Category: Art

Picture Parade One Hundred and Fifty-Six

Incredible, prize-winning, images of dogs.

The following was read over on Mother Nature News on June 30th. The item, and especially the photographs, just had to be shared with you.

However, to ensure the integrity of republication and the identity of the photographers, I’m going to include the photographs and the words of the original MNN piece, and split it across today and next Sunday.

Trust me you will adore these photographs.

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These prize-winning images of dogs will steal your heart.

10th annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition drew entries from photographers in 90 countries.

Jaymi Heimbuch June 30, 2016.

Winner of the Man’s Best Friend category (Photo: Fiona Sami/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Man’s Best Friend category (Photo: Fiona Sami/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

The love of a dog is a universal joy, as the latest photography competition from The Kennel Club illustrates. The 10th annual competition drew over 13,000 entries from photographers in 90 countries. The photographs show the beauty, loyalty, companionship, dignity and, of course, the adorableness of dogs around the world.

The competition features eight categories, including Puppies, Oldies, Dogs at Work, Dogs at Play, Man’s Best Friend (winner pictured above), Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities, Dog Portraits and I Love Dogs Because.

Winner of the Dogs At Work category as well as overall winner of the competition (Photo: Anastasia Vetkovskaya/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Dogs At Work category as well as overall winner of the competition (Photo: Anastasia Vetkovskaya/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

This image of Sheldon the English springer spaniel enjoying a mist-shrouded pond early one morning is the work of Anastasia Vetkovskaya from Russia. Not only did it win for the Dogs At Work category, but it also placed as the overall winner of the competition.

Vetkovskaya states, “I have loved animals from an early age, which is why I went to Moscow Veterinary Academy and became a veterinary surgeon in 2007. Around this period of time, my husband gave me my first SLR camera, and since then I have devoted all of my free time to photography. My specialty is pets, and I am inspired most by horses and dogs.”

Winner of the Dogs at Play category (Photo: Tom Lowe/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Dogs at Play category (Photo: Tom Lowe/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

Baxter the Westie inspired his photography-loving human, Tom Lowe, to snap this image of Baxter playing in the water of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

Winner of the Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities category (Photo: Michael Higginson/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition
Winner of the Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities category (Photo: Michael Higginson/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

This poignant image was taken by Michael Higginson, and features his brother Dale with Esta the dog. The win not only benefits the photographer but also a charity of his choice. The Kennel Club is making a donation to Higginson’s favorite charity, Dogs for Good.

Higginson states, “Winning the Assistance Dog category has made it even more special. It’s an honor to be able to show the world what a difference a dog can make to someone else’s life.”

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Aren’t they breath-takingly beautiful!

The rest of these fabulous photographs in a week’s time.

Feeding one’s inner wolves.

The wisdom of ancient minds.

The following was published by Val Boyco recently over on her blog Find Your Middle Ground.

It is republished here with Val’s very kind permission.

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* How to Feed your White Wolf

Lilo and Rosie

Another beautiful short video.

Examples like this, of the love and compassion seen in our animals, seem to be doubly valuable in these crazy times.

Published on Apr 30, 2015

Lilo the Siberian husky is a wonderful surrogate to our new foster, little Rosie❤️ Rosie was really lethargic and unresponsive after the first night. So we decided to let her cuddle extensively with Lilo (the husky). Lilo has always had an innate motherly instinct, but she really surprised us when she went full surrogate mode! Even letting Rosie suckle on her and stimulating her to eliminate! Lilo has never had puppies of her own, and never will. But motherhood may just be her calling🙂 Like what you see?🙂 LOOK BELOW!

It would mean the world if you would hit the SUBSCRIBE button to our channel! http://www.youtube.com/c/lilothehusky

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  • Category

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    • Standard YouTube License
  • Music

    • “You’ll Be In My Heart (Phil Version)” by Phil Collins

Have a wonderful weekend.

That film!

Adding the words to yesterday’s film.

First thing that must be mentioned is that it was our neighbour Larry Little who opened my eyes to the film. He sent me an email with the link to the film. Thank you, Larry.

Obviously I have no way of knowing how many of you watched the film that was the object of yesterday’s post: Words are Superfluous. But for those of you that did here is the background to that most moving film.

Shawn Welling
Shawn Welling

 

If one goes across to Shawn Welling’s website and clicks on the About link one reads a bio that is truly fascinating. WikiPedia also has a very good summary of Welling Films that opens thus:

Welling Films (sometimes written as WF) is an American film production company and studio based in Houston, Texas. It was launched in mid-2006 by Houston-born choreographer and photographer Shawn Welling. They have produced five feature films, along with the web series AXI: Avengers of eXtreme Illusions, and several narrative and documentary short films.

 

Yesterday’s post, quite deliberately, did not include all the credits and background information. Here it is:

Published on Mar 27, 2015

Hey:)
Thanks for watching my film. I really hope you share and comment as we love your feedback also feel free to email your thoughts as well. http://www.ShawnWellingVisuals.com for more info and my email.
The Director
-Shawn Welling

Full Synopsis:
A friend to share the ups and downs of life with him — and, soon, his family. “If I Could Talk” gives this dog the one chance he wants to share his thoughts.

Director: Shawn Welling AXI
Story: Mark Galvin
Screenplay: Shawn Welling

Starring:
Max Welling / The White Lab
Shawn Welling / Shawn Welling
Michelle Simmons / Michelle Welling
Grace Calabrese / Grace Welling
Kalyssa Lauer / Kalyssa Welling

Music:
Reuel
Composer:
Phillip Glass

Cinematographer
Shawn Welling
Art Giraldo
Scott Budge

To close today’s post here’s another film from Shawn Welling. (And trust me, this film is very different to yesterday’s!)

Published on Jul 24, 2014

“SALVATOR”
(Latin for ICON or statue of “THE SAVIOR”)
Another beautiful collaboration between Les Twins and Shawn Welling AXI Films.
Filmed on in front the statue of “the Savior” at the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, Houston, TX

Directed by Shawn Welling

Music: James Blake – Retrograde (CloZee Remix)

Affairs of the heart.

Warning: Emotional post coming up!

This is the second time I have used Affairs of the Heart as a title to a post. The previous time was January 20th, 2012 (and I’m republishing that post tomorrow). How time flies!

Indeed, in a little over two week’s time, on July 15th, all you dear, dear readers and I will be celebrating me writing this blog for seven years! Indeed, how time flies!

Yesterday, John Zande from down in Brazil, another great friend of this place, posted a comment that included a most powerful video. His comment was, “Not sure if this link will work, but this is a lovely story of an adoption that saved a life.

Sue Dreamwalker watched the video and responded:

John that was one amazing video, still wiping away tears.. Thank you.. Through our choices we CAN make Changes in our lives..:-)❤

I then followed Sue with this comment, written at 05:45 local time (PDT) yesterday:

John, Jean awoke just a few moments ago and I have just played your video in front of us both. It is so beautiful and important that I want some time to fully compose my response. Plus Jean and I need some time to stop weeping!

Just had this idea to feature your video and my reply as tomorrow’s post.

Thank you, John, for sharing this. Thank you so much.

Even if you watched this video yesterday do watch it again before continuing. Same applies to those that haven’t yet watched it. Do that now!🙂

So now we head for my emotional response to that video.

Change is inevitable. Another word for change would be time. Time is the most fundamental principle of the Universe. Call it the Arrow of Time. It flows only in one direction. From order to disorder.
Or to put it in the words of physics (my emboldening in 2.2):
en·tro·py
ˈentrəpē/
noun
noun: entropy; plural noun: entropies; symbol: S
  1. 1.
    Physics
    a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
  2. 2.
    lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
    “a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme”
    synonyms: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse; More

Entropy – “the gradual decline into disorder.

It has to be that way. For evolution is a product of the decline of one variant of life (plant, animal, insect, higher order ‘animals’, etc. ) and a new aspect of that life emerging (or not). That’s how it has to be for the beauty of life, the beauty of life in all its forms (even including politicians!😉 ). Life is a function of a “gradual decline into disorder“.

I’m not a religious person, nor is Jean, and do not believe in any form of afterlife. When I die that’s it.

I was born in 1944. I am ageing. I have suffered some brain atrophy that means that my recall is terrible. I know that the ageing process is going to continue. It scares me. At least it motivates me to keep as physically and mentally fit as I can.

I have tried hard most of my life to stay fit, physically and mentally. I’m only now aware of the reward of such an attitude.

But I haven’t been emotionally fit. In the sense of not truly knowing who I am and what my values are. That darkness was illuminated for me in the Summer of 2007, thanks to Jon.

That very moving video of Eric and Peety speaks of Eric being saved by Peety. I so deeply understand Eric.

For in December, 2007, just a few months after Jon (as in being the best we can be) made me fully aware of my distorted view of myself I travelled out to Mexico and met Jean and all her dogs.

Jean has saved me. Directly from the love, companionship and  intimate friendship that she offers me. But Jean has also saved me indirectly. By that I mean from me living my daily life these last nearly ten years surrounded by the most beautiful dogs that one could imagine. Those dogs, each one of them in their own special way, also offering me love, companionship and intimate friendship.

Prior to December, 2007 I didn’t know how to feel my true emotions and, in consequence, didn’t know how to express them. Jean and the dogs have enabled me to feel my true emotions, and to express them.  Dozens of things pain me and it’s rare day when I don’t have the odd weep or two. However, dozens of things please me each day and now bring out a laugh, or a giggle. Even better, dozens of times each day I am loved by our dogs and the gift that goes with that love is me feeling so beautifully accepted; accepted in an utterly unconditional manner.

The love given to me from our dogs and the love from my beautiful Jean make it so easy for me to be good to myself. That love, from Jeannie and the dogs, has been a gift to me beyond my imagination.

I have hanging on my office wall a framed print of a poem by Roy Croft. I gave it to Jeannie on the first anniversary of our marriage. I want to share Roy Croft’s words with you. For they so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from Jean. But in a way that I suspect Mr. Croft didn’t imagine when he first penned his poem, his words also so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from our dogs.

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“Love” by Roy Croft

I love you,

Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

oo

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

oo

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

oo

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

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If you have read my post through to the end, thank you!

Solace.

The stranger the times the more we need to ‘ground’ ourselves.

Without doubt these are incredibly strange and unsettling times. For the United Kingdom, for the USA, for the British Commonwealth, for Scotland, for Gibraltar; and for many other places.

When we are faced with unsettling periods then it is essential to ‘ground’ ourselves, and there are many effective ways of doing this.

One way that always works for me is to gaze into a clear, night sky. The night sky over one’s head is captivating beyond words. Perhaps I should have written that it is captivating beyond my words.

Not so for Sue Dreamwalker. Just read this most beautiful poem that Sue published a little over two weeks ago. Republished here with Sue’s kind permission.

(And to demonstrate how your’s truly is becoming a forgetful old fart when I read this out to Jeannie last night she reminded me that I had already published it! It’s worthy of another showing!)

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Mother Gaia ~ The Blue Dot.

11 Jun 2016

Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland
Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland

How many times have you gazed at the stars?

To ask the question of whom we are

This Blue Dot in the vastness of space

Have you questioned the existence of the Human Race?

~~

Did we really evolve from Neanderthal Man?

From Ape to Human imagine if you can

Woolly Mammoths along with Sabre Tooth Tigers

Ice Ages and Floods, Volcanoes and Fires

~~

Mountains crashing, rising from ocean floors

Fossils created into stony forms

Petrified wood in glaciers saved

While Crystals grow beneath deep dark cave

~~

How many times have you asked ‘Who am I?’

As you gaze longingly at the starlit sky

So many treasures now upon this Blue Dot

So sad that we’ve evolved, but we also forgot

~~

That we Humans just like the Dinosaur race

Could soon disappear without a trace

As our superior brains seemed to have lost the plot

Of our coexistence within this amazing Blue Dot

~~

As we pollute our Mother who brings such life

While we rage in greed creating more strife

We poison our land modifying crops

Caring less and less until the last Bee drops

~~

Long after we’re gone as the planets realign

A new dawn will break over the memory of mankind

His legacy I’m sure one day will be discovered

As some future traveller his fossils will uncover.

~~

But it’s never too late to alter our future

When we live in harmony and learn to nurture

Holding onto LOVE and Letting go of Hate

We can all help our Blue Planet Regenerate.

Copyright Sue Dreamwalker 2016.

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Just meditate on those thoughts for a while without doing anything else.

Sonic Journeys

Innovation – Pure and Simple.

Note: Let me declare immediately that I have a personal interest in this post. Namely that my daughter, Maija Handover, is a partner of the charitable company SOUND UK. Their most recent sound adventure is extremely interesting.

It is called Sonic Journeys and, as the home page of the website explains:

Sonic Journeys are soundtracks to specific journeys. Each commissioned piece is available as a free download for limited periods, enabling listeners to experience the music travelling through the landscape that inspired it. Or wherever they choose.

There are a number of Commissioned Journeys but one is also able to create personal sound journeys.

Let me allow Sonic Journeys to explain in their words what it is about:

Sonic Journeys is a series of soundtracks to specific journeys. The series commissions artists to create new works in response to journeys that inspire them. These works are recorded and available for free download for a limited period, enabling listeners to experience the music travelling through the landscape that inspired it. Previous commissions include Adrian Utley from Portishead (2012, a walk through ancient trees at National Trust’s Croft Castle & Parkland), Mica Levi (2011, a walk at Barbican Centre), Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold (2011, two train journeys in Devon), Will Gregory from Goldfrapp (2009, a walk in Malvern Hills for Big Chill festival).

For those that would like to create and share their own Sonic Journey, we are inviting online submissions of music, or music and video, to journeys the public find personally inspiring here. Previous Your Sonic Journeys have included music to journeys in Kew Gardens in London, Bregenz in Austria, South Western Transylvania and more.

Here’s an example of one of those commissioned journeys, from my old home county of Devon. It is called Shackleton + Vengeance Tenfold – South Devon, stopping train from Starcross → Teignmouth and the Field Notes explain:

Unique British bass producer Shackleton collaborated with his original musical partner, spoken word artist Vengeance Tenfold, to present his own distinctive vision of a journey through some very special parts of Devon; the main railway line between Exeter and Totnes, and part of the Tarka railway line between Exeter and Barnstaple.

Travelling from Exeter to Newton Abbot, in South Devon the artists respond to the iconic stretch of railway as the stopping train travels through the Exe estuary from Starcross station and journeys along the sea and wonderfully dramatic scenery.

Earl Fontainelle a.k.a. Vengeance Tenfold lives on Dartmoor in Devon. He plays in the Amsterdam-based Cajun deathcountry band Earl Fontainelle and the Pearl of Great Price and has worked in many other musical and lyrical projects, including a long-term collaborative relationship with Shackleton with whom he worked together on a live performance alongside the Tom Dale Dance Company involving spoken word, live electronic music, a Siberian Jew’s harp, and a lantern.

This link will allow you to listen to the Sonic Journey. To give those unfamiliar with this part of Devon, South-West England here’s a video of that train journey.

Published on Sep 17, 2013

Here I have some footage of a famous scenic coastal main line railway route that runs from Teignmouth via Dawlish to Starcross in South Devon. It is used by both long distance and local train services currently operated by First Great Western and Cross Country that runs from Cornwall and Plymouth to all points north and east.

I know I’m biased but it still strikes me as one incredibly innovative idea! Well done, the team!

Treasures Within and Without.

We must never let go of admiring beauty.

It’s Sunday lunchtime and I have come in from outside to check my emails and to put together the post for today. For reasons I can’t exactly put my finger on I’m feeling a little distracted. I sense a yearning for being transported away from the ‘outside world’ and turning inwards: Even giving blogging a rest for a couple of weeks (but I won’t).

So thank goodness for the blogging contacts we make all around the world. Just last Saturday Sue, of Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, published an exquisitely beautiful poem. Sue very promptly gave me permission to republish it in full. Sue’s poem speaks to me just now; speaks to me in this rather introspective place. I hope her wonderful words speak to you as well.

Here it is.

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Mother Gaia ~ The Blue Dot.

11 Jun 2016 .

dsc02478
Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland.

How many times have you gazed at the stars?

To ask the question of whom we are

This Blue Dot in the vastness of space

Have you questioned the existence of the Human Race?

~~

Did we really evolve from Neanderthal Man?

From Ape to Human imagine if you can

Woolly Mammoths along with Sabre Tooth Tigers

Ice Ages and Floods, Volcanoes and Fires

~~

Mountains crashing, rising from ocean floors

Fossils created into stony forms

Petrified wood in glaciers saved

While Crystals grow beneath deep dark cave

~~

How many times have you asked ‘Who am I?’

As you gaze longingly at the starlit sky

So many treasures now upon this Blue Dot

So sad that we’ve evolved, but we also forgot

~~

That we Humans just like the Dinosaur race

Could soon disappear without a trace

As our superior brains seemed to have lost the plot

Of our coexistence within this amazing Blue Dot

~~

As we pollute our Mother who brings such life

While we rage in greed creating more strife

We poison our land modifying crops

Caring less and less until the last Bee drops

~~

Long after we’re gone as the planets realign

A new dawn will break over the memory of mankind

His legacy I’m sure one day will be discovered

As some future traveller his fossils will uncover.

~~

But it’s never too late to alter our future

When we live in harmony and learn to nurture

Holding onto LOVE and Letting go of Hate

We can all help our Blue Planet Regenerate.

Copyright Sue Dreamwalker 2016.

show
This is just one of the beautiful slides from Sue’s slide show. As she writes, “The above slide show are the photo’s I took that inspired the poem above. They were taken in Scotland where I visited a crystal and mineral centre near Fort William. It was a delightful find holding a wealth of Treasures of The Earth which can be found here. “

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 (Please view the full slide show here.)

Sue then completes her beautiful post; as follows:

There is so much more that lays hidden beneath our Earth Mother, as well as within ourselves.

If only we dig deep enough to find the Treasures Within.  

Love and Blessings

~Sue~

I am still digging Deep How about You?

Life is an endless dig to find treasures within.

Beautiful, Sue!

Into the Future.

These are deeply interesting times.

Among the many impressive qualities of the dog is one that we humans must envy so much at times.

I’m not speaking of a dog’s ability to seek out food or, at the other end of things, the dog’s way of keeping it’s backside clean!😉 No, I’m referring to the way a dog lives in the present. Presumably unworried as to what the future might mean.

We humans, however, as hard as we try to be rooted in the ‘here and now’ also depend on assessing the future and determining the best way to respond to that uncertainty. I’m sure that assessing and managing risk is one of the ways that have made us such a successful species.

In terms of voicing these uncertain times I really was drawn to a comment from ‘John D’ over on Richard Murphy’s Tax Research UK blogsite. I’m going to republish that comment in full before moving on to the central theme of today’s post: Into the Future.

John D says:
June 10 2016 at 4:58 pm
Paul, I share your apprehension. I believe ‘the world’ has entered a cycle of almost unprecedented uncertainty. So many issues. So few solutions being articulated in the mainstream. However, shift happens and Richard is right to say that there is always opportunity for change. Gramsci, an underrated theorist, summed it up in his ‘Prison Notebooks'(1929-35) writing: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

The stranglehold Neo-liberalism has exercised on orthodox economics for the past 40 years is difficult to understand but, given that its major protoganists have held all the aces, it’s not really surprising. Under Reagan there was a major ‘re-education’ programme in the Universities where any heterodox economic teaching was eliminated from the ‘Economics 101’ curriculum. Acording to Richard Wolff an entire generation of students graduated from the major universities without ever having studied Marx in any context.

(For anyone interested here’s a succinct history of Neo-liberalism – http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/a_short_history_of_neoliberalism_and_how_we_can_fix_it).

The good news is nothing lasts forever. The seeds of change have already been sown and will eventually blossom, possibly in unexpected locations. Sadly, as Ivan says, there has been irretrievable damage to lives and livelihoods in the US, UK and many EU countries. Michael Hudson recently spelled out its negative effects – http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/07/the-wages-of-neoliberalism-poverty-exile-and-early-death.

Like many, I don’t think radical change will come about until enough people are hurting enough. Maybe a real property crash will be a wake-up call. However, in or out of the EU isn’t going to trigger a change in the economic agenda any time soon. Personally I believe that a vote for Brexit (ominously a possibilty) will set-back any fundamental reforms, especially in the UK. But I don’t want to open up that can of worms again here!

The perennial question is ‘what to do?’. And the answer is always the same: ‘do something, anything, to nurture the seeds into saplings’. Every little helps! It’s going to be a rough ride, not without some collateral damage in terms of still more unnecessary deaths. Usually I’m not as optimistic as Richard but because it’s Friday afternoon and the sun is shining I feel the beginning of the end is within our grasp. I so hope so. Back to Gramsci – the immediate worry is what will fill the intervening vacuum. Happy weekend!

The seeds of change have already been sown and will eventually blossom, possibly in unexpected locations.

The perfect introduction to an email that Dan Gomez sent me on Thursday.

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Below  is a summary by Udo Gollub of the findings at a recent futurist conference in Germany. This’s  – they predict – is how the world will operate in 10 to 20 years time.

For those of us who are about to amble into the sunset on our Zimmer frames, this is simply interesting. We inhabited a world where people used cosy concepts like pension, nest egg, job security, promotion in the work place and other reassuring socio economic terms.

For those who are in mid career or are only entering the world of (non) work now, this makes for scary/exciting reading – depending on how ready you are to change in mid air  — if it is at all possible.

And for the generation still in their nappies … well, it is a matter of how parents prepare them for an unimaginable world when they enter the world of ‘work’ in 20 years time.

GERT CLAASSEN
Hermanus
Into the future
By Udo Gollub at Messe Berlin, Germany

I just went to the Singularity University summit. Here are the key points I gathered.

Rise and Fall. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they were bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again?

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became superior and mainstream in only a few short years. This will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, self-driving and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.
Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.  Welcome to the Exponential Age. Software and operating platforms will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool. They don’t own any cars, but they are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice, (so far for more or less basic stuff), within seconds. With 90% accuracy, compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you are studying law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer generalist lawyers in the future; only specialists will be needed. ‘Watson’ already helps nurses diagnose cancer, four times more accurately than doctors. Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will have become ‘more intelligent’ than humans.

Cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will be offered to the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car on your phone; it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive whilst driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for our future needs. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. At present,1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 kms. With autonomous driving, that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

Electric cars will become mainstream around and after 2020. Cities will be cleaner and much less noisy because all cars will run on electricity, which will become much cheaper.

Most traditional car companies may become bankrupt by tacking the evolutionary approach and just building better cars; while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will take the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi. They are terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble, because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate values based on proximities to work-places, schools, etc. will change, because if you can work effectively from anywhere or be productive while you commute, people will move out of cities to live in a more rural surroundings.

Solar energy production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but only now is having a big impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that almost all coal mining companies will be out of business by 2025.

Water for all: With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places; we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if everyone can have as much clean water as they want, for virtually no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year – a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and your breath. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any diseases. It will be cheap, so in a few years, everyone on this planet will have access to world class, low cost, medicine.
3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from 18,000$ to 400$ within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started printing 3D shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D-printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to need in the past.
At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they have already 3D-printed a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D-printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to enter, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” And if the answer is yes, then work on how you can make that happen sooner. If it doesn’t work via your phone, forget the idea. And any idea that was designed for success in the 20th century is probably doomed to fail in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear that there will be enough new jobs in such a short time.

Agriculture: There will be a 100$ agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their fields instead of working in them all day. Aeroponics will need much less water. The first veal produced in a petri dish is now available. It will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for rearing cattle. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several start-ups which will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

Apps: There is already an app called “moodies” which can tell the mood you are in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where we know whether the participants are telling the truth and when not!

Currencies: Many currencies will be abandoned. Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the future default reserve currency.

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span was 79 years, now it is 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than a one-year increase per year. So we all might live for a long, long time, probably way beyond 100.

Education: The cheapest smartphones already sell at 10$ in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smartphone. That means everyone will have much the same access to world class education. Every child can use Khan Academy for everything he needs to learn at schools in First World countries. Further afield, the software has been launched in Indonesia and will be released in Arabic, Swahili and Chinese this summer. The English app will be offered free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half-a-year.

ooOOoo

Interesting times, indeed!

You all have a very good weekend!