Last night, I posted a brief look back at 2015, so tonight I'll post a brief look forward to 2016. On a personal level, I think 2016 will be much like 2015 was. I don't ordinarily make New Year's resolutions, and when I do, they are always simple and concrete- the last New Year's resolution I made, a couple of years ago, was to do 100 pushups every weekday, an extremely specific task which I was able to accomplish with no fuss in a short amount of time. If you pressed me to name a resolution for this year, it would be to, as Archie Bell and the Drells would put it, "tighten up", be a little more disciplined financially and physically (for instance, there are a couple of services from my phone carrier that I could do without, and there are errands I can perform on foot). I don't see any large changes in my life, but I'm doing pretty okay.
On a political level, I think that 2016 promises to be "stupid season" as far as campaigning goes, but that the general level will mark a significant shift toward serious topics- the public will hopefully get more serious about domestic financial policy and foreign affairs and, goddamnit, they'd better get serious about down-ticket races. I wish I could trust the Democratic Party to run serious challenges to the troglodytes in Congress, but I'm not that optimistic.
In a comment on my last post, mikey makes a great point from a technological and scientific standpoint:
But the tech side is poised to do some great things. Big data analytics and machine learning are getting mature. Robotics and autonomous vehicles are ready for prime time. LHC restarts in May at 1400TeV.
Yeah, the Large Hadron Collider will be back online, and the physicists have big plans for the post "Higgs boson" particle physics experiments. There is big news on the feasibility of commercial space flight. The really smart people are accomplishing great things, but there's not a lot of trickle-down to a public which believes in creationism to an embarrassingly large degree. With climate change being the most dangerous problem facing humanity in the 21st century, the public needs to get a lot smarter, FAST.
I still remain somewhat pessimistic about the prospect of 2016 being a banner year for the acceptance of uncomfortable scientific fact, or for sweeping legislation to create jobs and infrastructure. I predict it will be another year of muddling through things, with half-assed measures to improve the lot of the public being the best we can hope for, and sustained political witch hunts being much more likely. I wish I were more "bullish" about the coming year, but I've been paying attention for too damn long.