Sunday, December 07, 2008

Random Thoughts v9

Interesting article that I've heard not a damn thing about:
Water supplies to residents in Harare were cut by the authorities yesterday as
Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic tightened its grip and the city witnessed its worst
unrest for a decade. The Zimbabwe National Water Authority turned off the
pumps in the capital after it ran out of purifying chemicals.

Some are wondering if it wasn't a forced issue - to gain control of the populace while also allowing it to run rampant. "We need the military to control the people! Look at them!" And how would you react if the same happened in your `burb?

I've been thinking a bit about history - since there is nothing new under the sun - and the Dark Ages. It aptly describes my sense of things, now. Not in the sense of religiosity eventually bringing light to the pagan public but more in the sense of a loss of direction, a degraded time when disease was the sauce on their feast of debauchery. Do we not see even now a strengthening of variants that were once thought gone from these shores? What need we do to prepare for it and to some day sow the seeds of "enlightenment"?

Or, to steal from Niven/Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer, what books to bury in the septic tank? (BTW, I highly recommend the book to get your teeth set for what may come.)

I suspect sugar may be as much a commodity as cash in an emergency. Has anyone else noticed the run on rice in the grocery? Our local Mexican restaurant had it stacked to the ceiling months ago. Interesting...Regardless, flours, yeast, sugars, and the like are on my stock up list.

My employer has large offices in Mumbai and surrounding areas. I am wondering about our fiscal situation in relation to same. We are very proactive (secure drivers to/from, backup locations, security professionals for any extraction needs) but a large portion of our income depends on stability there. (We had no personnel impacted by the recent events, thank goodness.)

I'd spoken just the other day of how the influx of earned capital has changed the area - the caste system breaking down in a generation - vs. the constant beggaring from Africa, an area we are now looking at for expansion in the market. It's a frightening thought - having staff there. I cannot help but wonder how we begin such negotiations. And I begin to wonder if we should.

I read an article months ago and meant to mention it - about how nearly all the "eco-friendly" CFL bulbs come from China. So do you trust them - the bulbs, I mean? After all, they've poisoned everything we've imported in one way or another. Are you surprised by this subtle attack?

Are you aware, relatedly, of China's investment in Africa?
What I found is that while flat-footed Western governments largely watch from
the sidelines, cash-flush Chinese firms -- many with state-directed financing --
are cutting deals at a dizzying pace, securing supplies of oil, copper, timber,
natural gas, zinc, cobalt, iron, you name it.

Yeah...I am telling you: there are signs everywhere of a change so massive, so unexpected and so rapid that there is no way to properly express it. Much less to track it all.

Why does the dog have to hide his fresh bones for a few hours before he eats them? Amazing to watch him place it in a dozen areas until he finds one satisfactory - and then watch him cover it with his nose, shoving a blanket or sheet of paper over it. He is not that far from his ancestors, I take it...


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