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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Could you please repeat that? (and I'm sure you will)

Yesterday our fearless leader dug up the corpse of the American war in Viet Nam and beat it with his best five iron. In his little pea brain the fall of Saigon brought on; 1. re-education camps, 2. Boat people's exodus, and 3. The Killing fields.

I'll give him #1. After any civil war there is period of adjustment in the defeated side. We threw many Southern leaders in jail, striped them of their right to vote, freed their valuable slaves, and imposed a reconstruction regime in the rebel states. No credible historian claims that Viet Nam imposed anything like a blood bath on their enemies, but instead held tight reign on locals out to even old scores.

#2 happened, but we have economic and political refugees coming to the US every day, and damn few of them are Vietnamese. The Viets that came now go home for vacations and to visit family. It would be hard to sell the evacuation of Vietnamese refugees as an act of the Hanoi government.

#3 The Killing Fields happened, just not in Viet Nam, where our war happened. We sponsored the overthrow of prince Norodom Sihanouk in a military coup because he ignored the North Vietnamese Army's stationing of troops and supplies in Cambodian territory. The thing is, we didn't realize that Norodom Sihanouk had been balancing Cambodia on a political knife edge for a decade or more. When the prince went into exile, civil war broke out, and the rest is the most tragic result of our misreading a foreign situation prior to the current Iraqi horror show. Like the Saudi hijackers of 911's mythical attachment to Baghdad, the administration is now selling the Cambodian Killing Fields as an adjunct to our defeat in Viet Nam. Viet Nam was the country that invaded Cambodia and stopped the slaughter. They understood the local situation, we didn't.

Once again Bush is either displaying his ignorance or acting the Stalinist with a historical re-write.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Future You Won't Like

The wonderful thing about being a futurist is that you'll be long retired or dead before you are proven wrong. There are no degree requirements, you just have to attract the attention of the press with a couple of original predictions, and they will keep coming back for more. This futurist racket sounds like a sweet business to get into. Like running a church, your cost of raw goods is minimal, and income potential, depending on talent. is phenomenal.

Without bullet points, here is what you have to look forward to:

You are going to die, but death will be optional for your children. This is a first world only prediction. The rest of humanity will live short, brutish lives.

With the advent of two hundred dollar a barrel oil, some parts of the inter-mountain West, Canada, Siberia/Mongolia and South Asia will de-populate. Long haul trucking will become an unaffordable luxury.

A systemic international economic depression will defy solution so long as national sovereignty remains a political issue.

Financing for waterfront property will be unattainable. This doesn't count for lakefront, but anything facing inundation from rising ocean levels is doomed, and ultimately worthless.

Paper money will be 2D barcoded, and all transactions will be traceable. Petty financial crime will cease to exist, although large e-crime will flourish.

Your children or Grandchildren will have to learn to deal with machines that are smarter than they are. Our true offspring will be Homo Sapiens 2.0, the inheritors of our culture. If we are to go to other planets, HS 2.0 will be our envoy.

Human clones, hybrids, and enhanced animals will confuse all the current controversy about life.

Extra terrestrial industrial civilizations will be found via quantum signals encoded in the quantum spin of photons. Physicists have transmitted signals instantly from one end of the Canary Islands to the other, about 120 miles, using quantum entanglement. This is very much a Marconi moment.

Third world countries with resources will hire first world management firms to run most aspects of their government. Tribal societies who have no history of non corrupt legal systems will flock to these services in lieu of civil war.

People will find non-consuming, non-polluting ways to burn their intellectual and social energy. Although clunky and much berated, Second Life points the way.

I could do an entry on any one of these, and retain the right to do so. Stay tuned. (When was the last time you tuned in a station on TV or radio, or dialed a phone?)