Although as a young man I read everything Kurt Vonnegut wrote, I was never much of a science fiction fan. Other than seeing the most recent Star Trek movie with a visiting relative I’ve never even seen an episode, even though the original series ran when I was in the heart of my television watching youth.
However, even though I ignored it during its original run, I’ve become a big fan of Futurama ever since its resurrection on Comedy Central and the introduction of new episodes after a lengthy absence.
Futurama has introduced me to science fiction, as well as lots of great concepts in physics and metaphysics. How many cartoons can do that for you? I loved The Flintstones, but I’m not really certain that it’s helped in any way to expand my outlook on life, although you do have to love the talking mini-pterydactyls inside every consumer appliance. That’s something that can never be outsourced.
Anyway, one recurring theme on Futurama is the ability to preserve human heads. Not only preserve them, hell, even Ted Williams could do that, but maintain them as living, thinking and talking entities.
The beauty of such a system is clear, but perhaps most useful is the repository of historical continuity that exists in each talking head.
As we look at the changing nature of the American dream and the jobs situation, to me it appears that we are evolving into a sutuation where physical labor is going to become less and less of our national character.
It appears that way because it already is that way.
Manufacturing has been going offshore for a couple of generations and our heavy industry just continues to take a beating.
Some states, like Texas, boast of job growth, but the Presidential wannabe taking credit neglects to mention that these are overwhelmingly dead end minimum wage jobs. Additionally, had his earlier talk of secession become reality, it’s doubtful that the United States Treasury would have sent TARP and QE funds to the new nation of RIck Perry’s creation.
The more recent manufacturing innovations in technology, computer chips a prime example, are being made all over the world. Solar panels? Have you ever heard of China?
Did you see the beating that legacy companies such as Boeing, 3M, Illinois Toolworks and AK Steel took in their shares prices today? It surely can’t change by tomorrow. (I can’t really find a good “sarcasm” font, so instead here’s a winking eye instead, as the allusion to cartoon characters just continues.)
What’s left for us in the United States?
Well, just for a moment, let’s forget about how the great minds in theoretical math and physics gave us Collaterilzed Debt Obligations and other financial derivatives. Instead of bemoaning the fact that we don’t produce anything anymore, let’s celbrate the wonderful ingenuity and the ability to make something out of nothing at all.
But that’s what we have been for a long time and have certainly further evolved.
Sure, we do need people to pump gas, construct buildings and perform various physical jobs, but we are increasingly becoming a nation that creates nothing but ideas.
Certainly, there are advantages to the preserved head form of life. Without the necessary equipment to procreate, the need for jobs will abate. No population growth means less demand for available jobs, which in turn leads to increased wages for those that haven’t yet evolved.
At some point, as the underclass, those with torsos and limbs becomes adequately wealthy and is able to avail themselves of the best opportunities to expand their minds, they too will evolve into the heads only class, leading to a further wage pressure. Someone has to change the fluid in our head jars.
From a social perspective, people like RIck Santorum would be torn. Sure, fewer abortions, but that would still be accompanied by fewer people upon whose shoulders the social security sytem could rely.
Did I mention that the preserved heads have no shoulders?
I spent 30 years working with my hands.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but then why are we not spending more of our research dollars to create a man-made evolutionary kingdom of Talking Heads.
Not the kind the you see on TV. There’s already plenty of hot air that contributes to our global warminjg. But the kind of Talking Heads that actually contribute to our continued evolution as an economic powerhouse.
On a personal level, I’m slowly making the transition. Now, I make my living using an index finger or two. All I need to do these days is type in a buy or sell order.
After all, it is a slow process, that’s the basis of evolution. I know that the technology already exists to be able to move a virtual mouse and point and click on a computer monitor.
I want that.
Just look at the efficiency of evolution.
I used to spend many hours in physical and mental labor. For many years the employment of others depended on whether I could game a system enough to justify our continued employment.
With the proceeds of those labors, whatever was left over after the basic necessities would be shipped off to my stock broker, who himself evolved into a financial advisor. He then prematurely devolved.
High fees, slow and inefficient trade executon and a limited inventory of products.
Like the Big Bang, an antithesis to evolution I began my own trading career after having given up on it 20 years earlier.
The first things necessary were to abandon the outdated human characteristics and emotions of fear, regret and greed.
How else can you explain buying Freeport McMoRan on Monday at $55.50 and then selling a weekly option expiring this Friday with a $55 strike price for $1.41 premium.
Sure, you could call it stupidity.
But you’ll have to agree that there’s no greed involved, since I’m perfectly content to net $0.91 per share.
Unless of course you believe that 1.8% weekly ROI is greedy, because it sure isn’t stupid.
I used to have morbid fear and would overly intellectualize every trade I made back in the days before I turned the reigns over to a professional.
Evoluition can be wonderful.
And imagine, without a body to worry about, think how much more your investing income would stretch. That’s one less pair of Crocs for me.
For me, the evolutionary process took another step forward,as my oldest son informed me that he just received Option Level 2 approval for his new trading account.
He’s made a handful of trades and has clearly evolved beyond my old Buy and Hold days. I think his average holding period has been about 4 days, somewhat longer than his girlfriend tenure.
Of course, you do need arms and hands to be part of the “holding” class, so there still may be a flaw in my thinking.
But if anyone that can work out the details, it’s this head.
Can someone scratch my ears?