In the West, for the last 60 years or so, thanks to the continuous availability of cheap energy which allowed a massive inflow of raw materials and the mass production of any conceivable good, a “bigger /better /faster” lifestyle was purposely spread among the masses together with a generalized growth of wages, “rights”, and education, thus creating a huge middle class of happy consumers, on the whole improving everyone’s health and way of living.
Due to the conditions existing at the time, market driven liberal /social democracies created and distributed never-before-seen amounts of wealth among their citizens.
Since conditions have changed substantially from those times, we must look at reality in an unbiased way, realize that this historical period has reached its maximum and peaked, and that we are now living in the twilight of the Cheap Energy /Mass Hedonism Age: average health and wealth standards are recessing, signs that the Big Shiny Happiness Machine is chocking and breaking down are everywhere, and the already shrinking middle class is destined to disappear.There are at least three well-known reasons for this global downslide, which amplify each other, so that dismissing the evidence is becoming not only futile, but also quite dangerous.
One thing is clear: world is about to change. What can we expect? New leaders of two big countries will be elected. In case of new US president it is now clear, that next president will be from democrats. And in Russia, well, whole land is waiting for a signal from Mr. Putin.
In U.S. the main discussion is now about the war in Iraq (and a bit in shadow remains still unfinished battle in Afghanistan). Every observer can see two main streams, from which one says, that U.S. troops should return immediately from their foreign missions, the other says, that the world is still in war with terror and that it is wrong to step back now. But as in every country, also in U.S. there are many groups, that are interested on results of the presidental elections and many that will profit from it.
In good old Western movies, a typical character is the Snake Oil peddler, a “doctor” with dubious credentials travelling around from town to town, selling miracle potions, lotions, and every kind of bogus panaceas.
Those fake medicines were useless, for the most, if not poisonous. But by the time the Snake Oil dealer left town, it was nearly impossible to bring him to justice; moreover, those who fell victim of the scam were not easily convinced to complain publicly, because, righteously, everyone would have laughed after them.Today it’s exactly the same, only much, much worse.
Ignorance, arrogance and greed, together, shape the world.
As Andersen’s fairy tale clearly states, power, money and the fear of loosing them make people at any level behave in stupid, blind, immoral, and dangerous ways.
Only those who have nothing to gain from not telling the truth, from not misbehaving, will do it.
In our case, an Australian 16 yo boy was able to crack the new Government-made 89 million dollars worth anti-porn family filter, in 30 minutes. His technique ensures the software’s toolbar icon is not deleted, leaving parents under the impression the filter is still working.
Then he called the press and showed them how easy it was to crack it. The Emperor is naked, he said.
Last days brought to whole world really interesting news. After Mrs. Merkel visited China and spoke about hacker attacks against German ministries, also Financial Times revealed, that Pentagon was target of such attacks from China. If this is not enough, also Guardian recently reported about such attacks on governmental networks in UK. Titan Rain — as US called the raising Chinese hacking activities, seems to be stronger than we could imaginne.
General assumptions from specialists are, that behind these attacks is PLA — People’s Liberation Army — or if you want: Chinese army. This assumption is supported by the several facts, like target selection, attack levels (even IT security world would for sure invite more details on how the attacks were performed). It is also another known fact that China trained hackers already years ago. Then why this all is surprising some of us?