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The Next Ten Years 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post The Next Ten Years
In this thread we discussed George Friedman's book "The Next 100 Years," very favorably.

He's done it again, this time "The Next Ten Years." I am a third of the way in and it is simply riveting stuff. No wonder people pay this guy huge sums to give them geopolitical analyses; he makes incredibly abstruse stuff blindingly simple. Never have I seen current events and predictions laid out with such clarity. As a tiny example, he explains why no terrorist organization has yet set off a suitcase nuke. Is it that they don't want to? Oh no, they would love nothing more. Are they unavailable? They're harder to acquire than the media would have you think, but not completely nonexistent. But the reason for the media's misinformation is the same as the reason for the failure of the terrorists: Authentic offers of suitcase nukes are outnumbered a hundred to one by fake offers from undercover intelligence agents trying to smoke out the people who want them. It's so headslappingly obvious that I am embarrassed to reveal I hadn't thought of it myself. There are gems like that on every page, including the most concise and useful analysis of why the USA undertook the Iraq invasion and why it failed.

Other futurism books are marred by wishful thinking and not-so-hidden agendas. Even where they say things you agree with you can't trust them because you can't distinguish the solo song of truth from the massed choirs of grinding axes. Friedman's stock-in-trade is a neutral objective viewpoint, and he's certainly convinced me that he has that. And that gives him the freedom to go where few dare. He can and does make bald statements about, for instance, the imperial nature of the USA which coming from another mouth would be part of a flaming polemic. But in his case he's just stating the facts.

If you want to understand the world, read this book. It's that good. Even when he claims things I disagree with considerably, it gives me pause and resolve to go back and reexamine my assumptions.


Fri May 06, 2011 11:10 am
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
OK. It's time to test out my new convertible tablet as an eBook reader. I plan to do so with this book. :-) Just bought the edition from Google eBooks. Unfortunately I can't figure out how to download the book -- it looks like they think you're always online. :/ So I might have to go with B&N Nook version. (But not Amazon. I ordered something from Amazon a month ago -- first purchase from them in years. Within two days, they spammed me, and I found out that they had added me to something like 25 or 30 different lists, all without my permission or expressing any interest at all.)

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Fri May 06, 2011 6:51 pm
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
We've used Amazon for years and of the various complaints I can summon, being spammed by them is not one.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Fri May 06, 2011 7:45 pm
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
sakeneko wrote:
I might have to go with B&N Nook version. (But not Amazon. I ordered something from Amazon a month ago -- first purchase from them in years. Within two days, they spammed me, and I found out that they had added me to something like 25 or 30 different lists, all without my permission or expressing any interest at all.)


I monitor email for a customer of mine to keep spam out of his stream. He recently got a Nook and he gets spammed almost daily.


Fri May 06, 2011 7:50 pm
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
Odd. I've got both the Nook software and the Kindle software installed on this tablet. In both cases, that entailed opening an account at the retailer in question. I use tagged email addresses for anything connected to doing business or a credit card, so both B&N and Amazon got unique email addresses. I didn't get spammed by either of them after installing the eReader software. I got spammed by Amazon two days after I bought the CorelDraw X5 upgrade from them; they subscribed my email address to the lists I mentioned. (I blogged about it over on www.ergosphere.net, but that was a month ago.)

Since many eBooks are in Kindle format, I didn't remove the Kindle reader, but I deactivated that email address after complaining to Amazon. We'll see if B&N is as stupid as Amazon was. If they are, the same thing will happen -- I REALLY don't like spam from companies that I trusted enough to do business with. It somehow feels like so much more of a violation than spam from X-random-botnet.

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Fri May 06, 2011 8:18 pm
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
sakeneko wrote:
I got spammed by Amazon two days after I bought the CorelDraw X5 upgrade from them; they subscribed my email address to the lists I mentioned.

Are you certain it wasn't Corel? They've been a third-rate Wally Mart software house for decades, the place outdated apps go to die lingering deaths while shaking down the rubes at every turn.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat May 07, 2011 8:35 am
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
Absolutely certain. The spam had nothing to do with Corel; it was from Amazon, was an "offers" thing from a category I had never purchased in, and when I checked, I'd been subscribed to the offers newsletters for all twenty-something categories of merchandize for which offers newsletters were available. :/

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Mon May 09, 2011 11:50 am
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
I enjoyed The Next 100 Years so much that I've got to get this one. Thanks, Peter.

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Mon May 09, 2011 11:57 am
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
Actually, it's the Next 100 Years that I'm reading now. It's a good book. I'll probably get the other one afterward.

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Mon May 09, 2011 12:13 pm
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Post Re: The Next Ten Years
On the Amazon vs B & N side, I have a Nook, and only get the 'the month's specials' emails about 1-2 times a month. I get Amazon ad emails once a week or more. I like the Nook reader better (both the hardware AND the software for android and iOS).

Now, to hunt down this book...

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Sat May 28, 2011 9:31 pm
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