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State of the World in 2018

Updated on December 12, 2018
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

This year 2018 is rapidly ending. The end of year is a time for celebration and reflections. How we are doing as a nation and as a member nation in a world community full of strife is on the fore front. A year that is not without controversy.

From climate change to Brexit from the EU to the riots in Paris to the unrest in South Africa...every where we look, signs of distress. From natural disasters like the forest fire in CA and the earthquake in Alaska, to the human tragedy on our southern borders with the caravan of assylum seekers... life is not easy in 2018. The world economy is also under stress with the roller coaster stock market and the on and off again trade wars of tarriffs, we are living in “interesting times”,

- Dec. 2018

Background

There are many issues on the table. Some are on going for millennium such the arab Israeli conflict. Some are more recent such as North Korea’s nuclear program. What are the top 5 events that shape 2018?

As a conservative, I may have a different perspective than Time Magazine. I am also biased towards the US. We tend to think the world revolves around us but obviously it does not. There are some issues that affect all of us on a global scale. Choosing the top five is not as easy as it sounds. However, the US does have great influence being the only super power around. What happens to US politics and trade affect the world political and economic scene.

Here are my top five choices for 2018.

  • Brexit from the EU
  • Appointment of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
  • US China Trade
  • Caravan of Asylum seekers on the border
  • advances in AI technology

Obviously there are many important issues but they did not rise to the top five in my opinion. Some might think climate change or Iran or North Korea or Amazon or race relations and Google and Apple and technology and privacy concerns are more impactful...

The top five I‘ve chosen are somewhat related. They are underlying the global debate between nationalism and globalism. There are two distinct camp of thinking. On the one hand, there are some who believes in the soverignty of an individual nation to determine its own destiny. On the other side, there are some who believes we should be united under one global government- One World Order.

Let me explore in detail.

Time Magazine Cover - Person of the Year

Details...

(1) The Brexit debate is a microcosm of this issue. The EU is on the side of the one world order and want to expand that view, while Britain wants out of this arrangement. They have decided among themselves, not without controversy, that it is a losing proposition.

In a way, the EU was the first attempt at a world government model. It created a unified system of government across 28 different nations such that they are linked by commerce and citizenship and laws, and 19 member states adopted a common currency - the Euro.

As can be seen in the recent riots in Paris and the union strikes in Greece...combining various nations under one roof is not easy.

(2) The nomination and confirmation of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court of the US is a huge deal. It may have long term implications for the US and indeed the world for decades to come. A typical justice serves for 30 years on the bench especially if that individual is healthy of mind and body.

This fight over the nomination was indicative of how far a group will go to try and stop this. The last minute charges brought on by Dr. Ford was a failed attempt to abort this nomination. It brought to the forefront the debate over #metoo movement as well. It was an ugly fight and totally unfair to all involved.

The long term implication is that our supreme court will be dominated by a conservative interpretation of our Constitution rather than a liberal interpretation, perhaps for a generation. This is bad news for the one world order proponents who wants the US to embrace a world government and make our Constitution bend under it.

(3) The US China trade debate is also top on that list. Being the number one and number two commerce countries, what is negotiated will have implications for the rest of the world. Included in this discussion are fairness and currency manipulation and intellectual property rights and tariffs...

When you get down to it, it is about individual sovereignty. If we are all to be part of an international nation states, there would be no need for these discussIons. What would it mean to be a “most favorite nation“ state in terms of trade?

Each nation should act in the best interest of its citizens. That is what works in the past. It is also what a free enterprise economy demands. In pure macro economics, the nation that can produce the best product at the lowest price should win. That is what drives efficiency. If China can grow the best tea, they should dominate that market. If US can raise the best tasting beef, it should be allowed to sell any where in the world...

(4) The caravan of immigrants making its way to our southern borders is another example of sovereignty. This issue is tied to our whole immigration debate. Who has a right to enter the US? What is the correct process? What do we do when people try and go around the process? We are not talking about a few people. If that was the case, no one would care. Here, we have thousands of people, men, women and child, crossing one country Mexico, and getting to our southern borders seeking asylum. This is only one scenario. We have many other cases of people coming here illegally, either through human trafficking, or over staying visitor or student VISAs or using false documents and coming here bypassing the INS procedures.

If we would to just allow them to enter for humanitarian reasons, what would happen next year? and the year after that? That is the dilemma.

(5) What does AI have to do with all this? Artificial Intellegence has been around for over 70 years. In the beginning, it was thought if we could just build a bigger and faster computer, someday we would be as smart as humans. As it turned out, it was not to be. Luckily for us, these faster computers are amazing tools and help us do our jobs more efficiently but they cannot replace human intuition or intelligence.

However, a recent development in computer learning may change that. It is a break through of sort. It is the first time when a computer, was not programmed to solve a problem but it was given the rules to the game of chess, and left to figure out the best winning strategy. It does this by playing thousand of games against other chess programs. It learns by trial and error. Everytime it lost, it build a database of moves that it knows are good or bad in a particular board position. It even developed new moves not seen before in high ranking chess masters. In a way, that is how humans behave and learn. This is ground breaking in the sense the computer is not restricted to just a set of “instructions”. It is “thinking” its way around a problem and finding unique solutions. It can do this much faster than humans. It may take it minutes to learn what a human learns in decades.

There are still tremendous challenges for a computer to replace a human worker. For example, a human can make on the spot decisions that are equally good or equally bad and not flinch. A computer program is always looking for the optimum path and may have to give up at some point. What is that deciding point? This is what human trait calls intuition. We can make a decision based on a hunch and not anything concrete.

Tying it all together, we are at a technological point in our development where there is a fork in the road. In one path, do we continue as individuals and make our free choices as individuals and live with the consequences as dictated by our Constitution or do we submit to a greater will, a unified body, a one world order, and a “collective” using a term borrowed from Star Trek the next Generation, such as the Borgs.

It does seem evolution is taking us down that path. Some people are contemplating implants of chips to their brain and enhancing their ability.

Where do we draw the line?

Who is Dividing Us?

There are some indicators which lifts the curtain behind the scenes. You have large conglomerate companies like Google and Facebook working to divide us. With their huge dominance of social media and the search engines on the web, they are using their power to influence you and me. It is done almost subliminally. These are very smart people. They would not do it on purpose.

They are exercising their personal beliefs and allowing them to cross over to affect their business.

An internal video surfaced recently that show executives at Google almost in tears after the 2016 election. There were certain indicators where search results and user prompts were changed to help Hillary. Now, we learn they are working on a search engine for the Chinese market where the government will have censor capabilities over the outcome...who is to say, if the technology exist, they are not testing it on us already?

With Facebook, it was learned they are biasd in the way news feeds were selected. Some conservative web sites were blocked.

Here is one experiment that opened some eyes on both sides. When people were asked to switch sides on social media.

A more insideous method is to shadowban someone on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of it yet, an Instagram Shadowban is when your hashtags become ‘un-discoverable’. You can use your hashtags, however, you’ll only show up in hashtag feeds of your current followers. This means that your images won’t show up in hashtag feeds of anyone who DOESN’T follow you. Obviously, this will reduce the reach of your account, making it much harder to reach a new audience.

You have to wonder - why are they so anti conservatives?

Here are two possibilities. The globalist and progressives are the smartest people around and they think they know what is best. They cannot wait for the rest of us to catch up with their enlightment. Anything they can do to speed up this process is acceptable, including tinkering with our news feeds and search results... In their mind, they are doing the right thing. They will use the courts to do what the people have not voted for such as abortion and gay marriage...

A second possibility - They are afraid of conservative ideaology. They must demonize it so that people would avoid it like the plague. If people actually try it, and found it works, it would destroy their progressive agenda. An example is charter schools. Conservatives have been working to fix our broken public education system. Every attempt at a fix have been shot down by the teachers union and local democratic officials. The few places where charter schools have been tried and succeeded like in Harlem NY, they have to shut them down. Vouchers was another proposal that was rejected out right. Why not allow parents to choose where to send their kids? This would create competition among the various schools to fight for the dollars and lead to better teachers and better schools overall.

Regardless of which position, conservatism is a threat to their goal. They cannot allow individuals to be the main decision makers. A one world order government must dictate a one size fits all. Universal healthcare is a right. Climate change is a reality for our whole planet. Religion is the opium of the masses.

A question for google home or Amazon Alexa - who is God? and it has no answers.

Summary

My own view is I believe in the power of the individual. We are the only species that have advanced to the point of self awareness. We ask the questions no others have asked. We don’t always get answers but we keep trying.

Our history have taught us the one global organization such as the League of Nations and the United Natons cannot do what they were envisioned. They are filled with corruption and abuses which really reflect our human nature. We are imperfect beings and it would be out of character to come up with a single perfect system of government. Any attempt to do so would lead to failure.

That is why our Constitution is still very relevant today in 2018 as they were back in 1789. It is a compromise between a central all powerful government and a chaotic free for all society. A system where the governed gives consent to the elected leaders to rule and a republic where elected bodies make decisions and not a mob rule.

© 2018 Jack Lee

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