Global trends are not all bad

My postings have been a bit thin lately as I’ve been away on holiday, armoured only with an ASUS laptop loaded with open source software. In theory this should work fine. In practice, however, it seems to be a little incompatible with the blog software. Now I’m a great supporter of open source, but I feel it has some way to go. The software is great value but it doesn’t always interface with other systems and devices without a lot of messing around. I have several USB devices, for example, that it fails to recognise. I’m sure I can get them all to work. But I shouldn’t have to make the effort.

The change in perspective on returning from abroard is also interesting to observe: going from two weeks of sunshine and optimism in the Middle East to a gloomy, despondent Western outlook. A large part of this is media spin rather than actual substance. Take the article in today’s Times, for example, which reports on a “frighteningly bleak” assessment by the US National Intelligence Council. Then read the real report: “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World“. It’s an excellent, thoroughly researched analysis of the World in 2025. I judge it to be a positive assessment, presenting as many opportunities as threats.

The key thing with all forecasts is to use them wisely. As the forward to the report puts it: “If you like where events seem to be headed, you may want to take timely action to preserve their positive trajectory. If you do not like where they appear to be going, you will have to develop and implement policies to change their trajectory.” Let’s hope that Barack Obama takes careful note of this excellent assessment.


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