Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, July 09, 2006
Annan warning on Gaza 'disaster' International discohesion. This may not be the correct categorisation, but basically this conflict is not ameliorating but continuing, even worsening, with all that that implies for global instability.

Gunmen kill 40 Sunnis in rampage "Gunmen roaming a Baghdad neighborhood on Sunday killed at least 40 unarmed Iraqis as soon as they identified them as Sunnis, emergency police said." Internal discohesion having murderous effect because of international disintegration. Basically, the world is working its way back to square one, fragmenting itself, so that it may be rebuilt again.

A week in the life of Lawless Britain "The Sunday Telegraph's Karyn Miller last week monitored violent crime across the country. There was nothing extraordinary about it - just a typical seven-day period in which children were killed, old women mugged, youths stabbed, young women raped. We have space to list only around 100 of the worst cases." Internal disintegration The term "lawless" is perhaps slightly misleading as the state appears to be producing new legislation and social agendas at unprecedented rates. This is an illustration of how ineffective crucial institutions of British society have become. See also: Homicides soar by a quarter under Labour

Use of heroin and crack soars "THE number of people using crack cocaine and heroin has risen by more than a third over the past two years, according to a Home Office report, writes Daniel Foggo. The study shows that more than 90,000 extra people are taking the drugs in England, which now has 340,000 crack and heroin users." Internal discohesion In the course of the industrial revolution, Britain quickly became the world's most urbanised country. However, Britain also leads Europe in divorce rates, and in the proportion of children growing up in lone- parent families. Therefore, it looks as though the break-up of families and communities is in some way connected to the UK's earlier success, which is one of the core messages of dark age theory.

Hispanics nudge US population to 300m "Last year the population of America swelled by 2.8m, with 1.1m the result of immigration and the other 1.7m because births outnumbered deaths. In 30 years white non-Hispanics will barely form the majority." Internal discohesion

Most cities in New York continue losing population "Twenty-six counties in New York have lost residents so far this decade, according to the new report. In Erie and Broome counties, the number of residents dropped both in the central cities of Buffalo and Binghamton, and in surrounding municipalities within the county." Internal disorganisation? The same finding applies to Paris. As business opportunities fade, the west's large cities become less attractive for ordinary people.

Mass protest over Mexico election "More than 100,000 people have gathered in Mexico City to support demands for a recount after last weekend's hotly disputed presidential election." Internal discohesion We are not saying that tight votes and disputes over the outcome have been a typical feature of previous dark ages. The phenomenon does seem to have gained momentum over the past few years, though. It has occurred in the US (when Bush was elected President), in Germany (Merkel) and in Italy (Prodi), more recently. Obviously, this doesn't help to inspire confidence in the political process.

Saturday, July 08, 2006
Discovery astronauts on spacewalk Pro-innovation Or too little, too late. According to plans that existed at the time of the moon-landings, there would have been bases on Mars by now. The space program hardly looks as though it is steaming ahead, despite the hopeful rhetoric.

U.S. deploys missile destroyer to Japan " A new top-of-the-line U.S. guided missile destroyer was deployed to Japan on Saturday, amid tensions over North Korea's missile tests." Wars coming soon?

Anger at cardinal's cell warning: "British scientists reacted angrily last night to the views of a senior Vatican official, who said Catholic researchers working on embryonic stem cells should be excommunicated." The church holding out for innovation failure In the dark age, genetic engineers may breed gill-breathing humans and other freaks, and no one will stop them. A thousand years later, it will seem like the most natural thing on earth.

U.S. is monitoring commercial presence of Iran in Venezuela Internal disorganisation (of the hegemon) and a link to international disintegration. Iran is building a tractor factory in Venezuela and America's diplomats are worried about whether Iran may be using the factory as a cover to export "terrorism." Iran plans to eventually invest $9 billion US in 125 projects. Perhaps these agents of the hegemon ought to be asking themselves why John Deere, inc didn't get the business.**

Russians invited back from ex-Soviet states: "According to official figures, the number of Russians has shrunk by 11.2 million since 1993 because of high mortality and a low birth rate. If the trend continues, the population could fall from 143 million today to 100 million by mid-century. "We are at a critical juncture," Putin, who has described the problem as a threat to national security, said last week." Internal disorganisation Population decline is a classic concomitant of economic disorganisation. (Economic growth means the ability to support more people for the same input of land and raw materials; decline means the reverse.)

US military sees oil nationalism spectre " "It is incumbent upon the command to contemplate beyond strictly military matters," said Colonel Joe Nuñez, professor of strategy at the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. While China uses its growing wealth to make long term purchases of oil around the world, many critics see the US using its military as a default economic asset upon which its increasingly questionable economic future may depend." International disorganisation-disintegration coupling The US military is assessing the future of oil output in South America. Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia have all taken steps to reassert state control over their hydrocarbon (and mining) resources to the consternation of foreign investors, and the US military sees the consequent reduction in expected output as a threat to America's energy security.** (Are we looking at innovation failure drawing the planet into struggles over the last drop of oil?)

Thursday, July 06, 2006
North Korean Missile Launches Challenging the Hegemon This is interesting, North Korea is defying the hegemon by launching these missiles, but it seems the rest of the world is becoming cohesive in response, like the whole world sees North Korea's missiles as a threat. Because of this, the effect may actually be cohesive/integrative rather than discohesive/disintegrative. Besides, as has been said here before, North Korea would probably collapse pretty quickly in a war (unless of course China comes to animate its corpse). --beneficii