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Thread: The Era of Living Dangerously

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default The Era of Living Dangerously

    The world is on edge: On the edge of another financial crisis, another global recession, another bout of extreme weather, another humanitarian disaster, another food crisis, and another round of violence and civil unrest. The world's problems, it seems, are not being solved; they are being recycled with rising -- and disturbing -- rapidity.

    If this were a movie, we might borrow a title from yesteryear and call it "The Year of Living Dangerously." But, unfortunately, this is not a movie; and the challenges that we face will not be resolved anytime soon. Our troubles are not cyclical, they are structural. We live in a world that is fundamentally out of balance, and rectifying those imbalances will take years, if not decades, to correct. Welcome to "The Era of Living Dangerously."
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert..._b_923423.html
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  2. #2
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. More correctly, The Era of no Historical Perspective

    The lack of knowledge of and appreciation for history tends to make the current generation, the one that preceded it and most Baby Boomers snivel about reality. The Puffington Host excels at that...

    The World has always been out of balance. Note in the quote provided the extensive use of the word 'another'...

    The problem is that many of the rather pampered today want stability and security that have never been and are unlikely to be available regardless of things flaky politicians and 'The Sky IS FALLING' news media and punditidiocy say...

    Same stuff, different day.

  3. #3
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Granted, the world has always been chaotic but in ways it can be predictable as the seasons. I'd recommend reading THE FOURTH TURNING.

    Strauss and Howe base this vision on a provocative theory of American history as a series of recurring 80- to 100-year cycles. Each cycle has four "turnings"-a High, an Awakening, anUnraveling, and a Crisis. The authors locate today's America as midway through an Unraveling, roughly a decade away from the next Crisis (or Fourth Turning). And they recommend ways Americans can prepare for what's ahead, as a nation and as individuals.
    http://www.fourthturning.com/html/fourth_turning.html

    They put the Third Turning as "the Culture Wars (1984 to 2005?)". That's pretty accurate forecasting, from 1997. This is a good page

    http://www.fourthturning.com/html/turnings_3.html

    and the wiki -

    In 1997, the authors published The Fourth Turning, which expanded on the ideas presented in Generations. Examining 500 years of Anglo-American history, The Fourth Turning reveals a distinct historical pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting approximately the length of a long human life (about 80–90 years), and each composed of four different types of mood eras, or "turnings". Offering a detailed analysis of the period from the Great Depression through today, the authors describe the collective persona of each living generation. These include the upbeat, team-playing G.I.s, the indecisive Silent, the values-obsessed Boomers, the pragmatic 13ers, and the new coming-of-age generation of upbeat, team-playing, Millennials. By situating each living generation in the context of a historical generational cycle and archetype, the authors claim to clarify the personality and role of each—and the inevitability of a coming crisis in America
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss_and_Howe

    see also
    http://www.fourthturning.com/html/winter_is_coming.html

    From Chapter 10 (A Fourth Turning Prophecy), page 273 - copied verbatim.

    An impasse over the Federal budget reaches a stalemate. The President and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The President declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The President threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  4. #4
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I can do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
    Granted, the world has always been chaotic but in ways it can be predictable as the seasons. I'd recommend reading THE FOURTH TURNING.
    I'll do that -- though I don't expect much edification but I can always use a chuckle or two. This blurb from your first link:

    ""As Future Shock did in the 1970s and Megatrends did in the 1980s, this groundbreaking book will have a profound effect on every reader's perception of America's past, present, and future.""

    is probably indicative of the total value of the Book -- both the two cited were IMO flops and of small merit. Few books live up to their hype and as Neils Bohr said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." People are too erratic and individually different to be pigeonholed as most predictive efforts have to try to do.

    However, no argument on broad predictability. Everything goes in cycles including American domestic politics which are boringly predictable and cyclical.
    They put the Third Turning as "the Culture Wars (1984 to 2005?)". That's pretty accurate forecasting, from 1997...
    Mid stream, time wise. Not so good, just belated and somewhat reasonable guesses -- which are what most 'forecasts' are. Actually, I'd say they missed it by 20 years. That turning was mid 60s to mid 80s and the US (as well as most of the rest of the world) has yet to understand how much the world changed in that time frame. The world's power structures, mostly, did not adapt (Singapore one bright exception, there are a couple of others) -- and is still fighting and trying to avoid adapting to it. Witness everything that's driving the nervous types up a wall today and it all started between 1965-1985, we're just cleaning up the aftermath.

    Note also US domestic programs oriented to the 1930s by all those left leaners who have not yet realized that their dreams of dependency and an all powerful government are not going to happen. Today, most western nation are just beginning to adjust to the changes that were glaringly obvious in the 1980s but which power structures diligently ignored as threatening to their 'vision.' Generational change is part of that adaptation but public discontent with the political classes worldwide is a more important driver of belated change.

    The fascinating thing is that Karl Marx, bourgeois soul that he was, got confused and though disagreement with the human condition was about class -- it was not and is not, it's about fairness of opportunity -- not outcome, opportunity. Very few begrudge he or she who has great wealth as long as they believe they could achieve that or close to it under their system of government. The socialist or populist idea opposes that fairness, by denying chance for great success in order to attempt 'equal' outcomes -- most people do not agree with that model.The Social Democratic governments of Europe got cranked up in the 30s, went for broke (literally) after WW II and, finally really broke, can snicker at the idiotic USA which is still trying to implement that foolishness as opposed to wisely scaling it back as Europe is doing. That model does not work for the long haul because it is intrinsically unfair and people will passively at first, actively if necessary, opt for change. There may be a "Fourth Turning," may not -- much depends on what a few people do or do not do -- and authors who have attempted to predict what people will do fail every bit as badly as the Generals who busily prepare for the last war.

    As to the full effects of "the new coming-of-age generation of upbeat, team-playing, Millennials," we'll see. Too early to tell, as is true of the Gen Xers and even the Baby Boomers. Generational change is real -- but only rarely is it truly significant.

    Your final quote from the book:
    "An impasse over the Federal budget reaches a stalemate. The President and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The President declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The President threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics."
    May or may not occur, elements of it have (a number of times during the last 220 years and including this year... ) and certainly will again. Default has loomed, will again and is vastly overblown as a potential problem.

    I think Wall Street and Panics is almost certainly an oxymoron...

  5. #5
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    How dangerous can the world be if life expectancy is still rising in many if not most countries and populations are growing in most places, too?

    This is rather the age of confused people who lost their sense or reality.
    This applies especially to those who command attention in talks in a security policy context.


    For a while I ran a series on my blog, comparing errorist effects with the effects of bus drivers.
    The latter turned out to be way more dangerous in every metric.

    This was a statistic I distilled:

    Year Kills by bus drivers
    2001 42
    2002 34
    2003 30
    2004 31
    2005 28
    2006 20
    2007 31
    Errorists don't even come close.

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    Ken:

    Oh for the post-Vietnam, post Watergate peace and love generation.

    Wait. Aren't they the same greedy bastards, in later life, running Wall Street and pushing George Bush's GWOT and deficit explosions.

    So much for over-generalizations. (and projections).

    I keep looking for this mythical historical time of perfect synchronization, and usually find that, on deeper analysis, there was great strife, challenge and change in that time, too.

    My computer programmer mom always said: Life IS problems, and the fun is solving them.

  7. #7
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    My computer programmer mom always said: Life IS problems, and the fun is solving them.
    is one smart and quite correct lady, she's got that right. Stability and security are vastly over rated. The knottier the issue, the more fun that can be had...

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    I'm reminded of an anecdote I read a couple of years ago: A British intelligence analyst in the first half the 20th century, when talking about his career said something to the effect of (paraphrasing from memory): "I always predicted the status quo, that there would be no war. I was only wrong twice."

    Fuchs,

    That's all true, but the problem is that most people don't judge risk based on statistics or a strict utilitarian worldview.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  9. #9
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default New SWC adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    For a while I ran a series on my blog, comparing errorist effects with the effects of bus drivers. The latter turned out to be way more dangerous in every metric. Errorists don't even come close.
    Errorists is a very clever, nay subtle way of imparting a new message regarding their actions. Well done Fuchs!
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Errorists is a very clever, nay subtle way of imparting a new message regarding their actions. Well done Fuchs!
    I had to look it up:

    Urban Dictionary: errorist
    Someone who repeatedly makes mistakes. Says stuff he believes is true, but anyone with common sense can see he's wrong. A dumbass.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  11. #11
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Someone who repeatedly makes mistakes. Says stuff he believes is true, but anyone with common sense can see he's wrong. A dumbass.
    They're everywhere, and they are a threat... a clear and omnipresent danger.

    We clearly need a Global War on Error. Big job. Somebody needs to get Ken White out of retirement...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  12. #12
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Nope...

    I'm tired. Fought them for 45 years, have tried to aid the fight for another 15 plus with only marginal success either way; there are too many of them, they are all cagey, risk averse PT Studs or Stud-ettes and they multiply like rabbits. On top of that, they promote each other and appear destined to rule the world. The problem is the apparent modern era proscription on firing incompetents and instead promoting them or moving them to higher office -- that and the disappearance of summary executions for idiocy.

    You kids need to take over...

    As an ancient oriental philosopher once said, rots a ruck...

  13. #13
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Marx was and still is right...nobdy reads what he really said!

    Yves Smith of Naked capitalism explains the Rich People's Propaganda that is the real problem. The Orphans(rich people) want help(tax beaks and bailouts) but it turns out they are Oprpahns because they murdered their parents.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=JPa2s-HYuvE

  14. #14
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default No, he wasn't right. far from it, in fact, he was one of the orphans...

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    The Orphans(rich people) want help(tax beaks and bailouts) but it turns out they are Oprpahns because they murdered their parents.
    If you really believe that, I got a bridge across Jordan Lake I'll sell you...

    There are some rich people that want tax breaks and bailouts -- and there are some far from rich people that want no taxes and handouts. Both of those crowds are wrong. Fortunately, there aren't many of them. Most people act like they have some sense and some balance...

    Unfortunately, the governing class (which Marx foolishly thought would behave properly but who never have or do) have not acted properly to restrain the worst instincts of capitalism nor have they have they halted the worst instincts of populism. Government has an obligation to restrain both and it has -- worldwide, not just in the US -- failed to do that. It has tried and will try to pander to both ends and thus will fail at its job of maintaining and fostering sense and balance.

    Rich people's propaganda isn't the problem -- nor is Smith's and other's anti-capitalism cant a real problem. Government failure to behave responsibly is a BIG problem and it will never go away. So Marx was way wrong; the less government, the better and both the rich and unrich would have to take care of themselves instead of relying on a government that will generally fail to really take care of either side.

    Not that any of that has the slightest thing to do with the thread...

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    ... the less government, the better and both the rich and unrich would have to take care of themselves instead of relying on a government that will generally fail to really take care of either side.
    Wouldn't it be great if some country were to establish that as its governing principle?

    Wonder how long that would last?
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

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  16. #16
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Lesee...

    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    Wouldn't it be great if some country were to establish that as its governing principle?
    Wonder how long that would last?
    From 1787 until 1913 is...

    I know, I know -- 126 years!!!

  17. #17
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    If you really believe that, I got a bridge across Jordan Lake I'll sell you...

    I should have put quotes around the oprhans, it is from the video link I posted. Yes Marx was an Oprhan or rather little Freddie Engels was or the book would likley never have been written. However in the sense that oprhans are used in the video I do believe it is accurate. You cain't complain about big guvmint, and taxes and then go running to them for orphan help when things don't work out.

    We need to get ride of the bridge... it messes up the Bass tournements.

  18. #18
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Talking Sure I can. Do it all the time...

    but then, I don't hit 'em up for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    You cain't complain about big guvmint, and taxes and then go running to them for orphan help when things don't work out.
    That doesn't seem to bother a lot of people...

    Then there are those of us that are pretty sure the guvmint really cannot afford the cost of doing all that orphan help...
    We need to get ride of the bridge... it messes up the Bass tournements.
    Can't have that, I'll sell the Bridge to Bob Jones, he can shorten his commute by zipping across Hillsborough Bay...

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    I think before we worry about the question of too much/not enough government, we should worry about the problem of unbelievable stupidity.

  20. #20
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Why worry about either?

    Needs to be fixed, not worried about...

    The problem, however, is that 'ignorance' cited in the linked article is due to the deliberate dumbing down of the electorate by the governing squirrels, on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue who work quite hard to obscure how deeply their hands are in the fabric of the nation -- mostly with a slew of programs that insinuate the government into everything to insure its primacy -- and the reelection of incumbents to the maximum possible extent. We are confronted with a Federal government that cannot do well the things it is supposed to do because it is so deeply enmeshed into many things that are none of its business

    There's a simple solution; it started in 2010 -- vote 'em out of office. All of them, do not vote for any incumbent and eventually, those elected to Congress will get the word and fix it -- it will not get any better until they are forced to fix the damage they've done and they have no incentive to fix it as long as they're being reelected.

    To return to the thread, none of that is really terribly dangerous -- so far -- it's just annoying...

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