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The Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and Future Global Travel Scenario

This piece is inspired by a BBC news article –  A world without planes.

Suddenly, children reminisce of old times and wonder why the older folks were so proud of the technological advancements of their time. They grudge till date about how global travel was affected for one week when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010. How humans of the day could not innovate and invent new means of travel or better “aeromobiles” as we call them, than the huge aluminum shells they clustered in for hours on end. Dust particles and birds sometime impeded their travel – hazards they called them, resulting in complete shutdown of airports and global travel. Days later, they are on about the millions of their currency they have lost from the resulting lock-down. As much as they have contributed to the technological advancements of global travel, it still remains to our utter amazement, how in the 21st century they would build crafts without due considerations to the medium within which they traveled.

If they could only see what global travel have metamorphosed into. Ships the size of cities with all the comfort of a traditional home – apartment style comfort with all the amenities you could possibly imagine. Thousands and thousands of families move from one continent to another at will – truly global citizens. Visas, passports and travel documentations no longer an impediment to social or economic migration. Truly global citizens as declared by Articles 13 (1),(2) of the the universal declaration of human rights. Once they had classes – Business class, First class – segregated according to societal standing. The folly of their time. Wider seats, much better food, warmer blankets, and ever smiling hosts and hostesses were the distinctive characteristics of class separation. What compares with our current family communities – truly balanced, non segregated societies which travel together in our modern ships. We interact without segregation, distinction or classification. A truly open, transparent society.

If they could see that we only use our ships to migrate for pleasure rather than the need to be physically present at another global meet.

There is talk about some experimentation. A project by a 16 year old university professor on “holographic transportation.” While they talked about “out of body experience”, a concept which most of them could not nail down,  this project already in its version two, incorporates voice resolution into the senses components of our existing holographic experience. With the new version of voice resolution, we have eliminated the robotic non sensual tonality of our speech and improved on its projection to include pitch, emotions and feelings. This, in addition to the senses of touch, feelings, hearing, and seeing. A sixth sense they called it. A natural, integral part of being, existence, for us.

They basked in their advanced use of the hologram for election coverage. Flickering images that wowed the presenter of the day. We enjoy ours as an essential dimension of today’s existence. Not as a projection but as a state of being. We have developed it such that we could transport ourselves to Hawaii, feel the heat of the sun on our transported self; do the safari in Kenya and watch the animals stare in amazement at human creatures who are not scared of walking amongst them; or feel the sand dunes of the Sahara as it rests and buries us, only to re-emerge in the clear blue sea, swimming amongst fishes and in between the corals of the Indian ocean on the Mauritian coasts. Global travel is changed for ever! All because of Eyjafjallajökull!

Our ships are dust proof, bird proof and crash proof.

Our meetings happen in holographic conference venues. Participants meet from all parts of the world in preconceived places, in swiftness of seconds.

The world is no longer wired by fibre cables. Our technology uses the air waves, which ceases to become a scarce resource. Spectrum allocation is not a global phenomenon. Spectrum is smart and every kid could rent them, broadcast, and release them for later re-use. Spectrum space is no longer seen as a resource, neither does broadcast become a prerogative of governments or big media owners. The channels do exist for one to many government communication but they are rarely used as communication takes  a viral dissemination mechanism. Using “impulses”, government sends one to a node and then watch as it propagates across the entire globe. Social networks have again become mainstream and the core of existing personality, being and identity. And as people are not limited by distance, sending information from one to another largely depends on which ring in the ripple one belongs to at a given moment in time – and that as a matter of nanoseconds.

So, does that one week lockdown caused by Eyjafjallajökull such a complete lost in monetary terms? At the time, perhaps. But right now, it has completely changed the face of global travel and we have our fore fathers to thank for it.

Eyjafjallajökull

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