The year is 2099 (Heavy Dramatization)

altered-carbon

Awake

The year is 2099. You wake up in a cold bed surrounded in darkness. The air around you hisses in release and the platform supporting your body begins moving. You are suddenly overwhelmed by light and notice you have a splitting headache. You emerge into a white room, nothing mantled to the walls surrounding you. The cords in the back of your neck release with a pinch and you swing your feet over the side of the now visible bed. An image of someone rocketing through the clouds passes through your mind’s eye. You swear the blood slamming into your frontal lobe sounds like gunfire. You need to deal with this headache. Grunting as you lean forward, you embark on the journey to your medicine cabinet.

The next room you walk into fades from glowing white to a crisp crimson canvas on every wall minus one. In its place is a window flashing with a neon display. It’s a grand sliding window. Outside is a dark, hazy yet bright and beautiful world. The skies are black and heavily overcast. The horizon is crowded with skyscrapers, apartment buildings, LED Screens and antenna’s flashing red and blue in sequence. Suddenly you hear the phone ring. Looking around, you struggle to find the source yet it seems to be ringing directly in front of you. A hologram appears in front of your pupil with the options “Accept” or “Decline”.  It’s Deshaun, a life long friend. You have no idea what is going on, you let it go to voicemail.

The New World 

Headache having since subsided and forgotten, you find some clothes and throw on a jacket and shoes before leaving the strange house. The streets are filled with music and ruckus. Your adrenaline spikes as this is completely foreign to you; what happened? Yesterday you went under the needle for revolutionary technology to fix your spine only to awake into a world of lights and chaos. Walking around you notice almost everything is digitalized. There must be something planted in your head because every time you look into a vendor shop you are bombarded with sales tickets and price tags. The news is playing on LED Screens asking you to “integrate for More” – whatever that means. People are crowding the streets. As they walk by their social media, now called CSM (Collective Social Mainframe), history floats above their heads. Every account ever made, every search ever sought. The relationship and health status along with sexual orientation and occupation right in front of your eyes. Nothing was left to mystery.

As you round the next street corner, you hear a *PING* followed by “Location status updated” and a Check-In Successful banner in front of your eyes. You have no reason to worry, yet you already understand this could be dangerous. You hear a commotion and look to your left. Worried, you peak into the nearest shop only to be surprised to see a woman suspended in space. A large screen displays the visual in her brain. She’s competing in a tennis match against sixty-million others in a form of alternative reality. Looking past the woman, you notice a multitude of others floating alongside her. One man is learning Karate, another is sky diving in a vast open concept. It seems to be above the amazon rain forest. Didn’t that burn to the ground in 2021? Further down, a child was swimming through the Coral Reef of the French-Polynesian Ocean.

This world is much more advanced than the era you left behind in 2039.

*PING* “Location Status Updated” Check-in Successful. The physical “Guffaw” written across your face is posted as a selfie to what looks to be an Instagram evolutionary platform.

All at once, you are overwhelmed and turn to race home. “Initiate Fast-Travel?” appears in front of you. You’re so anxious to get back to the silence of your home that you act without thinking. The world flashes around you and suddenly you are in your living room. You fall to the ground, weak in the knees from excitement and on the verge of going unconscious. Only to be settled by a familiar name appearing at the center of your field of view.

“Deshaun” you scream, “What is this!”.

“Uhm… a phone call?” He says, “Where have you been, we’re getting destroyed” A jet is heard in the background with explosions. “Get in your animus and let’s go”. He hangs up the call.

Plugged In

preview-120810-0PYaYq3dN4-high_0000

Once again sealed in darkness and confined to a tube. The space around you begins buzzing and you can feel your eyes close only to open again to everything. Blue sky, green forest, bright sand, high mountains, and open water – and falling… FALLING?! You reach the ground with a parachute. You notice virtually zero pain factor in your landing. Your arms, legs, and torso are equipped cybernetically and you feel like you could run forever. Instinct has taken over and you feel a sense of familiarity. You have done this before. Bullets begin flying and so you take cover behind a tree. Your eyes flash with reflective screening and you see the others coming toward you. You react and take down one enemy but feel a seering pain in your left shoulder. You’ve been hit and it’s fatal. You fall to your knees, half relieved that the chaos was ending. As your body de-atomizes, you appear to the animus opening once again and your friend is standing outside the chamber looking very disappointed. 

Finally, Some Answers

You demand he not look at you with such disdain and explain what is happening. He is confused at first but quickly pieces everything together after you give a brief recollection of the events passed. He selects a program through CSM and smacks the side of your head with his tablet. A demonstration video appeared in front of you for Spinal Disc Fusion. Only the surgery went wrong and left you in a coma. The closest of kin responded after two years by opting for quality of life over dismissal of life. You emerged from your coma in total stasis fifty-nine years later. You remained a soldier, you maintained your identity, you lived a very exciting life regardless of it being virtually augmented. You may be the same but the world has since changed. 

Deshaun spends the next few hours filling you in on the events passed. He too was injured in battle but was asleep on site. He was then put in stasis and VR until coming out of his coma in 2092. Since then, the world has become fully digitalized. Physical dollars have been replaced with crypto-currency. Everyone who can afford to do so has a brand of CSM technology intertwined within their nervous systems. Phone companies no longer exist, laptops and smart-phones are obsolete, the O-Zone layer has since become non-existent and replaced with a protective digital bubble encasing the earth. This became congested with carbon due to the coral reef dying, the amazon burning and the green-house gases rising to an all-time high. In response, all fossil-fuel-based vehicles have been decommissioned and rendered obsolete, unfortunately, it was too late.

Analyzing Trends for The Better

The big companies integrated biotechnology to get a real-time response on future trends. The world has no other choice than to live and breathe data analysis. The way we live life is now through virtual reality. We live, or relive, our moments inside of the animus and CSM. We shop through e-commerce transaction POS and find our social groups through bio-bubbles above a person’s head and meet up with loved ones online.    Deshaun admits that the beauty of life is not as easily accessible as it once was but we do the best with what we have. We analyze trends and statistics to make sure every step taken forward from this point on means somethings. Hopefully, eventually, and with the help of  Los Alamos National Laboratory, we can make enough progress to fix all that we have done to the planet. 

Until then, we enjoy our lives within VR and make the proper choices to collect significant data in the case we one day stumble upon a solution for a literal brighter future.

Moving ForwardCC-130

The year is 3000 and you are standing at the back of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules in flight with the cargo door wide open. You reminisce on the day you woke up and note how things have changed. You’ve become a functional member of a tactical team collecting data on fuel and minerals that can help reverse the damage. You have since received upgrades and are able to utilize the CSM network to its fullest capabilities. You are sending tweets, creating vlogs on your findings, starting conversations with your following and you are networking with professionals across the world to help adjust the grim nature of the outside world. You feel whole. You look out onto the horizon knowing the answer must be out there somewhere. You smile from the anticipation. You access the CSM and make a very brief description of how you feel at that moment. You post the thought, look down… and jump. 

*PING* “Location Status Updated” Check-in Successful.

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 18.44.31

 

Prologue: I hope everyone enjoyed this entry. I understand this blog was overly-dramatized, but I hope I properly conveyed how big data analysis is in the grand scheme of the future and our impact on social media or vice a versa. How are you using data analysis to impact your future online and offline?

 

facebook-png-icon-follow-us-facebook-1 Hey guys! Have you ever played with the idea of how the future of social media may look? Check this out: https://bit.ly/2Vr4Fhh

twitter-round-logo-png-transparent-background-7 The year is 2099 #Futureofsocialmedia #Blog

 

 

Limitless Opportunity – How Will You Use Your Time?

What if I told you there is a way you could be quit your job at FreshCo?

What if I told you that you didn’t need to go to University?

What if I told you all you needed to live independent and happy was a cell-phone, laptop or iPad?

You would most likely give me a side-eyed look and tell me what I was going on about.

The old days are gone

It’s true though. The days spent conventionally chasing success are long behind us. Don’t get me wrong, the process is still grueling and nerve-wracking, but the outlets have grown and so have the chances of becoming successful. Aside from a piece of technology, you need to have a stone-will and an intrepid nature. So many individuals find themselves at a loss in their careers, lacking opportunity and not enough resources to climb as high as they would like to. With social media, a ceiling only exists where we set it.

We can reach more people

Never before have we been able to network with as many people in one day as we can today. In the past, you could only meet with as many people as you had time to travel to in one day. Let’s set the average at 2-3 people per day. Today, you can send 20 personalized E-mails in 60 minutes. You can mass message your entire contact list the same message in a matter of seconds. This advantage saves time, money and the principles of this tool floods into the social-media revolution.

giphy

Our voices matter

On social media platforms, we can reach whomever we need to speak with in a matter of seconds. It has also hosted the birth of opinions that have changed world-views. We no longer have to be subjugated to the views of our communities. We are free to make an impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world. This comes with its own list of risks, but for the most part, we are all influencers in our own right.

Uncle ben

However you choose to use your influence, there will be a cause and effect. If people enjoy your effect on them, then this can be monetized. That’s right, people are willing to pay for a product or service that you post online. You no longer need to leave the house, work your life away in a factory or travel across the country to produce income! As I stated above, all that is required is perseverance and imagination.

The hard truth

What follows next is where I lose the attention of my audience, but it is vitally important. Anyone can be a self-proclaimed entrepreneur these days. Everyone and their uncle believes they can be the next upcoming sensational superstar. This inherently comes with long days and late nights. This means loneliness and aggravation for many years. Gary Vaynerchuk has an iconic saying: “Get used to eating dirt and be willing to do that for the next 10 years”. People aren’t ready for this. The average person does not want to lose sacrifice comfort and quality of life for the long-term goal.

20989288_10155597319193350_4870999994249867169_o

Use This Time to Your Advantage

Now I get it, not everyone wants to be an internet sensation. In reality, this is a massive weight if not fully desired. I just wanted to illustrate my point, which is that the limitations have been diminished. Anything is possible in the age we live in. You are free to claim whichever lane you wish to drive in. you can forge your own path and this is becoming increasingly evident. The knowledge to learn anything you want is at your fingertips with a wifi connection. If you have been feeling suffocated or restless during this pandemic, you may be surprised to discover the air you need could be breathed in through your online learning. You can relieve the restlessness through a finite transition of finger movements. I firmly believe the best use of this isolation period can be spent online learning, understanding new concepts, discovering possible new hobbies and ultimately setting yourself up for success when this pandemic becomes history.

Where do you stand? Will you use this time to become a better painter? Will you learn strategies to rewire your business model? Are you going to learn how to invest in the stock market? Maybe you’re a starving musician and need the push of a more attentive audience. Now is the time to restrategize and take advantage of the opportunity presented to you. What will you do?

As always, I hope my readers are staying inside and are all doing well. We’ll be through this soon.

 

facebook-png-icon-follow-us-facebook-1  We live in the greatest time, How will you use your limitless possibility? https://bit.ly/2ULwpOl
twitter-round-logo-png-transparent-background-7 How are you using your time? #Ageofopportunity https://bit.ly/2ULwpOl

 

 

 

 

 

Is Virtual Reality our New Reality?

Is Virtual Reality our New Reality?

Life is beautiful and mundane at the same time. We can look under rocks and find wonders of the world but still struggle with how unstimulating everyday life is. Some people find a thrill taking part in the rat race of a society we live in, and still, others run from the world by hiding in their homes.  What if there was a place you could stay inside AND feel as if you are living to your fullest potential? Where do we go to find the perfect balance for everyone?

tenor

Facebook will soon be launching a beta virtual reality program called Horizon. In this virtual construct, you can plug in and spend time with friends across the world. The player obtains seemingly limitless potential when using their oculus lens.

“Have you ever dreamed of flying a plane? Plug into Horizon.”

“Do you find yourself dissatisfied with the seemingly dull terrain of planet earth? Plug into Horizon and brand yourself ‘xXThanos_BuilderofWorlds_999Xx’ “

“Are you growing stir-crazy during this pandemic, ready to risk it all and breathe in the contaminated oxygen of the outside world? Don’tjust plug into Horizon.

Facebook-Horizon-Social-VR-768x432

 

I joke but this is essentially the promise social media is preparing to deliver. The opportunities are grand and truly limitless. Now bear with me as I flip the coin. I have a few concerns about this. Virtual reality has been around for longer than we realize, (1800’s – https://bit.ly/2UJPpLX), but realistically it began in the 1990s. Ever since then many people have hypothesized the possibility of people becoming obsessed with this “perfect” new world. Similar to the effects of digital technology, I would be willing to predict that it will become all-consuming for a large demographic. Introverts and trauma survivors may argue virtual-reality is the only place they can feel completely free, safe and in control. 

Now, I am not purposely targetting anyone for any reason in this entry, I would just like to explore the risks of a platform or product before allowing myself to accept the positives. That is only human nature. With that being said, I have had one experience with virtual reality. This experience was the most stimulating moment I have experienced in a long time. I found myself craving to return to this empowering technology. Anything was possible for me once the oculus was over my eyes. I believe that should I have continued, I would have lost touch with the magic of reality. I was scrolling through my timeline a few weeks back and saw that a mother was able to reconnect with her deceased daughter via VR  It was emotional and terrifying at the same time. I understand the closure this may theoretically provide, but my heart sank for the poor mother. Knowing myself, I believe this would lead to an unhealthy habit of returning to that dreary, dark wood yard to see a figment of my imagination, sorrow, and deepest desire.

Below I am including two social media posts to further either side of my argument. I hope you enjoy them.

Blossom Tree in VR

Virtual Reality can be taken to the extreme

As demonstrated in the above links, there are many different uses for virtual reality. Although, is there something I’m missing? Leave a comment below and let me know.

If you do find yourself wanting to go outside these days, follow my promotion above and just Don’t – Plug in. 😉 Stay safe you guys.

Austin

SLC FAHP 2020

 

 

 

 

What Truly Matters?

I spoke with my grandmother the other day. We had been talking about “The Good Ol’ Days”. She told me tales of her childhood. She described the days spent scraping her knees in the dirt, riding horses in the small field her family groomed, a garden in which she picked only the richest tomatoes. She spoke of running without shoes, she told me about harsh winters by the wood-stove and long trips across the lake on her father’s 1968 Yamaha Snowmobile. She stated it was a simpler time full of happiness. My grandmother was not born into wealth. Her father and mother built their home on a small plot of land and raised a family on the dirt. She states to have gone without shoes most summers and they never had money to do luxurious things, but she said it was a happy home and the hard times made her a strong person.

She then tells me how her life has seemingly become more complicated with the advancement of technology. She spends most days working and irrationally fearing being replaced by a machine. Her friends are always at her finger-tips but seldom share the same space. Her youngest grandchildren are unable to focus long enough to complete a puzzle or share a movie. She has no idea how to access her online passwords if forgotten and she always feels like she is stuck online during her spare time. She tells me that nobody sits down to share a meal anymore without their phones, the only time she can truly get recognition is by learning what a “selfie” is and asking someone to take one with her. She feels that Social Media has stolen the things she loved about life and doesn’t understand the benefits.

I took a moment to pause and reflect. I see so much positivity in social media that I had a hard time understanding at first. I told my grandmother that there were so many benefits to having this new-age technology. I live three hours from her and do not yet possess a car through which I can just drive over. Due to social media and technology, she can check-in on me at any moment throughout the day no matter where I am. I can set up video-chat and see her face whenever I choose to. Long gone are the days that you had to wait for a loved one to be in front of you to see their face. I set up DUO video chat on her phone and laptop and showed her how to contact me through Facebook if she so chooses. My grandmother has had her hip and knee replaced and struggles to walk most days. With today’s advancements, she can order groceries online via multiple different apps or on Facebook. I promptly set this up in the case she may ever need it. https://peterborough.mrsgrocery.com/

My Gram is very skeptical of what dangers could arise in the world and always wants to be prepared. I taught her about Twitter. She tried to shut me down here. She told me her FOX news and Chex television were good enough for her. To which I responded, “Gram, what is something you’ve always wanted to know about right that second” Interestingly enough she says “I’m very overwhelmed with all of this COVID-19 stuff, It scares me. Is there any good news?”. I then proceeded to follow The World Health Organization on Twitter and she was delighted to find that her anxiety was comforted knowing that steps were being taken and one day, this would all come to pass if she just followed the recommendations. https://twitter.com/WHO

At this point, all I wanted to do was to help her feel more positively about her relationship with social media as it pertained to her quality of life. At this moment, I saw her eyes become young and mischievous. This amazing tribute to women everywhere upheld the legacy by instigating a challenge for me. She tells me that she’s impressed. Then followed up with, “If this stuff is so great, show me where I can learn something new”, followed up with a checkered grin and an eyebrow raise. Unfortunately, she underestimated me. I opened youtube and found three videos on the skills she was looking for.

I felt satisfied with my efforts. I felt I had changed her perspective and gave her a clear understanding of how these new social entities could improve her life. I gave her a hug and kissed her on the cheek. But before I left, I noticed the dullness was still there. She was well-informed but it didn’t change her perspective. On her side, family and simplicity is everything. On my (generational) side, I (we) are content with the direction the world is moving in. This begs the question, what truly matters?

 

Austin Foster