Friday, December 01, 2006

Food for Weekend Thought

Complexity in the Field
By J.B. Ruhl

Here's something to cheer you up for the holidays: The State Department has prepared Significant Terrorist Incidents 1961-2003: A Brief Chronology (here). Brief? There's more?

Climate change will require that many species, including humans, adapt by migrating. But what about, say, lizards on an island or fish in a lake? (see here) Unless they adapt in some really fantastic way, that's not a happy outlook.

Is McWorld inevitable? Maybe not, conclude some researchers who have modeled globalization as a nonlinear system. Their model (paper here) "shows that to resist globalization and keep alive a diverse local culture, role models are essential, creations of as many links as possible between individuals sharing the same local culture has to be encouraged, and the society as a whole must make every effort to protect and promote its own culture even at the cost of not fully respecting the rules of free trade." Good luck.

This is really scary: A new video game commissioned by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool portrays the nation's military in 2015 as an invulnerable high-tech machine (report here). Gamers who have tested Future Force Combat Commander report that "the gameplay is designed so it's hard to lose: The equipment holds up awfully well and the enemy doesn't learn from experience."


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