Normally when people do a recap of the year they mention all the positive aspects. And in most people’s live those are the memories we remember most. My own personal year in review has been great, at that personal level. I mean I went back to school and got a new and exciting job. But what happens when you go past the personal level, past the family level and past the close knit friend level… What I mean by this is as a Society, as a Species, was 2014 really that great of a year? Or, was it possibly one of the worse years ever for Human Kind? While everyone in the world sends out recaps of the joyous moments of the last year, I decided to keep it real… bring forward the stuff we shove aside cuz its someone else’s problem. Welcome to Considered Normal?’s Dark Side of 2014.
So where to start? Do I begin with the massive Ebola Outbreak and the blunders that happened with trying to contain it? Do i start with Ferguson and the high amount of seemingly racial based shootings (White cops, black victims), Or do I start with AirAsia/Malaysia Airlines, and the 3 downed planes (one missing) and one that totally missed the runway. Should I start with 2014 being the year of the Hackers? Heartbleed, ShellShock, DDoS attacks, Sony and iCloud being compromised. Or do I start off with something a lot closer to home? The attacks on Canadian Military by ISIL Sympathizers…
All and all as Human’s I think we have hit an all time low.
Lets start with this summers biggest news topic, which is still going on, just no one seems to care anymore:
This topic was a scary one, lines with talks of conspiracies and corruption. Although officially announced on March 25, 2014 Ebola didn’t hit the main stream news till it hit epidemic proportions in late summer. By October Ebola claimed its first victim on US soil, and two nurses became infected. Both the World Heath Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) admit to dropping the ball. The WHO for their botched early attempt at containing Ebola and the CDC for their protocols in dealing with Ebola which landed two nurses in the hospital due to getting infected with Ebola, Not to mention the scares to 3 Canadian Cities: Ottawa, Brampton and Edmonton.
Now along with the provable facts came the conspiracies about the outbreak. Everything from it being a human created bio-weapon to it being used for population control among other theories. Definitely now our brightest moment.
On the lighter side, the two nurses who were infected, recovered fully.
Next up, we have Human on Human destruction. Our generation was the hopeful one that we could eliminate “Racism” and get along, however that dream has been set back a zillion years thanks to the next blunder of 2014:
On august 9th, 2014, Michael Brown was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson, sparking an unrest in Ferguson St. Louis that lasted for months. This happened just after Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York, after a police officer put him in a grappling hold essentially choking him to death. The worst part of which is that neither officer was charged. The Hashtage #BlackLivesMatter hit the blogosphere like a hail storm.
For moths after the unrest continued. At one point the police called for a no-fly-zone, which CNN reported that it was for safety reasons and NOT to block the media. The same day Reuters released an article quoting an FAA Manager stating otherwise:
“They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out,” said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by the AP through a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request.
And the Ferguson police released a statement that they were not restricting the Media, but instead were protecting them, however as this video shows, the Media was also being attacked by Riot Officers.
The Ferguson incident sparked the initiative to have police wear Body Cameras to record their actions, yet this seems to have done nothing as in a separate incident, again involving a white office and black victim, the office’s camera wasn’t activated.
What kind of world do we live in where the people we trust to protect us, act in such a way, and are not punished for their actions.
On to the worst year in Aviation history…
In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went off the radar with 239 people aboard. In July Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down killing 298 passengers and crew. A few days ago AirAsia’s flight 8501 crashed which is still under investigation as they are still pulling bodes from the water. The reason for the crash has yet to be determined
And on December 30, another AirAsia flight had a close call as it over shot the runway on landing with 159 people on board. Its enough to make anyone think twice before taking a flight anywhere in Malaysia.
Then we have the technology aspect of it all, this year there seemed to have been more flaws detected and more breeches than ever before. Welcome to…
THE YEAR of the HACKER
This topic is huge, and so many articles I just don’t have time to cover it all. If you read the news you will know that a lot of these attacks (not all but a lot of them) were done by amateurs… If an amateur can take down a whole network… imagine what a pro can do? Earlier this year iCloud was compromised causing an uproar of celebrities who’s personal photos were stolen and put on the net (Jennifer Laurence was the top name that came to mind). Sony was breached most recently right before the whole “The Interview” fiasco (saw it BTW, good movie)…Then you have the lasted attach on Christmas Day, if you own an Xbox or a Playstation, chances are you weren’t able to get online due to a DDoS atttack, which can now be purchased.
And last but not least, the most memorable moment for myself, as it hit close to both my homes, were the attacks on Canada from IS Sympathizers…
ATTACKS HIT CLOSE TO HOME
On October 20 and 22, 2014, the Canadian Armed Forces was targets by ISIL Sympathisers. Weeks before threats were made to Canada because of our involvement overseas in the fight against the ISIL movement. On October 20th, in Saint Jean sur Richelieu, just south East of Montreal where I now make my home, two Canadian Armed Forces soldiers. Killing Patrice Vincent, and injuring the other office. Reportedly the driver called 911 stating he complete his task in the name of Allah.
Two days later, on October 22, Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed at the Canadian National War Memorial, the gunman then turned and high tailed it into the Parliament buildings with a plan to do more killing, however the gunman’s plans were cut short by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, who corners and shot the gunman before he could do any more harm.
On a personal level I am sure we have all had a great year, and my post is not meant to tarnish those happy memories. However the world as a whole does not belong to us at a personal level. Individually we have our strengths, but together, as the human species, we are falling further and further down hill.
I hope that 2015 is better year not only for us at a personal level, but for Humanity itself. The above articles are by any means not a definitive list of blunders we have made this year, only the ones I can personal recall, and ones that have worried me.
Despite the downers of this post… I wish you all Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. Lets all pitch in and make it a better year.