Dateline 2010: the world-historical situation

In the twilight century of western civilisation, the US, the last resting place of western power, has as its primary purpose the containment of rising China. China has as its primary purpose to put the world 'back to rights'. It is playing a waiting game, and is anxious not to jump the gun.

Dark Age Watch (DAW on hold.)

Issue du jour 1: War with Iran--important to containing China but delayed over two years

Issue du jour 2: The world economy--unbalanced, interwoven, delusional--some predict its unravelling

Issue du jour 3: Somalia--leading the world into a dark age

Issue du jour 4: Pirates exploit the decline of international order

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Summary - understanding social complexity

I want to summarise the points I have been making in the last half dozen posts.

When we look around the world, we see societies of varying sophistication.

We should not put this down to some societies being more 'talented'. It is a matter of scale and eigenmodes.

The question is, why scale increased in some places and not others.

We should not think that increasing scale is an obvious 'choice'. People actually like to get away from each other. And the simple, free lifestyle of low-scale societies holds many attractions.

That said, people are contradictory. Population concentrations can be attractive, offering possibilities not found in the free-roaming band, especially as far as young people are concerned. Once established, high scale may be self-sustaining.