30 Global Worries

Random Observation/Comment #632: Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

Why this List?

I’ve been doing this grown-up thing where I read the news and try to make decisions about my family’s well-being based on observations on trends, correlations, and emergent patterns. I blame listening to NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast and spending some free time reading about global economics. It was so much easier when there was just video games. I miss video games.

  1. 2020 global recession – This will likely be an outcome of some of the global worries piling up
  2. Climate change – Hotter hots and colder colds leading to more extreme weather.
  3. Withdrawal from commitments to reduce carbon emissions – These groups create incentives and mandates for innovative ideas and we’re basically rolling them back
  4. Fires in the Amazon – I understand some of these are normal, but making government actions on opening for more commercialization is not good.
  5. Hurricanes in the Caribbean / Typhoons in Asia – I’m personally scared of flooding and the devastation from water damage.
  6. Impeachment of Trump – I think we’re already setting up the next president to fail. There’s so much damage that has already been done. I think the transition will likely lead to a disastrous democratic term.
  7. Recommendation bubbles – Specific to media and information fragmentation, it’s hard for people to know what they’re searching for is not a result of what a government or number of corporations want you to see first. The first page of Google or Amazon is very powerful.
  8. War in the Middle East – It’s heartbreaking to read NYT stories covering these regions.
  9. Brexit – Maybe it will be a perpetual delay. Maybe they’ll vote again? Either way, it just highlights the divide between the lower and upper class.
  10. Foreign/Russian influence of elections – Clearly this has happened and can happen again. High difficulty of monitoring and prevention due to recommendation bubbles and clever ways of social/media-based interactions with app installations and ads via games or other pages.
  11. Deep fakes – Related to above, it’s not difficult for false news to be shown or overlay-ed with filters. I mean just look at this example.
  12. Cyber terrorism – This doesn’t have to be as direct as installing monitoring malware on anyone’s devices and bricking them. It can be related to levels of social and identity hacking.
  13. North Korean nuclear missile testing – I don’t see an upside to further missile development
  14. FED printing money to bail out the repo markets – I’m not sure if this is temporary or changes any outstanding economic balances. I just know it’s a lot of money.
  15. SIM hacking – Telco number identities are really fragile. I’m also afraid of losing my phone and the 2FA keys.
  16. Social-based hacking techniques – The surface area of attack vectors are pretty large even just within email spoofed messages. Any social network can be flooded with bots and can quietly build a stronger and stronger validated online presence over time.
  17. Trade war with China – While this has been lost in the news cycle, globally any tariffs will have a 6 month delay for it to hit the consumer. It seems news cycles for progress have led to some rebounds, but I still feel like there’s something fundamentally uneasy
  18. China’s recession and piled debt – China is in a lot of debt and they’re trying to evolve their economy to be less of the “cheap labor + cheap copies” into that of new technology and sophisticated investment opportunities
  19. Venezuela – And this isn’t because I just watched Jack Ryan (although it was pretty great). There are so many examples of dictatorships rigging elections and peaceful civil unrest and protests across the nation leading to more violence.
  20. Shrinking middle class – This has been around for a long time, but I think it’s much more visible when seeing voter turnouts across the world to just see the government up-end itself.
  21. Economic Slavery – similar to the shrinking middle class, there’s a compounding factor placed on poor people staying poor or poor people asking government for subsidized help because of root causes like jailing people for bad reasons (e.g. possession, homelessness), bad credit scores, and high interest rates on crappy loans (e.g. pay day loans).
  22. Student loan bubble – Universities are businesses and it sucks they get so much leeway as being educational pillars. Ultimately the past generation of $150k in-debt 22-year-old liberal arts major working at a coffee shop making minimum wage will lead to fewer houses being bought and a “millennial factor”.
  23. US tuition bubble – Specifically US will no longer be the preferred location for higher education because our reputation as a country will decline.
  24. Devaluation of the USD – One of the biggest fears for any country is hyperinflation. The USD will be fine, but if there’s any major threat, it would be cryptocurrency or libra coin or CNYcoin gaining more traction with corporations. Once corporations function like banks, Central banks and governments will have less control.
  25. Platform-based monopolies – Network adoption and penetration is getting more and more difficult as people settle on the core social networks and marketplaces.
  26. Extinction of species – the Earth’s ecosystem is having a bad allergic reaction to human inventions. Might be the plastic. Might be the emissions. Might directly be the poaching. Whatever it is, species are going extinct much faster than any time in history. We are witnessing the next extinction in slow motion. It’s not a giant meteor, but it might as well be.
  27. Bee migration patterns – Where are the bees? Why is this not getting more attention?
  28. Plastic – I don’t think this stuff is going away for a long time nor are they reducing in volume or velocity.
  29. Pollution / Smog – Major cities next to industrial locations like LA, Beijing, and Mumbai have very high levels of particles in the air. You might as well start smoking.
  30. Being present – I’m worried we’re living a second life and not enjoying the moment. Reduce smart phone time. Be here. Be now.

~See Lemons Worried