December 28th, 2002

Tonight ...

Playing Diplomacy at tudor_rose's place, with Allan, Dave, Stu, and others--later joined by nire_nagaf and london_calling--was quite fun. A pity no one else ate the Brie I brought.

Afterwards, pool at Dooly's was good, as was karaoke at the Inn on the Hill. (Duet on "Rebel Yell" with Allan, solo on "Little Red Corvette" and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).") Quite fun, all in all.

Now tired, will go to bed.

UPDATE tudor_rose and nire_nagaf each have their own descriptions of the night.
  • Current Music
    Alannah Myles, "Still Got This Thing For You"


  • I've taken out Colin Wilson's The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders and Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan, each for very different reasons.

  • There's not all that much to be impressed with re: Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama: relentless name-dropping, unprotected mid-orgy anal sex, bloody explosions in Parisien hotels. It's really and unexpectedly blah.

  • Charles de Lint, on the other hand, is very good. Someplace To Be Flying and Jack, the Giant-Killer are wonderful books. Thanks taem!

A Short History of the Future

I've done it.

I've bought A Short History of the Future by W. Warren Wager.

Volume 2 of the Journal of World Systems research deals substantially with Wagar's perspectives on the future organization of world-system. Wagar rejects any possibility of reform or democratization of the capitalist world-system, favouring instead a transition to "[a sec]ular socialist humanism[, a] rational faith in democracy, civil liberties, public stewardship of capital, and the unity and common destiny of humankind [that] must lead us out of the cultural anarchy and reaction of the now-expiring 20th century to a new commonsense global republic of working men and women." A Short History of the Future appears to be Wagar's attempt to describe this secular socialist humanism.

I'll probably have to agree with Sanderson that Wagar's vision of a decentralized socialist future is self-contradictory, since:

"a highly decentralized world future in which people live in small political communities notable for their sharp cultural, economic, and political differences [could] lead us right back toward the kind of divisiveness he wants to avoid, and, moreover, [pave the way] for a resumption of capitalism and of the evolutionary process whereby many small political units eventually become one big one".

Still, it seems to be a book worth the acquisition (and the price, some 29.50 Canadian dollars).

Fears for the 21st Century

The excellent economist and writer J. Bradford Delong puts it well in his must-read blog, Moveable Type:

"The three big threats that may turn the twenty-first century into an abbatoir are (i) the possible emergence of an expansionist, militaristic Wilhelmine China, (ii) a failure of "transition" that results in the emergence of a Weimar Russia, and (iii) Hindu nationalistic communalism leading to the emergence of a Fascist India--a place where encouraging mobs to kill Muslims and burn their houses wins lots of votes. (The threat of an Islamic Reformation leading to lots of wholesale terrorism and the occasional repeat of what Christians did to each other on St. Bartholomew's Day ranks fourth.)"