Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our World is Changing

Someone sent this to me and I thought it was interesting so I decided to put it on my blog. Sorry it is not lined up right. I keep trying to fix it but just can't.

Our Future Years
The future will bring change and its mind boggling to think of some of the long-time traditional aspects of our lives that are changing forever.Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them.
But, ready or not, here they come!

1. The Post Office:

Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial

trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. E-mail, Fed Ex and UPS

have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive.

Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Checks:

Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the

financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and on-line

transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death

of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail,

the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper:

The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't

subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the

laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile

Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to

form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon and the major cell phone companies

to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book:

You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the

literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my

hard copy CD. But, I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums

for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will

happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter

before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the

convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you

find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that

you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The land line Telephone:

Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore.

Most people keep it simply because they're always had it. But, you are paying double

charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers

using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.

6. Music:

This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow

death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music

being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption

is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates simply self-destructed.

Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that

the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert

circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book,

"Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before

the Music Dies."

7. Television:

Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy.

People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing

games and doing all lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent

watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common

denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and

30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be

put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through


8. The "Things" That You Own:

Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not

actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud...” Today your

computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies and documents.

Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But, all of

that is changing. Apple, Microsoft and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud

services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the internet will be built into the

operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the

Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the internet cloud. If you save

something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to

the cloud provider.

9. In this Virtual World:

You can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld

device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be

able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be

disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo

album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

10. Privacy:

If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.

That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in

most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be

sure that 24/7 "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS

coordinates and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a

zillion profiles and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get

you to buy something else. Again and again.

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