Tag Archives: states

10 Most Likely Apocalypses

Definiton of  “apocalypse”: any universal or widespread destruction or disaster. I present you the ten most likely Apocalypses of the XXIst Century.

10. Meteor Strike – 65,500,000 B.C.

The Chicxulub Impact. A space rock 9 miles (15 km) wide landed on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula 65.5 millions years ago, releasing  over a billion times the energy of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The impact generated a dust cloud that blocked sunlight for an entire year, killing almost all plant life on Earth. If China had no rice and the Americans were out of grain… dam, there would be hell to pay.

9. Maya Calendar – 500 B.C

This calendar has an end date: December 21, 2012. While the true reason is shrouded in mystery, there are many possible scenarios. Astrologist argue that it marks the beginning of some big changes in the galaxy and cosmos. Hollywood predicts radical climate changes and possible floods. Descendants of the mayans joke saying the inventor of the calendar ran out of stone to carve. My personal favorite is an alien visit to planet Earth.

8. St. John´s Apocalypse – 100 A.D

Written almost 2000 years ago, this is still the most widely believed version of the end of the world. The effects: No more sunlight, the moon turning red, meteors showers, granite rain, the ocean turning to blood, the river water becoming poisoned, millions of giant lobsters prowling the land, four horseman of the Apocalypse, giant earthquake, a Satanic dragon and two demon beasts. Personally, I  just can´t imagine technology  stopping the wrath of God.

7. Pandemic – 700 A.D

The first pandemic mankind suffered was at the hands of a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. More commonly known as the Black Death, this bacteria arrived in Europe during the 8th century and killed 50% of its population. Now a days, an outbreak of an evolved or weaponized virus could easily wipe out more than 70% of the world population. Many of these killer viruses are capable of being transmitted through the air: such as ¨Anthrax¨, ¨Smallpox¨, ¨Ebola¨ and ¨Marburg¨ viruses.

6. Nuclear War – 1949

Originally conceived to be the weapon that would give United States undisputed power over all countries, instead it turned into a nightmare for a whole generation of Americans. Through espionage, the Soviet Union got their own atomic bomb by 1949. Since then,  eight other countries have adquired nuclear arsenals. And with the US trying to stop Iran and North Korea from developing their own nuclear weapons, today the nuclear threat is as real as ever.

5. Solar Flare – Future

If a large solar flare manages to sprout exactly towards Earth´s direction, the results would be catastrophic. All human satellites would be damaged, all electric grids would be severely disrupted and the atmosphere temperature would increase a couple degrees. Without satellites, human communications would be severely disrupted for months. Several days without electricity would mean the death of millions and multiple nuclear leaks. And a sudden rise in temperatures would disrupt most sea life, sea currents and spawn violent climate changes.

4. Grey Goo Theory – Future

A nanobot is extremely tiny robot capable of repairing and creating any type of molecule out of raw matter. While still going through medical tests, these tiny robots might be able to one day cure cancer and repair internal organs. Seems pretty harmless, right? Well, the problem lies in the fact that nanobots deconstruct matter and can be programmed to build anything; including other nanobots. Thus, if a self-replicating nanobot were to be unleashed it would only take 72 hours before the surface of the Earth (and everything on top of it) would transform into a grey goo. (nanobots)

3. Machine Takeover (A.I) – Future

While still under development, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is dream of many robotic scientists out there. At this exponential rate of digital growth, by 2029 desktop computers will have the same processing power as the human brain.  It is also predicted that by 1950, A.I. will reach a point where it is able to improve itself with unprecedented speed. This ability of computers to improve themselves and future advances in robotics will one day make Hollywood´s wildest fantasies look… not so wild.

2. Justin Bieber Internet Takeover – Near Future

As Justin Bieber´s musicvideo ¨Baby¨ nears the 500 million views on Youtube.com, there is only one question on everyone´s head: When will this Bieber madness stop? Soon, Justin´s takeover of the Internet will be inevitable. All websites will  forced to display his face in at least four places or face the risk of being forgotten. If children worldwide are worshipping this prepubescent kid, the future of music (and of the entire human race) looks bleak.

1. Sarah Palin becomes President – Near Future

The worts and most likely Apocalypse of all: Sarah Palin gets elected president of the USA in 2012. Palin is truly the biggest threat to world peace America has known since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Normally, I would think the American voters are too smart to vote for such candidate, but since the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush… heck, anything is possible.

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Don´t miss next week´s ¨10 Reasons NOT to vote for Palin¨

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Mexico, a Superpower?

This post is a continuation of last’s week’s ¨Review – The Next 100 Years¨, a book written by George Friedman, CEO of the largest private intelligence company in the world. In this post we will discuss how Mexico will one day challenge US power in North America.

2080 – Mexico´s rise to Power

Two eagles collide

 

Factors to take into consideration:

  1. Mexican inmigrants don´t usually lose their closeness with Mexico.
  2. Being neighbors with the USA is an economic advantage.
  3. Mexicans still feel like the USA stole their northern territory.

By 2070 Mexico´s economy will be in the top 10.

  • It´s currently #14 in GDP (production)
  • The second largest flow of money into Mexico, is the money Hispanic citizens in the US send to their families in Mexico.
  • Much like the millions of dollars produced by illegal alcohol sales in the USA during 1930´s, the billions of $$$ made by the drug cartels in Mexico will one day be ¨cleansed¨ through reinvesment in the country.

By 2070, the Hispanic citizens and inmigrants will constitute over 70% of the total population in former Mexican territories.

 

Source - US Census Bureau (2006)

 

Around 2080, tensions between USA and Mexico will escalate:

  1. Hispanic commnity will have a large representation in Congress.
  2. The rest of the US citizens will start feeling threatened by the growth of the Hispanic community.
  3. A Mexican secessionist movement will be born calling for the reintegration of these ¨Latino¨ states back to Mexico.

This minoritary Mexican secessionist movement (within the USA) will fuel the fire of the US conservative base. The American right-wing will label this movement an ¨insurrection¨ and will start calling for the inmediate deportation of all ¨Hispanics¨ back to Mexico.

The American goverment will respond by deporting all Mexicans who are not citizens back across the border. The Mexican seccesionis will then turn to vandalism and start revolting. The US will try to contain the revolt by mobilizing the National Guard and the US army.

The Mexican goverment will also mobilize its army to the border. The American actions will be viewed as racist ¨ethnic cleansing¨ by the Mexican goverment, whose right-wing party will start gaining massive support. While militarily superior, the US will not be facing the Mexican army. Instead it will be inmersed in an inner struggle to keep it´s southern states under control.

Territorial shifts aside, Given that the Hispanic community will be the biggest one in the US by 209o, the question will be:

Washington D.C or Mexico City?

Which city will be the capital of North America by 2100?

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Review ¨The Next 100 Years¨

A lot has changed in the last century. And, these changes don´t show any signs of slowing down.

Goverments paying inmigrants to come in? World War III? Mexico as a superpower? These are just a handful of predictions from George Friedman´s bestselling book ¨The Next 100 Years¨. Friedman is the Texan founder and CEO of STRATFOR, the world´s leading private intelligence company. So with a clear mind and open eyes, let´s take a glimpse at what the future might have in store.

Highlights of the Next Century

There is one basic principle in which Friedman bases his book on… The United States of America ¨superpower¨ status isn´t fading anytime soon. The Americans have merely hit a rough patch, but will continue being a superpower for decades to come. Trying to maintan it´s status as the #1 country in the world will be a task the US goverment will take very seriously.

2010s – USA / Islamic War

Whether United States is defeated or Iraq/Afghanistan remains a stalemate, that really won´t matter. As long as the Muslim world remains ethnically divided and fighting between themselves, it won´t pose a real threat to the US.

2020 – China´s expiration date

China´s current economical growth is the result of the country opening it´s market to capitalism. Such tremendous economical growth is causing stark differences between the rich coastal cities and poor central goverment. The coastal cities will eventually want more liberty. This in turn will leave the central chinese goverment two options: let the coastal cities drift away weakening the union or impose a more control over them. Both outcomes will cripple China´s economic power as a country.

2025 – Labor Force Crisis

Are you 18 and worried about finding a job? Don´t worry. By 2025, the ¨job crisis¨ will turn into a ¨labor force crisis¨.

With birth rate´s falling through out developed countries: a new laborforce will be needed to sustain the big, retiring ¨baby-boomer¨ generation. Currently, the birth rate of Europe and Japan is below the 2.1 child/woman ¨replacement level¨. This means that in a couple decades, developed countries are going to be filled with old people and lacking young ones.

European and japanese goverment´s will have to compete over inmigrants by offering them money and medical care packages. For the USA, whose birth rate level is higher, more lenient and open inmigration laws will solve the crisis. This increased flow of  inmigration and future innovations on robotics will help solve the 2025´s labor shortage.

2030 – Third Fall of Russia

Oh, yes! The Russians are back for a rematch. This next decade we will see Russia get economically stronger. This economic strength will in turn lead them to expand their military branches. With a strong military, the Russian goverment will then be interested in re-establishing the Soviet Union´s former sphere of influence in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

Western Europe won´t help Eastern Europe, because Germany (EUs key player) depends too much on Russian gas. Thus Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe will turn to the USA for support. The United States will gladly ¨contain¨ Russia through its support of Eastern Europe (west), Turkey (south) and Japan (east).

The resulting ¨Cold War¨ will be very much like the last one, but shorter. This time a non-direct confrontation, alternative energy sources, a declining population: will all play agains´t Russia. Their economy will collapse, followed by their military. And once again Russia will disintegrate into an even weaker nation.

2050 – World War III

With Russia and China out of the picture, by 2050 the most powerful nations in order of strength will be

  1. USA
  2. Turkey: with a sphere of influence over the Middle East and lower Russia.
  3. Japan: with a sphere of influence over the Pacific and western China.
  4. European Union
  5. Poland: with a sphere of influence over Eastern Europe and Russia.

The Americans will see that its spot as the #1 country is being challenged by its former allies Turkey and Japan. The USA will do all it can to ¨contain¨ the expansion of these two countries. Turkey and Japan won´t enjoy feeling ¨contained¨ and will become secret war-allies. Japan will then stage a ¨Pearl Harbor¨ in space, taking down as many U.S satellites as it can. Then in less than 15 minutes, most of the US Airforce will be destroyed.

With Poland, China, and Britain as allies, the USA will strike back with it´s reserve forces. The result of the war will be determined by whoever controls the air and space. No nuclear devices will be employed (as they would be seen undesired by all). The European Union will remain mostly neutral.

After almost 2 years of war, by 2052 the USA will be able to take full control of space (high ground) and win. The war won´t  be a ¨total war¨ of societies destroying societies. Instead a peace treaty will be drafted in which the defeated nations won´t lose much and the USA (and allies) are allowed military control of space.

2060/2070 – Golden Decades for the US

Years of economic, technological and social prosperity.

2080 – Mexico´s Rise to Power

To be continued on next week´s post – ¨Mexico, a Superpower?¨


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Wikileaks Scandal – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The publication of 250,000 US diplomatic cables last week by Wikileaks.com has caused quite a scandal in both the US and International community. While the legality/morality/goal of such action is dubious, the fact of the matter is that the information is out there and can’t be taken back. That being said, before taking sides on the issue (freedom of speech vs. Assange terrorist), lets analize the effects of such publication:

The Good

  • Like the Pentagon Papers (Vietnam) and the Watergate Scandal, some of the cables published reveal corrupt and inmoral US goverment operations. Operations that our democratic  govermentof should never have to endorse.

1. Hillary Clinton ordered a spy operation on UN leadership. The US diplomats were asked to obtain DNA samples, adresses, credit card numbers, phone numbers, tax and pager numbers and EVEN computer passwords from top UN members. Such operation is a blatant infringement of UN laws and individual privacy.

2. The oil company Shell admits to have infiltrated the Nigerian goverment at all levels. To such an extent that a Shell executive boasted that they know exactly everything that goes on within the Nigerian ministries. Such capitalistic, corrupt infiltration of a goverment is clearly anything but “democratic” or ethical.

  • The publication of the cables also brought to light the high level of corruption, bribery, criminal dealings of the current Russian goverment. Now its up to the russian population to take action (if they can) and try to reform such a obscure goverment procedures.

The Bad

  • Some of the cables published couldn’t have come at a worse time. A time where the economy is bad, the Middle East is unstable and North Korea is highely agressive.
  1. By revealing that China is progessively withdrawing its support to North Korea, the north koreans will feel threatened to lose its biggest patron and thus seek to further distabilize the Korean region.
  2. By revealing that US is backed by many Arab countries in its attempt to contain Iran’s influence/nuclear proliferation; expect the already-radical Iranian president to turn even more radical.
  3. By revealing the weakness or corruption of many African presidents, the publication has put the continent’s stability at test.
  • Also, USA’s political credibility has been weakened worldwide.

The Ugly

  • Several cables revealed that behind the deities of the Saudi Arabian royalty, there are parties that include alcohol, strippers and drugs. Have only two words to say on the matter – PARTY POOPER.
  • The US goverment’s response of prosecuting and shutting down Internet sites goes agaisnt the ideal of freedom of speech. Such action has only made the USA look undemocratic, like China.
  • If people of the likes of Julian Assange can hack into Pentagon archives and shutdown Visa.com; imagine how easily they could steal our passwords and other personal digital information.

Conclusion

While unmasking corruption and inmoral actions is always justified (Vietnam, Watergate, in this case the corruption of Nigeria and American espionage in the United Nations) I believe the problem lies not in the action, but in the indiscriminate manner such information was made public. A responsible person would have taken the time to actually skim through the cables and publish that which is useful for society. The data which helps foment human relations.

What is Julian Assange seeking to gain by publishing “provoking” personal correspondence of US diplomats? (such as the one Hillay Clinton states that the Argetinian president seems “mentally unstable” or another that describes Nicolas Sarkozy as “impatient and undiplomatic”) Does this type of personal correspondence help the international community in any way? Or does it merely seek to obtain notoriety and spark bitterness between world leaders?

Just like you wouldn’t inform a patient in intensive care that his parents have just suffered a horrible death; when revealing secrets one has to take the timing and possible consequences into account. In this case, some of the cables published about Iran and North Korea seem more likely to trigger violence than “enlightment” or “transparency”. So while I wouldn´t call Julian Assange a criminal, I would definitely label some of his actions as unthoughtful.

And as for the US goverment, instead of trying to control the release of information (which is impossible), your efforts would be better spent in figuring out ways to better protect secrets so they doesn’t get “stolen” in the first place.

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For more information, The Guardian has developed a detailed interface/map of the 250,000 cables

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