State of the R102 a growing concern

A growing concern that many locals have expressed is the state of the R102.

The encroaching growth of the vegetation alongside this road is in danger of causing a serious incident. Anyone using this road can be affected, not only walkers, runners and cyclists.

There are various spots along the R102 between Umkomaas and Pennington where the vegetation has covered the yellow line and, in many cases, this is on a bend in the road.

A motorist coming across a runner or cyclist in one of these areas, will have to have quick reflexes to avoid a nasty incident. Should there be an approaching vehicle entering the picture, this could escalate the incident into a major catastrophe. Add speeding, which is common along this road, to the mix, one shudders to think of what may result.

Whose responsibility is it to address the problem? Passers-by at the northern end of Scott Street have been intrigued by the flock of pigeons that wait around on the grass in front of Pet’s Deli.

Recently the number of pigeons has decreased dramatically. Residents from both Sunland and Scottburgh Centre flats reported that a white male arrived one Sunday morning and set up a trap on the verge. He ended up catching many pigeons.

It was a relatively easy task as the birds had become totally at ease in the presence of humans, so much so that the birds often walked into shops while waiting to be fed. No-one has accepted responsibly for this act and it appears there is an attitude of “Silence is golden!”. How audacious of someone to pitch up and catch the birds without any conscience? For what reason? Pigeon pie? The future is upon us!

Few people alive today remember Flash Gordon, the hero of the space opera comic strip first published in 1935, eighty-three years ago? Much of what was written about then was pure science fiction, but time has proved that much of the fiction has become reality. Recently the Head of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said its competitors are no longer other car companies, but Tesla (obviously), and now, Google, Apple, Amazon et al.

He stated that IBM’s Watson, a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, can process 500 gigabytes, the equivalent of a million books, per second!

He stated further that in the USA young lawyers already can’t get jobs because of IBM Watson. You can get legal advice (so far for more-or-less basic stuff) within seconds, with a 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately.

There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future; only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses in diagnosing cancer, four times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. The CEO mentioned that by 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans. Around 2020, the complete motor industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore.

You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. Children of today will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car. For those of us who believe we are at the stage where we no longer dare buy green bananas, don’t shrug off thinking that these things will not affect you.

The future is just two years away!

Henry Parsons

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