Tonawanda News

Columns

January 27, 2013

DUVALL: Taking a look into the future

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Another bold Davos prediction? We’ll all be sitting in self-driving cars in a few years.

I’m inherently skeptical about any transportation-related predictions ever since we were promised flying cars in by sometime in Ronald Reagan’s second term. This is by far the most let down I’ve ever been by a prediction. I WANT MY FLYING CAR! WHERE IS IT?!

But there’s an actual question I’m willing to consider: Would self-driving cars be safer? Seriously, most GPS units can’t ever seem to figure out when to say I should turn. I picture myself lounging in my car, sipping coffee and reading the paper while it drives me to work, only to look up and realize I’m about to careen into a McDonalds drive thru because the car thinks it’s my office instead.

Upside? Old people aren’t in control of vehicles and no one will ever need a designated driver. Drinks on me!

Health care

Doctors and researchers agreed research into genetics will continue to unlock clues to a multitude of illnesses, particularly mental illnesses. Scientists envision being able to alter improperly formed or performing cells to address such things as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

I have a cynical prediction: No one is really going to pay enough money to fix problems we presently address by sticking the mentally ill in state wards. The research is certainly interesting, but where’s the financial motive for companies to profit from helping people with no means to repay them?

Technology

Another bold prediction from Davos: A huge increase in 3D printing.

Or, as we used to call it, making stuff.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo