Who doesn’t love long rides in rainy days? Or long drive on a starry, breezy night? Or in general long drives?
Oh, I love. But alas! I can’t drive. Well I may make a hundreds of excuses to defend myself for not learning to drive, but the truth is I do it out of my compassion for other fellow drivers and pedestrians and hawkers and street dogs. People will call me out for it but I won’t budge. I am really not made for driving, my hand-eye coordination is miserable, I have played road rash for like 10-15 times and came last almost all the times, after which I have never played such games. So, I don’t want to threaten other people’s lives.
And hence, whenever I feel like going on a long drive, I need to rely on other people (Read ‘Dear Hubby’). And if I really need to go somewhere, I prefer to take Public transport or OLA/UBER. Still there are days when I really wish I could drive. And I hate myself for not pushing my limits.
And hence, for the lazy people like me, ‘Self driving cars’ are a boon. But are they really safe?
Well before I delve into this topic, check this out if you want to know more about the cars:
The problem with Google’s self-driving cars is: It’s a prototype running in a controlled environment where there are no other vehicles, pedestrians and definitely no street dogs (or cats). So how will a Self-driving car perform on a busy street of any urban area, where there are people on road and the position of obstacles can never be fully determined? Moreover how will they perform in a life-threatening situation? Will this autonomous vehicle give preference to the passengers or the pedestrians? Whose life will it save?
Some geniuses in MIT Media Lab created a website ‘Moral Machine’ which presents before you some morally ambiguous scenarios and demand you to judge as a 3rd person, which character should die, and who should live. Check out their website.
And there’s a detailed description regarding the passengers, the pedestrians, whether they are abiding the law and their occupation(??).
If you take the test, you would understand how difficult it is to decide which scenario to choose. Especially in cases where children are involved, and I know its not real; still I had a hard time giving preference to any one scenario. This website not only gathers data for their research on the continuous improvement it would bring to robotics, but also test the morality of the people who are taking the test.
And the result?
It tells you what matters to you the most.
Still with me? So , now what do you think, are they really a boon or bane?
Judging by all the research and hard work all the guys behind this ‘Self-driving cars’ are putting, I guess it will take at least a while for these cars to be on road and available publically.
Till then, I’m relieved that God’s there to take decisions about who’s dying and who’s not. Well, he must be a pretty strong guy to do that!
If I ask you that if you are to spend the rest of your life in a totally stranded, uncivilized, uninhabited island, and you are permitted to take one item with you, what would you choose?
Most of the people will go for their gadgets, specifically their Smartphone, I-Pod etc. And if this is the first thought that occurred to your mind too, there’s nothing wrong in it. It’s a great gadget, apart from its normal task of calling people, a smart phone can also act like a camera, music player, notebook, organizer, alarm, scanner, navigator and much more.
But if you really are going to spend your life on the island, wont you need the most obvious thing: food? water? Would you really know where to find water on that huge island? Will you be able to distinguish the berries that are edible from the ones that are poisonous? Will you be able to survive in the rough weather? How will you make it there?
I know you might be a great Bear Grylls fan, or have seen ‘Cast Away’ a hundred times, when it comes to the actual scenario, theory wont work. Practical experience can only help you survive. Then how will we get such experience if we constantly hide behind our gadgets in the warmth of our Air-conditioned home/offices? And when I think about it, I feel our generation is at-least better off. We played on the playground for hours in our childhood. What about then next generation who plays only on play station?
There’s only one way to remedy this: Help them connect with nature. Tell them how beautiful it feels to wander off the wilderness, how amazing the sky looks at sunrise/sunset, how many days it takes a caterpillar to transform in a butterfly and why does the rainbow appear in the sky. Look at their face as you teach them this. The more they get close to the nature, the more amazed and curious they’ll get. And while you are at it, teach them not to disturb the laws of nature.
Teaching the new generation to ‘Connect’ to nature is a must.
We draw energy from our surrounding, so we already have some Connection to the nature. Its time we deepen it!
Two years ago, I gave birth to my little pumpkin pie, my sweet son. I had a C-section delivery due to some complications. I couldn’t hold my baby properly for 48 hours until after delivering him. And when I held him for the first time, I couldn’t stop crying. These moments were captured by a Camcorder.
Then came the months of long nights and sleepy days full of chaos: Feeding, Peeing, Pooping, And Sleeping. And between all this, every tiny smile, smirk, yawn, cry was being captured, every single detail of this new member of our family. Many a times we used to keep the camcorder running, just out of fear that if he does something new and the camera isn’t on we will lose the moment. And we actually managed to accumulate many such ‘First’ moments. First rolling over, first sitting, first giggles, first standing up, first walk, and first babble etcetera …I can say that child/Infant photography is not much different than wildlife photography. Wild animals and babies, both are same in some ways. One, they don’t understand your language. Two, they do exactly what they want when they want. And three, well, they are wild!
And here we are, two years later, with an adorable toddler, who’s turned into a poser, he understands what I say most of the times, and mostly follows instructions( mostly, not always! But that’s a typical behavior of a toddler) and a laptop and an external hard drive full of his pictures and videos. And when I say full, I mean ‘FULL’. As in, if we don’t take any action now, we-might-run-out-of-space kind of full. 1.2 TB data about my son has been accumulated during the first 2 years of his life. And now we are looking for a new backup device to store all this data.
But my question is: Even if we backup all this data, when my son grows up, will he really be interested in watching so many videos, pictures of his childhood? And assuming that he will be delighted to see all these snippets of his infant/ toddler life, how well can I preserve it till that time?
A few options to solve the ever growing data storage problem were proposed to me by various people:
Downsize the photos and backup them in external hard drive.
Pro: Reduced size, will take less storage space.
Cons: If I want to edit, process, enlarge and print the photo, the quality wouldn’t be as good. Also, the videos are for HD viewing, so downsizing them won’t work.
Print the photos and keep the album. Even if you lose the data, you have the hardcopy.
Cons: What about the actual physical storage space needed for the albums?
Upload it all to Google Drive
Cons: First of all, does google drive support uploading so much data for a single account? Plus the Internet bandwidth and time it will take to upload it should also be considered. The biggest problem with this solution is the security aspect of it. So this is also a BIG NO for me.
Finally we have decided to buy an external hard drive on which we will store the original photos and an existing external hard drive to back up the new drive, and we will then downsize the photos and keep it in the laptop.
By the way, has anybody else faced this problem ever? Hey people, New moms, dads, Travel bloggers, Professional photographers? How do you manage guys? Just an insight, please?