A Tale of Two Tomorrows by Tony Caravan
While most of us walk around with incredibly powerful hand-held computers a/k/a smartphones; and, we wirelessly communicate and transmit data to others thousands of miles away, many people still can't get their heads around the fact that the same technological advances have occurred in other areas as well. One can even take this assertion one step further, and say that most people are still living in the 1980s or '90s despite all of the advancements that have take place over the last several decades.
What I mean by that is, look around you... unless you live in some multi-million dollar apartment complex in a major international city, chances are you are surrounded by old or abandoned buildings, cracked sidewalks, pot-hole roads, crumbling bridges, faded signs, and poor or homeless people in worn-out clothes.
Meanwhile talking heads on TV report on stories of wars around the world, refugee and immigration crises, shooting sprees, classified data leaks, privacy on the internet, pandemics, and self-driving cars -- to name a few. Most of which are not only tragic, but absurd occurrences in the year 2016.
You see, despite the release of smartphones, flat-screen TVs and a host of accompanying apps and little gadgets; most people ignore the fantastic breakthroughs in other areas affecting the human condition.
For example, the U.S. government has (and has had) the capability to not only track, but to also see and listen to anyone at any location on the planet. This is not science fiction, not a "conspiracy theory, just a 21st Century technological fact. There is no longer any need for, so called, "conventional weapons." The military has laser, sonic, magnetic and robotic-weapons that can defeat any terrorist group, anywhere and everywhere, within a matter of weeks (yes weeks). And, they can do it surgically, I might add, without destroying buildings, roads and bridges and killing or displacing innocent people. Why is this not being done? Get ready... because the weapon industry makes trillions of dollars and is one of the few big manufacturing employers left in the country. If there were no more wars or conflicts, they'd be out of business and the media would lose their ad revenue (and story content), and politicians wouldn't have anything to base their campaigns on. So it goes unreported, and the average person has no idea that the technology exists to end all wars once and for all. As a side note to this, the vast majority of UFO sightings are simply advanced aircraft funded by the taxpayers (not aliens).
The root of most social unrest and crime in America is due to economic inequality. And this goes way beyond race, religion, ethnicity and geographic location -- it has to do with the cost of living. The majority of people in this country are in debt. Some work two jobs and are still in debt. It's been called wage-slavery, or modern day Feudalism. The cost to pay for rent or a mortgage, utility bills, TV, internet, cell phone, taxes, insurance, loans, personal items, food and medicine costs more each month than the average person earns, forcing them to beg, borrow or steal to survive.
Most criminal acts are acts of desperation fueled by despair or being backed into a corner. Something that the people in the corporate board rooms or West Wing can't conceive of. In their minds there are people like themselves, people who work and the rest are bums. They have no concept of what it's like to be working poor, or out of work and trying to support yourself and/or a family. But these same politicians give billions of dollars to their corporate sponsors -- which they pull out of thin air, by the way -- and go on to raise taxes and interest fees on the poor. This is why there is so much violence in America -- because of greed! Is there a solution? Yes, a very simple one, use the same digital technology they use to prop up the stock market and the U.S. Dollar -- create money out of thin air. The government should wipe clean all personal debt. Imagine how the economy would grow in the years following that, and how many jobs would be created. And, the funny thing is, it wouldn't cost anything to do it; since all money is fake anyway, and just a ledger in "the cloud."
As for privacy, secrecy and government whistleblowers and leaks... There are far too many secrets in a country that is supposed to be a democracy. Common sense states that chances are if you are hiding something, or lying about something, it's not a good thing. Another way of looking at this is that government already knows everything about you. You are tracked with your cell phone, your internet usage, your utility bills, car registration, driver's license, etc... All records from tax forms to what you purchase online are accessible and cross-referenced by vast computer systems with algorithms that mine the data for the advertising industry, government think tanks, law enforcement and corporations. You cannot hide no matter what you do. There is no such thing as being "off the grid." Sorry, but this is another 21st Century reality.
The breakthroughs in medicine are beyond your wildest dreams... Research in life-extension has yielded genetic treatments that can hault and even reverse the aging process. Those working in this field treat aging as a disease, not an inevitability of life. The prospect of people living well into their 120s and beyond is now a reality; and, we're not talking about being in a nursing home, the goal is to double or triple the average lifespan while maintaining a body that is still capable of doing all of the things you want to do. Will this technology be available to the average person? Don't count on it. The injections have already begun, and they're not coming to a family doctor anytime soon.
When I look at the crumbling infrastructure in this country it upsets me. Here are these architecturally well-designed buildings rotting away, while there are skyscrapers and "box" buildings going up everywhere. The reason for this is mainly because there are tax incentives and government grants for new construction, but nothing but hassles for renovating old buildings. If we were to spend a fraction of the money being allocated to build those new ugly, useless structures and spend it to fix the decaying neighborhoods and downtowns, what a wonderful use of taxpayer money, and what a tremendous way to create local jobs.
Lastly, when I hear and see people talking about self-driving cars it makes me nuts. Obviously this is a ploy by the automobile industry to sell more vehicles and put the final nail in the coffin of mass transportation. This is the 21st Century for cryin' out loud! We should have modern, fast trains and even monorails that take people wherever they want to go. Want privacy? Bring back private coaches on the trains with TV and WiFi. The idea that a car equipped with a bunch of cameras and sensors is going to react better than (most) humans is ridiculous. Technology is great, but there are limitations when it comes to certain things. Before autonomous vehicles can become ubiquitous we'd need to upgrade our entire road system in the country -- including the side-streets and alleyways. I mean, take a look around the average city... Sensors or no sensors, there's nothing to sense on most of the roads out there. I don't know about you, but I regularly have passed mountain roads with missing guard rails, faded lane paint, missing signage, etc. This is another example of elitist promoting something that would work in their "gated" communities, but that in the real world is simply not practical.
There are hundreds of other examples of how we have a warped view of the present day (which is the future); and if we don't wake up to reality, we'll end up in dystopia.
Here's a link to a song I wrote that is a fitting segue out of this mess...