Future Shock. As the 24 hour news media and talk radio fixate on gorillas and high school election antics, its hard to get a conversation going about the future. Is the future potential leaders want the future we should have? Is it the future we want? There are developments almost everyday now with autonomous cars, robotics, materials, aviation, and communications; the building blocks of a future wave that will leave nothing untouched and unchanged. A series of stories from today’s headlines shedding a light on one potential future and a question; Planners and government officials are diverting resources to bring about a vision of the city of tomorrow, which is really the city of the early 1900’s. Is this what you want? Will the driverless car, autonomous software and machines, robotics, and other developments make trains, buses and the standard bureaucracy heavy city, state and federal government ‘obsolete’? If so, why is so much time, effort and authority expended to see that we plan for and create a urban spaces, and that suburban villages and towns conform to a vision of a city that probably never existed and never will. Driverless cars will render the amount of space needed for freeways and parking ramps obsolete. Remote technology, robotics and other technologies may mean that people will not have to travel to large office complexes for their work, with increasing freelance employment. What are our so called leaders talking about? Minimum wages, government controlled health insurance and trains. Trains. Why are we planning for 1940’s Chicago when reality could be closer to Jefferson’s vision than Robert Moses? The old world is being torn down and a new one is being built that will be very different from what we know. Do our leaders understand this? Future Shock. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.
Snow Storms and Drones. Midweek update on the top stories, starting with the New York Blizzard of the century that fizzled. Now the Governor of New York, Governor of New Jersey and Mayor of New York City look like Chicken Little. A National Weather Service Meteorologist has apologized – profusely – for going so far as to suggest the city be evacuated. This is the same meteorologist who perfectly predicted Hurricane Sandy. Maybe he got lucky, or Pride Goeth Before The Fall. The Justice Department has investigated the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, and has decided – drum roll please – not to press charged against Police Officer Darren Wilson. Will there be apologies from the ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ crowd for lying? Don’t count on it. Remember the fanfare that greeted the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl last summer? Almost immediately his brothers in arms said he was a deserter. Now Bergdahl will have to go through a Court Martial to determine whether its true. Bergdahl stands to lose rank and at least three hundred thousand dollars in back pay and benefits. Finally a man described as a drunk ‘federal employee’ lost control of a drone Monday night while he was flying it ‘at an apartment building a few blocks from the White House’. He went to bed, woke up the next morning, heard it had crashed onto the lawn of the White House, and called the Secret Service himself to tell them that, yeah he was the guy. The employee works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which provides the NSA and the Department Of Defense with … you know, stuff. This shows what off the shelf disruptive technology can do to centrally controlled structures, like give the secret service another black eye. Just what they need. The President was traveling Monday, and wasn’t at the White House, although his kids were. Sponsored by Depotstar.