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"If a $100,000-a-year household thinks itself to be middle class," the neoconservative writer Irving Kristol once wrote, "then it is middle class." This sentiment is widely held, but it makes no mathematical sense. Any family whose income exceeds that of 90 percent of all other families cannot sensibly be called anything but rich. To believe otherwise would oblige you to judge your child mediocre when his teacher gives him an A.

"Bin Laden’s transition from scion of a wealthy family to terrorist mastermind came in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was trying to conquer Afghanistan. Bin Laden was part of the resistance, and the resistance was successful — not only in repelling the Soviet invasion, but in contributing to the communist super-state’s collapse a few years later. “We, alongside the mujaheddin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt,” he later explained.

The campaign taught bin Laden a lot. For one thing, superpowers fall because their economies crumble, not because they’re beaten on the battlefield. For another, superpowers are so allergic to losing that they’ll bankrupt themselves trying to conquer a mass of rocks and sand. This was bin Laden’s plan for the United States, too”

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El concepto “vivir en una cápsula” siempre ha tenido algo gibsonianamente guay, aunque este artículo hace un buen trabajo echando por tierra el mito. Ubicuo olor a tabaco, los ronquidos y codazos al cambiar de postura de tus vecinos perfectamente audibles en mitad de la noche, tu intimidad protegida por una lámina de plástico y un montón de historias tristes de ciudadanos a un paso de vivir en la calle.
rocketjumper:

Read About Capsule Living and Feel Better About Your Dinky Apartment
As Japan’s jobless rate creeps higher—it is currently 5.2%, the highest it has ever been—some Tokyo residents are saving money by moving into hotels. Caspule hotels.
At about $620 a month, rent’s not that cheap, though that does afford you a small in-capsule TV and fresh linens, as well as access to communal areas. The capsules have screens instead of doors, and their thin walls provide little privacy. There is, of course, little space for personal possessions, so most residents keep their things stowed in even smaller lockers on the premises.
The hotel’s proprietor estimates about a third of the establishment’s 300 capsules are rented long term, on a month by month basis. It is heartening, though, to read that the capsule-dwelling individuals interviewed in this article remain optimistic about what the future holds.

El concepto “vivir en una cápsula” siempre ha tenido algo gibsonianamente guay, aunque este artículo hace un buen trabajo echando por tierra el mito. Ubicuo olor a tabaco, los ronquidos y codazos al cambiar de postura de tus vecinos perfectamente audibles en mitad de la noche, tu intimidad protegida por una lámina de plástico y un montón de historias tristes de ciudadanos a un paso de vivir en la calle.

rocketjumper:

Read About Capsule Living and Feel Better About Your Dinky Apartment

As Japan’s jobless rate creeps higher—it is currently 5.2%, the highest it has ever been—some Tokyo residents are saving money by moving into hotels. Caspule hotels.

At about $620 a month, rent’s not that cheap, though that does afford you a small in-capsule TV and fresh linens, as well as access to communal areas. The capsules have screens instead of doors, and their thin walls provide little privacy. There is, of course, little space for personal possessions, so most residents keep their things stowed in even smaller lockers on the premises.

The hotel’s proprietor estimates about a third of the establishment’s 300 capsules are rented long term, on a month by month basis. It is heartening, though, to read that the capsule-dwelling individuals interviewed in this article remain optimistic about what the future holds.

Dmitry Orlov

Club Orlov se ha convertido en una de mis fuentes favoritas de información realista sobre el colapso (de la civilización, se entiende). Ya he citado a Orlov anteriormente, pero me siguen maravillando sus doctos -y sarcásticos- análisis de los procesos que pueden conducir, o que lo están haciendo ya, a una nación poderosa como Estados Unidos a un estado pre-tecnológico. El tío es una especie de Noam Chomsky del armagedón.

"Fast food outfits such as McDonalds have more ways to cut costs, and so may prove a bit more resilient in the face of economic collapse than supermarket chains, but they are no substitute for food security, because they too depend industrial agribusiness. Their food inputs, such as high-fructose corn syrup, genetically modified potatoes, various soy-based fillers, factory-farmed beef, pork and chicken, and so forth, are derived from oil, two-thirds of which is imported, as well as fertilizer made from natural gas. They may be able to stay in business longer, supplying food-that-isn’t-really-food, but eventually they will run out of inputs along with the rest of the supply chain. Before they do, they may for a time sell burgers that aren’t really burgers, like the bread that wasn’t really bread that the Soviet government distributed in Leningrad during the Nazi blockade. It was mostly sawdust, with a bit of rye flour added for flavor."

Algunos de mis posts favoritos:

  • Five Stages of Collapse
    "If Stage 1 collapse can be observed by watching television, observing Stage 2 might require a hike or a bicycle ride to the nearest population center, while Stage 3 collapse is more than likely to be visible directly through one’s own living-room window, which may or may not still have glass in it."
  • Social Collapse Best Practices
    "I happened to be in Russia during a time of gasoline shortages. On one occasion, I found out by word of mouth that a certain gas station was open and distributing 10 liters apiece. I brought along my uncle’s wife, who at the time was 8 months pregnant, and we tried use her huge belly to convince the gas station attendant to give us an extra 10 liters with which to drive her to the hospital when the time came. No dice. The pat answer was: “Everybody is 8 months pregnant!” How can you argue with that logic?"
  • Burning Our Bridges to the XXI Century
    "We are making an effort to save financial institutions, which are the ultimate ephemera of industrial civilization, and are absolutely guaranteed to have no reason to continue into a future in which debt, denominated in future earnings that will be meager at best, and money, which will only hold its value for as long as it guarantees access to sources of pure, concentrated energy, all steadily dwindle to nothing. It is as if the doctors decided to only try to save persistent vegetative quadriplegics with terminal cancer, or if the environmentalists decided that the endangered species list only has room for one animal: the vampire bat."
  • Bullets from Drug War
    "This is no longer a war against drugs; it is now a contest between alternative drug distribution systems. One alternative is a centralized, paramilitary organization run by CIA remnants, former military, and former police. Another alternative is ethnic mafias, which will diversify into many other kinds of trade. The third, nautrally most cost-effective alternative will be provided by informal, local distribution networks based on barter, which will be all that is left once the dust settles. The downside of all this is that it will be hard to find anyone sober enough to operate a light switch. The upside to that is that the national electrical grid will go away, so there will be little need of that."
  • Superpower Similarities
    "The rationale for imprisoning over two million people in the United States, the world’s highest rate of incarceration, is that it deters crime. Sociologists slice and dice crime statistics looking for a correlation between increased rates of incarceration and decreased crime rates. The best they seem to be able to find is a correlation of about 0.25 between an increased rate of incarceration and a decrease in the crime rate. It is sometimes possible to find a stronger correlation between, say, rain dances and rainfall amounts."

Por cierto, leyendo a Orlov se da uno cuenta de que muchas de las cosas que asociamos con el fin del mundo ya han sucedido en Rusia en algún momento de su historia.

Disfrutadlo.