Predictions of A Near Future: A More Connected World, Less Racist, And More Prosperous

As countries around the world are trying harder to modernize and become more prosperous, the modernity will no longer be something the developed countries can keep secret.  As developing countries get wealthier, the more money these countries got to expand operations of all sorts.  Thus, the demands for a more connected world will become even more urgent.  I think any country which decides to shut-out the world as we’re moving into the future would become a perfect case study of how not understanding the real trend which could lead to a disaster on a national scale.

So, I mentioned that the urgency for a more connected world is very real, but why is it the case?

For an example, China is growing ever stronger and bigger, and historically no other country could achieve China’s scale of rapid growth in term of economic prowess in a short duration in history.  Furthermore, China can no longer depend only on a few big countries to supply Chinese economic thirst, and so China is planning to expand economic operations across the world through Belt Road initiative, going abroad strategy, building up Africa while extracting African minerals, and so forth.  Only through opening China’s economic doors wider, the Chinese could make their economy more resilient.

To achieve of opening up economic doors for more connectivity from outside-in and inside-out, the Chinese government is probably going to encourage the world to be even more connected.  In this way, the flow of money can fuel and keep the Chinese economy growing.  As the world is ever more connected and as long the Chinese production prowess is humming along strongly, China can export goods without slowing down too much.  As the Chinese people are getting wealthier, they are going to splurge their wealth abroad and at home, further fueling the flow of money within the connected world.

I think China understands that by helping developing poor neighbors and farther away countries, China can grow friends, respect, and business opportunities.  Wealthy friends can always have real money to splurge on your goods.  This will keep China’s export market strong.  Besides exporting goods, China is modernizing other branches such as technology, science, military, culture and so forth to keep China strong and China’s economy healthy.

Somewhat long, but China is one of a very good case to explain why the world is still going to be very connected, and this will probably be the case for a foreseeable future.  Not only China, but other developing countries are racing ahead to develop one’s own country, and so our future is all about being more connected to create more opportunities and more of sharing experiences for learning and advancing and innovating.

In such a world, supremacy is going to be a very hard thing to achieve.  It will be a much more competitive world.  Thus I predict that our future will be either very competitive or very lazy — because automation will out-compete humans, but this is another story within the whole mix all together.

I think we will continue to see big, powerful countries such as China, United States, Russia, and so forth dictate terms to the world in our competitive, hard to achieve supremacy future.  Nonetheless, these powerful countries won’t be able to supremely dictate terms in an ultimatum manner easily as we’re moving forward into the future.  More countries are going to be more prosperous, and so their demands and ambitions will grow too.  These countries won’t easily be swayed by supreme might, and these countries can try to play nice with China and Russia to fend off the United States’ aggressiveness or vice versa.

In a more connected world, I think it’s supremely stupid for any single entity to try to declare something as we’re supreme!  I predict China won’t announce to the world that they’re the baddest and strongest, but instead we will see a China which will use actions to demonstrate power while silently signaling that they’re the baddest and strongest.  So, in a way, I think China will try to achieve supreme without becoming a Hitler.  Thus, China will try to win more friends instead of invading them.

If you have heard something about the Chinese history, then you probably have heard of a tributary system that sometimes worked rather well for the ancient Chinese dynasties.  This tributary system might make a comeback.  Because, if the modern China becomes the baddest of us all, China might just as well modernize some of the features within a tributary system to achieve the Chinese futuristic ambitions.  I think the Chinese love to look back into what worked well within the Chinese, and non-Chinese histories to guide their ways toward the unknown future.  Thus, I don’t think China will repeat Hitler’s mistakes.

Through Belt Road Initiative, China will build more friends and grow a modern tributary system in the long run.  I don’t think the soon to be baddest China will declare supremacy but will try to encourage a more connected world to respect a stronger China.  A more connected world means any entity which tries to declare supremacy and go solo will face a very strong headwind.  Also, any entity which tries to look inward and ignore the connected world all together will face backwardness and isolation.

In a very connected world, the rest will rise, and any single entity which tries to use racism as a fuel for strength will face the utter destruction.  By this I mean a connected world will have a near zero tolerance for racism.  So, I think as the world gets ever more connected, whatever movement that promotes racism will become the next Hitler and will face a certain doom.  In a more connected world, racism will become the ideal of the cavemen.

I could be wrong about everything because in Hitler time the world had gotten to be quite connected and yet Hitler was able to use supreme ideology to recruit believers and enlarge his army.  If I’m not wrong Hitler believed in a pure race (i.e., his race), and he encouraged his army to eradicate Jewish people/faith.  In Hitler time, people got cars, radios, television, cruises, airplanes, telephones, and other modernities.  Thus, Hitler’s time was also a very connected world.  Still, as I mentioned previously, Hitler was able to promote racism and genocidal practices.

Basically, the future is very unpredictable, but I like to believe in facts.  The facts tell me that the second Hitler won’t have an easier time than the first to go to promote and achieve supremacy.  The facts tell me that racism would be an unwise thing to be promoted in the future.  Whoever practices racism will find only doom in the future!  Facts tell me that not everyone will be the winner of a future, but many will become ever more prosperous, that is if we know how to not let automation/AI ruins us all and use automation/AI as only the tool and not as our master.

 

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Weaker Dollar, Stronger Yuan May Hurt The United States And Help China In The Long Run!

I’m no expert in economic matters, but I just want to use my own personal logic to make sense of a few things that are currently happening.  People are seeing that the Dollar is weakening as we speak, and the Yuan is growing stronger as we speak.  Some people say weaker Dollar is a good thing because export will become more profitable.  Furthermore, when export becomes profitable, it also drives up the manufacturing sector at home.  That’s the theory for some people, but I feel that it’s way more complicated than this.

Since the United States isn’t a world manufacture hub — China is holding this title — the United States’ exports won’t matter as much unless the United States becomes the world manufacture hub.  Sure, with weaker Dollar, the United States’ exports will become more competitive than before.  The question is, will a little gain in competitiveness in exports spur the manufacturing sector at home?  Meanwhile, weaker Dollar will make the United States’ imports a lot more expensive.

I think the United States currently imports a lot more than exports.  The United States’ import is at $2.25 trillion and the export is at $1.45 trillion for the year of 2016, according to Wikipedia.  If the United States’ exports continue to slack even with the weak Dollar and the imports continue to grow, the United States could face an even stronger trade deficit.  For an example, manufacturer companies in the United States may have to import more expensive materials from the outside to manufacture products at home for selling across the world and at home.  This may not make the products at home cheaper for homegrown consumers.  Furthermore, this will increase the trade deficit in manufacturing sector if not enough products within the United States get to export to balance out the import costs.

Weak Dollar will increase less buying power for the Americans who go abroad for vacation, business, and so forth.  Weak Dollar can make purchases of products from foreign companies through online websites or offline imports more expensive for the American consumers.  For an example, I could be buying a music plugin from an online website which belongs to a French company, and with a weak Dollar, I could be paying more for this software.

I guess good things and bad things do exist even when the Dollar is weak or strong.  Nonetheless, the most interesting question is can the United States fare better when the Dollar is weaker or stronger.  In my opinion, weaker Dollar can help spur export a bit, but if the United States’ exports don’t carry the whole United States’ overall, long-term economy, then the weaker Dollar will be a very bad thing!

What about China?  If the United States enters a trade war against China, China can increase import tariff costs for the products from the United States.  This could hurt the United States’ export market because weaker Dollar would be neutralized by this move from China.  Furthermore, China can also buy up weak Dollar on the cheap to make Yuan stronger if this would serve China’s agenda.  Of course, stronger Yuan for China could make China’s exports look expensive.  Still, from what I’ve heard, China is trying to spur demands at home to create a bigger home consumer market so China won’t be relying on too much from the export market.  If this is the case, then cheap Dollar would be beneficial for China in a big way!

Stronger Yuan would allow Chinese who are going abroad to get more bang for the buck.  Meanwhile, Chinese imports would become cheaper, and so China won’t have to spend so much money to import stuff.  As China’s export market isn’t doing so bad and the imports get cheaper, stronger Yuan allows China to continue to reform her consumption market.  Foreign companies would love to enter China’s bigger homegrown consumption market because China has 1.4 billion headcounts and growing.  As China becomes an ever more important factor for foreign companies due to the size of Chinese population and market, China can begin to dictate tastes, styles, fashions, and so forth worldwide.  Chinese culture will become ever more influential if Chinese market becomes the most important market in the world.

With a weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan, entering a trade war against China might be very bad for the United States!  China can sanction the United States’ companies, entities, and so much more to crash the United States economy.  Of course, a trade war would be bad for China too, because the United States’ imports from China do matter to China a lot.  Nonetheless, as China doesn’t rely on the export market so much, a trade war between the United States and China won’t deter Chinese economic reform plan.  After all, China wants to grow the homegrown consumption market!  While growing a homegrown consumption market to rely less on the export market, China relies on the cheaper import market to balance out the reduction of Chinese exports.  Weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan will allow China to transit from the export market to a service market, also to move to a higher value-added export market — all in all – making this transition in a smoother fashion.

In conclusion, I think China can make the best out of either weaker or stronger Dollar, and the United States — as long as the country stays less competitive — won’t be able to have the upper hand if a trade war occurs between China and the United States.  Meanwhile, China can use stronger Yuan to buy cheap debts from United States’ weak Dollar to prop up China Yuan’s strength.  This, in turn, will actually help China transits from a manufacturing to a service economy.  As the low value-added market goes away in China, China has to accelerate the reform of the manufacturing sector at home so Chinese future export market will be more about high value-added products.  Anyhow, if the United States isn’t going to be able to use the opportunity of a weaker Dollar to reform her economy somehow to make the United States’ economy more competitive against rivals such as China, in the long run other rivals will use the weaker Dollar as the opportunity to make their own economies a lot stronger.

We Can Marry Democratic And Authoritarian Values Into One!

The above video tries to explore the idea of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy values into one system.  In real life, currently, we do not have a system in which both values could be incorporated in a balance manner.  For an example, in the West, Democracy is being valued more, thus the systems lean toward mediocre leaders with greatest popularity.  In the East, the opposite case mostly occurs.  Still, there probably are situations that smooth sailing does occur for the West, and bad sailing does occur for the East.  This is a luck and bad luck happenstances.  For an example, the people in the West might just pick the best leaders by chance, thus the system could be run by the most popular leaders who are not mediocre.  In the East, bad luck could occur, thus the system could have corrupted, mediocre leaders who hold the positions of power and don’t want to relinquish such powerful positions — thus they become unpopular for sure.

The luck and bad luck happenstances are the unexpected elements, thus these things are beyond the control of the system.  What people want are the system that can be configured in a way that ensures the highest chance of electing the best leaders that could run the country in the best manner if possible.  Unfortunately, electing is more of a popularity contest than electing the best leaders.  Why?  Election is about who got more votes, and thus in theory anyone could be running for a position to get votes.  Strangers vote for each other — it’s more about who appears to be the most competence gets the popularity — thus getting the position.  In the Meritocracy system, a pretender who could keep the act together might also appear to be competence, thus fooling the previous leaders who vouch for his or her promotion.  Still, the Meritocracy system is built to ensure the highest chance of picking leaders according to meritocracy values.

When marrying Democracy with Meritocracy, we’re running into a direct conflict.  Democracy encourages the priority of voting while Meritocracy encourages the priority of strictly observing/testing before a promotion.  Thus, in reality we don’t see any system which distributes equal powers to Democracy and Meritocracy.  In China, I think some local regions do have elections, but it’s obviously one party state — so there is no true election at the very top.  So the true dilemma is how are we marrying the Democracy and Meritocracy together?

I have an idea!  Why don’t we have a constitution that ensures a house of Democracy which governs by election, but the house of Democracy is there to examine the performances of the most popular leaders who had gotten the positions through the voting process.  After the leaders’ terms are up, they need to be either promoted to longer term positions according to their performance-report-cards, but if their performances are poor they could be demoted or even be impeached.  Once they got promoted to longer term positions they could move into the house of Meritocracy.  Still, even once they reach the house of Meritocracy, more examinations must be done to ensure that the leaders within the house of Meritocracy are truly excellent.  If they’re just pretending to be excellent at their jobs, they could still be impeached within the house of Meritocracy.

Well, I think the idea I suggest above could be tested out for the case of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy together.  It’s like the people got to participate in a popularity contest before the real leaders could eventually be recognized.  Such a system does provide layers of examinations of our leaders so they could not take it easy and get so corrupted such as becoming lazy in serving people, involving in corruptions and scandals, and so forth.  What do you think?

Nationalism Vs. Globalism, Where Does This Lead? Probably to a Nowhere!

Globalism seems to be getting a bad rap lately, because locally people are suffering from global competition.  Jobs from a global market either had already been moved to another part of the world in the name of efficiency in cost and whatnot or will be replaced by market elsewhere that is more competitive.  So, locally, people are not feeling good at all about global aspects.

We’re seeing many people try to promote local brand, local ideas, local culture, and local anything over anything global.  Of course, it’s not a bad thing to promote local culture, ideas and whatnot, because these things are essential for a local life-force.  Nonetheless, when we become too extreme in promoting local over global agenda, we may create an atmosphere that would lead to a road of violences and not of solutions.

Imagine how the Nazi or similar groups came about or will be created because of such extremism.  Basically, I believe that the Nazis were not only Hitler’s henchmen, but many of them were believing in a movement of a pure race mentality which believes in purity and superiority over other identities.  So, in Hitler’s time, if you’re a Jew, you would be considered the lowest scum of all scums on earth, thus Hitler did try to wipe out the entire Jewish identity from the planet earth.

The Nazi mentality would seem making sense for the Nazis, but on the outside most people would not agree, because such a movement promotes senseless killing and senseless violence.  Thus I think anything that is taking too extreme may do more harm than good.  So, in these days, many people are promoting local brands over global brands, and it’s not really a bad thing.  Nonetheless, I think we should do this on a scale that makes sense — by not overdoing it.  If not, we may promote a form of extremism that will only incite a bigger conflict eventually.

Imagine a scenario in which we would close off our border, stop trading with everyone else globally, and try to create a self-sustain nation in which we believe that would stop global competition and bring better economic prosperity for people within our nation — this looks a lot like North Korea now.  But we all know that North Korea isn’t doing very well economically for a very long time.  Actually, North Korea had been poor since the conception of its whole political body.

Just right next door, China, once was as poor as North Korea, but now this neighbor known as China has become the largest economy on earth in term of Purchasing Power Parity measure and many people suggest that China will become the largest economy on earth in nominal GDP term sooner than later.  The neighbors cannot be any differ in term of size and economic prowess, because the gap between the North Koreans and the Chinese seems to be the size of a galaxy — an exaggeration of course but relevant nonetheless.

China achieved all of their success not by closing down borders, stop trading, and try to be self-sustained like North Korea, but China opened and continues to open up just the right amount of space for foreign trades, investments, cooperations, and whatnot.  So, I think China did think about how to face the challenge of global competition before they opened up their economy just right which had allowed them to be where they are today.

For countries like the United States, we’re facing a challenge of cost efficiency, and so our products are more expensive to export.  Perhaps we should think about closing our door with just a right amount of space but leave the door open just wide enough to stem the outflow of jobs — creating enough breathing space for people within the country to survive and thrive and compete.

Nonetheless, such a solution is only for short term treatment, because in the future our technologies may be so disruptive that the technologies we will employ will take away all of our jobs.  When such thing occurs, no matter how many borders you close down, how many trades you stop from occurring will not be able to keep jobs at home.  So, the solution won’t be available in the basket of creating jobs for the people, but the solution would be in the basket of how to support a society in which people will no longer work for a living, on a global scale.

What is the solution?  At the moment, I don’t think any single solution would be satisfactory in answering the AI taking away jobs question, because we’re not actually suffering from a total domination from a machine overlord just yet.  Instead, we’re seeing machines slowly take away jobs from various people in various sectors.  Eventually though, the Artificial Intelligence would get so smart that it would take away most jobs from the people.

If AI is inevitably going to take away most of our jobs, we should steer the course of such a trend to benefit the humanity.  After all, we’re the humanity!  So, I suggest that we should employ smart machines to create the abundances that we need to free us all from basic necessaries, and this would allow us to focus on living better.  We then would probably question ourselves what would we do if the smart machines do all the jobs.

Will we become so bored and mindless that we rather die young than live too long?  Nonetheless, in the future we may have technologies that would extend our lifespan.  But there is a possibility in which we as the humanity as a whole would try to explore the next frontier which is the universe itself.  Maybe the smart machines would get us to be so free that we would venture out into the farthest space within the universe to explore and question not only our origin, but the universe itself — and have a better chance at doing this than ever before.

Anyway, after watching “Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide | Yuval Noah Harari” TED Talks video on YouTube, my brain starts to question a lot more about our future.  This brief essay is the result of my watching of this video.  The video is right after the break.  Enjoy!

Could Saturn’s Rings Were Made By UFO?

I don’t think I can claim that I’d seen a real UFO as in an alien craft from outer space, but I think what I’d seen once was something that I could not describe since it flew too fast and appeared to be an orange or red ball that flew way too fast for any modern craft to do so.  It hovered like for a few seconds to the left of the tree line and then it flew in a strangest way and disappeared real fast behind the tree line, and that was around 9:00 or 10:00 PM or so, because I don’t remember the exact time.  I know it was night time for sure.  This is why I remember it was so bright, but I could not remember the exact color of the unidentified object.  Anyhow, so nowadays when an incredible person with incredible background in science or reputable field claimed that he or she had seen a UFO, I wouldn’t disregard his or her claim immediately.  After all, my experience was rather strange too.

Dr. Norman Bergrun, author of Ringmakers of Saturn, claimed that he believed the rings around Saturn are stuffs that were created by the aliens.  I could be wrong on what I just stated, because I couldn’t find much information about Dr. Norman Bergrun.  I tried to find a wikipedia page of the man, but I couldn’t find any.  Nonetheless, on Amazon, a book under the title Ringmakers of Saturn is available for purchase, and the author of the book is indeed Norman Bergrun.  Anyhow, I’ve found that it’s interesting how Dr. Norman Bergrun thought that the rings weren’t naturally formed by Saturn and the spatial environment around Saturn.

Furthermore, the article Cassini Finds ‘Nothing’ in Saturn’s Ring Gap on astroengine.com digs into how scientists studied the data that Cassini found in regarding to the space between the rings and Saturn was a big empty.  This confound the scientists as they thought there should be more space dust between the rings and the Saturn itself.  This mystery of Saturn’s rings makes me wonder could Dr. Norman Bergrun has been onto something all along.  Anyhow, check out a YouTube video right after the break where Dr. Norman Bergrun talks on why he thinks Saturn’s rings aren’t natural.

Short Thought: Can Labor Cost And Related Costs Speed Up Automation And Artificial Intelligence To Out Compete Competitors?

Here are few sentences that I want to express in short thought on the matter of automation/AI.  I think labor cost and other costs that impose on innovation, manufacturing, and whatnot would speed up automation and artificial intelligence a great deal, because countries such as the United States would like to outdo countries such as China in term of trade and other economic factors.  For your information, I think as now China still has labor cost advantage over the United States.  I see though that the United States could try really hard to push for automation and artificial intelligence, because in this way the United States can gain a competitive edge in trade such as in labor cost and whatnot.  Nonetheless, if I’m China, I would do the same, and this vicious cycle would only speed up automation and artificial intelligence.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think we may live in the future sooner than we would have like or prepare for.  Furthermore, automation and artificial intelligence will only increase job losses, but it will take a much longer time for people to find new jobs.  After all, getting a new job in a totally different field requires retraining and relearn.  Before you know it, the whole world will try to push for automation and artificial intelligence.  It’s coming sooner than you think!