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Jennifer Anderson
Tech 1010
Apr. 11, 2016
Prof. Winter
A Road Map To The Future
I remember a few years ago when President Obama was re-elected for
a second term in office while still having the majority of citizens that were
unhappy with how he was utilizing his position. I came to eventually realize
that it wasn’t the person that we were so unhappy with but was how he had
been deciding to implement those decisions that he was making. That is why
I think every solution has the ability to enable some responses while
subduing others. To give you a better idea of what I am talking about let us
turn to some of the major components that currently exist in our society
today.
First I would like to state that I believe there are some critical aspects
of society that I think are really great and should continue to be supported in
our society. Things like land and property ownership, democracy, a low cost
and highly successful education system and the ability to think through,
share and support new ideas and inventions. I think these things have
brought with them considerable freedoms, but they have also brought with
them inherent social problems.
Have you ever taken the time to think about the decisions you are
making every day that impact our future? Things like how you drive your car,
what products you buy and how you invest your time have long term
significance on what our future will look like. We must not fail to realize how

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these common place investments we are making today will influence our
social interdependency, responsibility and ultimately ingenuity itself.

Energy Dependency
In the beginning, many societies had to depend completely on human
powered labor to solve many of the energy demands that their societies
required. It placed limits upon their output capacity, as well as, it’s potential
uses. In a way we still have this problem in our jobs today, but with the
advancement of technology we are starting to see a shift in energy
availability and production. It makes me grateful that we have a variety of
energy sources that are available to us today to support different aspects of
our technological needs.
These energy sources have provided us with an expected standard of
living, social status and general health standards. The problem however
continues to be a double-edged sword for us. Though we have found an
incredible amount of long term sustainability in nuclear power, it still plagues
us with the occasional break down in the system. Most recently these
problems have been seen in the earthquake off the coast of Japan that
compromised one of their nuclear power plants. (Lavelle)
Many of our current energy sources are either environmentally
disruptive, inefficient or just plain unsustainable. That is why I suggest that
our society needs to make a considerable investment in new inventions that
are able to provide larger populations with more economically friendly and

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sustainable sources of highly efficient energy. There is one type of generator
that I am particularly excited about.
They are currently offered by two independent companies and can
provide enough energy to power an entire home “off the grid”. The first is
called the Velkess (Gray) which was first launched in March of 2013 but you
may be more familiar with it’s clone, the Tesla Powerwall (Tesla), because of
branding names. They are both similar in that they provide self-sustainable
flywheel energy storage technology, but without future investments in the
technology, they will not be able to continue the research into enhancing the
energy capacity of the system.
I believe this type of system is more supportable for long term
investment because it is cleaner for the environment, it does not require
citizens to support large energy providers, they are self-contained and
provide consumers with more local energy demands. More investment into
these types of generators will not only help our local economies but they
have the potential to allow citizens to become more independent, as well as,
environmentally and socially responsive.
We should also realize that having two different systems right now
makes it difficult for us to adapt these advancements into our ever
expanding systems. We need to make sure that whatever technology we are
wanting to bring with us into the future has the ability to either adapt to
many different uses or be converted to system upgrades as time goes on.
Nobody wants to be left holding obsolete technology while still having to pay

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for the system that holds them back. This would only sustain social division
and classes to a point that would be detrimental to innovation and social
interdependence.
Transportation Demands
The next social system I would like to address is in our transportation
systems. I remember the last time I took a road trip to Mount Rushmore.
Other than the hotel and the places we wanted to visit the schedule was offthe-cuff, it saved us money and was virtually stress-free for the whole family.
I think that is what most people are looking for when they go on vacation
now days, something relaxing but at the same time exciting and fun.
The ability to move ourselves and other products around, however, is
not the only thing there is to consider when talking about transportation. We
all hate it when we get someplace and there is no place to park, just about
as much as we hate sitting in a hot car in the middle of the freeway during
rush hour traffic. We also hate the cost of repairs, the negative impact they
have on the environment, continuously high gas prices and the price of new
vehicles doesn’t seem to be approaching a plateau anytime soon either. All
these issues are things we are going to need to address in the fairly near
future.
We need solutions to problems that have become more situational but
still allow us the freedom of movement. One solution that I think we can do
to improve this situation is to implement more wide-spread and autonomous
mass transit services built for citizens and long haul product transportation.

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One idea that I had was trying to somehow combine a suspended monorail
system like those in Germany (Wuppertal) with a high speed rail system like
those found in Japan’s Maglev Trains (Bonsor). It would make commutes
faster and less time intensive as well as reducing the number of vehicles on
the roads.
I would hope to see more freight being shipped in this fashion because
the U.S. Department of Transportation

reports that “trucks are carrying

more than 63% of freight at a
combined value of over 700 billion

dollars across our roads

every year. While rail is only utilized

less than 15% of the time

and all other forms, less than 6% or

less.” (USDOT) To

me that means more traffic, higher
environmental impact and longer shipping times which drives up economic
cost.
In addition to the future demands that we expect to put on our
transportation system, fuel reduction and repurposing should be a top
priority when creating more energy sustainable engines for these vehicles.
So far we have found no better resource than gasoline that burns as
effectively with such high heat friction tolerance as oil. When refined it has
become a commodity in which only the wealthiest can afford to trade in our
economic markets. This reality, however, is fast becoming obsolete and we
must look to transitioning from our traditional views of engine models and

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components to a more environmentally friendly, efficient, and sustainable
model.
When dealing with oil and transportation issues we must take into
account how these new practices would affect our other social systems. If we
reduce the amount of vehicles on the road, we save energy in both fuel
reliance and processing but business infrastructures that produce, use and
fix many of these types of automobiles will also be affected by limited supply
routes and capacity, less product demand and eventually job layoffs.
A system like this may be capable of integrating the many different
types of shipping procedures but it could also cause more problems in lost
inventory, damaged product and severe economic slow- downs if processes
aren’t implemented effectively. This would then just be more energy and cost
being wasted at the hands of insupportable business practices. While this
solution does have the potential to continue local traffic hang-ups, we could
also solve this problem by more effective, long term solutions to city and
road way planning. All this is going to take more research and development
into many new ideas and areas of our transportation system because no one
idea is going to be able to solve the problems we have neglected for so many
years all by itself.
City Planning and Neighborhood Development
Speaking of city planning, we should also include the issues of
population growth that is going to happen. If it is expected to happen on our
roadways, then these problems will also inevitable originate in the homes of

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our current citizens. Current leaders and city planners look to ensure that all
citizens continue to have unrestricted access to the basic requirements of life
such as those stated in Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs (Boundless). This is not
only beneficial for our citizens but an essential part of what we
should look for in planning our future cities.
Future planners will be looking to nclude
aspects of asthetic design, welfare resources, mobility

and

sustainability. For these reasons, I
think our cities and homes are going

to

look very different in the future. These
ideals are what continues to create feelings of support, acceptance and
community membership that makes us happy and feel like we have
ownership of.
Ownership is one of the key elements when building any community
that must continue to be supported and enhanced. While things like property
ownership are important to some, others feel like it is a burden because of
the high cost and upkeep that comes along with it. So how can we continue
to support such opposing views without segregating our communities?
First I would suggest that we incorporate city style living around more
rural developments. This would allow for more business as well as cultural
influences to intermingle in communities. Not only do cities have the ability
to become more self-sustainable through architectural gardening they can

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also be aesthetically beautiful and culturally interesting places to live and
visit.
Cities already contain most of the basic facilities such as local
hospitals, community police and fire stations, schools and recreation areas
that ensure higher property values. The trick is implementing more
sustainable water repurposing and food production resources into these
current environments without chasing away residents.
Cities also have problems with traffic, noise and a large amount of
people stuffed into a limited amount of space. Which is why mobility is
becoming such a problem in cities. Whether it’s work or residential, new
building projects or recreation, all these thing contribute to the ever
shrinking free space in our cities. We must find a way to integrate nature and
small town living in and around our cities without property value
depreciation.

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Smart chip technology will help monitor and regulate our current utility
systems but we needs to make
sure they don’t eliminate
consumer responsibility from the
process, because what we don’t
see we won’t care about. Ar.
Vincent Callebaut has developed
some really amazing city
renderings of what I would like our future cities to look like. (Amrutia) I feel
like these renderings easily unify many aspects of city and rural
sustainability and mobility as well as integrating more environmentally
friendly green space into the environment.
By putting together a city like this it would definitely change how we
travel as well as addressing our need to be outdoors without having to travel
far from home to do it. You can develop vertical farming infrastructures that
take up less space than in rural areas so the food you get is fresher and of
better quality. It also helps to reduce and reuse a city’s limited supply of
water resources.
What I like best about this kind of grid design is that it still allows those
who wish to own individual, separate homes to do so without having to give
up the cultural, educational and career benefits of city living. It helps reduce
poverty concentrations by mixing the different aspects of community living

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by allowing social structures to be built on security and resource
interdependence.
It will be because of community planning like this that the style of our
homes needs will change along with the environment. Smart chip technology
will help in the many different aspects of home ownership as well design,
utility and intergration. Instead of owning a car, you may only need to rent
one when you decide to travel outside the cities so most homes won’t need a
garage or possibly even a driveway anymore.
If we had these kinds of cities, we may see more concentrated
communities which wouldn’t really solve our overpopulation problems but at
least they would give their citizens a healthier and sustainable environment
to live in. It would change the way citizens interact with each other and how
they see themselves as participants in their communities.
Education and Cultural Development
With all these changes happening, I can see a huge change headed our
way in our educational system as well. While we have some really great
teachers and schools, there seems to be a difference between some citizen’s
expectations of our education system and how students participate in that
system. It also comes down to the cost of that system for most people as
well. In my future, citizens, business leaders and government organizations
would find ways to work together to substantially reduce the number of
failing students in our education system.

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Some things I would like to see continuing in our education system is
adaptive technologies in teaching, high expectations and social inclusion
practices. These things however have not been enough to balance out all the
problems we are experiencing. There seems to be a lot more expectations
than accomplishment and that, I think, is the foundation of why we seem to
be falling behind and struggling in supporting our future generations.
Education needs to become more socially supportive and generalized.
Learning is a process that happens throughout our lives and that is no
different if you are assigned a desk or on a job site. According to Potomac
University’s Infographic “70% of students and 77% of teachers” like the idea
of online courses. (University of the Potomac) That is why I think more of our
citizens will start opting for interactive online learning systems and
transitioning from our traditionally boxed in educational facilities.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to convince you that school
buildings will disappear because I am guessing that they tend to be an
invaluable part of the education system as well. What I am trying to say is
that they will be put to more specific use for those that need more help
understanding concepts, a place to study or to access technological
interfaces that are not widely available to them elsewhere. By allowing our
future learners the freedom to learn at their speed and on their level, we are
enabling students to pace themselves and grow according to their abilities.
Now along with this kind of virtual learning environment, we would
have to make some drastic changes in participant’s engagement in the

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education system throughout their lives. Parent’s expectations in their
children’s education will be met by retaining more responsibility for their
children’s learning habits and growth. Even careers would now be integrating
higher education into the employee’s job expectations. All these changes
would also require more investment from the government and our tax
system into providing lifelong learning opportunities to all citizen’s at a
substantially lower cost and higher education would have to become less
exclusive and more cost friendly while still regulating high expectations of
their student’s.
According to a study done by Anna Ya Ni, out of San Bernadino California State University, online classes are more flexible, customized,
accurate, up-to-date, and easier to regulate than what is taught in traditional
classroom settings. (Ni) There are so many different ways to teach online
that it makes it easier adapt to the student’s learning style rather than the
classroom or teacher’s teaching style. The most beneficial quality, in my
opinion, of online learning is the lower cost for participants in the classroom.
It also frees up time and allows for busy, changing schedules, as well as the
occasional needed vacation time.
Health Care Industry
With this increase in smart technology and elearning at your fingertips,
we are bound to see improvements in the healthcare industry as well.
Healthcare is cutting edge technology that includes innovation and high
expectation combined with increasingly accurate results. I believe that the

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investments we are currently making in our healthcare industry will breed
long term results for the future.
This industry includes years of continuous high achievement, accuracy
and learning expectations from every shareholder but we must not stop
there. We will need shareholders who willingly work toward healthier
lifestyles not only for their own benefit but for others as well, because it
doesn’t matter if you young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor, the actions
of one individual or company has long term effects on those around them.
Figure 5. Percentages According
of adults who to
did2013
not take
medicationfrom
as prescribed and who asked a doctor for a lower-cost medication in the
statistics

the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention), more than 15% of population is
asking for prescriptions that cost less no
matter their socio-economic status. The
populations most negatively affected by this
trend dramatically effects those whose
income levels fall between 139 to 250% below the federal poverty level. If
they fall even farther below these levels, they are just refusing to take them
at all. (CDC) This is a clear representation of drugs either costingmore than
consumers can afford or consumers thinking they don’t really need to take
them.

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Consumers are also left having to
combat problems with the rising cost of
doctor visits, hospital stays, and time
away from work all at the cost of their
overall general health. In order to avoid
these kinds of expenses citizens are
deciding to forgo insurance coverage
and putting off doctor visits all together. According to the Kaiser Foundation,
52% of uninsured citizens are non-white, while almost three-quarters of all
uninsured maintain at least one working adult in the household. (Kaiser)This
puts them at severe risk of heavy, to insurmountable, financial hardships
that lead to interminable poverty and bankruptcy for these individuals due to
a lack of basic health coverage.

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So where does most of the cost for
health coverage go? This graph, from
the Department of Health and Human
Services, shows how a typical bill for an
inpatient medicare recipient gets
dispersed, which is not uncommon
throughout the healthcare industry.
(note: these are approximate and not
exact numbers) As you can clearly see
around 24% of the bill goes to the hospital and 25% goes to your managed
care provider (aka: insurance company). The rest gets divided between staff,
medications and other medical services. (HHS.gov)
This means that not only are we paying our insurance companies twice
(once for the service and once for a discounted cost for services provided)
but that we discriminate against 10% of our citizens who have to choose
between a healthy life and an unhealthy one because the others in that
society cannot or refuse to differentiate between the economic value of a
single resource and the ethical responsibility they have to providing
affordable, comprehensive access to that resource, no matter their socioeconomic status.
Yes, I do believe we can and should continue to have one of the best
health care industries in the world but this industry can not progress unless
they take a page from Roman History. One of the reasons why Rome fell was

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because of the severe segregation of economic resources between its rich
and poor citizens. This situation led to an economic warfare that left it
susceptible to invasion and take over from outside forces. (Garrett)
In the future I hope to see a more dignified healthcare industry
available to all who enter our country, without consideration of status, ability
or circumstance. Taxes will be used to provide universal coverage with free
market options that provide more specialized coverage at reasonable prices
for citizens who wish to buy into them.
Hospitals of the future will combine multiple specialties in one facility
that coordinates patient visits and their records with teams of specialists that
can provide a more whole diagnosis of patients. Scanners and blood tests will
become regular household devices to monitor patient’s health and can be
transmitted wirelessly to the patient’s team of specialists for diagnoses and
interpretation of instantaneous results before and during the patient’s
scheduled visits. Yearly check-ups will become routine home exams through
visual communications and these home testing devices.
Advancements in scanning technologies we will be able to detect age
related and community related diseases such as influenza, cancer and heart
disease. This will also lead to better preventative prenatal care and health for
both the mother and child who are prone to having gestational or
developmental irregularities in future generations, essentially eliminating
diseases such as defects of the heart, brain and other parts of the body. Ages

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will increase with advancement in genetics treatments rather than medicine
leading to longer, better physical health.
Animal Welfare and Control
There is one part of this city of the future that I would like us to
consider last and that is our animal populations. In 2015 the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) reported
that out of an estimated 1.7 billion species on earth, 23,250 species are in
danger of extinction. That is an increase of over 13, 000 species in the last
15 years alone. (IUCN) While some may be thinking, big deal, that is only 1
percent of our total animal population on earth, the problem is that taking
away even one critical part of an ecosystem could cause an entire collapse in
those ecosystems and we aren’t even sure which species are the critical link.
Imagine if we fished the American Red Lobster to extinction,
businesses would just find another animal to replace the demand. It’s the
whole process of supply and demand on the process of speciation that few
species can keep up with. Luckily, there have been some good things that we
are doing to try to prevent wiping out entire species.
We have international laws to regulate fishing and poaching of species,
electronic tagging and monitoring of animals whose numbers are not known
and we have animal activists that are the driving forces behind these
conservation efforts. The problem is that there are just too many species for
a few activists to currently monitor, assess, and report about and only on a
limited number of species. The luckier species that can be caught and cared

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for in captivity still have to struggle to survive but at least they have help,
while those that do not are left to shift for themselves in the course of
natural selection.
There are many things that technologies can help these animals with in
the future. First would be the monitoring of growth in populations, dispersal
and diversity through various methods of tagging and recording and even
disease control. As more of us see and hear these animals through digital
devices as they interact in their natural environments, we will begin to learn
and care more about how we use these animal resources.
The most exciting part is that there is a growing field of sensor
technology that will be able to digitally scan and monitor animal health and
report it back to scientists and doctors that can help these animals survive
without having to take them out of their natural habitats. Already we see
applications in this field by Miss Helwatkar and Mr’s. Riorden and Walsh, out
of the Institute of Technology Tralee, when in 2014 they started to use
sensors that “focus on the determination and mapping of diseases to
relevant sensors” (Helwatkar, et. al.) in dairy cows.
Conclusion
It will be through the advancements and proper applications into
technology that we will come to realize how these common place
investments we are making today will influence our social interdependency,
responsibility and ultimately ingenuity itself. In the end what really matters is
that we learn to become more efficient caretakers of ourselves, this world

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and each other because like all creatures on this earth, we are all little links
in a civilization that requires a portion of the natural resources around us and
we have a responsibility to ensure our survival.

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