Jan. 14th, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
Right now on Century22PBEM, historically aggressive Brazil is planning on invading the Andes Coalition following that country's announcement to adopt nuclear weapons. By itself, this invasion would be catastrophic, the first major war since the Turkish AI War of the early 2120s. Most unfortunately for Brazil, the Andes Coalition is part of a much-bigger alliance system that is poised to support Andes' militarily, while Brazil's other allies have disavowed the South American giant and global public opinion is running against Brazil. The prospect of a general South American war seems imminent, thanks to Brazil's attempt to blackmail Venezuela/Central America into neutrality, while a bigger world war against Brazil is not unlikely.

France remains neutral, of course, along with most of its European allies apart from Andes-allied Russia. France is concerned with bolstering its defenses, particularly in vulnerable French America, and with continuing its aggressive consolidation of its extrasolar holdings (more than four hundred thousand people live in the eight extrasolar colonies of France) and its turn towards productive research and economic growth. GDP per capita in France lags behind that of its neighbours the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Italy, although its quality of life index--think the Human Development Index--remains one of the world's highest. An experimental program of directed investment--that is, me the player actually playing the economics game effectively--may start to close the gap.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Right now, there's an American fiction writer named Joe Buff who is writing an increasingly surreal set of books describing a submarine war fought with tactical nuclear weapons between, on one hand, the United States, and on the other hand a resurgent Hohenzollern German Empire that is allied with a South Africa once again under apartheid, after having conquered the weak and decadent French and inflicted massive suffering on Poland.

It goes without saying that this is a ridiculous future history. [livejournal.com profile] nhw, among others, can confirm that my knowledge of the German language is sadly lacking, but I think I know enough about modern Germany (and modern South Africa, and modern France, and ...) to say that this is an insanely ridiculous scenario. Germans are not militaristic and expansionistic. I suppose that Buff has to do this in order to have a reasonably advanced and powerful candidate for another Cold War with the United States, this demonstrating just how silly the idea of a second Cold War is.

I'm reminded of something that [livejournal.com profile] autopope wrote a while ago, about how certain Americans have a vested interest on developing a wholly antagonistic Europe in counterpoise to the United States, the better to justify their specific goals for world hegemony. I wonder--and I think I'm justifying in wondering--if Buff belongs to this coterie.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Josef Skvorecky's novella An Inexplicable Story, translated from the Czech in 2002, is a worthy acquisition, especially when it's only $4.99. There's a reason that the Czechoslovak expatriate in Canada is so often likened to Borges.
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