Nothing is impossible…
As I drafted dozens of posts for this blog over several months, the following struck me as the perfect first blog post. Cheers to starting a new blog!:
I happened to be talking to an older gentleman (~70+ years old) who had been a professor of anthropology. He asked what I was studying in school, and like many people, misunderstood me (the whole formerly-engineering-but-now-psychology thing always messes people up). However, the one thing he did understand was the desire to create and innovate technology. He started telling me about a book called The Physics of the Impossible. He started talking about how some scientists are working on things that are typically deemed impossible, like teleporting and force fields. I have no idea how credible this book is or if any of it is true because the technology wasn’t what I took away from the conversation. That conversation brought me to a realization.
I realized that the word “impossible” is now meaningless. My generation (Gen-Y) is the first generation that does not believe in the impossible. If you ask us if we believe teleporting is possible, we shrug and say “I’m sure it is. I’m sure someone is working on that.” In even just the last few months, we have seen world markets collapse and oppressed civilians overthrow their government, and over the years, we have seen the exponential explosion of technology. They promised us flying cars in 2000. Are they possible? Yeah, several people have made them. Gesture interfaces like Minority Report? No problem. Jarvis from Iron Man? Apple’s Siri and other similar systems are treading closer. Recently there was a news article on capturing the speed of light on camera. The stuff of Sci-Fi is no longer sci-fi. Its just, the next thing.
But the question is no longer “what is possible?”, but rather “how is it implemented?” and “should it be possible?”
I am thankful I can say I am in the business of researching exactly how technologies are implemented and what should be possible on a given context.
So here’s to a happy and prosperous future for human factors research,