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Trapped In The Future

Daniel Chase

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Many moons ago, before there was an app for that, life was simple. If you wanted to see a friend’s face in a book, you checked the yearbook from that school year. If you wanted to hear tweets, you went bird-watching, and the only insta-gram was when your grandmother showed up unannounced. Somewhere down the long and lonesome road all of a sudden their shined a shiny idea: we can invent to make life easier.

Suffice to say the engineers and brilliant minds of yesteryear followed through and then some. Because of technological advancements from the last fifty years, humanity has been allotted certain freedoms via improvements in medicine, communication, and transportation. Tolkien was spot-on when he wrote “all that glitters it not gold” because this adage applies to the current state of our global technological dependence. 

While it’s plain to see that technology has been the motivating factor for much of the social change we’ve seen in the last decade, there are many here among us who think that this is but a joke. Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorists at Queens College in New York, argues that the digital age has effectively eroded “human freedom” and has worked to “destroy communities” in the process.

In his book, Rushkoff writes that human beings will seek out “whatever appetites guarantee the greatest profit.” In other words, we are constantly searching for activities, people, and now devices that will give us the most amount of pleasure. Taking that concept one step further, technology has allowed for instant gratification via notifications and other means that has created an impatient, cloying populous that cares more about likes on a photo than anything else. 

In an interview with Vox, Rushkoff said prior to the digital age, humanity was “already on the brink of extreme alienation. It offered the possibility of retrieving a common space and away for people to share and connect. It was a chance to build an economy that wasn’t based purely on the extraction of resources and capital.” He goes on to explain that these needs were never met and, rather, digital technology expedited industrialism and globalization to the point of excess. He blames technology for automation, and the separation of “workers from the value they’re creating.”

When you really think about it, Rushkoff has a point. Technology catalyzed mass production of products across all sectors but completely laid waste to the hand-made, quality products that were once adorned and craved by consumers. Even to this day, there are a select few who will purchase products that were made by a person, not an assembly-line. Companies like Patagonia charge far more for their jackets, backpacks, and gear but compared to other brands invested in “fast fashion,” a Patagonia piece is an investment. For example, one of my favorite fleece jackets is from Patagonia and I purchased it seven years ago; it’s still holding up and getting the job done. 

There was a point in the societal pursuit of advancing life into the future that we traveled past a place where we could return to. We’ve built the entirety of our global infrastructure around technology and there’s simply no way of undoing this, lest we disrupt the societal ecosystem. Rushkoff writes that in many ways, we’ve become “hostages to our technologies, or we’re simply at the mercy of the system.” 

“We’re being steamrolled by our devices, and the result is a kind of emotional slavery. And we know that billions of dollars are going into applying everything, every nasty trick we know about behavioral finance, to the digital realm. This is what I mean when I call digital technology “anti-human.” If we were using digital and behavioral technologies to help people eat better or not smoke, then at least we could be arguing that it’s intended to help people. When we’re using technology to get people to revert to their most reptilian impulses, to get them to buy stuff they don’t need or to react angrily to stories, we’re in deep trouble.”

Douglas Rushkoff

I’m concerned that each and every one of you are on the brink of an existential crisis so please let me clarify; we are not doomed to a life of technological enslavement. Having said that, we do have a real problem with how reliant we are on our devices. When was the last time you drove somewhere without the use of a GPS-mapping app? All I suggest is to be mindful of your usage and recognize that we need to fix what’s going down. 

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Biotechnology

Biotech Stocks To Watch In June: Cara Therapeutics (CARA) & Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)

Jon Phillip

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biotech stocks to watch june

Among biotech companies, the competition between Cara Therapeutics Inc (CARA) and Intellia Therapeutics Inc (NTLA) has been an intriguing one. The two companies had been on the same level as far as the market cap goes during most of the year so far.

But Cara has now pulled ahead by as much as $150 million following positive data from its lead product candidate. That being said, it is also important to keep in mind that if an investor is looking at a long term investment, then the disparity in market cap between the two companies is a minor. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of Cara and Intellia.

Cara Therapeutics (CARA)

Cara Therapeutics is currently on the rise. Its lead product candidate Korsuva injection delivered highly encouraging results in its Phase 3 trial. It’s now believed that it would not be long before Cara has its first product on the market.

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It is meant for the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus. According to reports, the results were great. Another late-stage test is going to be conducted soon. The results could be announced by the end of this year. If Korsuve is approved, then it will be marketed by Fresenius Medical Care and Vifor Pharma Group.

Cara has entered joint ventures with those companies to market the product in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. An oral version of Korsuva is also in the pipeline and could prove to be another important development.

Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)

Intellia Therapeutics (INTA) is involved in creating CRISPR gene editing therapies. It is a segment that has a lot of promise in the future. Even though the company is some years away from having anything on the market, the promise of gene editing therapy is exciting. So much so that Intellia has already found partners in big-ticket firms like Regeneron and Novartis.

Intellia is expected to file for FDA approval for the clinical study into its lead product NLTA-2001 in 2020. It is meant for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, an uncommon genetic disease. Studies into the products have proven to be promising so far. The company is also working on a product to treat myeloid leukemia.

Now when it comes to choosing between Cara and Intellia, experts believe that the former could a better company. It’s already on the verge of having an approved product on the market. Intellia, on the other hand, is likely to be some years away from winning approval.

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Featured

4 Security Penny Stocks To Watch

A. Lawrence

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As Threats Arise, Security Stocks Take Center Stage In 2019

With the Federal Reserve’s meeting coming, the general market is bracing for anything. Meanwhile, penny stocks are continuing to climb at absurd rates. Trading penny stocks as of late has brought many investors fruitful profits and they look to continue this trend. Here are some security penny stocks to watch for the remainder of June 2019:

Security Penny Stock #1
Liberty Defense Holdings (SCAN.V)
Market Cap: $46.404M

Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (SCAN.V) is a security company looking to take the industry into the next century. Liberty’s HEXWAVE product is a 3-dimensional scanning device that can detect weapons and threats of any kind. The product can do this both with speed and discretion ensuring privacy for citizens.

Liberty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the soccer team FC Bayern München to beta test HEXWAVE in their arena. They join an ever-growing list of places that have signed MOU’s to beta test Liberty’s product. This MOU expands its ability to comply with and test the market requirements for their product internationally.

“The reception to our HEXWAVE product has been fantastic and we are excited about working alongside FC Bayern Munich, a team that is a household name in both Europe and North America, […] Our ability to deploy in both indoor and outdoor settings, with covert and overt applications, sets us apart and has also been driving increasing interest from the market.” 

Bill Riker, CEO of Liberty

Security Penny Stock #2
Magal Security Systems (MAGS)
Market Cap: $101.371M

Magal Security Systems Ltd. (MAGS) provides security solutions both online and physical. Some services provided include identifying potential security problems, integrating new systems, and custom designs for any type of security needs.

Recently, Magal received a $5.5 million contract for its advanced perimeter intrusion detection system. The system prevents people from illegally crossing border fences and walls.

Dror Sharon, CEO of Magal, stated, “Magal is a world leader in perimeter intrusion technologies. Our growing wins of orders such as this – providing sensors for active international borders, is due to the decades of experience that we have in providing systems that have more than proven themselves in-the-field.”


Security Penny Stock #3
Rekor Systems (REKR)
Market Cap: $27.502M

Rekor Systems Inc. (REKR) is a company that has developed surveillance technology to enhance public safety, banking, and traffic management. Primarily, the company takes their advanced software, which utilizes machine learning and upgrades IP cameras to the next level. This reduces the cost when collecting highway tolls and helps manage traffic congestion.

REKR stock chart

Throughout June, Rekor Systems has been gaining recognition and application across the US. On June 3rd Rekor obtained a contract to start deploying its Mobile LBR-2 vehicle recognition systems. After this deployment on the 3rd, the LPR-2 system North Carolina law enforcement placed an order. On June 12th, Colorado highway authorities chose Rekor’s cloud system called NUMERUS to read enhance their license plate reading.


Security Penny Stock #4
BIO-key International (BKYI)
Market Cap: $18.03M

BIO-key International Inc. (BKYI) is a security technologies company that is pushing past the limits of fingerprint scanning. BIO-key provides a plethora of finger scanning products that provide security for your computer, hard drive, and the government. They have a partnership with Microsoft to develop biometric sign-in for Windows 10.

The company recently announced that a foreign defense ministry ordered more BIO-key deployment for secure access to Microsoft applications.

“We were delighted that such a capable and prestigious technology team determined that BIO-key met their security and scalability requirements and have now made follow-on investments to grow their user base.  Defense Ministries are constant targets of cyber-attacks, and we are glad to help them step up authentication to the highest assurance with NIST-verified accuracy and FIPS compliance.”

Jim Sullivan, SVP of BIO

security stocks
Disclaimer: Pursuant to an agreement between MIDAM VENTURES, LLC and Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. Midam was hired for a period from 04/15/2018 – 5/15/2019 to publicly disseminate information about Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter now extended through June 21, 2019. We were paid $350,000 (CASH) for & were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We may buy or sell additional shares of Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. FULL DISCLAIMER HERE

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Featured

Stock Price Pre Market Update – June 19, 2019

Joe Samuel

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Big Investments Are Signaling The Green Light For A ‘Hot Market’ With Cancer-Fighting Stocks

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