Innovation is driving the world forward at a rapidly increasing pace. If you could invent or devise a new technology or innovation, what would it be and why?
From where I am standing, rows of buildings packed together tightly dominate the horizon. Endless shacks made of cheap metal sheeting and wood stand hand-in-hand with skyscrapers that point towards the heaven. To my right, on the outskirts of Tan Binh district, cooling towers and chimneys from factories reach up into the grey, washed out sky. Flocks of motorbikes are speeding through tunnels across the river once blue now filled with a thick, black, barely-liquid sludge. I remember visiting my best friend’s house in elementary school, one of those shacks made of metal sheets, where his family slept on hammocks, living a cramped and claustrophobia-inducing existence. Only later did I come to understand - with spiralling rents due to ever-rising population, they could not afford a spacious house for four generations even with a steady income. During the dry season, their home was stifflingly hot, and in the rainy season bitterly cold.
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh, the most developed city in Vietnam.
Corridors, neon lights, tiny streets jampacked with motorbikes, shopping arcades, slums and apartments alike stuffed to the gullets with sullen, sweating people cooled by antique electric fans...Ho Chi Minh city is a perfect demonstration of an overcrowded oriental city - a big dwelling space made of small, busy corners where people have become adept at retreating into inner isolation: the space of a snack bar, a computer screen, a song playing on headphones. A place where people nevertheless continue to dream of the old days and of living a better life, seemingly indifferent to the surrounding carnage.
In this age of megacities and overpopulation, we all live like this.
The same way I feel terrible growing pains as I become taller and more built up, the rapid growth of the urban revolutions - while...