You’ll be glad to know that my essay on Professionalism vs the Age of Amateurs was listed as a “Top Ten of 2005” by Amazon Shorts! (Now available on my website.)
Pass on the word... and remember to join your proxy power organizations, while you can still get your contibution deducted on 2005 taxes!
I just finished drafting an article for a coming nonfiction book on the dilemmas of nanotechnology. Mine is more general, about doom and singularities and such. Nag me someday to serialize it. I hope to get to religion soon.
In further support of the contention that our world, rather than growing more violent and dangerous, is actually growing much less so, do drop by an article on SLATE: “The Peace Epidemic
The world isn't so dangerous after all.” By Timothy Noah -
Excerpt: “[A]fter five decades of inexorable increase [italics Chatterbox's], the number of armed conflicts started to fall worldwide in the early 1990s. The decline has continued.
By 2003, there were 40 percent fewer conflicts than in 1992. The deadliest conflicts -- those with 1,000 or more battle-deaths -- fell by some 80 percent. The number of genocides and other mass slaughters of civilians also dropped by 80 percent [between 1988 and 2001], while core human rights abuses have declined in five out of six regions of the developing world since the mid-1990s.
International terrorism is the only type of political violence that has increased. Although the death toll has jumped sharply over the past three years, terrorists kill only a fraction of the number who die in wars.
Mack's data comes from The Human Security Report 2005, which is put out by the University of British Columbia's Human Security Center, of which Mack is director. Here are some other findings from the report:
* "The dollar value of major international arms transactions fell by 33 percent between 1990 and 2003."
* "The number of refugees dropped by some 45 percent between 1992 and 2003, as more and more wars came to an end."
* "The number of actual and attempted military coups has been declining for more than 40 years. In 1963 there were 25 coups and attempted coups around the world, the highest in the post-World War II period. In 2004 there were only ten coup attempts—a 60 percent decline. All of them failed."
* "[C]ivil (intrastate) conflicts rose steadily until 1992, after which they declined steeply."
...One region must be excepted from this calculus. Interestingly, it isn't the Middle East (though certainly that region is a violent one). It's Africa. According to the Human Security Report, more people are being killed in wars in sub-Saharan Africa than in the rest of the world combined.
==And yet, we are urged to believe that we are in an “emergency” and in a “state of war” that justifies unprecedented secrecy and erosion of our citizen rights of supervision. Can anyone smell a scam, anymore?
Oh, again... do your proxy power. The world may be getting better (cynics are fools) but it’s not getting better anywhere near fast enough to save us (so are pollyanna optimists.)
Only worldchanging pragmatic problem solvers have a clue. Right on....