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Revolution, Flashmobs and Brain Implants in 2035 327

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the some-a-lot-sooner-than-others dept.
siddesu writes "Marxist revolution, WMDs, flashmobs and other sci-fi items are coming soon in a country near you, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. 'Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx's proletariat. The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%, while Europe's drops as fertility falls. "Flashmobs" — groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups. This is the world in 30 years' time envisaged by a Ministry of Defence team responsible for painting a picture of the "future strategic context" likely to face Britain's armed forces.'"
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Revolution, Flashmobs and Brain Implants in 2035

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  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:51AM (#18662267)
    Or watched too much television or other media ''predictions''. This strikes me on par with the typical predictions made 30 years ago. Allmost none of them have come to pass.

    Bottom line: These people should be liable for wasting taxpayer money.
    • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:53AM (#18662291) Homepage
      Or perhaps it's because people like this wargame worst-case scenarios that such have been avoided for the most part?

      William
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:03AM (#18662421)
      They have absolutely NOTHING to base these predictions upon. Probability is based upon either analysis of the possible options (how many cards in the deck) or analysis of past events with similar features (45% chance of rain tomorrow).

      The events they're commenting upon have not happened in the past (45% chance of rain) and are just one possible option of an effectively unlimited number of options (how many cards in the deck). And many of them seem self-contradictory.

      An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".

      So we see more extremism. But ...

      Iran will steadily grow in economic and demographic strength and its energy reserves and geographic location will give it substantial strategic leverage. However, its government could be transformed. "From the middle of the period," says the report, "the country, especially its high proportion of younger people, will want to benefit from increased access to globalisation and diversity, and it may be that Iran progressively, but unevenly, transforms...into a vibrant democracy."

      So the democracies become extremists and the extremists become democracies.

      What the fuck ... ?
    • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:14AM (#18662531)
      Where's the prediction of people flying cars into parking structures?
    • Middle-class (Score:3, Insightful)

      by frisket (149522)
      Almost none of them have come to pass.

      You fuck with the middle classes at your peril. A large, prosperous middle-class is the best guarantee of social stability -- unfortunately in the past it has accompanied appalling treatment of classes below, and neglect of the classes above.

      If you can somehow engineer middle-class contentment along with opportunity and encouragement for those less fortunate, and keep the rich or aristocratic in their place at the same time as letting them use their wealth, you'll hav

      • Re:Middle-class (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:14AM (#18663359) Journal
        You fuck with the middle classes at your peril. A large, prosperous middle-class is the best guarantee of social stability -- unfortunately in the past it has accompanied appalling treatment of classes below, and neglect of the classes above.

        If you can somehow engineer middle-class contentment along with opportunity and encouragement for those less fortunate, and keep the rich or aristocratic in their place at the same time as letting them use their wealth, you'll have solved it. But somehow I don't see either a surveillance UK or a fundamentalist USA as the places for this Brave New World to arise.


        We have such a world now in the US. It's called the public school system. The rich can afford to send their kids to private schools, where discipline is enforced and kids are motivated, almost guaranteeing entry into college, which they can also afford. All the kid has to do is put forth the slightest effort.
        Meanwhile, public schools suck. There is no discipline and if a kid falls behind, they get left there. The kids that "get it" have to sit there and wait while the teacher has to explain it over and over to the kids that don't understand or don't care. Teachers have no choice but to teach to the lowest common denominator in every class, ensuring the entire class learns at the pace of the slowest minds. Granted, if a students wants it bad enough, he or she can learn. They do more than is required of the class and learn all the material before the class is even held. For these kids, the class itself is a waste of time, but they still have to be there. These kids graduate high in their class and score well enough on standardized tests to get admitted to college on scholarship or loans. This is where the middle/lower class opportunity comes in. It's rare, but it happens and it allows for poor kids to climb out of their "class".

        Of course, you have the occasional entrepreneur that makes it as well, but even Gates dropped out of Harvard. Not a whole lot of community college drop-outs make it to the billionaire club.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sycodon (149926)
          Public schools are a reflection of the surrounding community.

          Upper middle class communities usually have good public schools for several reasons:
          1. A good tax base. This means good school buildings and equipment, higher paid teachers, extra-cirricula activities.
          2. Ususally involved parents. You can't be middle class and be irresponsible, drug addicted, violent, etc...not that there aren't exceptions.
          3. Low crime rates. Kids that don't have to worry about getting shot on the way to school usually do better a
    • by arcite (661011) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:46AM (#18662967)
      I would wager that most predictions from good sci-fi from the past 30 years HAVE come true...short of the ones where we are all living in space.

      Frankly, I would be less worried about social unrest, insurgents, ect... and more worried about consequences of global warming, freakish weather (flood, drought), and the threat of a world wide disease pandemic...or epidemic. The world is overdue for a real superbug.

      No need to dream up high-tech threats when it will most likely be the low

    • This strikes me on par with the typical predictions made 30 years ago. Allmost none of them have come to pass.

      Can someone dig up those predictions, compile a list, and publish it on their blog? I'd really like to see how many predictions from 10, 20, 30, and 50 years ago have come true.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DukeLinux (644551)
      I am not so sure. In the 80's movie themes about the big International corporations running governments and the citizens were roundly laughed at. Nobody is laughing now as we see this unfolding before us. A government that is paid for and owned by the mega-corps and citizens beholded to them for their pathetic materialistic lifestyle. I can see the middle-class becoming revolutionary due to poor economic conditions in the future. I can see the Western governments using Orwellian tactics to stay in power
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So Britain's answer is to spend more money on nukes? I'm no hippy, but I think some innovation is needed here by the folks at the MoD
  • Sigh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:55AM (#18662327)

    The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx's proletariat.
    You can preempt that by running the country for the benefit of the people in general rather than for the billionaires.

    The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%
    And the threat in 2035 will be from an unseen quarter.

    Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. ... Flashmobs" -- groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.
    At least they've kept up on their pop reading.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) *
      You can preempt that by running the country for the benefit of the people in general rather than for the billionaires.

      Yeah. One trick is to nationalize all the businesses and turn them over to the lowest-level workers at those businesses. That'll stave off those Marxist revolutionaries!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kubrick (27291)
      You can preempt that by running the country for the benefit of the people in general rather than for the billionaires.

      Name one state that has ever worked that way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Corbets (169101)

      You can preempt that by running the country for the benefit of the people in general rather than for the billionaires.

      Anyone who believes that, unfortunately, has their head up their ass. You simply can't please everyone. Even if you try to please the majority, you'll have a vocal - and dangerous - minority attempting to subvert the system.

      I'm not defending any particular system of government, but simply saying that this "running the country for the benefit of the people in general" that you envision is impossible.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mstahl (701501)

      You can preempt that by running the country for the benefit of the people in general rather than for the billionaires.

      That's one of the single best things that any country could do to prevent long-term instability and internal conflict, but politicians (at least here in the US) typically work for short-term benefit—usually their own short-term benefit.

      You can actually extend that concept to the entire world. The income and quality-of-life disparity between, say, the US and Afghanistan/Iran/Iraq/etc.

      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot@kadin.xoxy@net> on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:58AM (#18663099) Homepage Journal
        You can actually extend that concept to the entire world. The income and quality-of-life disparity between, say, the US and Afghanistan/Iran/Iraq/etc. is enormous. Someone needs to tell Bush that they don't hate us because they hate freedom, a growing number of them hate us because they want a piece of the pie.

        This, I think, is the crux of the disagreement. On one hand, you have people -- usually but not always social liberals -- claiming that the source of the world's problems are mostly economic, and that terrorists are produced by folks envious of our plasma TVs, SUVs, and 40-hour-workweeks.

        On the other hand you have others -- usually but not always social conservatives -- claiming that the source of terrorism and related global instability is philosophical, religious, and dogmatic: e.g., what the terrorists hate isn't our conspicuously consumptive lifestyles per se, but really they hate the concept of a secular society in general, and really only hate McDonalds, etc., as a symptom of this essential problem.

        I don't think the differences between these views can be overstated, because they lead to vastly different ways of visualizing and dealing with the threat of Islamic radicalism and terrorism generally. If the problem is economic imbalance, then you could theoretically correct it through trade and economic-aid programs. But if the problem is philosophical, then by fixing the wealth disparity, you're just enabling terrorism; giving people whose motivations are fundamentally opposed to secularism the means with which to really attack us.

        I've seen little convincing evidence and lots of rhetoric on both sides. The fact that people like Bin Laden came from wealthy families, not poor ones, would seem to at least partially substantiate the theory that you can't just give radicals a house, a car, and a front lawn, and suddenly transform them into happy little proto-Americans.

        I would much prefer to believe that the problem is economic rather than religious or philosophical, because that to me seems like a tractable problem. However, I'm not particularly upbeat on that being the case.
        • The fact that people like Bin Laden came from wealthy families, not poor ones, would seem to at least partially substantiate the theory that you can't just give radicals a house, a car, and a front lawn, and suddenly transform them into happy little proto-Americans.

          I tend to think that people like Bin Laden are politicians and will garner the interests of the people no matter what. If his people were financially stable, I think his line would either be considered extremist or his tune would be different. At the end of the day most people just want the best possible future for their children, the religious aspect will be there, but we in the US have reached a very high degree of apathy, I don't see why that can't be done elsewhere.

        • by xmedar (55856)
          You missed the 3rd option, they don't like us because our governments keep killing them for their resources and for Jews, just as we didnt like the Nazis when they were killing us for our "leibensraum" and for Aryans. Yes, I know, I just Godwined the thread, but remember what Benito Mussolini said "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.".
        • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:50AM (#18663913)
          In your comment, both sides tend to view the "problem" through their political / economic / religious filters.

          Then they discard any examples that doesn't match their model while over emphasizing the ones that match.

          A rich guy can turn extremists because he sees how poor people he identifies with are.

          The models you describe do not account for empathy or other forms of social awareness. They are purely mercenary.

          Terrorism is linked to extremism. You cannot eliminate extremism so you cannot eliminate terrorism. But you can can reduce the appeal of extremism by increasing the accessibility of political and economic power.

          One nut case is just one nut case. If there isn't a ready pool of converts, that nut case will eventually take care of himself. The problem is when that nut case finds a pool of potential converts and those converts usually do result from political / economic / family / religious inequalities.
          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday April 09, 2007 @12:24PM (#18664399)

            A rich guy can turn extremists because he sees how poor people he identifies with are.
            Not only that, but the recent converts tend to be the most radical - it's a brand new world to them and they haven't got to the point yet where they start to notice all the problems with their new ideology and eventually realize that new boss is just like the old boss.

            That's not something unique to terrorism either - you see it with many religious converts of all faiths and on the secular side you see it in things like joining a fraternity or even just spending a lot of money on a car - certain personality types just have to justify their decision by being as gung ho as they possibly can, it keeps them from examining the situation too closely and finding any flaws once they have committed. Like they are trying to avoid "buyer's remorse."
          • by blahplusplus (757119) on Monday April 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#18668295)
            "Terrorism is linked to extremism. You cannot eliminate extremism so you cannot eliminate terrorism. But you can can reduce the appeal of extremism by increasing the accessibility of political and economic power."

            The crux of the issue is that...

            People want what they want, and when they can't have it or are prevented from doing what they wish or believing, they will begin to feel trapped and suffocated until they embrace "extreme-ism" or a method that allows them some reprieve from the tyranny of other groups ideas, ethos or way of life. The world CHANGED because of people embracing extremism, people once thought slavery was 'natural' and to not believe in slavery was "extremism", anything can be extremism. Extremism is a tool to change society when all your other options cut off. People don't embrace extremism for nothing, they embrace it because the cannot solve their problems or get access to resources in a timely manner. Or are prevented by cultural racism from living a civil life. Most people in the world today are uncivilized, slaves to their animal nervous systems prejudices. i.e. think of the last time you told someone to get away from you because "you didn't like him" for no justifiable reason, just 'because' he offended your senses.

            Indeed it has scarcely been 100 years since moving away from racism and slavery and we STILL haven't moved away from racism and slavery, we're still at war with them both, corporations want to re-institute slavery under the guise of capitalism but the truth is: A good war is better then a tenuous and suffocating peace.

            You can't win idealogical or philosophical battles that people are programmed to believe. This is why capitalism, communism and socialism are such politically hardening terms. You can scarcely have a discussion without the the ideology of the dominant group mocking any dissent. This is especially apparent in our market society.

  • by Azathfeld (725855) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:56AM (#18662341)
    Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%, "Flashmobs" Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:56AM (#18662345) Journal
    Well, let me quickly write a scenario for my boss. What will happen in 10 years if they dont immediately fund my division with an additional 3 million bucks and 22 new engineers. Can I say our customers will come to the corporate headquarters and sack and pillage it and carry away the fetching executive assistant the CFO has hired? Nah, wont work. Our management is not as dumb as the UK DoD.
  • V for Vendetta ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0racle (667029) on Monday April 09, 2007 @09:56AM (#18662351)
    ... was just a movie people.
  • Since when is Marxist revolution a sci-fi item?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by gfxguy (98788)
      The fiction is for anybody who thinks Marxism is actually a good thing. I don't know where the science part comes in.
      • by AndersOSU (873247) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:10AM (#18662479)
        The science part comes from social science. Where social is synonymous with not-a-real.
      • He had a few good ideas on the financial aspects. The socialpolitical aspects though... Makes me wonder if he was deaf, dumb and blind.

        Two words are needed disproove the main keystone of the social idea that holds up the sociopolitical aspect of his theories...
        Baroom Brawl

        The working class does not inherantly get along, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to cut down on the recreational narcotics.

        That being said, crises of overproduction, business taking as much money as they can get, and abusing the lowe
        • I have doubts about the possibility of the production of a classless society, but the fact that the working class is "rough" is no refutation of Marxism. He explicitly argued that the working class is rough because it is an oppressed, alienated class - and seeing what is happening to English society when the sense of social alienation grows, I'd have to say that it's a fair call.

          Seeing the way that the autonomous workshops organized in Catalonia during the Spanish Republic gives some credibility to the idea
        • The socialpolitical aspects though... Makes me wonder if he was deaf, dumb and blind.
          Are you saying "he sure played a mean pinball"?
    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Well, there has been much sci-fi written about how changing technology or the difficulties of human space colonization could make a Marxist revolution more likely or more succesfully. Probably the best example I could think of is Kim Stanley Robinson's trilogy beginning with Red Mars [amazon.com] , where the author has the revolutionaries who seek to break free from Earth speak at length about how certain Communist concepts may be applicable to their situation.
    • by xmedar (55856)
      Since when is Marxist revolution a sci-fi item?

      They mis-spelt Matrix.
  • by kripkenstein (913150) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:01AM (#18662405) Homepage
    in TFA is the following:

    Tension between the Islamic world and the west will remain, and may increasingly be targeted at China "whose new-found materialism, economic vibrancy, and institutionalised atheism, will be an anathema to orthodox Islam".
    This is really the most interesting bit of speculation in TFA (aside from the technological and scientific guesses, perhaps, but these are probably also the least credible, if the past is any indication). Indeed, the rise of China will eventually bring it into possible tension with Islam. If the US is a state of 'infidels', then China is far more so, from a fundamentalist Islam point of view. At least the US has some religion, allowing interfaith talks, in theory at least; China is something else completely.

    Islamic fundamentalists currently fume against the shower of western culture entering their lands - TV, movies, etc., and the presence of US soldiers. Fairly soon they will face (or already face) a torrent of goods and products from China, which will surely bring with it some cultural impact. Perhaps this will not be of critical impact until Chinese soldiers are stationed outside of China, but that too may occur, as China becomes the main consumer of middle-eastern oil and other resources, prompting it to secure those resources, if only by token military presences in various locations.
    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:19AM (#18662601) Journal
      Nah, Already chinese imports are flooding the Arab countries. But all China exports are material goods. Islam has no problem with the goods. Infact the Arabs have been taxing goods flowing through the Silk Raod via Samarkand deep into China, into Turkey for a long long time.

      The problem Islam has with the West is that we export our culture. We impact their way of life and embolden the youth to question their authorities. For every suicide bomber you hear about in Iraq, some 5000 of his brothers are standing in line to get a visa to USA. China, OTOH, loves authoritarianism and knows how to placate the rulers so that it can continue to make money. So I dont expect any serious confrontation between China and Islam. Only if Islamists decide to attack China and try to take it over there will be a problem. And China will react with violence which the Islamists understand very well. Fundamentally there is no difference between Arab rulers and Chinese rulers. Both are authoritarian. Both control their masses with a mixture of ideology and ruthlessness.

      • by dave420 (699308) on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:08AM (#18663245)
        Islam's problem is more that we export our influence to Muslim countries. Usually it has nothing to do with the countries being Muslim, and more to do with their location. Oil is a big example - many of the countries it's under are primarily Muslim in belief, so if we are interested in Oil, we seem to be interested in Islam and its followers. Couple that with the west's previous desire to make the middle east nothing but a colony (thanks Britain, France, and the US), and we have a history of us fucking with the middle east. No-one can expect anyone anywhere to behave or react rationally to such pressures, and many people may attribute the causes incorrectly - and it appears that the middle east is taking our "interest" in their oil as us wanting to fuck with them, just to fuck with them. Then throw in the cases of us fucking with non-middle-east Muslim countries (in Asia), and their paranoia increases. People who feel threatened, in any way, get insecure, and group together. It doesn't help that Islam has a notion of brotherhood between all Muslims in all countries (hard to believe when you look at Iraq, but it is the case for other Muslims not so severely threatened), which means any perceived "attack" on any Muslims in any country, by anyone, is an attack on ALL Muslims who feel fraternity with those "attacked" Muslims. I personally can't blame anyone for feeling insecure after their country has been plunged into chaos for reasons not explained, with motives that are rarely, if ever, altruistic in nature towards the indigenous population.

        People are the same all over the world - when they get, or even feel, threatened as a people, they group together and fight back. It feels like the only thing to do - and it's not a purely Muslim trait. Northern Ireland saw Christian terrorists fighting each other, killing the shit out of innocent people, and each other. It's pressure, with no way to stop it peacefully, that causes terrorism, not one particular group of people.
      • by greginnj (891863)

        So I dont expect any serious confrontation between China and Islam. Only if Islamists decide to attack China and try to take it over there will be a problem.

        Don't forget the Chinese repression of their Uighur (Muslim) minority in western China. The Islamists tend to get very upset about forced deconversion and other forms of repression of Muslims.

        And China will react with violence which the Islamists understand very well.

        The American military reacted with violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that did

        • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday April 09, 2007 @03:19PM (#18666815) Journal
          America is not using full force. It is trying very hard not to hurt the civilians. I am not saying America does not hurt civilians. But they dont do it deliberately. Abu Gharib happened and some of the military personnel were roasted and punished. If China was running Abu Gharib, the torture would have been worse, no pictures would have come out, even if pictures came out no Chinese army officer would have been called into account.

          War is about Can I hurt you more than you are willing to tolerate before you could hurt me more than I am willing tolerate? Till about WW-II all nations have similar high level of tolerance to death/destruction/loss. Russia lost 20 million people including civilians. Germany about 8 mill, and USA about 0.5 mill. Presently the level of tolerance for loss in America is very low. The threshold the Islamic militants have to reach to "hurt" America is as low as killing one single solitary soldier. The level of tolerance to loss by Al Quaida is very very high. It is impossible for America to hurt al-Quaida enough before it kills one soldier. On the other hand, the level of tolerance to loss is very high for China. Islamists will lose badly to China.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kabocox (199019)
        Fundamentally there is no difference between Arab rulers and Chinese rulers. Both are authoritarian. Both control their masses with a mixture of ideology and ruthlessness.

        That shows we are better than them because our leaders save their ruthlessness for foreigners. Our leaders control us through various means of ideology as well.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:21AM (#18662619)

      If the US is a state of 'infidels', then China is far more so, from a fundamentalist Islam point of view.

      Not really. Remember that religion is the excuse, not the reason. The reason is power.

      There are only four paths to power:
      #1. Political
      #2. Economic
      #3. Family/Tribal
      #4. Religion

      As long as there is flexibility in those, only the hard-core nut cases will become extremists. Once you start blocking access to any of them, you start creating more extremists.

      Islamic fundamentalists currently fume against the shower of western culture entering their lands - TV, movies, etc., and the presence of US soldiers.

      And look at that. The goods represent economic issues. The soldiers represent political issues (political power flows from the barrel of a gun). Crack those and the fundamentalists become just more street lunatics who don't bathe regularly.

      Perhaps this will not be of critical impact until Chinese soldiers are stationed outside of China, but that too may occur, as China becomes the main consumer of middle-eastern oil and other resources, prompting it to secure those resources, if only by token military presences in various locations.

      This is where I believe the Chinese will learn from our mistakes.

      DO NOT make your presence visible in the volatile areas. Have them travel to see you.

      DO NOT make your economic advantage visible in the volatile areas. Adopt their appearance.

      Work with their family/tribal structures.

      Keep your religious practices subdued. We have a big problem because of the Crusades. China doesn't have that issue.
    • I think the whole Islamic fundamentalist terrorism has little to do with religion and has everything to do with economics and power. Religion is just a cover for deeper issues.

      I don't think the fact that China is a communist nation will make a bit of difference in generating the hostility . What will matter is that if China becomes powerful and influential in the Middle East, the average Mohammed will see China exerting its power, while the lives of his fellow countrymen aren't improving. Religion then b
    • China vs Islam will not happen, because the tension between the west and Islam is not religious, but political. Islamists are against Americans, British and others because it is Americans, British and others that exploit their resources, have encouraged or directly supported corrupted governments and leaders (The Saudis, Saddam) etc.

      If the tension between the west and Islam was religious, the first target would have been the Vatican, which is the largest Christian Church in the world. And after the Vatican
  • by essence (812715) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:08AM (#18662455) Homepage Journal
    I'm in favour of radical systemic change, but let's not make the mistake of 20th century revolutions. The main problem was creating an all powerful state that owned everything, including the people. In one word: centralisation.

    The new goal should be the total opposite: decentralisation, community sovereignty, individual freedoms. Instead of creating a centralized state to control everything, lets create global networks of autonomous local communities and workplaces. No central authority, no presidents, effectively no nation-states. Democracy works best when people can meet in real life, face to face. Direct democracy, or horizontal democracy (no hierarchy) means everyone can have a say on issues that effect them. That means small scale is best.

    A.K.A: Anarchism.

    The system I've just described is not unlike the Opensource community. So we have an example already that works.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kubrick (27291)
      Let's prove Bakunin [wikipedia.org] right, in other words.
    • And then what happens when my autonomous collective needs a some of resource that another autonomous collective controls, but is unwilling to share?

      Without some supra-collective authority, who mediates the dispute? One can assume that all parties will deal rationally with each other, but that would fly in the face of thousands of years of human history. You only have to examine the ongoing disputes over water in the American West to see how badly groups of people allocate "shared" resources when left to th

      • by dominion (3153)
        One can assume that all parties will deal rationally with each other, but that would fly in the face of thousands of years of human history.

        Actually, no, thousands of years of human history fly in the face of your supposition that people aren't capable of that.

        For instance, the Iroquois Confederation [nefac.net]
        • A single shining instance of human rationality doesn't necessarily a complete refutation make.

          Yes, it worked - until the Europeans came. But the native population had virtually unlimited land and resources to work with. They also had a very small population as a starting point.

          Maybe it's 'cause I'm getting old and cynical, but after having participated in neighborhood and other (larger) groups, I can't see more than five people working in a collective manner, let alone every human.

          Try getting three people t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Democracy works best when people can meet in real life, face to face. Direct democracy, or horizontal democracy (no hierarchy) means everyone can have a say on issues that effect them.

      Um, laypeople are stupid. This is why direct democracy is not feasible.

      That means small scale is best.

      It also means that large-scale is impossible. I hope you don't need a road that extends beyond your own block.

      the Opensource community. So we have an example already that works.

      I suspect that most if not all Open-Source p

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Luke Dawson (956412)
      Sounds rather like the original democracies of ancient Greece.
    • by ArcherB (796902) *
      The new goal should be the total opposite: decentralisation, community sovereignty, individual freedoms. Instead of creating a centralized state to control everything, lets create global networks of autonomous local communities and workplaces. No central authority, no presidents, effectively no nation-states. Democracy works best when people can meet in real life, face to face. Direct democracy, or horizontal democracy (no hierarchy) means everyone can have a say on issues that effect them. That means small
    • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @12:33PM (#18664567) Homepage
      Anarchism doesn't work for a single reason: because there are four basic kinds of human personality with four different life goals. They are:

      a) Intellectuals: driven by knowledge;
      b) Rulers: driven by power;
      c) Entrepreneurs: driven by profit;
      d) Workers: driven by stability.

      An Anarchist society cannot work because it doesn't address the needs of all the people that have the Ruler or Entrepreneur personality. And even if you fine tune it to allow for free market, as the anarcho-capitalists do, thus filling the needs of the Entrepreneurs, the Rulers still stay out of it (with lots of Workers, who lose much of their cherished stability).

      A working society must allow for all new born persons to have a place. And so far, a government with well known powers under a constitutional framework offers a good place for Rulers to battle their battles without disrupting (much) the life of the other three kinds.

      It's either this, or back into utopic profilings and pre-emptive killings of any person who showed traces of non-compliant personalities. As revolutionary marxists used to do with anyone showing signs of Entrepreneur behavior.
  • When the military has no oil for its war machine what is it going to do? I guess they missed the elephant in the room there.

    Also -

    and even what it calls "declining news quality"

    Maybe they shouldnt be letting their personnel sell their stories [bbc.co.uk] then... pot, kettle, black.
    • by wes33 (698200)
      oh ... I wouldn't worry about the *military* getting oil supplies in 2035; I'd worry about the rest of us.
    • by NDPTAL85 (260093)
      You are living in a dream land if you think there won't be an oil around in 2035.
  • by Rinisari (521266) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:09AM (#18662471) Homepage Journal
    The media, regardless of whereabouts, cannot be allowed to distort the term "flash mob" like it has so many other terms, i.e. "hacker" and the like. A flash mob is a group of people that rapidly assembles with a minimum amount of preparation which generally is done via the Internet and with the intent of a peaceable prank or bragging rights. I did some research on this term [westminster.edu] while working on my college graduation project.
    • Right... and "war" is a term where two armies line up on opposite sides of a battlefield in single lines and then march towards each other, trying to kill as many on the opposing side as possible.
       
  • But on the up-side, at least by 2035 my mortgage will be paid off. From the tune of TFA, a lot of good THAT will do me.

    Time to blow it all on hookers and blackjack, I guess.
  • If you want a revolution, you're a dumbass. Forget communism, with the implications of violent overthrow of the ruling class. We've already had that, and it didn't work. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, we HAVE thrown off the ruling class, and we're letting them back into their old jobs by small measures, through tax cuts and corporate welfare.

    This is how socialism and eventually communism will happen - by default, naturally, no revolution. The cost of capitalizing a new activity will eventually drop to near zero for everything. I don't know if this is going to happen through a universal nanotech assembler, or through ubiquitous robotic slaves building shit for us in exchange for duracells, but it's going to happen. Everything is going to eventually be so cheap that it won't be worth selling. When you can get your robot to build you a car of your own design, and all you have to do is plug it in, you won't be going to Ford to buy a piece of shit Tempo-like ugly box. No, you'll design your own, or you'll download a GNU car schematic of something cool like the Linux-go-cart and tell your robot slave to build it for you. Richard Stallman will finally become relevant to everyone when his ideas move up a level of implementation from computers to the real world. It'll be just like Second Life where you use a computer editor to change your house - and your REAL house changes into a castle. Plus you can edit the length of your own cock to keep up with the Jones's. Hell, your wife could edit the length of her cock too!

    That's my fantasy. Now, who's written a nice sci-fi novel about that?
  • It talks about the declining European population, but NOT the rising population of muslims in Europe (particularly France). Plenty of kowtowing is going to Muslims in Europe as well, with little pressure to become "westernized," and therefore allowing more extremist sides of Islam to enter Europe. We're already seeing pockets where Sharia law is allowed in England, France, and Germany, and we're probably not to far from seeing an "Islamicization" of Europe, which will be an interesting mix. Australia is
  • by MarkPNeyer (729607) on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:20AM (#18662613)
    Nothing to see here folks. They kidnapped a bunch of our soldiers and our response was an embarrassment to the once proud history of the British navy, but real danger we have to look out for is communists...
  • Wait, didn't we already do that? Last century?

    Wait, wait: I got it. He means the Marx Brothers, not Karl Marx. Clearly, Groucho will lead us into a new age of enlightenment. And cigars.
  • Translation: We'll reinvent the Red Menace to scare them enough to have a new pretext to introduce a police state them Stalin could only have dreamed of.

    They talk about a 'vibrant democracy' and in the same breath explain how the middle classes, of all people, are a threat in this here democracy. If this is such a wonderous 'vibrant democracy' then why is its own middle classes threatening revolt.

    You're right, there is a potential threat to the social order and it's you who has caused this by creating
  • Population growth? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jenesais (614180)
    From the article: "The massive population growth will mean the Middle East, and to a lesser extent north Africa, will remain highly unstable, says the report."

    Spengler from Asia Times has repeatedly argued that Middle Eastern countries face a different type of population problem, namely a large increase of the number aged. For example, Spengler says that "although the Muslim birth rate today is the world's second highest (after sub-Saharan Africa), it is falling faster than the birth rate of any other cultu
  • In the year 2035, we'll have an IT and energy infrastructure that harnesses the well-understood properties of tachyons. Star Trek starts explaining away unscientific phenomena with Higgs bosons instead.

  • The development of neutron weapons which destroy living organs but not buildings "might make a weapon of choice for extreme ethnic cleansing in an increasingly populated world".

    We should do everything in our power to prevent these weapons from being used. Or, failing that, we should probably buy stock in ReMax and The Maid Brigade.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:10AM (#18663297) Homepage Journal
    "Flashmobs" -- groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.

    Oh, man; talk about clueless. What "flashmob" really means is that the PR guy at a local commercial outlet has hired a viral ad guy, who spread the rumor that Britney or Paris or a member of the latest hot local indie band has been spotted at said outlet.

    Of course, one could classify the ad agencies as criminal gangs or terrorist groups, and then maybe you'd have a point.

    (I live in the Boston area, which recently had a fun example of advertising being mistaken for terrorism. So I'm not surprised to read nonsense like this. And I'm looking forward to further entertaining mistakes along this line. Anything to make the Homeland Security people look even more foolish.)

  • "This is the world in 30 years' time envisaged by a Ministry of Defence team responsible for FUD mongering to the ends of securing their jobs for those same 30 years."

    Reccommended reading [sonyclassics.com].
  • Sounds like a job for Ministry of Security Section 9.
  • by br00tus (528477) on Monday April 09, 2007 @11:43AM (#18663803)
    MI5, MI6, the MoD etc. have always seen their number one enemy as the British people. This goes from the forgery of the Zinoviev Letter [wikipedia.org] up to the miners' strike in the 1980s and beyond. Former assistant MI5 director Peter Wright goes into this a little bit in Spycatcher.

    While most wage slaves are watching TV, porn, or praying to Jesus, the powers-that-be are deathly afraid people will one day "shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Actually, Marx's Capital has a pretty good history of the English working class - it slowly lost its feudal rights over several centuries with the onset of industrialization, but began organizing and began expanding its rights again.

  • This article is almost a carbon copy of the recently released DVD movie, Children of Men. Where fertility drops to the point where everyone is infertile and all hell breaks lose. This article is the basis of that movie. It is as if they had nothing else to think of. but it is possible, very possible.

    If this were to occur, then make sure you live in seclusion; grow pot and food; fall in love with a female revolutionary; get sucked into a shitty plot; save humanity by rowing a pregnant black girl, who doesn't
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Monday April 09, 2007 @05:06PM (#18667975)

    Tension between the Islamic world and the west will remain...


    Imagine that by chance the Middle East had turned out to be mostly Hindu, and Islam was confined to poor resourceless areas of Africa. Do you still think that Islam would be a problem? Do you think that for some reason those Islamic people in the depths of Africa would have some irrational hatred of the US?

    Of course not. We would instead be asking why Hindus hate the west so much. The fact is that there has been so much western meddling in the Middle East over the oil resources that a large number of people there are against the west. Back in the 50s Eisenhower wanted to know why there was a campaign of hatred against the US by the people of the Middle East. He was told that there was a perception that the US was supporting dictators and stifling democracy. He was also told that it was a difficult opinion to counter because it was correct.

    Even now, some 50 years after Ike asked the question, we find ourselves occupying Iraq with a million Iraqis on the streets telling us to get out. This was after kicking out a dictator that we had supported for many years in full knowledge of the crimes he was committing. We even supported/encouraged him in his war on Iran as punishment for kicking out the dictator we had installed there. Aside from Iraq (which I'm sure everyone is tired of) we are still supporting a brutal regime in Saudi Arabia. Imagine how the Saudi people feel about the US and UK. We are actively supporting the people who are oppressing them and they are well aware of it. Do you think that for some reason they might be angry with the US and UK? If so, do you think it is because they are Islamic, or because we are supporting their dictators?

    Thanks to John Bolton (as much as it pains me to thank him) there is now no doubt why the US kept blocking a ceasefire in the Lebanon conflict last year. While the conflict was going on and the carnage was clear on all our TV screens, the US was resupplying Israel with new weapons via UK airports and blocking any ceasefire so that Israel could "win". Do you think that this will have generated much anger in the region, and will that anger be due to the fact that they are Islamic or rather due to the events that occurred?

    My point is that it's not Islam that is the issue, it's really the people of the Middle East, who just happen to be mostly Islamic. It is their anger over the things we have done and the things we continue to do. If you have a whole region that's quite angry at the west, it stands to reason there will be a fair number who are insanely angry with the west. Those are the people we are now (supposedly) fighting and in the process generating more of. If you want to reduce terrorism you have to stop generating so much anger. That means no more invasions, coups, support for brutal dictatorships or other aggressive interference in the Middle East.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue

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