Future-proof yourself

Sometimes I worry about the future. (When I’m not sleeping I mean). I think about the long haul truck drivers that are going to be out of work. I think about the UPS guy in his turd colored overall getting replaced by a turd colored drone… but most of all I worry about the strippers!

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In a cashless society… how would this work? How will these lithe, fearless acrobats be able to put themselves through college anymore? Will strip joints have to put these performers on a payroll? Where will the hedge fund managers go for lunch? Will society fall apart? Will boobs be relegated to mere mammary gland status?

Think about that next you hit up your crypto-exchange. You guys are killing an institutionalized industry (and maybe the world). I hope you’re proud of yourselves!

Pompeii v2.0

ie. the town in ancient Rome that was covered in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted… (looks it up) in 79AD. My initial guess was only about 100 years off. What did we do before Google? Make stuff up? *Jo laughs sardonically*

My enduring memory of visiting Pompeii is that of a giant penis.

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Apparently dick jokes were a thing 2000 years ago. We’ve definitely moved on since then… I want to say we’ve taken our dick jokes online… drawing them out in beach sand, corn fields and on frozen lakes and then following it up with some adroit drone-work… but occasionally you will still find a giant schlong hastily illustrated on some suburban concrete canvas.

If a modern day eruption were to cover us in volcanic ash, preserving us for posterity… how would we look like to a future generation two thousand years from now?

Likely I would be caught in my natural state, occupying some weird, unergonomic position that is not quite supine cradling my Macbook and trying to take one last sip of coffee. Hopefully with my pants on. Assuming the latter, quite a dignified way to be preserved I feel.

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Not all of us will be that lucky though. I can only imagine our future progenies mouthing the words, ‘What… the actual… fuck is going on here… is that girl… wearing Crocs?’

To be fair I might be being a bit presumptuous when it comes to assuming a gender here…

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When someone at Google takes a good, long, hard look at your browsing history…

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Not me of course. *waves his hands dismissively* I’m a Saint.

Saint Joey. Patron Saint of lost causes and hopeless cases. (I’m so good they double barrelled my portfolio)

Mind you, if you are a good person (and deemed worthy of sainthood) would you really want to be canonized by the evil empire slash Catholic church? Not exactly being elevated to a position of eminence by your peers… #justsaying.

Do you think we could potentially mandate someone else to determine our paragons of virtue? Like… I don’t know… Alphabet Inc maybe?

I mean if anyone knows your true self… its going to be those guys… albeit buried deep in some underground water-cooled server-room. At least we could base sainthood on some form of analytics… instead of post humorous… I mean posthumous miracles. Which I always thought was a little sketchy (and open to interpretation).

Larry Page versus Pope Francis, now theres a celebrity death-match I could get behind.

Life is cheap.

Arithmetically, this does make sense to me…

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I’d like to say that suspected murderers aren’t really released on bail of $34 in South Africa. But it does happen.

Still… I’d probably caution against murdering tv-license inspectors. The opportunity cost of sitting in a holding cell with several Ne’er-do-wells that will inevitably… eh… test the structural integrity of your sphincter, while your bail hearing is continually postponed for a month seems steep. From what I understand they don’t even buy you dinner first…

Protest statistics…

…that I made up. While supine on the sofa. Watching Gilmore Girls. And eating microwave popcorn.

And while I realise made up statistics aren’t always accurate… I feel, since this is my blog, I am entitled to foist my particular narrative onto whoever deigns to read this far.

In any event I am pretty confident that if you live in the first world, 95% of all outrage should actually be relabelled as ‘at most a mild-annoyance or misunderstanding, that has been whipped up to a foamy consistency and then portrayed as life or death through verbose language’. Potentially typed out all in capitals. Often championed by a demagogue or someone seeking to make their life seem relevant or meaningful (again).

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Leaving 5% for genuine outrage.

Quickly checks that actually adds up to 100%. Okay… we’re good. Wouldn’t want to be derailed by maths.

Rory Gilmore is about to drop out of Yale. My wife annotates for me. I only have this vague sense of whats going on. Apparently this is quite a watershed moment though.

Our Friday nights are super exciting (these days).

Marketing 101

Marketing is the process by which a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction is communicated to you… and then something is offered to you to correct that perceived deficiency.

For example…

I had NO IDEA gluten free parking even existed. But now that I know… CLEARLY this is something that I need.

But now that I know… What if they run out of gluten free parking bays? I think I’m starting to develop some anxiety about all of this. Will I just be able to switch back to regular? Is that even legal? I’m starting to think this sort of thing should probably be mandated by the state. And maybe a professional body should be set up, for monitoring and control purposes. There are a lot of shysters out there (look at me getting my yiddish on) and we need to safeguard our society against these unscrupulous operators.

Anyway, I think the important take away here is that education is KEY.

Good luck out there. Stay frosty!!

Outsourced!

And you dare mock Capitalism…

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This frees up a lot of my time. Its been great! I haven’t decided whether I want to upgrade to the full self-loathing package yet. Apparently for an extra $1 he’ll run himself into a brick wall.

On the one hand I feel a little bad for him. On the other, he’s earning money which he can use to support his venerable parents and twelve siblings. I do however feel morally obligated to try and balance his capacity to sustain brain damage at my behest with his own hard currency requirements. (I don’t think he’s educated enough to understand what he’s doing is bad for him)

In any event. I totally recommend this new feature. Also the app is great. Very user friendly.

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Its the end of the world…

as we know it. – REM, Document, 1987

And I feel fine?

Many of us like to imagine the things that will end the world. Or is that just me? Perhaps I shouldn’t broadly speculate about what other people do in the bathtub. In my case its usually that, or playing with my U-boat. No, that is not a euphemism. Its an actual scale model U-boat. I thought a plastic yellow duck cast doubt on my masculinity and general Alpha male… eh, ness.

In any event, when I’m not stalking merchant ships in the North Atlantic my mind is drawn to apocalyptic scenarios… like a moth is drawn to the blue light of a bug zapper. I amuse myself with schema that will most likely cause the end times. Asteroids. Artificial intelligence. Anthrax. Which are all very cute (and alliterated) But the real threat ALREADY lives among us! They are known to us. We interact with them every day. We might even be fond of some of them. But these people are the walking, breathing embodiment of the end times. I’m talking about the greatest danger to continued human existence to ever walk the earth, I’m talking about the Baby Boomers.

And their stubborn refusal to die!

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Apparently seventy is the new fifty. My old man just turned 71. He is the walking embodiment of the problem we face. He is healthy, strong and certainly doesn’t fit the mold of the decrepit elderly person he should be by now! There is literally nothing wrong with him, besides the fact that he’s annoying… his doctor gives him a solid thumbs up once a year when he does his full medical. He’s even learnt how to use an iPhone. Which I find mind boggling. He comes from a generation of telex-machines, chalk board stock exchanges and post cards.

The old man is anomalous in so far as he did the much vaunted retirement thing ten years ago. He contributed dutifully to his retirement fund. Did the whole living annuity thing which pays him out until he’s 99. (Which he might actually reach) That’s 28 years away. His mother reached the venerable age of 99. (she was still driving at 90)

This is problematic for two reasons. Well maybe more. Lets see how we go…

REASON 1

Not all Baby Boomers planned for their retirement. Which means they have to carry on working. Which means they stubbornly occupy higher order positions in a company that should be cycling. Only they’re not. Because they’re not retiring… and they’re not dying. So they’re causing this strange bottle neck which cascades down the chain of command. Suddenly the middle manager is in his position longer than his predecessor… the bottom of the barrel guys can’t move up the chain either… because the middle managers can’t move up.

Imagine starting out at a company… instead of up cycling every couple of years, YOU occupy the bottom tier for double the amount of time. More importantly your salary stays the same. ie. LOW. You dare not quit, because there are twenty five graduates with MBA’s and a mountain of student debt waiting outside for your job.

Your twenties and early thirties are supposed to set you up financially. But now being stuck at the bottom for longer means a whole bunch of things. One, if you have student debt… that’s gonna take longer to pay off. And two… less disposable income. Why less disposable income, because old people aren’t dying, plus normal population urbanization means a lack of affordable housing. Just paying your rent in an area where it won’t take you two hours to get to work in the morning is half your salary.

Old people are also going to start putting tremendous pressure on health care. The fact that cancer is now treatable makes the insurance companies very sad. They used count on cancer culling the population. Now people carry on living. The longer they live, the more expensive they become to maintain. Old people fall… break a hip, spend five weeks in the hospital… AND RECOVER. You know how much that costs? Millions. Suddenly the money pool is getting smaller… and smaller… and either they can cut back on what they cover… Or… they can increase the monthly cost to cover the shortfall because the Baby Boomers, like the dusty vampires they are, suck it dry.

REASON 2

Pensions run on mathematical formulas that hypothesize how many people are going to die and when. Up until now its been super accurate. It helps keep the pool of money at a healthy level. In fact pension funds had so much money they didn’t know what to do with it. So they bought shopping malls. Now that people are living longer… anyways… it creates a lot of headaches. Even worse headaches for developed countries like Japan and Germany, where healthcare is free and people rely on government pensions. Those aging populations are economically not a viable anymore… but they’re going to cost a fortune to maintain. And you can’t just let them fend for themselves… because those people vote… and for the most part are politically more active than younger people.

REASON 3

No legacy. This sound a little cold hearted and mean, but its a real thing. Inheritance. The longer your parents live… the less you’re going to inherit. Legacy is a huge builder of inter-generational wealth. Its big part of privilege. The longer baby boomers live… the less there is at the end of the day to pass down to the next generation. Looks like you won’t be able to count on daddies death to pay off that mortgage anymore. (Obviously this might not apply to you…)

REASON 4

Burden. The other end of inheritance. Your parents never catered for their retirement. Or have run out of funds. You can abandon them on the street, which I hear some people do these days. Alternatively you can take them in. And care for them. They bring nothing with them to this particular party and they additionally burden you by eating your food, using your utilities and are continuously asking you to change the channel on ‘The Netflix’. At the same time you have to buy diapers for your insanely expensive toddler, you have to buy diapers for your insanely expensive father-in-law. Even worse if you eventually have to get a carer… or someone to help bath them…

REASON 5

Your boss is an 80 year old. He remembers the war. Which war you’re not entirely certain… but it sounds like he may have actually fought in one… and not, you know, piloting a drone. They used to do that you know… I saw it on History.

You have NOTHING in common with your boss. He doesn’t understand you newfangled marketing ideas. In fact every single idea you pitch him is met with a glazed look. Every day you think about how much you hate your boss… you often think about shooting yourself in the head. You imagine going home…. to your sanctuary. But then remember… that your two screaming children and your father in law have used up all your hot water by now. You re-evaluate why you are actually still alive…

 

The good news is. Well… I’m not sure if this is good news or not. But you too will likely live a really long time. Possibly managing to be a burden on society and your children. If the world hasn’t imploded by then I mean.

Yay us!