Sunday 2012-12-30

It's that time of year, and people are trotting out their trends to watch in 2013: robotics, solar energy, surveillance, climate change droughts, and so forth. Here are the items that I've not yet seen listed anywhere "big":

  1. Rationality as a new Religion has the catechism and Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality is some lite propaganda.
  2. Resource-fueled Instability
    The 1970s saw natural-resource conflicts abetted by soldiers-of-war and rebranded as Cold War collateral damage. With resources at high prices, we should see similar conflicts again aided by contractors recently downsized as Iraq and Afghanistan unwind. When your next best job is working as a plumber back in the states, it seems much better to get paid 100+K to show people how military forces should work.
  3. High-Pressure System Over Greenland
    The Arctic's summer weather configuration has changed since 2007, the northern east coast of the US might see a higher rate of more hurricanes landing.
  4. US Consumer Debt to Disposable Income
    Historically high and still falling, the average US resident appears to still have much debt, and is still paying it off, and is not taking on any additional debt. It seems like a long way down to get back to life before Greenspan.
  5. A Neo-Jeffersonian Nightmare
    With cheap UPS delivery from Amazon, and enforced immobility due to underwater houses, and zoning commissions in cities not allowing higher density housing to be built, America is frozen in an exurbia when it should be building the greener, higher-density cities it needs.
  6. TDR TB
    Others have covered the rise of totally drug-resistant tuberculosis, amidst the increasingly resistant strains of bacteria to all classes of antibiotics, however this just reminds us how fragile our taken-for-granted defenses have become.