Technology, it is said, has cancelled geography. Today, a student in deepest rural Uganda can virtually attend a class in Korea. The possibilities are infinite, if only we are prepared to grasp them.
When people speak of car racing, the first thing that pops into the minds of many is Formula One. If you're East African, it's probably the Safari Rally, if you're American, perhaps the IndyCar races. But recently I came across a new phenomenon hitting the streets. This is probably one of the smartest inventions in sport ever witnessed. It's called Formula E.
Formula E is a class of motor-sport that uses only electric-powered cars. That doesn't seem very impressive but here's the cool part. Aside from simply watching cars race across your television screen, the geniuses behind this have created a real-time virtual racing simulator which pitches you against the entire Formula E grid.
In simple terms, they have made an app that allows you to play a racing game which streams live images from an actual Formula E race on to your screen and so you feel as though you are racing against real drivers on the track live. (Just Google it!)
The gist of this is just how innovative technology is becoming; if they can mimic this than just how many previously unlikely realities can come true? Imagine being able to play alongside Tiger Woods at the Masters as you watch the golfing event from home!
As you know by now, I think of all things in an African context and wondered just how far this sort of simulation could be used to bypass tedious, bureaucratic, never-gonna-happen-in-my-lifetime processes.
For example, distance learning is something extremely popular around the world. On my phone currently I have the Coursera learning app that allows me to access university-level courses from around the world and in the end, earn a certificate from various institutions.
Right now I'm studying Game Theory at the University of Tokyo (Japan), Moral Foundations of Politics at Yale (US), and Federalism & Decentralisation at Leiden University (Germany). On my Duo Lingo app, I just earned points for achieving a 21-day streak in my basic French courses. Physically it would be impossible to be in New Haven, Tokyo, Leiden and Kinshasa (the largest French-speaking city in the world) at once. However, here I am in Nairobi with access to all.
Africa has always adopted technology in a somewhat untrustworthy manner--apart from taking to the mobile phone like a duck to water. I'm an...