Planning Ahead

You’re probably sitting at home wondering how you should invest your excess capital to increase your personal wealth in the uncertain days that lie ahead. Fortunately for you, I have the information you need to make your current massive stockpile of money even larger.

The key is to anticipate changes in the market and move money from dwindling markets into ones that are going to grow rapidly. There have been plenty of disruptive innovations over the past century, and those who have correctly foreseen their consequences have reaped the rewards. Today we’re going to take a look at one change that will have a tremendous ripple effect: the autonomous vehicle.

Now, the core software and hardware are already spoken for, but you don’t need to invent the iPhone to make a killing on iPhone cases. Let’s look at a few markets that will open up when autonomous vehicles become common.

  1. Hotel on Wheels – This is for those of you with very deep pockets. You’ll need an agreement with a company with working autonomous driving hardware and a fleet of recreational vehicles. From there, the main problem is counting all your money. Customers spend a day sightseeing in a city of their choice, and spend the night in one of your traveling hotel rooms. When they awake, after a fitful night’s sleep, they are in another tourist destination up to four hundred miles away. Naturally, you’ll need to tune your autonomous vehicles so that they accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Providing room service is left as an exercise for the reader.
  2. Carports – As fewer people chose to own motor vehicles, the demand for carports will skyrocket. After all, who wants to have to walk through pouring rain to get to a robot taxi? The cost on this one is quite reasonable. You’ll only need metal roofing and some pillars. Since your customers are no longer paying to maintain their own cars, they’ll have plenty of money to pay for the convenience your carport provides.
  3. Garage Door Openers – Most homes have garages, but what good is a garage when you don’t own a car? Consider it a built-in, mildly climate-controlled, carport. How do you let the robot taxi inside your garage? Waiting for the car to pull up and then opening the garage door will get tiresome. Plus, you’ll have to take your garage door opener with you to open the door to let yourself back in. You could leave your garage door open permanently, but since most people keep valuable possessions inside their garages, this option will be unpopular. The answer is to allow robot taxis open your garage door when needed. The capital expensive for this option is moderate. You’ll need a website, some encryption experts, and a manufacturer for programmable garage doors and openers. When your customer calls for a ride, a one-time-use code will be sent to the eligible car, allowing it to open your garage (and close it again if you’re not already waiting). When you’re ready to head home, another code will be generated and used the same way.

So, sit back and enjoy your new-found prosperity. The future is going to be very profitable. Unless your job in any way depends on driving a vehicle or serving people that drive them. In that case, you’re probably going to want to give serious consideration to what you’re doing with your life.

Monster Patrol 1.01

“Monsters should remain in the shadows, Greyfang!”

The words echoed through the empty Jefferson Memorial before being lost in the distant rumble of freeway traffic. James Stas crept around the columns, careful to keep his heavy boots from making a sound. The hem of his black coat swung freely an inch above the white stone floor. His hand gripped a large nickle-plated handgun, glowing slightly from the light of the full moon.

“My boss wants to know why you’ve decided to pay a visit to Washington, D.C. Come in peacefully and this won’t have to turn dangerous for either of us.” James carefully cocked his pistol and slid into the massive doorway. A piercing howl erupted from inside the memorial. A massive hairy form barreled toward him. James squeezed off a few shots of tranquilizers into the beast before it crashed into one of the pillars.

The force of the impact cracked the pillar and sent it tumbling down the entry stairs. The beast pulled the darts from its hide. A werewolf lord was not so easily taken. Another howl split the night. James pitched his handgun away and pulled a shotgun from under his coat. He sighted in on the glowing red eyes and pulled the trigger, but the beast dodged sideways, spittle flying in the air. A large section of white pillar disintegrated under the shotgun barrage.

As the deafening echo died away, James retreated into the center of the memorial, his back to the bronze statue of Jefferson. Greyfang’s silhouette filled the entryway. James chambered a second shell and fired into the center of the dark shape. Greyfang lurched, but continued lumbering forward. He slashed at James’s head. James ducked under his arm and fired another shot into the werewolf’s chest. The beast growled in fury, towering over James. He lunged for the kill. “Gotcha,” James thought.

As Greyfang attacked, James rolled sideways, for the first time revealing the rocket launcher hidden under the folds of his black coat. A rocket spiraled into the air and a massive explosion smashed through the enclosed space. James covered his head with his arms. The werewolf’s sensitive ears were his weak point. Greyfang cowered in shock as the massive bronze statue and a shower of marble pinned him to the floor.

The extraction team was late as always, and the first hints of dawn revealed smoke rising from the severely damaged landmark. Finally an unmarked helicopter descended and came to rest near the Potomac. The pilot removed this blue and red helmet and surveyed the devastation. He’d ran extractions for James before.

“What happened here?” he asked.

“The werewolf lord has agreed to our terms. He will come with us for questioning. You’ll find him inside.”

The crew of the helicopter pulled their supplies for restraining a werewolf and rushed into the building. James climbed into the co-pilot’s seat and relaxed. His record of successful negotiations continued.

A Question of Loyalty

While the large Galilean spoke, the morning sacrifice began ((Acts 2:15)). Many of the Jews walked away from this strange spectacle to perform their religious duty. Others, when they heard Peter mention the name Jesus, walked away as well. They could feel the stares of the priests and didn’t want to be risk being associated with a convicted heretic ((Mark 14:64)).

Some stayed. They wanted to hear more. The news of Jesus had spread around the Jewish world. His strange ways had captivated many. Could there be more to the story, as this man claimed ((Acts 2:24))?

“You know the scriptures. Our father David said: ‘You did not leave my soul in Sheol. You did not let your holy one see corruption.’ ((Acts 2:25,27)) I think I can speak freely to you, since we are all the family of Abraham.” The crowd leaned closer, curious to hear whether this man would defy their honored ancestor. “David’s tomb is here in this very city. You know that he died ((Acts 2:29)), and if we cracked open his tomb I think we all would see that he has indeed decayed.”

“Then why would David say such a thing? Could it be that he wasn’t talking about himself? We all know he was a prophet, and he knew that God would one day set the Messiah on his throne ((Acts 2:30)). He knew that the Messiah, the son of David, would be resurrected, rather than abandoned to decay in the grave ((Acts 2:31)). I declare to you that I am a witness that God has done this very thing for his servant Jesus! ((Acts 2:32))”