This article is a discussion of decisions that will be made in the next few years by those of us on Main St., on Wall St., and in the halls of Global Power. In these darkening days, the importance of decisions based on priority are emphasized by Christ’s words, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (JN 9:4)
FUTURE BIG DECISION MAKERS GAIN LEVERAGE BY DATA MINING. Useful patterns are discovered by software using algorithms. When your email is classified legit or junk…classification is one of data mining’s tools along with: anomaly detection, clustering, dependency modeling and other tools. We all contribute data that is mined for hidden patterns. Every time you use your debit or credit card and shop you are contributing data. Wallmart analyzes its 20 million daily transactions with daily data mining software. Ford (& other auto manufacturers) watches where its cars are being driven, supposedly to discover driving patterns. The Supr. Ct. said that pharmacies could share info w/ outside companies for medical data mining (see the 2011 Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. case). The patterns of your life are well known to Big Brother’s controllers.
BAD & GOOD USES. Data mining is used by the U.S. govt, for example: the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, Secure Flight (formerly known as Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II)), Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE), and the Multi-state Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX). While some of these officially got discontinued for violating 4th amendment rights, they cont. in other guises. Some of this data mining has legit purposes: police dept.s are posting police according to patterns discovered by data mining. Some uses backfire: robo trading (using d. mining) for Wall St. has caused Wall St. to shut down as well as caused some huge wild trading in minutes.
THE ART OF THINKING. Most of us are not privy to the results of data mining. God has provided wisdom through His Word, His Spirit, and people & circumstances that He speaks through. We all have a right to an opinion, but it does not mean our opinion is right. We live in an imperfect world. It is wise to compare our thoughts with the age old wisdom of God’s Word. Even if I were not a Christian, I think the accumulated wisdom of thousands of yrs. is worth paying attention to. God never asked His people to be poor thinkers. It is twisting scriptures to advocate that Christians act stupid. We need to practice the art of good thinking & make it a habit. We just need to balance that with realizing the limits…for instance, humans are great at self-deception, esp. if sin is involved. Our reasoning is a God-given ability but it has limitations. To enhance our thinking, most of us have discovered there are certain places where we think better. Eating pizza was discovered by some companies to be the best place for new ideas to be generated. When we allow ourselves to get frustrated, too anxious, or distracted by irrelevant things or information we fail. Some of the dangers to problem solving are the fear of making a mistake, the fear or discomfort in living with the chaos of new ideas, and not giving a new idea a chance to incubate & be refined. Many great new ideas pop up in a fragile incomplete form that at first glance may not seem workable.
DOING NOTHING IS WORST…A PROBLEM TO FACE & SOLVE. I have shared the inevitable collapse of the U.S. dollar. You don’t have to take my word for it…The Great Deformation (by David A. Stockman) & The Demographic Cliff are two books that will give info on what is coming & what might help. The nation is being given a false sense of security…but the night is coming, and almost no one is safe when the dollar collapses. Almost all Americans, rich or poor, are in debt. The Fed Reserve is creating easy money to help Wall St. which is using it to gamble on short term get-rich-quickly schemes. Banks are making their money speculating along with Wall St. Because interest rates are low, banks are not making their profits from loans, nor are savers making money from savings. Our centrally planned economy is not going to rebalance, or reduce the bubbles—it will expand its bubbles until they pop & then housing prices will crash & then I expect 50% of the eligible workers will be out of work or underemployed.
So how are we going to deal with this economic collapse?? It is better to have a plan for when all hell breaks loose than no plan at all. The best answer will be the right answer. Let us build on the solid foundation of Christ’s teachings. And we can use our God-given brains. Get new ideas, and freely assoc. your ideas, build & piggyback off of other ideas by modifying, rearranging them or combining them. Get other people’s views. Keep asking yourself questions as you go through day-to-day life and think through the situations that will envelope us as money becomes scarce. Don’t freeze. Avoid mental blocks. One way mental blocks come is if we make our view of the problem too narrowly. You have a while to work on this one! I must say the predictions as to when it will happen are quite varied but most forecasters see it at least in the next few years.
MY FINAL THOUGHT. I was thinking of the sergeant yelling at the formation, “All you idiots fall out!!” The formation drifted away except for one lone soldier. As the sergeant approached him he grinned, “Sure were a lot of them, huh, Sir!”
Let us work while it is day, for the night comes!