I’m always running scenarios in my head. I’ll take the information I have and try to figure out where it’s going or at least of where it could go. It’s how I write fiction. I just take one or two blocks of information and then figure out what the most interesting third block might be. What if? I’m always looking at Step 3.
So I’ve been gathering various pieces of information and I’m beginning to build a picture of a possible future. I’m not the first to do this and I’m not sure that anything I’m saying is going to be all the revealing. But I do find it interesting.
Let’s put together information and see where it leads us.
– Post 9/11 paranoia has resulted in invasive and previously illegal intrusions into our lives.
– Social networking has essentially made everyone online into their own personal brand.
– Between GPS enabled smart phones, RFID tagged passports and driver’s licenses, ‘Hot Lane’ passes and other devices, finding individual people and their current location has become easier than ever before.
– Unmanned weaponized aircraft (UAVs) have become both inexpensive and easy to use and have been used recent weeks to kill alleged terrorists who also happened to be American citizens.
– Facial recognition software literally getting better every day.
– CCS International, a security company, estimated that the average person in Manhattan was photographed 73 to 75 times a day and that number is going up.
– Cash is quickly becoming the least used form of currency. Debit and Credit cards are becoming more and more popular and are instantaneously tracked online.
– Media outlets are doing less true investigative journalism than ever before.
– The authorities are regularly arresting people for ‘terror plots’ that had little to no chance of ever actually getting off the ground except that undercover agents provided the means in order to arrest them.
– The national and global economy is quickly becoming the Rich and the Poor. The Middle Class American is disappearing and it’s happening fast.
– Healthcare in America is getting more and more expensive. At a recent Republican debate when it was suggested an uninsured person be left to die, the crowd CHEERED.
– There is a push to make voting paperless, making fraud easier than ever.
Okay, I think that’s enough stuff to work with for now. And I think it paints a fairly clear picture. What it says to me is a handful of things.
1. If the Powers That Be really wanted to, they could probably find you and kill you fairly easily and chalk it up to a victory for the War On Terror. Or at the very least, they can throw you in prison and once you’re part of that system, any ex-con will tell you it’s difficult to get out. On top of that, no one outside of your social circle would know or care.
2. If you are the sort who wants to fight against the system, the first things you’re going to want to do is get rid of your cell phone, your credit cards, your bank accounts, your social networking profiles, your email accounts and anything else that can be used to identify and track you because, well, see point number one.
3. If you don’t have at least a few hundred thousand dollars a year coming in, then you shouldn’t expect your life to be very comfortable for the foreseeable future unless you get very creative.
4. The time to fight what’s happening is at least 10 years ago. Probably 20 or 30. Fighting the power at this time is potentially dangerous and you’re going to want more than a slogan and a sign to do so.
5. As things get worse, people will get more and more desperate. This applies both to the rich and the poor. Prices for common items will continue to rise, making the middle class standard of living less and less, but not really causing any problems for the rich as the increased prices give them more money in the end.
6. It would be easier to become one of the rich than it would be to actually change things because the money involved and the resources that money provides makes thwarting any attempt to change things comparatively easy.
7. If you don’t have a legitimate job with a company, you’re likely to go to prison for whatever you’re doing which will make companies that own the prisons more money. One way or another you’re going to feed the corporate machine.
8. Unless you’re one of the rich, you’re going to want to figure out what you can live with and what you can’t and minimize your spending as much as you possibly can because it’s only going to get tougher until the Middle Class no longer exists.
So there are a few of the thoughts I have on what’s going on in our world today. There are more pieces of relevant information and more possibilities with that information. I’d love to start talking about a solution, but I’m still working on that part. I’m still thinking.
What now? There are those like the Occupy Wall Street people who have quite literally taken to the streets. This is understandable. But I don’t know that it’s going to help. I’m not sure there’s help to be had.
I’m not saying we should give up on changing things. America has a long history of fighting the odds and making good things happen. And maybe the Occupy Wall Street protestors will be the beginning of a revolution, but even in a best case scenario, that’s going to take many years.
There are plenty of sites on how best to mount your protest or any other sort of activism you might want to do or be into. But if you’re going to be one of the people who creates true change, you’re going to have to make it your full time life and most of us have jobs and lives. So instead, I think I’d like to write about how to live in America if you don’t have a million dollars and you find yourself with less and less every year.
I’ll be posting more about this later. (Along with other unrelated stuff because we still have to keep this site a little fun.) I’m interested in your thoughts on all of this. Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org