January 2021

Welcome to the New Normal

Welcome to the year 2021. Let's see how I did on last year's predictions.

1. Privacy & Security

Yup, definitely a big topic, Facebook and Google have been under increasing scrutiny over their exploitation of personal information. We'll see how the legal cases against them pan out.

2. Climate Change

Lots of named storms (over the pre-named 26!), lots of wild fires, and who can forget the multiple tornadoes right here in Tennessee. Warmer temperatures means more energy in the atmosphere, and boy are we getting to see some of that destructive energy.

3. Commercial Space

Yes, yes, yes! SpaceX became the first private company to launch astronauts to the ISS and return them back again. My entire family watched the livestream of DEMO-2 and CREW-1 fights. It was an amazing experience and a real highlight from the year.

4. Battery Powered Everything

Electric Vehicle companies have taken off like mad. TSLA stock has gone to orbital heights and even after splitting the stock has continued to rise to the point that it's now in the S&P 500 list of companies. Simply astounding. There are many solid electric vehicles on the market now, it's really exciting to see EVs really becoming more mainstream. Are EVs perfect? No, but they're a much better alternative to petrol powered vehicles, that's for sure.

I've never been more tempted to buy a new vehicle than when I saw the Cybertruck reveal. But I'll wait until the used prices enter my non-loan purchasing range, but that may be a while.

What Wasn't On My List?

The COVID-19 pandemic of course. Talk about a real game changer. The number of lessons we can learn from it are nearly endless, but I'll list a few that stood out to me personally.

Physical Interaction is Not Optional

Yes, remote work, remote meetings, and video calls are the future, but they can't replace the need of all humans to have real, physical interaction with other human beings. Even things as seemingly mundane as going to the store to buy groceries takes on a new meaning. Quarantines are a useful tool, but definitely not a long term solution for us humans. We need others.

Family is Essential

I've never been more appreciative of my family as I've been during this time. It's very easy to take your family (and extended family) for granted, but when you can't get together, or have to get together in much smaller gatherings it really hits home.

Scarcity Makes Way for Appreciation

Last year, who would say they appreciate toilet paper? Um, nobody. How about truck drivers or grocery store clerks? Nope. The fact is we need these people, and countless others to keep our society running. I hope we don't quickly forget the service individuals do every day to keep our society fed, dressed, and running.

Dumpster Fire

I can't remember a year when I've been more excited to see it come to an end. 2020 was a real dumpster fire, and if the pandemic wasn't bad enough, US politics hit new lows as well. Here's hoping 2021 will be brighter.

Yes, I know COVID-19 won't simply disappear because the calendar year clicked over, but thankfully our understanding of COVID-19 has improved greatly and we have new tools at our disposal to fight it, namely vaccines.

Here's to 2021!