Predicting the next 100 years

There is a Stratfor article going around the the mainstream media predicting that America will remain the major superpower in the world ultimately due to geo-politics.

Predictions rely upon assumptions which are not definite, it all rather depends upon what individuals chose to do. “Disturbing” Trends represent just a few of those decisions – as they start to show their ugly signs. Predicting the future is not so much a science, as an art and if one is to be very good at it then you need to consider more than one side of the coin.

Military dominance only has so much value.

More/…

Sustainabilty

Excerpt of article, found here.

…humanity is more like a total organism that infected the Earth, and She (Earth is female, apparently) is about to strike back, big time. There was Lovelock’s Gaia theory (and all that stuff Disturbing Trends has rabbited on about for years against the hum drum of stupid wars). The distraction of downtown demolition, emotional election drama and The Presidential Puppy are all very good and all, but what good old gunslingers seem to forget is that aura of fate that arises when doom talk starts.

God, I think I miss Sarah Palin. She was less logical than Thatcher at her most odious. That insane logic that gets us through wars, the ability to use gravitas and effect – that is really the quality that we look for in leaders. Nixon had it. NZ’s own Robert Muldoon was popular even as he lunged at our economy with 70s era economic malaise madness. Tawdry effect with no ammo. Blair had it. Palin fills the heart with that confidence that Mummy will come home with a bear in her teeth. Joan of Arc had it. That glare that made you realise that it did not matter, you were their enemy anyway, no matter what you did, they would attack you. Snakes that only exist to menace in nightmares briefly have it too, but the thought of Palin’s America still looms on some tattered horizon.

The future is no longer in our own hands, we are inevitably doomed by our own denial and inevitable love of a leader who can frighten others. This possibly brief period of “rational” leadership is only real change if our behaviour changes with it. One is perpetually hopeful as each generation of activist becomes more authentic than the last. The same mistakes will be made over and over again but if inspiration can guide us to radically change our approach to ecology and sustainability, humanity has more than a chance.

Complete article, found here.

Swine Flu Madness

When the WHO declares a pandemic it is not usually due to the plague resurfacing with bodies dropping by the thousand. That is not a pandemic, that is the result of ignoring a disease and letting it get out of control.

Infection is not necessary. With parasites infection tends to be a predictable set of symptoms but viruses like the flu are by their very nature able to steal genes from the host cell and thus sneak into a back door, latch on and start feeding upon a host body. That is not particularly scientific but the problem here is that genetic information is a collection of characteristics with a rapid form of direct evolution binding in more and more of our genetic information as it infects different hosts.

The danger may not be the initial vector. If a pandemic is left to fester, the virus may as a result become far more virulent as it gathers more human information it makes us all more vulnerable to being its prey.

The control of SARS is oft quoted in media as a “reason we should not be worried” but considerable vigilance may have prevented mass infection with the deaths of millions and we can be thankful that it is not so much of a problem.

We have belief and trust in laboratory analysis as it declares a victim has “H1N1” without really understanding what that means. Does not stop the media spouting that expertise like facts that can be easily digested and creating panic. Understanding how viruses work is not casual knowledge.

Pandemic Level 5

The World Health Organisation has called Pandemic Level 5.

This virus could be very serious. It may burn itself out very quickly before combining with other influenza A instances. International measures may include 5 day economic shutdowns and limitations at this early stage that could turn this into a non-event.

The human race has a new enemy in this multi faceted swine flu. It can kill, but like any common sense hygiene issue, its continued spread is prevented by:

Isolation
Intake of fluids and
Immunity

If your immunity to the flu needs a boost, Tamiflu is $90 in NZ. It does work with this instance of the swine flu but if it were to combine with a Tamiflu resistant strain, them it is up to your own immunity. Some of us must gain immunity to the swine flu if infections spread radically and public health systems are overwhelmed.

Natural medicine may indeed be a solution for treating the flu if public health systems can not solve the problem. This is what I know:

An immune reaction is stimulated by Echinacea – a common homeopathic remedy. It stimulates mucus flow – helping to expel the disease from the body. It is advised that you do not take it for very long (or it may seem the symptoms continue).

There are also natural remedies to clear chest congestion, radish or horse radish. But if you get swine flu, isolation is most important. If the virus dies in your body, then it will not infect your friends and family.