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China Rising - facts & figuresMany think that China will inevitably follow the same paths of socio-economic-techno convergence as most other developing countries in the global village. But, with Chinese inclination towards patience and long-term thinking, can this emerging giant choose its own, different path to the future?
China, India, Brazil and all fast developing countries are facing the same question. Does globalization mean Americanization? How to remain different?
Someone said that Britain taught the world how to produce in the 19th century, and America taught the world how to spend in the 20th century. In the 21st century, will China teach the world how to achieve balanced, sustainable development?
Some members of the Association of Professional Futurists have recently been traveling in China and sending back interesting reports. To frame the discussion, APF member Rohit Talwar [firstname.lastname@example.org] posted this summary of facts and figures from the forthcoming FastFuture report on the Future of China's Economy. Read this, to help understand how China is rising.
The technology treadmillTechnology keeps accelerating to force change, even on those who are unwilling to cooperate. I never thought that techno-geek, gadget-freak Pinto would be in that category.
I have a cellphone that's 2 years old, and Cingular tells me that I can exchange it for a brand new model - at zero cost (provided, of course, that I sign up for another 2 years). Now, I am happy with Cingular (largest provider in the US, with the broadest coverage - I got a good signal during my recent trip in N. Dakota) and I don't expect to change. But, I can get a free, new cellphone anyway.
So, I went to take a look. I always go for the latest gadget; but, tell the truth, I was confused. I didn't want a slimmer phone with a camera and CD music, and I didn't want to browse the Internet everywhere I go with a more bulky cellphone/camera/PDA in my pocket for an additional $40 a month. So, I've still got my antique 2-year-old cellphone.
In 1990, the tech-prophet George Gilder wrote a book called "Life After Television" which declared that TV was dead. TV still seems to dominate many American living rooms, with big-screens and HDTV still showing significant market expansion. But, the shift to small screens (iPods and cellphones) is making major impact on TV network plans and projections.
Meanwhile, sales of conventional CDs are declining quickly - fewer people listen to music via regular, cumbersome CD players. I have a 12-CD player in my car, but changing the discs is too much of a hassle compared with clicking through playlists with thousands of songs on my iPod.
The key change that is occurring is software - hardwired TV, telephones and music-players are giving way to software adaptable "teleputers".
At the recent AlwaysOn Innovation Summit held recently in Stanford, California, tech-guru George Gilder exercised his usual hyperbole: "At the center of the network will be world wide webs of glass and light, and all of the action will move to the edge of the network, ushering in the life after telephony".
The possibility or probability of global calamityIn this first-decade of the new century (and millennium) things are definitely heating up. An increasing number of significant events point toward big changes in the near future.
The most significant trends:
Over past centuries, many religions have warned about "Armageddon" and the final days. Now many leading scientists are warning about end-of-the-world possibilities, and even probabilities.
This past week, you may have seen ABC 20/20 coverage of the biggest threats which may bring about the end of the world. (Link below) Several of the world's top scientists described the deadliest threats to humanity. Some can destroy the planet; others may render humanity extinct.
The 7 deadly scenarios:
The balance between Masculine & FeminineMeanwhile, while forecasts of calamity keep clamoring for attention, where is America going?
In January 2006, Georgie Anne Geyer wrote in the San Diego Union,
Here's an interesting exercise: Write down as many Male and Female attributes as you can. Then review them against specific people you know, men and women. You'll find that many people have qualities from BOTH sides. It's NOT a matter of sexuality (being hetro or homosexual); it's having a "human" balance.
Modern business is completely masculine - businesses compete and win by "beating" the competition. One-upmanship is masculine. I play chess, or backgammon, to win; my wife plays to share my company. I beat my chest to proclaim victory, and sulk when I'm defeated; she enjoys playing together.
Terrorism is masculine - seeking to destroy. No one can compete by being more masculine. The Feminine ethos tries to recognize that terrorists are human, and tries to understand their view with the aim of understanding and negotiation.
Survival depends on development of a balance between the Masculine and Feminine Ethos.
I thought you might enjoy reading this poem by Rudyard Kipling:
When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
The great Blimericks (Bush Limericks) contestHey, join the Blimericks contest: write your own Bush limericks on Blimericks.com. Entry is free and includes left/right, conservative/liberal, pro/con/neo-con, whatever.
Here are samples to tweak your urge to contribute:
Go take a look - already lots of good Blimericks posted.
eFeedbackTed Mohns, MD [email@example.com] responded to our recent editorial (10 Aug. 06) about America's dead-end problem:
"Since the USA failed to learn the moral lessons of Vietnam, we are doomed to repeat the colossal mistakes. I feel shame, and am increasingly troubled by paying Federal taxes which contribute to the murders of huge numbers of civilians
"In terms of personal emotional low-points, I have to say that, for me, Bush's re-election was rivaled by the Supreme Court's appointment of Bush in 2000. That crushed me - the one leg of the three legs of our democracy where I had hoped, perhaps child-like, to find some basic integrity.
"Reading the per curiam unsigned decision in Bush v. Gore was horribly informative. The arbitrariness and the multiple gaps in logic are plain for even the untrained to see."
"While those in a public company may know 'in their hearts' that they are 'doing the right things for long term success', this does not become proven to shareholders, board members and other managers until positive financial results manifest.
"In a public environment, how would one handle interim judgment about performance on strategies that takes several years to manifest significant positive results? What are your ideas on suitable alternatives to the current model?"
"Equal value and yet with huge differences in life are not contradictory. It is the human condition. Nor should it be our collective mission to make everyone have the same lot in life. It should be our collective mission to love one another and have tolerance for our differences. Love can be helping and comforting. Love can also be accepting.
"We struggle when confronted with the many inequities of these differences, but the nobler challenge is to love and learn from each other."
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