Thursday, January 1, 2015

ESE predictions for 2015

It seems almost obligatory that a blogger makes predictions for the year ahead on New Year's Day.

Why should I buck the trend? So in the incunabula of 2015, I offer my predictions. Unless the predictions pertain directly to my personal life, I'm afraid I am not basing the assertions on much. A soupcon of knowledge perhaps, but nothing more promising than that. No divination, no clairvoyance, not even a Ouija board. Still, I'm willing to bet I'm no further off base than most self-proclaimed "psychics" when all is said and done.

Here goes.

-Writing. I intend to get serious about it this year. More so than I ever have before. This will include doing more promotion and not just on Facebook. I have already announced my intentions of publishing a novel entitled Stem by the end of the year and that will mean certain sacrifices. Among those may be blogging.
No, I'm not giving up one of my favorite pastimes and disappearing completely. But I probably won't be posting every Monday through Friday as I have been. Launching a real writing career is going to take a commitment. Hope that you all understand.

-MFA. I am determined to put the issue of "terminal degree" behind me and this is the year that I start to do it. I think my past -non-starters have been due to barking up all the wrong trees, sort of like continuing to go after girls that were all wrong for me but damn, I just couldn't see past their sexiness. There are more important things to consider. First, before anything, I am a writer. I need an advanced degree that fully reflects that. I am forming "an exploratory committee" to locate just the right online MFA program for me. More to come.

-Dulce. This is the year I'm going to finally do it. I am going to secure a grant and go to Dulce, New Mexico and get the hands-on research I need for my book, In Green Blood about the alleged Dulce Wars. If anybody wants to travel with me as a research assistant, hit me up. Seriously.

-Politics. It will become clear in the coming months that our 2016 choice for President will be between yet another Bush and yet another Clinton. While I'm supportive of one of those choices (bet you can't tell which one!) I'm also dismayed at the blatant evidence of hereditary power and class systems. Also, having a Republican-controlled Congress is really going to suck, especially if you have any concern whatsoever for our environment (see below).

-A new virus. I've said for a while now that outbreaks of hitherto unseen diseases are almost a foregone conclusion. I think we're going to see another SARS or Ebola (even though we already knew of it, it made big news.) Nothing too apocalyptic, though. I hope.

-Nanotechnology. I see this year promising big things for small devices. It may be the year that the word "nanotech" becomes household, much as "Internet" once did. It will become increasingly evident that "he who controls the most nanotech, controls the world economy." This is probably going to scare a lot of people.

-Artificial intelligence. I once hitched my star to the Kurzweil bandwagon. I still do in many ways but I'm also keenly aware of AI's limitations. This is has made me suddenly skeptical. We may begin to see more of these limitations come to the fore and realize that human-level AI might not be quite as possible as we once did.

-Global conflict. This is probably a no-brainer, but the U.S. is going to be involved in more small-scale skirmishes. It might take the form of bombings as they did with Libya or a more-involved role against ISIS. I don't see things getting any more severe than that, however. America is still far too war weary and support for a heavy conflict will never be there. That is unless the unthinkable happens.

-Amazon Fire Stick. I'm not getting one of these until at least March. That's a prediction based on solid fact from both Amazon and Best Buy.

-Hoverboards. Hey, it's the year of Back to the Future II, right? Isn't this when we get hoverboards, flying cars, and a Cubs World Series?  At least we already have hoverboards. Sort of.

-Life on Mars. More and more will continue to emerge that confirms what many of us have suspected: Mars harbored life at one point in its history. The news might even be released in a way that intimates that NASA has in fact known this for a while and needed time to "warm people up" to the idea. I'm not saying it was intelligent life, but maybe...

-The environment. We're just going to keep screwing it all up. That much is a given. Temperatures will continue to rise and polar ice will continue to melt. This is especially so if Republicans make good their threats to decimate and render ineffectual the EPA. Still, there are things to be optimistic about for the year ahead. Inhabitat has a great list of such things from green design experts. Such predictions include greater public pushback against the fossil fuel industry. The predictions from Peter Watts, science fiction author and marine biologist, are far more pessimistic and...sadly...also more realistic. Yeah. We're screwed.

-Human cloning. Ok, this is what NFL pundits would call a "bold prediction." Every set of prognostications has one where somebody goes way out on a limb and this one is mine. I am going to say that someone will set up an embryo lab on a ship or an oil rig in international waters and it will finally happen. We will have a human clone this year. Most everyone will be shocked, maybe even a little bored, with how much it looks just like any other normal baby. Fundies, however, will be out of their minds. That alone will be worth all the risk, in my opinion.

So that's it. I'm tossing up these predictions and let the chips fall where they may. In closing, I offer what UFO Casebook is calling The Best UFO Photographs of 2014.

Happy New Year.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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