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Aphelion Editorial 066

January 2003

by Dan L. Hollifield

Hello and welcome!

Its the start of another calendar year, and the end of another year of Aphelion. Next month starts off Aphelion's 6th year! The world has changed many times since we began this little website. No doubt it will change many more times in the future. I found myself wondering what some of those changes will be, so here's a short list of a dozen things I came up with:

The laser beams in CD and DVD machines will change color from red to blue, thus allowing each disc to hold four times as much data as they presently do. I predict that there will be a dual system of both red and blue laser drives to make the changeover easier. After a short time, the blue beam systems will become the new standard. Until someone invents something even better, later.

Air travelers will begin shipping their luggage by UPS, DHL, or FedEx to cut back on delays caused by increased security procedures at US airports. Railroad and bus travel will increase as air travel decreases. Also, more people will buy their own airplanes.

The US will become less free the longer that terrorism continues. Many people will compare the new America to Nazi Germany. Sadly, almost no one will attempt to keep governmental excesses in check. Congress will vote themselves more and more raises and do even less than they do now to earn their pay. Electronic voting from your home computer will be viewed as undesirable by the government, as it might tend to get more people involved with the way their country is run.

Automobiles using more efficient gasoline engines will continue to be offered to the public instead of electric or hybrid gas/electric engines so that the oil companies will not lose money.

China will attempt to colonize Mars, which may draw the US back into space in a big way. If so, Earth's moon will become important as a source for raw materials to construct ships and lower costs by decreasing the amount of material that will have to be launched from Earth's higher gravity. NASA's Apollo landing sites will become historical monuments. Near Earth asteroids will be used as shuttles out to the main Asteroid Belt where mining will become a big industry.

Ozone factories will attempt to patch the holes in Earth's ozone layer. (I have no idea how this would work. Quite possibly this will cause something even worse to happen. As if decreasing pollution to fight global warming unexpectedly causes a new ice age.)

Personal Computers will continue to evolve. They will become even smaller, faster, and more portable. Eventually, PCs will become small enough to fit into jewelry, wrist watches, or sunglasses. I suggest that PC will come to stand for Portable Computer and a new term will be coined for home computers. Internet access will become a standard feature in homes, no different than electrical wiring, telephone service, TV, or plumbing. The internet will become just another common utility.

Political Correctness will stand revealed as the bigotry-on-steroids that it actually is.

Home schooling through the internet will replace public schools as the major means of child education. Public schools will evolve into day-care centers whose main function will be teaching social interaction and physical education while babysitting for working parents.

New cures for old diseases will be balanced by new diseases evolving. Medical schools will be given more funding. Geriatrics will become more important as more wealthy people begin to live longer.

The war on terrorism will be won as much by producing more food as by military action.

Autopilots will become standard features in automobiles and roadways will be upgraded to allow computer controlled traffic to move faster, with greater safety. Eventually, all vehicles not equipped for computer control will be barred from major roadways.

OK, some of these are way off in the future, but some of them very near-term. I'm no psychic, I'm just looking at the world as it is and making guesses as to what could happen. Its up to everyone to work toward the kind of future that they want to see come about. Your life is your own, make the most of it.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled fiction...

Thanks for your time.



2003 Dan L. Hollifield

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