OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 8

8 » OpenRoad Driver PUBLISHER’S NOTE » With the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, American writer Kurt Vonnegut has never seemed so prescient. It would be tempting to look at the millionaires from Vonnegut’s novels to find fresh relevance to today. A billionaire president even appeared in the 1976 satire, Slapstick. But I want to look back at Vonnegut’s very first novel from exactly 65 years ago. His debut novel Player Piano launched forty years of storytelling in 1952, a first step towards exploring fractured worlds that move between pessimism and optimism, and madness and order. Rather than millionaires and presidents, though, this initial work allows us to focus on everyday characters like engineer Paul Proteus and his old friend Ed Finnerty who face an eerily futuristic society. The world is completely overrun by machines, and technology dominates all aspects of life. Sound familiar? Today, we can draw parallels. Technology has eliminated manual jobs in multiple sectors. We rely on computers and mobile devices sometimes to an extreme. And fears of the robot apocalypse are understandable watching Handle, the jumping super robot unveiled by Google X’s Boston Dynamics. It might be awe inspiring, but it’s also unsettling. In Vonnegut’s anti-Utopian fiction, a mechanized world is disruptive where humanity can lose its way. But rather than satirize the effects of automation, today in the real world we can clearly benefit from the positive side of technology, too. It creates new industries, improves productivity, and delivers great personal convenience. My favourite passage from Player Piano comes from Vonnegut’s rebel Ed Finnerty, “I want to stay as close on the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.... Big, undreamed-of things – the people on the edge see them first.” Vonnegut’s passage gives us great inspiration for this edition of OpenRoad Driver magazine: Edge. Here at OpenRoad we hope we can see big things, and in turn, bring those advantages to you. BMX rider Tory Nyhaug races onto our cover fresh from a top-five finish at the Rio Olympics and the start of another racing season. He’s been a good OpenRoad customer of ours driving his Mazda3 of choice. Here, we partner Tory with Audi at our new OpenRoad Audi Boundary location. Read our fascinating feature and learn the speedy nickname he’s given his Ssquared CEO race bike. Hint: he’s not horsing around. Larger-than-life Umberto Menghi figures prominently wherever he goes. Everyone knows him simply as Umberto, a culinary legend who has delivered greatness again through his Tuscan renaissance in downtown Vancouver, Giardino Restaurant. I got a chance to cook pasta with Umberto while discussing his life and loves. We also hopped over to The BMW Store to play with the BMW i8. Bello! From Tuscany to the Okanagan, our food feature lands us in Penticton where a trio of eateries are at the cutting edge of “trash cooking” by turning scraps into delicious and unique creations. Remnant wild yeast from local vineyards is rescued from landfills to help make gluten-reduced sourdough bread, for example. It’s mouthwatering and eco-friendly, too. Recycling and sustainability aren’t just for food. Explore the artistic