for fifty to a hundred years and then just enough to build a road within the impactful four years, and pray the plan does not get scrapped after that, or pray that someone else revives it another four years later. I still believe that a direction has to be set for the long term, and I have no problems with half or a century (if the human species can survive that long). My issue with the approach is that we are banging on walls trying to find where the weak point is that we can drive development through.

It is very old school, using a method of the old times when there is technology now. Why can’t we try to change the world with the times? If we want to bash walls, why not ride on the latest tools, and see what is a better way to bash these walls? At least if it doesn’t work, you can use this knowledge on something else, something applicable to current times, to today’s world.

Shrugs. I’m not feeling the rush to change the world, but I do feel that if I continue to learn and try to catch up with technology (and how the world responds) today, there is something meaningful we can achieve.

And six hours later, I come across this article . What is Universe telling me?

Collaboration. Not autocracy. 🙂

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