So now that you are done with all the greetings, it’s time to move on to figuring out what exactly is going to happen this year. Remember, these are not my convictions which have an excellent track record (see previous post), these are predictions. These have no established track record and might just about come true.
The stock market will go…nowhere!
Yes, I know the smart-alecks are already smirking, the buildings are going to be there. Lets get over the juvenile jokes, shall we? I am talking about the all important index. Sensex, Nifty, take your choice. The powers-that-be have opened up investment to foreign investors in a hope that they will help buoy an index that seems to be going all over the place and generally behaving like a brat that needs a decent spanking. Well, its not going to work. The markets have decided that just going up is no fun, squiggly lines are so much more entertaining. Expect lots of charts, on the TV channels, replete with candlesticks and breakouts and desperately trying to make sense of the randomness, but all that will happen is that the finance guys with too much of the wrong kind of leverage will have rashes break out when the stocks move randomly. Suddenly all the sixty year old’s will seem so much more intelligent having parked their funds in Postal Deposits and FD’s. (That’s only till the banks declare bankruptcy – then everyone will be buying candlesticks – the real ones)
Populist Activism will be the mantra for the year ahead!
Something stirred across the globe last year. People came out on the streets and started demanding things. The powers that be (and lets face it, its a family business everywhere) were taken aback. This simply wasn’t their in the succession plan – Grandpa and told Pa who had told the rising son (pun intended) all the bank account numbers and access codes along with the phone numbers of the sycophants but they definately had not told anything about people on the street. Weren’t people supposed to be sitting at home wailing over their misfortune? What the hell were they doing on the streets?
Some gave orders to their troops to kill, some ran, some hemmed and hawed and some stone-walled and some just got walled. But without exception every one in the ruling families reached for a glass of cold water and a tablet to calm the nerves.
This shall continue with renewed vigour. “Springs” will sprout all across the place which will further make those stock market lines more squiggly than ever before. And these springs shall be fed by….the social network.
The social network, which will become the de-facto network.
No not the movie silly (but of course the movie was awesome, and I believed everything in it) – the concept. The site that’s got nothing to do with books and that other site which is named after bird talk will become the choice of communication. Emails are so dead! Gen -Z (I was Gen-Y and I am now officially old) will only “Inbox” on non-book site and forget their friends names as they will now only remember handles. “You are at-what again?” will replace “Hello what’s your name?”.
Non-Book will cross a population of a billion this year, making it one of the largest collection of human beings on the planet. Previously these collections used to be called countries with an overarching identity you couldn’t get out of without much pain, now they are just part of the social network. (And you still think the Matrix was fiction) . At 1 billion countries used to get advice on get their people to do family planning and worry about supporting an ageing population, luckily the massive networks of today need not worry about any such thing. Actually they will, but by the time they get around to facing that issue, its already too late for them – another cooler network would have taken over.
BirdTalk will rise as the default medium of choice for people to try and air opinions in less than150 characters and some of them used to verbal diarrhea will end up regretting it. There is an established precedence for this and will only get more rampant as more executives and politicians across the globe try to get savvy. They know how to handle the traditional media (which required patronage and something to talk about) but handling something that’s truly democratic like social networks is something that most leaders will find difficult.
Besides brevity is an art and also even the most well meaning concept when communicated in less than adequate words ends up open to misinterpretation and speculation. Fodder for crucifixion by, surprise surprise – the traditional media.
Which brings me to the my last prediction for the year.
The traditional media, will increasingly get more vocal, even more sensationalist and as some people would day – quite intolerable. But this is not their fault. Each channel has to rise beyond the clutter of a hundred similar channels, Each one has to claim it is exclusive, Each one has to somehow prove its different and at the end of it all somehow make money. The inherent contradiction in the media industry is that it has to blow its own trumpet, there’s nobody else who can do it (Gasp! Did you say – find out what people really think? Surely you jest! When was the last time that was done). There are some who go out with a whimper, some who go out with a bang – some blabber incoherently all the way to the end. The news readers will raise their pitches louder till one of them bursts a vein, the saas and bahu will still not reconcile, elderly ladies will connive and scheme and run their brood with an iron fist. The average Indian household will stare at the tube for hours, watch programs that lower their intelligence by several notches and then complain about the trash on offer.
So, here is the bottom line: This year will see the rise of the “normal guy”, using the power of the modern communications in-spite of attempts to choke and thwart. This “normal guy” having won his hard battle will then go on to do exactly what the previous normal guys had done after winning their battles with guns and bullets.
And the world will be the same like never before.
Learning valuable lessons from a cartoonist and blogger who got lam-blasted for lam-pooning, I issue disclaimers with every post unlike in DKV where I issued a blanket disclaimer. All the above is gibberish and I condemn such frivolus and callous and misleading predictions. This is exactly the problem with the internet – just about any joker can start a blog and start writing predictions. But of course the world is going to be very different this year, I laugh on the face of anyone who says otherwise!