Observation Research

Observation Research Phase I:

Initial research presented in the New Future Guide is intended to be understood and useful for most citizens.

Methods utilized are nonparticipatory and passive in nature. This method is based on horizon scanning, a future technique. Observers acknowledge and record external issues and events, similar to noting, recording and reporting news and research narratives.

External issues and events may appear to be interconnected and/or repetitive in nature. When this occurs, the observer may initiate an external search for supporting data and information to explore validity for an initial hypothesis. When supporting data and information validate the initial hypothesis, research may continue to the next phase.

Observation Research Phase II:

  1. This phase is conducted as nonparticipatory or passive observation research, meaning there is no contact or discussion with the subject(s) or objects observed. Refer to the Type of Participant Observation Chart.
  2. The observation research process moves into a phase supported by multiple observers and/or the use of verified and validated data and information provided by external sources. Outcomes at this step are reported as observations, not as opinions.
  3. To form opinions, the research process must include agreement among multiple observers and/or data and information sources on the same issue or event.
  4. Observations should include data and information from reliable sources, such as government data bases and reports.
  5. When presenting data and information narratives acquired from reliable sources, the result is reflected as an observation, not as an opinion.
  6. When multiple observers report concurrence regarding the same issue or event, opinions may be stated. However, opinions require credible evidence and proof of the hypothesis to be accepted.
  7. Example of an external observation report narrative substantiated by external data and information is the SOTU: State of The Union Backdrop Summary.
  8. Active research issues will be documented on individual subject pages with links under the “Research” menu.

Observation Research Phase III:

Observations reported in the New Future Guide are summarized for citizens to review.

Upon completion, observations may be published as individual posts in the Online Log under a relative category.

Observation Research Phase IV:

Candidate issues to appear:

The Homeless – U.S. Economic Disequilibrium – Digital Warfare – Cultural Warfare & Insecurity – Far-east Instability – North Korea Weapons Test-bed – China Monopoly of World Resources – South and Central America Socialism – Status of the Soft WWIII.

Research Notes:

  1. Observation researchers must establish and maintain the research process with care and vigilance. Far too often, personal attitudes or opinions are inserted into the process, thereby misdirecting outcomes away from the issues or events. This results in a case of analyzing a participant or external source thought process, not the issue or event.
  2. When performing observations and evaluating outcomes of occurrences, be they related to things, ideas and concepts or actions of individuals or groups; observations frequently demonstrate interacting components forming a system.
  3. People interact with things and other people, and express ideas and concepts between them as a system. Even things in the form of technology provide feedback which affects the interaction of things, people and groups as systems.
  4. Organizations are hierarchical in nature, with a systemic relationship between levels. Activities and beliefs usually flow through an organization at varying degrees, from the top level to the lower level.
  5. Technology systems may have sequential and/or parallel components and systems which are affected by data inputs throughout the main system. An error in data at one component can be feed to other components and systems causing irregular functioning or failure.
  6. Refer to the Online Log – Research Category: Success with Complex Issues and Systems, and Complex Ordered Issues and Systems Model.
  7. There are numerous research applications and techniques available for evaluating issues, events, conditions, science, engineering, finance, economics, anthropology, humanities, sociology, psychology and more.
  8. Frequently research is presented as divided into two regions of logic, qualitative or quantitative. The fact that both of these general research regions are identified as “having issues,” is perennial in the research community. Qualitative constantly attempts to prove it is quantitative, and quantitative attempts to prove outcomes are valid. The statement at the conclusion is frequently . . . “requires further study.”
  9. In reality, it is common, as presented in the process outlined above, to begin with qualitative research, and followup with quantitative research.
  10. Another issue is the use of out-of-date references while performing research. There are thousands of colleges, universities and organizations worldwide, where researchers frequently utilize out-of-date and unverified references.
  11. Ethnography is a term related to observation research of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences. Keep in mind that as a nonparticipating and passive observer, the challenges can be significant. Presence of mind, the ability to remain calm and take sensible action is required to achieve success.
  12. Research subjects are generally covered in statistics courses at the undergraduate level. Theoretical and applied research courses are required at the graduate level. Review of courses and videos depicts a dearth in the application of ethnography and observation research outside of college degree requirements.

Comments: The following videos are typical of issues and events observed on a daily basis. However, they are on a lower order of complexity than those identified in Phase IV as Candidate Issues for research.

Ethnography or observation research

Ethnography: Ellen Isaacs at TEDxBroadway

Free Online Open Learning Courses:

Qualitative Research Methods from MIT on edX: A free short course. Frequently, courses are archived after the initial offering date for online open learning.

How to prepare for and conduct conversational interviews, that will produce rich qualitative data. How qualitative and quantitative research complement each other in a research project.

Future Forecast: 2020

Future Forecast: 2020 (always a work in progress)

Background: The 2020 forecast, as with all writings in the online log are the result of observations of information provided to the public via the news media, government, and public organizations. Observations are not intended to provide opinions. Further information on the research process can be found by selecting the “research category” in the online log.

References linked-to in this forecast provide a view of changing dynamics over decades and centuries. Current decision-makers rely on available information and must apply their knowledge (experience) and wisdom to possible cause and effect of their actions. Decisions made at one point in time may cause unintended consequences decades later.

The forecast is limited to three areas of concern for national and international relations, and the summary. Areas of concern are:

1). Commerce, 2). Impeachment, 3). Negotiations, and 4). Summary.

Process: Passive nonparticipatory observation research based on horizon scanning.


1). Commerce

The national and international focus may be shifting from armed conflict to economic confrontation and cooperation trough bilateral free-trade agreements.

The United States balance of trade continues to accrue a net deficit of around $500 billion a year. Most of this debt is the result of previously unrestricted imports into the U.S. from China as a result of most favored nation (MFN) status assigned. Trade deficits began escalating in 1998 and continue to this day with a total imbalance of over $9,000,000,000,000. Current trade negotiations with China appear to be an attempt to reverse and normalize trade relations. Additional trade agreements between the U.S. trading partners are ongoing.

A similar economic imbalance exists between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), resulting in Brexit. The UK government formally announced withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC).

Weapons of warfare, territorial disputes, and intimidation appear to be applied in negotiations to achieve or maintain economic status. Nations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), may be violating the principle of the agreement by developing and testing weapons through third party nations to support this effort, possibly North Korea and Iran.

Commerce Notes: Throughout history, nations with surplus wealth have turned to importing goods and services, including employing foreign military services as protectors and servants. In so doing, agents of importing and exporting nations develop profitable relationships facilitating trade. Eventually, wealthy importing nations become dependent on this arrangement for goods and services and experience a loss of wealth, worker skills, access to raw materials, national and international logistics capability for shipping, commerce, and communication. Essentially, importing nations become economic colonies of other nation(s) which are reluctant to give-up their advantage without conflict.

Internally, the result of unbalanced trade in importing nations may lead to the eventual fall of the government, as with Rome and the British Empire. Although the internal issues with Rome do not appear lockstep with current U.S. or UK scenarios, they are the gradual movement from independent economic strength to dependent weakness and increased taxation. “Give the people a circus,” socialism and downfall. 

The chief benefactor of current U.S. trade policy is Chinese economic reform. Originally, the U.S. moved to grant China MFN status to open-up markets and assist in creating a western style economy in China. However, the result has been for China to give preferential treatment to businesses owned or controlled by the Chinese government, thereby gradually eliminating private ownership and prosperity. Internationally, China continues to manipulate currency exchange to maintain and increase government wealth to expand in acquiring mineral resources worldwide, develop the military, and expand territorial claims, all fueled by globalization, a wrong turn in history.

2). Impeachment

The central and time-consuming issue for the U.S. is attempted impeachment of the president by congress. Observation indicates internal review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) may conclude mindless, unbalanced and corrupt activities by a combination of lawmakers and public servants who may be working in concert, effectively destabilizing and paralyzing the charged functions of lawmakers and public servants.

The Constitution and Guidelines for Impeachment

Interactive Constitution made by the National Constitution Center. Full Text

The Question: Is there factual supporting evidence of activity by the president, identified in the Constitution, requiring impeachment? Or, is there factual evidence of intent by lawmakers, government servants, foreign powers and/or outside influences to overthrow the government?

Treason: 18 USC Ch. 115: Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities. (expansive reference)

Treason as defined in Article III, section 3 of the constitution. “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Treason in criminal law?

Overthrow: Removal from power; a defeat or downfall. “plotting the overthrow of the government.” (possibly through a series of interconnected events).

Synonyms of Treason: treachery · lese-majesty · disloyalty · betrayal · faithlessness · perfidy · perfidious · duplicity · infidelity · sedition · subversion · mutiny · rebellion · high treason·

Impeachment Notes: Impeachment is a seldom used  power of congress. Two presidents, one senator, the Secretary of War, and fifteen judges have been impeached since 1798. What remains to be experienced is the question “can congress be impeached, and by whom?” Many would respond to the question with, yes, at the ballot box. However, should issues addressed in the Inspector Generals (IG) Report bear fruit, and upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) Report identify criminal activity, will it be treated as NOT political, but criminal? 

Do the synonyms of treason above apply to conduct of the House of Representatives during the recent impeachment process? Is it acceptable to say that the process was “just political?” Does the U.S. House of Representatives have immunity from the scales of justice, while then requiring the scales of justice apply in the U.S. Senate? It appears some believe so. 

3). Negotiations

On the national and international scene, at any given time, on any given issue, there will be visible and unseen participants with a stake in the outcome of a negotiation. Central issues in active negotiation at any time can be trade agreement with China, nuclear nonproliferation treaty, space exploration, immigration, conservation, healthcare, deficit spending, responsibilities of congress and many more.

Underlying negotiations are unseen participants at a support level or outside controlling authority, such as the world trade organization (WTO). Negotiations, in this sense, form a complex set of participants seen and unseen which can essentially hold the primary issue hostage from making progress and successful completion. (refer to the online log “research category” success with complex issues and systems). The concept of controlling global trade and attempted world government by the EU is depicted in Twitter streams hierarchy of EU participants that may also impact global negotiations.

Further compounding issues in negotiations may be “models of collective behavior” and “the madness of crowds” effect which have potential implications. The most common problem can be the combination of “undue influence” and collective behavior which may explain party-line voting in government. As an example, all members of the one party fall inline behind the speaker’s objectives regardless of the rationality of the issue. Such a move shifts the issue at hand to personal, non-legislative activity. Influence of this nature occurs in national and international negotiations in business, government, education and industry.

Negotiation Notes: Negotiations may be misdirected to provide personal gain from change of ownership of assets which are not the property of negotiators. Politicians may have authority to create trade agreements, however, may also set in motion detrimental outcomes for citizens, while at the same time realizing personal benefitsfor their actions.

The difficulty facing negotiators from an international perspective. even when the intent is genuine and above board, is the inability to predict long-term outcomes. (Henry Kissinger discuses U.S.-China ties at the New Economy Forum in Beijing. A history dialog with implications for the future. The content of the message is the lesson. Always view negotiations from the perspective of the other party, and today, from the interests of their counterparts). The coming cold war with China.

4.) Summary

2020 appears to be a year of continual sparring by political parties for position in congress and local government.

Deficit spending (borrowing money beyond tax and fee revenues) continues, currently around twenty-six trillion dollars . . . with no end insight for increased deficits. Moving towards socialism.

Governments are underwriting profitable businesses by deferring or eliminating taxes, and subsidizing other costs. Moving towards socialism.

Deficits, which are not allowed in many states, will require additional increases in taxation or deficit borrowing to cover expanded social programs. Moving towards socialism.

Candidates campaigning for elected positions are suggesting government pay for medical care and education for all. Moving towards socialism.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly applied to reduce costs by replacing labor with automation. This has been forecast to temporary raise wages for high-tech computer programmers and information science employees. Forecast also leads to lower incomes for the same high-tech employees in the future as AI and ML routines are employed, reducing the demand for human programmers.

China is developing social reforms, competing technical skills, and an engineering base that exceeds that of the U.S.. Chinese new economy forum. Mostly financed by excessive exports to the U.S.

Observation Notes:

Comments on impeachment are not included in the summary at this time.

2020 may be a turbulent year for many reasons beyond the three areas of concern identified above:

Negotiations with North Korea, China and Iran have not proven to be reliable. Frequently, if not always, broken promises.

Financially, below zero interest rates exist in some global markets, and the stock market has become more of a hustle than an investment arena. Yes, the market has risen significantly and may be the result of hyping sweetheart stocks, while heavily shorting others . . . is it time for caution?

Always a work in progress.

Online Log Info

Online Log: Posts reflect current and past observation research activities.

Guide Blog: Posts reflect observations and comments on current events.

Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

Background: The following issues arise during communication of information, acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. Who knew what, when did they know it, and how did they acquire it?

When preparing plans and programs, attending school or performing research, discussions occur between members of groups. As activities progress, changes occur as a result of lessons learned or changing objectives. Public news or information on the issue may not reflect current status or final outcomes. Discussions based on incomplete or untimely results will most likely be inaccurate.

A common occurrence is when students receive information from teachers without familiarity through experience or association with the subject; and are lacking in wisdom. Information combined with knowledge through experience leads to Wisdom. Without completing the cycle, conflict can occur between participants and the public.

The following are modified from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Definitions may appear to overlap.

Definition of Information: Communication is the operative word. Visual, oral, written or any combination thereof.

The communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence.

(1) Knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction

(2) intelligence, news

(3) facts, data

  • The attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (such as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects.
  • A signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data.
  • Something (such as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (such as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct.
  • A quantitative measure of the content of information specifically a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment to be performed.

Definition of Knowledge: Experience is the operative word. Art, agriculture, business, education, engineering, government, manufacturing, medicine, research, science and more. Design and testing to prove concepts.

The fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.

  • Acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique.
  • The fact or condition of being aware of something.
  • The range of one’s information or understanding answered to the best of one’s knowledge.
  • The circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning.
  • The fact or condition of having information or of being a learned person of unusual knowledge.

Definition of Wisdom: Discern is the operative word. Formulate and apply successful concepts based on acquired information and knowledge. 

Ability to discern inner qualities and relationshipsInsight

Good sense: Judgment

Accumulated philosophical or scientific learningKnowledge


Examples of significant information, knowledge and wisdom disconnects in government.

Note: Selecting a link opens a separate page. Close the page to return to this posting.

$24 Trillion GDP Loss: Result of mismanaged international trade.

Economics for Politicians: Unbalanced global trade can have a negative impact on infrastructure, employment and crime.

Ignorance, Stupidity and Idiocy: Does the level of education guarantee good government?

Gridlock in Government: What has changed since the future forecast for 2014?

State of the Union: Based on real data. Headed down the road to where? You be the judge.

Now you are up to date . . . for the next six years.