Home » Changes are Coming to our Lives. Some are Already Here.

Changes are Coming to our Lives. Some are Already Here.

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. Email, 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 Cheque. Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheques by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque. 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’ve 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 are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue 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 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 Netflix.

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.

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.’

9. 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 phones. 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.

10.  Information  Whether you are writing an essay in school, looking for information about a public person, or even someone not so public, doing a crossword, the information is all there for you in Google or Yahoo. Now suppose you are not sure about the information, go to Snopes to verify.

11.  With Skypes and the right piece of sound equipment and a camera you can see one another and talk over long distances.

12. Uber is just a software tool. they don`t own any cars and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

13 Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world. They own no hotels.

14 Car Insurance companies will have massive trouble without accidents. No accidents, why buy insurance Electric cars will make that possible.

15. Electricity cars will run on electricity. The use of solar energy is increasing. Cheap electricity will bring cheap desalination of water. All will have cheap ,pure water

16. Health. There are companies who will build medical devices called “Tricorder” that works  with your phone, which can take a retina scan, blood sample and your breath. It then analyzes 54 biomarkers that will identify any disease. Good-bye doctors.

17. The price of a 3D printer came down in 10 years from $18,000 to 400 dollars. By 2027, 10% of everything made will be done by a  3D printer.

18. Work–70-80% of jobs will disappear in 20 years. There will be a robot in the future doing farm work. In 3rd world countries farmers will be managers. Insect proteins will come to market and contain more protein than beef.

19. Education will be by smart phone. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own one. All will have the same access to world class education

20.  Big malls may have reached the end of their growth. The items sold by many retailers, that populate these massive malls, can now be seen and ordered by computer , and when the retail store has its own warehouse, the items can be delivered by  an in-house service, or picked up. When movies went on the internet, it was predicted the end of movie houses. It did not happen as people still enjoy going out. The same may, to some extent, be true for malls.

Name of author

Name: Murray Rubin

4 thoughts on “Changes are Coming to our Lives. Some are Already Here.

  • All of those changes may indeed be happening, but only one, I think, is really negative: education by smart phone. Real education requires face-to-face interaction between live teacher and live student, and especially for young students. As to the rest, no doubt there will be many adaptations to the situation(s), and since people must have meaningful work in their lives, new occupations will likely spring up. At least I hope so.

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