As 2014 winds to a close, I have taken a little time over the holidays to look around the world we live in and just take in all the changes. Digging around news releases I came across a few developments that I feel have few if any historical precedents. Bear in mind this is only a small sample of the fascinating world we live in and before you start sending me hate messages, bear in mind that if I included everything interesting in 2014 it would not be a blog post, but a life’s work
- The Internet: Everything it is and can potentially become
A digital medium for knowledge to be shared globally and forces to wage a digital war to share, conceal, and control the virtual landscape. For those curious about such claims, look into the Deep Web for an example of just how much content is hidden from your standard Google search and to see the conflict, check out the saga of the Silk Road or Wiki Leaks.
- Robotic prosthetics
In the past, my experiences with large-scale robotic prosthetics was reserved for my favorite science-fiction games such as Deus Ex (a series of video games I highly recommend). Then I saw this video. Watch the Deus Ex video again after watching the prosthetics video. If you are like me, you watched the Deus Ex video again after seeing the prosthetic video. Then you sat alone and contemplated the world we live in.
- Climate Change
In my mind, the last few generations have faced immense challenges, with failure having unthinkable results. Most recently, the 1950’s to the 1990’s can be seen as an effort to overcome mutually assured destruction. As it stands, it seems that the superpowers of the world can agree tenuously not to fight one another and in doing so, wipe out the human species in the process.
Now we face our own challenge. The threat is a global ecological catastrophe with stakes as high as nuclear war. The only problem is that the driving causes are not military buildup, but peace-time economics as society adjusts to higher levels of consumption and standards of living. Though I hold a great deal of trepidation over the consequences of climate change, I am glad to play a role in the ultimate outcome for better or worse.
As I now sit reassessing my life goals as I do annually around New Year’s Eve, I look back to the topics above as a means of keeping everything in perspective. While I would love to create a board game, publish a book, hike through Europe, along with a slew of other selfish and not so selfish goals, I am reminded of the tremendous changes our world is experiencing, with or without me.
As I sit polishing of and revising my goals, I wonder what you, the reader, has set as a priority for the 2015. Let me know in the comments below as I would love to hear how you envision the future.