The skeptic and the tech-savvy: a dialogue on Qatar

The skeptic and the tech savvy

Two European friends decide to go to Qatar for the World Cup. (this could be the beginning of a joke, but it’s not.) One is carping and self-centered, mainly lazy but eventually loyal, the other is an early adopter, a tech-savvy dynamic person who could drain anyone’s energy out if not contained from time to time.

Even though they booked a flight to Doha, the former is still considering a comfortable stay at home, so he’s trying to persuade his pal to stick to beer parties on the couch.

– Remind me: why go there when we could enjoy it on tv, with replays, and snacks, and safely sleep in our beds?

– Don’t you get it? What better chance to see the World Cup and also an exotic country?

– But it’s so far away and seems rather dangerous…

– Oh, c’mon! Just think a little bit: it’s a huge stake for the Qataris that all goes well and people praise them. They promised that this tournament will be the most advanced and innovative ever, in terms of tech…

– Don’t tell me you’re buying that…

– Ok, then let me convince you once more. For instance, there will be an offside system with 12 mobile cameras which send data to the VAR, so it’s almost impossible to make any mistake in that regard. And not only the cameras, but even the ball, man, for the first time the very ball has a movement sensor inside of it which relays real-time info to VAR. You know how often? 500 times a second…

– Another reason to watch tv, then. It’s baking hot there, man…

– Yes, it is, but not inside the stadiums, you know, because they built all the stadiums with a cooling system that adapts itself according to how many people are in the stands. And it maintains a temperature of 26 degrees basically everywhere, including the pitch itself…

– Suppose it’s all right once you get to the stadium, but before that? The city, the streets…

– Man, they even built a subway in Doha for the World Cup. In six years! It’s not finished, but it already has more than 70 kilometers of rail routes. So any place, any stadium is within minutes away… And when you get out, they have placed these artificial palm trees all over the place, which use solar and wind energy so you can charge your phone and go online…

– It’s complicated, man. A totally different world…

– That’s what makes it so fun: we install their special apps for tourists and explore the city and beyond. They made an app even for you, spoiled-lazy people: it’s called Asapp and you can order food without leaving your seat in the stands… What else do you want?

– It’s like you became their PR officer, man…

– Yeah, man, I get a commission for every wet blanket like you that I persuade… Do you want to live your life or not? Don’t you wish to have great memories instead of just moving from one room to another, with your remote in your hand?

– Speaking about the remote, I admit there is something about your Qatari friends that impressed me. They built a tool called Bonocle that looks like a remote control, and transforms digital information from the environment into the Braille alphabet, so that even blind people could feel the World Cup and live all the buzz around it.

– Now you see? Can we please start packing?


Disclaimer: the dialogue above is fictitious, but its resemblances with reality are not coincidental. They are all true.

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