"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." -Martin Luther

Monday, August 27, 2007

Economic and Social Safety Progress Report

Dear Readers,
In an effort to free up more time for my scholarly vocation, I have, among other measures, devised a way to update my blog without writing anything. I will "self-plagiarize" by posting past pieces of prose. More specifically, I will post what I hope to be enjoyable and rather open-ended essays I was assigned in the Spring of 2006. This, the first installment, was my effort at a satire. Enjoy:


Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present the North American Provincial Legislature for Economic and Social Safety with my comparison report concerning the last two years, 2344 and 2345. The progress achieved in the arenas of work reduction, technological advancement, safety process refinement, and job creation are therein detailed, showing dramatic improvement continuing the overall trend towards excellence. In addition, physical, social, and mental health is considered in detail. Finally, Mr. Speaker, the report contains several guiding cautions for the legislature's benefit. For the purposes of simplification, I will now summarize the report, giving the final figures for each area, as well as examples of progress.

On the forefront of work reduction are the technological applications committees. In 2345, these committees introduced advancements in robotics, transportation, and interface controls such that the average citizen was saved six percent of his or her work time, compared to a four percent reduction in 2344. The average citizen now spends only five percent of his or her time carrying out his or her occupation. Following are brief descriptions of a few of the technological advancements made in 2345. Robotic artificial intelligence and self-maintenance have been improved dramatically. Touch-activated interfaces have been made five times more sensitive to pressure. Thinkpads, such as the one used to format this presentation, transpose brain waves directly into text. Personal transport systems are safer, faster, and smarter. Again, these examples are but a few of 2345's advancements.

Safety process improvement committees report that, with new, standardized, biannually-updated safety registration forms, required monthly from all citizens, personal injuries have decreased by point-four percent. New assistance robots have put answers within reach of every citizen compiling these forms. The average citizen spent three percent more time on safety forms last year, for a total of only twenty-four percent of his or her total time.

Occupational opportunity committees report a point-three percent increase in job openings gained last year, with a gain of forty-thousand job opportunities for a loss of only twenty-seven thousand. Of these new occupational opportunities, forty percent were in government and supervision venues. Another forty percent were in health research and physical fitness training. Six of the remaining ten percent were in the venue of education.

Health and physical fitness committees report that the average citizen spent fifty-one percent of his or her total time researching for personal health and exercising for physical fitness. Dieting technology research introduced fourteen new dieting techniques last year, and nutritional manufacturers produced innumerable new foods. These foods contained less nutritionally harmful contents and new biodrugs for only a slightly higher price per ounce, and were either generalized to appeal to the most dieting plans, or specialized for a specific plan. The most popular new food last year was H-Two O's, which requires only the addition of water to create a bowl full of milk and healthy cereal. As a result of these advancements, the average citizen gained only four pounds last year, compared to a six point-three pound gain in 2344.

Social interactment and leisure time requirements remained steady in 2344; however, 2345 showed a new trend. Sleep reduction research yielded new therapies and drugs which reduced the average citizen's sleep requirement to only seven percent, allowing the final thirteen percent total time to be spent in social interaction and relaxation. Included in my report are some examples of sleep replacement technology, such as hypnotist robots and chemically-modified-caffeine misting implants.

Now, Mr. Speaker, with all this progress, there are still some areas of concern. Due, according to the psychology committees, to increased responsibility as each citizen is entrusted with the management of a larger portion of his or her country's robotic workforce (in order to allow further extra-terrestrial colonization), the average citizen was eight percent more depressed, four percent more likely to be obese, and nine percent more likely to take his or her own life last year. These figures represent an increase of approximately one percent in the growth of each of these areas compared to 2344. The committee on mental and physical well-being recommends more research into satisfaction-inducing drugs, genetic therapy to reduce the human body's storage of fat, sleep reduction to allow more free time, and work reduction to cut down on fatigue.

Finally, the committee on the North American Colony to Mars reports that last year's selection of colonial citizens has proven to be superb. Though suffering from dietary and general food shortages and forced because of power shortages and lack of repair equipment to take on ninety percent of the robotic workforce's duties, our brave colonists are physically fit and mentally healthy. The committee and the colonists themselves urge the legislature to allocate more robotics, food, and biodrugs to the colony with "haste brought on by appreciation for our brave citizens' work."

To conclude, Mr. Speaker, it has been a pleasure to see the increase in progress last year, especially in its across-the-board nature. The legislature needs no reminder, I am sure, to push for better research in responsibility strain reduction and colony supply allocation. With a continued passion for progress, this nation can realize a brighter, happier future.