Boiling Frogs in the Age of Uncertainty?

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Forgive my opening title to this piece – particularly if you are French…

No, it is not a reference to the delicacy of your country, nor an Englishman’s tirade against one of my favourite places on earth.

No, it is a reference to a story, I have never proved, but have heard recounted many times.

I am of course referring to the oft quoted story of what happens to a frog if you put it into hot water…

According to legend: If you put a Frog into hot water, it will immediately jump out. BUT, if you put that same frog into a pan of cold water, and gently heat it, it will sit there until it boils itself to death.

So my opening question is one of self examination.

Given the changes in the West in the decades since the 1970’s, for the rights and privileges that we fought so hard for over the previous eight hundred years, are we like the above frog, merely watching now, as some of these hard won rights are eroded?

The right to free speech and movement;
The right to freedom from persecution;
The right to vote;
The right to not be spied upon without due cause;
The right to religious freedom;
The right of “Habeas Corpus” and trial by a jury of our peers;
and more recently,
The right to be treated fairly, in the eyes of the law, irrespective of our religious principles, abilities, age, sex, sexual proclivities, marital status, colour of our skin, or the amount of money we have.

Many of these conditions that we have fought so hard to have put into law, have taken years of lobbying for, and yet the same class distinctions abide, and the same ruling elite still watches and rules over us.

How so?

The wealth accumulated by the few gives them privileges that we mere mortals can only dream of.

Take the senior banking elite for example. In recent years the Bankers have been involved in a series of actions that would make us mere mortals go to prison, and yet no senior banking figure has to my knowledge, even spent an hour in a Police station, let alone an interview room or a police cell. And if the allegations against these organisations are proved? They merely pay a fine, which ultimately gets paid by either their shareholders, their customers, or both.

One man Neil Mitchell, knows only too well the actions these Bankers have been involved in, as he was on the receiving end of their largesses and their dubious practices, as they foreclosed on his business just at the moment he was about to become successful. But, I digress.

So can a mere mortal join this elusive elite?

It means you, nay, WE need to accumulate wealth.

And, I’m not talking about a few million. That would be nice, but it wouldn’t put you in the realms of the elite. To reach those heady heights, you need circa £50million, and even that might be on the low side. According to the book “The Coming Battle”, over 100 years ago, the entry to this elusive club was already ten million dollars, and the value of those dollars has fallen 97% in the intervening period, so you can do the mathematics.

It has been said that a man (though it equally applies to a woman) can be judged by the company he (or she) keeps. Which boils down to the people you count in your social circle. In order to join this elusive band of brothers, you need to be useful to them, and that means you need to be an entrepreneur.

The word “entrepreneur” derives from the french word for “middleman” though its literal translation is “between taker”.

But being an entrepreneur is not necessarily just about being a middleman, it is about being a risk-taker. And we will have to think – as Napolean Hill once wrote, to grow rich, but it will be the route out of a future that many do not yet see coming, as the west’s social systems unravel, and future expectations go unmet.

Since the second world war, we baby-boomers constructed a political system where we required our politicians to give us care from cradle to grave. We required that politicians bribe us with our own money to educate us, keep us healthy, regulate traffic, regulate our work and our activites in the guise of “Health and Safety”. We even employed vast beauraucracies in government departments to tell us what to do, and how to do it, police and military systems to control it all, and funded it all on the back of growth we thought would rise almost forever.

But going forward, the transformation that is currently going on in the economic background means that many organisations that we currently see and use every day, will have to undergo major changes, to adapt to this revolution.

It is a truism that we humans have an in-built normalcy bias that makes us believe that the future will be an extension of today; and in the most part it will, as these things change slowly, but occasionally, there come times in economic and social history where change speeds up, and revolutions occur.

The first of those revolutions was the start of the agrarian society, when men began planting crops, and thus the normal way of surviving using the nomadic lifestyle gave way to living in one spot.

Once men began planting crops, they needed to defend them, and those people who threatened to take that away, were likely to get short shrift from the end of a spear, or sword.

As these people further developed, land ownership began, those with the most strength stood to gain the most, and a landed aristocracy grew up, with Kingdoms, and Fiefdoms spreading across the land, and battles for the ownership of these rich fields and water.

The next major revolution was in the 1600’s with the foundations of the enlightenment, and the discovery in the 1660s of chemical elements giving birth to chemistry. The previous elements of Air, Water, Fire and Earth, gave way to Hydrogen, Oxygen, Zinc, Nickel, Phosphorous, and the other chemical elements.

By the early 1700s we knew about 50 of these elements, and we were about to undergo the industrial revolution as these new elements gave us ideas to turn them into Iron, Steel, Steam-Engines, Iron-clad Boats, Steamships and Trains using wood and coal for fuel.

A second phase occurred in the late 1800s, as oil became more widely discovered, and then in 1901 as the oil in Spindletop, Texas oil well doubled the national output, ushering in the era of the motor-car its success encouraging further drillng, and gave the world and the U.S., cheap oil.

Another phase began a few years later when those early engines gave Wilbur and Orville Wright the idea to strap one to some wings, and the era of flight began. With the mass production techniques as used first by Henry Ford, producing vehicles in growing numbers, the world took its next steps of the Industrial Revolution.

The era of the semi-conductor began the next phase of this industrial revolution, as micro-electronics gave us first the huge power hungry mainframes used in government defence departments for decrypting our opponent’s messages, and later gave businesses the tools to automate many of their administrative functions, with the Lyons Electronic Office, mini-computers, and International Business Machines (IBM) becoming a household name.

The third generation of these machines began when Intel produced its 4004 Integrated Central Processing Unit (CPU) used in those early calculators, and desktop computing would emerge just three years later, by then the number of ICs (Integrated Circuits)in a chip, had risen several fold, and Gordon Moore’s Law was proven as his prediction that we would double in computer processing power every 18 months or so became accepted, and Microsoft would begin its journey to industrial behemoth as the Altair computer was developed giving the young Bill Gates, and Paul Allen their first challenge – to produce a computer programming code (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) BASIC for this machine which still suffered from having no keyboard. By 1980, the home computer gave us in Britain, dozens of start-ups, and Acorn and the BBC computers. The Acorn, Amiga, Amstrad, Apple, BBC, Commodore, Sinclair, Tandy, Digital Research, Sperry and dozens of others pushed the boundaries of these desktop machines bringing computing into the mainstream.

A spin off of the Acorn/BBC partnership, was the small chip design division into a separate company, that designed the Reduced Instruction Set Chips (RISC) processors, that allowed a limited instruction set to be used, and these computer chips were smaller and lower in power consumption than their Intel designed CISC (Complex Instruction Set Chip) competitors.

These Acorn RISC Machines (ARM) processors went into mobile telephony systems, calculators, PDA’s and some of the early computer systems that have long since been consigned to the history books, but like the Guinea Pig, or Hamster was to prove to the Dinosaurs, when the opportunity arose, they took over. By the turn of the millennium, the mobile phone had got more and more functionality, and the Apple Smartphone which now contained these ARM chips turned the humble cell-phone into the ubiquitous smartphone that 5.2 billion handsets later have transformed our lives, giving us TWITTER, FACEBOOK, YAHOO, BAIDU, YANDEX, ALI-BABA, AMAZON, GOOGLE and E-BAY, and dozens of huge software based American Corporations – Oracle, HP, IBM and others are moving their services into the cloud, so that their revenue streams don’t disappear in a puff of smoke.

BUT, the downside is, that now we’re watching the world evolve at its fastest pace since the start of this wonderfully complex industrial revolution and those not part of this new wave will have to shrink and adapt.

The hardware in mobile telephony has allowed Africa to finally catch up with its western counterparts, as people can now communicate over relatively long distances and create havoc for governments of all political persuasions, with handsets that give them access to Social Media, Finance and information, and allow them to make contracts, discuss ideas, and to build systems that enrich their lives, educate their children and provide health care.

But as this increases their wealth, they will be competing for the scarce resources that we all rely on, and this increased wealth will lead to a population explosion at first, before increased costs, better healthcare, and wider involvement of women in the economy brings the birth rate into line with the West…

But these changes will cause pain for the west too, as we now have a billion more consumers with access to mobile computing power, that 50 years ago, only governments could afford.

And the latest development to come out of this rapid technological change are Crypto-Currencies, allowing Africans to trade where no banks exist.

Of course the first of these was Bitcoin, which according to Bloomberg this a.m., MIT undergraduates are to be given $100 in Bitcoins to see where these Technological University students take this new development.

If you haven’t used Bitcoin, or one of the 80 or so others, then the time to get in is NOW, and one of the easiest ways to do that is through Qoinpro, who not only set up an account merely with an e-mail address, but make an initial deposit, followed by daily deposits into your account. And this means that you can buy increasing amounts of the necessary things in life that you need. And as more and more people use these digital currencies, the digits on your bank account move from central computers in a Bank somewhere out there to the digits on your smartphone. And once that happens worldwide, the Banks become almost superfluous to the needs of most humans.

These giants of the industrial age, which began as storage houses for the wealth of the rich who held their wealth in Gold and Silver and evolved into the masters of the universe, will lose some of their power.

Banks will still need their vaulting businesses. Yes, the gold and silver will still need storage, but the bankers will lose control of the currency that has been abused by Bankers for political ends since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and the privileges they have gained as the Banking Wizards were pulling the strings behind the curtain will be a distant memory.

But that will free us all to make choices for our selves that will REALLY make the Frog analogy I opened with a distant memory.

But we have some tough choices to make.

Look at the previous FIVE GREAT AGES of human progress:

The STONE AGE – lasted 3.4 million years.
The BRONZE AGE – 2,500 years
The IRON AGE – 1,500 years

You’ll see the length of each age shortens as technology advances.

And the INFORMATION REVOLUTION is about to hit us, as handheld super-computers, and Big Data provides us with all the world’s information at our finger tips.

Google can barely keep up with the number of new Web-sites, and page changes; Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, and the output from Universities and major Laboratory reports.

We’re about to be overwhelmed by an avalanche of new technologies that are taking shape in labs around the world. If your job isn’t in one of these new industries, you will probably lose it, and if it is, you may still need to adapt as your business’ competitors produce new products, that make your industry shrink or fail.

Being financially independent, having multiple sources of income, minimizing your taxes, and saving enough to live for 50 years in retirement, and the time when you can no longer work, will be the most critical decisions you need to make.

Technologies to cure cancer, stop you EVER getting it, cure arthritis, Heart Disease, regenerate new body parts – livers, hearts, kidneys. 3D printers to produce anything you want within hours of having the idea, and automated vehicles are about to change the world as we know it.

No matter what industry you currently work in, you will be affected, your town, or city, and those around you as these changes take place.

Being financially free will be the only way to cope…

Karl Marx encouraged the workers of the world to unite and to take ownership of the businesses – to free themselves from being wage slaves. Becoming a shareholder in these emerging industries will make you an owner, that will empower you, and we’ll do our bit to inform you of those that we think will be the Microsofts, Googles and Apples of tomorrow.

You will need to learn what being an owner really means.

But you will also need a money system, that can’t be corrupted by governments and bankers…

And you can see the discussion here…