Sunday, December 28, 2003

Past Future

I wanted to find some futurists predictions for 2003 and wonder why those things have not happened, however that research turned out to be more difficult that I initially expected. Everyone seems to have predictions for technology, but those are rather boring. It's not like they are predicting transplanting human brains into robot bodies next year. Now that would be cool, to write about. Alas, nothing quite like that. So I'll write on what I would have expected of the human race by now.

Space: What happened? We were supposed to be flying back and forth to the moon and looking at the other planets in our solar system. I don't believe Arthur C. Clark was wrong in predicting us going to Jupiter in his book, "2001: A space odyssey". We had the technology. We had the know how. We simply didn't do it.

It's all politics of course. If a congressman or senator cannot see fancily benefit in a project, within the time-frame of their stay in office, why should they support it? 'How would it affect my state.' Narrow minded fools.

It will take us awhile to show profit from setting up camp on the moon and later other planets, but it's well worth it. Our planet will not last us long the way we are going. Our world population is going and our available land is shrinking. The Japanese are planning mega-skyscrapers that are small cities in themselves, to help with their population problems, but they are already short on land. What about those countries who have lots of uninhabited forestland? Will countries like Brazil continue to destroy the planet until it's completely full of people and devoid of any other life? As pessimistic as it may sound I believe we will. There are some who would work to prevent this, but as a race we are selfish and short-sighted.

Education: Perhaps I'm being ignorant here, but what is going on with school funding being cut? Why are we cutting one of the major things that keeps America a world power. Do we start outsourcing our brains now? We already send a majority of our tech support calls and computer programming jobs to India or we bring them over here. I know the US is a capitalist country and hell I'm even going for a Marketing degree. I'm not blind, but do we reduce our education in this country until we have a bunch of unskilled idiots running around? We've gotten rid of a vast majority of our manual labor jobs, to 3rd world countries or immigrants who will work harder for less money have the jobs that are still in the US. So what will all these poorly educated people do? Will they try to get Venture capital to start another Internet company with no business plan? Oh wait, that's already happened.

Perhaps TV will become nothing but reality TV for the rich to watch the poor and uneducated struggle. Oh wait, that's already happened too: "Cops" and "Jerry Springer". But it's not all the rich and educated' fault. The poor and uneducated have to want it too. They have to work hard to better themselves or they will never make it out. No one hands out free tickets in life. It's better to work your ass off than have it get stuck in the couch.

I digress...

The European Union: What a mess. I studied it quite a bit about 5-6 years ago when it was newly formed. (It's history) In those days it was reasonable that nationalistic tendencies would hinder some aspects, but that eventually the benefits of a unified Europe would become clear. Well it's nearly 2004, 12 years since the creation of the EU and still nothing has changed. Still countries want to be their own. And after the Iraq mess this spring, France and Germany have been looked down on by the other members, especially the UK. They may have some economic unity, but they are still the same countries they have been for over 200 years. Still distrusting of their neighbors, their brothers and sisters. It's really very sad. Hell England won't even adopt the Euro, which has been out for 2 years now and was established long before that even. A unified currency for all EU members to make trade between the members easy and to create a competitor to the US dollar. Not that I want the US to fall behind, but if all the EU members would truly work together they could very likely give the US a run for world dominance and importance. I fear that they are just so stuck in their old ways that it may be another 100 years, if the EU survives that long at all.

If the EU works and takes off, I believe other countries will do the same. The US, Canada and Mexico could easily move the NAFTA agreement into something more, but I suspect that'll never happen. Americans are too nationalist, though for all intensive purposes Canada and Mexico are already part of the US.

Many other country groups may find it difficult as well as history will always get in the way. Culture is important, but there is no reason why the countries cannot work together as one. Here in the US, there are definitely 'groups'. The Yankees and the Southerners may have old bad blood and even will growl at one another, but for the most part its just that, all bark with no bite. There is no reason other countries could not do the same culturally. Most countries have only minor differences to begin with.

I'm no fool. I know this is something that'd take decades, perhaps centuries, but it is something that'll have to happen for the human race to survive. The planet has to unify. As all the movies suggest, perhaps it'll have to be an alien attack or comet or something like that, to bring the world together. We are ALL one race people. Color and culture are minor in the grand scheme of things. When humanity opens its eyes and looks beyond itself and it's little yard in the galaxy and universe, perhaps we'll start to see some improvements. An advanced race looking down on us would shake its head in disappointment. We are barely more than animals. We have potential, but we aren't living up to it.