289In this blogposting...
*Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime
Lead on, Macduff...
THINGS THAT WILL DISAPPEAR IN OUR LIFETIME
I recently received this thought-provoking list from Kev. His email (which I have edited slightly) begins…
‘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. It is so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, TNT, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the Post Office alive. Most of your mail nowadays is junk mail and bills.
2 The Cheque
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheques by 2018. It costs the financial system millions of pounds a year to process cheques. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque. This, in turn, will contribute to the death of the Post Office. If you never pay your bills by mail and never receive them by mail, the Post Office will go out of business.
3 The Newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn't read newspapers. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition, which 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 cellphone 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 of. 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 Landline Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need a landline phone anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cellphone companies will let you call customers using the same provider for no charge against your minutes.
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. This is 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 are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is ‘catalogue items’ - traditional music that the public is familiar with; older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit.
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 lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching tv. For the most part, prime-time shows have degenerated to lower than the lowest common denominator - although some gems still are produced.
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 where 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. 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.
In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books or 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 liable to disappear at any moment?
Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?
It makes you want to run to the cupboard and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone already - a very long time ago. There are cameras on the street, in most of public buildings - and even in your computer and cellphone.
You can be sure that, 24/7, ‘They’ know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates and Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. ‘They’ will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.
All we will have left that can't be changed will be memories….
I’m not entirely sure that I agree with Kev’s assessment of the future here, although personal privacy is assuredly a thing of the past and the writing is certainly on the wall for the Post Office and the cheque.
I’d like to know what you think. And is there any other aspect of our lives that you think is on its last legs?
Get in touch.
And thankyou, Kev.
Almost every family in England has been touched by the effects of Stroke, including my own. But the most pernicious damage it causes could sometimes be avoided if more people knew how to recognise the symptoms shown by someone who has had a stroke.
A friend of mine has sent me this copy of the latest advice given out by the experts. Please read it and try to remember it. It could mean the difference between life and death.
*Ask the individual to SMILE...
*Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE coherently - something like ‘It is sunny out today'.
*Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, dial 999 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
*You could also ask the individual to STICK OUT THEIR TONGUE
If the tongue is 'crooked' - if it goes to one side or the other - that is also an indication of Stroke.
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