Editorial: In this new decade, set the bar high – Concord Monitor

Published: 1/5/2020 5:45:39 AM

Modified: 1/5/2020 5:45:12 AM

Which law will prevail in the decade that began this week, that of Moore or Murphy?

The former, named for computer pioneer Gordon Moore, posits that computer processing speed will double every two years. It is now used to describe the inexorable advance of technologies that mostly improve life.

Murphys Law, whose origin is less clear but linked to the early years of rocket science, is commonly quoted as, Anything that can go wrong will. That too could be what the years between 2020 and 2030 have in store.

Moores Law is fundamentally optimistic: Science will save the planet. Murphys Law pessimistic: Technology deployed to combat global warming will go awry and broil the Earth or cause another Ice Age. Which will it be? All we know for sure is that we dont know.

Who, a decade ago, would have predicted the rise of Uber, Instagram, the iPad, Airbnb, cheap DNA testing and President Trump? We dont know what will happen in the next 10 years but we do know, limiting the list to the conceivable, what wed like to see occur.

First up, an end to the politics of division and a rekindling of the sense, felt in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks, that we are all in this together. Rising seas, raging wildfires, earth-scouring storms and deadly heat waves threaten our very existence, and we will need to act, locally and as a nation, to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, tax carbon (as a bill before New Hampshires Legislature seeks to do), and support conservation and renewable energy research.

Wed like to see the rediscovery of kindness and its power to heal both giver and recipient. Wed like to see a return to civility in discourse and a time when cooperation was seen as a sign of strength and maturity, not weakness. We want facts to take precedence over gut feelings and vainglorious dreams. We wanted to see science valued for what it is, a method to explore reality and discover how and why things are as they are. We want the rule of law to apply fairly and impartially to all.

Can such lofty goals be achieved? We believe they can and so, in the next decade, can less lofty things. Among those are common-sense gun laws laws that could reduce needless gun deaths and the frequency of mass shootings that last year occurred at the rate of more than one per day.

The next decade should see the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for the millions of law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to society and paying taxes yet live in fear of deportation.

Reform of the nations so-called health care system will be on the agenda, along with the need to end profiteering and reduce the cost of drugs.

The nations tax code will need to change in the next decade if income inequality is to be reduced and meaningful work created for the growing number of people whose jobs will be replaced by automation. Americas infrastructure should be rebuilt.

The fall election will be a test of the electoral system and the impact on the outcome of dark money, foreign interference and voter suppression. Major changes, including the reversal of court decisions that treat corporations as people and even the end of the Electoral College, may be necessary. To keep government honest there will need to be a revival of local and state journalism.

Murphy or Moore? Both will be at work. Our money is on Moore and Americas ability to double the pace of its efforts to solve its host of problems.

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Editorial: In this new decade, set the bar high - Concord Monitor

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