PSA-180920-Crystal Ball

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Back in the nineties I read a book titled Megatrends 2000 by John Naisbitt in which he foretold the future ten to twenty years ahead. The author did not have any unusual telepathic talent he merely watched for trends. He collected snippets of information about happenings from newspapers around the country. If a particular action appeared in many places across the country he saw it as a trend.

After having read the book, and led the life I can attest to the fact that Naisbitt’s predictions were highly accurate. A few weeks ago I told myself to look for a new book that would predict the next ten years. Things are moving so fast that quite frankly, I can’t keep up with them and I would venture that you have the same problem too. I haven’t found such a book, but I did receive a list of predictions from a friend. I believe all of them will come to fruition within the next twenty- thirty years. I only hope I am around to see them happen,

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1. Auto repair shops go away. A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots. Your motor malfunction light goes on so you drive up to what looks like a Jiffy-auto wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new motor.

2. Gas stations go away. Parking meters are replaced by stations that  dispense electricity.  All companies install electrical recharging stations for their customers and employees. (The gas station goes away, but must be replaced by a charging station. Batteries and charging must improve exponentially for this to happen. Currently an electric car needs ten hours of charge time to charge fully.)

3. All major auto manufacturers have already designated 5-6 billion dollars each to start building new plants that only build electric cars.

4. Coal industries go away. Gasoline/oil companies go away.  Drilling for oil stops. (This one is hard to believe because all these cars need electricity and it has to be generated. Most likely we will use natural gas.)  

5. Homes produce and store more electrical energy during the day and  then they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it  and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. (This ones assumes that we have roofs made of solar collectors, and that the sun shines every day.)

5. A baby of today will only see personal cars in museums. (This one forgets about our car culture and car hobbyists who will continue to build their own cars.) 

6. The FUTURE is approaching faster than one can handle! In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.  What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next  5-10 years and, most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? Yet, digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

7. Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

8. UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! (This one assumes that there will be enough Uber drivers with cars willing to shuttle people around) 

9. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

10. Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. (What the heck is “Go” and who cares that a computer beat him?) 

11. In the U. S., young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of  IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only omniscient specialists will remain. (This will be a good thing because with too many lawyers our society has become overly litigious, and our government divided by politicians who are lawyers trained to win at all costs while our system relies on compromise.)

12. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses. (Nurses don’t diagnose cancer, doctors do.)

13. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans.

14. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans. (So people quit learning because the computer knows everything.Who then teaches the computer new stuff? Does the computer perform lab experiments to learn new facts?)

15. Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance, and you can be productive while riding. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

16. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

17. One point two million people die each year in car-accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 mi (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million mi (10 million km). That will save a million lives worldwide each year. (This one assumes that sensors and computers in the cars are better than those of a human being.)

18. Most car companies will doubtless go bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

19. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla. (Engineers fear only layoffs due to a lack of need. Electrical cars have simple drive trains, but more complicated controls, sensors, and computers.)  

20. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. (accidents will never disappear completely)

21. Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move farther away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. (If you can work while you commute, why go to the office at all? Work from home.)

22. Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. (People will step into traffic while looking at their personal work modules because they can’t hear the cars.)

23. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact. (This will require homes that have solar roofs, streets that are solar collectors, and vehicles that can pick up electricity from the road.)

24. Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue – technology will take care of that strategy. (Low cost solar systems for the home which can compete with the electric companies will be needed to make this happen.)

25. Health: The Tricorder X will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.  It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. (This dreamer has never had to experience an MRI, PET scan, Ultrasound, or colonoscopy test to believe a phone can detect your problems.)

WELCOME TO TOMORROW ! ! !

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It is only natural for me to be skeptical about these predictions because many of them rely not on technology, but rather on acceptance by humans to implement. Acceptance will evolve and shift culture toward these bold inventions. I predict they will take an additional ten-twenty years to be accepted by the public.

 

PSA-180911-Punny Signs

There is one clever person living in Indian Hills.

A Dream Come True?

Iron Curtain

Socialism seems to be the fashion statement of the U.S.A. Movie stars, comedians, politicians, and many of our brightest young people all proclaim the wonders of socialism. Why? This question has bothered me for some time. I think I have an idea of why socialism is so glamorous to these people. They see everyone living with all the same perks they have today. Imagine if our progeny who live in good homes and who raise their kids wanting for nothing, while living on their parents for too many years suddenly faced with the prospect of having to survive.  Socialism in their minds is living with mom and dad for the rest of their lives. The movie actors who make a bazillion dollars all imagine socialism as living on a bazillion dollars. Politicians, all see themselves sitting in marble walled offices and dining in elegant cafeterias while they lord it over the rest of us. Comedians, well comedians will be comedians and make people laugh while they smoke marijuana to dream up all the funny shit they spew. What a world they see when everyone is living the dream they live today. Everything is free, college, health care, food, places to live, transportation, sex. Wow what a world!

Imagine our entire country living this way. All of us. Hell all we would have to do is take all the money from the rich to finance the life. No one would pay taxes except those radical conservatives who insist on still working, and they would pay it all. The rest of the country will work at boring government jobs pulling down equal pay. Every company in the country would become nationalized so not one could make obscene  profits. We would be the envy of the world. Except, except how long will this utopian dream last? Eventually, and eventually will happen quickly, the government will run out of money to pay for the free stuff, and the honeymoon period will come to an end. What then?

My guess is that the millennials who lead the socialistic charge today would suddenly become black market entrepreneurs. Bit-coin would become the national underground currency for the people who live the socialist dream, but who secretly practice a capitalistic life style.

History means nothing to these people. The past failures of socialism mean nothing. They deflect and say “look at Sweden.”  I look at Sweden, and I don’t like what I see. This happy people pay over seventy percent of their meager salaries for all that free stuff. The Swedes made free look so good that a million refugees invaded from places that love free, but who don’t understand what civilized life is. Now the Swedes are crying that they didn’t know. Germany, the same, France, well France is France. They have always been considered the mavericks of Europe. The French own parts of  Africa that are muslim. These people have French and Moroccan passports and can freely move between continents. France is a mainline highway for muslims to get into Europe. Oops, I’m showing my Islamophobia again. Sorry for that, but facts are facts.

Wouldn’t it be nice is we could run an experiment in the U.S.A. where we set aside an area of 25 states and make it the United Socialist America.  Anyone who wants to be a socialist would move to this area. It would be a socialist dream country. Their constitution would be the same as ours, except their first formal act will be to tear it in half, and burn it. Borders between the socialist states won’t exist, but they will build a fence to keep capitalists out of their heavenly dream. Oh wait, I am only repeating the experiment conducted in Europe that lasted for seventy years. They named that wall the Iron Curtain. I went to see the iron curtain a few months before it was finally torn down. Its sole function was to keep people in heaven, not to keep people out.

My guess is that a second experiment is not necessary, because it already exists, in China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. Our citizens  who profess socialism can buy a one way ticket to one of these great countries so they can live the dream. Except, none of these countries will allow them in under their immigration laws.

My second guess is that within a couple of years these candy-ass socialists will be clamoring to return so they can protest their unhappiness in a free country.

As they say, “Freedom does not come free,” and if I can’t stand socialists, I’ll have to tolerate living with them as my payment for living in liberty.

Algorithm, the New Dirty Word

cake-algorithm

Since when did the word algorithm evolve into an evil demon? So often I hear of Facebook, and Twitter leaders refer to algorithms in an accusatory way. As if the word itself resides within the computer. I haven’t read anything about how the Silicon Valley gods have breathed life into computers. The lords at Facebook and Twitter have been caught with their pants down around their ankles and to weasel out of their dilemma they blame things on the mighty “algorithm.”

Here is the definition of algorithm:

a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer: a basic algorithm for division.”

So who is giving the computer instructions within the algorithm to screen conservative voices?  Certainly the computer does not have the intelligence to do anything by itself. I admit, the beauty of modern programming languages make it easier for a man to give the computer instructions, but once an algorithm process is defined it can only change if a man changes it. The lords may allude to artificial intelligence programs doing it, but I cannot buy that at this time. Artificial Intelligence or AI has been a concept floating around since before the eighties. Men keep envisioning a day when the AI computer will replace humans as workers. I remember when computer salesmen were selling us on the idea that we will have a computers on our desks and they will be able to  perform wonderful things. That was also in the nineteen eighties. Many of the things they promised then are just becoming useful to us today. My math says the “sell” took thirty-three years to become reality. I’ve seen some tremendous improvements in computers and in software during the years of my useful employment, but AI isn’t one of them. The closest application we’ve seen that uses AI is the self driving car. I applaud Google and Tesla for testing the self drivers on real highways. It is the only way they will ultimately prevail. What I don’t applaud them for is killing people during the test. The reason they have failures is that the sensors they install on cars are nowhere near the quality or comprehensiveness of the human senses feeding data to the greatest computer in the universe, the human brain. What I predict is that AI will not become a practical vehicle to replace humans in simple jobs for another thirty years.

The lowly algorithm is being used as a political ploy by the lords to sell a line of B.S. to a seemingly ignorant public. That is where the lords are getting it wrong, we aren’t ignorant. When Facebook screens content to prevent conservatives from having a voice they are denying us our Constitutional rights.

During the early twentieth century there were a number of mega-companies that got so big their lords felt they were invincible. Good old Uncle came to the rescue and filed lawsuits to break up their bigness. It seems to me it may be time for Uncle to kick into gear again and set some regulatory controls that will protect we the people from evil algorithms, or better yet the evil people who program the algorithms to do evil things.

No ICE Please

Listening to the Liberals cry and accuse Trump and his administration reminds me of me, except I cried and accused Obama. The latest cry is to cut I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).  Libs don’t want laws, they rail against police, they yearn for open borders, and they refuse to obey existing laws. what do they want? It appears to me they want to return to the ancient days before kingdoms. Kingdoms were the first move toward needing borders to define what was under the king’s jurisdiction. Kingdoms are ruled by a of course, a king. The king was the executive, legislator, and adjudicator for all within his borders. Kings ruled with an iron fist, and all of his subjects were equal in stature, except of course the royal court, knights, jesters, shamans, etc. Those special people were special to cater to the kings needs.

The era before kings was a wild and wooly one. People were afraid of their own shadow, and if a stranger walked across your property, and you did not recognize him you killed him; “Better be safe than sorry” is the mantra people lived by. If the stranger wanted what you had he killed you and took it. Of course you had supreme liberty to do what you wanted to do. If you wanted to smoke pot, go smoke, if you wanted sex drop the first woman, girl, child you see and rape her on the spot. If you needed to eat you killed something. Sometimes it might have been your neighbor. Eventually people began to see value in living in groups, or tribes. Soon there was one among them who was strongest and he ruled the tribe. Eventually, he became king and ruled many tribes within a defined territory. Gee, they spoiled everything by making rules, and keeping order. The modern-day example of a liberal king right this moment is Nicolás Maduro, dictator of Venezuela. How can I tell he is king? He is getting fatter while his people are starving, it is the liberal way.

Here is more of what I see the liberals wanting:

  1. Open borders to allow the free movement of people, animals, and goods. People can roam freely like the native Indians did, how else will they be able to avoid punishment for a crime committed.
  2. No laws. What use are laws, they interfere with your imagined right to live as you please. It smacks to obey the ten commandments, and what fun would it be if “thou shalt not kill” was formally accepted as the norm. Killing seems to be an act that incites anger, and a need for revenge even in the most primitive people, therefore the need for open borders to allow escape from the avengers.
  3. Drugs, what drugs?  Free and open borders will allow men from strange countries to freely expand their trading enterprises without impairment. A nation on drugs would be a Utopian society. Everyone happy, and no one hurting you, unless of course you are coming down and can’t afford a fix immediately.
  4. I seem to recall that originally, the “C” in ICE stood for citizenship, but my memory isn’t what it was. No citizenship runs parallel with no borders, and no laws, What is citizenship anyway? I thought is was something that made you responsible for your country. Citizenship implies that you make laws, enforce laws, and obey laws.
  5. Liberals do not like order. Meaning populations that keep laws and civilly debate differences. Order-less societies can dispense their own brand of justice when some little thing ticks them off. If you don’t like the way your neighbor mows his law, shoot the bastard. Oh, excuse me, liberals don’t like guns. Choke him to death instead, but dispense your punishment for having committed an act that upset you.
  6. Liberals don’t like the four letter word spelling “work.” They seem to enjoy living off the land, except the land is a made up of a mass of people in congested cities, and not in the wild where you have to use your body’s energy to seek sustenance. They would sooner stand on the corner with a hand printed cardboard sign begging for something to eat like, “Work for Food.” I have never seen one of these people jump into a car by invitation to go work for a sandwich.
  7. Liberals riot against the separation of children from families, i.e. somebody else’s family, yet they demonstrate to have free, paid by you, abortions. In my mind that is the greatest separation of your child from your family. Isn’t divorce a form of family separation? When the parents decide to split from each other by abandoning their marriage vows until “death do us part” the kids they abandon the kids they made. I see too many screwed up kids today resulting from broken homes. Granted, single women do a great job of raising their kids, but it isn’t the same as when two parents (one man one woman) do the job.

Getting back to the protest to cut I.C.E. I want to rail against some other bureaucracies that are more important to drop before we move to I.C.E. For starters, let’s eliminate the Department of Education. Oh no! We can’t do that we have to educate our kids. Well before there was a huge educational complex in Washington to oversee what we learn we had schools, and they did an outstanding job of teaching us. We learned more before the Department of Education than we do now. The difference is now, the Dept of Ed has a huge say in what our kids learn. For instance; before we learned reading, math, history, geography, penmanship, English, and art. Today we have new math, (the long way to learn how to do basic additions and subtraction. It saves all the brain power kids needed to spend memorizing their tables.), sociology (instead of geography), political correctness (let’s not upset anyone), gun control, what history should have been instead of what it was, how bad white people enslaved black people for their gain, how bad white people stole North America from the native Indians (oh, just to keep things streamlined let’s leave out how bad white people from Spain and France) committed genocide in Central America to find gold. Let us also leave out the fact that for thousands of years one of the rewards of winning a war was to enslave the losers (not all wars were against black people). Let’s make sure that we teach our majority white population that they have special privilege over all other races because of what transpired in history. Then there is the omission of how one European country decided to eliminate people with specific genetic make-ups that they thought were undesirable. How was this science conducted? By starvation, shooting, gassing, etc. The latest is to teach Islam, and to justify doing so under the realm of teaching world religions, except there isn’t enough time in the year to get to the other world religions, and the final exam just happens to be the same test given to converts to Islam (Then make a big argument for separation church and state).  Let’s make sure we feed these kids a good breakfast, and lunch to make them less dependent on their parents, and more dependent of the Department of Education..

Another area the government meddles with is money for teachers. The idea is that all fifty states should have the same level of education. Some states are more poor than others, so let’s make them all the same so every kid is equally smart. If you look at the level of smarts that the kids have against the money spent by Uncle over the past forty years the picture is nothing short of dismal failure. Remember the adage “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?” Well for the past forty years we have done nothing but throw money at the educational system without improving a single leaning level. Where does the money go? Good question. I don’t think the educational complex wants anyone to know. Why? Because we would realize that the money goes into education-administration, and not into education of kids. There are more PhD level workers in our schools today than ever before. Why? Because teacher’s get paid by their level of education, the more you know the more you make. Another problem is that their fringe benefits are all tied to the same education. A PhD retires with a larger pension than a B.S degree. I am still not convinced that this is the problem, because the teachers should be state of the art in their skills. What about the unseen administration: like physical plants, i.e. school buildings etc. Chicago maintains a special corporation for handling their school buildings and properties. Every large school district in the country does the same. These agencies spend money on new schools, and upgrades to the old ones, but if Chicago is an example, they have tons of 100-year-old schools and very few new ones. What the hell are they spending money on?  I can almost tell when the teachers union will strike by what month it is. August is prime time just before the schools open. Where does that money go? Certainly not to the teachers they are alway complaining about how poor they are. Meanwhile the State government is always crying about the under funded pensions they have for public sector workers like teachers, police, and firemen. That one blows my mind. Where does it all go?

It is time to hit the reset button on education and get rid of the Department of Education from Washington. Starting from scratch would be a hell of a lot smarter than throwing more money at a losing proposition.

I could go on further with other bureaucracies that are equally useless, but I’m getting tired of bitching about things because the only voice I have is my vote and election time isn’t for another few months.

Forget I.C.E. and go for the Department of Education, the EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the Department of Agriculture. I can write an equal to or better rant on each of these crappy bureaucracies, but I won’t because I ruined my Sunday writing this one.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be last on my list.

 

 

Progressive Math


1. Teaching Math In The 1950’s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math In The 1960’s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80.
What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In The 1970’s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80.
Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In The 1980’s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990’s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok..

6. Teaching Math In The 2000’s
Same question as number 5 but if you have special needs or just feel you need assistance because of race, color, religion, sex, age, childhood memories, criminal background, then don’t answer and the correct answer will be provided for you.

7. Teaching Math In 2017
Un hachero vende una carrtada de maderapara 100 pesos El costo de la producciones es 80 pesos. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

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