Monday, March 10, 2014

Predicted Behavioral Changes

There's a wonderful website that invites us to leave our smartphones alone for at least 10 minutes. If you can, through supporting organizations, you can provide clean water for one child's daily use. This week, the site reported the record was over 275 hours (11+ days); I think the person was on vacation and left the phone plugged in, or had a spare phone to use...or lost the phone between couch cushions or at a friend's house. We are so plugged in that it's enough of a challenge to leave the phone sleeping on a flat surface for 10 minutes, without being asleep yourself. The average length of time has been 54 minutes.

But this got me to thinking about other changes in our lifestyles that may be coming in the next ten years:

  • We will start to demand meteorological forecasts for solar hours: some combination of the solar radiation reaching earth's surface (measured in Watts/meter-squared) and the number of hours. Similar to precipitation probabilities, we'll have threshhold levels probabilities for a certain W/m-squared throughout the day. We'll need this to plan our fossil fuel energy consumption or our thermal or electrical energy storage from the current days.
  • Likewise, we'll also ask for wind forecasts.
  • On a different note, pedestrians will also have to listen more intensely for vehicle tire noise. As electric vehicles (and even hybrids) become more prevalent, the portion of a vehicle's noise as it approaches you will comprise less of combustion engine explosions within the pistons. It will only include the whine of rubber tires on pavement.
  • If we don't turn down our mp3 players as we walk, run or bike--or take care of our diminishing hearing through augmentation because we've abused our sensory organs with noise all of our waking hours--we'll have to make sure we're looking all ways before we enter other passageways, like roads. Who knows? If Kamen's Segway ever gets over a tipping point, we might even have to watch out for those electric conveyances on the pedestrian walkways.

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