Reflections on 2020

How many times have I read or heard from people that 2020 was a lost year? Too many times.

For me, it was one of the most enlightening years in my life, but then again I am personally enjoying solitude and slowing down once in a while. In those times I can put the pieces of a puzzle together. Trying to achieve a moment of clarity, determining positional parameters.

My German summary and of course there was much more .. maybe there will be a follow-up post for it – potential title β€œThe Rest of 2020”

The virus

When I read in January from a Chinese virus, I kinda already knew what could happen. In my mind possible paths were building up on how this year could turn out. Other than that I am not really the guy making any plans at the end of the year.

It may be just a human behavior to neglect apparent crisis scenarios or a pending catastrophic event.

Just an example:

For decades, we neglected the looming climate crisis and the root causes of it. We know that this development was accelerated by the industrialization and of course capitalism or let's say mainly the lifestyle of the western world. Of course that brought us many inventions and progress, but to what costs?

So, what happened with the virus and the control of it?

As if we do not know that we live in a globalized world everybody just ignored the crisis until it was too late. We even have centers for disease controls and after the predecessor with SARS over a decade ago we should have enough models and data about how to engage such a threat.

But we did not. Everything after that is well documented and what the aftermath will be .. we will soon know more about it.

Racism and Police

The trust in the institution of the police is crumbling and not only in the leftist world. The so-called middle of society has gotten a taste and insights on how police around the globe operate. This will not lead to abolishing police, but it let awareness grow in places that had none before this year.

Especially in Germany, the exposure of ties of the police to far-right networks was enlightening. It shows us what is going on, and it shows us how loyalties are aligned, which is important if the future turns out to be worse than we imagined.

The Left in the capitalistic world

2020 showed us one thing. We do not matter – at all. Yes, we make certain developments visible and surely things would be worse if it were different, but the influence and impact to postulate significant changes is somewhere above the zero point.

And to be honest, if anyone starts talking about a leftist revolution in the western civilized world, I will just ignore this irrational dreams or rants in the future because they are nothing more than that.

The US and Europe are on their way to implement a Chinese ideal of population control

Call it 1984 or Orwellian State or anything else. In pretty much every nation of the Fourteen-Eyes the build-up to a surveillance state has gained significant speed.

Privacy is soon gone. Not many people care (see climate-change and COVID for reasons).

AI

Maybe we do not have real artificial intelligence yet and from my perspective this is more than ok, but..

In every scientific field people are working on solutions. This goes for the military as well.

Like any other technology the use of it cannot really be regulated, well, at least until we as global society realize that the potential of it would lead to the destruction of humanity (see nuclear weapons). Nuclear weapons are static weapons. A human has to pull the trigger. The cool thing now is that we are working to get rid of the human factor and are working on autonomous weapon systems. Robots or drones are getting more sophisticated.

Neuroscience and Genetics

This year the first phase of the Brain Initiative should have ended. I do not really know what the status is currently, but over the year there were many new discoveries in the field of neuroscience.

The same goes for everything that is related to CRISPR. Genetics and new developments are coming.

The next Cold War

It may depend a little on the foreign-policies of Biden and the democrats on what is happening in the next years but one thing showed us this year. The US has to do something to diminish the economic influence of China

Outlook 2021 and beyond

For me capitalism is at a crossroad and the next 5 years will show us how the system can be kept alive in its current form. The same goes for the so-called democracies. Capitalism can survive without democracy, but democracy cannot be held up with the current form of capitalism.

So, what will our political and economic leaders do?

One thing on the agenda is. Look out for investments in rare metals or foreign politics in Africa and also South-America. Climate-Change will increase the demand in that area a lot. Oil maybe the war reason in the past. We have a new reason approaching.

Depending on how climate-change progresses, but look out for climate shifts and with that shifts in agricultural production influence. Things that will be important are farming and water resources.

Everything else?

Watch the rise of quantum-computing and everything that comes with it. The workplace and demand for work will potentially change significant and nobody really has a concept now on how to handle the increase in automation.

At the end something I read and find it plausible. The disappearance of the middle class and the rise of the common class