Last updated: 2018-04-17

This post contains my suspicions and observations about society in 2018. They are not necessarily true or accurate. They are just a sampling of thoughts that occurred to me while reading the news or studying various topics online. You may disagree, that’s ok.

  1. Authoritarian concerns are mounting in Europe and the United States, perhaps elsewhere, on both sides of the political spectrum
    1. Counter: democracy appears to be weakening worldwide, but perhaps it is more a desire for justice that people want. Challenges to the system are disruptive, but maybe it strengthens it through a demand for change in law and social attitudes.
  2. Bitcoin may remain the “gold” of cryptocurrency, but alt coins will ultimately dominate the landscape; there may never be an ultimate “winner”
    1. Counter: powerful forces will shape and take control cryptocurrency by ultimately creating the platforms through which cryptocurrency is processed. You can own one or many different coins, but the final transactions are handled through large bank and corporate exchanges.
  3. Investments in artificial intelligence are on the rise and progress marches steadily forward
    1. Counter: artificial intelligence requires a far greater understanding of consciousness and may never take shape the way we anticipate. Our ultimate design may be one of intelligent systems that aid us over “conscious” machines that construct their own cultures and identities.
  4. Battery technology is improving slowly, but significantly
    1. Counter: fossil fuels may remain the most practical form of energy for the foreseeable future as we continue to extract them in large amounts from reserves throughout the world.
  5. Trash storage and management is becoming an increasing concern
    1. Counter: new technological strategies and clever business opportunities may result in improved recycling practices and abilities to breakdown materials or store them in new ways that reduce this stress on society.
  6. China is gaining world dominance, but is also facing mounting internal pressures that seem unsustainable
    1. Counter: China’s society undergoes a radical transformation like South Africa and the government peacefully transitions into something more globally sustainable and skyrockets as the world’s wealthiest and most powerful country of all time.
  7. Assassinations are still a prevalent threat to the rich and powerful
    1. Counter: improved forensics and investigative techniques along with surveillance and data mining make traditional crime virtually impossible to succeed at.
  8. Seafood is getting worse and more dangerous
    1. Counter: seafood is improved through technology that extracts contaminants, new international regulations that protect bodies of water, and improved fishery management that produce higher quality farm-raised seafood for commercial consumption
  9. Overcrowding and demand is increasing quickly; expect a future of queues, waits, and inconvenience
    1. Counter: clever strategies and redesigns of traditional roadways and queues eliminate a percentage of this growing inconvenience. Countries with vast populations like China hire more people to work service jobs to handle the influx of demand. Autonomous cars and machines increase efficiency.
  10. Small aircraft are still dangerous to own and operate despite advances made in aviation
    1. Counter: lessons and standards from the commercial airline industry blossom into the growing private aviation industry to make small jets and autonomous aircraft safer for everyday use.
  11. There have been more “legitimate” UFO sightings reported and more credible individuals confirming their existence
    1. Counter: the curve at which government technology has reached is further out than it has ever been before and we are catching glimpses of classified technology on accident.
  12. Drones and robotics are steadily increasing in quality and reliability
  13. Powerful entities and individuals are being indicted more frequently
    1. Counter: coverage of indictments are sensationalized or overly hyped while the number of corrupt individuals and illegal collusion remains steady or perhaps increases with an expanding world population.
    2. Double counter: with rising complexity and continually changing technology, the difficulty of “getting away with something” is increasing as well. Indictments will rise and the powerful will be more exposed and vulnerable than ever before.
  14. Space-faring businesses are slowly on the rise
    1. Counter: the barrier to entry for successful space-faring businesses may still be so high that expansion into space is many decades off.
  15. Virtual reality adoption (sales and people familiar with the technology) seems to be fairly slow overall
  16. We’re consuming increasingly contaminated water and food resulting in more long-term diseases and conditions like cancer
    1. Counter: standards are improving and regulations involving water and food are becoming more scientific and strict. This is merely our awareness coming to light and the issues will be resolved quickly and effectively.
  17. Pet and child tracking will become more common. This may lead to us tracking each other as well. Why not share that data with each other for peace of mind? We’ll expand this by tracking vital signs as well.
    1. Counter: privacy concerns will attempt to suppress this technology and it will be occasionally used against us to target and eliminate individuals. But overall I don’t think this technology will go away. We’ll choose to trade away privacy for security and comfort.
  18. The perceived value of human life is increasing with more access to technology that can keep us alive and with more time to spend thinking about ourselves. Philosophical thoughts reveal the depth and complexity of human life and our societies and that can result in a greater attachment to it.
    1. Counter: with overpopulation and greater conflict in the future, this “special” regard we give ourselves might falter due to focus being placed elsewhere. Philosophy is a luxury wealthy societies can afford, but if countries waver then it may diminish and return their citizens to a previous era of thought.
  19. Smaller and poorer nations are rapidly closing the gap with wealthy nations. Supply and demand is increasing. Populations are increasing. The world will soon have many countries all competing and operating at around the same level. Exploitation of weaker nations will diminish. Trade will blossom.
    1. Counter: increased demand will strain the world economy and production will not be able to keep pace. Disasters like pandemics and climate change will impact poorer nations the hardest. Competition will become fierce. These factors will keep wealthy nations ahead of the curve with the ability to suppress weaker nations from rising up.
  20. The effect of fame is becoming diluted. The culture of fame is becoming less popular. The importance of teamwork is being highlighted more frequently while the story of individual heroes is dying down. Heroes are unrealistic and unscientific. More countries are producing famous people which further dilutes the market.
    1. Counter: fame is ancient and will never cease to draw people’s attention. We are innately drawn to worship heroes because it is hardwired into us. The amount of famous people might increase, but there will always be mega-stars that people idolize. The heroes story will always be compelling. Teamwork is boring by comparison regardless of what it can accomplish.