Japan is asking it’s youth to learn computer coding as a second language. Computers are unavoidable. As much as politicians must listen to the concerns and woes of the people. They must analyze the problems they face – and help frame answers. The answer is STEM – IT professionals, people who can code. We’re generating and creating a ton of jobs from managing server warehouses to manning and operating help desks. Because we’re moving digital – it’s not a brave new world it’s been here for some time.

The internet is a physical thing and it needs engineers and people to turn the screws just like cars and basic manufacturing jobs. It’s akin to the manufacturing skill set that built the rust belt and spawned powerful unions that helped form a vibrant middle-class America. But that has changed and the human condition has evolved. IBM Watson has just co-written a song. Things we take for granted, that we want back, might not come back – ever.

At the same time people are fed up, in general, with society. Remember the film Falling down? Have you ever seen the HBO Film Empire Falls that outlines the rise and fall of an industrial Maine town that’s slowly decaying and how that affects its people? As a whole we have focused on external bogey men and have sought to hold individuals accountable for large global trends that are unstoppable. It’s changed so fast, society can’t digest and has formally asked for a time to re-arrange prioritize and prepare for the future. A Donald Trump presidency doesn’t have to be scary for some. It can possibly mean real short term prosperity and solid reform as we prepare and strategize the long term, because the future is far more different than the past and the present.

Computers, how they work, how they’re fixed, how to take care of them  is going to be in that future. The upper echelons of society might be those who make the machines and the middle class those who repair and care for them, as the bots do the labor that humans once did. It can be extremely painful or we can prepare for the future. Act accordingly and embrace it ahead of everyone else and remain the global super power with the world’s premier economy.

This election has made it clear that the choice is ours. This election, whether or not you’re freaked out, should show you the vote does count and participation matters. The electoral college, interestingly, reveals how communities feel and what they want. I did not know and I had considered the deep pain of the rust belt when I thought about this election and the future of the country. But the real problems and solutions are rooted in one place – the community. We have to look inward and take care of where we live. Then, prepare for the future.

Featured image courtesy of US News.

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