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compos mentis. Concision. Media. Clarity. Memes. Context. Melange. Confluence. Mishmash. Conflation. Mellifluous. Conviviality. Miscellany. Confelicity. Milieu. Cogent. Minty. Concoction.

Mapping the Global Future
Topic: International Relations 10:44 pm EST, Jan 15, 2005

"Mapping the Global Future is the third unclassified report prepared by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the past seven years that takes a long-term view of the future. The National Intelligence Council, as a center of strategic thinking and over-the-horizon analysis for the US Government, takes this as one of its key challenges."

At no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux.

The likely emergence of China and India, as well as others, as new major global players -- similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century -- will transform the geopolitical landscape, with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries.

The world economy is likely to continue growing impressively: by 2020, it is projected to be about 80 percent larger than it was in 2000, and average per capita income will be roughly 50 percent higher.

The so-called "third wave" of democratization may be partially reversed by 2020 -- particularly among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia, some of which never really embraced democracy.

The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century, unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars.

We expect that by 2020 al-Qaida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups.

Mapping the Global Future

2004 - It Was a Very Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:47 pm EST, Jan  8, 2005

A sampling of noteworthy memes in the year 2004, loosely ordered for effect. Enjoy.

The most important -- and interesting -- questions are structural.

"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency. "We don't play games at The Washington Post and use dashes." "I felt better after I had done it."

Teenagers nowadays are both more connected to the world at large than ever, and more cut off.

cellphone-based alibi clubs

More research anywhere creates more possibilities for innovation everywhere.

Do you understand the difference between "Is it worth buying?" and "Can it be sold?"

The era of cheap oil is over.

The Internet peering model is fundamentally broken.

"The thing is, this is a lousy business."

Let's talk about the consequences of the aging baby boomers.

Relationships can be hard work, but they are worth it.

When was the last time a talk show changed a mind?

Intelligence is moving to the edges and the edges are found on the Asian mainland.

In China, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America, Britney Spears is Britney Spears.

All entertainment concepts must be run through the Vulgarizer.

"I need to be managing a sexier project."

Values Voters Are Prone To Sinful Behavior.

Its sole function is to sell the naughty lifestyle.

Why the granny panties?

The Middle East must be Born Again!

War may be hell, but infowar is making a bid for heaven.

Personality is destiny.

"There's a certain tone in politics that I aspire to, that allows me to disagree with people without being disagreeable."

"chicken hawks"

Saudi Arabia is the golden egg.

Powell: "Very embarrassing. I am not a happy camper over this. We were wrong." Bush: "I wasn't happy when we found out there wasn't weapons, and we've got an intelligence group together to figure out why."

"It takes half a second for a baby to throw up all over your sweater. It takes hours to get it clean."

typical postwar "untidiness"

Bush: "I've made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV."

"No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey."

America, partnering with the best-armed insurgents, allying with the weaker against the stronger.

"You can't talk sense to them," Bush said, referring to terrorists. "Nooooo!" the audience roared.

Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.

"Bush might be unpopular in Italy, the Iraqi war is not popular in Italy, but Italians know damn well that in 1944, they were liberated by America from the Nazis."

Fight the cult of process.

"You can't fight here! This is the war room!"

It is definitely interesting getting shot at for the first time.

"If you go ahead, we will do everything possible to discredit you... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

2004 - It Was a Very Noteworthy Year

MemeStreams - Year in Graphs 2004
Topic: MemeStreams 12:33 am EST, Jan  6, 2005

The new year is often time for reflection on where we have been and where we are going. Sometimes that reflection happens over a beer. Sometimes that reflection happens with a gun to your head. In fact, both occurred here at Industrial Memetics when Decius and Rattle forced us, their loyal employees, to look back on 2004 and consider the events that have shaped our lives.

MemeStreams - Year in Graphs 2004

The Ends of the World as We Know Them
Topic: Society 12:19 am EST, Jan  2, 2005

How long can America remain ascendant?

Where will we stand 10 years from now, or even next year?

History warns us that when once-powerful societies collapse, they tend to do so quickly and unexpectedly.

A society contains a built-in blueprint for failure if the elite insulates itself from the consequences of its actions.

Could this happen in the United States? It's a thought that often occurs to me here in Los Angeles.

Take a deep lesson from history. We must be willing to re-examine long-held core values, when conditions change and those values no longer make sense.

This isn't "just another book promo" pseudo op-ed. There's a political element to it.

The Ends of the World as We Know Them

The Last Americans
Topic: History 11:20 pm EST, Dec 28, 2004

Jared Diamond is Good Reading.

One of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse. Few people, however, least of all our politicians, realize that a primary cause of the collapse of those societies has been the destruction of the environmental resources on which they depended. Fewer still appreciate that many of those civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society's demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth, and power.

Because peak population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production are accompanied by peak environmental impact -- approaching the limit at which impact outstrips resources -- we can now understand why declines of societies tend to follow swiftly on their peaks.

Some people assume that new technologies will succeed quickly enough to make a big difference soon, but all of these major technological changes will actually take five to thirty years to develop and implement -- if they catch on at all. Most of all, those with faith assume that new technology won't cause any new problems. In fact, technology merely constitutes increased power, which produces changes that can be either for the better or for the worse. All of our current environmental problems are unanticipated harmful consequences of our existing technology. There is no basis for believing that technology will miraculously stop causing new and unanticipated problems while it is solving the problems that it previously produced.

The Last Americans

SOCOM wants Bibles
Topic: Military Technology 3:31 pm EST, Dec 18, 2004

The items being purchased are 10,000 New International Version (NIV) Bibles with a custom-designed cover. The Bibles include Army-designed color photographs and text inserts.

War may be hell, but infowar is making a bid for heaven.

SOCOM wants Bibles

Blazing The Trail: The Early History Of Spacecraft And Rocketry
Topic: Technology 1:32 am EST, Dec 17, 2004

This book presents the fascinating story of the events that paved the way to space. It introduces the reader to the history of early rocketry and the subsequent developments that led into the space age. People of many nations and lands contributed to the breakthrough to space, and the book takes the reader to faraway places on five continents. It also includes many quotes to give readers a flavor of how the participants viewed the developments.

"Hughes Aircraft Company had emerged as a guided missile powerhouse and major defense contractor in the early 1950s. Disagreements with Howard Hughes led to resignation of two leading specialists Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge, who formed in September 1953, with the financial help of Thompson Products Company, a new company, the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (R-W). R-W started with four employees, including the founders, and was located at first in a former barbershop on 92nd Street in Westchester near the Los Angeles airport. Thompson Products and R-W merged in 1958 to form Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc., the name officially shortened to TRW in 1965."

Blazing The Trail: The Early History Of Spacecraft And Rocketry

Parallel Worlds: A journey through creation, higher dimensions, and the future of the cosmos
Topic: Physics 1:22 am EST, Dec 17, 2004

This received a "starred review" at Booklist.

Another universe may be floating just a millimeter away on a "brane" parallel to our own, but we can't pop our heads in and have a look around because it exists in hyperspace.

Well-known physicist and author Michio Kaku will excite readers with his vision of realms that may exist just beyond the tip of our noses.

Speculating about escape routes through spacetime into parallel universes, Kaku presents a riveting popular treatment of the string revolution in physics.

Parallel Worlds: A journey through creation, higher dimensions, and the future of the cosmos

SAFE: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World
Topic: Technology 1:06 am EST, Dec 17, 2004

If our society is the most technologically sophisticated on Earth, then why can't we protect ourselves from terrorists and other threats to our safety and security?

This is the question that frustrates -- and scares -- all of us today, and the answers have proved maddeningly elusive. Until now.

It's time to ask ourselves a question: Are we willing to let them keep beating us at our own game? For the brilliant and colorful innovators in these pages, the answer is no.

Readers of SAFE will come away understanding the unique challenges posed by technological progress in a networked, and newly dangerous, world. Witnessing the work of this gathering force of innovators up close, they'll be inspired by the power of the human intellect and spirit -- and realize how important the contributions of individual citizens and communities can be.

SAFE: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World

Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical
Topic: History 12:39 am EST, Dec 17, 2004

Magazines and periodicals played a far greater role than books in influencing the Victorians' understanding of the new discoveries and theories in science, technology and medicine of their era. This book identifies and analyzes the presentation of science in the periodical press in Britain between 1800 and 1900.

Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical

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