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Tomorrow’s World 1971 worth checking out


Paul H
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James Burke - not only a great reporter but also a superb analyst of future trends; upon which many have materialised and when many thought he was talking rubbish.

The clip is an excellent example of such and great to see a Triumph spear heading those innovations - makes a change from the usual sort of marque used.

I'm pleased to say he is still going strong. Without a doubt he was an absolute asset on the Tomorrow's World team, as were all those who made that programme exceptionally interesting and thought provoking. Just a pity so few of his ilk are about today.

Regards.

Richard.

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Except.......

My modern has been into two garages costing £££ to diagnose the dread “limp home mode” They can’t find the problem.

Electronics, when it works, great, when it doesn’t “Dunno mate”

Cruise Control, yes I got it, but do I need it? So much stuff that we don’t really need!

Doug

 

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49 minutes ago, dougbgt6 said:

Cruise Control, yes I got it, but do I need it? So much stuff that we don’t really need!

Indeed Doug,

And not a lot of it understood by the majority of drivers - the age of the all encompassing machine is ever closer.

I recall, very well, reading a short story many years ago by E.M Forster: The Machine Stops - perhaps some have read it, if not worth doing so and here is the synopsis (with thanks to Wiki).

Probably rings a few bells !!

Regards.

Richard.

 

The story, set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs, predicted technologies similar to instant messaging and the Internet.

The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted, but is unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine with which people conduct their only activity: the sharing of ideas and what passes for knowledge.

The two main characters, Vashti and her son Kuno, live on opposite sides of the world. Vashti is content with her life, which, like most inhabitants of the world, she spends producing and endlessly discussing second-hand 'ideas'. Kuno, however, is a sensualist and a rebel. He persuades a reluctant Vashti to endure the journey (and the resultant unwelcome personal interaction) to his room. There, he tells her of his disenchantment with the sanitised, mechanical world.

He confides to her that he has visited the surface of the Earth without permission, and that he saw other humans living outside the world of the Machine. However, the Machine recaptures him, and he is threatened with 'Homelessness': expulsion from the underground environment and presumed death. Vashti, however, dismisses her son's concerns as dangerous madness and returns to her part of the world.

As time passes, and Vashti continues the routine of her daily life, there are two important developments. First, the life support apparatus required to visit the outer world is abolished. Most welcome this development, as they are sceptical and fearful of first-hand experience and of those who desire it. Secondly, "Technopoly", a kind of religion, is re-established, in which the Machine is the object of worship. People forget that humans created the Machine, and treat it as a mystical entity whose needs supersede their own.

Those who do not accept the deity of the Machine are viewed as 'unmechanical' and threatened with Homelessness. The Mending Apparatus—the system charged with repairing defects that appear in the Machine proper—has also failed by this time, but concerns about this are dismissed in the context of the supposed omnipotence of the Machine itself.

During this time, Kuno is transferred to a room near Vashti's. He comes to believe that the Machine is breaking down, and tells her cryptically "The Machine stops." Vashti continues with her life, but eventually defects begin to appear in the Machine. At first, humans accept the deteriorations as the whim of the Machine, to which they are now wholly subservient, but the situation continues to deteriorate, as the knowledge of how to repair the Machine has been lost.

Finally, the Machine collapses, bringing 'civilization' down with it. Kuno comes to Vashti's ruined room. Before they perish, they realise that humanity and its connection to the natural world are what truly matter, and that it will fall to the surface-dwellers who still exist to rebuild the human race and to prevent the mistake of the Machine from being repeated.

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Apart from anti-lock brakes not really sure how useful some of these things, like cruise control, are.

He uses a wind down window   which seems rather quaint now.

Electric windows are fine for ones which are inaccessible  but I have never been convinced  for the need  of one on the driver’s door, where a winder would be easily reached.

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Another thumbs up here for cruise control - particularly useful in the miles of average speed check motorway roadworks we seem to have across the country. Been to Coventry and back today - more of the M1 is 50 or 60 mph than 70. At least it was flowing well, which makes a change.

Gully

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I’ve just been thinking (a rare thing indeed) and most of the current “Toys” are for “safety” - it will brake itself at low speed and at higher speed will buzz and put a red warning on the dash. 
 

but I’m convinced it’s because you are so insulated by the cars comfort from the world outside that they have to add the toys to remind you. 
 

Old cars on the other hand you can feel the road beneath you and you know the limit of adhesion just by the seat of your bum and the feel of the steering.  

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31 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

Old cars on the other hand you can feel the road beneath you and you know the limit of adhesion just by the seat of your bum and the feel of the steering.  

AF, I think you've neatly encapsulated it there. Cruise control makes the 400 miles to my mother's house in Scotland less arduous , does it make the journey enjoyable?  Not really.

Doug

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Doug. Driving in the uk - at least on the main roads and motorway network is tedious and boring much of the time and stressful.  I have to do a lot for work (though the last 3months or so have dropped significantly due to a job in London and I let the train take the strain) 

But driving country lanes can be more fun in any car but more so in the spitfire - and driving abroad (not done it in the spit yet) is generally a lot less stressful and that is particularly due to less traffic (except the obvious hot spots of Paris Brussels etc) and the roads just seem easier to drive.  I did Calais to south of munich in one day in the summer - over 600miles - and was fine. Not sure I’d want to do that sort of mileage in the uk in a day and feel ok at the end. 

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One safety feature that has never really seen the light of day would be a device for detecting if you were nodding off.

Modern technology has made driving very boring and sleep inducing in a eurobox. But the manufacturers haven't, as far as I know, come up with snooze detector.

Even in the TR4A on very long runs at the wrong time tiredness can ignore the bumps and rattles.

I attempted to find a device (any device) to help, not stay awake, but  detect a dodgy situation. I don't snore so a sound detector was out.

The nearest I got was a pair of glasses with Mercury switches on the arms which went into panic mode if my head nodded. But I considered them something less than useless. 

It must be a very difficult thing to make as they ended up with the driverless car to circumvent the research

 

Roger

 

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8 minutes ago, RogerH said:

One safety feature that has never really seen the light of day would be a device for detecting if you were nodding off.

Modern technology has made driving very boring and sleep inducing in a eurobox. But the manufacturers haven't, as far as I know, come up with snooze detector.

 

There are moderns with a system to alert the driver when the car 'drifts' across white lines if the indicators aren't used

 

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10 minutes ago, RogerH said:

One safety feature that has never really seen the light of day would be a device for detecting if you were nodding off.

Modern technology has made driving very boring and sleep inducing in a eurobox. But the manufacturers haven't, as far as I know, come up with snooze detector.

Even in the TR4A on very long runs at the wrong time tiredness can ignore the bumps and rattles.

I attempted to find a device (any device) to help, not stay awake, but  detect a dodgy situation. I don't snore so a sound detector was out.

The nearest I got was a pair of glasses with Mercury switches on the arms which went into panic mode if my head nodded. But I considered them something less than useless. 

It must be a very difficult thing to make as they ended up with the driverless car to circumvent the research

 

Roger

 

I find my other half keeps me awake incessantly adding to the list of jobs I have to do back at home. It never fails to keep me awake.

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I have heard of such a thing on the prototype driverless cars. The inclination to nod off must be greatly increased if you're not actually driving and they don't want that! I think it works by lack of movement in the chair, lack of hands on the wheel movement, lack of foot movement? Fires of a klaxon!

Doug

 

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Many thanks for your replies.

Sadly not quite what I was after.    On one giant road run (2000 miles in 48Hrs around Britain)  many of the roads do not have white lines, usually no 'other half' on this run.

The driverless car doesn;t help but is the future.   And as for flashing - I'm not even up to kerb crawling in the 4A.

 

Roger

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1 hour ago, mark powell said:

Railway locomotive drivers have devices that have to be acknowledged  I think it's called a vigilance device. Maybe could be incorporated into cars?  

https://www.eke-electronics.com/vigilance-control-system-dead-man-switch

Hi Mark,

I would have thought a 'deadman's handle' would be worse than the dozy driver. Imagine slamming the brakes on in the outside lane of a busy motorway.

I think there must be an answer. Either heart rhythm or brain wave pattern

Whatever the sensing system it must not affect the car as such ie sudden stopping etc.

 

Roger

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3 hours ago, RogerH said:

One safety feature that has never really seen the light of day would be a device for detecting if you were nodding off.

Modern technology has made driving very boring and sleep inducing in a eurobox.

Last time I drove on the M6 I was too frightened to nod off.

Over here the best device for keeping you awake is called the East European Driver. The other half also screams her head off if another car comes within half a mile, so I need to adjust her settings to a more reasonable distance.

 

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