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Mobility plays a key role in the spread of cultures; horse, camel, row boats, sailing boats, trains, power boats, planes. 

Horse -  The earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, dating to approximately 4000–3500 BC. The speed, mobility, and shock value of cavalry was greatly appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages; some forces were mostly cavalry, particularly in nomadic societies of Asia, notably the Huns of Attila and the later Mongol armies.  Greek and Roman chariot.  Terracotta urn in the shape of a horse (Iran, 1000 BCE) . Those in the upper socioeconomic echelons in the Middle Ages occasionally traveled in covered wagons.  Fancy royals carriages from 1760's.


Humans had domesticated the Bactrian camel by at least the middle of the third millennium somewhere east of the Zagros Mountains, with the practice then moving into Mesopotamia.  By at least 1200 BC the first camel saddles had appeared, and Bactrian camels could be ridden.  The first documented use of camel cavalries occurred in the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC. The Byzantine East Roman Empire used  camels  mostly in combat because of their ability to scare off horses at close range (horses are afraid of the camels' scent), Tang Dynasty (800AD) woman breastfeeding on camel.

Ships - The Phoenicians introduced the bireme, around 700 BC. The Phoenicians are also credited with inventing the trireme, which was regarded as the most advanced and powerful vessel in the ancient Mediterranean world, and was eventually adopted by the Greeks. Shown is modern reconstruction, and a Roman mosaic of a trireme.

The Viking longships were characterized as graceful, long, narrow, and light, with a shallow-draft hull designed for speed. The ship's shallow draft allowed navigation in waters only one meter deep and permitted arbitrary beach landings, while its light weight enabled it to be carried over portages or used bottom-up for shelter in camps. Longships were fitted with oars along almost the entire length of the boat itself. Later versions had a rectangular sail on a single mast, which was used to cargo version was the  Knarr.  


In the High Middle Ages, two types of ships were used: the Trade-Cog and the Hulk.  The Trade-Cog had only one mast, steep sides, and a flat bottom, which allowed them to settle flatly in harbor, facilitating loading and unloading of cargo.  They were also frequently used for military transportation and as warships because the steep sides made it difficult for pirates and other intruders to board.  The Hulk was also flat-bottomed like the Trade-Cog but had neither a stern nor sternposts.  It was chiefly used as a river or canal boat as it had limited ability for oceanic transportation. 

In the Late Middle Ages, the Caravel was either square and lateen rigged or only lateen rigged.  The lateen sails, which gave the ships speed and the ability to sail towards the wind.  Two famous Caravel ships are the Niña and the Pinta, both of which Christopher Columbus used in his first voyage to the Indies in 1492. Mary Rose was another example.


Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships developed in Spain and first used as armed cargo carriers by Europeans from the 1500-1700 during the age of sail and were the principal vessels drafted for use as warships until the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the mid-1600s

The Vasa was the first triple decked warship  (1621–1629) built at the height of Swedish control of the Baltic,

The industrial revolution started with canal networks, and then rail and road networks. Commercial air transport started in the 1930's, and by the 1970's jets enabled travel around the world in a day. 


Natural caves provided  residential protection for the earliest hominids in places such as the "Cradle of Civilization" near todays Johannesburg. Rock paintings in caves and rocks are the oldest record of human creativity. Carving into rock for sculpture produced Buddas. Buddas in cliffs. Leshan Giant Buddha - Sichuan - China. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century[3] monumental statues carved into the side of a cliff i  130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Kabul, destroyed by the Taliban. Easter Island carvings


These  led to the formation of man made caves at convenient locations. which became multichamber rooms for temples, mausoleums and living quarters.  Cliff carved temples - Abu Simbel temple to Ramases II in Egypt, The Kailasha temple  756-773 AD is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples India. Petra 500BC is the best example of a cliff carved city.

Stand alone rocks were used to form "temples" that often doubled as observatories, such as Avebury Ring. Early carved pillars and lintels formed stand alone formed arches such as Stonehenge.

Solid Pyramids and towers form the simplest stand alone structures. The Pharoes funery pyramids (Great Pyramid) included passages for the mummy and  funery wares. 

Ziggurat of Ur - Step pyramid  temple, Sumeria. El Castillo (Temple of Kukulcan) is a Mayan Mesoamerican step-pyramid that dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatán.  Ankor Wat. The construction of Angkor Wat took place 1122 to 1150 CE. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire by King Suryavarman II during the 12th century, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple.  The central tower represents Mount Mer the sacred five-peaked mountain of HinduJain, and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the centre of all the physicalmetaphysical and spiritual universes.

The pyramid mausoleums evolved into cave complexes as in the Valley of Kings and Queens for protection from Grave robbers. The Terracotta Army are the highlight of a Chinese mausoleum. 

Stand alone housing was made using whatever was convenient; wood, rock, mud, reeds, bone, skin.  Only rock survives over thousands of years as in  Skara Brae in Orkney  a stone structure from 3000 BC. . Postholes leave some  record from short lived materials. Nomadic or seasonal migrants have built or mobile temporary structures. 


      Teepees - Skin walls by Native Americans

      Tents - Wadi Halfa in Sudan 100K years ago 

      Igloo - Eskimos

      Bone - Mammoth bone at Mezhirich 15K years ago 


      Reed - Mesolithic Ireland, at Terra Amata in France 400K years ago 

      Cave - Neandertals in Bruniquel Cave 176K years ago

      Earthen - Athabascan Native Alaskan  

      Mud walls - example 500-year-old mud-brick village in Yemen

      Stone  -  Skara Brae in Scotland 3K years ago. Newgrange in Ireland.

      Cliff roof dwelling - Anasazi Native American 

Wooden  - Japanese and Chinese developed interlocking wooden structures that are earthquake survivable.   Seven thousand years ago mortise and tenon joinery was used to build wood-framed houses. (The oldest are at Hemudu site at Zhejiang).   Since ancient times when the Chinese first began to use wood for building, joinery has been a major focus and craftsmen cut the wooden pieces to fit so perfectly that no glue or fasteners were necessary.

Wooden Framed with  woven walls - England 1600'


Larger residential societies left a record of collections of castles  housing, and ceremonial buildings the Egyptian Pharoses, Minoans, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, Hindus, Buddist and European Christian communities.

Civil infra-structure 

Communities naturally developed at trading locations such as entries to mountain passes,  tributary points on rivers, harbors usually at river moths. The best spots had natural  defenses that were augmented by walls, towers and castles, so towns, forts and large castles became synonymous. 


Early cities were built from earth and timber but had their defense's replaced later by stone. Early castles often exploited natural defense's, lacking features such as towers and arrow slits and relying on a central keep. Placing castle on top of hills provided natural protection against attack, but also made them vulnerable to siege tactics of simply starving them out. Water supply infrastructure becomes a crucial part of cites. 

Masada   is an ancient fortification   situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of AradHerod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE

The ancient Greeks and Romans were the most prolific builders of city communities. In The Parthenon in Athens,  the Colosseum, and  Forum in Rome, Pompeii, Ephesus in Turkey, numerous roads, stadia, and bridges throughout Europe including Hadrians Wall

Aqueduct of Segovia built around 50 AD, the is one of the best-preserved monuments left by the Romans in Spain and also an aqueduct in Carthage.  Petra 500BC used water piping to deliver water to desert valley community.

In China the ancient  wooden structures are long decayed, the Great Wall of China is a spectacular example of their capabilities, also the Great Wall of India.

The Nazca Aqueducts were built in the 200-500 AD

Norman conquests led to first stone castles such as Tower of London (1078),  Windsor and Warwick.


Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximize the castle's firepower.  Crusader castles were mostly built by Military Orders  who were responsible for the foundation of sites such as Krak des ChevaliersMargat, and Belvoir. Alhambra - Moorish Castle.

Fortress cities, often on hill tops,  allowed much larger and sustainable communities to be protected. For example Dubrovnic Croatia, Siena Spain, ​Itchan Kala is the walled inner town of the city of Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, Buddist, and Hundu all impose celibacy on its celebrants who live in gender specific housing. Some of these communities are "closed" orders and live in spectacular isolation. Greek Orthodox monasteries in Thessaloniki. 

At the same time the Incas were building a interlocking stone fortress Sacsayhuamán in Cusco. 

Stari Most: The bridge at Mostar, Bosnia 1557. nr. Dubrovnik.

In India, the forts of Rajasthan were home to the local rulers.  Jaipur's Amber Fort 1600-1727AD

The GūrAmīr  is a mausoleum of Tamerlane in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 

Taj Mahal in India

Ronda Gorge bridge in Spain 1790.

Canals - Industrial Revolution in England 1800's, Corinth Canal 1893. 

Gathering places

Larger indoor spaces for community events and religious' ceremonies are a central feature of towns and cities. The easiest way to create a larger covered space is as a "hypostyle" hall, with pillars that support the roof. Over time, the challenge has been to create larger spaces with fewer supports that give a  sense of space and open-ness. 

Native Alaskan community spaces, are one example of a informal gathering place.

Ptolemaic Temples in Egypt - Luxor, Karnak & Temple of Khnum at Esna. Dense column supports to rock beam roofs.

Greek & Roman - Parthenon, Elegant sparse columns with wooden beams for roof support


The Romans invented concrete which enabled a new roof strategy,

Pantheon (126AD) in Rome started as a Roman Temple. The building is round in plan, except for the portico with large granite Corinthian columns. The rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. At 43m, the dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.[3]  

Hagia Sofia (537AD) Christian Orthodox in the style of Byzantine architecture,  There is  a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, 31m diameter, 55 meters high, with a clear span of 76.2 m. Made of brick and concrete masonry.

Most cathedrals and great churches have a cruciform ground plan. St Marks in Venice is a Byzantine example with footprint of Orthodox Cross. In churches of Western European tradition, the plan is usually longitudinal, in the form of the so-called Latin Cross with a long nave crossed by a transept. such as Pisa Cathederal (by the tower). The façade or "west front" is the most ornate part of the exterior with the processional doors, often three in number, and often richly decorated with sculpture, marble or stone tracery.

Onion Dome It is a typical feature of churches belonging to the Russian Orthodox church.

Islamic style - evolved from Byzantine era, with geometric decoration, with no depictions of people or prophets. It is against the Islamic faith to idolize earthly beings, any depictions of earthly beings lack religious connection. The use of wooden ceilings with wooden pillars in mosque architecture dates back to the early periods of Islam, with the Al-masjid an-Nabawi, a Wooden Hypostyle Mosque.  The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (600AD) has a centralized floor plan with an octagonal layout, similar to Hagia Sophia.  Among the most famous of these is the Malwiyya minaret, a stand-alone tower with a "spiral" form built for the Great Mosque of Samarra. The minaret is a tower that traditionally accompanies a mosque building. Its formal function is to provide a vantage point from which the call to prayer.  The  Great Mosque of Cordoba "Mezquita"  (786AD) was noted for its unique hypostyle hall with rows of double-tiered, two-colored, arches.   

By the 1100's,   Gothic cathedrals  had evolved from Islamic style with high arches,  tall towers, larger windows, lighter-weight vaulting supported on stone ribs and above all, the pointed arch, with the distinctive flying buttresses  as a means of support. The huge windows were ornamented with stone tracery and filled with stained glass illustrating stories from the Bible and the lives of the saints. Buildings representative of this period include Notre Dame, Paris;  Rouen Cathedral,  Siena Cathedral, Salisbury CathedralCanterbury Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral in England.

The Dumo (1436AD) in Florence was the first Renaissance Cathedral to be completed. An octagonal dome with height 144m, spanning 44m. It uses a double skinned brick dome with iron chain hoops. The greatest cathedral building of the age was the rebuilding of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, surmounted by Michelangelo's glorious dome, taller but just one foot narrower than the one that Brunelleschi had built a hundred years earlier in Florence

St Paul's Cathedral (1666AD) in London is a Baroque style, the dome, which, like Brunelleschi's dome in Florence, spans not only the nave but also the aisles, opening the whole centre of the church into a vast light space.

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Cold War era  1945 - 1989 

In the aftermath, the Allies co-opted  Germany and Japan with residential armies that remain 80 years later. The Marshall plan was an effort to fund reconstruction, block rearmament, establish healthy economies and democracies to avoid the mistakes of WW1.  The Communist powers in Russia and China had fought imperial forces bankrolled by the capitalist West, and had been invaded by countries that they had peace treaties with, so they moved quickly to a defensive  position against their previous allies. In the US, a panic search for communists (McCarthy era) destroyed an number of careers, including Oppenheimer. number of British  traitors were exposed who gave secrets to the Russians, including Klaus Fuchs, McClain, Burgess, and  Philby added to the paranoia and destroyed Turing.  After the development of the H bomb in the US, led by Edward Teller, and Russia in 1951-1952, a Cold War developed between Capitalist and Communist blocs, Direct conflict was deterred by Mutually Assured Destruction between nuclear powers. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization formalized the collective defense of Western Europe and USA against the Soviet Block. The European economic union (EU) added economic co-dependence to European stability with free markets, free movement of capital and free movement of people. 


After 2 world wars, the United Nations was created as a body to resolve national conflicts peacefully, with limited success. Reviewing the first 50 years of the UN's history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that "the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless", citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.

In 1947, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in level flight.

After the horror of the Final Solution,  there was a immigration push for the remaining Jews into British controlled Palestine.  A guerrilla war ensued to obtain independence from UK.  On 14 May 1948, on the day the last British forces left from Haifa, the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum and proclaimed the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. The fate of the Palestinians was ignored, and Palestine became the symbol of Islamic resistance to the Wests latest colonialism.  The reality is that there is now  a large stateless group of Palestinians trapped in a open air prison within Israel boundaries, that has become a lasting source of instability. Israel settlers continued to displace Palestinians. The instability re-emerged again in 2023, with a terrorist attack by Hamas from the Gaza Strip followed by  Israel retaliation.

After the World Wars, the USA was the only  industrial power  that had not been decimated by the conflicts.  The old European powers had been decimated by the war, and their colonies moved quickly to gain self rule. The British Empire was effectively dismantled in 10 years, with a few countries such as South Africa and Rhodesia clinging to white minority rule. Many colonies looked to the Communists for support for self rule, which reinforced opposition from the Capitalist powers. 

Conflicts were limited to proxies, "He might be a SOB, but he is our SOB", was FDR describing the dictator of Nicaragua, shows the importance of allies no matter what they did.  There was also a  new form of soft colonial control, even as the pre-war colonies were gaining independence. The soft colonization included   economic access viewed by many proxies with weak capitalist control as just a new form of exploitation. This usually comes with language and cultural replacement. This economic colonization was even worse for technology "have not" countries.  


The Korean War 1950-1953 morphed into a US vs China confrontation, and ended with a permanent US military presence.

In 1952 the De Haviland Comet jet powered passenger airplane was put into service with BOAC. 

In 1953, Crick and Watson discovered molecular basis for inheritance in DNA using crucial crystallographic data that they stole from Rosalind Franklin.

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,  was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. This was the first big legal victory for civil rights since the Civil War.


The Vietnam War 1955-1975 started as war for independence from France, which the US decided was a world vs. Communism conflict. The conflict ended with US withdrawal, replaced by a Communist proxy, The easing of Communist control in 1976 with the death  of Mao Zehdung in China has led to successful socialist market economy 40 years later.   

In 1960, the first fully integrated circuit was built by Fairchild Semiconductor based on the invention of Robert Noyce. By 1971, Intel introduced the first commercially available microprocessor  the Intel 4004, built in MOS technology. The semiconductor revolution was up and running.  

In 1960, the Beatles started the Rock and Role era. 

in 1962, the Cuban Missile crisis pushed the world to the edge on nuclear war after USSR placed nuclear weapons on Cuba. The US under President Kennedy called Khrushchev's bluff and he backed down. 

In 1963, August, Martin Luther King made his iconic "I have a dream speech" as the civil rights movement gained nation wide momentum.  In November, President Kennedy was assassinated. Guided by the promoted Vice President Johnson, in 1964 the Civil Rights Act passed prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, signaling the end of Jim crow and separate but equal in the US South. A new black middle class started to emerge. At the last minute the ban on sex discrimination was added a huge impact on women in the workplace. 

In 1969, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated just as the resistance to the Vietnam war was starting to build. The US was in turmoil. 

in 1969, the Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon using rockets designed by Werner Von Braun, ending the space race with the USSR. There were a total of 6 landings before the program was shelved.  Since then there have been numerous robotic missions to all regions of the solar system, including the Voyager mission that left the gravitational pull of the sun. In 1975, the first observation of an astronomical black hole was confirmed.  There has also been long term human presence in earth orbit.

By the 1970's, the Arab  oil states in the Middle East had effective control over the worlds economies, cultivated by the West while overlooking very repressive  politics and support for Islamic extremists.

In 1974, Nixon resigns as US president after attempting to illegally disrupt the Democratic party in Watergate. 

In 1974, the first universal network protocol using packet-switching among the nodes was described by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.  This has formed the basis for the telephone, internet and TV service in the 2000's. Line switching for directing calls was over.

Some colonies viewed independence as an opportunity to establish a theocracy to prevent a "godless" liberal democracy.  The Iranian Revolution  1979 replaced the Shah who was a west oriented proxy leader, with an Islamic Theocracy. Other Middle East Monarchies used Islamic control of the population but maintained stability using huge oil revenues.

China since 1976 has evolved into a dynamic "socialist market economy" under tight political control. It has pursued a strategy of soft economic colonization to spread its influence.

Soviet - Afghan war 1978-1989. The locals (Mujahadeen) eventually rejected the Soviet installed puppet government with extensive help from the USA. However they had no plan for a replacement government. In the chaos, the Taliban emerged as a Islamic Emirate. 

In 1979 to 1990, Margaret Thatcher was the controversial  Prime Minister of the UK who took on and crushed the power of the Unions. This set the scene for the modernization of the UK economy.

In 1980, a team of researchers led by Nobel prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez, his son, geologist Walter Alvarez, and chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Vaughn Michel discovered that sedimentary layers found all over the world at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–Pg boundary,  (or K–T boundary) contain a concentration of iridium hundreds of times greater than normal which could only come from a huge meteor. At the boundary, the dinosaur fossils  disappear and mammals thrive. 

In 1980, Apple introduced the Macintosh low cost personal computer and  started universal access to computing power with 3 key inventions;  graphical user interface, Ethernet network connectivity, and object oriented computing. All these were invented at Xerox PARC, stolen and commercialized by Apple.

In 1983, Motorola introduced the first "portable" cell phone known as the "Brick". Over the next 20 years the advances in semiconductors shrunk the phone in size and cost. Along with the build out of nationwide cell coverage, the cell phone became universal. 

In 1988, the Olympics allowed professionals to compete ending the "shamateurism" era in sports that for example allowed military employed amateurs, and under the table appearance money.  

In 1988, the reality of global warming caused by fossil fuel use, was brought to the worlds attention by Jim Hansen. It took another 30 years before the impact on the earth became impossible to ignore and energy generation started to change. 

The Globalization era  1989 - 2020

The collapse of Soviet power was complete in 1989 as the Berlin wall falls, the old satellite countries become independent democracies. Russia tries democracy but returns to authoritarian control under Putin. Classic capitalism, Fascism and Communism had all been exposed as  menaces.  As a result, democratic managed capitalism became the planet wide dominant culture that we see today. The resulting homogenization of culture has inevitably  triggered an effort by many groups to try to protect their uniqueness, and created resistance. 

Starting in the 1990's, the US control of advanced technology started to move to the Far East. Packaging of chips had aways been done in low cost centers such as Malesia. First Japan and then Korea became very successful chip manufacturers.  Just as the US was dominating the world, globalization was empowering the poorer economies. The invention of packet switched networks enabled world wide  internet and cell phone service, and for good and bad - social networks. 


Starting with Hubble space telescope in 1990, we have discovered billions of galaxies looking back over 10 billion light years, and thousands of planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way.

US Iraq war 1991 "Desert Shield" attempted to impose stability in oil supplies in  response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  Kuwait was  liberated, and the US attempted to disable the Iraq military but deliberately did not take over Iraq. 

In 1994, Nelson Mandela was democratically elected as President of South Africa ending Apartheid in the last state with constitutional discrimination. 

In 1999,  World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is established, leading to comprehensive year around random testing. Since 1972, performance enhancing drugs had become larger factor in all sports. It took till 2012 for  Lance Armstrong to be exposed as a fraud and loose his TDF wins 1999-2005.

in 1999, the Blackberry was introduced as the first cell phone that could also exchange emails, and it became the fancy tech tool of choice until the smart phone in 2007. 

On 9/11/2001, Osama bin Laden, funded by the Saudi Royal family but based with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, orchestrated the attack on the US using planes as human guided bombs. The attack seems to have been designed trigger an overreaction from the US that would re-ignite anti- USA sentiment in the Arab world - the US obliged. 

US - Afghan war 2001-2021. The resistance of the Islamic theocracies, funded by the Arab oil states,  to external control led to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US. In response to 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan to eliminate al-Qaeda which it did, and establish a functioning liberal democracy which failed. Eventually accepting Taliban control. 

The Iraq War 2003 to 2011. It began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States-led coalition that overthrew the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein based on supposed nuclear weapons, that proved wrong. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the coalition forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. US troops were officially withdrawn in 2011.  

In 2003, The Human Genome Project (HGP)  mapped and sequenced all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint in a project lasting 13 years. This has spawned numerous rapid sequencing technology that has enabled the detection of a number of critical disease  mutations. We now have cancer treatments that  are selected based on genes. Mass access has led to countless family secrets being uncovered. 

In 2004, Facebook started as a Harvard U meet up site, which rapidly mushroomed and "social media" was born. 

In 2005, forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, along with colleagues in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, published a paper, "Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player". This has changed attitudes to head injuries in American Football, rugby, soccer, ice hockey etc. 

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, the worlds first "smart phone" that was both a phone and a internet browsing terminal that could also send and receive email. By 2020, these are used throughout the world. Land lines have almost disappeared, developing countries have moved straight to cell networks. 


China has bolstered its military to try and become the global challenger to the US, and threaten US allies Taiwan.  At the same time as challenging the US, it is also a key supplier of many key technologies, and is threatening Taiwan the home of TSMC the only supplier of many of the worlds key chips. This gives it unique leverage in a future possible conflict.

Globalization has resulted in wealth and growth being concentrated  in the thriving democracies which has led to increased pressure from migrants and resistance from the locals to job and multicultural pressures. Globalization has also led internally to the evolution of a new low tech underclass, and the inevitable rise of fascist theocratic politicians trying to use the "have nots" to take political power. 


In 2016, Trump rode this discontent to the US presidency which ended with the US getting close to an insurrection after the next election.  Brexit in the UK and far right success in Italy, France and the Netherlands all show the resistance to migration.

Misinformation era 2020-????

Social media on internet capable mobile devices has become a new unmanaged source of global information, the days are over where journalists acted as the gatekeepers for information that is widely disseminated. Misinformation is rife as opinion, deliberate propaganda, malicious troublemaking, religious zealotry, or just sales and marketing. 


in 2020, the UK leaves the European Union in "Brexit", generally viewed as a triumph of misinformation. The first crack in the post WW2 shared markets, the break up has been identified with the groups who are unhappy having lost out on the wealth associated with globalization. 

In 2020 Covid started, probably in a animal market Wuhan China. For 2 years, until a combination of vaccination and herd immunity, the world essentially self - isolated as the only way to control the spread of an infectious disease. The rapid development of tests and vaccine, were enabled by CRISPR RnA editing technology. CRISPR  uses RnA tools to identify specific DNA segments, and cut the DNA at the end of the segment. A significant fraction of US society choose to challenge the safety and utility of vaccines without any evidence resulting in significant loss of life.  In 2021, Doudna and Charpentier won the Nobel Prize for CRISPR. 

In Jan 2021, Trump attempted an insurrection to disrupt the results of the 2020 election based on false accusations of voter fraud. These falsehoods have infected US politics and threaten to derail the Republican Party into a series of positions based on lies. Trump has made a career of misinformation, particularly over election fraud and anyone who opposes him. 


Ukraine War 2022-? Russia under Putin, invades Ukraine in an attempt to prevent the West and Nato getting closer to its borders. Ukraine had established a successful liberal democracy and technology industry. Russia post communism  has become a energy and raw materials supplier to the industrial west making a number of oligarchs, who took over state businesses, very rich. The west encouraged business connections for economic gain, and in the belief that economic codependence was good for stability, ironically it also gave Soviets unexpected leverage of the west in key areas such as gas to Germany. Russia  is now mired in another extended conflict. It tried used its global businesses as leverage against the Wests support for Ukraine- a telling lesson that China has played close attention to. 

Climate change is the critical issue of our time that will overwhelm all the petty conflicts, misinformation from the fossil fuel industry and political opportunists is rife. 


Where we are ...

The days of capitalism vs. state run communism and fascism are long gone. Todays global culture is  dominated by Western  countries with  democratic managed capitalism; challenged internally and externally by cultural retention and technology have nots, by economic partners competing for power, and by planetary challenges caused by industrialization.  Attempts at military takeover meet swift local resistance. The only military solutions that stick involve permanent placement of the winning military because the locals will eventually fight back, a lesson that has been true from the first military conquests. 

The need for planet wide cooperation has never been clearer, the only rational solutions with long term stability are those where everyone feels like they are making progress. The risk of irrational psychopaths coming to power and use economic interdependence as a weapon has been highlighted by Hitler, Trump and Putin. The jury is out on Xi in China. 

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