Working remotely will be the most significant transformation since agriculture

Its impact on civilization will be exactly opposite. Rather than concentrating population, it will disperse it. Commuting and the traffic crisis will disappear. So will the housing crisis. You will have a large lot of land with a robot-ready house built new with safe, eco-friendly material and free of hazardous substance. You will live away from volcanoes, fault lines, tornadoes, wild fires and other hazards. You’ll be able to move to a location with ideal climate, which for historical reasons are now under-populated. This will dramatically reduce housing costs, especially heating, and solve or greatly mitigate the pollution problem. Huge amounts of space will be cleared up and given back to nature, or used for housing.

Doctors will visit patients remotely. This will enable patients to be followed up more regularly and consistently throughout their lives regardless of where they are. Doctors will have more time to give meaningful advice rather than having the patient wait 1 year for the appointment and then spend 1 hour to get to the doctor for a 10-minute visit of which 8 are spent looking at the screen and filling reports. Robo-tools will take measurements and send them to the doctor. If a complicated procedure is required, the expert will connect with the patient and the doctor remotely first, and then the patient will schedule a trip for the procedure.

You’ll take gym classes remotely via a remote gym. The instructor will give you personalized advice and follow your progress anywhere, anytime. Demanding facilities like swimming pools will be next to your house.

Courts of law, and the entire judicial system will be taken off-line.

People will vote from home, elections will be more frequent and granular. Constituents choosing not to vote will (maybe) have to specifically abstain. This will finally realize the democratic ideal where the government represents the will of the people.

Constituents will be able to participate to discussions, instead of having to travel 1 hour for a 5-minute in-person discussion. The level of engagement will be measured by the level of engagement as opposed to travel distance.

Wireless won’t be used on a large scale, since its noxious effects will be undeniable. Instead we will have network cables densely spread out over the earth — one of the few duties of the government will be to maintain these cables for the free, democratic, public use.

Banking will be done remotely, and physical money will disappear.

We will have immersive work-stations with wall-to-wall, solar-powered e-ink screens, holographic images, and audio indistinguishable from reality. You will be able to attend meetings while exercising, like walking or biking on a machine or outside. This will boost your health, lowering health care costs for all.

People with special needs will have the same opportunities and duties as everyone else and will be fully integrated.

All learning will be done remotely. The instructor will be able to provide better, more personalized teaching, and connect with each student face-to-face. Testing will be done remotely, each student monitored via cameras. Critical examinations will be administered in special-purpose facilities which are next to your house (similar in spirit to say the way GRE is administered, but much more large scale and flexible, including for example synchronized examination).

You will have farms next to your house, growing organic food that you can eat fresh. Epidemics will be much rarer and more easily controlled, as population will be less concentrated and will travel less.

Fantasy? Actually, many of these things are already happening!

The will of the framers

What a great title for a legal thriller. And for a history buff like me — something I never thought I would become and that must be a side effect of having learnt absolutely zero history in school — how arousing it is to hear what John Adams said in 1776, and details of the Great Debate, and the rhetoric! It is apt that I am following the discussion on an analog radio, my habit of the last 10 years or so, another thing I never thought I would do but that I actually find quite relaxing now. It takes my mind off my own worry, and it soothes my eyes. I recommend it at small doses to avoid sudden onset of nausea. It is also apt that I follow it from my house, built two centuries ago though not as long ago as reported online, as I recently discovered sifting historical records. It comes to my mind that I now know what it means to renovate an old house. This is not something that I can recommend, but it is an experience that has had a profound and lasting impact on me. I am aware of mortise locks, three-tab shingles, the terminological jungle of drywall et similia, caulking, baseboards, the difference between granite and quartz, between 4-inch and no backsplash, pvc, fixtures, the evolution of toilets and countless other things that I can’t list but that suddenly spring up in my mind when entering any house, including most recent additions such as the electrical system.

Once, while waiting for yet another late sub-contractor I wrote:

The revenge of the housekeepers

For centuries they slept in niches inside their masters’ houses, cooked meals in crammed kitchens, hand-washed laundry bent in basements. Now they are gone, but the houses still stand. Their niches are our offices where we can’t fit a table. We spend most of our family time in the crammed kitchen, the other rooms unused since nobody has the energy to shuttle the food, or clean. And faltering to hoist the laundry load from the basement we bump the head.