2015, a memoir

The year was quite eventful in some respects, just the same as previous years in others.

Looking ahead…

Every new year gives us an opportunity for a fresh, promising perspective to existing aspects of our life. Career, personal goals, habit building and the world around us overall.

I think I can sum up my 2015 with the words — grateful, enduring, thought-provoking, maturing.

While 2015 made great strides for technology, what lies ahead of us in 2016 and beyond is more exciting than ever.

Space travel

SpaceX made a milestone success of getting a launched spacecraft back to the Earth. That, in itself, drastically reduces the cost to put man and material in space. I will not be surprised that space tourist travel will become mainstream before the middle of this century. More than making space travel possible, learning more about how humans adapt to it physically and psychologically is key. Making space travel safer and reliable is extremely important for it to develop as an industry and for people to spend money on it.

It took a better part of a century for us to master air travel. Space travel may not take that long, but we are, for the first time, looking beyond the Earth. That is literally unchartered territory. It will be interesting to wait and see what unfolds in 2016 and beyond.

Technology

Drones have become more commonplace than ever before. I saw a newly constructed office space using drones to create a timeline video of the entire construction process using drones. Drones saved lives by surveying inaccessible locations, during floods and other disasters.

Hover-boards are interesting too. Once the manufacturers sort the explosion/fire problem with reasonable safety for the devices, I think they will replace or compliment segways and help people having a lot of walking to do as part of their jobs — such as warehouses or parks.

Connected living

An aisle at Best Buy features a host of gadgets to control the home with a smartphone/tablet. This, I would think, is just the beginning of connecting every conceivable electronic item in your home to the smartphone. Life will certainly be different with the home constantly surrounded by wi-fi enabled devices. We still have a long way to go before mainstream adoption. Time will tell.

Nature

2015, especially, the second half, proved to be very different from others for most parts of the world in terms of weather. Unprecedented warm temperatures, snowfall, rain, floods, heat waves etc. shattered weather records in multiple continents.

We did see a significant step towards combating climate change with the agreement in France this year. Pollution in some of the most densely populated cities in the world is one reason to cut down on carbon emissions, even with ongoing debate of the impact of humans on climate change. Beijing and New Delhi especially posed a grim picture of how bad pollution can get.

Information

People were able to receive and share information much faster than before, in 2015. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, my home city was able to get back on its feet, after a devastating and unprecedented flooding and cyclones. Volunteers, relief work, rescue operations etc. were quickly coordinated using Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter. For the first time, people commented that Facebook was not just for sharing content about the fun times we all have, Facebook saves lives too.

Closing the year 2015, welcoming 2016…

Thinking back about the year 2015, I just like all of you, have a lot to learn from, reflect upon, grow out of and continue what we all have been doing. It may well be just a landmark in a calendar system, but, the New Year can be an opportunity for us to reflect, refine and reform and for us to get better at what we all do.

Good luck and best wishes for a Happy and Joyous 2016!

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