Why I oppose the Wall

There has been a lot of bluster of late on this topic and while I have been going through a bit of writers block I figured it may be helpful for me personally to at least try and articulate why I am opposed and possibly those that are for the wall can explain to me why I should not oppose.  At least if I put this down in writing I can be held accountable for my views. I can also clear my mind and block out all the rhetoric that goes on with this subject and maybe more importantly, the emotion.  As  I started this writing we are in a partial government shutdown all because of this one $5.7 billion subject.  We may enter a shutdown again shortly.

It is probably useful to give a back story of where I come from on this subject, part of it is simply growing up and being educated in America.  One of the things you learn is what is written on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty, “…Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.  The quote is actually a little longer yet that one line is what we remember.  Probably because it speaks to the foundation of the American experience dating back to Plymouth Rock.  It has been lionized in literature and film, such as “The Godfather Part II”.  Immigration has always been part of our history as is the racism that accompanies it – Italians, Poles, and Irish were all stereotyped and ridiculed when they came to the country.  I had one line in my middle school play “Westside Story” and it was “Wop” a racist term used to describe Italians.  Since my parents had immigrated from Denmark I was part of the American experience and appreciated the opportunities it provided me and related directly to the history I had learned.

Yet today that view has changed.  We are in a period where we look inward and look to history to justify a false claim – so what changed?  Simply the word “illegal” is now placed in front of immigrants who migrate north to cross the Mexican border into America.  A whole economy has been created utilizing the labor provided by “illegal” immigrants.  Illegal immigration into the US ha been occurring for quite sometime, it did not start under Obama or Trump.  I can remember as far back as Reagan as this being a topic of discussion.  One thing I find missing in the current discussion is why they come.  The talk of a “caravan” I found reprehensible as it seemed to refer to a group of people as an angry mob with evil intent. even though most were women and children.  Many were coming from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.  Fleeing poverty and violence.  Were there some criminals?  It would be naive to say there were not.   Was ISIS among them, not very likely.  The people come from Catholic countries with little or no exposure to Islam.  Most American understand this but I worry and am shocked that many still do not.  If however it supports a particular political narrative, the things people are willing to believe to support there cause seems endless.

Will they take jobs?  Yes they will.  Jobs no one wants to do like picking fruit and vegetables.  They can also be found at a Home Depot willing to do about any work you want around the house or garden.  When we talk jobs to be clear they will not be computer programmers they will be doing blue collar type work, likely under the table as they have no green card.  There must be demand for these services because there always seems to be people willing to pay for the work.  If you have had landscaping work done, the workers were not white and middle class.  In many, if not most, cases they did not speak English.  They were, however, willing to work.  Some live in low income housing, but given where they come from they have a higher view of those accommodations than the average American does.  Never underestimate or under appreciate the importance of having a roof over your head.

Will a wall protect us?  To me it is kind of a medieval solution to a modern day problem.  Wheel vs wall analogies aside, it will not reduce crime.  It will not reduce the flow of narcotics into the United States. Technology will play a key role in rooting out tunnels. Monitoring the skies.   Tracking boarder vulnerabilities.  Technology is not limited to the good guys.  It will play a key role in seeding new violence in the modern world.  The ability to use drones to move narcotics has been tried, though most narcotics come through legal points of entry.  If a wall is built the process of getting around a wall will swing into full motion and the tide of immigration will continue, it will just choose a new path.  When you are desperate and have no options, a wall will be a trivial obstacle.  It will be more symbolic than effective.

Why do “illegal” immigrants take the risk?  Where you have poverty you have a cry for opportunity.  The drug cartels are only too happy to oblige.  I am  hopefully not naive,  We see drugs in our country and we know to well where most of thee drugs come from.  We know the names of Pablo Escobar and El Chapo.  We have seen it glorified in film such as “Scarface” and treated a little more honesty in films like “Sicario”.  There are cities in Mexico right over the Rio Grande where death by violence is a daily occurrence.  If we go into Central America the story is not much different.  What do desperate mothers do? They flee.  They want to provide their children with an education and opportunity.  To provide their children their love in a safe environment. In the America’s there is only one game in town to provide that sense of opportunity, that sense of safety.

The United States has always been a caring country when given the chance.  We honestly believe we are the best.  That is an arrogant statement, but it is also a big reason why we have succeeded on the global stage.  Why despite what we see in media we are still admired by many as the place I want to go seek my future.  We were the nation that welcomed immigrants into our boarders and many of those immigrants went on to do great things.  Now we are in a time where we look to deny immigrants entry and hide behind a wall.  We espouse the rule of law in our defense of a wall, which is a pillar of a stable democracy.  However if we begin segregating who is entitled to that opportunity, we turn on our back on our history, on our destiny.

Good Night and Good Luck

Hans Henrik Hoffmann

February 2, 2019

 

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The AI Platform – will it be the last?

I have been in the tech industry for over 25 years and have witnessed a lot of change in that time. I was early on as the PC era took off. Was on a plane and travelling across the US as the internet era began. Saw mobility revolutionize the way we interact with technology. Social Media become an outlet for finding friends and releasing political angst. Watched everything go digital. Seen the Cloud computing era begin.  All these changes that have transformed society and changed lives and livelihoods.  Changes that have created new market opportunities while generating enormous wealth.  During all this change one thing has been consistent.  We need a platform and we need developers to write applications for the platform.  No developer excitement, no platform excitement equals death.  It has been a constant throughout my journey.

Platforms may best be exemplified by Microsoft Windows.  During the PC era it was Bill Gates who identified the problem and said developers need a common platform to write to.   Prior to Windows we had something developers hate…fragmentation. We had Commodore 64, Tandy, Atari..each with it sown development platform, its own development tool kits, each with fragmented market share. Microsoft bought a simple OS for $50k, called DOS, and the rest history.  Things would change again when we witnessed the birth of the internet and suddenly everything needed to be web enabled.  If it was not enough, Steve Jobs had his grand moment when the iPhone launched and then riding his coattails Google launched Android.  Within a period of a few years every developer was targeting one of two mobile platforms: iOS and Android.  Since that summer of 2007 we have witnessed the birth of Social Networks, like Facebook and Twitter.  The rise of the Cloud has created enormous new opportunities as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google battle it out for dominance.  However the journey maybe coming to is final resolution, to a place that used to be fantasy now approaching reality. As we have built and grown and created enormous amounts of data the Artificial Intelligence platform has emerged as the next great opportunity, the holy grail.

The concept of AI is not new, it was first created at a conference at Dartmouth College in 1956, though we should give a nod to Alan Turing, perhaps the real father of AI.  the sixties and seventies there was a lot of great work done on AI, but something was missing: data.  Sure we had data at the time but not in the terms of gigabytes, terabytes. petabytes, or exabytes.  That would take time and technology.  In today’s world data is no longer an issue, we have lots of data,  The amount of IP traffic per month on the internet is measured in zettabytes (spell check does not even recognize this word).  After the AI winter of the early eighties AI has come back and no longer in fantasy, but in reality.  At some levels it is hard to grasp, after a childhood where AI was limited to science fiction novels and film and never depicted kindly.  I think of films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Blade Runner”.  Of a supreme artificial being deciding the fate of mankind.  That dream or nightmare is coming ever closer to reality

Today all the major tech players are investing and investing heavily in AI.  Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated at Google I/O that “we are a AI first company”.  We have Amazon Echo, Google Home and the soon to be released Apple HomePod offering devices that will answer our questions, make musical suggestions.  How long before we start talking of these devices as if they were friends?  The autonomous vehicle is moving along faster than anticipated.  Local municipalities are starting to think of what changes they will need as our roads become transformed into advanced digital networks, taking driving decisions out of our human hands.  When we go online and go to web sites with support questions we will likely begin our journey with a bot,  We have robotic devices getting better each day in cleaning our homes as they gather information about every nook and cranny in a room.  AI is not a trend, but a technology here to stay.

In addition all the big tech players now provide a AI platform that developers will be able to write to and extend.  As the developer community grows the innovations will follow.  What makes AI incredible is it is built on data so as an example you could have a AI device collect information about a specific task and then feed that data back into a larger database, where an algorithm is running and thus improve the performance and results of the initial device.  In a very simple way it has become self learning.  Developer will create new scenarios to address and solve new problems.  We can see this in the Legal field with eDiscovery.  In Product Support services we have seen chat bots become the first line of support.  Though still a bit clunky and frustrating, overtime they will continue to improve and handle deeper and more complicated support issues

There will be other breakthroughs that will speed up the development of a “universal” AI platform.  My big bet will be on Quantum computing.  I will not get into a physics discussion, as I am the last person you want to do this, but the promise of quantum computing will be the death of the traditional silicon-based chip design, while exponentially improving on computational capabilities.  The best example is Shor’s algorithm.  On existing computes would take decades, but if the dream of Quantum Computing is realized could take minutes.  This will create risks as solving Shor’s would result in the breaking of RSA encryption, thus creating a whole new and potentially more lethal form of security risks.

The fear, and there always is a fear with technology disruption, is will we see the death of labor?  As AI improves the field of robotics will I need a maid service?  No more cab drivers.  No long haul truckers to move goods.  The question will become what will humans do?  Time will be freed up in a way it never has been before.  We are on the verge of experiencing a change in human capital that has never occurred before.  You may think than is not happening now but as things move changes will begin to happen much quicker than before.  We will move from years to months to weeks to days and quicker as time never stands still.  It will raise the question can the general population keep up? Could we have a situation like HAL in “2001: A Space Odyssey”, most say it is unlikely but the fact that it is a possibility makes it a bit unnerving.

All along these breakthroughs in AI will continue to improve the platform..on its own. At some point needing no human intervention.  No coders.  No Architects.  No Project or Product Managers.  It is self learning, self-correcting.  With each passing second it improves and becomes more efficient, more stable.  It will need no assistance.  It will move towards perfection in a way humans could never attempt.  There will be no more upgrades let alone someone trying to come up with a new OS.  When quantum computing emerges this self learning will accelerate even faster. In the future will AI need a corporate sponsor like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft or will it move beyond traditional financial structures and corporate domain to be its own entity?  At that moment there will be no AI 2.0 or 3.0.  It will be its own self-fulfilling cycle of improvement serving all or maybe just one: itself.

Good Night and Good Luck

Hans  Henrik Hoffmann July 5, 2017

 

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A Dying Free Media is a Death of an Ideal

I am a product of history, as my father was born in 1917 and served in the Danish resistance during World War II.  My mother was from Aalborg in the north of Denmark and lived her formative childhood years during the war.  I grew up listening to tales of the second world war and where Hitler went wrong. Of what life was like in an occupied country.  You made your own soap from lard.  School was 3-4 days a week.  There were always German soldiers on the streets.  It was in hindsight an interesting upbringing as I grew up in  an era where the backdrop was Vietnam and the human toll that the controversial war took on young lives. The role the media played in changing public opinion. You look back on these years from WW I to today and one thing is common is the role of media and how it shapes and influences war.  What perhaps is most frightening is how some groups utilize new media to influence and corrupt civilians in search of a false glory built on a misguided view of the future and how it is there to serve but a few, not the masses.

We often ask in WW II how did it happen that a country was seduced by Adolf Hitler, which led to more loss of lives ever in history?  It is a common question and one of the most researched and discussed topics in human history.  There were many reasons, many stemming from the Treaty of Versailles, following WW I.  However one of the driving factors in creating this mythical status of the Third Reich was a relatively new form of media: film. It would be easy to say film had been around for some time, but the pace of innovation was much slower in the early 20th century.  The Nazi’s early on used film to meet their purpose: propaganda. They had a well-educated man led the efforts, Joseph Goebbels (there was a sickness in his mind but that is another story).  Starting in the twenties and through their rise in the thirties the Nazi’s used film to frame their arguments of the German race as the superior race.  It would portray Jews as the scourge of German society and responsible for many of the economic issues of the day.  It culminated in 1935 with Leni Riefenstahl’s classic “Triumph of Wills” filmed in Nuremberg in 1934 during a Nazi Party Congress attended by 700,000 supporters.It is a classic not for its cinematic beauty or content, but how it was used to glorify the Nazi regime for an evil end purpose.  It was very effective.  It is often cited as one of the greatest propaganda films ever made.  It is hard to argue.

What followed is a cornerstone of the global history in the 20th century.  The loss of lives too many, atrocities like the Holocaust and Nanjing footnotes in history that still impact us to this day.  But it was that ability of the Nazi propaganda machine to spread fear to its own civilians that played a major role in setting the table.  It was still relatively new to a generation of people and not fully understood so it was accepted as truth.  Information traveled much slower in that era and in hindsight was more easily controlled. People were eager to consume and the Nazi’s were there to oblige, to fill a vacuum.  It seemed as if a whole country went temporarily insane, but it was all very carefully messaged and staged.

But this could never happen again?  I mean what possible form of media could be used in this fashion to seduce and manipulate?  Enter the social media revolution and evolution. Not a day goes by on Facebook or Twitter where I am left dumbfounded by the hatred in print I have to read and wonder who is telling the truth, where do these attitudes come from.  Whose source are goo?.  Who is politicizing social media for their own gains?  To beat their chest and say, “My views are holy, while your’s are a sin”.  Many do so in hiding. Choosing anonymous names, which is to say they are not accountable for what they say. That is the beauty of the internet.  I can say what I feel and not be accountable if it is right or wrong.

We now talk of fake news.  The idea of making up a news story to create an emotional response.  Our President calls it fake news when he does not agree with what is being said. How is this any different from what the Nazi’s did?  It is similar but it is very different.  In Nazi Germany information could be readily and easily centralized.  Joseph Goebbels was the end point who made the decisions.  Social Media acts in much the opposite way.  It is not a centralized systems but instead has thousands of end points.  Social Media enables these myriad of voices.  It creates a lot of noise.  It creates so much readily available information that it is not humanly possible to consume it.  At times it seems overwhelming and are heads are about to burst, sometimes with joy but often with anger. What does one do?  People gravitate towards sites they agree with and disdain those that they do not.  Fake news than enables some to increase the volume on whatever and whomever they want.  If you do not agree with someone you are an ignorant fool who is not well read on the subject.  You are belittled and your anger becomes toxic.

Our political system in the US has devolved into this system.  Every day I hear about the liberal media (usually on Fox News which I find ironic) or racist web sites like Breitbart harking back to a bygone era but appealing to many white males. Two extremes straddling the divide.  Everyone claiming they are the truth.  Asking us to follow them, how blind we have become.  We crave honesty, it’s a human desire but we are taught by mainstream and social media not to believe anyone.  Unfortunately in today’s society we all seem to suffer from some form of Attention Deficit Disorder. We are bombarded with media and really have little time to read much more than a headline. Thus the beauty of a 140 character Tweet.  At 140 characters it is not really constructive though but emotional outbursts, designed to create a response at a louder volume.

Part of America is going though an economic boom, my hometown of Seattle may be at the top of that boom.  With companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, Starbucks etc..Other major players like Google, Apple and Facebook expanding their presence in Seattle.  A robust startup economy.  I a city that seems to have it all and yet you do not have to go far to see the other America.  Go out to the coast and visit Aberdeen (birth place of Kurt Cobain) a former logging town and corridor to a strong fishing industry in the seventies, starting with the eighties it has witnessed a slow spiral down.  A dive into despair.  It is like many towns across the country who have experienced a slow death.  They are willing recipients of great change and do not need the media to tell them of their problems, they just want a solution.  Often that solution looks to the past of a strong manufacturing base.  A fondness of glorified memories.  It is dangerous to look to the past for the glory of the future.  It is a view that is mired in futility and will ultimately lead to defeat.

The latest revolt is a fake revolt, intentionally called fake news.  Used to seduce a public into believing only a few, only those that are approved.  Those that align with a certain moral compass.  Designed to make us distrust the mainstream media and turn us on each other.  To slander history and rape us of its learning.  To give into the worst of our emotions that then cause us to blindly lash out in an uncontrolled fury.  Part of this is the result of the “politically correct”, which caused us to repress some of the cancerous problems that still exist in America. Of economic inequality, an underlying racist view, anti-Semitism ironically married with a strong anti-muslim view, homophobic leanings and other views that all result from a lack of understanding, of caring.

Am I cynical about the present and the future?  I am probably a bit.  We stand at the cusp of radical social change, which will lead to a prosperous future for some. Technology is about to make leaps forward on multiple fronts from AI to Robotics to Quantum computing.  We will cure cancer and 3D print human tissues from your own DNA thus simplifying and improving a liver, heart or kidney transplant. However our self inflicted anger may delay and condemn our success.  As those tied to the future have made fortunes we have left the backbone of our nation behind,  small town America has been destroyed. There is no sense of community.  No white picket fences.  We have become a divided nation.  Separated by the success of the coasts and the desperation and desolation of the interior between Interstate 95 and Interstate 5.  We are angry, which historically leads to the warmth of dictatorships.  Having a strong media to provide an alternative voice is a strength of our republic.  It is important for our past and for our future. Ronald Reagan referred to as “a shining beacon of light on a hill, that will carry us through these dark times.  A light for the freedom of all and not just the few”.  He had immense respect for our institutions, are branches of government, of our free media.  If we fail now how will history remember us?

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Good Night and Good Luck

Hans Henrik Hoffmann February 26, 2017

 

 

 

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“The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin” – by Steven Lee Myers

It has been a while since I have reviewed a book on my blog but I felt the timing was good and the book was worth it.  It seems Russia has come back in our media and politics. Resurrected from its cold war hangover and reborn by one man, Vladimir Putin.  The book is well written and researched by Mr. Myers taking us from Putin’s childhood in St Petersburg, through his time as a KGB agent to his eventual rise to power..

What we learn about his early years is this was a young man who did not stand out.  He was not an academic genius.  He was a typical kid who showed no great ambitions.  Like many it was film that inspired him and the Soviet spy thrillers that influenced him to want to be a KGB foreign spy.  He would never get the job in the west having to settle for a posting in Dresden, East Germany, where the KGB kept check on the Stasi.  He would be there until the collapse of East Germany.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union,like many at the time he was a drift. A life that seemed so structured was no longer.  That lack of structure was a very difficult issue for Putin. He would work for people in St Petersburg,  on local campaigns  and what you learn about Putin is he was loyal to whomever he worked for and he worked hard for those people he reported to.  Loyalty and structure would drive him moving forward and define his personality.

He eventually found himself in Moscow working in the Boris Yeltsin apparatus  Again he worked very hard until he started to get noticed by Yeltsin.  After many Prime Ministers came and went under Yeltsin, Putin was eventually offered the role. He was picked by Yeltsin to become President once Yeltsin stepped away, primarily for health reasons.  It is really amazing this unexpected rise, but all of a sudden a former KGB man is leader of Russia.

The biggest influence in Putin’s first term were two-fold: terrorism and Chechnya.  They went hand in hand and Putin did as he was trained he came down on those who threatened Russia with force.  During this early time as the crisis unfolded he also took steps to reign in the media and put them under state control.  The oligarchs who had made billions were also brought in line.  Those who did not fall in line were brought to trial and sent to Siberia (Yukos Oil).  The people who really made out during Putin’s first eight years were old fiends from Petersburg, KGB etc..Corruption was contained but it was also alive and well in Putin’s Russia

The biggest event that lead to Putin’s break with the west was the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004.  After this point Vladimir Putin changed.  He became the man to resurrect Russia as a major player on the global stage.  The book covers his time where he stepped back for 4 years as Prime Minister, while Medvedev was his appointed President. During this time primarily managing the corrupt Sochi Olympics and being a power broker behind the scenes.

There is a lot covered in this book by Mr.Myers and I just touched on some, but why you would admire Vladimir Putin is a mystery to this reader and I think to Mr. Myers as well. As Angela Merkl told President Obama, “Putin is in his  own world”  The Russia Putin believes in is based on history, history of a great past that is pre-Soviet.  It is a fascinating account of what makes up a man who has created a cult of personality.  He will be a major player for some time, through the 2018 elections (there is no competition in Russian elections…as we learn they are not Democratic).  Read the book. It is a great read and will make you feel uneasy about the future.

Good Night and Good Luck

Hans Henrik Hoffmann December 28, 2016

 

 

Futureshock

No this is not a book review of the Alvin Toffler classic “FutureShock”, which I cannot claim to have read but maybe should take the time out to do so.  But maybe it should be altered to be “FutureNow”, as it is driven by the sheer speed of change we seem to have entered.  It seems we are entering a very uncertain time in our evolution as citizens of this planet.  We see in our politics a global shift to the hard right.  We see advances in technology designed to propel us into the future, while we look to old friends like our glutinous need for oil to build that future, maybe just political friends who see that future from our past.  But one thing is certain things are starting to move every fast and it will be interesting as humans if we are able to decipher the meaning of those changes.

We live in truly amazing times where things once only envisioned in science fiction literature and film are now being brought to the economic forefront as reality.  Robby Robot is no longer fantasy.  What we knew as Hal in “2001: A Apace Odyssey” is now called Alexa.  Roads once driven by humans are now being sold on future where they need not worry about human interaction with the road anymore.  Retailers want to sell you something before you even know you want it and then they disguise it as convenience.  All these things when I was a child seemed far off on the future, perhaps a future I would never see.  But the seeds of that future now seem to be sprouting all around us.

It seemed just a few years ago we began discussing driver less cars.  It was first a part of Google’s Project Moonshot,though many others were working on.  Eric Schmidt was very excited about it talking about the positive impact it will have on humanity.  And it will.  No drunk drivers.  In 2015 in the United States alone there were over 10,000 deaths due to drunk drivers.  Not to mention injuries and other traffic accidents.  Just think of road rage and the lessening of stress due to traffic congestion will be reduced because you will no longer be in control.  I can read a book and better utilize my time when I do not have to sit behind the wheel.  Will cars of the future have the same dimension of two seats in front and two in back? I can envision true cars of comfort.  I may even take a nap.  They may become true comforts of home with reclining chairs and flat screen TV’s.

It sounds thrilling but I do worry.  When this first came to light 2-3 years ago we were talking technology that is 20 yrs out, but good old competition has a way of changing things.  This week GM announced plans to start testing driver less vehicles in Michigan,  Google and Uber are already testing.  A company in Britain is testing self driving  cab service and wants it operational within 2 years.  We will start seeing this service in mass by the end of this decade.  In the US in 2012 there were 233,900 cab drivers.  You can see this extending to companies like UPS and FedEx.  Garbage men? Gone.  Delivery service s in general?  Check out Amazon drone delivery.  First one occurred last week. The jobs lost will be in the millions, it’s not hard data to find. There is no plan to help displaced workers, that is just not how government works.  In the US we are not too good about planning ahead for these type of changes, but better at thinking about it after the fact

Robots have been in science fiction since the beginning of films.  Originally crude and clumsy like Robby Robot but becoming more sophisticated with time.  Usually taking a human form as in “Blade Runner” of the more recent “Ex-Machina”.  Ultimately to be designed to be more human than human.  Luckily we are not quite ready for that yet, we look at Robotics more in tune with replacing human tasks.  For the Christmas Holidays CNBC showed an Amazon warehouse, not many humans in the picture, in fact I did not see any at all. All automated and run primarily by robots.  I hear politicians constantly shout at the TV “bring manufacturing jobs back to the US”, this is usually followed by some threat. They are either insanely naive or bald-faced liars.  Manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U S (there was even a recent article that stated this)  they just don’t need any people.

We actually talk about A.I. these days, it has finally progressed to a more commercial form. This was one that I truly thougt was years away.  But now all the big tech companies are talking about A.I.:   Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook etc… We have venture’s like Paul Allen’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.  There is no lack of money being thrown into this field. We have devices now designed to assist us, Alexa and Cortana.  They are there to help answer our most pressing questions.  We need not know the answer but only the questions to ask.  The mere idea of A.I. is enabling a level of thought, the ability to have a level of reason and consequently be able to make decisions.  Decisions that will no longer need to be made by an actual human. For some that me be liberating, I find it a tad bit on the depressing side.  If you value self control this is a depressing development.  If you don’t have an issue with that loss, you are enetring glorious times.

Underlying all these things will be the Cloud Infrastructure and Big Data.  As the internet has grown the amount of data stored in the cloud The amount of data traffic surpassed 1 zettabyte per day in 2016.  The ability to consume, analyze and act upon that data will feed all the technologies mentioned above and as we get better we will just be able to move that much faster in how we think and act.  Every technology mentioned so far will have built-in sensory collectors and then be able to upload each and every activity done during the day.  All stored and analyzed.

If I strike a somewhat negative tone it’s because I do worry.  These ivy league economist are really good at what they do but one thing they seem to have no grasp of is the simple concept of time.  When these changes come there will be a lot of displaced workers and the ability of the economy to create new jobs to place them in will be strained and challenged. Driver less vehicles will displace millions in the US alone and we have not even touched aviation or trains.  As a society we will have to figure out what to do.  How will we support those who are removed from the work force?  How we measure unemployment in the US is a farce as we only measure by those collecting not those who have fallen off. The current rate,the current rate is 4.9% but real rate is 9.9%.  In the coming years I expect the real to grow faster than the official.  I have not even tackled retail checkers being displaced.

There will be positives.   There will be a day when law enforcement will have no guns and therefore no need to shoot anybody, think micro-drone tasers and tiny drone surveillance cameras.  Situations can be diffused from a control room and never have to endanger an officer or citizen/criminal. Work is being done to 3D print human organs so a kidney or liver transplant will be routine as they can be printed with your DNA.  Alternate energies will continue to progress and kill the oil industry while providing cleaner air for our children and grandchildren.  The question will it be in time?

The future has never looked more certain while our existence on this planet has never looked more uncertain.  The greatest challenge will not be technological change but the speed of change and how capable are we of adapting to that change.  As stated these changes will have exciting benefits but also perilous pitfalls.  If you are smart and invest in these technological shifts you will get ahead,at least financially.  If you relegate yourself to the sideline it will end up being a permanent placement.   Once the train leaves the station if you are not on, you will be a foorptint in history.

Good Night and Good Luck

Hans Henrik Hoffmann December 26, 2016

 

 

 

 

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