It’s impossible to look at your own face objectively. You can only view yourself in mirrors and photos, which are never quite what other people see. But to my eyes, my husband Mike and I have aged on the lower end of expectation. We’re both clearly the same people, with no shocking changes. For me, having shaved my head in my early twenties means that my hair never changed from brown to gray, or thick to thin. (It was never thick.)
What’s changed most between the two photos are the iPhones that took them. The 2009 photo comes from my friend Amy Higgins, who remembers taking it on the first day she got her iPhone. The 2019 photo is from my iPhone X. Cameras really have gotten dramatically better.
What will the 2029 cameras be like?
Assuming we’re still talking about a 2D representation of someone’s face, it’s hard to imagine where there’s room for dramatic improvement. But it will happen, and it won’t be mere megapixels. Perhaps we’ll be capturing the entire light field and rendering in a very different way, more like how we create videogame characters. Or maybe we’ll just be asking our phones to create of new photo of us from existing photos, like these amazing generative adversarial networks.
Whatever the technique, I hope to look on the low side of ten years older.
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In celebration of the 2009 to 2019 meme, this week’s links are all about time:
Future past. Did you know Google books has an archive of Popular Science magazine going back to 1925?
Free for all. On January 1, a bunch of famous works entered the public domain, which wouldn’t be remarkable except it is the first time it had happened in more than 20 years.
Not a coincidence. The Pudding has a great site to demonstrate The Birthday Paradox.
How talking points are made. Max Read has a good look at how ideas travel from joke tweets to lead new stories in just a few days. In this case, absurd screeds about Rudolph the Reindeer.
Dystopian YA caste systems, real-world edition. This video about different colored ID badges at Google is eight years old, which means it predates a lot of fiction like Insurgent. Also, I’m kind of scared to link to it, in case the algorithms identify me as an enemy of the hive.