Dance Partners          
                          

                                                   A Human Interest Series

2019 UPDATE

                                                                               2019 UPDATE
                                                                 

Printable Version February 2019


It's in the Pause.
Surfers. Skimmers. That’s us. It’s how you’ll get to these words. Though before surfing away, do a quick self-assessment. See how many paragraphs you can stay your focus on. Just know that you won’t even make it past this sentence without first snagging a bit of resolve as that’s how our on-switch works. From the moment we awaken; from the mundane to momentous, our conscious, firing-way to decision-making for the rest of the day, for each and every day, first begins via all choices coming into view. So, just engage some focus. Try to recollect how many mundane choices you acted upon within your first conscious hour of this very morning—even in self-debate; whether to set the snooze and if so, how long, how many times? While acting upon all that’s mundane, try remembering just some of the momentous entertainments you imagined upon as well. If you’ve made it to this sentence, then pause your focus a bit more and you’ll be rewarded with an appreciative spark rising into view! That’s it. That’s all. That’s everything.                                                                                                                      To better appreciate just how our on-switch works; to better appreciate just some of the ingredients that await our beckoning once we choose to stay our focus on absolutely every choice we become conscious of—begins with a pause. The spark? Once you feel its warmth—take notice. Cultivate it. Otherwise, the choice to even get outta bed, to even get on with the messy business of living, won’t be acted upon any more than even one, momentous imagining you entertain. The how you want to spend your allotted time here on earth, will remain as distant today as yesterday—without resolve. The choice to cultivate resolve, allow it to gel, is likely the best choice each of us can possibly make. A Calvin Coolidge quote sums this up: “Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent, or a world full of educated derelicts.”                         

Choose Wisely.                                                                                                                          Think about what got you to these words. First, you chose to paste some focus here, whereupon you soon realized resolve checked-in, and though you’d thought to mull over the choices you made this morning, you now realize a minuet pause wasn’t time enough to re-load a rerun of the morning’s slide show. Why didn’t you choose a longer snippet? Once asked, you now realize your curiosity about some self-assessment challenge dinged away in the background. You now realize that within three mere paragraphs, your on-switch zeroed in on some focus, juggled multiple choices, stoked resolve; which merely awaits bidding, fired up imagination; which obviously knows no bounds, and to top it all off comes the curious nature of curiosity right alongside a competitive streak and the all of this all kicked in—all within a mere moment of time!                                                                                    As kids, we sprang outta bed—seemingly without thought. Abundant passion must have wiped the choice-slate right from our eyes! But with age, it seems the trade for making wiser choices comes at the expense of waning resolve. Well, regardless of whether we make good or bad choices, by staying some focus on what’s wholly impressive about the intricate journey of any given thought, simply cultivates the necessary gel to act upon—any given thought. Yes, choice fires up the whole shebang so—choose wisely.

Etching.                                                                                                                                      The chapter opened before us is ours. What will we etch? What do you want to see etched? If you are someone now old enough; now wiser, you’ve considered this. Yes, our chapter is loaded with technology. The Industrialized Age did indeed turn a profound corner. And the on-switch for higher-thinking Artificial Intelligence? Of all the intricate ways in which our on-switch comes equipped, AI hasn’t a smidgen of. AI is but a mere database. Why then, does it seem as though Artificial Intelligence outshines ours; like our intelligence is becoming obsolete even?                                                          This series tackles some of the profound differences between each intelligence type and for that reason alone, I believe you’ll want to read the whole enchilada. Mostly though, Dancing Partners is a series about us. Our Story ~ The Story of Our Times. Yours, mine—ours. Sure, newday technology takes center page and maybe that’s a turnoff; your preferred seeks avoid anything techno. But before you skedaddle, I want to emphasize this series truly is Our Story. It’s the same story it’s always been; the human tapestry of every human era—chronicled with permanency. Newday technology just happens to be making its debut—all over our pages.

The Seeking.                                                                                                                          Higher-thinking machinery is currently being geared to displace any and every lifeline job we hold onto. The pages opened before us aren’t yesterday’s Luddite chapter; Simple Simon auto-repetitive and assistive capabilities have made a lightning speed jump. One of the most critical aspects to all this comes packaged in the word exponential. So for you and me; those wise enough, those hoping that before we expire, we will at least move to try and tackle a few of our chapter’s debacles which currently we are doing nothing about except gifting to our future. We must do more than hope. We must act. And, we are up against exponential. Ignoring technology’s adaptation rate means too late is just that. Even techno-ecstatic experts are wary of this pace but regardless, it is only the mass who can retard this rate in order to leave our future a fighting chance.                                                                                Our time allotment is mortally tempered; it’s why the entire tapestry of all human history is weaved from a seeking. A seeking for personal desires, wealth, to loftier seeks such as enlightenment or seeks tucked into lore like the Holy Grail and Nirvana. Here, Dennis Hauck aptly sums all this seeking up: “There is no more noble act than to spend our whole lives searching for it—even if we never find it.”      At pinnacle times in each mortal life, for some reason, each of us seek deeper meaning; for our value—for our purpose. So, just scale that seek down a bit to right now. What is it you are seeking, surfing for? Something entertaining? Some interesting soundbite small enough to zing off to your own social network clan? Maybe, what got you to these words stems from one of those deep-seek cravings. Maybe, you are someone currently mulling over your own purpose; gripped by a need for connectivity, wanting to feel like your time here matters. If so, then it’s back to resolve. To seek richer fulfillment, we simply must choose to allow our bio-process time enough to let any sparking gel, for each and every choice we act upon.

This one’s for you. February 2019.                                                                                              Today’s 2019 installment was written with you in mind. For those just checking in, it’s likely you will start here, at the end, which is fine. Yes, there’s timely updates to all that’s been hammered on in 12 damn long installments; to all that’s taken me over 10 years to deliver to you, to all that experts have predicted, to all which is still relevant, still—right on time. This series is engaging enough, smart enough, fully immersed in facts and wonderment’s. I’ve done the research, the reading, the surfing. I’ve provided loads of credible data to further your own research if so inclined. Now, it’s your turn.      Somehow, we must raise our awareness about the Godsend of our era and the lead paving the way. Choosing to dedicate a few weeks to reading something worthwhile isn’t much of an asking. Rather, a choosing to do so with a want manning your helm is where richer fulfillment begins. Sure, mere curiosity will start it all; you’ll want to apprise your own level of awareness with mine, but skepticism will soon enter and you’ll need convinced I’m onto something so I’ll toss out the disclaimers right up front. I’ve no gimmick to sell, not a single donation to ask for. I’m not an expert of anything nor an acclaimed writer. This decade long writing stint unfolded for a commoner of average intelligence. I won’t get it all right but this isn’t a study about me and once cynicism relinquishes its hold—a more enriched journey awaits you. But! Something ethereal can evolve by choosing to raise awareness—together. It’s why this series comes freely posted.   

The Unstoppable Techno Future.                                                                                                      Is this techno race truly unstoppable? Well, we don’t really know. Yes, a sun flare is said to hold power enough to knock this techno-train right off the track but aside from that: no expert of valid credibility can guarantee a techno-saturated tomorrow will all work out just fine; that some grand techno-utopian lays just ahead. These are nothing but soothing words with no merit simply because this is one unprecedented trek. History won’t be of much use for this odyssey and with odysseys—there are no certainties.                                                                                                                                A dozen years ago, I simply wanted to know why the industry I worked for was so damn giddy about replacing us with machines. After all, the absurd dysfunction coming with this techno-transition certainly wasn’t something they could afford to keep overlooking. So as I wondered, I began to learn and soon, a wariness began settling in. I began to realize the average person just like me, was naïve to the impact job-eliminating technologies were bringing about, naïve to the exponential adaptation of this impact, naïve to where these higher-thinking technologies were being geared to head, and completely naïve to the calamities this gearing ensures. As my overwhelmed senses stewed so did indignation and none of it felt good but what could I do, could anyone do, to prevent all that seemed so unstoppable? Well, a dozen years have come and gone. I’m fairly certain that by now most everyone senses that same imminence and knows we must chisel our way to a saner, more responsible lead.

Predictions. 
Ah predictions. So easy to ignore. That’s why I’ve conceded to creating a dedicated 2019 update though I must stress: all the techno predictions I’ve emphasized throughout this entire series, all still remain timely and accurate.
In looking back these past several decades, I can now see it really wouldn’t have been all that hard to predict what we are now experiencing. It would have been just a matter of bothering to notice what was happening then. Take the PC for example. At first, there was all this hubbub about some boxy thing called a PC that would sit right in everybody’s home. It would help us do things like write letters, easily make spread sheets, help sort our business, track our spending, write checks, do our taxes, dabble in graphics, even play a game of Solitaire with us. Had this wee boxy thing not been so quickly followed by the big www, maybe we’d have paused to consider what else, these handy PCs would soon do. Well, cést la vie. The big www hit came nearly overnight and I’d guess most of us were slow on the draw to grasp all this hit would also—soon entail. But, enterprising chaps sure weren’t slow on the draw!        What we couldn’t imagine back then, means: what we can imagine now—we must. By simply reflecting back, it’s easy to see that had we paused to imagine where these technologies would soon head, we could have done a fair job of predicting as well. We’d have approached it the same as techno-predicting experts did. They simply held a keen regard of just exactly what can transpire—once imagined.   

What are we learning? 
To replace yesterday’s predictions with hotly-pressed 2019 realities, I decided to  Google   job-eliminating technologies only this time, showcase what we are learning because in this unprecedented digital existence, the big www is by large, our go-to for information now. Google makes it easy to see what we currently understand about any topic; top 10 simply means those are the articles most viewed by us, so by plugging in any query, we can easily see what most of us currently understand about any topic!
Of Googles top 10 searches for job-eliminating technologies, most were posted within the past two years and most; USA Today, Forbes, CBS Business Review, The Verge, The Guardian, all highlight a November 2017 McKinsey Global Institute Report considered to be: “one of the most comprehensive in recent years, modeling changes in more than 800 occupations, taking in 46 countries, accounting for 90% of world GDP.” This report analyzes 6 nations: US, China, Germany, Japan, India, Mexico; chosen countries which represent a broad range of economic situations and differently organized workforces. Two titled soundbites used by the above-mentioned news outlets; “Technology has already taken over 90% of human jobs” and “800 million jobs lost by 2030” came straight from the McKinsey Report. *The report does state that while 800 million jobs globally is the extreme scenario, a more moderate possibility of 400 million jobs is also a possibility. Ah, predicting. Well, this has got to be getting easier since the transition from human to high-tech outputs now has 20-plus, data-gathering years under its belt!

Message Finessing.
An editing comrade summarized credible journalism as data provided once read, the reader won’t know the journalist’s personal opinion of what’s being offered. Well, with technology especially, we need to spend a minute on the finessing of messages.
For any journalist to remain credible today, their predicament is evident. Gone are the days when Walter Cronkite kept us informed, gone are the days when we spent in-depth time on each page of our favored weekly periodical. Today, for facts to even surface from a sea roiling with too damn much information, a journalist must snag our focus and for that, a bit of context helps. Today, for a journalist to even get noticed, to even eke out a living, context—not facts, opens up a paying outlet.
I like to think most of us using the big www for information gathering, now automatically consider how each source is funded. Next, we will hopefully and soon, also automatically separate the rosy tech-fluff from the fiber. For instance, of Googles top 10 articles: 8 contributions are directly delivered to us via a techno-business armature. Of course there’s valuable data to be gleaned; just the same as there is from political news outlets. To keep credibility intact, most journalists provide important facts worth remembering. Our job begins by reading with vigilance. Always but always, we must never let these facts slip from our view: Today’s Cash Cow is Techno Anything. Behind every techno-business armature is mega money: already heavily invested. The starting gate to this man/machine race is built upon none other than acceptance: Our acceptance. The techno arena provides paying outlets for articles that without question: are expressly meant for us.  

Info Separator—3F.
Meet my new acronym—3F. It helps me separate data provided from both political and techno cash cow arenas. After I read what’s provided, I challenge myself to a re-read sleuthing looking to find crossover lines between fact, fluff and fiber.
Facts deserve separation. The fluff and fiber are usually found immersed in facts so indeed, it is a challenge! For instance, take the title; “Technology has already taken over 90% of the jobs Humans used to do.” This title fact covers the easy-peasy take showcased in most of Googles top 10. But while the title screams alarm, we find the storyline’s intent is actually meant to dispel alarm. This is what I call the fluff or underlay. As for the fiber, the overlay, this is where context can be found; the part of a message which directs our attention toward solutions and/or predictable scenarios where we find ourselves easily agreeing or dismissing, but with luck—more enlightened.  

The Fluff.
90% job loss due to technology is a lookback, a lengthy lookback. For eons, most human output centered on agriculture. Narrowing that scope, allot, we find that by 1850, 60% of U.S. population was employed in agriculture; this is now down to 2%. So by marching all the way from Agrarian Societies onto the Industrial Revolution scene, then it’s easy to see where most all human output once was, maybe 90% even, of which is now done—by technology! So, no real news flash. We can appreciate the lesson; America continued to experience a robust economy even without those 90% tasks once performed for a paycheck. It’s the storylines intent which must also be appreciated.
Enterprising Chaps. They come with a long history of orchestrating tempos that best fit their jigs and—they are a clever bunch. Of course directional steering agendas have benefited, or plagued, the entire existence of this communal beast so it’s no surprise to find the techno-business arena hoping to direct the outcome of this race. It just makes good sense for any wizened public to warily appreciate agendas coming out of every ruling entity corner and that includes this one. Unfortunately, today’s techno-journalist finding a paying outlet willing to finance up-to-date, fairly apprised material, must present something sufficiently in-step enough to pass through the gates of one huge, incredibly lucrative—commercially driven arena.
In the business of acceptance-garnering for a full-on techno-existence, two consistent themes are being weaved into journalism: an easing our concerns away from what’s already been heavily invested in, and, an assurance that what once was—still is. Well, protecting heavily leveraged agendas is nothing new but what once was, was a vibrant middle class that definitely—no longer is.

Un-Paced Race.
Mostly, developed countries—are currently flat-lining. The cure? There’s a rational theme out there carrying weight. That for developed countries to experience robust job markets and economies once again, we’ve no choice but to try and stay ahead in this AI race. Try to catch up quickly, get smarter quickly, develop more technologies quickly. And therein amongst this rational theme resides the greatest calamity. This competitive varoom allows no time for the slow-mo adaption rate of humans.
Mostly, developing countries—are currently not flat-lining. They are experiencing a bit of robust relief and maybe that will help stabilize a global, human experience for a bit longer. But for countries undeveloped; where the industrial revolution has yet to lay claim to their Agrarian ways, where robust does not yet describe their existence, those people are in a huge fix.
Though I hope each reader will take time to peruse Googles top 10 job-eliminating articles, there is one contribution which deserves in-depth focus. Posted by converge.org, they re-circulated an article written by Jeremy Rifkin titled: New Technology and The End of Jobs. Yes, Rifkin likes newday technology but this particular slice of Rifkin’s work aptly addresses where we currently stand. To summarize: “The coming together of the computer and the biotechnology revolution into a single technological complex foreshadows a new era of food production; production divorced from land, climate, changing seasons—and farmers.”
Rifkin uses Vanilla as a good example of what’s to come. “Vanilla is the most popular flavor in America but is expensive to produce because it has to be hand-pollinated and requires special attention in the harvesting and curing process. But gene-splicing technology now allows commercial production volumes of laboratory vanilla—eliminating the bean, the plant, the soil, the cultivation, the harvest and the farmer. Currently, 98% of the world's vanilla crop is grown in the small island countries of Madagascar, Reunion, and Comoros. For them, lab-farmed vanilla is likely to mean economic catastrophe. More than 100,000 farmers in the three vanilla-producing countries are expected to lose their livelihood over the next several decades.” So, there goes another 100,000 lifelines but, Vanilla is just the beginning. Rifkin continues: “Chemical companies—have already heavily invested—in indoor tissue-culture production in the hope of removing farming from the soil by the early decades of the twenty-first century. Upwards of 10 million sugar farmers in the third world may face a loss of livelihood as lab-produced sweeteners ever-more invade world markets.” So, once imagined: “once these doors open, the possibilities are endless. Scientists have successfully grown orange and lemon vesicles from tissue culture. Soon, orange juice will be grown in vats, eliminating the need for planting orange groves.”

Genetic Modified Organisms. 
Ray Kurzweil, the expert I gave lead role to in this series, mentioned that world hunger could be alleviated with GMO’s and I thought wow! There really is no limit to this Godsend of our era! But when Kurzweil mentioned GMO’s were only a Godsend if we all agreed, that piqued my interest. At first, I thought the concern was about value-packed substance, which as of 2019 we still don’t know the extent of this trade; from substance produced the good old fashioned way, to substance produced the GMO way. With Rifkin’s work in full view, I now see yet another GMO concern: the majority of humans living, still live in Agrarian societies. The gravity of their already meager survival, now up against GMOs—is obvious.
Only a minority of today’s world is gripped in this newday, techno revolution race. This powerful minority races to outdo one another and in doing so, puts at risk the majority of this world’s population. In race-mode: there is no time for adaptation consideration. By large, America is forcing onto this world, a pace which leaves no time for the rest of the world to adapt to. It is of little wonder then, when the word Imperialism gets used, the rest of this world thinks of Americanism. Leaders from other countries plead Americans; not our gung-ho course-setting ruling duo but this mass, to carefully consider what we are doing. So, are we? When should we? Like it or not the flag has dropped. We are front and center in this race. What outcome do you hope we will etch?

The Fiber.  
Of Googles top 10 contributions, most every article highlights an expert or two who all readily concur: income disparity will grow.
Dull, Dirty or Dangerous jobs, dubbed the 3D’s, (I kyped my 3F idea from here) these type of jobs are packaged as the ones nobody wants anyway. MIT economist David Autor takes issue with this notion. “Regardless, non-glamorous jobs were still staffed by humans requiring steady employment to make ends meet. Machines are a major contributing factor to the growing income gap between rich and poor. And it’s a vicious circle, as growing unemployment makes it difficult or impossible for workers to enroll in the education required to break out of poverty. Automation has had an absolutely enormous effect on the structure of work, the returns to skills and what people do with their time and that’s having very significant social and even political consequences.” 
  Forbes recap, by Glenn Luk from Quora states: “Before we embrace this Utopian future of unlimited abundance: we need to be ultra-aware about how disruptive change caused by new technology can be the root cause of global conflict. I think for as much time and effort as our amazing entrepreneurs put into trying to innovate and push productivity forward, we also now need to spend time figuring out how society needs to evolve, in as non-disruptive and human-focused way as possible, to accommodate new technologies.”
The Verge posted an article by James Vincent who referenced The McKinsey Report: “Advances in AI and robotics will have a drastic effect on everyday working lives, comparable to the shift away from agricultural societies during the Industrial Revolution. In the US alone, between 39 and 73 million jobs stand to be automated; about 1/3rd of the total workforce. As in the past, technology will not be a purely destructive force. New jobs will be created; existing roles will be redefined; and workers will have the opportunity to switch careers. The challenge particular to this generation is managing the transition. Income inequality is likely to grow, possibly leading to political instability.”
Michael Chui; lead author of The McKinsey Report, compared the level of action needed to the Marshall Plan; an American initiative that pumped some $140 billion into Western Europe after WWII, helping countries rebuild and industrialize. “Another America initiative was the transitioning out of agriculture which was accompanied by major spending on secondary education and laws enforcing compulsory attendance. In 1910, only 18% of children aged 14 to 17 went to high school. By 1940 this figure was 73%. The result: an increase in educated workers helped create a booming manufacturing industry and buoyant middle-class. A similar push is needed today. Yet, over the last few decades, spending on labor training and support has fallen. The conclusion: automation doesn’t have to be a disaster, but only if politics keeps pace.”
As for future jobs, these remain vague. Coming into the 2020’s, current themes are: “technology will destroy jobs—not work.” “The 2020’s will be a decade of redeployment not unemployment.” But after that, what’s vague gets vaguer: “future jobs will be ones we haven’t yet thought of.” Wow! Considering most human jobs for the entire human experiment revolved around food, clothing, shelter and protection, which by now, each have now been well-honed, then it’s back to what needs are still left hanging. Sure, all that’s superfluous will keep each inventor employed right up until AI takes over the very next day. And so long as we still have paychecks, all that’s superfluous will keep dump workers employed but aside from creating temporary jobs for ever-more unnecessary stuff, what needs are still left hanging? Well, I guess Healthcare—so long as we can afford such a luxury.

Income Disparity.          
   Income disparity was one of the topic updates I tried squishing into installment VII. It didn’t fit.
Under this umbrella, combined statistics about our economy, GDP, job markets and wages paint a more complete picture. Yes, the picture is grim. Income Disparity; and I use disparity rather than inequality as do others, because our cognizance about this overall indicator is said to be much lower than in other developed countries. Maybe this stems from how our two primary political ideologies have shaped us.
Americans, just like other countrymen, come stamped with pride about our way of life but for us, freedom meant providing more opportunity to pursue happiness, to pursue wealth if so inclined, but freedom to pursue most anything lawful and capitalism paved the way. This pridefullness likely invigorated a competitive stride that’s well-served our great country. Possibly, the word inequality implies more socialistic bandages would equal things out which runs counter to that competitive pride. By using terms like social mobility or disparity, maybe this will help us get over this hump but regardless, World Disparity, American Disparity included, is another one of those mega calamities we are gifting our future so again, the flag has dropped. It’s time we face what’s grim with eyes wide open.  
In the past 30 years, American Income Disparity increased significantly; exploded even. Depending on how it gets sliced, the expansion between the top 10% to the 90% bottom is estimated anywhere from 200% to 256% and that’s one huge disparity. We keep reading about the .01% clan and I’ve wondered what that slice looks like long enough so I finally looked it up. Basically, to be included in that .01% elitist gang, the sky truly is the limit! But below them are the caches we can at least try to fathom. For the 1% clan, their average, annual comfort zone is around $1.5 million, the 10% clan makes-do on about $265,000 annually and for the rest of us; the 90% bulky us, we begin with about $100,000 annual household income before dropping down. So by looking at these brackets, then it’s easy to see why that 200% explosion; largely experienced in the brackets above the 10% gang—definitely needs taken out of the equation! 
Income of the top 10% isn’t the real concern. If a clan comes by their wealth integrally— who cares how much their pockets bulge. Building a pile of money aint easy so I say hooray for them! Rather, it’s the gaps of income disparity that matter and in America, the gap between the top and a once vibrant middle; a luxury most countries have yet to experience, was once a narrow canyon. It is now an ever-widening gorge. Our middle no longer grows, in fact—it’s shrinking. Decent job markets are shrinking, our wages are shrinking, our ability to afford our way of life; the prideful American way of working to generate taxes to keep the whole damn ship afloat—are all shrinking.
America’s bulk still works; we aren’t lazy. It’s just that we are trying to get by on the same pay we did 30 years ago but with inflation and the cost of living, over 50% of us now fall into poor and low income brackets. So forget about the .01%, 1% and even 10%ers. When thinking about inequality, forget about the chiefs; although they’d be wise to not forget about us but regardless, not all of us want, nor are geared to be—chiefs. So what if others live in extravagance. We simply want decent jobs with decent pay. We expect to pay our fair share way. But when a nation’s bulk resides below average, where health insurance or owning a home are luxuries now out of reach, the middle is no longer vibrant. Today’s America isn’t yesterday’s but as yet, more and more socialistic intervention isn’t the only solution which means we are still—luckier than most. It means a bit of retracting is still an option and that damn sure is: one hope worth cultivating.  

Poverty.
In 1995, The United Nations gave definition to extreme poverty by considering living conditions and income. Those who fall into this reality, try to survive on less than $2 a day. Above extreme comes standard poverty, then poor, then low income. To bracket us here, US.gov Census Bureau uses an income/threshold formula; combined income of all members living together/threshold variables of ages for each member. Take the average family of two adults with two children. Combined income below $23,000 sets standard poverty, $35,000 sets poor, and low income is set by doubling the poverty standard equating to $47,000 annually. These brackets are where most of us reside.
In 2013, UNICEF ranked the U.S. as having the 2nd highest child poverty rate in the developed world. For the years 2016-2017, USscensus.gov held American poverty at 39 million. By 2018, The United Nations declared that 18.5 million living in America, live in extreme poverty. Povertyusa.org states that 21.5 million of us live in extreme poverty, 5 million live in 3rd world conditions while 40.6 million live in standard poverty for a total of 66 million. As of 2018, Usdebt.org says another 5.4 million fell into poverty for a whopping total of over 70 million. In America, in the land of plenty: an additional 95 million live close to poverty. Above poverty—over half of all Americans qualify as poor or low income.

Who are we?
This question deserves consideration—especially now. We are the ones staring at the chapter opened wide holding machine output more cost efficient than human output in nearly every work arena. Nearly overnight a huge transition occurred. Auto-repetitive outputs are of bygone yesterday. Higher-thinking technologies; the ones just gearing up, will continue to mean there will be less and less upgrade room left for humans. And, as techno glitches diminish—so will paycheck lifelines. How then, will we afford even a meager, way to survive? Indeed: what once was—no longer is. 
Because World Disparity is growing at an alarming rate, it’s forced more and more mainstream coverage questioning the why. Out of this gloom, does come a ray of hope:  credible journalism can longer sideline the disruptive blow newday technology delivers. Meanwhile, there’s a few other concerns that have yet to bask in mainstream coverage but deserve undivided attention as well.
First and foremost, who we are is biological beings. How the bio-human is faring in this unprecedented, digital experiment is also worth consideration. For eons, the luxury of having outputs performed like the constructing of monumental masterpieces or massive seafaring vessels, generally came out of societies holding slave labor. Otherwise, the bulk of human outputs for the bulk of human history were geared almost exclusively around basic survival necessities; food, clothing, shelter, protection. The how we are adapting in this unprecedented era: where 90% of human outputs are now being done by technology—also begins by looking back.
The immense and intricate means every human output ever birthed from, came via a learning process by actually doing every how-to. Sure, all along the output way, higher-thinking means perfected each and every output to a point where now, maybe a few outputs are intrinsic; outputs we may not actually need to do to land the knowhow. But, no facts yet to uphold this ponderance so we must make-do with a bit of brewed wisdom. Begin with the ingredient of imagination. Just imagine all the knowhow of every human era before ours, for every well-practiced human output, derived purely from a human-exclusive process of doing. Okay, that’s vision overload so scale it back some. Imagine only the minuet snapshot from industrialized to right now. By actually not-doing all those eon-practiced processes, we don’t yet know; simply because the chapter of not-doing is relatively new, just how much all this not-doing impacts our firing-way to knowledge; a cache of immense and immeasurable value. When regaled with all the benefits of how much all this not-doing frees us up to do other things: there are no facts to support a claim of beneficial. This is just some of that fluff to help ease our concerns.
The full value of learning every measly trinket the hard way is unknowable which is why the words immense and immeasurable come attached to learning via Subjective Experience. Objective Experience is but mere data-hording which AI champions. To better appreciate this distinction, think about any learning you received from lectured instruction versus learning by doing in field, laboratory or internships. Even when we manage to stay awake during lectured instruction, it’s hands down: hands on experience better engages retention. Add in the use of other sensory outlets; audio, visual, even smelling senses, and knowledge stands a much better chance of sticking. Also, by way of actual doing, another unknowable cache presents itself: we have no idea how much of any one doing plays a role in gaining the knowhow for seemingly unrelated other doings throughput our entire lives. Yes, Subjective Experience is one badass.
Gifted by another human-exclusive of immeasurable value comes wisdom. The melding together of subjective and objective knowledge would equate to little more than data-hording if not for the pause. The pause, the pause, the pause. In pause-mode, as we reflect upon subjective and objective data—something happens. I visualize this process like a steeping. Known data, given time, then steeps in an emotional sort of broth whereupon a richness develops brought forth from trinkets of unknown data; those of personal experiences once known now consciously absent, those not consciously known but rather, stored intrinsically in caches such as survival and common sense ones. Basically: by practicing paused-steeping with intent, and by gathering more subjective experiences, does our wisdom cache develop. Why then, is decision-making being relegated to AI which derives at every choice-decision completely devoid of wisdom and common sense; devoid even of the daddy of ‘em all reactor we call survival?

Shrink Wrap It.
Regardless of being regaled as such, all this not-doing is not a benefit. The shrink wrapped snapshot of human adaptation from automated to right now is a great one to scrutinize since most of us can relate. Older us still living, once did, many outputs now done by machinery. Younger us; those who’ve never experienced any life but the one which came at a lighting flash transition where the human to machine output scale seems to have completely flipped, they are getting shortchanged. From the foraging to the concocting of any food, clothing or shelter, all of this is largely unknown for the first time ever to younger us. Sure, our youth are adept at punching screen icons but by tomorrow they won’t even need this knowhow since Interactive AI is already well-versed in mimicking human dialogue; also coming at us in lightning speed haste.
For all manner of basic existence, from rudimentary to skilled; weaving, tanning, iron casting, hewing, furniture building, masonry work, plumbing, wiring, you name it, younger us are in a fix. Today, just to maintain their dwelling, our youth must solve these issues by hoping to find, then afford, a skilled savior once their exhausting YouTube foray comes up empty. Mostly, they solve this by purchasing a new dwelling at the cost of an absurd mortgage payment. As for finding skilled saviors like plumbers and electricians, I’ve noticed most are usually aged folk with an overload of business. They’d love to retire but with no hope in site; finding a young craftsman able to buy their business, now at a rock-bottom price, remains elusive. Yes, trade schools would help address this deficit but there’s yet another deficit ensnared within this quandary.  
For eons, learned skills were passed from generation to generation where oftentimes those younger, wanted and did—follow in the footsteps of respected elders. Want and Did.  Inspired intent, sparked by resolve. Oftentimes, this intention stemmed from a seeking for approval. Pride felt from an accomplishment can reverberate throughout and entire tribe and that’s quite heady. Right or wrong, pride can be a great motivator. Nowadays, not only are footsteps to emulate coming in as a deficit, but so is the loving guidance to cultivate inspiration; a deficit that leaves fewer passion channels for our youth to tap. Yes, lightning fast trades are going on all over the place—including within.  
When considering all this empty hype about how much technology frees us up for other things, we must also consider the lazy nature of humans. Remember, life—it’s about choice. So, what actually compels you, the one reading this, to act upon most all of your own daily choices? Once asked, you will notice the bulk of your outputs are derived from need-to’s or have-to’s; not want-to’s. The concern here: as technology comes to do more and more of our basic needs, then more and more of us will likely languish. This speculation holds credence. If not needing or having to do something, freeing us up to do other things actually means that at the very least, we will become lazier which can easily then equate to more self-indulgent and more shallow. Why? Well, aside from that lazy nature, humans have right at fingertip touch, oh-so many ways to stay well-entertained, safely tucked in, right within our homes—on the couch. And, this current actuality doesn’t yet include the lightning speed impact Virtual Reality is sure to deliver. Indeed, at the very least, this first ever, easy living human existence faces a very real possibility of languishing even more.
When regaled with all those other things we’ll be free to do once technology fully functions to deliver all basic needs: providing we’ll magically have the money and knowhow to do so—then at least remember the lazy nature of humans. FYI: screen punching jobs don’t require much skill. But, if your screen punching job does require knowledgeable skill, then take care to get off the couch and get out into a life of doing lest you deplete your skill-bank. Otherwise, AI will soon gobble up your job as well.    

Status Quo Lead.
The Washington gang is no different than the Wall Street gang. When it comes to hording their own stash, outside pressure is what forces them to find integrity. I am harsh on these gangs for good reason. Make no mistake: lobbyists roaming our governed halls are but a conduit between these gangs formally banding them together as a ruling duo of one. And part of the equation as to why techno advancements hit us so fast can be found right in the lining of their pockets.   
Prior to this past decade, our average historical approval of Congress was 34%. Over this past decade: our approval never rose above single digits. That is—until lately. As 2018 closes, our approval mysteriously increased to 17% and that’s disconcerting.  There have been no fundamental, integral changes to Congress during this past decade. Still, they have yet to undo lifetime incumbency passes or the stranglehold Super PACs have on our democracy; two issues we readily agree need fixed. Yes, once pressured, Congress finally passed the STOCK Act; Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. This merely dampened insider trading; it did not stop it as the title implies. Remember, Congress makes their own rules. Stop, would be apt had that been their goal.  
By 2017, The Washington Post checked to see how effective that bill has been. Recaps: “The number of stock transactions three years before and after passage of this bill has fallen 68%. The monetary value of those stock trades also fell by 66% — an extraordinary achievement.” Wow again! How much gain did they begin with for the value to fall 66%? Here’s the bad news: “Of the senators who remain active in the stock market: they have a high propensity for trading stocks in businesses they directly oversee from their committees. A Politico sleuthing identified 30% of House and Senate members who are currently active in stock markets. From their perches, several play the markets over which they have some direct legislative responsibility and in some cases: have sponsored legislation that can have a direct bearing on their stock investments.” Well, I’d like to know how many heyday gains came from sponsored legislation paving streamline paths for everything techno!  
It is not ironic that a 200% plus disparity expansion transpired in tiptop brackets. During the past few decades, lifelong incumbency passes, Super PAC’s and Insider Trading most definitely helped put distance between our ruling duo and the rest of this pack—effectively sealing the passage off to representing ourselves. Realize: the bulk of this worlds %1 gang are Americans and the bulk of our ruling duo hail from that gang; now aptly referred to as an Oligarchy: “representation by the privileged few.”  
The STOCK Act should have been passed long ago. Rescinding lifelong incumbency passes and kicking Super PACs out of the equation are two status quo leads in dire need of retracting but won’t see permanent ink until forced. By us. These facts land in conspiracy theories for good reason but first and foremost—these are facts. Until this crony gang implements their own damn ethical regulations without being forced, they continue to earn all by themselves—our disapproval. Yes, we have every right to question their bilking-paved lead. When they scoff at that right, dismiss us as unpatriotic or fanatical—bite back.
Of one course-setting elite, it was in 2017 that our Treasury Secretary, Mr. Steve Mnuchin outright dismissed the prospect of AI eroding the human workforce by stating: “it’s not even on our radar screen. Maybe 50-100 more year away but I’m not worried at all about robots displacing humans in the near future. In fact, I’m optimistic!” Wow yet again! Mnuchin’s job, along with his lofty lifestyle, depends on him espousing optimism. And from our commander in chief, Trump deftly reframes anything to do with technology impacting our jobs as nothing but losses due to unfair trade agreements etc.…
It is clear, that by stating the reality we are actually experiencing as one not even on his radar screen, to so casually toss numbers such as 50 to 100 years away, Mnuchin obviously can’t empathize but also, he’s in dire need of disparity and exponential lessons. When one the most powerful U.S. representatives blatantly discards our current, getting grimmer by the day reality, or that of the next game-changing decade: he is just another in-it-for-today, well fed rat, utterly unconcerned about us or our kids’ tomorrow.

Ripe for Change.          
From 2019 forward, political spin is about to hit the fan with little reprieve for the next 2 years. Tuning-out to guard against such corrosive division can no longer be our go-to. We’re in a great big jam here and there’s an entire world of other humans hoping we will slumber no longer. Aside from newday technology, there’s been one more colossal change in the human experiment which, if cultivated, is our ticket to retracting. Masses now, for the first time ever: are educated and free-than-ever. Paradigm shifts such as these truly do have us sitting ripe for change. So, how do we activate that ticket? Think about all the folks you know, like even, but you don’t talk politics with them because you either know or suspect—your political ideology doesn’t align. As the years stack, we learn to talk politics only with like-minded souls. A recent reminder to this came out of a holiday gathering when someone mentioned Trump. Once we think to notice, we can then see our gathering’s shift. Within minutes, those not wanting discord saunter towards like-minded comrades. Yet, for a democracy to thrive, people must discuss; particularly differing perspectives, for thrive to be apt. Otherwise, a chance for enlightenment merely gets lowballed; replaced by a silly sort of partyline glad-handing.                    It could be said that to thrive, it’s actually a free masses responsibility to engage at this fundamental, discussion stage. So, what stymies us? Well, the potential for discord tops my list! Also, who wants to look ignorant? Nothing appealing about the possibility of a friend’s right/wrong ideology outshining our own notions. Maybe good ole’ embarrassment keeps us stymied. This thought just landed a chuckle; a remembrance of my own cheek-flushing when I had to acknowledge that yes, I voted for someone unworthy. Oh well. Even straight ticket voters won’t always get it right and this is important to realize. Individually, we won’t always get it right but cumulatively, we stand a greater chance of mostly—getting it right.
What else can help move us beyond stalled? Trump. Hopefully, he will be our savior. Let his legacy be that he alone, reminded us why it’s so damn important to move our voice beyond a fear of potential discord, why we must engage in respectful discussion and listen to other viewpoints; especially from those we like—consider friends even. Let Trumps legacy be that he alone, epitomized—all that we are not.
Aside from being free to express our educated opinion, we are also integral beings. Whenever each of us mature enough to value integrity, few regress thereafter. For one, we learn that it feels good to conduct our lives integrally. Plus, we like experiencing genuine friendships, achieved simply by applying the basic do unto others concept. There’s nothing complicated here. Integrity simply feels good. Other basic principles like honesty and genuine regard are no-brainer guideposts. And as we age, our friendship list shrinks simply because not everyone finds their integrity foundation at the same birthday number but by mid-age, I’d say those who haven’t yet found integrity—probably won’t. By then, we know their word doesn’t mean much. Their casual use of deceit, their blatant disregard for others and their righteous judgmental mindset becomes too much to stomach. Add pompous, sexist, racist even to the mix and they definitely become disqualified from the friend list! In short, they aren’t the friend we are; they aren’t someone worthy of our trust. This includes presidents. Indeed, Trump epitomizes—all that we are not.

Red and Blue.
Dancing Partners is not a series aligned with either blue or red but rather, the yet-to-be centrist middle hue. And, I’m not a journalist. Readers will certainly know my personal opinion to all I’ve hammered on so in good conscience I simply can’t remain mum about Trump just to avoid offending his devotees. The final straw came while writing this installment and I’ve pondered over whether to throw in my two-bits long enough. The straw? The deceit Trump recently spewed to our enlisted men on his Mid-East trip about how he alone—gave them a 10% pay increase. It is one thing to treat this mass to mega doses of disregard, but to treat our service men and women to such, all standing in hostile territory prepared to give their lives for the service of this country? That is wholly unacceptable. Trump supporters, your pride will recover from voting in an unworthy, Commander-in-Chief. Remember, nobody gets it right all the time.
American politics come with a long history of flipping ideology from one party to another; ideologies now snugly ensconced primarily into two platforms. Well, I’ve grown weary of all this pigeonhole labeling these platforms glom onto. Obviously, it’s in our very nature to be conservative. The heritage of at least 90% of all humans came from backbreaking existence. Poor, could be the numero uno word used to describe all previous, even current, human existence regardless of where any of our first-line ancestors hailed from so conservatism must be in our DNA by now. Same goes for progressive. This must also be in our DNA by now or societies wouldn’t have progressed toward freer-type existence! As for straight ticket democrat/republican voters, they are just that: democrats and republicans. For me, I am both conservative and progressive and glad to be! Meanwhile, nothing much holds anymore. Democrat and Republican shows are equally culpable for spending too much so conservative doesn’t hold and progressive/liberal labels are confusing. To require more laws and regulations means to amplify rulership power. Any governed lead diminishing a society’s ability to push towards more individual accountability is plainly—not progressive!
Neither platform is completely right or wrong nor can they be viewed as such or we’d be running on something other than a democracy. Yes, we could and should have more viable platforms but anything less than two is backwards. All of us, partyline voters included, we must first, always, stand together as Americans. And integrity—must always remain our guiding beacon.

Listless Zeitgeist.    
We are in a deadlock race with AI. The choices before us remain in full view and that includes the choice to remain fractured and stalled. And, we see us stalled. The whole world see’s us stalled. Our daily news runs rife with stories of disregard growing evermore blatant because masses everywhere remain stalled. Lately, there’s been a slew of protests in France; folks looking to move beyond stalled. In the beginning, it looked like the yellow jackets wanted peaceful discourse; looked they didn’t want to be treated like some inconsequential annoyance anymore. Like us, their way of life is also being downgraded. Unfortunately, their peaceful discourse went awry.
I’d bet that countrymen from anywhere in the world would simply buck up if their          existence depended on everyone needing to make-do with less but, that’s not the case. The ever-widening gap of Disparity, the very detrimental rise of Oligarchies, are two worldwide alarming actualities pointing out a wholly different case. In every developed country gripped in a showdown where workers are being quickly replaced by machines: the savings reaped are being channeled up the ladder. I refer to rich corporate elitists as fat assed rats for good reason and these rats—reside in every country.         
The realities Americans face are intermeshed realities of one global society. We are a great society of one. Rats all over this world are stuffing the growth of one unprecedented kind of badass that loves nothing more than to snack on all lifelines regardless of flavor. And, we could all keep hoping our rulers will soon implement a feasible deterrent to help us keep our jobs except they are still fully geared in race-mode; their bulging pockets aren’t yet stretched to the max. Without a concerted retracting demanded by this world’s society, nobody needs to be an expert to predict the fallout. Way down we go ~K. Soon, protesting Parisians won’t be lone rangers and from there, history merely repeats the countless lesson which all educated, freer-than-ever masses now have the means to prevent.
Our cumulative purpose isn’t to stop what is most likely unstoppable. The chapter opened before us is to buy our future a bit of adaptation time. At the very least we must somehow develop a unified voice. That somewhere begins at one, it can begin right here, and if you’ve found these words, you qualify as one. Nobody needs to read 12 damn long installments to discover what precarious juncture we’ve now landed at simply because mainstream news is finally covering what it took me 10 long years to write! Rather, a wanting to read them beats the hell out of some baseless, going thru the motion act. Seek for the means to stoke resolve, conviction—purpose.  

Mind, Body, Soul.
Yeah, it all works best when in-sync. Of body, of course we see it aging. We become more aware of an eventual but guaranteed—finality. Of mind, of all that we become conscious of—our ego strives to conduct. But what of soul? What do we conjure here? For me, the image of a Vital Child frames something tangible. So, when in need of some passion—what part do we draw from?
I know stalled. For 2 years now, I’ve known that too much time has passed and I’d need to write a dedicated updating of our current reality if I still hoped for the possibility of a retracting. Well, I am now well-versed in what installment-creating entails, hence the stall. Anyway, TV does provide the means to clamp down a good stall so when this winter’s cold hit—Netflix provided the perfect clamp; The Last Kingdom. It’s a great show. I love the plain speaK! It’s a series of 3 and it wasn’t til the 3rd when I realized I’d unwittingly tapped a warrior in me. Then, it took another full run of this series just to muster enough courage to stare down a blank sheet of paper—armed with a pen.
We need a new dance move. Engage. The seed is planted. C’mon, were’ a clever bunch! I am dedicating the year 2019 to finding like-minded comrades so if you are someone open to possibility then simply forgo social network chatter for a few weeks and in place, read this series—aided by conviction. Do so with a few friends; book club style! Why? For those who will read this entire series before endorsing it, you will shortchange your own experience. But, for those who read together, you will quickly see the sport to be had; a crazy-good unfolding can emerge. With possibility, who knows what awaits! We do know we’ve got a helluva lot to lose if we don’t try something and at the very least, a bit of enlightenment will be your reward.
This is a mass summons. It is being freely posted out in the big www so it doesn’t matter what part of this world anyone hails from. Yes, it’s written from an American perspective but we are a global society now, we are all in this together, and most of the calamities we face—so do others. To get beyond stalled, empowerment must develop. A favored quote from Vaclav Havel frames hopeful possibility. “Hope is not a conviction that things turn out well. Hope is a conviction to do what’s right—regardless of how it turns out.”
Our Zeitgeist is listless; waiting to become a strong breeze. You, me, us. Let it be chronicled that the next great voice—was ours.                                   

Sincerely yours, Publius

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