Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 216 / 2  
Future 101 (2)
© Eso A.B.

I titled the previous blog (215) “P.S. (Post Script) Reversed”. It is, therefore, logical to title this blog (216) “Future 101”. One of the reasons for such a title is that I am perplexed by the ‘future’, over which so many futurologists, among them many architects, are not. If one architect is already planning to build a building 1 kilometer high, there must be others who would build it 2 km high. Not surprisingly, such grandiose scheme is planned for intellectually backward Saudi Arabia.“A Thousand and One Night” may be added “Night 1002”. Perhaps it is a brilliant intellectual move based on a mature perception of 21st century human achievement.

I trust that Saudi Arabians are not insulted when I describe them as intellectually ‘backward’. Such naming is based on the saw that the ‘rich’ do not necessarily get their riches by being smart. That same statement applies to the U.S., the high schools of which graduate few students with a high achievements in the ‘hard sciences’. This means that the fantasy that emanates from this “most advanced portion of the world”* is likely to be an unreliable. The so-called IQ of Americans is well illustrated by the following questionnaire of whether Kenyan born U.S. President should get the Nobel Peace Prize: : Here is a picture of where reading scores are going:
What perplexes me about the fantasy of the future is that it goes back to when humans lived largely in the wood and tended reindeer herds. This is not to say that in my mind’s eye I see reindeer, but I do see horses. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that in my childhood in Eastern Europe, horsepower was measured in real horses and motor engines were a scarcity. The latter arrived with a big ‘bang’ that came from metal boxes on top of caterpillar chains armed with big guns The unfortunate horses were turned into meat for cat food by statesmen signing papers in offices furnished with polished furniture, leather armchairs and divans, and ashtrays for cigars. 
When power was ‘real’ horsepower there was full employment. While a farm upon the death of its keeper diminished in the number of human beings it could sustain, because it was divided among the keeper’s heirs, during the life of the farmer the fruit of a farm would increase with the number of children his wife bore him. There was a place on the farm for the cowherd, the milkmaids, a smith, a harness maker, a rope maker, a weaver, a carpenter, a shoemaker, not to mention granny or grandpa as local historians. The culture skills that were imbedded in a farm far surpassed the bizarre skills of a museum curator at a rural museum exhibiting the products of horse and buggy days for the local tourist trade. The tourist takes for granted that ten horses have been replaced by motorized plows up earth with nine knives, and huge combines of humans husking the the corn and other grains with the aid of flails

Next to 1 km high apartment and/or business towers in Saudi Arabia, China, too, builds ghost cities today with copies of the Eifel tower. Apparently unanticipated by the builders and designers, these empty spaces or deserts know about ‘reality’ more than the Chinese government ‘savants’ who have ordered them built and expect the bureaucratic mindset to be sufficient populate them. At the same time, in India, Africa, South America, and elsewhere such cities are created by slum dwellers Though slums are populated, these are nests of potential plagues in the near future, in which case they will be quickly deserted and the plague will be carried abroad.
In America (the U.S.) cities (such as Detroit) first turn into slums, gradually turn into ‘city wrecks’ populated by ‘nobodies’ A similar phenomenon is happening all over the world. For example, in Riga, Latvia, the Presidential castle recently caught fire (perhaps set deliberately) As one Latvian museum director said it: “In the post-Soviet era, Latvia has been struck by public cowardice and indifference. In a building that houses the President and which housed three museums, there ought to have been a security level just about beyond the potential of a catastrophe.”** (my Translation)

The“cowardice and indifference” (as a world-wide political phenomenon) is related to the delusion that industrialization is a ‘miracle’. In Latvia, a country in northeastern Europe, the delusion (a consequence of brainwashing attempts that began many centuries ago) is reflected in the very name of‘bread’, which is called ‘maize’. The name derives from the name for ‘corn’. Corn as the folllowing link, was discovered in Cubaand was first exported to Europe in the 15thcentury. It likely arrived in Latviaby way of the German barons, the overlords of Latvians. Subsequently, Latvians adopted the word ‘maize’ as their word for ‘bread’. In England, too, ‘corn’ (maize) was adopted as the name for wheat. Contrary to popular delusions that agriculture (and bread) is an ancient product, the name of ‘maize’ gives evidence that the name is of a recent arrival. This is to argue that the ‘natural’ product of Europe as recently as 500 years ago was wood, not corn As the anthropological term“hunter gatherer society” indicates, Europeans (early and more recent--before the industrial revolution) were not preoccupied with agriculture, but with animal herding and root gathering. As the Russian mathematician and historian Anatoly Fomenko shows, the Egyptian agriculturalist [the man behind the ox and plow (incidentally, note that the wedge of the plow is of wood not metal)] is likely a subsistence farmer from the Nile valley in Medieval times, rather than a farmer dating to ‘BC’.
While some readers may think of my thesis as preposterous, the collapse of the industrial age [evident all about us, except we fail to see the dust for the last of the pulse of the propaganda fuel cells (Al Gore’s is still kicking )] proves it more real than not. Of what importance are resources of ‘energy’ in Russia, the Middle East, and elsewhere, if the resources of Earth have been nearly exhausted and a human population is unsustainable even in the countryside for its deforestation and encroaching arctic weather?

Another battery that is regaining energy by having been put on a hot stove is Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. While Putin gained his experience as a loyal servant to the Soviet Union, a tenet of which was that all human beings were created equal, Putin has today switched his internal beliefs system in favor of Capitalism. This is almost what the Russian ‘Tsar Peter the Great’ did when he forced Russian men to cut their beards and held all of Russia by its heel, whence he could well be described as a contemporary Russian  Jacobin (the name allegedly originating in the from the name—Iacob) [More about President Putin in next blog.]
*Zbigniev Brezinski, The Grand Chessboard. Basic Books, p 117.
**‘ir’ magazine, 14 VIII 2013 issue.

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