Dedicated to a sustainable future
Edition I - 2023
Here are some of the stories that are capturing our attention at the moment.
It has happened again. In the most recent survey, done by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's "World Happiness Report", Finland, Denmark, and Iceland rank 1-2-3 among the world's happiest populations. Assessed on levels of social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption, Finland wins for the sixth consecutive year.
Their global survey draws data from people in more than 150 countries. An evaluation of each country's happiness is an average of the findings on each over the preceding three-year period.
The report not only identifies the happiest places in the world, but also the unhappiest. Afghanistan seems to be the unhappiest place in the world, followed by Lebanon. The author's walkaway seems to be that "it isn’t really about the grades or the salary, it’s about cooperating with other people in a useful way."
Finland is a small country - just over 5 million people - and they are primarily "White": Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%. In fact, all of Scandanavia and the Nordic countries are predominantly White - Sweden is the most diverse, being only 75 percent White - and there are extreme right-wing elements rising up in Scandanavia to ensure that White remains the rule. Sweden's Democrat party won 20 percent of the votes cast in the last election cycle, making it the second leading party in the country, and breaking the hold on the Social Democratic government. The Democrats, in Sweden, are a bunch of skinheads, dedicted to ensuring racial purity in the northern reaches.
These studies always reveal the obvious, but always skirt carefully around the revelation. The happiest countries seem to be those comprised on White people who have precious little experience with racial diversity. How populations deal with a globalization, and refugee situation, that are changing national demographics will be the most profound influencer regarding the larger sense of global well-being. At some point, we are going to have to make decisions around whether the ideal of racial diversity is plausible, and desirable, or if our future is ethnic turmoil.
One of the interesting findings, in the report, is that global levels of happiness remained steady, even through the pandemic. For better or worse, we humans seem to have leveled out.
Bill Gates says the artificial intelligence machine learning technology, as presented by chat bots like Chat GPT-4 and Bing Chat,is among the most profound technological developments since the introduction of the personal computer. It will impact peoples' lives in ways as dramatic as those that came with the iPhone.
AI technology - and we can still talk about it as if it is a tool, not yet setient, though that is soon to come - is already impacting our lives. Early adopters are using it to quickly produce documents of all kinds, which is having an immediate impact on workers whose job involves content development. This would include business analysts, who generate reports, lawyers, contract managers, and technical writers, though the workplace displacement has only just begun.
AI is here and our world is in reset. Our immediate and ongoing challenge is to understand how to work with it, at least for as long as it finds us useful. The capabilities of Chat GPT-4 are truly amazing. Here is a link for more information: Open AI Chat GPT-4
Whether or not the world will be locked in a third world war seems, at the moment, to be entirely in the hands of Vladimir Putin. His Russian army - huge, but hugely dependent upon the mercenary Wagner Group- may not be able to win a field war with Ukraine. And with growing pressure from within the Kremlin, and within Russia's corrupt oligarchy, Putin could feel forced to do the things that would ensure a global firestorm: use nuclear weapons, or attack a NATO country.
Ukraine is, though not by choice, fighting a proxy war for "democracy", to the extent that Putin seems dedicated to re-establising the old Soviet bloc. That puts Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the Russian cross-hairs, but it is even bigger than that. Clearly, Poland feels threatened.
In the broader sense, the U.S. and all of NATO feel threatened, because Putin, failing as he is in Ukraine, is successfully establishing relations with China, Iran, and India.
Iran is supplying drone weapons to Russia. China is guaranteeing the Russian oil economy, and paying close attention to what is happening in Ukraine and China resolves to take Taiwan. The U.S. and Great Britain are rotating high-end submarines through Australian command as the country commits to its own submarine development program, all aimed at controlling the waters to Asia. The U.S. just established a new marine base - the first new base in years - in the Phillipines. In Syria, U.S. forces were just struck by a drone, which brought an immediate response from U.S. war planes.
At this point, the real concern in the U.S. seems to be among the military class, and cable news commentators.
The American public seems more concerned with the war at home, with nearly 50 percent of those responding to surveys suggesting that civil war in the U.S. is imminent.
This video walks the viewer through one of the most familiar demonstrations of wave and particle physics ever devised, while also demonstrating our world's most profound mysteries.
We deep thinkers understand the standard model of particle physics, which identifies Bosons and Fermions, and we understand packages of energy called photons, which we perceive as light. What we don't understand is why and how these particles react to observation, and what the mere fact of this reaction might mean to our broader understanding of our material, and even spiritual, worlds.
For the uninitiated - those not on the physics track - watching this video is a good place to begin your discovery.
Each edition provides a link to the previous edition.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Editions from before 2021 were in HTML-4 so will not resize to your mobile device.
RARWRITER Publishing produces several websites covering a range of subjects from arts & entertainment to politics, public policy, and environmental issues. See the links provided to access those sites.