4 Future Inventions We Will Wonder How We Lived Without

I have always wanted to be a Science Fiction writer. I am enthralled by the invention and imagination of writers such as Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlen. One day I will transmogrify my technical writing into something much more prosaic, and produce a novel of my own. Much like in my day job, as a DBA, it is the technology, the science that motivates me. As both DBA and fledgling writer, I’ll be disappointed if these four things don’t materialize as legitimate technologies before I write about them in my novel:

1. A Dream Recorder. All of my best solutions to the problems that bedevil my working day come in my dreams. My actual solutions are a pale and flawed imitation. Who doesn’t want to wake up and watch their dreams played back like a movie? Actually, perhaps you do not always want that, but imagine the creative potential! If nothing else, I’d finally remember how my perfect “SQL Server Optimization Service” works. On a higher level, if we can tap into the images that our minds produce while we sleep we are closer to touching our very essence, our consciousness. Then we can upload it to the Cloud and truly save ourselves.

2. An Intelligence Booster. We only use 10% of our brain. I know this because some neuroscientist figured it out (presumably using only10% of their sizable brain). If I’m going to implement even 10% of what I learn from my dream recorder, I’m going to need to use more than 10% of my brain. We can map the human genome and we know, roughly, which part of the brain is responsible for particular functions. So someone, please invent the synaptic cap that will make us all intelligent enough to understand highly complex processes and problems, like the Query Optimizer, or internal processes of DBCC, or how to agree with your partner which movie to watch next on Netflix. We can call this device the Syncap, pronounced either Sin Cap or Sync App. You choose.

3. A Universal Translator. I’ve been to International SQL Server events, and other technical conferences, in various countries, and am impressed every time I witness a speaker move from their native Dutch or Spanish or Danish to English, for their presentation, and then smoothly back again. I also feel slightly guilty each time, because by contrast I’ve usually been too busy or lazy to master even the basics of the local language. Learning a language is difficult and takes time and immersion..It is a manual process. DBAs crave automation. We are SO close to having a device that can translate 50 different languages or more in both directions. We just need to add to that the ability to listen to us, comprehend, and translate and do so with the least amount of error. It will mean technical presentations can be in native tongue. It will mean I never again use my broken Spanish to inform a confused stranger that “my hovercraft is full of eels”, before resorting to waving, talking louder and pointing, just to find the closest ATM.

4. A Mind Reader. Finally, a device that would allow us to speak with and truly understand our pets, spouses and bosses. In some ways, the mind reader is the ultimate device. We would then not need smart phones to social network, we would not need the universal translator because we would no longer need languages. Combined with Syncap, we’d have collective have access to, and the ability to understand, all of the data in the world – assuming each person is willing to allow communal sharing of knowledge from their organic center of being. So long silicon. So long RAM. So long SSDs. So long Cloud. So long WiFi. So long and thanks for all of the fish.

I am sure that many of you have other technologies that would make the world better for you and more importantly for me. If you can think of any we welcome posting them up here while the Internet still exists and digital editorials are still in vogue. Soon they will be soooooo 2013.