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What is on the cards in the year 2019?


by Victor Cherubim     





Sending Christmas Cards has been a long standing Christmas tradition. The custom of sending greetings to friends and family started as early as 1843 by Sir HenryCole. He set up the Public Record Office (now called the Post Office). It was a“Christmas congratulation card with a picture emblem of old English festivity to perpetuate kind recollections between friends”.





The first postal service that people used to send a Christmas card was started with the first Penny Post (postal delivery) in 1840 with the opening up of the railways. Before that only the rich could send anything in the post as it was done by“horse and carriage”.





The first
cards usually had pictures of the Nativity scene. In late Victorian times red
robins and snow visions became popular. Now we see a variety of scenes and all
sorts of pictures on them. We often find winter pictures, Santa Claus, family
photos and even jokes and pets depicted.





Last year,Christmas seemed to be beginning of a different sort of tradition. The use ofthe Christmas card as a means of communication has changed due to increase inpostal costs as well as the continuing shift to online communication.





It might seem
quicker or cheaper to send an email, or even an e-card, but many will agree
that it is nothing like sending and receiving  a card to hang around the Christmas tree – a
showpiece of friendship. There is much more to a Christmas card than meets the
eye. It is filled with the thoughts and good wishes and to some it is an annual
newsletter of what has happened over the year – all part of the festivities.





Life in 2019





With one
click online shopping, contactless cards and mobile payments, life is moving
faster than we expect. It is harder than ever to keep track of our spending.





A survey states
that the average person “wastes” over £4,000 a year on non essentials in
Britain. Being financially mindful is the message if and when Britain crashes
out of the EU without a deal?





What will the technological landscape look like in
2019?





We are in an
era where technological advances are happening at an exponential rate. Soon we
will see the number of mobile devises skyrocket. There will be 10.2 billion
more devices and connections across the world. Online video will do a complete
takeover of home TV. There may be a future without TV in the home at some later
date.





Focussing on
what Carnegie scholars believe will be the most significant and challenging
issues facing the world, especially in the Middle East and Africa.





Cyber warfare
and AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR and AR, Geopolitics v geo-economics all will
have implications both in the developed and developing world. The saying is
“out with the old, in with the new”.





Technology
may become a threat to Western democracies? They may suffer from
misinformation, “reality problem exaggeration”? The tremendous capability of
cybercrime, mass data collection is a continuing threat. AI is evolving at a rate.
Will it soon replace human decision making?





Whether you
get a job or a mortgage or who is released early on parole or prison, we know
it is often algorithms increasingly determine the big decision now in our
lives? Whether we like it or not, algorithms rule us, because algorithms are
faster and more efficient they say, than people? But do they often make the
best decisions? The difficult part is that they can hardly be challenged? It’s
anybody’s guess?   





In 2019 we
shall see facial tracking will become widely popular in many spheres. Everyone
has recognisable features. It is easier for the camera to detect faces rather
than their surroundings. It could be used for numerous live events, public
protest marches included, such as football games and sport, among other events.





VR (Virtual
Reality) is used a significant amount not only in our event world but in many
everyday features of life. An example could be someone wanting “to experience”
driving a new car (model), or even a driverless vehicle. The showroom could
make the buyer see the sights, hear the sounds of what the actual drive would
be like, wearing VR goggles.





AR (Augmented
Reality) is also becoming popular as it is supported by Androids with computer
generated images with the physical environment.





IF
(Intermittent Fasting) is a method of diet control, our food intake. We all
know once Christmas is out of the way, one of the common New Year resolutions
is to get healthy. It only means one thing, lose weight? It is when you
restrict what you eat at different times of the day, week, to create a calorie
deficit, through periods of starvation. Are we going back to the days of
anorexia? Atkins diet rose to fame in 2000’s. It seems we will be focussing on
healthy food trends in 2019?





How do we see our cost of living in 2019?





When you
think of cost of living and the quality of our living, the first thing that
strikes us, is the price of Crude oil? Researchers state irrespective of Qatar
moving out of OPEC, or the Canadian reduction in “fracking” or the oil well
drilling forecast for 2019 by Petroleum Services Association of Canada, or even
the delay of the IPO by the Saudi’s, one thing is predicted. Crude oil prices
could be in for a bumpy ride in 2019? The global oil benchmark Brent will
average $61 a barrel according to EIA’s 2019 Forecast.





Does the future always follow the forecast?





The world is
currently producing more oil than it needs. Several things could impact oil
next year. A slowdown in the global economy could hurt demand, while a natural
disaster or even a mechanical fault could affect supplies?





We may expect a slowdown in the rate of volatility we have experienced in 2018? But one thing is for sure, the most important factor for investors to focus on, is whether there will be a global recession in 2019? While the forecast is for economic growth to slow down, there are few signs of overheating or even a full-blown trade war between the United States and China or in Europe? 






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