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Just as I has just recovered from the immense worry of imagining my spouse getting shot at by terrorists during her current 2017 New Year visit to Istanbul, Turkey, I write this article in even greater appreciating for what is to come in 2017. Everyone likes to curse 2016 for having been a year full …   Read More

Just as I has just recovered from the immense worry of imagining my spouse getting shot at by terrorists during her current 2017 New Year visit to Istanbul, Turkey, I write this article in even greater appreciating for what is to come in 2017. Everyone likes to curse 2016 for having been a year full of famous people’s deaths and overall disappointments. I rather look ahead at things that should I think are promising, and while I not blind to the fact at least one of the things I list down below may not turn out to be as I expect, I still think, it is much better than focusing on bad things to happen.

Advances on Medicine

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A new type of HIV vaccine is scheduled to move to phase II trials in 2017. The new vaccine will be tested on 600 individuals in North America.

Even though I acknowledge the existence of the big pharma hegemony which often allows only those advances that can be turned into profit. There is still the even a mathematical reason why there will be new developments in medicine, which should help bring at the very least a way to cope with the myriad of diseases that exist out there. Although the coming of the driver-less car is really an item in the technology category, car accidents contribute millions of car accidents worldwide, majority of which are attributed to human error. Take the human from the equation with automated cars, and you have lessen the need to save or threat casualties. VR and augmented reality for surgery, advances in virtual reality and 3D renderings and applications bring forth information which will help doctors intensify the effectiveness of new surgeries.

A New Hope for America

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Sure he is no angel, and I know many of you disagree, and think he will not be any good, and that he will be the doom for the United States. I see him as an opportunity for change, even slight deviation from the status quo should be interesting, we can only hope it is not for the worse.

I am not a Trump supporter, but I really did not like the idea of Hillary Clinton winning. There are a lot of people who believe Hillary was a better candidate, simply because she seemed more sane. I don’t favour Trump as the new president of the United States, but I see him in the same way I see update to my smart phone’s operating system. A system update brings some changes to the way I use my phone, the changes may be too subtle or they may be worse than the previous version of the operating system, at the end there is a slight hope for some positive change. Hillary just seemed too much like an Obama 2.0, and there is just so much dissatisfaction with his legacy there was no way people were going to opt in for more.

New Beginnings

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Maybe it sounds corny to say, but a New Year does give way to possibility for a fresh start. Why not take this opportunity?

Every end of a cycle, whether it is a day, week, month, season, year is changes to start anew. A year is significant, because we live with it for sometime, we write it on date stamps throughout months, we identify with it, we make lists for this or that, things get associated with a year. So a year, even though our Gregorian calendar might not be the most accurate method of recording time, most of the world operates under the guidance of it. As such, our identification with a year cycle gives the opportunity to taken own a new direction on life. I am not necessarily talking about New Year resolutions, because I think those have been very been associated with broken promises, instead the idea of starting fresh is better for me, no strings attached.

Picking Up New Skills

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At the start of 2016 I took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, now I am hooked for like, also taking up Kickboxing. This year, take in an interesting new skill, there can only be good out of it.

There are too many things to learn, we would need several lifetimes to be satisfied with the potential of learning. I don’t necessarily believe there are people out there who don’t want to learn. Even for those who have been labelled as “lazy” are actually interested in something, even if it is for example playing video games. Even though it may look to an outsider that this person is lazy, what it is more likely is that this person is depositing so much time and effort in video games. People do get obsessed, of course that happens, but I believe the only reason people stagnate is because they have not experienced what it is to explore other things and perhaps they can realize they like it. For instance, this year I started practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but in 2015 I did not know I would like it so much, now I just look forward to improving in it. Perhaps 2017 will be a year you can or I can discover a new skill or interest which then will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

A Better Appreciation for Life

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There are some moments in life where you stop and appreciate life. May 2017 be a year full of those moments.

Often we have a greater appreciation for life when we experience an illness, see someone you love dying or fear someone you loved has died. Only then, we usually start to have an appreciation for the fact we are alive and therefore there are endless possibilities. The down time during the holidays helped me realize just how much we can let go of life by letting ourselves be taken by the current of everyday routine. When you stop for a second, then we can appreciate life, often I can manage to do this while on the subway as I listened to elevating music I like so much or while you go for a run. Therefore, in 2017, I hope we both get more of these moments, because in these moments that we have the opportunity to produce change, albeit positive change.

Technology for Good

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VR and augmented reality technologies will become more of a household item in 2017, beyond video games experiences and even implementation for psychotherapy. A new term virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) exposing patience with controlled experiences to manage and eventually heal mental disorders.

There are a lot of people who like to deny technology or look at technology as a basically hardcore addictive drug. In many ways, it has become like drug, just look at the instant gratification you can get from looking at photos or read funny jokes on social media. But technology is not just that, technology in the form of gadgets, software, processing power and sure: apps can be more than that. To narrow down technology to one possible thing is simply misguided. As I have claimed in the past, you give technology a direction, not a direction everyone right way gives it, but a direction you choose, with purpose. If you want technology to be fully used for entertainment, then bless you, technology will more than do that for you, it is almost what it is designed to do. Take a smart phone, it can be a Netflix machine, Snapchat machine or it can be portal to immeasurable valuable life changing knowledge, in the form of podcasts, ebooks or documentaries. For this, I look forward for new technology, applications which can better deal with life, whether it is productivity or furthering skills.

I know I am probably being overoptimistic, but since the events of 2017 has not been written yet, I think I will choose to look at the above possibilities, because they are not astrological predictions, but more so based in fact. At the end of the day, all we can do is hope and do our part to be “good” this year, to play our roles as a good citizen, respectful of one another as people, in whatever context that would be as friends, as family, as colleagues, or simply as human beings sharing this space, meanwhile we work hard to fulfill our dreams.

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