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first_imgCommentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Props to the Wellington school board Thursday night for doing some outside the box thinking.Taking the advice of four Wellington high school math instructors, most who are young and have been newly hired by the school district in the past three years, the board approved the purchase of Chromebooks and computer software instead of going with a $40,000 purchase on textbooks — you know those huge things you carry around in backpacks until you are done being educated. The new computer software called ALEKS (see story here) has the ability of providing the latest in math curriculum while teaching students at their own rate.I loved the move and I hope it works out, because when it comes to change, things are changing very quickly, and schools haven’t always kept up.Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis predicts our future.A week ago when we were being barraged with unnecessary Super Bowl coverage, I stumbled across this fascinating discussion on a sports talkshow hosted by Fox Sports anchor Colin Cowherd. He was interviewing an entrepreneur named Jason Calacanis, who has invested in such things as Tumblr, Uber and Tweetup among other things. I guess he’s a big deal, but I didn’t realize his existence until last week when I was really only looking for more blather about the soon-to-be 2016 World Champion Denver Broncos(!).It was one of those rare moments on television when the world had to stop, and I had to grab the DVR remote and record what this guy was saying.Calacanis made some incredible predictions about the future of the world. Here were a few of them:•This will be the last generation to see a car wreck because we will have self driving cars. Apple and Google are already developing Smart Cars.•Obtaining oil will become irrelevant once technology figures how to derive all our energy from solar power and cars that require no fuel.•Poverty will become non existent – because essentials like utilities, food, and water will become free.•Our crops will be farmed by robots, and those robots will come and deliver us our food.•Manual labor will become a thing of the past – because we have robots (duh!).•And employment and what to do with ourselves will be the biggest challenge of the future.Calacanis said unemployment could soar as high as 30 percent.“History has shown that when unemployment rises anywhere above 15 to 20 percent, people are rioting in the streets, burning down buildings,” he told Cowherd. “So the government is going to have to figure out a way to keep the economy moving.”Calacanis said that will lead to people receiving guarantee money like $1,000 a week. He acknowledges it sounds like socialism and communism, but he can’t envision any other solution to the unemployment situation.“Unemployment will be our biggest challenge,” he said.Calacanis said work weeks will be reduced to four days a week in order to create more jobs. And he thought that the education and healthcare sector will experience the most growth – perhaps employing three to four times more people than today. Education will last from Kindergarten to the 16th grade and that too will be free. He said college will be incorporated into the K-12 experience.Calacanis concluded that all of these things are likely to happen in our lifetime. Maybe not for you who are 70, but at least for those in their 30s and 40s.You can discount this guy as a crackpot. But Calacanis has gained his fame after selling his website Weblogs, Inc. to AOL — a website that promoted a novel concept in the early 200os of developing blogs to make money. He now spends his time as a consultant and connecting startups with angel investors. I would have dismissed a lot of what he said, except he was one of the original Uber investors and is making significant money from it. Uber, a company I don’t fully understand, is this time share car kind of thing where people use phone apps to be taxied from one place to the other.————I have been thinking a lot about Calacanis predictions. While no one has a crystal ball, he basically is saying the rules of today, may no longer apply in the future.Heck, I was just thinking about how things have changed in my half century on this earth. I graduated from Colorado State University with a technical journalism degree that was already flawed before I secured my first job. Because I was deemed to type too slow, I was forced to take a remedial typing class. I also took a newspaper composition class where I learned how to make up newspaper pages using an exacto knife and hot wax. Trouble is, Steve Jobs had already introduced the Macintosh Computer three years earlier that made that process all obsolete. Hello???Now let’s fast forward to 2015. I run a digital newspaper, doing things it would have taken 10 newspaper people in the 1980s to complete. One of the great things about running this site is not one person has called me on the phone to ask me why they haven’t gotten their paper.But before I get too cocky, I just read someplace that news websites are becoming dated. The theory is that people don’t have time for lengthy copy and it will all be done through the immediacy of social media. I know one thing. When I’m live tweeting sports stories on Friday night it isn’t for the old folks.Heck, now I’ve heard that Twitter is already passé. It no longer has a growing audience and is clearly in financial trouble. Why?Because the young people who were on Twitter don’t like the fact that what they are posting there is permanent. The “new” thing is Snapchat where you can post something and it evaporates in 24 hours. I say new thing’ only as it relates to Twitter. Heck, my kids were moving onto Twitter when I discovered this cool new website called Facebook a few years ago. I am always a step behind.Cowherd asked Calacanis what would happen to the 40-year-old something who still hasn’t embraced technology.He said it is game over.So in other words, you better have a firm grasp on the latest technology, have the ability to socially connect with people as quickly as possible, and not be involved in any physical industries like farming, oil, or anything that requires digging.Sounds like a lot of pressure for an old fart like me.Now can someone tell me how to get on Snapchat?Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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