1. #1
    Scarab Lord Satan's Avatar
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    Cheer up, Next year will be worse?

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-week/.../glad-tidings/
    Has national morale ever been as strong as it was during the Jubilee and the Olympics? Photo: Getty Images.

    It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world. That sounds like an extravagant claim, but it is borne out by evidence. Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing countries are charging ahead, and people are being lifted out of poverty at the fastest rate ever recorded. The death toll inflicted by war and natural disasters is also mercifully low. We are living in a golden age.

    To listen to politicians is to be given the opposite impression — of a dangerous, cruel world where things are bad and getting worse. This, in a way, is the politicians’ job: to highlight problems and to try their best to offer solutions. But the great advances of mankind come about not from statesmen, but from ordinary people. Governments across the world appear stuck in what Michael Lind, on page 30, describes as an era of ‘turboparalysis’ — all motion, no progress. But outside government, progress has been nothing short of spectacular.

    Take global poverty. In 1990, the UN announced Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to halve the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. It emerged this year that the target was met in 2008. Yet the achievement did not merit an official announcement, presumably because it was not achieved by any government scheme but by the pace of global capitalism. Buying cheap plastic toys made in China really is helping to make poverty history. And global inequality? This, too, is lower now than any point in modern times. Globalisation means the world’s not just getting richer, but fairer too.

    The doom-mongers will tell you that we cannot sustain worldwide economic growth without ruining our environment. But while the rich world’s economies grew by 6 per cent over the last seven years, fossil fuel consumption in those countries fell by 4 per cent. This remarkable (and, again, unreported) achievement has nothing to do with green taxes or wind-farms. It is down to consumer demand for more efficient cars and factories.

    And what about the concerns that the oil would run out? Ministers have spent years thinking of improbable new power sources. As it turns out, engineers in America have found new ways of mining fossil fuel. The amazing breakthroughs in ‘fracking’ technology mean that, in spite of the world’s escalating population — from one billion to seven billion over the last two centuries — we live in an age of energy abundance.

    Advances in medicine and technology mean that people across the world are living longer. The average life expectancy in Africa reached 55 this year. Ten years ago, it was 50. The number of people dying from Aids has been in decline for the last eight years. Deaths from malaria have fallen by a fifth in half a decade.

    Nature can still wreak havoc. The storms which lashed America’s East Coast in October proved that. But the speed of New York City’s recovery shows a no-less-spectacular resilience. Man cannot control the weather, but as countries grow richer, they can better guard against devastation. The average windstorm kills about 2,000 in Bangladesh but fewer than 20 in America. It’s not that America’s storms are mild; but that it has the money to cope. As developing countries become richer, we can expect the death toll from natural disasters to diminish — and the same UN extrapolations that predict such threatening sea-level rises for Bangladesh also say that, in two or three generations’ time, it will be as rich as Britain.

    War has historically been humanity’s biggest killer. But in most of the world today, a generation is growing up that knows little of it. The Peace Research Institute in Oslo says there have been fewer war deaths in the last decade than any time in the last century. Whether we are living through an anomalous period of peace, or whether the risk of nuclear apocalypse has proved an effective deterrent, mankind seems no longer to be its own worst enemy. We must bear in mind that things can fall apart, and quickly. Germany was perhaps the most civilised nation in the world in the 1920s. For now, though, it is worth remembering that, in relative terms, we have peace in our time.

    Christmas in Britain will not be without its challenges: costs are rising (although many children will give quiet thanks for the 70 per cent increase in the price of Brussels sprouts). The country may be midway through a lost decade economically, but our cultural and social capital has seldom been higher — it is hard to think of a time when national morale was as strong as it was during the Jubilee and the Olympics. And even in recession, we too benefit from medical advances. Death rates for both lung and breast cancers have fallen by more than a third over the last 40 years. Our cold winters still kill people, but the number dying each year halved over the past half-century. The winter death toll now stands at 24,000 — still unacceptable in a first-world country, but an improvement nonetheless. Britain’s national life expectancy, 78 a decade ago, will hit 81 next year.

    Fifty years ago, the world was breathing a sigh of relief after the Cuban missile crisis. Young couples would discuss whether it was responsible to have children when the future seemed so dark. But now, as we celebrate the arrival of Light into the world, it’s worth remembering that, in spite of all our problems, the forces of peace, progress and prosperity are prevailing.

    This is the first article in the bumper Christmas issue of The Spectator which (as American readers of this blog may not know) is the best-written and most entertaining magazine in the English language. To sample it for free, download a trial for Kindle, iPad or iPhone by clicking here.

    Tags: 15 December 2012
    I don't think next year will top this one.
    pro-gun liberal

  2. #2
    Our problems are not solved by government. They are solved by technological advances.

    This century will see more technological miracles. We will see just about all diseases eliminated. Solar power will completely replace fossil fuels, ending any threat of global warming. And these improvements will happen with government having zilch to do with it.

  3. #3
    This year was a great year for me, and I expect 2013 to be even better.

  4. #4
    Immortal Clockwork Pinkie's Avatar
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    I think it'll be better for multiple reasons. It will just be very odd for me.


  5. #5
    2012 was one of the best for me up until the point my gf of nearly two years broke up with me about two months ago . Very shitty way to end off the year, but I guess it's better than starting off my new year with it.

  6. #6
    Was a good year I suppose. Personally not fussed that much by the Olympics - I went to watch the opening and closing ceremonies and a couple of events but that was it. As for the Jubilee, doesn't bother me at all really.

    Personally it was a good year. Business is doing well and family are fit and healthy, can't really ask for more.

  7. #7
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    I don't know...

    http://www.moneynews.com/Archives/Ob...O_CODE=103FC-1

    If this holds any actual truth - yeah... next year will *definitely* be worse.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltrusDisc View Post
    I don't know...

    http://www.moneynews.com/Archives/Ob...O_CODE=103FC-1

    If this holds any actual truth - yeah... next year will *definitely* be worse.
    Well remember there is a MASSIVE crisis on the horizon called the China Housing Bubble. I think that bubble should pop either in 2013 or 2014. When it does, it will wreck global trade and make the 2008 crisis look like a picnic. The Dow Jones seems to be carving out a head and shoulders pattern.

    First shoulder set in spring 2012.
    The head was election day 2012.
    Second shoulder should be in 2013.

    That head and shoulders pattern suggests a collapse in fall of 2013. But might be early 2014. The impetus is the collapse of China.

    And China WILL collapse. They said the 1990s tech bubble wouldn't burst, it did. They said the US housing bubble wouldn't burst, it did. And now, you've got people saying the China bubble won't burst. It will.

  9. #9
    Dreadlord Voolawl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    Our problems are not solved by government. They are solved by technological advances.

    This century will see more technological miracles. We will see just about all diseases eliminated. Solar power will completely replace fossil fuels, ending any threat of global warming. And these improvements will happen with government having zilch to do with it.
    This is one of the best posts I've ever read here on MMO-Champ, and it's completely true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kissme View Post
    The problem comes when bad players expect to clear hardmode content as quickly as average or upper echelon players.
    Accept your limitations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rennadrel View Post
    Admittedly, I enjoy beer more as a beverage that I can appreciate rather then getting drunk.

  10. #10
    Dreadlord Widow Maker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    Our problems are not solved by government. They are solved by technological advances.

    This century will see more technological miracles. We will see just about all diseases eliminated. Solar power will completely replace fossil fuels, ending any threat of global warming. And these improvements will happen with government having zilch to do with it.
    You sound so confident in that theory. Why do you believe such things will happen?

  11. #11
    Field Marshal Cloud2038's Avatar
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    In a perfect world they would. But the technology for other power and fuel sources already exist. The government and big money corporations aren't letting them happen

  12. #12
    probably since obama got reelected ... but hey, maybe the world will end in a couple days so

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Asseymcgee View Post
    You sound so confident in that theory. Why do you believe such things will happen?
    Tell someone a hundred years ago all the innovations we have now and they'd laugh at you.
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  14. #14
    Since the article is a UK website and I am English myself I shall simply say toward the tagline 'Has national morale ever been as strong as it was during the Jubilee and the Olympics?': Oh go fuck yourself.

    I did not and do not give two shits about the Jubilee and I certainly did not care for the spending of NINE FUCKING BILLION pounds on the Olympics while the geniuses at NASA spend less than half that to send robots to Mars.

  15. #15
    A lot of the advancements we've made to become more of a global society will ideally be permanent, but there's always the possibility of shutting out information the government doesn't like. Just ask China with its internet censorship. That's the main thing that worries me as I look to the future. Brainwashing is the first step to good old fashioned tyranny.

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