In his post, Jean-Jacques speculates what events and trends are likely to take front stage and center in 2008…trends with aftershocks that will shake the world beyond the year.
Among other things, Jean-Jacques’ well-thought list covers the United Nations’ proclamation of 2008 as the International Year of Languages to promote unity in diversity and global understanding.
He also covers the significance of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, tries to make sense of the looming recession, points out global zones of tension, and pays homage to expanding forms of communication which are affecting cultures in even the remotest corners of the world.
Here’s my list…
New York Times Square Ball
On the night of December 31, for the first time ever, a bunch of people stood in New York City’s Times Square and watched a lighted ball drop from a pole.
Call me crazy, but I’m convinced the ball drop thing’s going to catch on big time, for years to come.
What’s that? Oh, that was New York, 1908. Sorry. My bad. Let’s fast forward to 2008…
The Empire Shifts East
People tend to look at empires through polarized geo-stationary lenses. But, while most people think the Fall of Rome put an end to the Roman Empire, some realize the Empire survived; it just shifted west and eventually set up shop in the New World.
Last year, many recognized the beginning of another Empire shift when Halliburton moved headquarters to Dubai.
Ahhhh…Remember when New York was the Empire State? Those were the days, no? Alas, those days are gone.
While the United States is funding many a war-profiteer’s bon-voyage, while Freedom Tower still struggles (after 7 years!) to crawl out of its own basement, while we refuse to chunk a chimp from the Oval Office…Dubai, Shanghai, and Singapore have grown some truly impressive skylines that are pure twilight eye candy.
In 2008, I think more people will realize, for worse AND better, that the Empire is setting sail for a new home.
The death of the traditional, nuclear, one-race family used to be feared. Now it’s beginning to be embraced. Several trends are contributing to the phenomenon: Cross culture marriage. Cross culture adoption. Cross culture remarriage after having children. Cross culture same-sex remarriage with cross culture adopted step children. And, maybe most of all, less fear of change.
Of course, some will no doubt associate the breakdown of the nuclear family with the decline of morality in America. In contrast, I’ve noticed that the rate of lynchings has dramatically declined since the mid twentieth century heyday of the nuclear family. So, I say blend away!
The USA grows an unimagineable amount of corn, and we eat even more. Think high fructose corn syrup…yes, it’s made from corn. And it’s in your soda, chips, ketchup, hamburger bun, special sauce, and what do you think the cow who provided your all-beef patty ate? LOTSA CORN!
All that corn takes a lot of fertilizer to grow. The fertilizer is made out of oil. It’s spread by tractors with engines that require oil. The trucks that transport the corn from Iowa to the rest of the country use oil. The price of oil has gone up. And smarty-pants George W. Bush is now promoting the switch to use more ethanol — which is made from corn which requires so much oil to produce.
More oil to grow more corn with more of the corn going into your gas tank instead of your love handles. Connect the dots. Your Big Mac Attack is going to cost more in 2008.
In addition to the above trends, there are a few other trends that I’m hoping will reach critical mass and begin to snowball in 2008. How about a drastic decline in the popularity of Corporate broadcast “news”? I put “news” in quotes because so much of it is broadcast brainwashing picked and chosen with far too much priority placed on promoting or censoring ideas instead of imparting information objectively.
And, to end with a really vague prediction, I’ll hazard that advances in ambient intelligence, nanotechnology, and wireless networks will continue to blend together in unpredictable and spectacular ways that will change the daily routines of millions of people.
[tags]trends, 2008, empire, blended families, food inflation[/tags]