Everything's peachy, with a few exceptions... the economy of the USA
is crumbling, of course, and the U.S. government's bleeding dollars (as
well as real American blood) in Iraq. Climate change is accelerating,
polar ice caps are melting, whole species are disappearing. Developing
nations want their chance to be the next USA, and they're not
especially interested in hearing that it's not possible for everyone to
leverage the same increasingly limited resources.
What happens when we pay everybody in the world a living wage, and
give 'em all a chance to own an SUV and a house in the suburbs? How
many worlds would it take to float that boat? How pissed are they going
to be when they realize "lifestyles of the rich and famous don't
scale," in fact the lifestyle of the typical middle-class American is
I'm writing from a quiet neighborhood in Texas where everybody's
preparing for New Year's Eve. They'll celebrate like always, drink more
than they should, ogle the street performances and art at First Night
downtown, watch fireworks like it's the fourth of July, Tomorrow
they'll watch football and eat a spoonful of black-eyed peas for luck.
Nobody's freaking out yet, but they're shaky. And well they should be.
I'm not worried. I see via Boing Boing that I can buy moldable moon
sand and pancakes in a can. I'm okay, as long as the RIAA doesn't catch
me copying a song from a CD that I supposedly own to a computer that
I'm pretty sure I own. Or maybe I don't own anything; maybe I'm just
renting - licensing - all my surroundings. I hope they don't repossess
that candle before it burns out...
At least I'm not living in Kenya, where all hell's broken loose after
the latest election. I'm not living in Pakistan, where Bhutto was
martyred last week, assassinated, no doubt, by some Pakistani Lee
Harvey Oswald. Politics in the U.S.A. is safe, right? We're completely
In the geek circles that Bruce and I both know so well, there's no
real sense of urgency about the state of the world, at least that I can
see. I wonder about that.
So my first question for Bruce: how's Torino?