Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wanted: Millennials to help move some of us from the 20th Century to the 21st Century






I find it distressing that so many young people have chosen not to engage in our political system.

One media outlet reported mid-term numbers for 2014 (13%) and for 2012 (12%) for 18-29 year young adults nationwide ~ Yikes!

I particularly find it distressing because I am so tired of listening to political chatter about our economy that can’t seem to make the shift from the 19th - 20th Centuries to the 21st Century and it is holding us back.

I am not adverse to history. I totally support remembering it, referring to it and taking the best of it and leaving the rest of it as we do but Good Grief! ~

 How can we possibly invest in tomorrow if our time in the public square is spent on railing against the loss of manufacturing and/or listening to Presidents Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson (just to touch on a few relics consistently pulled out the proverbial closet for whatever reason)?

We need to get a grip. Some things are gone. Some people are gone. Some things and people are never coming back. So, as we stand on the precipice of the destruction of our planet and/or of our system of government, it is critical that we recognize what works and continue to build on it and let go of what no longer works.

I am convinced Millennials will serve a very valuable role in finally moving us from the Industrial Revolution Era to what I am going to call the App Era, where we are applying all we have learned from the past and present to a brand new Era via technologies we could never have imagined before.

(The age frame for Millennials seems to still be up for debate but for my purposes, based on what I see with my own eyes with my own grandchildren, I’m going with 1978-1998 – digital age and digital globalization.)

I am hopeful they will do it within our system ~ in partnership with the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y categories of Americans, along with whatever the next new label of young people will be as those coming up now are already innovating like crazy!

In an effort to take my own advice I am not going to belabor the ancient debate that repeats almost exactly every time we transition from one Era to another.

 I am going to ask we open our minds to what might be possible while taking a look at just five of the new places we are headed so we can put old political thinking into perspective as we move into the 2016 presidential election. And remember when we hear old talk to ask how much of our time and energy really should be spent there.

One.
Tube Transportation Networks


" ... When Elon Musk unveiled his idea for the Hyperloop in August of 2013, no one seemed sure what the next step would be. The Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO dropped a 57-page alpha white paper on us, noting he didn’t really have the time to build a revolutionary transit system that would shoot pods full of people around the country in above-ground tubes at 800 mph. Fortunately for futurists and people who enjoy picking apart complicated plans, an El Segundo, California-based startup has taken Musk up on his challenge to develop and build the Hyperloop. ... "

Two.
Air Atmospheric Water Harvesters



" ... It was this dilemma—supplying drinking water in a way that's both practical and convenient—that served as the impetus for a new product called Warka Water, an inexpensive, easily-assembled structure that extracts gallons of fresh water from the air. The invention from Arturo Vittori, an industrial designer, and his colleague Andreas Vogler doesn't involve complicated gadgetry or feats of engineering, but instead relies on basic elements like shape and material and the ways in which they work together. At first glance, the 30-foot-tall, vase-shaped towers, named after a fig tree native to Ethiopia, have the look and feel of a showy art installation. But every detail, from carefully-placed curves to unique materials, has a functional purpose. …”

Three.
 Space-Based Power Stations
 “Space-based power stations on the horizon”


“ … Space-based solar power could eventually prove to be an alternative source of electricity for Japan, as the country struggles to find the best energy mix to lessen its dependence on thermal and nuclear power.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been conducting studies in the hopes of erecting huge solar panels in space to generate electricity in the near future.
The basic idea is simple: Build a solar power station in geostationary orbit to gather sunlight; convert the energy to solar electricity, and then direct it via microwaves or laser beams to receiving antennas on Earth. … “

Four.



“MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—The first rule of riding in Google's self-driving car, says Dmitri Dolgov, is not to compliment Google's self-driving car. We've been cruising the streets of Mountain View for about ten minutes. Dolgov, the car's software lead, is sitting shotgun. Brian Torcellini, the project's lead test driver (read: "driver"), is sitting behind the wheel (yes, there is a wheel). He is doing no more to guide the vehicle than I'm doing from the backseat. I have just announced that so far the trip has been "amazingly smooth." … “

Five.
3-D Printing



^^^ I do believe that photo speaks for itself!Courtesy of and story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2889393/New-arm-great-present-Charlie-5-Limb-using-3D-printer-means-schoolboy-properly-grips-gifts-year.html

If you are a Millennial we need you. If you know a Millennial, tell him or her that!

Invite them to the table…

G. aka Partisan Democrat



(*** A big shout out to  
Most of what I've found looking forward comes from or is inspired by them. )