What am I thankful for as 2017 comes to an end

I had originally thought about writing a post for Thanksgiving, about all the things that I am thankful for, but realized I just didn’t have the time. I have decided to write a bit later and think thru the last year and all the things I am thankful for, and all the things I am looking forward to, in the world of tech.

1) The many waves of technological advancement. I’ve been a big fan of tech since I was able to take a computer class when I was in the fifth grade. I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of students that got to take college classes in fifth grade. I still remember all three classes I took, one was Egyptian history, one was aeronautics (and flight) and the last was computers. Now this was in the mid-1970s and a computers class meant cards, green screens and green bar paper. Seeing the various transitions in computing over the years has been fantastic. Transitioning from mainframes to PCs, from PCs to the Web, from Web to Mobile, and now to wearables and sensors. Each of these waves have been made possible by distruptive innovation. And we are living thru one right now. The rate and pace of computing power increase, the ubiquity of communication/connectivity, and the enablement of voice and AR as means of interacting with computing devices, is bringing many new challenges to policy, privacy and profitability. Companies are having to think about new business models, governments are having to work thru security and privacy policy, and individuals need to re-assert the rights to their own data (think of all the issues uncovered by Equifax’s news this year).

2) Backlash driving political engagement. I have long considered myself a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Right now there’s not a single political party that matches that world view. We have the right that claims fiscal conservatism but their policies drive high deficiets and do not address the basic requirements of governing, i.e. providing an environment that promotes all of the citizens of the country. On the left they claim progressive, but they have alienated a large swath of the population, which is actually driving much more backsliding of many of the social policies that have been fought for over the years. An educated and informed citizen is a bedrock of our country and both parties have actively driven wedge issues as a means of playing to their base. If we are to continue for another 250 years, heck another 50 years, we need to get back to a much more centrist set of policies. Seeing a resurgence of political engagement on both sides of all issues, will hopeful drive us to compromise and compassion, instead of the current policy of “my way or the highway”!

3) Music. I love music, and this year I had the opportunity to perform in a world premier opera, participate in a long weekend of incredible music and hear new music on an almost daily basis through online technology. I have been signing since I was a small child and the opportunity to continue to sing as an adult has been a highlight for me. Singing brings me joy, relaxation, excitement and positive feedback when I get to do it in front of an audience of strangers.

I hope that next year, will see more cool and exciting technology, an increase of political engagement that drives us towards compassion and compromise, and many more songs.

About Michael

I created this site to help showcase the mobile application community in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

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