If you are a big fan of The Office on NBC, then you probably know that Michael Scott considers autumn to be “the most contemplative of seasons”. Well, while that may or may not be true, what I do believe is that Friday is one of “the most contemplative” days of the week. Here in the great Pacific northwest there is still a couple of hours of daylight left before the sun goes down, and as the sun relentlessly continues its trajectory towards the horizon it makes me stop and reflect on how rapidly the world is changing. In just about any field that you want to name – technology, politics, economics, education, entertainment and even religion – the pace of change these days is absolutely astounding. We live at a time when we get to watch the world literally change right in front of our eyes. In the age of the Internet our attention spans have been reduced to approximately that of a squirrel, but sometimes it is good to sit back and think about the bigger picture. What does all of this change mean? Is it good? Is it bad? What kind of a future are we headed for?
This article is going to answer none of those questions.
Instead, I am going to share with you a whole bunch of questions that have been stewing around in my head. Hopefully they will stimulate your thinking as much as they have mine.
The following are 50 random questions for you to think about this weekend….
1- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that U.S. government agents can legally sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a secret GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of you everywhere that you go. In light of this, how can anyone still claim that we live in the land of the free?
2 – 23 percent of all U.S. homes with a mortgage were “underwater” at the end of June. So what in the world is going to happen if home prices go down another 10 or 20 percent?
3 – Is U.S. commercial real estate the next bubble to burst?
4 – Is the middle class being systematically wiped out of existence in America?
5 – Would saying that the U.S. government is spending money like a drunken sailor be unfair to drunken sailors?
6 – Is Vice President Joe Biden delusional when he says that Democrats will keep both the House and the Senate this election season?
7 – If having one out of every eight Americans on food stamps is considered “the new normal“, then what kind of future are the coming generations of Americans going to have?
8 – If Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke insists that everything is going to be okay with the U.S. economy, should we believe him this time?
9 – How is it possible that a worker was paid for 12 years without ever showing up for work at a Norfolk, Virginia agency funded by federal, state and local money and nobody ever noticed?
10 – If housing sales are at record lows even with mortgage rates at rock bottom levels, is there any hope that this housing crisis is going to turn around any time soon?
11 – Why are bedbugs completely and totally out of control in so many major U.S. cities?
12 – Is Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute, right when he says that the United States is headed for “the Greatest Depression”?
13 – Should we forget our debts or is paying off our debts the morally right thing to do?
14 – Are Barack Obama’s socialist policies making the U.S. national debt far worse?
15 – Will the U.S. government start listening to the Tea Party movement or will it go into even more debt and tax us all even more?
16 – Is the state of Illinois bankrupt?
17 – If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates us to care and to live honorably in the world?
18 – If the U.S. economy is getting better, why has the number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits risen over 60 percent in just the past year?
19 – Intel hopes to be able to develop the world’s first line of thought-controlled computers. So if our thoughts will someday be able to control computers, could computers be used someday to control our thoughts?
20 – Why do both major political parties relentlessly push the idea that free trade is good for us when the truth is that the cost of free trade is millions of good middle class American jobs?
21 – According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs. Why is this not talked about more?
22 – How did we get to the point where one out of every seven mortgages was delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010?
23 – Two out of every three people in the world now live in countries where religion is highly restricted. Is freedom of religion rapidly dying out?
24 – Why do Russian bombers keep flying so close to North American airspace?
25 – How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
26 – The U.S. birth rate has declined for the second year in a row. Is there a reason why so few women are having babies?
27 – The U.S. Treasury has announced that China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury securities declined by about $30 billion between April and May of this year. So if China quits buying U.S. government debt, who is going to absorb it all?
28 – What in the world is up with all the crazy weather in 2010?
29 – Some scientists claim that a massive solar storm could strike the earth during the next solar maximum in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs. So what exactly would that do to all the computers and high tech equipment that we rely on so much?
30 – Is the U.S. government the last great source of middle class American jobs?
31 – How is it possible that Rwandan and Congolese rebels gang-raped nearly 200 women over four days within miles of a UN base in an eastern Congo mining district and the UN peacekeepers did nothing about it?
32 – Why has the number of mosques in the United States increased by more than 50% over the last ten years?
33 – Was the investigation of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich cut short in order to protect Barack Obama?
34 – If the U.S. financial system is in the process of falling to pieces, then why aren’t more Americans storing up emergency food?
35 – Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has instructed his government to start construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant at a site on the Mediterranean coast. Now that nuclear technology is spreading so widely, is there any hope that it can be contained?
36 – Is the open society dying?
37 – Why aren’t U.S. politicians doing something about the fact that millions of U.S. jobs have been lost to outsourcing?
38 – Is the coming retirement crisis going to absolutely destroy the U.S. financial system?
39 – Everyone knows Mount Rushmore was the result of intelligent design. Do you think the human body is the result of intelligent design?
40 – The Transportation Security Administration has begun performing what it calls “enhanced patdowns” at two of the busiest airports in the United States. Are these “enhanced patdowns” going to essentially be grope sessions?
41 – Is it possible that China could become the largest economy in the world by the year 2020?
42 – Students at a high school in Missouri have built a car that they claim can get up to 450 miles per gallon. Do you think that the big corporations will ever let that technology get to the general public?
43 – Why in the world has the CIA been making secret payments to multiple members of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s administration?
44 – Do you have enough blind faith to believe that life just popped into existence from nonlife, and that such life just happened to have the ability to take in the nourishment it needed, to expel waste, and to reproduce itself, all the while having everything it needed to survive in the environment in which it suddenly found itself?
45 – How is it possible that King David was able to accurately describe the crucifixion of Jesus Christ approximately 1000 years ahead of time?
46 – Why is the U.S. poverty rate the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development?
47 – Why are so many nations around the world adopting the strict population control agenda of the United Nations?
48 – If time never had a beginning, but rather goes backwards infinitely or has gone through an infinite number of cycles, then how is it possible that we are here today?
49 – The mayor of Philadelphia is defending a decision to require bloggers to pay $300 for a business license. If this kind of thing spreads, will any of us be able to afford to blog?
50 – Is there any possible reason why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust?