9.01.2005

 

Manna in operation

Case Study: 99 Cents Only Stores' Efficient IT Infrastructure

From the article:This is straight out of the book Manna, so perhaps that would be a good name for the "as-yet-unnamed voice".

Comments:
Any more info about this system. I expected to see it, but not so quickly
 
Seems like the start to automate task leaders and supervisors? Hhhhhhmmmm … might be a good thing? :)
 
That is amazing! It really does sound straight out of your book Marshall. Now all they need to do is replace the human in that equation...
 
Didn't you patent mana?

This seems like an ideal first application of mana. No customer interaction. Simple job. The routing of the vehicles to avoid accidents alone probably pays for the cost of this system. I wonder how it handles unforseen issues -- like an oil leak in the vehicle causing a mess. I suspect that anything out of the ordinary is handled by a human mana-ger putting the computer on pause while someone cleans up the mess.
 
Look at the upside! The female voice can’t have a PMS Day.
 
You got it right on the nose Marshall! It's uncanny how similar this sounds to Manna. Congratulations on your psychic abilities. :-)
 
Congratulations on his psychic abilities...but that probably means he's completely right and we're headed for an unprecedented worldwide unemployment explosion. Congratulations.
 
We can get some idea about what the future will look like, even in the 20-30 year range. Danila Medvedev made a neat powerpoint presentation that cites ancient NISTEP reports, which made very precise and accurate predictions 20-30 years in advance.

These are predictions NISTEP made in the 70's: "Possibility to a certain degree of working at home through the use of TV-telephones, telefaxes, etc. (forcast for: 1998)" Not the exact shape, but pretty close. "Acquisition of observation data from unmanned probes around Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and outside the solar system. (forcast for: 1999)" "Development of optical communication technology that can realize substantial savings in the use of copper. (forcast for: 1999)" And on and on.

That said, I'm not aware of any reports that anticipated Manna. Looking back, it makes sense. But again: It's clear that at least Marshall Brain and a few other people forsaw Manna: It's springing up in several places now.

-- Lion
 
Marshall, I don't know 1) if you read these comments or 2) if you have a Target near you.

If you do and if it is implemented at that store, they have a simple form in manna in place, using walkie-talkies, but no human voices... a female robotic voice.

I needed some help in the Tech Department, no one was around I saw a box that said, "Need Help? Push this button".
I did. A voice from the box said, someone will be with you in less then 60 seconds.
About 35 seconds later a Target employee came over from Cosmetics where she had been arrainging stock. She asked if she could help me. I asked her a couple questions, she was knowedgable about their products.
While we were talking her walkie-talkie beeped and the female robotic voice came on and said, "The bathroom needs to be cleaned. Who can volunteer?"
I heard another beep and the voice said, "Thank you, please proceed to the bathroom." I assumed the other beep was someone pushing their "accept" button on their talkie.
I asked her if it did that often. She said it was clean the bathroom or straighten stock in a certain area or go to the back to inventory stock.
 
wOw. Straight out of the story.
 
Also notice that the article Marshall Brain quotes is from January 2004. So Manna existed 6 years before his prediction of May 17, 2010. Fantastic job, Marshall! I overheard the same Manna-like process at Target, but thought I misheard. So fast-food joints were not the first...it was discount retailers.
 
The article is from January 1, 2004 - so Manna's been around for at least a year and half (probably longer) and nobody noticed.
 
C'mon, Marshall, fess up. You integrated the "Manna" fiction into your story because of the reality that already existed. When you have access to a lot of information, it's not really that hard to extrapolate these "theories". The main reason something manifests itself in the marketplace: it makes economic sense and there is a buyer for it. It's not science-fiction, kiddies...nor is it rocket science. Hee, hee.
 
C'mon, Marshall, fess up. You integrated the "Manna" fiction into your story because of the reality that already existed.

Hm, ... I don't know...

When you have access to a lot of information, it's not really that hard to extrapolate these "theories".

People who have a similar awareness do invent the same sorts of things. I see it all the time, in the Social Software world. Certain ideas naturally follow from others, and those who are concentrating on the seeds come out with the same results.

Independent discovery is very real, and very common.

(One of the main problems a lot of us have with the patent system: Patenting the obvious.)

The main reason something manifests itself in the marketplace: it makes economic sense and there is a buyer for it. It's not science-fiction, kiddies...nor is it rocket science. Hee, hee.

MESTI compression.

Still, there is value in having the imagination to conceive of this sort of thing (the sci-fi part,) and the judgement to identify it as valuable against other possibilities.

If it's neither rocket science nor science fiction, and thus not impressive, we should all be very rich people shortly, by effortlessly imagining and picking out money-making schemes that work!
 
"C'mon, Marshall, fess up. You integrated the "Manna" fiction into your story because of the reality that already existed."

While Marshall may have access to the information, I have been reading his stuff for at least the last three years, maybe longer, and I am on the Net constantly researching different things (robotics being one of them) and I did not hear of manna being in use before Marshall wrote about it.
And I am willing to bet that I have access to as much as and possibly more information then Marshall (or your above average Net user).

And secondly... you say, "It's not science-fiction, kiddies...nor is it rocket science. Hee, hee."

Hmm, if it is so simple where is your blog about all of this? Where are your patents? ;)
 
Well, I never said it was EASY...I just said it wasn't rocket science! :)
 
Oops, I should also have said this...

Marshall is in a unique position -being the guy who found and sold "How Stuff Works (dot com)"- and thus has access to alotta information. Access to alotta info does not instantly make one smart, or rich...but in the hands of the talented, it just might enable them to make a living as a prophet, futurist, or science-fiction author. Witness Arthur Clarke "inventing" the satellite. Obviously, Mr. Clarke did not plan, build, test or manufacture a satellite, but he saw what was happening in the world of science and engineering, put the pieces together in a logical way and wrote about it. Clarke, Asimov, Gibson and many other talented writers have prognosticated about possible futures, but few actually end up creating (patenting, owning or building) the future. I would love it if Marshall's trend-spotting talents were used to create new futures, but thinking about something and turning it into reality are very different matters... and I know this first-hand from growing up with a father whose business card reads, "Inventor", and I personally have files full of thousands of ideas...and wouldn't you know it...actual products have been made and sold from time to time that are literally identical to the ideas I wrote down years ago. If you can dream it, AND build it, then come see me. Seacrest out!
 
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