The clouds in the east were pink early Tuesday, painted by the rising sun.
It was about 6:30 a.m. I was taking our dog Kitty on her morning stroll and did what people nowadays do upon seeing anything unusual: whipped out my iPhone and took a picture.
Why? Who knows? Possible Facebook cover shot. Potential blog illustration. The truth is, it's a habit. Almost a reflex. I worry I'll step in front of a truck someday and lunge to snap its picture as it bears down on me when what I really should be doing is leaping out of the way.
Clouds documented, I continued on. A buzzing sound. I looked up: high in the sky, a drone, lights winking. I looked down: standing directly in the center of the intersection, a young man bent intently over a control box.
The young man never looked up as Kitty and I approached. I stopped and — what else? — took a picture of him. Intrusive? One's expectation of privacy standing in the middle of an intersection is quite small or should be. We rounded the corner of Briarwood and headed down Center Avenue.
Are the skies soon going to be thick with these things? Delivering books for Amazon, sushi for GrubHub. Each house with its droneport, a 4-by-4-foot platform, raised off the ground so the squirrels don't get at the fruitcake your Aunt Agatha sends.
The future is hard to perceive. Maybe impossible. So many ways to misread what's coming. There is what I call the Arthur C. Clarke Syndrome. Clarke, the author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," extrapolated a few moon landings to expect colonies on Mars. Are drones this year's Space Food Sticks? Or the Model T in 1910?
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