14 Year Old Buys House in Florida Meet Willow Tufano, age 14: Lady Gaga fan, animal lover, landlord. [more inside]
The Soviet Collapse "The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers."
Twilight Of The Autocrats: Will the global economic downturn usher in a new era of democracy, or will things only get worse? [first link via]
A mysterious internet forum poster named Reinhardt has the financial conspiracy theorists abuzz this week ahead of a predicted "event" coming this Friday. He first surfaced last July by predicting to the day the bad week in September kicked off by the Lehman Brothers collapse on the 15th. [more inside]
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the award-winning book The Black Swan, (previously), was interviewed recently by Charlie Rose: A conversation about economics with Nassim Taleb (as well as Time Magazine.) Taleb is more pessimistic than Nouriel Roubini, (previously, previously) who thinks that the total sum for this current global meltdown may be somewhere between 10-20 Trillion US dollars.
Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin, has predicted the collapse and breakup of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed at by some and embraced by others. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize, was posted to Drudge and has offended many bloggers who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate.
Collapse of civilization: Not necessarily a bad thing Many will no doubt find the foregoing discussion of collapse depressing or pessimistic. In “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, John Michael Greer hints at why this is, writing, “Even within the social sciences, the process by which complex societies give way to smaller and simpler ones has often been presented in language drawn from literary tragedy, as though the loss of sociocultural complexity necessarily warranted a negative value judgment. This is understandable, since the collapse of civilizations often involves catastrophic human mortality and the loss of priceless cultural treasures, but like any value judgment it can obscure important features of the matter at hand.” Greer goes on to characterize collapse in terms of ecological succession. …Collapse happens precisely because it improves our lives—and it happens when the alternative is no longer tolerable.