After last week's retrospective, I wanted to let you guys know just what you were in for during the year ahead. It's not always possible to know what's going to happen, but there are a few things you can count on.
Mali – Local rebels sympathetic to Al Qaida and equipped with runoff weapons from Libya have dug into northern Mali and fortified their presence. Currently, France is working in the region to reclaim the region for the Mali government, but given the corruption of the Mali government and the many abuses of their armed forces, there's no easy solution to the problem. That means more politicking, more shitty decisions, and more time and support for Al Qaida. Or in Battletech terms: Prepare for Flashpoint: Mali, coming in 2013.
New console wars – With the Wii U coming out, production ending for the PS2, and the Steam Box chatter at CES, expect the windup for the four-way console war of the eighth generation happening in 2013. This is the prequel, where a young, naive new Intellectual Property learns of the larger world outside his home and is drawn into a conflict which spans the first and second worlds. 2014 will have all of the epic battles, but you're going to see a lot of IP standing on lonesome deserts watching twin suns set and John Williams plays in the background.
I'm going to get a job – It's not just a statistical inevitability. It's all the difference between Saio Kaas taking over the blog full time in mid-March as I go ominously silent, or...well, really the same thing, but because I'll have money. Will it be me getting a masters in computer science and living on student aid? Will it be part of a program that teaches science to underprivileged youths? Will it be me returning to teach nuclear power in South Carolina and occasionally crossing the border into Georgia to throw bottles of urine at their stupid, giant peach? I can do a lot of things. I want to do a lot of things. Sadly, none of these things seem to realize how well I'd do them.
Edit: The Giant Peach in Georgia along I-75 has fallen down. There is another giant peach, but the sweet, sweet twist there is that it's a water tower in South Carolina.
More drones – They're so convenient and efficient and omnipresent. How could you not like drones being everywhere? Watching everything? They're the safest, cuddliest, thing that don't carry any overt, violent, scary costs with them. Hug a drone in 2013. That might actually fool them into sparing you. Better yet, prepare your run for government in 2014. Just to be safe.Edit edit: Suck it, Georgia!
More diddling about internet freedom – It's a big deal. Until the internet is treated as a public space where people can gather and talk freely as any city street or—okay bad example. Let me start over. Until people who know how the internet works make the rules that govern the internet, idiots are going to keep trying to do it. The only thing to do is to keep fighting so they know they aren't entitled to touch the internet for another twenty years or so. Stay frosty, men.
More trials – George Zimmerman, Bradley Manning (March 6), DOMA (March 26), Prop 8 (March 28), the Delhi bus rapists, and James Holmes will all have their days in court in 2013. Hopefully, 2013, will also see the last of those days. We might also see the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden, amidst a chant of politicos saying "He won't be sent to America" like a mantra up until it's revealed—Ultimate-Nick-Fury-something's-come-up-in-the-Middle-East style—that he will be extradited to The United States.
Gun legislation – Ever since Newtown, stories about gun violence have been reliably topping the news. I'd rather see the administration capitalize on their inertia on subjects like immigration and the economy, but it looks like the already-lost War on Terror and gun control are on the menu instead. I mean, I'd rather see a fucking moon mission and a War on Ignorance than any of that shit, but you know how it is.
I know it doesn't feel right if it's not a top ten, but guys. Guys. The future is really unpredictable. Anything I forgot?