Maybe not such a new world:
Recently we were on a roll with a lot of new people coming to the site.  Since there was no way we were approaching saturation, it seemed like good times.  Word of the issue seemed to be getting around.  Then there was a rather peaceful revolution in Tunisia and a number of countries showed an interest in shedding their dictators.  Quite understandably our own numbers declined and I mentioned as much, cheered that at least it was in a good seeming cause.

That hadn’t been the first time.  Years ago I had been invited to a meeting in Washington where there was to be a discussion of what should be the future course of the United States.  I was primed with enough data to make a very good case and so I made plans with some excitement.  When I got there the meeting had been canceled.  September 11, 2001 had come and gone.  The agenda for the country was fixed, and I had lost what had seemed like a wonderful opportunity.  And now world events have deflated my expectations again.  There are the changes in the Arab world, and there is also the tragedy that is still unfolding in Japan. 

So I am thinking maybe the new world that seemed to be dawning will not be so different.  We are in another war.

On top of this I have read (Pause and Engage ECONOMIST March 19, 2011 page 18) that nationalism is on the rise in Europe.  I would have predicted that, but I would have not expected it to be very strong very soon, maybe another ten to twenty years.  The European Union has been under challenge for years, but I have never before heard that there was a party in Germany that wanted to get out of the euro club and return to the German mark as the currency. 

Still I am guided by the basic principle, “As hither, hence,” and expect these early stirrings in Europe to subside for some years.  I suppose there will continue to be trouble in Africa and the Middle East.  The new and brighter world that seemed on promise so very recently looks a lot like the dark old one, and if we do not attend to fertility issues, it is going to be a lot darker.

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