The Blue Marble

Welcome to mid-2016. Science and technology have progressed immensely. We’re continuously maximizing our agricultural output and we’re getting better at renewable energy^. We’ll soon have self-driving vehicles^ and our computers are getting better at understand our speech. We can escape to virtual worlds^ and we’re more connected than ever. At least in the developed world, even the poor have the luxury of running water and electricity. Are we on the brink of a new golden age, or is it all just clever brain-washing^?

Welcome to mid-2016. A scary politician and a clever manipulator are tied^ for ruling one of the world’s superpowers (and owner of the largest nuclear arsenal). In Turkey, a failed coup^ provided an excuse for strongman Erdogan to purge his adversaries and head the country towards Islamic dictatorship^. We’re talking here about the country with the 2nd largest standing army in NATO. This is probably the single scariest event in 2016, at least until the elections in the USA. Topping things off, the UK decided to leave the EU. It also decided to prolong and upgrade its nuclear weapons-bearing submarine program^. And then there’s China^ and Australia^. Are we on the brink of war, or is it just the same old game of measuring who has the bigger gun?

Erdogan - the Lucky Caliph

Erdogan – the Lucky Caliph

Welcome to mid-2016. The idealistic peace-loving project called the European Union seems to slowly unfold under the pressure of fear and terror. The USA and Russia are slowly squeezing the life out of Syria and Iraq, but it’s the EU that has to deal with most of the resulting fallout (sheltering refugees and dealing with a spate of terrorist^ attacks^). Are we going to vote in the next Hitler and give up our privacy, praying for protection from Big Brother? Or are we going to sit down at the same table with our worst enemies and enact sweeping social and political changes?

Disclaimer: yes, both the USA and Russia are to blame for the crisis in Syria. Even though historically the USA has attacked the region most heavily, the superpowers never agreed on how to tackle the social disaster there. This is probably because they both stand to profit (enormously) from the economic and social failure of the EU. Divide et impera is the name of the game.

Disclaimer: if it’s unclear who’s the “scary politician” and who’s the “clever manipulator” I’m referring to in the second paragraph, that’s as it should be. Welcome to 2016 ;).

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