FP has a feature called "The Next Big Thing," where various think tankers and experts opine about the upcoming horrors of the NWO agenda, but it's all presented as fucking pissah shit. To wit:
A New You (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4843)
Shorter: Technology is getting so good that we people with access to it will have god-like powers over life and death.
As countries and industries grow increasingly overwhelmed by wave after wave of bankruptcies, layoffs, restructurings, botched contracts, and embarrassing bonuses, they might lose sight of a second, much larger set of tsunamis gathering force over the horizon. While the economy is melting down, technology is moving forward at an even faster rate. The ability to adapt to the accelerating pace of change will determine who survives.Personalized Education (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4844)
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But even the rise and fall of nations and regions may be relatively small compared with the eventual scale of the change. By beginning to read and write life code, we are gradually becoming a different species; we are moving from Homo sapiens into Homo evolutis, a human being that deliberately engineers its own evolution and that of other species. And that is the ultimate tsunami.
Shorter: Whoever's left after culling will be allowed to use the internet, but definitely not those idiots in the US.
Just how will this happen? Where, when, and by whom? According to the analysis of business expert Clayton Christensen, personalized education is likely to begin outside formal school through a combination of entrepreneurial vendors on the one hand and ambitious students and parents on the other. Once far more efficient and effective education has been modeled in homes and clubs, those schools, communities, and/or societies that have the ambition, the means, and the willingness to take risks will follow suit. I’d bet on Singapore or Sweden before wagering on U.S. public schools. I recall the words of Winston Churchill: “The American people always do the right thing, after they’ve tried every other alternative.”Anger Management (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4845)
Shorter: This high tech police state will be great fun for us, but let's make sure to blame it on approved scapegoats, 'kay?
Already, our technologically empowered society tracks some “undesirables” at all times. Now, imagine a world in which every newborn baby immediately has a little capsule implanted under his or her armpit. Inside are monitors, tiny amounts of hormones, a wireless transmitter, and a receiver. The device is powered by a battery like the one inside your watch. Surgical replacement of the capsule every five years is mandatory, strictly enforced, and, because it is very cheap, paid for by the state.Happiness (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4846)
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Most of the elements for such a system, such as hormone treatments to stop sex offenders from repeating their crimes and “antidepressants” capable of turning people into zombies, already exist. And with all types of violence rising as global GDP falls, the rest are almost certain to become available in the very near future. Such methods will certainly appeal to mayors who want to keep crime under control, peaceniks who want to eliminate war in all its forms, and feminists who are always complaining of the bad things men are doing to women. The question is, are we prepared to pay the price?
Shorter: Now that we've transferred all the wealth into our pockets, let's convince poor people that poverty is hip.
Before the financial crisis, nothing was stopping us from pursuing these things that make life worth living. But, consistent with a substantial body of research showing that we generally don’t know what’s good for us, when the money was flowing we substituted risk for security. We sacrificed time with friends and family to spend more time at work accumulating wealth and more time after work figuring out how to spend it. The short-term temptations were just too hard to resist.Shrinkage (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4847)
But now, everyone’s belt has tightened. Financial necessity may give us the opportunity to discover that time spent with loved ones is much more satisfying than time spent with your 76-inch HDTV. Once the crisis lifts, we may not be tempted to go back to living the way we did before, if that’s even an option for those millions who are now losing their jobs, homes, and retirement accounts.
Shorter: No matter how you slice it, the finance industry can't fail because We Own It and We Make All the Rules. Ha!
The near future will be full of Big Things that, only a year ago, were largely unthinkable. They will rapidly alter the financial landscape and, together with the inevitable fallout from the $50 trillion of wealth destruction in 2008, reconfigure several elements of the global economy. And one of the most striking aspects will be a dramatic shrinkage of the financial sector. Here’s how it will evolve.America (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4848)
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Why should we care? After all, it is the finance industry’s self-inflicted wounds that have led to the warlike conditions in the economy. There should be little, if any, sympathy when governments move in to impose a peace.
Yet the financial sector is deeply interlinked to the drivers of global growth, employment, and prosperity. It is like the oil in our cars: It lubricates the engine of world growth, and when it breaks down, nothing else can work properly.
Shorter: We're thisclose to Fascism WOO HOO!!! Just keep the Kool Aid coming so they don't notice all the slums.
We can also comfortably wager that government subsidies will rule the day. State capitalism, in one form or another, has always existed in Europe and the industrial nations of East Asia. Now, state capitalism with American characteristics may emerge from the de facto nationalization of the U.S. automobile industry and perhaps other sectors that need to be rescued as the wave of deleveraging works its way through the economy.Neomedievalism (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4850)
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Post-bubble, these once great cities will have to raise property taxes while slashing services, driving out wave after wave of productive residents. In desperation, some will specialize, like New Orleans and Las Vegas, in entertainment; the metaphorical casino capitalism of high finance will give way to actual casino capitalism for some struggling cities. The general seediness associated with nightlife-driven economies, together with bankrupt schools, inadequate police protection, and skyrocketing property taxes, will force the upper-middle class to flee the worst-afflicted world cities.
Shorter: Also, convince them to expect Mad Max so they beg us for police state protection.
There are positive sides to a world where every man can be a nation unto himself. Postmodern Medicis such as Bill Gates, Anil Ambani, George Soros, and Richard Branson take it upon themselves to cure pandemics, run corporate cities, undermine authoritarian regimes, and sponsor climate-saving research. But the Middle Ages were fundamentally a time of fear, uncertainty, plagues, and violence. So, too, their successor. AIDS and SARS, terrorism and piracy, cyclones and rising sea levels—it is no longer clear how to invest in the future, or what future to invest in. Figuring out how to respond to this new world will take decades at least. The next Renaissance is still a long way off.Africa (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4849)
Shorter: Time to get with the $$Program$$, brown people. You need to tide us over this rough patch.
A third shift is the quiet maturing of Africa’s financial system. Last January, a stock market opened on one floor of the tallest office building in Kigali, Rwanda. It is one of eight to open in the last decade; there are now 16 across Africa. About 500 stocks are traded on such exchanges; about 85 percent are for noncommodities. Banking and telecommunications are particularly strong.Resilience (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4851)
Today, more African financial data are being tracked and made accessible. There are now 17 countries with credit ratings. Such ratings open doors to the private capital that makes economies hum. In assigning ratings, international credit-rating agencies primarily consider two things: a borrower’s willingness and ability to pay back loans. Countries that have jumped through the hoops to obtain ratings have taken steps toward more accountable governance.
Shorter: We can make it through this, guys (biting lip)!
Ultimately, resilience emphasizes increasing our ability to withstand crises. Sustainability is a brittle state: Unforeseen changes (natural or otherwise) can easily cause its collapse. Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.Better Biofuels (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4852)
Shorter: Whatever you do, keep the secret technologies under wraps and give them lots more useless busywork and false hope that will divert precious resources.
Will the biofuels of tomorrow replace oil, as some advocates suggest? It’s doubtful. Produced and used responsibly, fuel from plants will at best be a small, though growing, piece of a broader renewable energy portfolio that includes wind and solar power. But even if electric cars are in widespread use and massive increases in fuel efficiency are taking place, the need for liquid fuels will still rise in the next decade in many areas. In some countries, adding biofuels to the mix will make a real difference in saving foreign exchange and boosting the agricultural sector. Biofuels have the added advantage of allowing the continued use of fossil fuel infrastructure, which, like it or not, is one Big Thing that will be with us for some time to come.Water (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4853)
Shorter: Damn, this is a steal, like taking toys from a baby, shooting fish in a barrel, etc. We are gonna get so rich from this water crisis (high fives all around!!!)
As food prices skyrocketed over the last two years, countries and state-sponsored companies were quietly snapping up land around the world....The purchases weren’t about land, but water. For with the land comes the right to withdraw the water linked to it, in most countries essentially a freebie that increasingly could be the most valuable part of the deal. Estimated on the basis of one crop per year, the land purchased represents 55 to 65 cubic kilometers of embedded freshwater, an amount equal to roughly 1½ times the water held by the Hoover Dam. And, because this water has no price, the investors can take it over virtually free. It’s not quite a scenario from a James Bond movie, but the rush to lock up scarce water resources in agricultural belts is nonetheless disturbing. It suggests another food crisis might not be too far away.More of the Same (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4854)
Shorter: Fuck Noriel Roubini, that fucking fucktard. Fuck. Him.
One way to ensure you’re right at least some of the time is to make the same prediction year after year—after all, a stopped clock is right twice a day. “Dr. Doom” himself—New York University economist Nouriel Roubini—has been expecting a U.S. financial catastrophe for years. As Anirvan Banerji of the Economic Cycle Research Institute told the New York Times Magazine last year, Roubini’s explanations—increasing trade deficits, soaring current account deficits, Hurricane Katrina, skyrocketing oil prices—have tended to evolve over time. But as we now know, he hit the jackpot by calling the housing bubble in 2006. Smart or lucky? Wait to see where his next predictions land.A Bigger Big Bang (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4855)
Shorter: After we get this dump cleaned up and thinned out, it's gonna be great.
It seems inevitable that the next decade will be filled with surprises—unexpected armed conflicts, the redrawing of political maps, the clash of religions, struggles over the environment, and economic upheavals that may be deeper and more complex than today’s. But by far the most profound and powerful changes lie further ahead at, say, the middle of the century.
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By 2050, the result should be humans who are able to address issues and solve problems previously beyond our reach, redefining how we as a species imagine, work, and think. The generations to come will be surprised at the relative stupidity and naiveté of today’s best and brightest—present company included.