The other day I ran into a teenager, a neighbor. He was finishing his high school. We exchanged hellos, I asked him about his future plans- and lo! In a few moments, I was horrified to catch myself dishing out sage advice as if I knew what I was talking. All my life, I have been greatly amused by the tendency of people a couple of decades older than me, to throw out Gyan. Most of which was garbage.
I had a sudden realization, that I was becoming them. This, I thought miserably is the consequence of not dying young, regretted by all. four measly decades and a few fleeting years had made me into a crap spewing Gyan generator! The horror!
The problem, as I see it, is of timing. Just imagine me, forty thousand years ago. As far as anyone can guess, generations would be hunting mammoths with the same stone tipped spears, field rats would be brought down with the same igneous rocks thrown with practiced skill, sabre tooth tigers would try to sink their gigantic canines into you with the same monotonous ferocity, guys would be impressed with the same large hips in grass skirts and girls would fall for the same moves while dancing naked around the fire.
I would be QUALIFIED to offer advice.
As it is , the world is changing at a pace that is hard to imagine. When I was doing my residency in Surgery, (which feels like yesterday) , being on call meant camping out in the doctors room, where the nurse can reach you, for twenty four hours. The net meant something that caught fishes or kept out mosquitos. The mouse was a small rodent and not something that you moved around on your desk with your cupped hand.
A few years from now, trucks and cars will run on its own. there is going to be an internet of things, and vehicles may become like common property. Anyone could summon a free vehicle and pay the owner and that is that. What are the future drivers and cab owners going to do? What hope does the future Bus baron have, other than to slink off to the horizon, dejected and smoking legalized marijuana?
As it is , we have courses in You tube, that will train you much better than any classroom course. Want to learn snake-handling? It is there. One can even get swimming lessons. You can watch it in the pool and step by step, learn it yourself. A lot of future teachers are going to get thrown out into the streets, lamenting shrilly. I am told that there are commercial units that can be kept in the kitchen, and programmed to do the unthinkable. One just need to put oil, sugar, vegetables, spices, meat, and what not, type out ‘sambhar’, ‘Butter chicken masala’, and a few whirring’s and whistles later, out it comes, ready to serve! Where does that leave the cooks? Their goose is cooked, I guess.
The Doctors and nurses are not immune. AI will find some way out. I can see that, though it is not yet clear to me how it is going to do it. The thing is, I am pretty happy that half my life is over. Just hang on for dear life for a couple more decades, and plead senile slowing of the mind, and use the then legalized dope to break the tedium of waiting for the jolly grim reaper to get on with his job.
Youngsters, I pity you. You have had it. (Jimmy Mathew)