Archive for the 'Wave Guide 9: Global Conflict' Category

Sep 18 2012

Bruce on The Space Show (audio) & 15th International Mars Society Convention (video)

Dr. David Livingston has archived my appearance yesterday on The Space Show; Click HERE.

We had a lively discussion — including several call-in guests — about our recent discovery that NASA space programs are “fractal” and why this, plus the financial Panic of 2008 and current unrest in the Middle East, ironically imply we’ll have an excellent shot at human spaceflight to Mars during the coming decade+ (i.e., by 2025).

My Mars Society Convention presentation on “Fractal Maslow Windows and the Near-Term Colonization of Mars” is available HERE.

On the final evening (8/5/12) of the 15th International Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, CA, I had the pleasure of being part of a panel on “Our Future in Space.” Emceed by Dr. Robert Zubrin of The Mars Society, it also included, Dr. Story Musgrave (physician and former NASA astronaut) and Prof. J. Richard Gott of Princeton University.

This panel interacted with a packed house from 8:45 pm until just after 10 pm when the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars. Here’s the YouTube version (first 30 minutes):

The remainder of this panel can be seen at The Mars Society link;
Click HERE.

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Sep 16 2012

Bruce’s Mars Society Convention Presentation (8/3/12)

This is my ppt presentation to the 15th International Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, CA on August 3, 2012: “Fractal Maslow Windows and the Near-Term Colonization of Mars”
Click Mars.8.3.12.cordell

For the presentation Abstract, Click HERE.

This presentation introduces the concept of a “Maslow Window” which has been very successful in providing an economic explanation for why humans have not returned to the Moon (or even left Earth orbit) in 40 years, and also why we expect a new Apollo-level international Space Age to dawn by mid-decade.

The Maslow Window Economic Model:
Over the last 200+ years, great explorations like Lewis and Clark, huge technology projects like the Panama Canal, and major wars like W.W.I are seen to cluster exclusively near twice-per-century major economic booms. The most recent example was the 1960s Apollo Moon program.

Maslow Windows as “Critical States”:
Our recent discovery that NASA space programs are “fractal” suggests that space programs — like financial systems, earthquakes, wars, and many other large complex systems — are due to “critical states” which spontaneously self-organize over decades. Once in the critical state, almost anything can happen (e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis, Apollo, Peace Corps), even if triggered by only the smallest stimulus. We are apparently entering another 1960s-style critical state now.

Forecasts and Issues:
Rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East support our entry into the new critical state/Maslow Window by 2015, as the arrival of the financial Panic of 2008 did four years ago. Based on patterns observed over the last 200+ years, near mid-decade the great global boom of 2007 should re-ignite and trigger human colonization of Mars and/or major scientific and commercial development of the Moon and near-Earth space.

For more info on Maslow Windows, Click HERE.

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Jun 19 2012

As the 1960s-Style “Critical State” Approaches, Space Surges

This morning the Wall Street Journal proclaims “A Leaderless World — Signs of disorder grow as American influence recedes.”

The list includes:
Syria, which may be heading for a civil war as Russia and Iran back Damascus;
Iran, who continues to move toward a nuclear weapon and may trigger an attack by Israel and/or nuclear proliferation throughout the region;
and the
Eurozone, who continues to try to solve a debt crisis by adding more debt.

As the 1960s Space Age began, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the edge. (President Kennedy and Premier Khruschev shown.)

And the U.S. is hardly immune from growing turmoil. For example, a recent poll for The Hill revealed 75% of people are either very or somewhat worried that the U.S. is headed for another recession.

Unfortunately, double-dip recessions are typical features of the years immediately preceding a “critical state” over the last 200+ years, and growing national debt is a major contributor.
Click: Is High Debt Triggering Another Pre-Maslow Recession?

In the midst of this geopolitical turbulence, the development of space technology continues spectacularly.

For example, on Saturday China launched 3 astronauts — including its first woman — into space and achieved its first orbital rendezvous and docking with their Tiangong 1 module yesterday, becoming only the 3rd country ever to do so. China envisions a full-size space station in orbit near 2020.

The U.S. also joined the informal “Weekend Space Party” by culminating the 15 month secret mission of its X-37B spaceplace and landing at Vandenberg AFB in California. The X-37B is an unmanned, Mach 25 spaceplane that is developing technologies which will facilitate space commercialization as well as considerably enhance national security.

Given the recent kick-offs of two other space programs — asteroid mining by Seattle-based Planetary Resources and Mars colonization by the Netherlands-based group Mars One — it’s striking how this surge in space-related activity is concurrent with today’s growing international tensions, much like the early 1960s.

This suggests that the approaching critical state has major parallels with the 1960s.

The Bad News is the 1960s critical state featured a bumpy road known as the Cuban Missile Crisis — reminiscent of current threats in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The Good News is the lesson of the 1960s and all critical states over the last 200+ years: As we move through current geopolitical stress, we appear to be approaching a Camelot-style renaissance in space exploration, technology development, and commercial expansion … by mid-decade.

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Apr 08 2012

Fractal Maslow Windows and the Near-Term Colonization of Mars

Please Note: This is my Abstract for The 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August, 2012, in Pasadena, CA.

Fractal Maslow Windows and the Near-Term Colonization of Mars

Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) is an emergent property of complex systems whereby they organize themselves into a critical state such that rapid changes, including catastrophes, can occur.

In 1998, based on power-law plots like this, Roberts and Turcotte concluded that “World order behaves as a self-organized critical system independent of the efforts made to control and stabilize interactions between people and countries.”

SOC is indicated for space exploration by the following: 1) Apollo is the most recent in a string of rhythmic, twice-per-century clusters of great human explorations, large macro-engineering projects (MEP), and major wars, back to Lewis and Clark, suggesting punctuated equilibrium, 2) Based on their power law size-frequency distribution, Roberts & Turcotte (1998) showed that wars are SOC processes; my recent analysis of cost data suggests the same is true of NASA programs, and 3) Space programs obey Bak’s gap equation (1996), which describes the system’s evolution from weak SOC to the fractal, self organized critical state; i.e., a “Maslow Window.”

While in the critical state, large changes (e.g., in space, MEPs, and/or war) can rapidly occur in response to even a minor stimulus. The classic example is the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which raised the stakes for the Moon Race, and suggests the road to the next critical state may also be bumpy.

Long-term and current global trends – including the financial Panic of 2008, the great recession of 2008-10, and geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf and in North Korea – signal that a new, 1960s-style critical state is expected by mid-decade. This should trigger a new, Apollo-level, international Space Age.

Bak’s model shows punctuated equilibrium — long periods of stasis (horizontal portions) interrupted by rapid changes (vertical sections) while in the critical state.

As in Bak’s numerical simulations, the real-world transitions of a critical state are abrupt – including both into it (e.g., in 1901; in 1958) and out of it (e.g., in 1914; in 1970). To avoid another 40 years of being trapped in Earth orbit (since Apollo 17) due to sudden closing of the approaching Maslow Window, human spaceflight should establish near-term bases on or near Mars and/or the Moon by the 2020s that do not require frequent re-supply from Earth. Because of its exploration, science, and colonization potential, Mars is preferred.

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Mar 12 2012

State of the Wave: The Geopolitics of a Moon Base

Ex-NASA executive Charles Miller’s recent (Wall Street Journal, 2/3/12) op-ed on returing to the Moon was particularly interesting for its explicit linkage to commercial space and national security.

In the short term — As I commented last year in Space News (6/29/11) — such front-burner aspects of a Moon program will be trumped by the slow economic recovery.

President Obama’s cancellation of Constellation — the U.S. program to return to the Moon by 2020 — was not a big surprise. It appears to be merely a speed bump on the road to near-term international commercial and scientific development of Earth-Moon space and even humans to Mars.

For more perspective on a Moon base, Click: Is the Moon a “Golden Oldie” or a “One Hit Wonder”?

In 1990, Lawrence Livermore scientists proposed an inflatable base on the Moon within a decade that would become self-sufficient, require only 60 tons of hardware transported to the Moon, and cost only ~ $ 11 B.

Miller makes the Moon base cost-effective by reducing Earth launch costs by a factor of 10+ to $ 500 per pound and achieves this by focusing on development of a totally reusable spaceplane. The technology requirements remind Miller of the X-37, an unmanned Mach 25 resuable spacecraft that launches like a rocket and lands like an airplane similar to the Space Shuttle.

According to Miller, reusable spaceplanes are the key to commercial space.

The nation that builds the first true reusable spaceplane will be in a position to dominate the much broader commercial space industry … such as satellite servicing, tourism, and medical breakthroughs from zero-gravity research.

The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999 but was transferred to DARPA in 2004 where it became a secret program. Recently the X-37B spaceplane celebrated one year in orbit although its mission is classfied as is its return date.

In 2010 Tom Burghardt (Space Daily; May 11) asserted that the X-37 will help achieve Air Force Space Command’s stated goal of “space dominance” that includes,

a johnny-on-the-spot weapons platform to take out the satellite assets of an enemy, or as a launch vehicle that can deliver bombs, missiles or kinetic weapons anywhere on earth in less than two hours.

Miller confirms that our critical strategic assets in space (e.g. comsats, surveillance satellites) are currently vulnerable to potential anti-satellite weapons being developed by China (successfully tested in 2007) and even North Korea and Iran, but that spaceplanes “will transform national security” by their ability to rapidly replace such orbiting assets, and thus reduce the incentive to attack them in the first place.

Traditionally, the Moon has been viewed as the most secure location for Earth surveillance, as expressed in 1984 by the famous physicist Edward Teller at the Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century Conference. (I also spoke at this event on importing water from the moons of Mars for use in the Earth-Moon system.)

Teller stated he would like to see an outpost on the Moon (~12 people) as soon as possible. As a “special proposal” he recommended that,

Surveillance of the Earth — permanent continuous surveillance that is hard to interfere with — is an extremely important question, important to us, important to the international community, important for peace-keeping … It is in everyone’s best interest to have observation stations that are not easy to interfere with.

Teller also suggested that in the name of global peace, Earth surveillance images obtained from Moon orbit should be made “universally available.”

More recently (1/6/12), Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt — the first scientist on the Moon — sees the current status of civilian space as a geopolitical crisis for America.

America’s eroding geopolitical stature, highlighted by the July 21, 2011, end to flights of the United States Space Shuttle, has reached crisis proportions. Obama Administration officials now spin the nebulous thought of Astronauts flying many months to an undetermined asteroid in 2025 as an actual “National Space Policy”. On the other hand, Republican candidates for President have not yet recognized the importance of international civil space competition in the federal government’s constitutional function to provide for the nation’s “common defence”. Candidates appear to be uninterested in having the United States lead deep space exploration, including establishing American settlements on the Moon …

Meanwhile, China is building a major new deep space launch facility in Hainan and developing new rockets and spacecraft to take over the exploration of the Moon from the United States and the free world.

Given the geopolitical significance of the Moon in the coming mid-decade Maslow Window, I have surveyed several friends in the military and NASA communities, and none claims knowledge of any studies of potential national security applications of a Moon base done over the last 10-15 years.

The closest I could come was a chilling Moon-related military scenario in George Friedman’s ( book The Next Hundred Years (2009); he agrees with Teller’s opinion of the value of Earth surveillance from the Moon and suggests that, “Sustaining and defending a base on the Moon will actually be easier than doing the same for orbital systems.”

Although no specific references are provided, Friedman insists that:

These forecasts are based on real technology, reasonable extrapolations about future technology, and reasonable war planning.

In Friedman’s mid-21st century scenario, both Japan and Turkey — two key space powers by then — become understandably threatened by powerful U.S. command and control “battlestars” in Geostationary orbits that can very rapidly direct a variety of weapons — advanced versions of the X-37, lasers, hypersonic missiles — at any point on Earth or in space.

By this time many nations will have bases on the Moon, however Japan and Turkey build an underground base on the Moon’s farside where they secretly use lunar materials to develop, build, and launch missiles to attack the Battlestars in Earth orbit.

I won’t give away how the story ends here. However, it is unlikely that “secret” military activities could go unnoticed for long on the anti-Earth side of the Moon. For example, many astronomers have already chosen the Moon’s farside as the best location for a radio observatory in this part of the solar system.

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Feb 21 2012

Glenn’s 1962 Flight Points to a New International Space Age

Yesterday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first American to orbit the Earth. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn carried the hopes of Americans with him as he did 3 revs, inspired the Australians in Perth to turn their lights on as he passed over them, survived a faulty sensor indicating his heat shield might be loose, and became a national hero at the level of Charles Lindbergh.

John Glenn and JFK (right) admire the Mercury capsule which Glenn rode into orbit in 1962.

Earlier as a Marine pilot, Glenn completed the first transcontinental supersonic flight from California to New York in 3 hours 23 minutes. And in 1959 he became one of the original 7 NASA astronauts.

Glenn’s orbital flight in 1962 got the U.S. back ino the Space Race, but it came after 2 Soviet cosmonauts had already orbited in 1961. This international competition had been noted by Missiles and Rockets, The Missile/Space Weekly in their year-end editorial for December, 1961:

With still a long way to go, we now are back in the race with the Russians with the avowed intent of catching and passing them.

Eventually the U.S. did reach the Moon first (in 1969), but the irony of the current situation, where the U.S. must hitch a ride with the Russians to send its astronauts to the International Space Station, is not lost on Glenn:

Back in those days, one of the major driving forces in support of the program was the fact that we were in competition with the Soviets.

And yet here we are these 50 years later, (paying) 60-some million dollars per astronaut to go up there and back. And this is supposed to be the world’s greatest space-faring nation.

That part of how we’ve developed I don’t agree with at all. I don’t think the shuttle should have been canceled until we had a replacement for it.

The 1961-2 geopolitical chronology is amazing for its intensity and juxtaposition of several powerful wildcards and soon-to-be tipping points:
Click Geopolitical.Chron.1961.62

For example, the founding of the Peace Corps, the first human in space, and the Bay of Pigs invasion all occurred within about 6 weeks of each other. Within only 3 months of establishment of the Peace Corps the first American had gone into space, and JFK committed the U.S. to send men to the Moon and had offered to cooperate with the Soviets in a joint Moon program.

Six months after Glenn’s flight the Russians were building secret missile bases in Cuba which triggered the Cuban Mission Crisis in October, 1962. During this event Khruschev threatened a “world nuclear missile war.”

This type of rapid-fire, potentially threatening action is to be expected from a “critical state” after decades of self-organization of the international economic system. Something analogous to the early 1960s critical state — involving the Middle East, North Korea, and others — is apparently rippling through the world today.

Just as the 1960s Cold War led to the first Space Age, 200+ years of macroeconomic and technology development patterns suggest it’s likely the currently approaching “critical state” will trigger the new international Space Age.
CLICK: Are Stratfor’s “Generational Shifts” like “Falling Grains of Sand”?

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Feb 13 2012

Are Stratfor’s “Generational Shifts” like “Falling Grains of Sand”?

In their most interesting Annual Forecast for 2012, has identified this year as a very special time that they call a “generational shift”:

There are periods when the international system undergoes radical shifts in a short time … We are in a similar cycle, one that began in 2008 and is still playing out.

In Les Miserables (1862), French novelist Victor Hugo asked, “How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand?”

Another way to think of Stratfor’s description is as a “critical state” in the international economic system that has been self-organizing for decades. As we approach the critical state small triggers can have rapid, often unexpected — even system-wide — effects.

Over the last 200+ years, critical states are intimately associated with the emergence of Maslow Windows — transformative, 1960s-style decades always featuring huge engineering projects like the Panama Canal, a great exploration like the Apollo Moon program, and a Camelot-style zeitgeist.

In his remarkable book — How Nature Works (1996) — former Brookhaven professor of physics Per Bak (1948-2002) imagined that the real world was analogous to a sand pile, created by dropping one grain of sand at a time. Initially and for some time, as grains began to pile up nothing much happens. But eventually the sand pile slopes become large and unstable — i.e., it reaches a self-organized “critical state.” Then one more tiny grain of sand could rapidly trigger an “avalanche” that might be small or medium in size, or large enough to change the whole sand pile.

Based on Stratfor’s observations and my analysis, it appears that the world is approaching a critical state today, which will feature Bak-style “avalanches”. The question is: How big will they be?

According to Stratfor, the current generational shift since 2008 features the following:

The European Union has stopped functioning as it did five years ago and has yet to see its new form defined. China has moved into a difficult social and economic phase, with the global recession severely affecting its export-oriented economy and its products increasingly uncompetitive due to inflation. The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq has created opportunities for an Iranian assertion of power that could change the balance of power in the region. The simultaneous shifts in Europe, China and the Middle East open the door to a new international framework …

During the world’s most recent critical state (in the 1960s), the Cuban Missile Crisis prsented an existential crisis for the U.S and U.S.S.R. that, fortunately, was rapidly resolved. In the language of self-organized criticality, a major nuclear exchange between the US and USSR in 1962 would have brutally terminated the 1960s critical state (i.e., leveled Bak’s sand pile) seven years before the first manned landing on the Moon actually occurred.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was not the first existential threat to the US during the approach to a critical state. Prior to 1803 when Jefferson finally secured the Louisiana Purchase, it was widely believed that Napoleon had his eye on a North American empire.

Stratfor observes that this generational shift is still associated with much uncertainty.

The 2012 forecast is unique in that it is not a forecast for one year in a succession of years, all basically framed by the same realities. Rather, it is a year in which the individual forecasts point to a new generational reality and a redefinition of how the world works.

Although potential conflicts involving countries like North Korea and Iran present very dangerous threats during the approaching critical state, the good news is that — over the last 200+ years — each critical state has triggered major economic booms and an ebullient population that have enabled monumental macro-engineering projects and great explorations like Apollo.

There’s every reason to expect this multi-century pattern will persist.

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Dec 28 2011

Newton, Jupiter, and the 2012 Prophecies

Last month the Los Angeles Times (J. Rubenstein; 11/6/11) was cackling about the fact that doomsday just never seems to come. You’d think — given the alternative — they’d be celebrating.

In 1974, The Jupiter Effect never let bad science get in the way of an exciting story.

Rubenstein, a MacArthur Fellow and history professor, for some reason delights in picking on Harold Camping, the rather dull Christian radio personality. Camping’s doomsday forecast for October 21 didn’t materialize — surprise !! surprise !! — so Rubenstein launches into a even duller lecture.

Doesn’t it say somewhere that Jesus will come “when you do not expect him…” (Luke 12:39-40 (NIV)), “like a thief in the night…” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 (NIV)). So why get so excited about a guy like Camping who can’t possibly be right about a specific time based on his own rules (i.e. the Bible)?

Rubenstein also mentions the formerly celebrated “Jupiter Effect” of 1974. Although Camping was presumably talking about the actual, biblical end of days, the Jupiter guys were just expecting a big earthquake near Los Angeles in 1982 — which didn’t occur.

The author of The Jupiter Effect was astronomer John Gribbin who since then has written a number of good scientific books. His latest is Alone in the Universe — Why Our Planet is Unique, which I’ll comment on soon. Expanding popular interest in Earth-like planets, extraterrestrial beings, and UFOs is a signal that we’re approaching the next Maslow Window.

After the Jupiter Effect, Rubenstein does mention the end-time prophecies associated with the Mayan calendar in 2012 — which the professional astronomers do not support — and even the 11th century Crusades (!), however he leaves out one of the most interesting forecasts.

One of the greatest scientists of all time — Isaac Newton (1642-1727) — whose transformative insights into classical mechanics, gravitation, mathematics, and optics set us on the road to modern science, was also very interested in Bible prophecy. And unlike Copernicus, who finally published his Sun-centered theory just before his death in 1543, Newton decided to keep his controversial biblical calculations secret until after his death.

After decades of study, Newton calculated that our current world would end in 2060 when Christ would return to establish his new kingdom. According to an authority on Newton, Stephen D. Snobelen:

The year 800 is a significant one in history, as it is the year Charlemagne was crowned emperor of Rome in the west by Pope Leo III at St. Peter’s in Rome. Since Newton believed that the 1260 years corresponded to the duration of the corruption of the Church, he added 1260 to 800 A.D. and arrived at the date 2060 for the “fall of Babylon” or cessation of the apostate Church.

For more details click Here.

Without necessarily buying into Newton’s chronology, it is interesting that 2060 — Newton’s date for the Battle of Armageddon — is about one decade before the projected culmination of the second Maslow Window of the 21st century; i.e., 2060 is similar to 1960 (early in the Apollo Maslow Window), just 2 years before the Cuban Missile Crisis almost started WW III.

Best-selling author David Flynn has suggested that 2013 is a more likely date than Newton’s 2060 “based on the founding of Rome and the methodology of Daniel’s prophecy.”

While does not know when the current world will end, both dates — Newton’s 2060 and Flynn’s 2013 — are similar in terms of long wave timing; i.e., both dates occur at the beginning of projected Maslow Windows, including the late 21st century Window (around 2060) and the next Maslow Window near mid-decade. Over the last 200+ years, these are times when significant wars or major conflicts — including the Cuban Missile Crisis — have occurred as the world approached a self-organized critical state. Both times would be consistent with a major Armageddon-style battle of biblical proportions.

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Mar 28 2011

Facebook-Aided Arab Uprisings & Their Historical Parallels Signal a Transformative Future

The New York Times (3/27/11) features an opinion piece by British historian and writer Simon Sebag Montefiore on current Arab uprisings and their historical precedents. Although all revolutions have differences because they are “local”, he emphasizes that historical parallels can offer us “clues to the future.”

British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore sees current Arab uprisings as reminiscent of the watershed European revolutions of 1848.
See has previously identified the decade just prior to (or early during) Maslow Windows, over the last 200+ years, to be dangerous times of international conflicts, wars, and upheavals. The classic example is the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis early in the Apollo Maslow Window that could have led to a major nuclear exchange. Indeed, recent conflicts with North Korea and Iran suggest that the world system is approaching a “critical state.”
See: Near-Term Wars Threaten the New Space Age.

The question is: Do the Arab uprisings of today — and their historical parallels — support that pattern?

According to Montefiore, there is something to be said for spontaneity.

Leaderless revolutions without organization have a magically spontaneous momentum that is harder to crush … This time, headless spontaneity has been aided by Facebook, which certainly accelerates the mobilization of crowds — and the transmission of Western culture…

Montefiore believes that for today’s Arab uprisings, “technology’s effect is exaggerated…” For example, in the stunning European revolutions of 1848,

uprisings spread from Sicily to Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Budapest in mere weeks without telephones, let alone Twitter. They spread through the exuberance of momentum and the rigid isolation of repressive rulers.

As Montefiore surveys uprisings over the last 200 years, the revolution of 1848 is

the revolution that most resembles today’s.

Like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the watershed European revolutions of 1848, began early in their Maslow Window, suggesting both were influenced by the ebullience of the approaching critical state. Although the United States was not directly involved, it was certainly affected by this mid-19th century zeitgeist. Indeed, against all odds, a smaller-than-life man — President James A. Polk — achieved the impossible by “engineering the triumph of Manifest Destiny” (NY Times) in only 4 short years.
See: “How the West Was Won — The Expansionist Effects of Ebullience”.

Interestingly, Dr. Lawrence Beale — a 77-year old African American, retired pastor, college counselor, and college administrator — sees parallels between current Arab uprisings and the U.S. civil rights movement during the last Maslow Window.

The Middle East and North Africa seems to be taking a page from the history of the civil rights movement in America during the 1950s and 1960s when black Americans demonstrated in the streets to gain the freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

At least some of the freedom-fighters are directly inspired by U.S. history. According to Dr. Beale,

Middle Easterners, North Africans, and now Chinese have taken to the streets in largely peaceful demonstrations crying out for human rights—the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On CBN Tuesday, a woman was asked by a reporter, “What do you want.” She responded, “We want freedom.” When she was pressed by the reporter about what she meant, she cited one part of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but could not remember the rest. So she concluded, “We have been taught that freedom is not a right.” But she continued to insist that she wanted freedom.

Dr. Beale concludes that, “Like the civil rights movement, the demonstrators are unsettling their nations.”

Maslow Windows are identified by economic, technological, and political patterns over the last 200+ years. Parallels between the European revolutions of 1848 and the current Arab uprisings — as identified by historian Montefiore — and parallels between the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s and current Arab uprisings — as identified by Dr. Beale — support’s expectation that similar civilization-altering events are likely to occur just prior to or early in Maslow Windows of the future.

Therefore, the current Arab uprisings offer further empirical support for the arrival of another 1960s-style transformative decade — including an Apollo-style, international Space Age — by 2015.

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Feb 12 2011

The Cold War-style Arms Race in Asia and the New Space Age

As the U.S. downsizes its defense budget, many countries — from the Arabian Sea to the Pacific ocean — feel the need to respond to China’s surging economy and its expanding high-tech military.

According to today’s Wall Street Journal (2/12/11),

Together these efforts amount to a simultaneous buildup of advanced weaponry in the Asian-Pacific region on a scale and at a speed not seen since the Cold War arms race between America and the Soviet Union.

The Cold War arms race led directly to the first Space Race. Here John Glenn ascends to orbit in 1962 on a modified Atlas missile.

The U.S.-Soviet Cold War arms race got into high gear in ~1950 when the USSR obtained the atomic bomb. U.S. developments included the H-bomb, intercontinetal bombers under the Strategic Air Command, and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) for delivery of nuclear warheads.

The 1960s Space Race was a direct outgrowth of the Cold War arms race. Early modified ICBMs were used to launch satellites and even humans into space; for example, the first American (John Glenn) was launched into orbit in 1962 on a General Dynamics Atlas missile.

According to William E. Burrows (1999) ,

The cold war would become the great engine, the supreme catalyst, that sent rockets and their cargoes far above Earth and worlds away.

The current Asia-Pacific arms race is reminiscent of the 1950s Cold War U.S.-Soviet arms race that triggered the first Space Race to the Moon. The fact that it’s occurring now among China and other vibrant asian economies — one long business cycle after the original Space Race — suggests the stage is being set for a new Space Age by 2015. By then the U.S. economy should also be booming.

The current asian arms race is a serious development. An Australian report notes that the “scale, pattern, and speed…” of the Chinese military buildup is “dead serious stuff” not experienced since WW II.

It is potentially the most demanding security situation faced since the Second World War … (and) is altering security in the Western Pacific.

In its “New Military Strategy” report released last Tuesday, the Pentagon sees connections between China’s growing military and its aspirations in space and elsewhere,

We remain concerned about the extent and strategic intent of China’s military modernization, and its assertiveness in space, cyberspace, in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and the South China Sea.

Although China’s impressive military buildup has triggered the current Cold War-style arms race in asia, it does not necessarily imply that we are headed for a 1960’s-style Space Race. Indeed, China’s near-term economic challenges and the possibility of liberal political reforms may lead instead to a Grand Alliance for Space.

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