Who is J.R. Mooneyham, and what are his qualifications for speculating about the future of government, business, technology, and society?This page last updated on or around 2-13-03
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J.R. Mooneyham is one of a new generation of futurists inspired by such notorious figures as Alvin and Heidi Toffler (Future Shock), Stewart Brand (Whole Earth Catalog), Eric Drexler (Engines of Creation), and Gene Roddenberry (the visionary responsible for Star Trek), as well as a wealth of science fiction authors like Vernor Vinge, Larry Niven, David Brin, and others.
Mooneyham has been a certifiable computer geek since the late nineteen-seventies, working with a bit of everything from old fashioned punch card fed Burroughes mainframes and time sharing Digital VAX minicomputers through Apple II/Commodore/Atari and other pre-MS-DOS systems, up through today's Windows and Macintosh computers and set top boxes.
Mooneyham's original college education was more heavily weighted with engineering disciplines than computer science, with some emphasis on management, economics, history, and business.
Mooneyham has served as a corporate computer consultant and network administrator, and also played entrepreneur with self-employment experience ranging from that of collectibles dealer and electronic magazine publisher, to software developer.
Mooneyham also worked as a professional writer and artist for many years, writing and illustrating various technical manuals for a multitude of purposes, from self-employment kits for artists to in-house corporate user manuals for engineers, to internet configuration manuals for consumers (when the net was still young and geeky). A portion of Mooneyham's college time included instruction in the arts and related histories.
Like Future Shock's Alvin Toffler, Mooneyham too has worked at blue collar jobs in various factories, as well as construction at oil refineries/chemical plants in his younger days, spending considerable time in Texas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Florida, as well as his native Tennessee.
During the Cold War Mooneyham was a bonafide survivalist, undertaking much of the intellectual/physical pursuits and preparedness measures that implies. Too, Mooneyham's college experience included time as a campus security patrol dispatcher and some years in ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp), a program supervised by US Armed Forces personnel, where military history, strategy, tactics, and instruction in contemporary command and control structures were provided, as well as other training regarding weaponry, physical conditioning, and field exercises. Mooneyham has provided technical consultation and administration for business involved in prototyping work for DARPA (a US military research and development institution), as well as performed in various competitive intelligence roles for certain American companies/executives, in industries including the automotive and computer fields. During late 2001 and early 2002 Mooneyham served as an informal consultant to certain US military planning operations. Mooneyham also has associates/contacts who have provided technical services to US military and intelligence agencies (including the CIA).
In regards to other technologies and organizations, Mooneyham has personal experience ranging from being a 'hot rod' mechanic/troubleshooter in his youth, to having helped with projects building robotic workstations for Ford Motor Company.
Mooneyham discovered a great personal interest in the economics and history of technology (both past and future) at an early age, and has pursued independent studies of same ever since, in addition to the formal learning listed before.
In the field of human nature and society, Mooneyham's experience includes being raised within a large family (six children) in a small town, and living and working there as well as other small towns (like Baytown Texas and Cookeville Tennessee), and larger metro areas like Boston Massachusetts-- along with mid-sized cities too like Baton Rouge Louisiana. In his youngest years Mooneyham focused his social study efforts on mythology, religion, and politics, then expanded to the more general subject of philosophy, which eventually led him to economics by way of the fiery works of Ayn Rand. During college Mooneyham added learning about human psychology to his repertoire. Further experience and study led Mooneyham to conclude Rand's philosophical concepts were but a small subset of a greater whole (much like Newtonian physics is of General Relativity), with Mooneyham in the mid-eighties settling upon certain aspects of eastern philosophy as seeming to offer a more complete picture of human nature and its possibilities.
Around the dawn of the 21st century Mooneyham's research regarding both present and future compelled him to supplement the timeline with a section devoted to the past-- reaching all the way to the beginning of the Universe itself.
He did this to offer both children and adults a new perspective on humanity's past, as well as to explore certain as yet unsolved mysteries regarding the development of our present civilization, and the underpinnings of the world in which we live.
Note that Mooneyham is a USA citizen, which has been a lucky break for him (so far as futurism is concerned), as this has arguably allowed him to live his life deep inside one of the most advanced republics and high tech markets in the world, as well as provided him with sufficient time and other resources with which to create and publish the timeline up through today. With perhaps a third or more of the world's population still mired in grinding poverty and a struggle simply to survive as of the early 21st century, it's not likely Mooneyham could have written the timeline if born anywhere other than a developed nation like the USA.
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