Shower thoughts

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A “shower thought” is the term for those crazy things you come up with when you let your mind wander while showering, driving, or doing any other mindless task. These thoughts may involve a philosophical reflection on life, the realization of unexpected coincidences, or a general epiphany about how the world works.

The great thing about shower thoughts is that the best ones can get other people thinking too. A recent Buzzfeed article gathered up some technology shower thoughts. They are all pretty interesting, but here’s a few that really made me go “whoa.”

“What if Artificial Intelligence built to defeat the Turing Test actually fails on purpose so we don’t know how smart it really is?”

whoa70sguygif

So this one is part crazy conspiracy, part epic futuristic robot dystopia movie, but in a mind-blowing kind of way that makes it something you just have to consider on a certain level. I find AI and the Turing Test fascinating. Can we create something as intelligent as we are? Something even more intelligent? How do we do that? And what would happen if we did? (Robot apocalypse, probably.) Oh, the things that keep us up at night.

“Finding an old USB drive with a file on it is modern technology’s equivalent to finding a message in a bottle.”

conspiracy keanu

Maybe it’s because I’ve always liked the idea of finding a message in a bottle, but this one is both intriguing and a little sad to me. I see the equivalent nature, but the fun part about a message in a bottle was that you were left reading someone else’s thoughts. (You wouldn’t leave yourself a message in a bottle.) So I guess this would be more applicable if you happened to come across an old USB drive of someone else’s. Then you can get that glimpse into another time while still being nosy!

“There are people alive today who have never seen a floppy disk, and yet it is still the universal ‘save’ icon.”

whoa

Ok, to be perfectly honest I think this one was just personally mind-boggling because I never understood the save icon image. I know what a floppy disk is and I never even made that connection. (I totally see it now, and I feel very silly.) You learn something new every day, I guess. On that note, can anyone tell me where the “power” symbol came from?

“Asking someone ‘Where are you?’ is a recent thing.”

Because before we had cell phones, the only way we could talk to people is if we already knew where they were.

what

I did a double take when I read this one. But it’s true. The primary person-to-person communication methods predating the cell phone were speaking face-to-face, sending telegrams, writing letters, and calling on landline phones. In all of those cases you have to already know where someone is in order to contact them at all, so you’d never have to ask where they are. This question only exists in our daily lives because of our communication’s relationship to technology.

Which leads me to my own shower thought for today: what questions will become a part of our daily lives in the future that we would never think to ask now?

The most amazing thing is it’s probably impossible to know.

And if you’re interested in hearing or sharing shower thoughts, I recommend r/ShowerThoughts.

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