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The Future (Read 2034 times)
Webbie
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The Future
Sep 15th, 2013, 4:42pm
 
Recent revelations of just how much data is being collected on you at this point and how much more is going to be collected with the new Obamacare law has got me thinking.

We have all read dystopian novels like 1984 and others about what happens when the government knows everything you do or say. All of these futures were notably bleak. Most of them were written in or before the 50's. Not so many have been written recently.

Sure there have been some movies and books that touched on the topic, but not many were of the same caliber of the greats. Gibson comes to mind as a recent author but I can't think of too many more.

Most 'futurist' stories seem to be more about technology rather than the people who live with it.
 
Is the present changing too quickly to guess the future?

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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: The Future
Reply #1 - Sep 15th, 2013, 7:08pm
 
Dear Webbie;
  I'm confused. You refer to the mass data collection (done by the Agency That Knows Everything (?)) and also Obamacare. I've tried to keep up with both elements, and to my knowledge the one has nothing to do with the other. The so-called Obamacare, to my knowledge, has nothing more sinister up its sleeve besides making health insurance available to hordes of people who now have none, zero, nada. As to the Agency...well, I doubt its self-professed omnipotence. Why? Because I used to work there, a number of years ago. Yes, it was smaller then. But at that time, cluelessness reigned, from one end of its hallowed halls to the other. I used to smile to myself at the time, because even then it was supposed to Know Everything -- but in reality, if indeed it actually had all those facts, probably no one alive knew where someone else had put them. My guess is that now only the size has changed. Meaning the cluelessness is now also much bigger. Keep in mind, this is a _Government_Agency._

Just a guess, of course.
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Webbie
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Re: The Future
Reply #2 - Sep 16th, 2013, 2:12pm
 
The Snowden/Manning expose' of the military and the NSA has given us all cause to ponder what it is they do or don't know about you, me or them. Foreign governments as well are wondering who knows what about who. It seems pretty clear 'they' know more than they are saying they know.

Quote:
The so-called Obamacare, to my knowledge, has nothing more sinister up its sleeve besides making health insurance available to hordes of people who now have none, zero, nada.


But on to the Obamacare databases. The devil is in the details. The IRS is the enforcement agency of the plan as it is a tax and as such your medical records and your tax records are now to be one and the same. Income, credit score, employment history, health, political affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation are all going to be in one place. Gun owners are being told that owning a gun is a medical issue and must be reported on medical questionnaires. Add a couple of very easy reaches into your child's school medical records, criminal histories, cell phone data and it paints picture that starts to sound more than a little scary.

A simple google search will reveal how many people are starting to freak out over this mass of data. Try 'Obamacare + database' for a start.

But it goes even further than that. Thousands of workers are getting their hours cut  to part time to save employers from the fines for not providing health care leaving many without enough work to support themselves without getting two or three part time jobs. It is singlehandedly 'Fundamentally Changing The Face Of America" just as Obama promised he would do.

Without going on a rant about un-intended consequences of laws written by out of touch professional politicians for the masses. I still want to ask the question.

Is the present changing too quickly to guess the future?


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Gary A. Markette
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Re: The Future
Reply #3 - Sep 17th, 2013, 5:09am
 
The present has always changed too quickly to predict the future. Twenty years ago, no one could have predicted the cell phone/internet culture of today. In my 40s, I would never have believed that a cell phone would move from a convenience to a necessity; that television would be supplanted by streaming video; that tablets and smart phones and texting and tweeting would be the dominant social tools in most of the civilized world. (Try finidng a pay phone whehn you need one and you'll see what I mean.)

The Internet and the information age have changed our culture forever. The only certainty is that change will continue. Only time will tell if we experience a "1984" or a "Brave New World." I'm hoping for Huxley.
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Webbie
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Re: The Future
Reply #4 - Sep 18th, 2013, 2:17pm
 
Back in the 60's the Star Trek communicator was a hint of what was to come.

It seems almost like people are spending so much time focused inward they don't look at the bigger picture anymore.  Perhaps this is the new trend to make your world smaller and smaller, totally under your own control.

A 'Holodeck' merged with facebook perhaps.

Hmmm....

I still want my flying car dammit!
:)
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Adrienne_Ray
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Re: The Future
Reply #5 - Sep 18th, 2013, 4:42pm
 
Here's a thought that might be a little scarey:
The reason we can afford cell phones and other electronic gadgets is because we have a third world that can assemble them for peanuts. As our global economy evolves, third world nations will start to demand higher wages. We may one day not be able to afford all these gadgets. How will the future change? Also, we are running out of gold and silver which is used in these electronic devices.
You can't always tell what the direction the future will take.
We probably would have flying cars if gasoline was still 30 cents a gallon.
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: The Future
Reply #6 - Sep 19th, 2013, 12:59pm
 
Webbie, I stand informed by your "devil in the details" take on Obamacare. You may well be right -- or maybe not -- since it seems _nobody_ knows what is actually in there.

I still say, IF it works out as expected, it's going to be the greatest thing since Social Security, and we will wonder how we got along without it.

Of course, that may turn out to be a big "IF."

As to guessing what the future may hold -- I for one am having trouble figuring out what _the present_ holds.

Duh.
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Webbie
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Re: The Future
Reply #7 - Sep 19th, 2013, 2:00pm
 
Adrienne_Ray wrote on Sep 18th, 2013, 4:42pm:
Here's a thought that might be a little scarey:
The reason we can afford cell phones and other electronic gadgets is because we have a third world that can assemble them for peanuts. As our global economy evolves, third world nations will start to demand higher wages. We may one day not be able to afford all these gadgets. How will the future change? Also, we are running out of gold and silver which is used in these electronic devices.
You can't always tell what the direction the future will take.
We probably would have flying cars if gasoline was still 30 cents a gallon.



Here are our new workers and they work for even less than the third world ones do:
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518661/smart-robots-can-now-work-right-next...

We'll grow out of the gold and silver needs as graphine electronics come into wider use. Some of the wilder ideas are actually looking feasible. Wearable wi-fi electronics for one but there are others.


Quote:
I still say, IF it works out as expected, it's going to be the greatest thing since Social Security, and we will wonder how we got along without it.

Of course, that may turn out to be a big "IF."


A very big "IF" indeed. The basic idea of have someone else pay for it seems just fine until you are the one paying. Remember there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything cost somebody. Maybe not you, but somebody pays all the time, every time.

For that matter Social Security isn't really that good of a deal. You get back less than 1% of your investment of a lifetime of work. If you took the same amount that they pull out of your paycheck every month and stuffed it in a mattress you would have a nicer retirement. Of course sleeping on that mattress would be a little lumpy. (adjusted for inflation which is a created thing in the first place)

Now about the 11 million to 50 million instant Obama care recipients democrats want to add to the country with their immigration bill. Doesn't that seem a little un-wise until we at least figure out what it will cost? Or is Pelosi's advice still stand, pass it so we can find out what's in it?

I don't think these people (Politicians in general) have my best interest in mind. I think they have their own best interest in mind. They will say anything for a vote.



"For in a Republic, who is “the country”? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant—merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them." - Mark Twain


I still want my flying car dammit!
:)
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: The Future
Reply #8 - Sep 19th, 2013, 7:10pm
 
Social Security has been great for me. During my working years, I frittered my money away on food, utilities, mortage payments and...oh yeah, the kids and their expenses. "Savings" was not for people like me. I am thiankful now that SS keeps me out of the homeless shelter...or the bridge abutment.

As a result of scraping along for many years, I really don't mind paying for health care for those who need it but don't have any. I have been lucky enough to be able to pay for what health care I have needed, but I know not everyone is that fortunate. Those that are not fortunate, I would be glad to help them via tax money or any other way.

Actually, the USA seems to be a very rich country. I've been reading lately about our military bases in foreign countries (over 100 such bases while Russia, for example, has 11) and the cost of drones. I don't recall exactly how much the cost of each drone is, but I remember thinking it was -- stunning. You could buy a pile of health care, food, etc. for those who need it for the cost of even one drone.

And yes, I'm a Socialist at heart. And yes, I know -- Socialism is like Christianity -- a great idea that has never really gotten a fair tryout. We humans tend not to be idealistic enough to let such ideas work.

Alas.

Sigh.

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Webbie
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Re: The Future
Reply #9 - Oct 5th, 2013, 12:52pm
 
The big database...

http://freebeacon.com/kentucky-marketplace-warning-no-explicit-or-implicit-expec...

Quote:
The Kentucky Obamacare marketplace has no “expectation of privacy,” warning its prospective customers that their information can be monitored and shared with government bureaucrats.

When clicking “let’s get started” on the state-run health insurance marketplace “kynect,” the user is quickly prompted to a “WARNING NOTICE.”

“This is a government computer system and is the property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” it states. “It is for authorized use only regardless of time of day, location or method of access. “

“Users (authorized or unauthorized) have no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy,” the disclaimer reads. “Any or all uses of this system and all files on the system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized state government and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.”


Officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign??? Law enforcement??  What are "Authorized Officials" and who authorized them?

Of course these are the things stories are made of. Nobody could write a story without conflict of some kind and government wrongs are such an attractive target.

Quote:
And yes, I'm a Socialist at heart. And yes, I know -- Socialism is like Christianity -- a great idea that has never really gotten a fair tryout. We humans tend not to be idealistic enough to let such ideas work.


Both have the same root problem, people are flawed.

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