“While it may seem like the crisis is fully upon us, it will get worse”
That’s how the online official bootleg of the current edition of C-Lab introduces the five pithy and dystopian futures in its article, “Rogue States of Mind“. China (financial implosion) and Russia (collapsing energy revenues) both get a dystopia of their own, along with spreading drought and a boomer-led health crisis.
My favourite – because it works on several levels – is the picture of America deciding to sell off to other nations its “underperforming units”, meaning those states of the union which are no longer regarded as viable. Joe Biden gets to make the announcement because of his “working class credibility”.
Thanks to BLDG BLOG for the tip.
In summary, he argues that election day represents a unique conjunction of the end of three long-run cycles: economic, political, and generational.
I’ve been reading Steven Johnson’s book The Ghost Map, about the 1854 cholera epidemic in Soho, London, that proved to be the breakthrough in linking cholera to infected drinking water, partly though John Snow‘s famous map. The book – which is wonderfully readable – is interesting for several reasons; as a social history of Victorian England; second, in tracing the battle between competing scientific and medical explanations of cholera; and third, for some reflections on the vulnerability of the modern city.
The most interesting new word I’ve heard so far this year is ‘solastalgia‘, buried in some notes that Matt Jones made at a recent lecture by Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG. It was coined five years ago by an Australian, Glenn Albrecht, and seeks to capture notions of place-related distress. Albrecht was quoted in an Australian article thus:
Solastalgia describes the pain experienced when the place a person lives is under assault and destruction, a loss of a sense of belonging to a particular place and a sense of desolation about its disappearance.
What happens if the pervasive chemicals in the everyday products we buy and use are the reason that we generally feel below par so much of the time? It could cause a backlash by consumers who increasingly regard their well-being as important to them. The thought comes both because of the wave of stories about product recalls from Chinese factories, and the recent House of Lords Select Committee report which said that allergies were reaching “epidemic proportions” – without their experts seeming to have much consensus as to why.