Saturday, January 9, 2010

As You Gaze Into Your Crystal Ball...

It seems like just last week that we were on the threshold of a new millennium. The biggest prediction for the new decade was that the world would end when all the computers crashed at the stroke of midnight, taking humanity with them. At 12:01 a.m., the world continued on as before, and we all heaved a collective sigh of relief. Little did we know what was to come -- some good, and some not so good -- 9/11 and the rise of terrorism, Katrina, the Boxing Day tsunami, globalization, Twitter, iPOD, the resurgence of the Beatles, the death of Michael Jackson, reality TV, PlayStation and Wii, Ugg boots and Crocs, blogging, Vladimir Putin, the Euro, SARS and H1N1, Pope Benedict XVI, Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, the cloying music of Josh Brogan, Andrea Bocelli and Susan Boyle (*shudder*), Brangelina, the Gosselins, the Biggest Loser, Space Shuttle Columbia, Harry Potter, Sarah Palin, the Pakistan earthquake, Beyonce, Tina Fey, Pixar, The Sopranos, wardrobe malfunctions, cougars, "whazzup", "thinking outside the box", YouTube, bling, "it is what it is", "just sayin'", American Idol, the web generation, the Osbournes, the Human Genome Project, Archaeoraptor liaoningensis, Space Shuttle Columbia, the Large Haldron Collider, face transplants, Ardipithecus ramidus, hybrid cars, Anderson Cooper, High School Musical, Paris Hilton, "that's hot", Wikipedia, metrosexuals, Hannah Montana, low carbs, ADHD, The Da Vinci Code, Jared the Subway guy, Craigslist, Bratz, botox, Sudoku, bluetooth, bleached teeth.

We didn't cure the common cold or baldness, as was predicted at the beginning of the decade, but we did learn how to make embryonic stem cells from adult stems cells, thereby potentially curing Parkinson's Disease and spinal cord injuries.

Phinnaeus and Marigold were born into a world where the Internet and all the other advancing technology is part of their lives, and they don't know a world without it. Ask any 12 year-old kid, and you will find out what is on the horizon as far as the latest gadgets and gizmos, and I love it. I think it's wonderful.

As you look back at the past decade, what do you remember the most, and what do you predict for the coming decade?



noteither said...

Past decade: Space tourist
Coming decade: From outer space tourist?? :)

Nice post Jo :)

Kathryn said...

(I needed to edit.)

Predictions? Oh, i wish i was that good! We currently have roll up keyboards, i think before long the whole laptop will roll up, but beyond that i have no predictions.

I remember most vividly being very, very upset that Bush was going to take us to Iraq. I felt it was a huge mistake, that we hadn't "finished what we'd started" at Afghanistan, & that invading Iraq would spread world-wide hate & contempt for us when we did it. Also that it wouldn't be short & sweet, but that we'd be embroiled there for a long time.

Even tho i had no ability or intention of doing it/anything, i thought than any means necessary to stop Bush from taking us there were justified.

What i didn't forsee was how quickly we would lose our freedoms in this country with the P.a.t.r.i.o.t Act & other similar measures.

Um, i may have gotten a bit passionate here. Sorry. :p

Wish i could predict "world peace" & "the cure for cancer" but i'm afraid that i'm cynical enough to think that would cost someone too much $$$ to allow it.

John said...

What I remember most about the decade was that sad day on 9/11, then seeing Baghdad being bombed-- "shock & awe" on live tv and knowing how wrong it was and how so many innocent civilians would be hurt and killed. Definitely the decade of WAR--War on Terror, all the lies made up to have the U.S. occupy Iraq.

The crazy sniper shootings in the DC area, and the main shooter already executed.

And Hurricane Katrina, I'll never forget that, especially after seeing Spike Lee's documentary on HBO. Another sad event that was, which made the U.S. look like a 3rd world country.

And finally a bit of relief with the U.S. electing a new president. I am glad Obama defeated McCain & Palin, but I was never in support of him until he won the nomination. I was a very outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton and was so sad that she did not get the nomination. I had waited to see Hillary elected for over ten years. I just knew it would happen, so it was disappointing to say the least.

Another thing that I noticed in the last decade was the ever growing use of illegal drugs, especially meth. Crack cocaine remains rampant in this country and is supposedly not as big a problem as meth--couldn't prove it by the number of drug dealers and users.

So many drug overdoses happened, Anna Nicole Smith and her son, Heath Ledger, MJ, and so many people, ordinary people. I noticed so many drug overdoses in the newspapers both locally and nationally.

As for predictions I think we will see lots of new gadgets in our homes and cars. I think the concept of the kindle, which already has two competitors will only grow and be replacing a lot of newspapers and magazines and books. I can't wait to see electronic magazines in color and the computer/tablet and the new touch screens in the new cars and hopefully we will see more hybrid cars and less dependence on fossil fuels. Lots to look forward too!

I predict the U.S. will remain a country at war for another decade, at least in Afghanistan. I sure would like to see an end to all wars and and end to terrorism though. *sigh*

the walking man said...

I will keep my look backs to myself but I see only one last chance to reverse the damage our emissions are doing to the planet.

*shrug* Call it suicide for profit.

DUTA said...

What I remember the most from the past decade is the Internet. As for the coming decade, I'm not optimistic .

I think the number one country in the world, the USA is going to have to deal with terror attacks on its territory and financial collapse - both of which will cause great unrest internally and in the entire world.

greenpanda said...

Great things, and terrible things........

Russell said...

I had to look up Susan Boyle -- as I apparently live under a rock I had no idea who she was (is).

I went to YouTube and, whoa!, what a voice! I remember her now. I did not realize Simon was on the British Idol show! He gets around.

She reminds me of Jim Nabors. He was Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and was really goofy -- but he had this incredible huge voice!

Interesting post as always.

You may have mentioned this, but I saw on TV that we will soon have wireless TV -- no more cords!

houndstooth said...

I teach PreK and a year or two ago I was at a conference about technology. The man said that technology is growing at such a rapid rate that 90% of the jobs that the kids that I teach today will hold have not even been created yet. It's staggering and amazing! I'm just hoping that one day going to the moon will be a vacation trip I can afford.

Brenda said...

My head is spinning from all that recollection....whoa...did all that really happen! All I ask for in the future is a tree that grows money. Is that too much to ask...haheha. Feeling silly this morning...sorry.

Land of shimp said...

@John -- disappointed Hilary supporter here, too. If I'd had my druthers, she would have been the President.

One thing I wanted to add, because I've always found it interesting. A sign of how susceptible we all are to be programed into belief -- statistics show that there were more drug addicts at the turn of the 20th century, than at the turn of the 21st.

That's due, in no small part, to the presence of narcotics in readily available forms, and opium use in remedies not being regulated, but I still find it interesting. One of those things I wouldn't have guessed.

Drug addiction was a HUGE problem at the turn of the 20th century, and it wasn't just because narcotics were present in cough syrups sold to anyone.

Actually, that's one way to feel better about our current path. We have a belief that we are doing worse, and worse, but take a look at what was going on at the turn of the 20th century, and we made a lot of tremendous progress from then until now. Including the way we treat each other. Just issues of domestic abuse, or child labor, actually the list is so endless, I'll stop now.

Just saying, it is fairly amazing how much progress we have made. I'm not trying to be all Mary Sunshine about this, either. Clearly, we have troubles, but putting them into perspective -- we do make progress. Sometimes it is only easily glimpsed by looking back over the past.

@Jo don't forget the buzz word "sustainable" being a part of the consciousness of many, now. Although the ubiquity of certain terms can drive me crazy, there's hope in that one.

Hopefully this coming decade will bring us some advances in clean energy. It had a brief time of advancement back in the 70s and 80s but some nuclear plant accidents really derailed us for too long.

Somewhere between 2000-2010, Vancouver made it onto the Greenest Cities in the World list, didn't you? If I'm recalling this correctly Vancouver won the top spot :-)

We're always going to have problems as a global society, and certainly in the last decade our obsession with celebrity and appearance has started to border on dysfunction. There is an interesting backlash with that "fame" has started to become meaningless.

Rob was looking at some "famous" list of something, and realized he didn't recognize anyone on that list any longer. This isn't one of those "what are the kids doing, I wonder?" "you're getting older" issues either. So many people are deemed "famous" that it has started to lose any meaning. The cast of something called The Jersey Shore is talked about a lot here, in the media. I wouldn't recognize even one of them if I were to accidentally trip right over them.

Every decade seems stuffed with things, when you look at it. Both negatives and positives but those are my two predictions for the coming decade: Advances in clean energy and I think the cult of celebrity is finally starting to be in its death throes.

Owen said...

For some unfathomable reason a quote from an obscure old book came to mind while reading your fascinating summary here Jo :

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Land of shimp said...

Just adding something I didn't make clear, there were "more" drug addicts at the turn of the 20th century in terms of percentages of the entire population :-)

Alissa said...

It has been an up and down decade for me, just like the rest of the world. I had a few different jobs, and some different directions that my life could have gone in. Although, I'm still a way from where I want to be I feel like I am on the right path.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Wow, you sais a mouthful. What do I remember? The most astounding thing is that I got a computer and moved into the correct century. I still like to grow my own veggies and cook on a wood stove and make things by hand. But I do love this computer!

Jo said...

Noteither, yes, that is a very real possibility! And, thank you. :-)

Kathryn, you were not alone in your concern about Bush going to Iraq and leaving Afghanistan. Here in Canada we just shook our heads and wonder and thought, "What the heck is he doing!!??" And yes, look how that turned out!

John, I remember watching those tanks rolling over the bridges on the Tigris River in Baghdad, and all I could think about was those poor innocent people, and those little children who must have been frightened to death. War -- live and in living color. I think electronic books will become more popular too, but I am a bit concerned about that because paper is organic and electronics are plastic, and we have so much garbage already. So, I am definitely of two minds about Kindle, etc.

Mark, suicide for profit. Oh, goodness, yes. The almighty dollar definitely rules the world, doesn't it?

DUTA, yes, unfortunately America is in a bit of a quagmire at the moment. Americans are such nice folks, and they're going through pretty tough times at the moment. They don't deserve it.

Stephen, yes, hopefully more great things than terrible things, though.

Russell, wireless TV would be fabulous. That way, if I fall asleep watching TV, I can take my TV into my bedroom instead of falling asleep in my chair -- which I seem to do all the time.

Houndstooth, yes, technology is advancing so rapidly, there is no point in having a three-year contract on your cell phone because the phone will be obsolete in three months.

Brenda, a tree growing money? Well, I like that. Goodness, yes. I like your new avatar too. :-)

Alane, "...disappointed Hilary supporter here, too. If I'd had my druthers, she would have been the President." I don't understand how she didn't get elected. After one year in office, Obama is now trailing behind Hilary in popularity. But you know what? One of my predictions was that that would happen. *heh* But yes, generally I think the world is moving in the right direction in many regards. Cleaner water, food, habitation, etc., than 100 years ago, for sure. And there is more education and less ignorance (although there is still enough of that to go around...).

Owen, yes ... Dickens. Sometimes there are certain aspects of the 21st Century that can feel like something out of Dickens. But hopefully we are moving foward and not backwards.

Alissa, well let me make a prediction. I predict good things for you in the coming decade. :-) You deserve it.

Kathy, you know, the more advanced technologically we become, the more people are "getting back to the earth" and doing things organically. They're growing their own food and making their own things, so you are not alone in that regard.

deandean said...

It's been a long while since my last visit...and missed a lot of your witty posts...

my crystal ball: it tells me that life would just be a little bit better for some and much harder for most..

but life goes on anyway.

JoMo said...

What a list. Wow, great job, Jo!

This decade has been one of huge changes for me, most of them positive, and adding to that I can't help but note the changes in Vancouver in that time...the downtown eastside, I don't even know where to start on that one. Too many thoughts & feelings for words on the DTES topic.

Thanks for a great post!

Paula Slade said...

Wow Jo! That was a real time trip! So much has happened it makes my head spin. Since the start of the millennium it seems as if the pace of life has taken off like a rocket and proceeds faster with each day.