The Future of the TAC

Yesterday my partner got her vehicle registration notice. It includes a significant fee for the Traffic Accident Commission, 58% of what she pays goes to TAC. These funds go toward supporting victims of traffic crashes in the costs associated with recovering from traffic-related injury.

She noted that in the future when there are driverless cars, the need for this sort of fund will decrease. That the number of people dying or being injured on the roads will decrease with reduced human error. 

It might be hard to imagine self-driving cars being less accident prone but they are far more equipped to detect and respond to threats than our ability to process information on the road. Our brains only process 40 bits of information per second, computers by definition compute at a far faster rate than we do. Cars and driving them are huge parts of our identity, looking forward to getting your license when you’re young and dreading losing it when you’re old. It’s associated with freedom and independence.

Can you imagine the freedom of your car service picking you up and taking you to your destination like a taxi but without the stress of the potential for human error? Can you imagine having the option to choose a transport service that is social, where people actually talk to each other and want to talk to each other.

Can you imagine the point where the evidence of human error being so great that it starts a debate about if we should stop letting humans operate large machinery like cars? I wonder what will happen to the TAC then.

 

 

This post is day 21 of 45 posts for 45 years.

The Future of Lawns

It’s 2029 and the last holdouts are fighting for their right to have a lawn on their property. Their council has committed to being lawn-free by 2030 back in 2019.

Most of the rest of their neighbours took advantage of councils lawn transfer programs. Highly subsidised lawn alternatives such as mondo grass, native grasses and other herbaceous options had overwhelming uptake. 

Those who transferred their lawns to non-mow grasses and plants reported increased levels of satisfaction in not being obligated to spend time repeatedly trimming their grass and the reduced noise pollution (and air pollution) was also welcomed.

Some complaints of muddy yards were reported early on when residents were still learning how to effectively transfer to non-mow yards. Several local celebrities agreed to have their properties highlighted as a collective learning experience in both successful and unsuccessful transfers.

Can you imagine this future? What would it take?

This post is day 13 of 45 posts for 45 years.

The Future of Marriage

Today I’m taking a page out of “Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper” by SARK. She talks about using writing to create the future you want. I’ve been a bit disillusioned recently, and I want to write my way out of it.

I was pretty sure Australia wouldn’t vote for someone as horrible as Tony Abbott, I was wrong. I was pretty sure the US wouldn’t vote for someone as horrible as Donald Trump, I was wrong.

So when I think of how the vote will go to allow same-sex marriage in Australia, I am reserving my optimism. This sucks because I’m usually pretty optimistic. So if I let go of the concern that the vocal opponents, the ‘No voters’ are more numerous than expected, what is the future I want to create?

Marriage doesn’t rate highly for me. Of course I want the right to marry my partner, but actually doing it is up in the air. Family members saying they want us to marry is lovely, and it’s had us reconsider and talk about the possibility. And it gives me an opportunity to be less dismissive of it, to see the value in it.

But really, I’d prefer to see relationships take a different shape. In the future I envision, we don’t seek a mate for life. We may have a companion that’s by our side for long periods, decades even, but not to the exclusion of all others.

Especially if advances in biotech enable us to live longer lives, do we really want to use a principle for relationships that was established when our life expectancy was half what it is now? I imagine a free-flowing model of relationships that is more about mutual enjoyment and growing through connection, one where longevity isn’t a measurement of relationship success.

I imagine having many kinds of relationships, some platonic, some intimate, some sexual, some based on companionship, some on shared interests, some on circumstance and affinity. Can you imagine a deep sense of belonging from a long-held connection being as valued as the excitement of a new paramour? Can you imagine being free to explore, flirt, and connect with people as deeply or frivolously as you like?

In many ways, this is the antithesis of marriage, but maybe it will take on a new meaning. Maybe marriage will morph and change as everything does. Regardless, the first step is making it an equal access opportunity, for those who want it, and to legitimise our relationships instead of being on the fringe.

 

This post is day 19 of 45 posts for 45 years.