What IS shaking at WOW! Magazine?

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The Jerusalem Temple Mount Crisis – Why it Erupted, How To Solve It

WoW! Forum: What Will Be The Major Tech And Science Breakthroughs In The Next 10 Years?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s Question:What Do You Think Will Be The Major Tech And Science Breakthroughs In The Next 10 Years?

Mike McDaniel:Whooooo, as one of my favorite students used to say. I haven’t a clue, but no one has ever accused me of being unable to fill space with writing, so I’ll make some wild guesses, keeping firmly in mind that many such advancements come out of the blue. They’re usually things most of the public hasn’t been keeping in the “oh boy, wouldn’t be great if” mental file.

Firearms: Primarily because Donald Trump is in office, there may be money for basic upgrades that have been put off for far too long, particularly, our standard military rifle. Look for a new rifle in a slightly larger caliber, more on the order of .30 caliber, or something between that and the current 5.56 mm. I suspect the same basic rifle design will be used, as that would keep overall developmental and manufacturing costs low, but perhaps with the upgrades of the H&K version of the M4. We’d be smart to adapt the Israeli Tavor, but I doubt we’ll be able to ignore the “not invented here” syndrome. A civilian version of the same weapon would also be useful for hunting a much broader range of game than the current cartridge allows.

Science: We’ll be able to quantum teleport larger items over greater distances. The Star Trek transporter will remain fiction, but we’ll be able to do more. The commercial, and particularly military, applications are simply too lucrative for this not to be exploited.

Military: Our surface combatant warships will be equipped with multiple, powerful lasers, capable of not only shooting down drones, but missiles and aircraft, and of sinking at boats in the patrol boat class.

Our larger surface combatant warships will be equipped with electromagnetic railguns, capable of destroying virtually any ship at a very low cost per shot. Anything within 100 miles will be in grave danger from these weapons.

Our Air Force will be equipped with large, stealthy missile truck drones, capable of carrying far more missiles than our F22 or F35 fighters can manage. With the digital links of the F22, and particularly the F35, a few fighters could destroy a swarm of enemy fighters from safe distances, undetected. Such dedicated drones could theoretically carry a laser large and powerful enough to destroy enemy fighters. Our normal manned fighters aren’t large enough.

Computers: Moore’s law continues to hold. Computers will become smaller and far more powerful. An Apple Watch will have the features and capabilities of a contemporary laptop, limited only by holographic display technology. Sufficiently advanced models could eliminate the need for hand held cell phones entirely.

Look for true mental interfaces for computing. Sufficiently advanced display technology would eliminate the need for computer monitors.

Automotive: Self-driving cars will not become the future. The potential dangers, to say nothing of the legal liability for manufacturers and fleet operators, are simply too great. However, greatly enhanced safety features such as automatic braking (collision avoidance), back up danger detection, detectors for drivers nodding off, and a variety of other issues already in the tech pipeline will become commonplace.

Medicine: Effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as genetic therapies for a variety of illnesses will become commonplace. Therapies for many forms of cancer will become more effective, greatly extending life.

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All of this and more may be ours, if we’re not caught up in fighting a second civil war because the political elite would rather keep their perks and rule over the rubble than advance mankind and honor the Constitution. I’m not optimistic about our chances.

Rob Miller:There are several tech advances I think we’ll see in the next ten years.

I think AI and robotics are going to be HUGE, simply because they will replace a number of human workers in some surprising places. We’re already seeing that many companies are already automating many customer service and accounts receivable functions. It’s quite plausible that we may even see AI lawyers for some functions. And many factory jobs will go the same way. Many corporate fast food restaurants will be almost entirely automated except for a couple of management staff. Supermarket checkers could also become largely extinct. So could home delivery of pizza and other foods by humans. Drones are already doing this in a few places.

There are already robot brothels in Europe and Asia, and there’s no question that a number of working girls will soon be out of work as ‘sex robots’ get more and more advanced. And as prices come down, a realistic sex robot (of either sex) with changeable personas and/or a robot maid, housekeeper or butler could become quite common. Same with many secretarial duties.Robots and AI could even be used in war fighting instead of human personnel, perhaps controlled by humans behind the lines the way drones already are. And some people may even want to have robot, AI pets instead of dogs and cats.

I would predict there will also be a reaction of sorts to this, and certain restaurants, grocers, shops, brothels etc will also retain a place simply because many humans prefer to deal with humans. And a good many other jobs will open up, as they always do.

We will see vast improvements in medical technology. Micro surgery, organ transplants and even gene manipulation will be far more advanced and  commonplace. I would predict that we will even see the development of ‘farms’  where organs for transplant are grown and stored as needed.And a cure for most kinds of cancer will likely be discovered.

Look for virtual entertainment to take a huge leap, aside from the oversized cumbersome headphones. Now YOU can be part of the action!  I expect hologram technology to take a huge leap. Imagine a home theater where you could watch say, ‘Sunset Boulevard’ but give Bette Davis Gloria Swanson’s role and sub Kirk Douglas for William Holden. And perhaps even create, to some degree, your own ‘script?’ Much of the tech (if not quite all of it) already exists for that.

There are other things we will likely see, some pleasant, some unpleasant. A lot will depend on how much global strife there is and what forms it takes.

Laura Rambeau Lee : In many ways technology has made our lives easier but I worry about our youth growing up not really understanding why or how things actually work. We are growing too dependent on technology. Something as simple to grasp as counting change back is a lost art as today all one has to do is put in the amount tendered and a machine calculates the amount the cashier gives back to the customer. If the register breaks I fear many would be at a loss to make change anymore. It seems a lot of jobs are this way today with people relying on technology without really understanding or being able to make the calculation on their own or even understand the process. Our schools are doing a great disservice not teaching the basics of how to do things on our own without benefit of technology.

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Robotics will become more advanced and will be used much more in medicine, business and in our homes. We are already seeing autonomous cars being tested in some cities, something I hate to see being an avid car fan, but it seems to be inevitable.

As far as science and medicine we are really on the verge of some major breakthroughs. I saw firsthand when my mom was going through treatments for breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver what breakthroughs are on the horizon. She sought out and participated in experimental treatments. Both treatments had to do with delivery of chemotherapy directly into her tumors. In the first study at NIH she was treated with a chemotherapy drug coated with a lipid where they introduced the chemo directly into the tumors laparoscopically and then performed radio frequency ablation (high heat) on the chemo cells dissolving the lipid coating and leaving the chemotherapy drug directly in the tumors. The second set of treatments was similar but they used glass beads soaked with chemotherapy drugs which the doctor would place at the blood source that fed the tumors, blocking the blood flow to the tumors and again directing the chemo into the tumors. Both of these treatments killed the tumors, but being in her liver they would treat one lobe at a time and then six months later they would treat the other lobe. Unfortunately the liver regenerates, blood flows get restored and the tumors grow in other areas. By directly introducing chemo into the tumors it is much easier for a body to handle with less of the side effects of chemo infusions. She did this and fought the cancer in her liver for six years, something pretty much unheard of. Of all of the government agencies the National Institute of Heath is doing some amazing things and we should support their work. They are also creating vaccines from a patient’s own genetic material that is being used to kill cancer cells with promising results. I pray one day all cancers become curable. Many types already have high cure rates such as certain leukemias and Hodgkin’s disease.

Whatever the future advances in science and technology, we should focus on how it helps our lives and not allow it to replace how we teach and educate our children and grandchildren. We must not allow these advances to interfere with our personal relationships and communications with one another. They should always be considered as useful tools, nothing else.

Dave Schuler :It would be easier to predict what won’t happen but the question is about what will happen. Within ten years we’ll have small scale mass produced nuclear reactors. Additive manufacturing will wreak havoc on China, Inc.’s business plan because it will mean that transportation costs are more important than labor costs in determining an item’s cost.

I guess that’s all I’ve got…

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoyWoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.

What’s shakin at WOW! Magazine?

Lots of great pieces, thoughts, and insights! Check some of the best out

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WOW! Forum What to do about North Korea?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s Question How Would You Solve The problem Of North Korea?

Don Surber: I have no idea. Hope Trump does.

Rob Miller: I’ve been thinking this one over for awhile. Patrick O’Hannigan was kind enough to refer me to an Austin Bay article  on the subject, which as it happens I’d read. One of things the article reiterated it that in this situation, “there are no good options.”

True enough, but there but there are indeed better and worse ones. The worst of them is to do nothing.

Some facts stick out. Obviously both President Trump and the Chinese were operating under a false premise. The president assumed that the chemistry between himself and President Xi was better than it actually was, and that the Chinese were reasonable actors who could be counted on to help dismantle this threat.   The Chinese mistakenly think they’re still dealing with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or especially, Barack Hussein Obama.  That assumption on their part is undoubtedly being aided by the disrespect shown President Trump by the media and various Democrat politicians. In China, a leader allowing  this kind of thing would be the result of a shocking loss of face and a prelude to losing power. The Chinese have never really understood many aspects of our society.

So the Chinese are saying North Korea isn’t their problem, and continuing to trade with them…in fact, trade has actually increased by almost 40%. Sanctions are mostly worthless because of the way China and America’s economies  are linked up. And negotiations with the Kims, as always, are an exercise in futility.

North Korea and Iran are both rogue nations close to having nuclear weapons. And if they have them, they will sell technology and perhaps even actual nukes to all sorts of bad actors, giving rise to global terrrorism on a scale which will dwarf what we see now.

Since China refuses to get involved, our options appear to be waiting around to see what happens (that worst option I mentioned)  or a well planned, well executed preemptive strike.  If I were President Trump, I would already have the plans drawn up for this and secured so that the New York Times, CNN or creatures of that ilk couldn’t commit treason by leaking them in Prime Time.  I’d want the strike to target the Yongbyon reactor and destroy it, along with several research centers and the Nork’s missile sites. I would also sink anything North Korea’s military  has that floats or flies as well as the bases they use, and target North Korea’s military bases that house its conventional army as well. 

Without air cover, North Korea’s numerous but poorly equipped conventional army would be controllable, if they even invaded. Ground troops without air cover usually end up taking the dirt nap in modern war.  Taking out the Kims could be an added bonus, since totalitarian functionaries like army generals  are not known for taking action without orders from the top. 

Civilian casualties would be unavoidable, but given how many lives would be saved, especially American lives, it’s unfortunately unavoidable. And there are benefits.

Our relationship with China could change for the better as long as the Chinese were reassured that their ‘near abroad’ was not going to be militarily invaded. China really isn’t prepared for a war, especially against the U.S, which would involve their chief trading partner and a major strain on their economy. A closely linked economy is a two edges sword that cuts both ways. And new respect for America and our president would ensue, not just in China but elsewhere.

I’m convinced we will eventually have to deal with Iran in a similar fashion, but that presents a somewhat different scenario that should be dealt with separately.

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Mike McDaniel: Before getting into solutions, we need a bit of a history lesson. We are still at war with North Korea. In fact, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice–July 27, 1953–will soon be here. North Korea formally announced it would not abide by the Armistice at least six times, beginning in 1994, and more recently, in 2013. And despite such high-level diplomacy as Madeline Albright watching traditional communist pageantry such as dancing children and marching troops, the Norks have continued to be deadly belligerent.

The North has routinely engaged in espionage, and hostile military exchanges, routinely shelling South Korean territory, kidnapping foreign nationals–including Americans–for ransom, torpedoed at least one South Korean ship, and a wide variety of other clear acts of war. A partial list of their depredations is long indeed.

The Hermit Kingdom brutally tortures its own people, incarcerating thousands in a vast gulag, and brainwashing the entire population to the extent they believe their rulers Gods, protecting them from the evils of the outside world. Those rulers and their lackeys, of course, live like kings while hundreds of thousands of their people starve, often being reduced to eating grass and tree bark. Due to malnutrition, North Koreans are substantially smaller in stature, and far less healthy, than South Koreans

While the North Korean military is antiquated, it is vast, with thousands of hidden and fortified artillery pieces aimed at Seoul. North Korea has a substantial chemical and biological arsenal, which it will not hesitate to use. And then there is the nuclear threat, which is the current crisis.

North Korea seems to have at least a few warheads, though they are apparently unreliable and of low yield. Their missile program, which often fails, is growing at a feverish pace. The Norks work with Iran and other rogue regimes, and will ally with any group that can help them, and which will harm the West. During the Obama years, the world’s despots knew they had free reign, and took advantage of it, which brings us, again, to the current crisis.

Diplomacy ever only works when it is part of a concerted effort backed by overwhelming military force. To date, American diplomacy has been little more than abject appeasement, which has allowed North Korea to become something of a nuclear state. There are some that think North Korea will not be dangerous until it has the ability to mount a small nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile of sufficient reliability and accuracy to strike American targets, or the cities of our allies. Such a view is very short-sighted.

There can be no doubt of the outcome of a war between us. Even if the Chinese interfered, which they may in at least a limited manner, the conflict would be brief, but exceedingly destructive, particularly to the civilian population of South Korea. The Norks would not bother to spare civilians, in fact, much of the military doctrine revolves around destroying Seoul. China, despite its military buildup of recent years, probably does not want to take us on directly. The North would use nuclear weapons offensively. We would use them only in response.

While it’s likely our advanced missile interceptors could shoot down North Korean nucs, they would need only one to slip through our defenses. And delivery by missile is far from the only way to detonate a nuc against us or our allies. A significant and great danger is that North Korea would certainly sell nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist groups. One might reasonably assume when President Trump declared North Korea would never get nuclear weapons, he had such hard intelligence in hand.

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The primary question: is President Trump serious? Will he do whatever is required to prevent North Korea from obtaining significant nuclear capability? Do we have sufficient combat power and weapons to accomplish that task without leaving us vulnerable to all of our other enemies, or have the Obama years left our military so debilitated–as he obviously intended–that we cannot defend our allies and our own interests from existential threats?

Unless elements of the North Korean leadership stage a successful coup, unless such people are enlightened enough to stand down the North Korean military and sue for peace and unification, unless China keeps its communist hand off the potential for peace, we can only assume we will either have to continue to appease the North and allow them to do whatever they please, or be prepared to obliterate them militarily.

That’s our choice, forced on us by the North Koreans and the feckless cowardice of too many American presidents. It’s also our choice with Iran. Hopefully President Trump is not foolish enough to think they’re abiding by the deal and waiting 10 years to develop nucs. We’re going to have to deal with North Korea and Iran, sooner, rather than later. One can only hope when that day arrives, we’ll take them on, and that we have the military capacity to do it quickly, with overwhelming force, and in such a way no one can effectively interfere.

Dave Schuler : I wouldn’t do anything. At least not publicly and not yet. Privately I would probably inform China, South Korea, and Japan, as calmly and emotionlessly as I could, that If North Korea attacks us, South Korea, or Japan. attempts to extort concessions from us, or sells it nuclear or missile technology to another country or non-state actor that North Korea will cease to exist and they should be prepared.

We can’t allow ourselves to be held hostage that way and we can’t allow every nasty dictatorship to seek nuclear weapons as an insurance policy.

Laura Rambeau Lee : At some point in the near future we will have to deal with Kim Jong Un and his aggressions against the U.S. and our allies in the Pacific. When it comes to issues of such global impact we will need the support of our allies, particularly those closest to the clear and present danger they face should Kim Jong Un decide to attack. Our actions must be quick and decisive and must end his reign of terror over the Korean people. It would be nice and clean if we could do a surgical strike and take him out without civilian casualties but it seems unavoidable. Knowing the potential millions of deaths should he attack Seoul or Tokyo, in the end it becomes a calculation of lives saved versus lives lost. The North Koreans live in darkness, physically and mentally. To free them from such a brutal dictator would be an act of mercy even if some lives are lost in the effort. Dealing with the aftermath will require the cooperation and contributions of our allies. What we do know is we cannot wait for him to strike first.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoyWoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.

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