After empire, then what? -- Mike Treder looks at what happens when empires fall.
International peace, security, and stable all are strengthened by economic ties; financial integration and interdependence tend to promote harmony and tolerance. But if we experience a hard takeoff scenario for advanced nanotechnology -- a sudden and uncontrolled flood of products -- the resulting economic disruption might then destabilize international relations to the point where a hard landing for the former American empire is only one part of very bad outcome.
The Fallacy of Reversibility -- Stuart Staniford examines the apocaphile assumption that higher priced oil means the collapse of industrial agriculture.
So when you industrialize a society, is that a reversible process? Can you take it on a backward path to a deindustrialized society that looks in the important ways like the society you had before the industrialization? As far as I can see, the "second wave" peak oil writers treat it as fairly obvious that this is both possible and desirable. It appears to me that it is neither possible or desirable, but at a minimum, someone arguing for it should seriously address the question. And it is this failure that I am calling the Fallacy of Reversibility. It is most pronounced in Kunstler, who in addition to believing we need a much higher level of involvement in agriculture also wants railways, canals, and sailing ships back, and is a strong proponent of nineteenth century urban forms.
From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America, King said, the U.S. was "on the wrong side of a world revolution." King questioned "our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America," and asked why the U.S. was suppressing revolutions "of the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World, instead of supporting them.
In foreign policy, King also offered an economic critique, complaining about "capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries."
10-Fold Life Span Extension Reported -- Yeast re-engineered to live 80 days or more (that's 800 years to you and me).
Longo cautioned that [...] longevity mutations tend to come with severe growth deficits and other health problems. Finding drugs to extend the human life span without side effects will not be easy, he said.
An easier goal, Longo added, would be to use the knowledge gained about life span “in a fairly limited way, to reprogram disease prevention.”