Saturday, April 26, 2008

The world seemed an unstable place in 2008

In the run-up to the 2008 elections in the United States, the world seemed an unstable place. The world economy seemed on the edge of at least recession, if not worse. Rogue nations, such as North Korea, Iran, and Syria were collaborating on nuclear weapon development. The elections in the United States seemed certain to place a pacifist, leftist government in power. It would a government that would be unwilling to respond to the aggressive, Islamist threat. At the same time, China seemed to increasingly to be testing the United States to see if China might be able to be more active on the world scene and succeed in applying force to expand their power without an American response. South Korea and Taiwan had strong elements that seemed ready to allow the Chinese and North Koreans to succeed with provocative acts. How would the year end?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The very fabric of the country seemed to be fragile

In the early 21st Century, the forces on the "Left" had been so successful in promulgating their message that there was widespread sympathy for radical change. Only a relatively short time before, the surface appearance was that the United States, and even Britain, were heading in a more Conservative direction. All that changed after the terrorist attacks, starting with the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. People desperately wanted the Muslim world to back off their threat and imagined that if they only stopped fighting, that the conflict would evaporate. Sadly, it was not to be, but that hope is what drove the United States leftward in the aftermath of "September 11th".

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Technological conveniences

The mid-21st Century has many technological conveniences. My favorite, which would be the envy of denizens of the early 21st Century and before, is the ability of cars to stop next to a parking place and "step over into the place". Eliminating jockeying a car, back and forth, into a parking place is such an obvious step that you might wonder why having such a feature took so long. Apparently, there was too much complication for such a feature to be economically viable a rather short distance back in time. Another major step forward was eliminating gasoline as the energy source. A variant of hydrogen fuel cells essentially made the oil in the ground in the Middle East and Venezuela close to worthless. For relatively clean power, not without complications, water is turned into hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity from newer generation nuclear power plants. Why was there such a delay in using a nuclear-heated thermocouple to generate electricity?

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