It’s hot up here, a solid 30 degrees outside. It’s shorts weather for me. The humidity plus the heat is not conducive to my biology.
Admittedly the heat is better than bone trembling chill. But still, give me a temperate of 22 degrees anywhere on Earth and I’ll be happy.
It’s figuratively hot up here, too. We’ve just wrapped up two days of incredible presentations. Some of the world’s finest speakers have given their views on the world, investing and the future.
Some views and ideas were challenging. Some were a bit dour. But for those that attended my presentation, hopefully they got my sense of excitement about what the future holds.
The language of the future
One of the more interesting ideas I heard during the conference was that Mandarin was the language of the 21st century.
In his presentation, Jim Rogers said that you should teach your children Mandarin. And he takes his own advice. He played two lovely videos of his young daughters speaking fluent Mandarin. Very smart girls, I must admit. They were indeed fluent, and quite possibly spoke it better than some Chinese kids probably do.
But Jim’s reasoning was that China is going to be a dominant country in the 21st century. That’s why he believes that Mandarin will be the most important language of the century.
With all due respect to the legendary Jim Rogers, I think he’s wrong.
The 21st century isn’t going to be the century of China. It’s not going to be the century of the US. It’s not going to be the century of Europe, Australia, Asia, or any sovereign state.
The 21st century is the century of technology revolution.
And if you want a language for the 21st century, the most important one will be computer-programming code.
My nephew’s having his second birthday in a couple of weeks. And I’ve been racking my brain for what to get him. After all, what can you possibly get a two year old that he already hasn’t got?
I decided on this little guy…
Click to enlarge
This is the Fisher-Price ‘Code-a-pillar’. It’s a toy that helps to teach kids the basics of coding. Now you might look at this little ‘code-a-pillar’ and think ‘how in the heck does this teach computer code?’
The fundamental basics of coding lie in logic. If A is X, then B performs Y. That’s the core principle of coding. The code-a-pillar works by helping teach kids logic.
The code-a-pillar is made of the head section, and then a bunch of smaller sections for the body. Each of those body sections is like a piece of code. So when you put them in a certain order, the cope-a-pillar will make certain movements.
If you rearrange the piece of the body, or add new ones to the sequence, the code-a-pillar will do something else. Kids should learn that when they change the sequence of the ‘code’, the code-a-pillar would do different actions.
Again, this is very basic logic. But if it’s taught early enough, it will help plant the seed for the most important language of the 21st century: computer code.
Do you want a job or not?
It’s very good and well to suggest that there’s plenty of money to be made by investing. And the truth is, there are plenty of opportunities. However, to capitalise on those opportunities you need something to get you going…money.
You can’t invest if you’ve got nothing to invest with. You can’t even go gold prospecting without a pick, a shovel and a pan. Last time I checked, you still need some money to buy those things.
So whether it’s $500 or $50,000 you’re going to start investing with, you need it in the first place. And how would you go about getting that money to start off? Well you’d typically have a job. You’d do something, make something, or sell something, and in exchange you get money.
That’s what having a job does. It provides you with cash flow. You then save this money and get investing. Simple.
But for future generations, how do you get money if you don’t have a job? How can you save staring in the face of unemployment? What if you live in a future world where you simply don’t have the required skills to make any money? How will you invest then?
You can’t hide from the coming future of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and smart technology. These new breakthroughs will see an even more high-tech world. It will mean the way we work and the jobs that exist will radically change.
It will mean ‘traditional’ 20th century jobs will disappear. Lawyers, accountants, call centres, drivers, even tradespeople will all be challenged by automation. Training for a career in these fields today is redundant.
To suit the workforce of tomorrow, you need to know how to speak the language of technology. And the best way to do that is by learning how to code. Learn code, and you’ll have a future.
That’s why it’s the most important language of the 21st century.
Editor, Money Morning