:+: My Philosophy on Life and What the Future Holds :+:
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My basic philosophy:
This can be summed up rather nicely by a couple of things I'm fond of saying:
If you learn, but do not teach, take, but do not give, you suck!
Hey, I have no problem with people who are disabled either physically or mentally who can't work getting what they need to survive. I just don't like people who are leeches who learn things, but don't try to do anything nice for others with that knowledge, or try to pass it on. Most people who learn things only see how they can use what they've learned to make money.
If life isn't any fun, then what's the fun of living?
One of my favorite Science Fiction writers named Robert A. Heinlien said in one of his books "Eat, drink, and be merry. Moderation is for monks" but while I like the idea of trying to get as much pleasure out of life as possible, taking those words to the extreme has consequences.
If you eat too much, you're going to end up at a very un-healthy weight.
If you get too drunk, you might drive over somebody when you're drunk and/or under the influence of drugs.
If you laugh too much, they'll probably haul you away. Crying is okay (in society's eyes, anyway. I'd rather see people happy, myself), but laughing for a long period of time makes people think that you're crazy. After all, there's not too many sane people that can laugh about life in this crappy world filled with people who screw you over every way they can. There's an old saying: "Cry for an hour in public and nobody will bother you. Laugh for 15 minutes and they'll come to take you away." Sad, but true.
There's a saying I'm fond of that goes like this:
An ye harm none, do what ye will.
That's closer to my own philosopy on life, but I like throwing the fun part in, too. :-)
In addition to this, I get upset at hearing about injustice, un-fairness and the mis-use of power, especially when innocents suffer. When I hear about it, I have a tendancy to want to do something about it, even if it's to complain on a Web page. Since I don't have any authority in the real world, maybe there's at least one authority figure or somebody with power who can make a difference, and, after reading what I wrote about, will do something.
But, I'm not going to hold my breath on that. Most humans are only motivated by greed, power, and lust. Doing what's right is far down on their list, if they can be bothered to think about it at all.
Time and life:
Going to get a little more serious, now . . .
What matters the passage of time? It is but a measurement of duration from one moment to another. Some live but a few years, others live well over a century and there are rumors of those within your history of people who live far longer.
But, what truly matters is what you do with the time you have. You could live for thousands of years, watch empires rise and fall, see monuments built and then be slowly eroded by the weather over the passing of centuries. When you look to the skies at night, you notice that Luna, or "the moon" as some refer to it, now, is much smaller than it was quite some time ago and the constellations you once beheld in their full glory and grew drunk on seeing their beauty away from the lights of the cities have slowly changed shape and stars which formed parts of them have dimmed or vanished, while new ones have formed, where once there was only a dark patch of sky.
However, if you do nothing with the time you have, you are naught but a spectator, like the person who sees the world through his television set and thinks he's a part of the world, when in actuality, he is nothing but an ant watching time march by him.
In time, he too, will be naught but dust, and few will remember he even lived, drew breath, looked at the stars and dreamed but did absolutely nothing to make those dreams real, tried to help others or to make the world a better place. Those who knew him will soon forget him and in time, they too, die and nothing, not even memories, are left of that person.
Please don't quibble with me about the passage of time. Yes, I do procrastinate, am easily distracted, and it sometimes takes me a while to get things done, but I usually do, eventually. Or, at the very least, I try to get the more important things accomplished. The vast majority of you have no idea whatsoever who I am or judge me solely on appearances when you meet me, as you likely do with many people. Your mistake. ;-) I have experienced, seen, and learned a great many things in my life, and, while most people seem interested solely in making as much money as possible, my interests are far more various, I learn things simply because I'm curious, and I spend a lot of my time and energy sharing some of what I've learned by making Web pages, hoping that if I teach enough people some of the things I know, it'll make the world a better place.
Yeah, I'm a dreamer. LOL
How do you know that what I'm saying is the truth? That I am not just another person only interested in making as much money as possible? For starters, I'm not trying to sell you something, and I even went so far as to buy my own domain name so I could have more control over what appears on the site. Put it this way: How many .com sites do you know that don't have ads on each and every one of their pages?
Think about that one for a bit . . .
What the Future Holds:
For a while, I debated with myself as to whether or not I should say anything at all, or try to warn people and hope they'll see reason and make the necessary changes. But, then, I realized that if I didn't, innocents would suffer and not just the majority of humans who spend almost every waking moment in a haze. Their actions and inactions put the entire world at risk. Under the foolish belief that it would make a difference, I even offered advice to the highest levels of government. Among my suggestions were ways to save the taxpayers' money and improve security. Didn't even get a form letter response. So, I'll post some things here. But, I won't waste too much of my time on it, since I don't believe it will do any good.
Within the next ten to thirty years, your world is going to drastically change.
Technology is going to grow exponentially, people's lives will be more controlled as governments and corporations use technology like real ID chip implants, RFID (the reader devices will soon have a much longer range) and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) which reads the license plates of moving vehicles (or parked cars, trucks, SUVs and the like if they're used in a vehicle looking around the area), to keep track of your comings and goings with more surveillance technology, including better cameras tied in with facial recognition systems to identify you and aerial drones, the ability not only to track where you are with GPS on your electronic devices but also to remotely activate them to watch and listen in on all that happens nearby. Facial recognition will improve greatly, keeping track of what you buy and sell (so it won't be just what you buy with your various credit cards, debit cards, and store cards), and who you interact with both on-line and in the real world and not just your phone calls (look up COINTELPRO for what was done in the past and ask yourself what they could do in the near future with more advanced technology), while continuing to put fluoride into the water so people won't worry too much about it, their vanishing freedoms and liberty, or for that matter, what's in their water. More consumer electronics will become available to help distract you and all of them will be able to monitor your movements and what you do. Once upon a time, there was a comedian named Yakov Smirnoff who joked that "in Soviet Union, TV watches you!" This will be true in America in the very near future, and it won't just be your television set. There will be occasional whistle-blowers but this will only create temporary interest each time, and the stages that people will go through are already fairly established. Denial of such a thing being done, anger as it is confirmed, acceptance of the new situation paired with the belief that they're sure such a thing would never happen again (LOL), and, finally, it slips from their minds, as they go about their daily lives. Later whistle-blowers will eventually be charged with treason, and serve as a launching pad for tighter restrictions on 'free speech', one of the few remaining freedoms permitted in the Bill of Rights, which will become little more than some obscure historical document with no real power when law after law gets passed taking away your rights. With their potential victims, the citizens, effectively gagged and un-able to protest without making themselves targets (expect masks at protests and demonstrations to become illegal because they interfere with facial recognition), further restrictions are made, and more of the population are disarmed to make it easier to eradicate some of them (as has been done numerous times in the past), while claiming that increased gun control will make their lives safer and lower crime. As expected, this did not work, and crime rates increased in areas where stricter gun control laws were passed, while a few citizens remarked on how little sense it made to think that criminals would follow the law. The criminals, meanwhile, rejoiced that the politicians made their lives easier by significantly decreasing the odds that their potential victims could defend themselves, their homes, or loved ones. Before you start calling me a crackpot or conspiracy theorist, consider this: The technology for most of the above already exists. The only thing which would stop them from being implemented is if those with power felt that people's freedoms, rights, and liberties should be respected. However, since you're living in a corporatocracy (corporatocracies are political systems where corporations rule even if they are disguised as other political systems such as a democracy, it is still under corporate rule), where it seems almost all of the politicians are little more than paid stooges or slaves to the will of big business, you can expect the above to happen and for prisons and detention camps to be set up for those who dare to oppose it until they're taken care of as they become over-crowded and, later, they'll be 'adjusted' so they can be turned into more productive members of society (those exact words will even be used, making it obvious to anyone with more than three working brain cells that only those who are good workers are worth anything) against their will. Communist China used forced labor camps for how long? It was obviously very profitable, and the police could imprison people for years without a trial or even a formal arrest. What makes you think it won't happen in other places? It couldn't possibly happen in America, could it? LOL Tell you what; wait until they make indefinite detention of even American citizens legal without a trial or having 'your day in court' even if it violates the Fifth Amendment (which claims that you cannot be deprived of your liberty without due process of law) as well as the Sixth Amendment (which protects your right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury) and maybe then, you'll figure it out . . .
Update: Vigilant Solutions has come out with their automated license plate reader AKA LPR system called the NVLS AKA National Vehicle Location Service and their LEARN-NVLS (LEARN is an acronym for Law Enforcement Archival and Reporting Network), Vigilant Mobile LPR, fixed LPRs, CarDetector Mobile Companion with full ALPR capabilities that can be used from an iPhone or Android mobile device, all of which they've been trying to keep out of the media. In addition to this, they also have their FaceSearch Facial Recognition system which people such as those who work in law enforcement, government agents, or the military can use on a mobile device or from a PC.
But, the good news is that there will eventually be technological advances which will allow you to use a small device to take your basic vital signs (temperature, respiratory, blood pressure and pulse AKA heart rate) and more and then relay that information to your electronic devices (think of the medical scanner saltshakers in Star Trek that relayed information to a tricorder), such as a personal desktop computer or mobile device, although at the time of this writing, they're still essentially toys for adult geeks (yes, I am one, too) that are little more than a Web browser and have mobile phone capability. Constant monitoring of your vital signs (or stats as some people call them) can create a record which you can upload to the medical professional of your choice, whether it's a general practitioner or internist. Expect delays courtesy of FDA approval and hospital lobbyists trying to throw up various roadblocks in order to keep the technology out of the hands of the consumers. They'll do this even though hospital emergency room wait times are overly long as it is (they'll get longer) in some hospitals at certain times of the day or night, if you take into account the time spent in the exam room waiting to be seen by a doctor. Those advertisements with claims of only a few minutes of wait time in the emergency room waiting room only apply to the emergency room waiting room. On top of this, you may even be exposed to other diseases while you're in a weakened state and some of them could be potentially fatal and spread through the air. But, as one emergency room nurse in charge of triage at a hospital's emergency room once told me, "that's the luck of the draw." At the very least, I expect the more corporate-owned and controlled countries like America to try to keep the results of some testing from being known to the consumers unless they give the information gathered to a medical professional who will then give them an interpretation of the collected data . . . for a fee, or course.
Update (2012): Scanadu has developed a prototype of what some think is similar to a medical tricorder from the Star Trek franchise. The one I saw only checks a few things, but, it has the potential to do more. With the right upgrade and kept easy to use for non-medical personnel and used at both the boarding location and destination of travelers on airplanes, trains and buses, this device may come in handy for screening people for infectious diseases. This may help keep those infectious diseases from spreading to other areas or even other parts of the world. If it can be improved upon to check for cholesterol, stroke, sleep apnea, hypertension, influenza, strep throat, pneumonia, tuberculosis, shingles, allergens, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, it would definitely help people. At the very least, it would reduce the cost of their health care and may also reduce some of the strain on health care providers who are going to shortly have a much heavier workload as baby boomers approach retirement age. If you think the wait time to see your doctor or the wait times in the hospital are bad, now, wait another five years or so. With the increase of baby boomers needing more medical care combined with the shortage of doctors and nurses (which I predicted some time ago and wrote about below), those wait times could increase three-fold, if not longer. Although I'd prefer these devices to not give false positives when checking for diseases and the like as well as being able to summon an ambulance if the news that someone is in danger triggers a medical emergency, but . . . that may not be something that will be built into the devices right away. More than likely, they won't even consider the possibility.
More data breaches, with the surprising (to some of us) lack of appropriate action to beef up security for your personal health information, financial information, corporate secrets, Social Security numbers, trade secrets, detailed information about contracts, et cetera. But, as I've said repeatedly on my Web site, corporations cannot be trusted. This becomes painfully obvious when it's revealed that they use operating systems such as micros$haft winblows which are notorious for their lack of security and high vulnerability. Added to that, many do not take precautions like destroying hard drives in devices such as printers before they're hauled away and continue to hire people who have little respect for personal privacy and whose greed would motivate them to cheerfully sell even their mother's personal health information if it meant they'd get a few grand for a new system. Places like hospitals, more than others, should be watchful as they would have not only their patient-customers health information but also their financial information. In some areas, businesses are required by law to protect the confidential information which their customers gave them, although throughout history, those with wealth or power are often not required to obey the law or can easily get away with whatever they want if they have the right lawyers. As for governmental databases . . . They'll suffer multiple data breaches and attacks on various infrastructure and claim that they're going to prevent such things in the future, but, it will keep recurring. (Cyberwarfare will become a big thing after the first decade or so of the 21st century.) But, getting back to the corporations or crony capitalism . . . It doesn't help that many corporations effectively own politicians. At the very least, they can use that influence to get the politicians to vote the way they dictate. Corporations can get back in increased profits much more than what they donated to a politician's campaign fund. In many other countries, what's called corruption is considered lobbying in the United States and those who give the most will not only increase the probability of their candidate being elected but will likely also have the most control over them if for no other reason than a sense of obligation. The data breaches will occur at many corporations despite the employment of information security personnel, many of whom seem incapable of proper threat assessment and work under the belief that such things couldn't possibly happen there. But, they will, even to the major retailers. There are many mass graves throughout the world filled with the bodies of those who also believed that they were safe and that horrible things which happened elsewhere couldn't possibly happen to them, which were usually preceded with tighter gun control laws (or forbidding them to have any weapons whatsoever) and the removal of civil rights to make it easier for those with power to abuse it and prey upon their own citizens.
Speaking of civil rights, or more precisely, privacy rights, you better fight for what little you have left of your privacy rights, provided your government even has any laws at all to protect you from things like stalking, harassment or taking pictures or recording video of you in places you thought you were allowed to have an expectation of privacy. Three of the places most people believe they have a right to privacy at are in their own home, in a public restroom or at the doctor's office. However, in the growing use of mobile devices and the like your smart phone or other mobile device can be remotely controlled. By taking over your mobile device, not only can someone know your real time whereabouts, they can also remotely activate your mobile device's (or devices' if you have more than one) microphone and camera(s), even if it looks like your smart phone, tablet, phablet or what have you appears to be off. But, as in many things in life, appearances can oft-times be deceiving. If you want to be certain that nobody can do that to you and you're not wanting to always know what's going on with your friends on the social networks or always be reachable by a call to your mobile phone, you can do things like make a Faraday bag (kind of like a Faraday cage but smaller) which would be just a little larger than your mobile device or devices. To be safe, you should already have one to store things like your credit cards, ATM cards, debit cards or any other kind of card or whatever which may have a chip in it so nobody can snoop. You can also remove the battery, (provided the manufacturer of your mobile device doesn't have a deal under the table with one or more entities such as a government agency from a nosy government who believes that they have a right to know everything about you and where you are every moment of the day so your device's battery cannot be removed). If you really, really, really have to be reachable or you cannot live without your social application AKA ap or app, you can temporarily put a piece of thick tape over the microphone and camera lens(es) of your devices. Electrical tape works. However, this might make those parts of your mobile device or its case gummy, so you may want to buy an inexpensive case for it which you can clean the yuckiness off of as needed. Or, you can try to hold on to the belief that everyone in the world would never, ever violate your privacy. If that's what you believe, you're probably on the wrong Web site (and, while I'm 'predicting' things (to me, many of them are as certain to happen as a politician lying, flip-flopping on his (or her) campaign promises or demanding that their political opponents show their tax information while not sharing their own), I see a stranger in your future trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, some lakeside property on Mars or a Rollex watch).
As for the public restrooms and doctor's office, a video camera can be almost anywhere and the smaller and more easily hidden surveillance devices such as pinhole cameras hidden in places you wouldn't expect like an advertisement frame or a piece of ceiling tile (is that hole really a hole or is there a small camera lens in there?), nanny cameras, innocent-looking knick-knacks, a tablet or laptop, or even in ink pens worn in pockets. Tell me, would you trust your doctor or any other medical professional who did such things to you or took your picture without your permission even after you told them no? Some would, even though it means trusting them with their very lives. And people think I'm the one that's silly . . .
If you think that's the worst way your privacy could be invaded, you haven't seen anything yet. What if someone could tell what you're thinking and even spy on your dreams as you sleep? And, now, most of the people reading this have probably went to another Web site, believing that I'm some kind of nut or crackpot. LOL But, let's be honest here. Isn't that one of the ultimate goals of a fascist government or, I suppose, practically any government or corporation? In fact, a corporation would be the most likely place such a thing would be developed, while claiming that it's to help people, of course. ;-) One of the things which should send up a red flag in your mind is if a government wants to do a study on people's brains to see how they work, while claiming it's to help determine the cause of things such as Alzheimer's disease in the hopes of finding better ways to treat them, naturally. ;-) Next thing you know, they'll want to monitor people's brains in real time like those who are paralyzed so they can interact better with others by 'reading' what the subject is trying to say in the part of the brain where what people want to say is formed, like the Broca area in the frontal lobe (yes, I probably read too much), and convert it to text or speech. What would surprise those who still have independent thought (and brains which haven't been systematically trained to accept things without asking questions about them) the least is that things like this will happen in a country which uses fasces (long regarded as the symbol for fascism, which has a small bundle of long wooden rods bond together and sometimes has an axe inside of it) in many of their official government sculptures and symbols while still claiming that they are for the people and place a high value on liberty and freedom while, at the same time, are noted to be one of the countries which monitors their citizens the most and takes away their rights whenever they're inconvenient for them to screw over their citizens (such as ordering a gag order on a defendant who does something legal in his or her state or uses any other defense which may keep the jury from finding them guilty). The general public, of course, being little more than sheeple, will either not say anything or shrug their shoulders and go along with it, not realizing or even caring that all technology not only can by misused but almost always is.
More unrest in places like the Middle East. Okay, so this is probably expected, and I had hinted at the locations on other places on my Web site, even naming some of the countries. Future acts of terrorism will occur not only in America but in countries which are seen as America's allies. Some are in the form of retribution and are multi-point attacks, co-ordinated so they happen at the same time while others are simply one-shot situations. Think of places which have strong ties to America and where liberty is valued. Isn't terrifying people one of the goals of terrorism? When enough people are concerned for their safety, what do they do? Ask governments for more protection, yes? And, don't those added security measures further restrict liberty and freedom while violating your privacy? What was it Benjamin Franklin (the United States minister to France from 1778 to 1785) said? Oh, yes . . . "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Have you considered how amazing it is that so many attacks are done to civilians while only a few are done to corporations, and there are rumors that the most well-known of those may have been done by someone other than those who were blamed for it, including multiple people who believe they were false flags (AKA black flags)? While many believe that it's the act of one or more agencies of the United States government (which is frequently seen as the modern day bogeyman for adults), the list of suspects shouldn't be limited to what the mainstream conspiracy theorists believe. The question you should be asking yourselves is "who benefits from this?" Or, as the cops say in the movies and television shows "if you learn the motive, you can figure out who did it" or words to that effect . . . Should I give you some more hints? Have you read the books The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Friday by Robert A. Heinlein? Have you listened to some of Frank Zappa's interviews or the spoken word albums of Jello Biafra? No? Perhaps you should, as that would be an excellent starting place, provided they haven't been declared seditious where you live. Of course, some countries declare such things illegal despite the fact that many of their own countries engaged in the same practice . . .
More corporate sneakiness to increase profits even at the cost of their customers' health. But, time and time again, we've seen them do this kind of thing, before, even to their own employees. Look up the radium girls, breaker boys, matchstick girls and the Hamlet chicken processing plant fire for just a few examples of the latter or for a more modern example, see how little employees are paid and how few benefits they have at some of the most profitable stores. Then there's the vanishing pensions although you'll notice that the guys at the top continue to receive millions in bonuses, some for saving the company money (such as making the employees' pensions disappear). But, even governments will do that to their own employees. For what corporations do to their customers, examples include evergreening prescription medicine by changing the formulas slightly so they can keep exclusive rights to make it, which means that generic versions of those medications cannot be made and the Sony rootkit which installed a rootkit on their own customers' computers without their knowledge or permission whenever they attempted to play some Sony music CDs on their computers. So, if something is unregulated, a corporation will use any advantage to make money off of it, even if it causes one financial crisis after another. Although I'm not a fan of big government, we all know that corporations do not act responsibly. The multiple environmental disasters (which will continue) attributed to them should be ample proof of that . . . One of the biggest concerns you should have is what a corporation involved in an unregulated healthcare enterprise would do in order to increase profits. The more obvious example would be the dietary supplements or food supplements market. If there's no regulation involved and no oversight to be certain that what it says on the label is in fact, what is inside the bottle, don't be gullible enough to believe that corporations wouldn't be so greedy as to put in cheaper materials instead, in order to maximize profits. The store chain I really wouldn't trust on this score would be the one making the most profits. How low would they go? In other words, what kinds of things would they put in those tablets if it meant higher profits? Think about that for a moment . . . A little 'paranoia' is a survival trait. Let's be honest here: If a corporation could make a profit from outright killing people and could find a legal loophole for getting away with murder, I for one wouldn't doubt for a moment that they'd do it. Now, ask yourself this question, if euthanasia was made legal, how quickly do you think corporations would find a way to harvest the organs of the dying in order to sell them to the highest bidder? And, if that wasn't bad enough, would there be any stopping them from falsifying documents in order to harvest more people's organs? Something similar was done back in 2010, during the Foreclosuregate thing (AKA the United States Foreclosure crisis) when homeowners were evicted by banks which foreclosed on their homes and took possession of them even though the homeowners hadn't paid for their homes with a mortgage. The corporations wouldn't have to fear retribution from someone who's dead and they'd have the falsified documents that state you wanted help ending your life to show any relatives and the courts.
Many people drink the tap water, not realizing that there are things like feces, urine, sodium, nitrates, and fluoride in it (which the Nazis in World War II made the people in the concentration camps drink to make them more docile). But, of course, very few humans who know such things care or wonder why the main responses others give anymore in regards to anything that isn't overly hyped like the latest product or entertainment is "whatever" and "who cares".
As the population rapidly climbs towards the eight billion mark, natural resources will become more scarce, the air and water will become more polluted and in many places, filled with toxins as more 'accidents' happen to pollute the environment (which you depend on for safe food and water) along with increased fracking AKA induced hydraulic fracturing and a great many people will die from that, disease and war, as governments, corporations, and people fight over what remains, including land rights in Antarctica. It doesn't help the situation when each and every one of the wells created uses millions of gallons of water or that some sources of drinking water are contaminated by fracking (if any corporate bigwigs want to deny that, I invite them to drink exclusively the water which independent testers have ascertained as the most polluted for a few years). What? No takers? No surprise there . . . Droughts worsen and are more widespread, and, as you might expect, there will be wildfires raging out of control with too few people to fight them. Meanwhile, many of the politicians who are little more than minions of their corporate masters, keep denying climate change despite all evidence against them. Heh. If you live in a fairly warm area and thought there were a lot of hot days in the last year or so, you haven't seen anything, yet. By 2028 or thereabouts, even those who claim there's no cause for alarm will not be able to say it without being seen as liars, as the aquifers are drained out to meet the current needs and some cities sink into the ground. Many will be kept in the dark about this until the cost of food at their stores start to climb. In some countries, this will lead to civil wars, immigrants and refugees attempting to find better places to live or simply escape the violence. Some of the countries in the Middle East will be the first to experience this, followed by India and parts of Africa. As the problem worsens, it will grow more widespread, especially as the refugees show up in various countries, putting more strain on an already strained system. Then, the water scarcity will happen in the other countries as well. That will be the beginning of the end, as only then will people realize that there are fewer places to go to escape the problem and there are far too many people wanting to use more and more of the remaining water. Desalination isn't a long term answer. Not only is it expensive, but, setting up systems for billions of people would be a mammoth undertaking. Earthships, which provide free water, power, food, and eliminate the need for heating and cooling systems even in rather inhospitable environments (when properly insulated), would have been one way to help counter this and decrease the strain on the power grid, as well, with world-wide implementation, but, due to many regulations (including restrictions on rainwater collection, which might be the only way you can avoid drinking fluoride since very few of the water filters available filter it out of the tap water) and overly-restrictive governments, this was not done, either.
Fully autonomous farms, factories and stores, including fast food restaurants. Think of the automat or vending machine but where the entire process is automated, including the delivery of fresh stock. The first step will be removing the need to put items in your cart or to have a cart at all. You'll be able to select from a list those things you wish to purchase, drive up to the store with your car and have them loaded into it. In time, you will even be allowed to order groceries and have them delivered to your door (and be told when they'll arrive so your frozen food won't thaw out outside your house). This will put many cashiers and cart gatherers out of work and in time, as the systems become more advanced, shelf stockers, counter workers and customer service employees, as all returns, complaints and other situations are handled via an automated system.
More autonomous drones and not just for surveillance but also for war to replace warships, tanks, fighter jets and even soldiers. Prior to fully autonomous warfare or warbots as some were called, with the only human involvement being someone deciding general placement and setting mission objectives for them from a secure and fairly distant base of operations, gamers will be recruited as drone operators not too far removed from the site of the operation (so there's no discernible delay as would be evidenced by a lag between firing a weapon and its intended target being taken out before it can take cover or being able to guide your unit without running it into a wall or off a cliff). Many of them will still be teenagers. Secret testing will be done where the players are not told that they are operating a real device which is killing people. The more aggressive players turned operators will be told (ensuring that they cannot target friendly units first) as it's learned that the knowledge increases their bloodlust and also acts to help them to not casually damage their units.
Autonomous vehicles will appear and be built by multiple automakers, including electric cars for personal use. Autonomous trains, buses, semi-trailer trucks and even airliners will be developed over time, although some will be hijacked and hacked. This will include fully autonomous taxis after a trial period where a driver is there to override in case the system encounters an error or fails. The fares will be significantly less than taxicabs driven by a flesh and blood driver which only hastened the switch to fully automated cabs except for a few holdouts who also ended up with more expensive insurance as the automated taxis were eventually designed to be far safer drivers than their human counterparts. Some of the earlier AI systems would avoid hitting pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists by veering into solid objects, placing their passengers at risk. At first, this was avoided by having the vehicles drive slower than regular, human-driven vehicles until they were built with much faster response times than humans and with better braking and avoidance systems. But, later, much of the traffic was moved to roadways that only automated vehicles could access.
In more detail:
The planet will continue to become more polluted by humans, landfills will grow larger while humans remain confused about why they should recycle, not cut down the forests, overfish the oceans (humans seem to have a problem understanding that there is a finite limit on how much there are of things) or throw garbage in the oceans, lakes, and rivers. The latter will increase the size of the garbage patches in the various oceans such as the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Oceans, making the Pacific garbage patch and soon thereafter, the north Atlantic garbage patch, thousands of square miles in size in very little time, which will increase even more shortly after that despite the obvious danger of ignoring the problem and doing nothing to stop it. Several species will continue to be affected by this, and many fish, birds, and what-not will die from human garbage. Many will eat the toxic chemicals absorbed by the plastic or eat the smaller ocean species such as jellyfish that have consumed them and be thus contaminated. The problem worsens when the toxic plastic breaks down in the water and all sea life ingests it. Those contaminated fish, will, in turn, be consumed by humans. Some government agencies around the world will recommend that people limit their intake of certain types of fish including tuna, whiting, cod, swordfish, king mackerel, shark, hake, and others, to reduce their intake of mercury and methylmercury. A significant portion of the mercury that gets into fish came from burning coal (coal-fueled power plants was a major source of that) as well as chlorine chemical plants. The mercury was either put into the water via the waste water or the mercury contained in the smoke eventually got absorbed into the water. But, people didn't know for certain how much each individual fish had in them. Even though they could learn how much an average fish of each species might have ingested, it would not apply to how much is in the fish they were about to eat.
Many species of animals and the insects they feed upon will be killed by stronger pesticides. Because caring about wildlife and keeping nature in balance isn't as important as their greed, those responsible will downplay this, talk about investigating it, say they have and assure the public that there's no cause for alarm. In other words, follow pretty much the same routine as other corporations and governments . . . Expect this sometime before 2015. Eventually, they'll claim that they've changed the formula so that it's more environmentally friendly.
Then there's all the radioactive waste . . . Nuclear disasters and meltdowns that make the Three Mile Island accident look tame by comparison. Those in charge including big business and politicians will claim that the problems have been contained while the radioactive waste continues to pollute the planet, and, in one case, tons of highly radioactive waste will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean. This won't be made public until years later (seriously, you don't need any special future-seeing gifts or use divination techniques to know that a corporation will attempt to keep how much they damaged the environment a secret). The kicker is that the exact same model used at one of the worst nuclear power plant disasters will also be used at numerous other locations, including the United States. Okay, so this can be verified rather easily, but, you'll figure out quickly enough why design flaws in the reactor model is cause for concern not just for one location.
Due to attempts to 'dumb-down' the population, there will be shortages of personnel in occupations which require intelligent people.
One of the first shortages observed will be a shortage of doctors. This will be most noticeable with primary care physicians. Family doctors, general practitioners, internists and pediatricians (they're the ones that take care of children for those who don't know or might confuse them with podiatrists, who are foot doctors) will not be able to keep up with the demand. This demand will be increased by the growing number of older Americans as well as to changes to health care laws in the United States. The politicians, being politicians, lacked the foresight needed to see an increased demand after making laws to allow more people to have health care coverage.
The nursing shortage will continue, as well. One of the primary reasons for this being the fact that hospitals will not want to spend the money needed to have a fuller staff, despite the obvious need for one. Some hospitals will attempt to hide such shortcomings by claiming short wait times of only a few minutes in hospital emergency rooms' waiting rooms while not advertising the fact that many patients will wait for hours to see a doctor in the exam rooms, and, after that time, many will only see a physician assistant, or P.A. Profits, in the eyes of corporations and the hospitals, come before saving people's lives. The nurses who will be lucky enough to have jobs will grow increasingly dissatisfied as more demands are made on them as well as a growing lack of respect and diminishing appreciation from their fellow medical professionals. Having a universal health care system like they have in almost every other industrialized country would reduce the amount of paperwork required, thus freeing up more time for the office personnel (so there would be fewer needed) and some of the money saved could be used to hire additional nursing staff who could focus on patient care, but, the hospital lobbyists oppose that. Because of this, and other factors, health care in the United States will continue to be the most expensive in the world, while, at the same time, not as high quality as it is in many other industrialized nations. This will easily be seen when comparing the number of heart and lung diseases, infant mortality, lower life expectancy, et cetera, to other countries. There were thousands of unnecessary deaths every year in the United States due to lack of health insurance. Also, the majority of people who filed for bankruptcy claimed that the reason they filed was because of high medical expenses. Making a true fix to the health care system in the United States, getting it closer in quality and cost to other countries, would have made a difference in both the number of lives saved and also improvements to the quality of people's lives, but, as expected, this was not done. But, when have politicians ever listened to anyone but their corporate masters? LOL Maybe the riches and power they have will comfort them and help them sleep better at night so they don't see the thousands (if not millions) of dead they could have saved. If they can be bothered to think of them at all . . .
Another shortage which will soon become apparent will be shortages of qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics and science. This will be especially noticeable in schools with the most violent students and lower salaries. Some schools will attempt to get other teachers who do not have any experience in these fields to teach those subjects. More will leave as they learn of better paying employment opportunities.
The United States will continue its long history of being involved in military operations with no period of peace between them lasting more than five years. This has been the case since the 1770s with the first American Revolution, fighting with the indigenous population (called Native Americans by some or Indians by others despite the fact that they are not living in India), putting down rebellions by their own people such as the Whiskey Rebellion (which, in L. Neil Smith's book, The Probability Broach, succeeded and led to a much better country and life for the citizens), et cetera. A timeline of military operations involving the United States would be rather long, but, anyone who does the research should come to the same conclusions. So, you don't have to be precognitive AKA prescient, be temporally displaced or gifted (some would say cursed especially if people don't listen to them like Cassandra or her descendants) with prophecy or second sight (not the remote viewing variety) to figure that one out. ;-)
Whistle-blowers who tell others about governments and corporations committing crimes against the people they are supposed to serve or their customers will be punished and some will be considered traitors and not just in trouble from breaking their NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements). On the other hand, the governments themselves and many of the truly guilty parties (excluding the few scapegoats offered up as sacrifices to the mainstream news) who committed such crimes, will not be punished and certainly not tortured as some of the whistle-blowers will be threatened with.
Prepare for more DNA sampling. You'll be stopped by police at roadblocks or diverted into parking lots and either be given a cheek swab or have blood extracted from your veins. This, of course, will be called 'voluntary' yet will be done by the police. So, how 'voluntary' is it when you're forced to pull over by the cops? They'll likely even tell you that it's all totally anonymous, despite the fact that they know who you are (at the very least, they have your license plate number and likely will ask to see your driver's license, but, if they have a facial recognition app on their mobile device (or body cam) which can snap your picture and query a database which likely already has the picture from some other form of picture I.D. on it, it's a sure thing they know who you are), and will enter that into the system. And, if they employ passive alcohol sensors on flashlights (such as the sniffer which has been out since at least the 1990s) which work as a type of breathalyzer before you sign a consent form, how 'voluntary' is that to being tested? What guarantee, if any, do you have that they won't put your DNA on file (which will also clue them in on who is related to you if it comes up in DNA evidence)? And, would their word be any good if they employ sneaky testing without informing you of it? In the near future, you can look forward to being dragged to the local police station by uniformed officers who will want to know your relationship with the suspect and where to find him or her. Naturally, this will all be paid for with your own taxes and authorized by those you elected into office. You can expect this to be done throughout the nation, not just a local abuse of power. Possible excuses could include closing of old case files, having a database to better identify the remains of potentially future victims of serial killers, or, determining the number of drivers who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, street drugs, or prescription drugs.
Before 2014, there will be an appearance of more federal government tolerance for things such as same sex AKA same gender relationships, including legal gay marriages (the United States federal government will eventually recognize the legality of it and legalize gay marriage several years after other countries like Canada, although some states and individual cities will fight it) and for marijuana use, and there will gradually be more attempts at keeping peace between nations. Individual humans, however, will continue to be sadistic and cruel to others and will steal and back-stab those silly enough to trust them whenever they have an opportunity to do so. After all, those are characteristics which are hard-wired into humans, as history shows us. Some states will legalize marijuana fully or for medicinal purposes AKA medical marijuana and limit the amount an individual can be in possession of, require permits for some things like growing or selling marijuana, and some states will allow growing marijuana while others will not. After a time, data, including numbers of cases of violent crimes committed after the various legal changes are reviewed and legalizing marijuana in those states is shown to have dropped the rates of violent crime. But. Prices for the legal marijuana and the stuff you could buy on the street wasn't that different. You can guess why . . . After legalization became more widespread and the prices began to drop in the pot stores, there were multiple benefits to the various levels of government and to the communities as a whole for legalized marijuana; there was less violent crime (aside from rolling vulnerable stoners who suddenly became more obvious), street gangs lost considerable revenue (which became more evident after several states legalized marijuana AKA pot so users had more legal places to get it and the quality improved when they started selling the stuff that wasn't sprayed with pesticides *cough cough*), law enforcement and the courts didn't have to waste money and personnel on marijuana prohibition (which wasn't really working anyway in several places) and some of the more anti-government groups lost a significant amount of support. Some claimed that this was by design. There were a few more accidents in some places for a time, but, that was to be expected, and the smarter people didn't do any unnecessary traveling (I almost said something about taking trips) until things seemed to go back to more-or-less normal. The smarter stoners also smoked in the safety of their own homes or at friends' homes. Music (and cartoons, especially anime) became more appreciated by many and food delivery sales climbed. ;-)
Am I putting down people who smoke weed? Not hardly. They're far easier to get along with than many suits I've had the misfortune to meet. One stoner party I was at was also very fun, and all it really had (besides the obvious) was a pinball machine, plenty of cold beer, some good rock music, munchies, and caffeine. Had more fun at that party than I did at most bars I've went to.
Update (June 26th, 2015): The United States Supreme Court declared same-sex AKA same gender AKA gay marriage legal in all 50 states of the United States of America. Told you it would take them several years after other countries recognized it as legal, but, they finally did. Countries such as Denmark recognized registered partnerships as a legal gay marriage AKA gender-neutral marriage back in 1989. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriages in 2001. Others followed, including Canada in 2005. It just took the 'free country' of America a lot longer to grant them the same rights they allowed others. But, they were also slow in granting women the right to vote, so that comes as no real surprise to some of us . . . Yes, I'm cynical (among other things) but, history is a good teacher.
Distraction continues with the always-reliable opiate of the people, television: A case can even be made for television addiction, as many who have tried to go cold turkey from regular television viewing have found it very difficult and had severe emotional difficulties with it after only a few months duration. Between 2013 and 2015, there will be lower priced UHDTV AKA Ultra HD television AKA Ultra high definition television sets (the 4K variety which has a minimum resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels). Some of these will be manufactured by lesser-known brand names, and some UHDTVs will be less than $1,000. Broadcasts in this format will start in the southeast Asia area and slowly spread to the rest of the world. The United States, being rather behind in overall country-wide broadband bandwidth coverage (such as fiber-optic lines or fiber to the home instead of just to the pole) in comparison with other countries like those in southeast Asia will be eventually forced to find ways to deliver this content to the masses. This was repeated as the 8K variety of UHDTV or SHV (Super High-Vision) programming became more widely available. Expect some manufacturers to attempt to make their products such as media players for UHDTV content workable only for their own brand name UHDTV displays. This will be yet another attempt at market dominance to increase their wealth at the cost of the consumers' freedom of choice. Also note the pixel density in each display, and how they measure it. If this information is absent, there might be a reason for it . . .
POTUS RIP AKA RIP POTUS: Before November 3rd, 2020, I expect a president or a past president of the United States to die. Please note that I didn't say which one, as this might be considered a threat, even though I can think of several scenarios where I could kill the president (not just shoot the president and many of these take into account that the intended target may be inside the White House) without even having a yankee white security clearance. I also didn't say how, where, or give a more narrow time frame. Giving out such details, when proven correct (even if a United States president appeared to die of natural causes) would likely implicate me. At the very least, the secret service would certainly consider questioning me about it.
A woman president: While I personally think a woman president would be a nice change, I doubt if one will be elected in 2016, although this prediction and the one regarding the POTUS RIP are the ones which are more likely than the others to be a little off. Making predictions on humans destroying the world for colored pieces of paper (which in some countries have no real value and are considered fiat currencies) is a more sure bet. What do I base this prediction on? Several things, but, one of them I can point out to people. There was a 50 year difference between the ratification of the 15th and 19th Amendments of the United States Constitution (the 15th Amendment gave those of any skin color, race, or previous condition of servitude the right to vote and the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote). Then, there is the whole corporate tool thing. If there's a presidential candidate who claims that (s)he doesn't believe in global warming or climate change, then their chances of being elected will soar, even if they're the Antichrist or the spiritual reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. Can you imagine how quickly and how much corporations would back someone who will turn a blind eye to what greed has done to the planet? They would spend millions to mudsling their opponents and use whatever influence they have on the electors (research the Electoral College if you have a lot of free time), who, in American presidential elections, are the only ones whose votes count. For proof, look up the results for the 1876, 1888 and 2000 presidential elections. Although the people had a majority of votes for the other candidate, the ones who the electors voted for were declared the winners. It's interesting to note that in the 2000 presidential election, George W. Bush didn't say that much about the environment, but, his opponent, Al Gore, had been involved with researching changes to the environment and got clued in on global warming in the 1960s and has since been trying to warn people about it and climate change. The electors voted for George W. Bush. I'm expecting this pattern to repeat itself until the corporations can no longer influence either the voters or the electors. In the coming years, their influence will strengthen so that the slight difference which allowed Bush to win in 2000 by the electors vote will become wider in future elections where there is a difference in how the candidates view environmental problems and their causes. During the 2020 election, they used the "hindsight is 20/20" line which I thought was a little silly (and it backfired on one politician when one of his political opponents wanted a little hindsight into his past), but, then again, so is politics a lot of times . . . Have you ever tried to watch some politicians try to be funny and felt uncomfortable? This is but one of the many reasons I don't watch political speeches. Well, that, and they seem to know less about history than many grade-schoolers of only a few decades ago . . . I remember one politician claiming that no foreign invader had ever set foot on American soil. I'm guessing he didn't hear about the White House being set on fire (along with the Library of Congress and several other buildings) in 1814, during the War of 1812 by the British. You would think that a politician would've remembered the White House being burned or considered it noteworthy . . . Makes you wonder how competent they can be at their jobs if they're that ignorant of their own country's history or if they're simply a corporate crony who had much of their political campaign paid for by big business.
Expect more environmental disasters. As incompetence grows and the greed of corporations combined with their ownership of politicians puts more lives at risk, environmental disasters will increase. In time, denials will be abundant about whether or not some things have a negative impact and the seemingly endless parade of so-called experts who try to convince the public of this will only fool the gullible. Which by that time, make up the majority of the population . . .
There will be worse things, many of which wouldn't be believed if I told you, and, because you likely already think I'm some kind of conspiracy theorist, or just plain crazy already, telling you about them would only seem to confirm your initial opinion.
Feel free to enjoy these final fleeting moments of innocent apathy.
They won't last long . . .
Governments and corporations could change the world for the better, if they wanted to, but they won't. Greed and power matter far more to them than people's lives. Examples of this and the body count of employees who believed otherwise are easy to research, and I'm not just talking about the radium girls, breaker boys and the various industrial 'accidents' such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (146 died, mostly women, because the exits and stairwells were locked so they couldn't escape the fire) and the Hamlet chicken processing plant fire where 25 people were killed and many more injured because the fire doors were locked so they couldn't escape. The person judged responsible for the deaths in the latter case served less than four years behind bars. But, those who can afford high-priced lawyers always seem to get away with murder with little or no consequences for their actions even if they're found guilty. Certainly, their punishments are much lighter than those if a poor person had done the same thing. And we keep getting told that all are equal in the eyes of the law. Wrong! Time and time again, you prove otherwise . . . But, even the Code of Hammurabi had a sliding scale, so, don't expect equal justice in your lifetime or even in the lives of your great-great-great-great-great grandchildren.
For more solutions that are ignored, please check out the What's Wrong with America and How to Fix it Web page.
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CyberWoLfman's Pix #4. Back to the real world. Includes Halloween pictures, party pictures, more pictures of Bloomington-Normal Illinois including events, people, theaters, et cetera.