My friends who frown upon my oil investments will be happy to learn I recently invested in wind power. For a while, the technology was more window dressing than a serious alternative to fossil fuels. But over the last few years, the technology has advanced enough to make wind energy feasible. “In Europe, off-shore wind already powers over a million homes. ( “Wind Is Getting Really, Really Cheap,” by Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune, November 2016, pg 16.) With government subsidies to encourage start-ups, wind power is likely to grow in the United States, as well. This summer, Massachusetts passed legislation requiring utilities to buy “1.6 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind farms over the next decade.” (Ibid pg. 16.) Like the song says, The times, they are a changing.
So, too, are changing habits of food shoppers. Seeking health in food rather than medicine is the current fashion. In a Nielsen survey, 39% of shoppers reported they treated their ailments with food. (“The Rise of the Ailment Shopper,” by Beth Kowitt, Fortune, November 2016, pg. 14.) Gluten intolerance and diabetes are among the two most responsive to diet. Customers spend $27 billion annually on products with reduced fat and sugar, for example, which is why food companies are increasing their offerings.
Another change in the wind is an increased demand for women to work in technology. In the past, Silicon Valley was viewed as a male bastion, but no more. Tech companies have discovered women, not men, are early adopters to new technology. (“Briefing,” by Valentina Zarya, Fortune, November, 2016, pg. 14.) They were quicker than their male counterparts, for example, to embrace social media. In 2013, Snap Chat discovered 70% of its early adopters were women. (Ibid pg. 14.) That’s because women like to shop online and “spend more time and money on mobiles.” (Ibid pg. 14) Little wonder that having discovered the source of their prosperity, tech companies are looking for women programmers to produce women friendly systems.
All this change makes me curious about the future. If I were allowed to return to earth in a thousand years, what would it look like? Would people appear as they do today? Or, like Borgs, will they have merged with their technology? By then, humans may consist of so many metal parts, they needn’t worry about diabetes or food allergies. If I were looking to invest in that distant future, I’m guessing “metal” illness might be a booming field.