Gathered at random from a variety of respectable publications are the following predictions, offering something to think about:
Modern technology is spiraling exponentially out of sight, with ever smaller electronic devices that permit multitasking and more compact instruments. Take robotics that speed up assembly lines and point to humanoids as helpmates around offices and home. Technology soon could dictate to us in everyday decision making. Factories in Silicon Valley could be the Valhalla of the future in a society in which high tech leads and we follow.
The political scene is in full swing - mudslinging and vague promises for pie in the sky continues. Lincoln's prediction about fooling some of the people some of the time still works, but when obvious, it creates a rise in revolt, beginning with tea parties and park-sitting for vaguely defined causes; if not carefully managed, we will create a house much divided against itself. Activists motivated by selfish causes (real or otherwise) within the aegis of race, gender, sexual beliefs - whatever - forget that our strength has, in the past, always been, not in fighting for personal rights, but in our melting pot integrity. With luck we will recognize the foolishness of our me-first demands and return to the bigger picture, the democratic formula set by Plato, and regain our former strength as guided by real statesman who follow the tradition of serving the greatest number for the greatest good - instead of effete politicians with personal interests - to become a strong, unified nation once again.
We are a reactive people who resist changes until it's too late. If we continue to ignore what we're doing to the atmosphere, for example, and contribute contributing to atmospheric changes - coming on far faster than what once took centuries to occur - it won't be long before we will have to adjust to a very different world: a sere California, an increase in Midwestern tornadoes, a rise in frequency and strength in Southeastern hurricanes, record snowstorms along the East coast and violent extremes in temperatures while canceling out the four seasons around the upper Great Lakes - and with similar changes already on the increase globally: a drastically cold Europe, arid famine on African deserts as well as more tsunami destructions and flooding along Asian shorelines and unexpected earthquakes everywhere.
The ultimate result? After catastrophic losses, survivors will adjust, however unpleasantly, by inventing new ways to clothe themselves against a deadly atmosphere with new means to nourish themselves artificially when natural food gives out. Coastal cities around the world will either be abandoned to a rising water level or become rebuilt on raised platforms with elevated skywalks and highways. Meanwhile, a search for Earth-like planets will be made for starting anew.
Fashions in clothing will continue as ever, with purveyors building into each set of fads, as always, something to draw attention to the trend, yet something to make it ugly and uncomfortable enough for easy replacement with the next wave of extremes. New synthetic materials will substitute for the natural items that will vanish with the earth's loss of animal and plant elements. The purveyors of fashion will continue to control the pendulum swing to guide us - unthinkingly but slowly and surely like sheep - from one expensive antipode to another. Same with the entertainments from TV and films to pop music.
Doom and gloom? Only if we don't wake up and like good, informed Americans, do something before it's too late.
Rotten Tomatoes average: "Dark Shadows," C-
Check out the new Copper Harbor library and photo gallery at its grand opening tomorrow, a real eyeful!