Some fun with the New Year…

Standard

I turn 40 this year.  So I thought I would ruminate (just learned that word need to get a few miles out of it) on things I have experienced changing.

I remember having a record player when I was 4.  I sat and listened to children’s books on records.  I remember my dad owning a truck that had an eight track tape player in it.  I remember my mother getting a cassette recorder for Christmas (this all happened before I was ten).  After I was ten I saw CD’s, DAT’s, MD’s, audio DVD’s, MP3’s….  The rate of change for audio formats has been incredible.  Now we do not even bother with the physical media format.

I remember reference to Dick Tracy watches (I never saw an actual Dick Tracy comic).  Apple is expected to release a watch this year.  I find it in the realm of possibility that it could send and receive audio and video.  Think about that for a minute.  Dick Tracy was popular from 1931 to 1977.  It took until 2014 for the Dick Tracy watch to arrive on the scene.

A common mantra is “where is my flying car?”  Here.  Now shut up about it already.

Some things we have cured in my lifetime:

1. Invasive H. Flu

2. Chicken Pox
I wonder if curing Chicken Pox was a good thing now that we are seeing teenagers with Shingles.

Economics in the U.S. brings us this startling truth:

Fiscal Year Federal Spending Federal Debt Gross Domestic Product Inflation Adjustor[55]
Billions[56] Adjusted[57] Increase Billions[58] Adjusted[59] Percentage Increase Billions[60] Adjusted[61] Increase
1977 $409 $1,040 $705 $1,795 $1,974 $5,019 0.39
1978 $459 $1,093 5.1% $776 $1,850 3.1% $2,217 $5,285 5.3% 0.42
1979 $504 $1,107 1.3% $829 $1,821 −1.5% $2,501 $5,494 4.0% 0.46
1980 $591 $1,175 6.1% $909 $1,808 −0.8% $2,727 $5,422 −1.3% 0.50
1981 $678 $1,219 3.8% $994 $1,787 −1.1% $3,055 $5,492 1.3% 0.56
1982 $746 $1,252 2.6% $1,137 $1,908 6.8% $3,228 $5,417 −1.4% 0.60
1983 $808 $1,294 3.4% $1,371 $2,195 15.0% $3,441 $5,510 1.7% 0.62
1984 $852 $1,300 0.4% $1,564 $2,386 8.7% $3,840 $5,858 6.3% 0.66
1985 $946 $1,396 7.4% $1,817 $2,680 12.3% $4,142 $6,108 4.3% 0.68
1986 $990 $1,426 2.1% $2,120 $3,052 13.9% $4,412 $6,352 4.0% 0.69
1987 $1,004 $1,406 −1.4% $2,345 $3,283 7.6% $4,647 $6,506 2.4% 0.71
1988 $1,065 $1,447 2.9% $2,601 $3,534 7.7% $5,009 $6,806 4.6% 0.74
1989 $1,144 $1,499 3.6% $2,867 $3,757 6.3% $5,401 $7,077 4.0% 0.76
1990 $1,253 $1,590 6.1% $3,206 $4,067 8.3% $5,735 $7,277 2.8% 0.79
1991 $1,324 $1,610 1.3% $3,598 $4,374 7.5% $5,935 $7,215 −0.8% 0.82
1992 $1,382 $1,624 0.9% $4,001 $4,703 7.5% $6,240 $7,334 1.7% 0.85
1993 $1,410 $1,615 −0.5% $4,351 $4,987 6.0% $6,576 $7,536 2.8% 0.87
1994 $1,462 $1,642 1.7% $4,643 $5,216 4.6% $6,961 $7,820 3.8% 0.89
1995 $1,516 $1,662 1.2% $4,920 $5,395 3.4% $7,326 $8,033 2.7% 0.91
1996 $1,561 $1,673 0.7% $5,181 $5,554 3.0% $7,694 $8,248 2.7% 0.93
1997 $1,601 $1,684 0.7% $5,369 $5,647 1.7% $8,182 $8,606 4.3% 0.95
1998 $1,653 $1,721 2.2% $5,478 $5,704 1.0% $8,628 $8,985 4.4% 0.96
1999 $1,702 $1,746 1.5% $5,605 $5,750 0.8% $9,125 $9,361 4.2% 0.97
2000 $1,789 $1,789 2.5% $5,628 $5,628 −2.1% $9,710 $9,710 3.7% 1.00
2001 $1,863 $1,821 1.8% $5,769 $5,638 0.2% $10,058 $9,829 1.2% 1.02
2002 $2,011 $1,929 6.0% $6,198 $5,945 5.5% $10,377 $9,954 1.3% 1.04
2003 $2,160 $2,018 4.6% $6,760 $6,316 6.2% $10,809 $10,099 1.4% 1.07
2004 $2,293 $2,082 3.2% $7,354 $6,677 5.7% $11,500 $10,441 3.4% 1.10
2005 $2,472 $2,165 4.0% $7,905 $6,923 3.7% $12,238 $10,717 2.6% 1.14
2006 $2,655 $2,249 3.9% $8,451 $7,158 3.4% $13,016 $11,024 2.9% 1.18
2007 $2,730 $2,263 0.6% $8,951 $7,419 3.6% $13,668 $11,329 2.8% 1.21
2008 $2,931 $2,366 4.6% $9,654 $7,793 5.0% $14,312 $11,553 0% 1.24
2009* $3,107 $2,452 3.6% $10,413 $8,218 5.5% $14,097 $11,529 2.6% 1.27
2010* $3,091 $2,392 −2.4% $11,875 $9,247 12.5% $14,508 $11,297 −2.0% 1.29

By the time Obama leaves office this country will spend 102% of its GDP.  How long is that going to be sustainable?  By the way, the chart above is a copy from wikipedia.

That brings me to my next point.  In school I was taught to search card catalogs for books in the library.  I remember the birth of:

  1. BBS’s
  2. Apple
  3. AOL
  4. CompuServe
  5. Prodigy
  6. Gopher/WAIS
  7. HTML
  8. Mozilla
  9. Netscape
  10. Internet Explorer
  11. DSL
  12. Yahoo
  13. Google
  14. Amazon
  15. Ebay
  16. Blogging
  17. YouTube
  18. Wikipedia
  19. MySpace
  20. FaceBook
  21. Twitter

This is just off the top of my head.  I remember doing research when you had to have physical contact with media.  When was the last time you went to a library?

I remember watching the first space shuttle launch.  I saw the last one too.  I have seen the rise of the privatization of space travel.

I remember when travel had an almost enjoyable elegance to it.  It was fun to ride in an airplane headed somewhere.  Now it is the one form of travel people try to find a way to avoid using.  Customer service is nonexistent, the TSA is unnecessarily invasive and unsuccessful at its job, and value is ridiculous (what you pay v.s. what you get).  Due to our instant satisfaction training we do not move to other forms of transportation like trains.

In the past ten years we have handed over record number of freedoms for the sake of… fear.  When I was 11 years old I watched a movie called Night Crossing.  An opening scene took place in East Germany.  A family is at a public park having a party.  The police show up looking for a specific individual, knowing that person was at the party.  My mother asked me, “how do you think the police knew exactly where that person was?”  I had not considered it.  The family had to register what they were doing with the government.  That was thirty years ago.  With recent revelations from the Snowden incident it appears our government does not require us to register with them.  They just track us through our electronic devices.

So it has been an interesting forty years on this planet.  I look with apprehension to the future to see what the next forty brings.

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