Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nine Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part, on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come...
[I can't lay claim to these thoughts...they were in an email!]
1. The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without
the post office. They are so deeply
in financial trouble that there is
probably no way to sustain it long       
term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just
about wiped out the minimum revenue
needed to keep the post office alive.
Most of your mail every day is junk
mail and bills.

2. The Check
Britain is already laying the groundwork
to do away with cheques by 2018. It costs
the financial system billions of dollars
a year to process cheques. Plastic cards
and online transactions will lead to the
eventual demise of the cheque. This plays       
right into the
death of the post office. If you never
paid your bills by mail and never received
them by mail, the post office would
absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper 

The younger generation simply doesn't
read the newspaper. They certainly don't
subscribe to a daily delivered print
edition. That may go the way of the
milkman and the laundry man. As for reading
the paper online, get ready to pay           
for it. The rise in mobile Internet
Devices and e-readers has caused all
the newspaper and magazine publishers
to form an alliance. They have met with
Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone
companies to develop a model for paid
subscription services.                               
4. The Book 
You say you will never give
up the physical book that you
hold in your hand and turn
the literal pages. I said the
same thing about downloading
music from iTunes. I wanted
my hard copy CD. But I
quickly changed my mind
when I discovered that I could get
albums for half the price without
ever leaving home to get the latest music.
The same thing will happen with books.                               
You can browse a bookstore online and  
even read a preview chapter before you buy. 
And the price is less than half that of a
real book. And think of the convenience!
Once you start flicking your fingers on
the screen instead of the book, you find
that you are lost in the story, can't wait
to see what happens next, and you forget
that you're holding a gadget instead of
a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make
a lot of local calls, you
don't need it anymore. Most people keep
it simply because they've always had it.But
you are paying double charges for that
extra service. All the cell phone companies
will let you call customers using the
same cell provider for no charge against
your minutes.
This is one of the saddest
parts of the
change story. The music
industry is dying
a slow death. Not just
because of illegal
downloading. It's the lack of innovative
new music being given a chance
to get to the people who would like to 
hear it.
Greed and corruption is the 
problem. The record
labels and the radio conglomerates are
simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the
music purchased today is "catalogue items,"
meaning traditional music that the public
is familiar with. Older established artists.
This is also true on the live concert
circuit. To explore this fascinating and
disturbing topic further, check out the book,
"Appetite forSelf-Destruction" by Steve
Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before
the Music Dies."
7. Television 
Revenues to the networks are down
dramatically. Not just because of
the economy. People are watching TV
and movies streamed from their computers.
And they're playing games and doing
lots of other things that take up the
time that used to be spent watching TV.
Prime time shows have degenerated
down to lower than the lowest common
denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing
and commercials run about every 4 minutes
and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to
most of it. It's time for the cable
companies to be put out of our misery.
Let the people choose what they want to
watch online and through Netflix.
8. The "Things" That You Own
Many of the very possessions that we
used to own are still in our lives,
but we may not actually own them in
the future. They may simply reside in
"the cloud."
Today your computer has a
hard drive and you store your pictures,
music, movies, and documents. Your
software is on a CD or DVD, and you
can always re-install it if need be.
But all of that is changing. Apple,
Microsoft, and Google are all finishing
up their latest "cloud services."
That means that when you turn on a
computer, the Internet will be built into the
operating system. So, Windows, Google,
and the Mac OS will be tied straight into
the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open
something in the Internet cloud. If you save
something, it will be saved to the cloud. And
you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the
cloud provider.
In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?                          
It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy

If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone! There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built
into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.
"They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again ............


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