News Briefs 19-04-2010

Are you stuck in an airport terminal?

Quote of the Day:

It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.

Hunter S. Thompson

  1. a suspicious lack of bread
    I had a history professor that stated the cause of the French Revolution was caused by “a lack of bread.” We had to write a paper supporting this conclusion. I wish I had known about this then, that a volcano had to do with it. On the plus side it proves him right. However I can’t help shake the feeling that we are once again on the cusp of revolution, and this time it may be worse because of all this new technology. We are blinded by it and, just like the deer in the headlights, can’t see what’s coming right for us.

    1. causes, triggers etc
      There are other people who say the cause of the French revolution was the enlightenment, or the American revolution. A shortage of bread can trigger events, but the psychological environment has to allow people to even think about throwing out the government.

      Food shortages are fairly common in history. Usually they don’t lead to big changes, people just suffer.

      Recent (post-WW2) advances in technology have resulted in some big changes. More people (from better health care and better more food production), these more people travel more and communicate more.

      Let’s just pick the last one – more communication, it sounds great. And it is. But do people actually communicate better? Do they actually gain more insight, rather than just look at more data? Some do gain insight to be sure, and of course some don’t, but are just louder. Which people will make a difference in the next “revolution”, the insightful or the loud?

      Back to the bread. Quite possibly bread shortages triggered the French revolution. Today Europeans live in luxury, even most poor people are well off by 1789 standards. Will the next revolution be caused (or triggered) by bread surpluses?

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