Are you ready for the world of the 2020s? Maybe when you hear what the “experts” are predicting you’ll just want to pull the blankets up over your head and stay there.
By the way, years ago I would make predictions in this column but they were always wrong and people laughed at me. So I decided to pass on other people’s predictions so I can laugh at them.
Wikipedia says we’ll see a great expansion of artificial intelligence. What? We don’t have enough artificial thinkers already? People who would rather copy the world views of their friends and relatives and ranting political heroes rather than think for themselves? Spare us. On that note, NBC tells us there are plans to plant chips in human brains. We’d better ask who’s going to decide what will be on the chips. Commercials? Propaganda? OK I’m being cynical here, maybe just information to spot possible health problems.
The Spacex company plans to send someone to Mars within the decade. Do you have any suggestions as to whom you’d like to see sent there?
When I was a young man the population of the world was 2.5 billion. We’re told it will soon be eight billion. As it goes beyond that humanity will need more room; perhaps we’ll see the great empty spaces of Saskatchewan start filling up.
NBC says we’ll start mining on the moon in the 2020s. What? More competition for Saskatchewan mines? Won’t that knock the prices down? Well, when you think of the expense of shipping ore out via rocket ship I don’t think we need worry yet.
A Wikipedia source tells us reduced solar activity may mitigate global warming. This news will gladden the hearts of climate change deniers, who should look up the word “mitigate”. NASA tells us there have been up and down changes every 11 years in solar energy that match changes in global temperatures, but that the overall trend keeps climbing steadily upwards.
Self-driving vehicles are expected to take up a larger portion of the total as time goes by, and no doubt some expect the need for drivers will virtually disappear. Those of us who live or have lived in rural areas try to picture driverless cars and trucks on the narrow, sometimes winding dirt and gravel roads, field roads, bush trails and harvest field surfaces of our home lands. Lane departure protection and automatic lane centering won’t mean much in those cases.
The Weather Network predicts very cold weather on the prairies in January and February. Wow, how unusual.
Psychic Betsy Lewis says in 2020 there will be flash floods, earthquakes, UFO sightings and civil unrest. Brilliant girl, that one. She also says Trump will win the presidential election. No comment.
Esther and I are spending our first winter here in Saskatoon. It’s a big adjustment. Our acreage gave us almost unlimited access to the great outdoors. Either with our snowmobile or on cross-country skis we could make our way out into the open countryside within five minutes. And we did that--particularly the skiing--almost daily unless the wind chill was too severe. If it was we went out for a brief hike. We also, up until the past two years, curled. We honestly looked forward to winter.
Well there’s no more curling or snowmobiling. We do go for walks practically every day, though it’s not the same as in the quiet outdoors of home, but still enjoyable. Our skis are in storage back in Smeaton, but by the time you read this we will probably have got them and tried them out here. And there are some things about the city we enjoy. There are absolutely no outdoor chores to do except to brush the snow off the car and do a bit of snow shovelling. There are concerts, plays and many other attractions, plus the necessary services we once travelled thousands of miles per year to access.