See the impressive Jamais Cascio hold forth about the coming panopticon society. Some familiar ideas, related vividly with cutting-edge news. and so on...
Let me highly recommend the latest (30th Anniversary) issue of the Wilson Quarterly. (wilsonquarterly.com) an issue entirely devoted to the "Future".
funky misc. stuff!
Here’s a guy who will remodel your home interior to be like a sci fi film. One of the surest ways I know to provoke a divorce, and to make sure you get the house!
Isolated trade fact: Average price of an imported T-shirt:
And some people still doubt there’s progress.
For those who have seen my article on “Disputation Arenas” -- you know that I am unimpressed with the techniques that have developed in order to turn the internet into a truly useful forum for appraisal of ideas.
That is what we were promised, right? Something vivid and sophisticated, that would help us to achieve what I call the age of empowered amateurs and what James Surowiecki calls the WISDOM OF CROWDS. What I call “accountability arenas” have gradually grown in sophistication and power to replace the arbitrary rule by kings. Ideally, the internet should become a fifth pragmatic tool of enlightenment civilization...
...and some people are seriously trying! Very hard. But it just isn’t going to be easy. To see just how onerous the task will be, try looking at this sample of the dispute adjudication process on the Wikipedia. It involved deliberate and/or well-meant defacement of entries on the “peoples’ encyclopedia” -- especially entries having to do with prominent politicians. The open source methodology of Wiki has been abused, above all, by congressional staffers! So much so that there is an effort underway to ban all Wikipedia entries originating from the House and Senate.
For a news article, see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4695376.stm
In order to view the actual deliberations (fascinating!) go to:
What’s especially interesting is to scroll down and see the cludged innovations that the sincere leaders of Wiki have been trying to establish, enabling wiki citizens to express opinion and vote - in an ad hoc manner - on measures that may protect their idealistic venture from vandals. I wish them well. They are trying to do the almost-impossible. But civilization has overcome obstacles before.
See a brief outline of the differences between Wahab’bi Islam (fostered by the r-oil house) and “humanitarian Islam, in The Globalist. Frankly, I doubt things are as clearcut as this rather tendentious article puts it. Still, it’s worth a skim.
A very interesting thing is happening in Europe, apparently.
Liberal-leftist-populist sentiment is turning against immigrants, yet they cannot bring themselves to admit thinking in nationalist or racist or prejudiced terms. Hence, the introduction of litmus-test questions whenever a newcomer applies for residence permits. One is: “Do you believe in complete equality for women?” If not, no permit! This illustrates what I keep saying. Life is too complicated to fit inside simple jargon-nostrums. It makes your head ache to parse out the portions of this that are liberal and pro-tolerance and the parts that are agenda’d by rationalization of, well, cultural or racial bigotry. You almost have to laugh, seeing oversimplifying dogmatists of political correctness twisting to justify their rising xenophobia... a xenophobia that has some reason! And yet, well. It ain’t easy being mature.