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How Technology Promotes World Peace

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the everybody's-too-busy-browsing-lolcats-to-fight dept.

China 152

Hugh Pickens writes "Ayesha & Parag Khanna write in the Atlantic that there are many important differences between the U.S.-China relationship of today and the U.S.-Soviet relationship before the outbreak of the Cold War. One is that the U.S. and China are deeply intertwined through geo-economic interdependence, and the rapid and global diffusion of technology is accelerating these changes. 'As the global economy has become more integrated, states have greater interest in cooperating and less interest in conflict, which can lead to a kind of mutually assured economic destruction,' write the Khanna. 'If military power is inherently competitive — the stronger your army and the weaker your neighbor's, the more powerful you become — then economic power is more cooperative. After all, much of America's power today is economic, but that power would decrease if China's economy collapses.' This economic inter-dependence, the theory goes, promotes peace, but technological power is also cooperative in this way, perhaps even more so. For example, medical research crosses borders, as do the pharmaceuticals or treatments that research can produce. China can increase its power by developing better solar panels — perhaps in part by building on foreign technologies — then turn around and sell them to other high-energy-consuming states, making us all better off. Like economics, technology doesn't just increase cooperation, it is the cooperation. 'The increasingly integrated global system is shaping the states within it, much as individual powers shape the system. The question is thus not who controls technology, but the way in which we develop, guide, and control it collectively.'"

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152 comments

The drones are your friends in the sky (3, Interesting)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303049)

We just need to watch everyone....for peace

Technologies are only delaying the real thing (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303213)

I am not a luddite, but I still gotta say this ...

The technologies that we have today have given us a lot of good things

It has made our lives "better", in the sense that a lot of diseases that previously can kill us, nowadays are not that lethal anymore

But, the consequence is that the world human population has exploded

20 years ago, there were less than 5 Billion people

Now, 7 Billion people, and, as we speak, the figure keeps going up and up

Our planet simply can't support it

Either we human completely depleted the planet and we die off - and in the process a lot of other plants and animals wiped off as well,

Or ...

There will be another full scale global war, that ends up cutting down the human population to more manageable size

In other words, the "world peace" that we have today is but only an illusion - our technologies are delaying the what will have to come, ultimately
 

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303343)

"Our planet simply can't support it"

I call bullshit.

How much land in the United States alone is sparsely populated and in fact owned by the Federal Government? Do your own research, don't believe me. Go on genius, I dare you!

"We can't do this, we can't do that" Want some crab with your whine?

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (2, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303623)

"Our planet simply can't support it"

I call bullshit.

How much land in the United States alone is sparsely populated and in fact owned by the Federal Government? Do your own research, don't believe me. Go on genius, I dare you!

What exactly do you want, AC?

You want to cut down all the trees ?

You want to turn all those "sparsely populated land" into densely populated and highly polluted cities ?

And you want to dare me ?

LOL !!
 

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303835)

"You want to cut down all the trees ?"

Please indicate where advocated that.

You made the ridiculous assertion that we cannot support given population growth. YOU provide evidence.

Otherwise admit you are a reactionary fool making unfounded assertions.

And I repeat: "How much land in the United States alone is sparsely populated and in fact owned by the Federal Government? Do your own research, don't believe me. Go on genius, I dare you!"

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305129)

Without doing any research, but merely with basic logic, I can deduce that even were the government to hollow out the earth and use the insides to support as many people as can fit, infinite growth would not be sustainable.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303675)

And the world population, while increasing, is doing so at a rapidly DECREASING pace. The idea of overpopulation is a 20th century relic. Birth rates are decreasing and world population should level off by 2050. In most western countries birth rates are below replacement rate. Sustainability is important, but the worry that human kind will expand on planet earth until it hits disaster just isn't going to happen unless demographics change dramatically.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303845)

This is another fascinating process. Over population is a reaction to high mortality rates among newborns and a population that has a

The race is at a very interesting place, balanced on a knifes edge, loaded down with all kinds of primitive primate behavior, self obsessed, greedy, tribal, Machiavellian behavior and something else is emerging. Global, collaborative, inclusive, given by collective community, fundamentally transformational. What a fascinating time to be alive. I'm not certain we're going to make it, but I hope we do. We are amazing monkeys and if we don't screw the planet up too bad there are some other really fascinating critters that may eventually join us among the stars (super intelligent animals include, birds, pigs, primates, cephalopods, possibly canines.)

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303465)

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

Gamer_2k4 (1030634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303529)

Oh, it's the technology powerhouses that are the sources of the population boom? I thought it was lesser developed countries like China and India.

My mistake.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303661)

You have a problem with reading comprehension?

I never said anything about "technology powerhouse" that is overpopulated

I said, it's technology that have rendered many diseases that previously killed a lot of human being no longer so lethal, and as a consequence, many human beings everywhere (not only those from the super powerhouse) get to live longer
 

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303977)

You are proposing that as new technologies are developed, population increases. But the most technically advanced countries tend to have the lowest birthrates. So your conclusion about the likelihood of a society ending calamity resulting from overpopulation brought on by advancements in technology is almost certainly wrong.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304731)

And our impact on the environment per person is generally diminished by technology. For instance a wood fired steam engine is probably less environmentally sound than an electric scooter.

We're at that super awkward point where our usage of resources is higher than the inefficiencies being reduced. But I suspect we're nearing the peak of energy usage per-person.

Imagine 10 years ago what it took to power a computer. Now many people use a lightweight tablet. My old CRT tv would heat my apartment to the boiling point of water. Now my giant LCD puts out a little bit of heat but nothing comparable. OLED is incredibly efficient.

Eventually Matrix-like experiences will save tons of fuel on commuting to work or traveling to see relatives. Just meet online.

Solar Cells are decreasing in price and increasing in efficiency. With super cheap and emission free electricity we can build large 3 dimensional hydroponic farms in dense urban environments and grow 24/7 like a pot house but without the $5,000 electricity bill.

Carbon fiber and nano-tube derived packaging doesn't need petroleum--carbon and graphene is abundant and renewable--it can be pulled out of the atmosphere.

Automated machinery will simplify and reduce the cost of building up and down. We will be able to afford to put more underground and build taller buildings with material research and robotics. Suddenly building a 300 story sky scraper gets affordable and we can all just live in one place. Materials like aerogel if they can reduce in price will make cooling and heating less expensive--and improved sound insulation will reduce the inconvenience of living in close proximity.

Technology is causing a lot of problems--but it's also going to provide a lot of solutions. The worst thing we could do is go half-assed and return to an 18th century technological standpoint but our current population.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305015)

carbon and graphene is abundant and renewable--it can be pulled out of the atmosphere.

You realize that we currently put an awful lot of carbon *into* the atmosphere, because it provides a ridiculous amount of energy to do so, and it costs an equal amount of energy to remove it?

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305675)

Trees and grass grown for free.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305727)

You do realize I mentioned that we're moving towards an economy in the not terribly distant future where we can harvest solar energy and maybe even Fusion energy which provide ridiculous amounts of energy at potentially low prices?

We could also grow industrial help and other fast growing biomass in stacked solar powered grow-houses. Then burn it in solar-powered furnaces and presto, cheap carbon in exchange for oxygen.

We don't have an energy problem, we have an economical energy harvesting problem. Crack that nut and a lot of things that are currently too expensive come into play that can dramatically alter our economy and society. Our energy usage today is analogous to bandwidth in the 80s, rationed and extremely limited.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305661)

Birthrate does not equal population increase.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303685)

Now, 7 Billion people, and, as we speak, the figure keeps going up and up

Actually we've reached "peak child", so the remaining population growth will now just be the fill-up of old people. This is explained very well here [youtube.com] , if we can sustain 10 billion we're good.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303821)

With current agriculture technologies, the Earth can provide sustenance for 20 billion people.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304997)

You mean, as long as we don't mind eating pesticide-infused GMO crops, foregoing beef, and hoping that fisheries magically don't collapse?

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303887)

Or...
We need to embrace energy sources other than the Sun.
Or...
Figure out a way to more effectively use the Sun's energy.
In other words, the amount of resources the earth has is irrelevant if we can engineer a way around them.

Not true. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303929)

As populations become urbanized, the birth rate falls. No global catastrophe is necessary.

Re:Not true. (1)

HForN (1095499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304021)

The problem is whether it will happen fast enough. If it takes 100 years to fall to sustainable levels, we may have irreversible damage.

Re:Not true. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304423)

The problem is whether it will happen fast enough. If it takes 100 years to fall to sustainable levels, we may have irreversible damage.

Once birthrates begin to fall, they often fall very quickly. A generation ago countries like Italy and Spain had among the highest birthrates in Europe. Now they have among the lowest, way below replacement levels.

Birthrates are often high in countries with "traditional" values, where women have relatively low status. But once those women have access to contraception they have little desire to continue popping out babies for husbands who do little to help.

"Birthrates are often high... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305075)

in countries with "traditional" values, where women have relatively low status. But once those women have access to contraception they have little desire to continue popping out babies for husbands who do little to help."

Hallmarks of these societies include misogyny, fear of educated and independent women, and an aversion to education and critical thought in general. The pessimists among us might say this guarantees such societies will out-reproduce all others, leading inevitably to the irreversible damage the GP fears.

Re:Not true. (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304339)

As populations become urbanized, the birth rate falls. No global catastrophe is necessary.

Yes, urbanization is a big help. So is literacy. Illiterate women in Sierra Leone have five kids each. Literate women have three.

I once read that if every dollar spent on solar panels was instead spent on attic insulation it would reduce CO2 by ten times as much, and if was spent on elementary schools in Africa, it would reduce CO2 by a hundred times as much.

Re:Not true. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305253)

As populations become urbanized, they also take more resources (various forms of energy: oil, electricity etc) to support. To the best of my knowledge, we don't have sufficient resources to maintain a universal standard of living that is equivalent to that of an average urban First World resident.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303933)

(Posting anon due to moderating.)

Oh, technologies will support world peace allright:

1: Better prisons which ensure escape is impossible. Even if it is just a transponder device that would blow up a prisoner Running Man style if they left a geofenced area.

2: 24/7/365.25 surveillance on a populace. Look at iOS 6 monitoring your phone's location all the time to give "anonymized" data for traffic and such. Great tool for a tyrant.

3: Real time data mining. It is easy to find a would-be firebrand and make them disappear (if in a third world country), or make them wind up in prison for life due to marijuana possession (if in the US.)

4: No way to escape the past. Just passing by a building can show the owner of a store you, your credit rating, your political affliations, your criminal record, your race, who has banned you, etc.

5: A permanent record anyone can see. Remember when we were kids and we feared some act being on our "permanent record" so we behaved? Virtually everything ends up on that. The EU is a toothless hag when it comes to data privacy, and no other country cares enough, so data is retained forever on individuals.

6: You can be locked down with a couple keystrokes. GM car? It can be stopped in its tracks. Airport? One can be added, and have to deal with a Kafka-esque trial to get off, if one ever can.

7: Ease of bumping someone off. Find their position with their phone, send a drone, fire a missile. This in areas where #3 doesn't work.

8: Ease of breaking into one's house. Lockpicks are more sophisticated. The average lock in the US still is bumpable, and it takes importing locks from Finland or Europe to find ones that are not easily opened using these techniques. Picked lock == no evidence that a jury cares about.

9: Ease of turning someone into a persona non-grata. Websites have little to no security in general, so it would be trivial to hack someone's login in order to post stuff to discredit them.

So, in conclusion, we are getting world peace... by the barrel of a high tech gun.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (1)

mrex (25183) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304045)

There is an alternative. As a species, if we treated all this labor, resource, and knowledge "capital" as an investment opportunity, we could direct our efforts towards goals like outward colonization. The benefits to this path would be enormous - it could be possible to forever stave off the possibility of human extinction in the event of planetary-scale disaster or even nefarious human intent, by extending the presence of human life beyond the reach of any single person or collective who might wish to harm them.

It would require an enormous combined effort, the modern equivalent of the ancients constructing their giant pyramids. Unfortunately, this sort of solution appears to require a level of organization/cooperation/functionality/sanity that our species presently lacks and is seemingly not on the cusp of developing.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (4, Interesting)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304579)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Tertullian, an early Christian author (ca. CE 160-220), was one of the first to describe famine and war as factors that can prevent overpopulation.[5] He wrote: "The strongest witness is the vast population of the earth to which we are a burden and she scarcely can provide for our needs; as our demands grow greater, our complaints against Nature's inadequacy are heard by all. The scourges of pestilence, famine, wars and earthquakes have come to be regarded as a blessing to overcrowded nations, since they serve to prune away the luxuriant growth of the human race.

Knowledge and technological advance keep solving and bringing back this age old problem. I wonder if we bent all of Earth's resources to our needs how much of the biomass of the Earth could be comprised of human beings.

+1 informative (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305091)

Wish I had mod points for you, this is both interesting and informative.

Re:Technologies are only delaying the real thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305407)

The geometric growth rate of the human population is NOT a consequence of technology. Most populations, left unchecked either by predation or environmental or conscious limitation, increase geometrically til they've exhausted some crucial resource, then they crash.

Humans are just now coming on the realization that they are no different in this regard, and it's about time. Malthus was a little ahead of his time, and Lovelock and Margulis succeeded in describing the dynamics of global living systems in ways that integrated geophysics, biology and climatology.

Now, if we have enough time and the will to work our way through the probable legacy that geopolitical competitive nation states, blind adherence to Abrahamic prophetic religious traditions and western industrial economic ideologies, we might just avoid a global catastrophe and work our way toward a steady-state, global, post-fossil fuel, reduced population of humans. But if we don't learn the lessons of Jeremy Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution [wikipedia.org] and The Limits to Growth: the 30 Year Update [wikipedia.org] , no one's grandchildren are going to look back on their ancestors with anything but disgust for our failure to right the wrongs of excessive consumption at the expense of our near perfect little blue harbor in space.

Re:The drones are your friends in the sky (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303863)

I think it has been like that for a long time. In it's day, the Colt Peacemaker was supposed to be a technological improvement. Kind of love that name Peacemaker....

Technology (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303107)

Technology wrecks the environment, increases income disparity, starts wars, favors white people, causes depression, makes people fat, destroys the soul and lowers sperm count. You're supposed to in a yurt eating radishes you grew yourself you war-like, low-sperm-count crackers.

You know, you're right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303173)

Before technology, we all lived in caves in fear of animals eating us and our families. Good thing the average lifespan was so short, that stress will kill ya! I say we dump this technology and move back to the caves.

Re:Technology (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303251)

No. People do all that, and pretty much always have. It just turns out that we're big on tools and keep making them better.

Maybe the headline should've been something more like, "material interdependence and frequent interaction with different people makes them less alien, and the more you do each, you're proportionately disinclined to murder members of their tribe."

Or something like that... I am not a sociologist.

Re:Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303399)

Did you post this superbly composed missive with a pencil or two tin cans and some string? Idiot.

Hypocrite much?

I spy with my corporate eye... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303113)

So were does state sponsored corporate espionage fit into this "peace"? The goal of "I'm stronger, you're weaker" is still present.

Re:I spy with my corporate eye... (1)

S77IM (1371931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303589)

They're mostly talking about peace between nation-states; not the internal workings of the states themselves, which can still be as tyrannical and oppressive as ever.

  -- 77IM

Re:I spy with my corporate eye... (1)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303879)

Technological and economic interdependence, in the presence of good faith, promotes peace.

But human wickedness, the desire to be worshipped, to be self-completing, completely undoes all good faith.

Since the authors compare economic interdependence to technological interdependence, so shall I.

Economic interdependence in the presence of normal, mundane, human wickedness, caused world war2, and helped Roosevelt to push Japan to attack the United States. Economic interdependence helped cause the pograms and the Holocaust.

I expect no less from technological interdependence.

Anyone here ever hear of the RIAA? Kim Dotcom? So much for world peace.

Re:I spy with my corporate eye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304503)

Wtf are you talking about? Are you some sort of stuntes little garden gnome creature that believes that sort of crap for real or just trolling to amuse those of us who are not chemically altered and deppressive?

Pft... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303167)

Technology doesn't promote world peace, that's a side effect. Free trade promotes world peace. It's that trade of goods, information and ideas that makes people respect and want to know someone else. Though societies that don't have anything to export are generally pretty good importers of said culture, throwing the "fear of god" into said places.

Re:Pft... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303293)

Free trade promotes world peace.

Bullshit. If I really wanted what you had, I'd take it. Or at least threaten to take it.

And that's where nuclear weapons come in.

Nuclear weapons promote world peace: a world peace in which most of the world plays America's game, and the rest get bombed from time to time.

Re:Pft... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303447)

"Nuclear weapons promote world peace: a world peace in which most of the world plays America's game, and the rest get bombed from time to time."

Works for me.

And who would you rather dictate the terms of world peace I ask?

Any other questions?

Re:Pft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303663)

Ohh I see I got a -1, but the coward refuses to answer the pertinent question.

"And who would you rather dictate the terms of world peace I ask?"

Don't worry, I could give a poop what you morons think.

Re:Pft... (3, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303365)

Technology doesn't promote world peace, that's a side effect. Free trade promotes world peace. It's that trade of goods, information and ideas that makes people respect and want to know someone else. Though societies that don't have anything to export are generally pretty good importers of said culture, throwing the "fear of god" into said places.

I agree with you with one caveat:

Taking government subsidies for domestic industries such as agriculture into consideration, what many people refer to now as 'free trade' in bi-lateral and regional trade agreements isn't even close to 'free trade,' as in trade unencumbered by restriction.

Re:Pft... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304957)

It's free trade in goods, not people. That's the reason agriculture, and renewable energy, are subsidized.

Re:Pft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304099)

"Free trade promotes world peace."

That's what they said during the First Great Age of Free Trade, which began in the 19th century. Despite the usual conceit that we live in a unique era, levels of trade and economic integration were as high then as they are now. The whole thing ended in 1914 with an event known as World War I. Time for another theory.

If you ... (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303243)

... cooperate with me and buy my technology or pay me rent for access to my markets with your technology, there will be peace.

If you expect me to cooperate with you, or you expect free access to my walled garden (a.k.a. the US marketplace) on your terms, there will be war.

Re:If you ... (5, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303811)

Sorry, doesn't work like that anymore.

US is waging war with states they don't care about, economically: Afghanistan, Iraq. They would happily go after North Korea and most North African states are free game too. They're not getting anything vital out of there.

China is another matter. Imagine the US waging war against China: that would lead to total destruction. First all consumers would complain that they would not be able to buy clothes, DVD players, and many other manufactured goods, as the supply from China would stop and the US doesn't have their own manufacturing anymore. Soon after the US military would come to a grinding halt due to the lack of supply of spare parts for their weapons systems, parts that are also more and more made in China.

The US is at least as dependent on Chinese manufacturers as the Chinese manufacturers are dependent on US buyers. They can't survive without one another. China may even have the best chance of survival in such a war scenario, because at least they can produce the goods they need themselves...

Re:If you ... (4, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303931)

I'm sorry but the wall fell in 1980. While Reagan was yelling for Mr. Gorbachev to tear down his wall, American business was ripping down ours so they could take their collective shows on the road and exploit all that cheap labor, resource and markets in the developing world. Over the next 30 years the American Corporations became truly global, no longer owing allegiance or even interest to the well being of the U.S. and as such have since been sucking off the overflow as the American economy implodes in a global economic free fall.

There has perhaps been some recent back peddling trying to reestablish some barrier to preserve what little is left, but its too little too late, and at this point its probably just as well the American worker is now economically on a par with those in the third world. It means soon work will be coming back to the United States (in fact its already begun.) So the walled garden of which you speak only exists in a couple specific technologies, and pretty much the rest of it is a distant historical condition enjoyed by Americans who are long retired or dead.

Re:If you ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304073)

Odd that you say that. China is more walled today to western imports, while America is the worlds largest importers from all over the world.
And yet, ppl like yourself ignore the facts and scream that it is America that has the walled garden.
Just amazing. Totally ignorant and devoid of facts, but still amazing.

Re:If you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304403)

What's your definition of "western"? Every time i read the business section of a Canadian newspaper, they talk about increasing trade with China, here's a quote from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

According to a recent study by the Fraser Institute (see reference), China replaced Japan as Canada's third-largest export market in 2007, with CA$9.3 billion flowing into China in 2007. Between 1998 and 2007, exports to China grew by 272 percent, but only represented about 1.1 percent of China's total imports. In 2007, Canadian imports of Chinese products totaled C$38.3 billion.

So tell me, are you sure you're not equating "western" with America? Are you sure you're not yet another American who gets psychotically defensive every time someone criticises their country? Are you sure you know who the real ignorant is here?

Re:If you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304739)

If you would take the time to compare the import quotas for the two countries, even after adjusting for gdp and per capita differences, you'd find that China is still far more closed and restrictive. And on the issue of psychotic defensiveness while being criticized, pro-government Chinese pundits and their fellow 50 cent party members really take the cake. I'm surprised you're so unaware of this. Not the person you replied to btw.

Re:If you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305047)

So... you say that because one country is allegedly even more defensive than you, you're not psychotic about it? Riiiiight. You Americans really need to take a big step back and look at yourselves.

And I can't figure out what "two countries" you're talking about. Windbourne made a baseless accusation that China has closed its imports to Western countries. I've countered that with pure facts. Do you have a counter to the same subject, or you're just keeping up with the American propaganda that China is Evil!! and America is The Awesomest Bestest?

medical research crosses borders - feh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303281)

"perhaps in part by building on foreign technologies — then turn around and sell them to other high-energy-consuming states, making us all better off."

Umm, you mean stealing western technology, arrived at by great expense, violating patent and other laws and then turning around and profiting on substandard products to unsuspecting customers?

Like the poison in god food? Like childrens toys loaded with lead paint?

Good grief what a joke of an article.

Do not fool yourself, the Chinese state is in a war with the west and economic battle if just one of many.

Wake up people.

Re:medical research crosses borders - feh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303319)

"god food"

DOG food. Google it peeps.

Re:medical research crosses borders - feh (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303953)

How do you describe in one sentence an agnostic, insomniac, dyslexic?

Its someone who stays up late at night wondering if there is a Dog!!!

Re:medical research crosses borders - feh (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304389)

Oh yes, "stealing" non existent property. I forgot about how everything was built independent from each other and technologies never build on one another. Like how if I want to, say, build a computer I need to create an electricity delivery system, re-invent a real-time clock, research the properties of electricity myself, etc.

Technology builds on the existing technology. Literature builds on existing literature. Music builds on existing music. Culture builds on culture. Etc.

Trade benefits both parties, I for one am glad that China has given us a much higher standard of living by reducing regulations allowing for cheaper products for me to buy to improve my standard of living.

There, fixed it for you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303291)

China can increase its power by developing better solar panels -- perhaps in part by stealing foreign technologies -- then turn around and sell them to other high-energy-consuming states, making themselves better off.

Sounds like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303301)

the horseshit theory that no two countries with a McDonald's ever fought. Which was proven wrong in short order.

Re:Sounds like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303903)

That was before McDonalds moved to a health-conscious menu.; ->

We've heard this before (1)

imikem (767509) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303339)

I can't be bothered to look up the reference right now, but shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, a book was published with the same thesis. That didn't quite work out.

Re:We've heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304547)

The Great Illusion by Norman Angell

Trade promotes Peace (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303367)

Since the rich run all countries as long as trade exists there is plenty of profit to be made through trade. It's when trading stops or the "wrong" people are given contracts that the trouble begins. Once trade stops war becomes profitable as a resource grab.

Sounds like Pre-WW1 Talk (4, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303397)

I remember reading speculation from dawn of the 20th century, that claimed the expanding global economy made wars between major powers unlikely (sorry, no citation). It was wrong then, and it is probably wrong now. Nucular bombs have done far more to promote world peace than economic inter-dependence.

We have lived almost an entire century where resources were so abundant that major powers simply didn't need to fight each other. We will see what happens once these resources (oil, water, etc) start to dry up.

Re:Sounds like Pre-WW1 Talk (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303577)

"Nucular bombs have done far more to promote world peace than economic inter-dependence."

Well said.

The end result of war is... wait for it... peace.

Our goal should be that of the winner. Unless you are a statist of course.

Re:Sounds like Pre-WW1 Talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304077)

Nucular bombs have done far more to promote world peace than economic inter-dependence.

The claim that nuclear bombs promote peace may be just as wrong as the claim that globalization promotes peace.

The only difference is that for the nuclear bomb claim, in the universes where the claim has been falsified by reality, there isn't anyone left to notice that the claim has been falsified.

Re:Sounds like Pre-WW1 Talk (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304527)

Free trade does make wars more unlikely, but war creates war and the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century has plenty of wars from the Franco-Prussian war to the wars in the Balkans. The powers in Europe had no trust towards each other which led to an arms race which then exploded with violence.

Nuclear bombs have done very little to ensure "world peace" first off it is only by the disobeying of direct orders by heroic USSR and US soldiers that a nuclear war was averted. It was only by pure fortune that the world wasn't destroyed by nuclear weapons.

If you look at the cold war, it was hardly a time of "world peace" unless you were one of the lucky few to live in the US and USSR and managed to avoid being dragged into slavery by the draft into one of the many unnecessary wars (Korea, Vietnam, etc.). For the citizens of the rest of the world it sure wasn't peaceful because both the USSR and USA enjoyed undermining legitimate (if you can call any government legitimate) leaders with their own "communist" or "capitalist" allies.

We live in an era where resources, while scarce, can be better tapped or simply replaced. Ocean water can be desalinated. If oil ever truly becomes scarce, solar, wind, nuclear, etc. power will take over. The thing is, today there is little reason to go "green". Oil is cheap, especially when priced in just about every commodity other than fiat currencies, if you look at how much gas costs per gallon in pre-1964 silver coins, it's about the same as gas was back in the 1960s, inflation just has distorted the prices.

The Proud Tower (5, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303443)

The same type of arguments circulated before WWI. Surely, in a modern, globalized world where German and English bankers could both own shares in Argentinian railroads, and where British citizens bought German paints and medicines, and Germans bought licences for British patented manufacturing, war could never break out.

Comments, A_Lee [theatlantic.com]

Re:The Proud Tower (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304231)

I think I know the reason:
economic interdependence is the real world equivalent of spaghetti code, or lack of proper modularization in code. One change here, breaks down stuff that shouldn't be even related.
Code and economies which focus on modularity, locality, are more resilient. Why do we want less resilient economies? where a flood in thailand makes hard drives places skyrocket on the other end of the word?
Economy of scale, is the excuse. Nope, it works only when the cost of shipping stuff around is low, and there are no barriers. Artificial barriers, even. Those kind of barriers people used to protect local interests in the past (e.g. tolls), and that the rulers use to protect global interests now (e.g. patents on stupid ideas).
And nobody cares if the economy of scale makes a laptop cheaper, when you don't earn anything because your country shuts manufacturing down.,
The reality is that, just as spaghetti code, the fake globalism provides control. Those who operate at a global level can effect changes, all the rest is sheep. Oh but you vote for national governments? too bad, no government today, even if composed by saints, can do all he wants in its own territory.
Cue now the guys who say, "yes, the last persons who talked like this about plutocracy and autarchy wore svastikas and fasci".
I say "yes, and they led their country to ruin. But who financed the ascension to power of those great leaders? do your research, and if it matches mine maybe they were useful idiots, today's world was shaped IN REACTION to them, after all."

I don't say autarchy is always better. Exchange of ideas, goods, has always been beneficial. When there are two healthy and independent subjects. The problem starts when you depend so much from outside that your own existence is impossible otherwise. That is the moment when you become disposable, those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf.

Tech vs Consumption (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303503)

Seeing as a large number of recent wars are ostensibly to control resources (oil - sorry, 'freedom'), I'm wondering if tech will ever be able to mitigate this. With a number of environmental factors at play, tech has a soft deadline to fix things before we may be forced to fight over what's left.

Re:Tech vs Consumption (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304925)

We've been fighting over what's left since it first started spewing out of the ground.

Re:Tech vs Consumption (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305001)

True. But previously, we've had wars driven by competition to conveniently obtain resources, not having been forced by those finite resources reaching their limit.

Nuke (2)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303527)

It's the one tech that kept us and the commies from going head-to-head.

tell this BS to Germans and Russians (3, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303609)

Germany and Russia were major trading partners in the 19th and early 20th century.

In the late 1930s, Hitler and Stalin were allies, agreeing to carve up Poland, which they did in 1939.

In 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of people. The Eastern Front of World War Two was one of the primary atrocities that the human species has perpetrated upon itself and upon the planet Earth.

Please tell me again how their 'integrated economy' prevented war.

When the facts of measurable reality (in our case, history) disagree with your theory, your theory must be thrown out and disregarded. In every science people to understand this, but in History they so often ignore it for some bizarre socio-bio-emotional reason. People appear to be fascinated by theories, and don't really care about the data.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303683)

You skipped a step. Where Russia went communist and could barely feed itself. Very little trade after that.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305281)

By early 30s, USSR was trading a lot with other countries (sometimes even at the expense of its own citizens, like selling food during famines).

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303703)

Neither russia nor germany were interested in capitalism. Both were interested in spoils.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304027)

In fact Germany had been crippled by a hyper-inflationary blowout after the reparations levied upon them by the Allies of WWI, and the Russians were in an economic nightmare under the insanity of Stalin (I still don't understand how he isn't considered the greatest monster of the 20th century having killed 50,000,000 people... I guess as long as you're killing mostly your own people its not as bad.) Both countries were far less interested in training, than there were in seizing the land and wealth of neighboring countries.

So the observation though interesting holds little water. The conversation is regarding friendly trade and partners in economic collaboration. That also doesn't mean that if things get really dicey that you good old trading partner won't stick you on a spit and try to render you down for tallow.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305349)

Stalin is considered a monster by everyone except Stalinists. Hitler takes the cake because he actively tried to eliminate "inferior" races; Stalin, while brutal, didn't try to eliminate specific races. That said, the situation under Stalin was very, very complicated. Who knows if they wouldn't have lost WWII if they had a more human leader.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305403)

I still don't understand how he isn't considered the greatest monster of the 20th century having killed 50,000,000 people...

That would probably be because the country under his leadership had, effectively, won WW2 in the end (2/3 of all Axis casualties were on the Eastern Front). Victors get to write the history.

As a side note, 50 million is not a realistic figure. IIRC, it was first quoted as 47 million by Solzhenitsyn, with no real sources to speak of, and then widely distributed, and sometimes even further inflated in propaganda literature of dubious quality. Heck, even the "Black Book of Communism", which itself is not exactly an impartial scholarly source, quotes 20 million.

But it is not supported by demographic data from Soviet archives, unless you assume that Russians suddenly started to breed like rabbits just before Stalin's purges, and then just as suddenly stopped doing so. The more realistic figure would be somewhere around 1 million directly executed, and around 6-7 million if you include unaccounted victims as well as indirect ones due to famines induced by state policies. That figure is usually padded further by including the so-called "demographic losses" (i.e. counting the unborn children that people would have had if they didn't die, assuming average birth rates), which is how you arrive at 20 million quoted in BBoC.

Re:tell this BS to Germans and Russians (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304051)

What exactly is Communist Chinese gov. interested in? Capitalism? Really?

we should not leave the Germains unsupevised (1)

alinuxguruofyore (1117973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303889)

The US military presence in Germany and throughout the world is also a stabilizing force. European nations are not diverting financial resources to stand up their own armies and investing those savings to their economy. Also, the last time we left the Germans unsupervised, WW II began.

Compatible Economies (4, Insightful)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303667)

The primary difference between the US-Soviet pre-cold war relationship and the US-China is that in the first instance, we were forced together (fighting germany in WWII) and never really developed a trading relationship, where the current US-China relationship formed from common economic forces. If you look at the US-China relationship post WWII, and pre-Nixon, it might remind you a bit of the US-Soviet relationship. Or maybe even worse (supporting the KMT/taiwan/south-korea/south-vietnam) didn't really put us into China's good graces back then...

The turning point with china? Basically Mao's death in 1976 and US agreeing that taiwan was part of china in 1979. These have nothing to do with technology. The change in leadership and economic orientation made the economies more compatible (perhaps best summarized by the quote "I don't care if it's a black cat or a white cat, as long as it catches mice").

The turning point with Russia? Collapse of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin started things along, but of course Mr Putin's influence basically rendered their economy (apparently some wikileaked documents called it a virtual mafia state) incompatible with ours.

I think we technophiles hate to admit it, but events (even in the world of technology) often revolves more around people (e.g., rms, linus torvalds, bill gates, steve jobs, in the tech world etc) than any underlying technology.

Re:Compatible Economies (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305417)

The turning point with Russia? Collapse of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin started things along, but of course Mr Putin's influence basically rendered their economy (apparently some wikileaked documents called it a virtual mafia state) incompatible with ours.

Why would a "mafia state" be incompatible with American economy? It's still capitalist, after all. Sure, you get to pay the important people for "protection" in addition to taxes, but you can just consider it as yet another tax.

Re:Compatible Economies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305663)

Assuming you weren't just being snide for a moment, the problem with a mafia state isn't that you have to pay "protection", it's that if you have a significant enterprise, you are required to employ "family" in key roles who basically have a license to use your business to do their business or if they don't have any specific business to do, to steal you blind. Nobody wants to invest in that situation. If it were just protection money and all you had to do was employ family members as deadwood, there wouldn't be any incompatibility problems.

Trade promotes peace (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303763)

Trade benefits from peace and trust, but also helps build mutual trust and peaceful cooperation by way of incentives.
Because people can produce more stuff and more complex stuff by dividing the work, specializing and cooperating, trade tends to promote shared interests and cooperative dependencies.

Captain Obvious (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303843)

Everything said in that summary is so obvious I hope the authors were given a super hero medal for figuring it out.

People start wars (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40303857)

It's individuals that start wars, not countries. Sure you might think USA invaded Iraq, or Russian invaded Afganistan but there were a few people making the propaganda to make it happen, and behind those people even fewer people, and behind those one man.

Whenever you see a country war, it's the result of one man on one or other side that thinks they can win something in his own interests. Look at the Republicans, they follow Fox, Fox follows Roger Ailes. All the big money supports to GOP you see, they're as much a victim of Fox news propaganda as the rest, they genuinely believe they are doing good when they donate. Meanwhile Roger Ailes is the behind the scenes man pulling the strings there.

And it follows that it isn't the COUNTRIES economic interests that matter, its THAT INDIVIDUAL PERSON's interests that matter. So if it makes more sense to keep oil dominant, even though you import it at great expense, and if the individual has oil interests, then of course they will do that.

It's amusing people restrict themselves to $$$ (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303905)

It's amusing to watch "serious thinkers" labor under the seemingly self-imposed restriction that basically says "all important things come down to money.". Apparently , this is the only way to taken seriously in America today- do a "we' re all economically interdependent " jig ala Thomas Friedman -who turns out is wrong-o on, like, a regular basis:

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2009/03/friedmans-follies [vanityfair.com]

Look, one thing that unites us at least as much as money is porn. Porn porn porn. The porn the Navy seals found in bin Laden's son hard drive. It's non-trivial. The world view that women are fundamentally non-sexual or worse, a kind of livestock to be owned, collected, traded and bred, is not going to survive the Great Porn Onslaught coming from developed nations. You can't be exposed to image after image of two chicks fucking each other with gigantic purple gel dildos while one guy fucks one up the ass and the other administers a deep-throated, lipstick-perfect blowjob to a tanned and muscled Mr. 10 inches and continue to see the sight of a woman's bare ankle, or hair or uncovered mouth as a dangerously provocative sight.

And then there's the flood of pages questioning religion through everything from mockery to lists of holy book contradictions and ridiculous assertions to sane and sober dismemberment of core religious tenets .

As far as China goes, knowledge of what the West had started with TV and now is spreading into the areas of the intellectual, political and associational freedoms people in western nations enjoy. These are the things that change nations by changing people's perceptions, one person at a time, sitting alone in front of their computer, reading something forbidden, exhilarated at the ideas being encountered and idealizing what life might be like to live in a country where men and women were able to speak so freely.

Or whacking off to dirty Tumblr-after-dark pictures.

http://tumblr-afterdark.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

There ya go.

Peace through superior firepower (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303943)

The Romans also established peace via superior technology. The point of this article is ... ?

Boy, are these 2 idiots (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304031)

Economic IS peaceful, but only when the 2 economies are interdependent. Chinese leaders work hard to block Western goods, but make the west dependent on them, while building up their own economy AND military. Since China's economy has grown massively and CHina has amassed a load of dollars (us and australian) and europes, they should see their money rise relative to these money. But that is NOT the case. Likewise, in a normal economic relationship, there would be regular 2-way trade. There is not. Resources account for the vast majority of what the west trades to CHina. When something like an auto is exported there, if it is selling well, then China will put a tariff on importing that specific companies cars, until they move manufacturing there. Once it is there, they will subsidize the energy there, and then encourage the company to sell it on the global market. Just recently China put a massive tax on ALL GM cars. That is, until GM turned over the patent rights for electric cars to CHINESE GOV. IOW, GM was going to be killed from manufacturing or importing cars there, unless they allowed 100% of Chinese made cars to have free and clear access to their entire patent DB related to electric cars.

This is NOT about economic trade. This is a cold war. Sadly these 2 idiots are like the rest of the ppl that ignore facts.

Now to wait for the Chinese lobbyists that will post here as ACs claiming that I am lying.

Article is Correct (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304487)

The more people have a stake in someone else's lives, the more people can "mod down" the warmongers. It works if there is an economic investment (Foxconn and Wistron do more to guarantee peace between Taiwan and mainland China than the USA fleet), but having any stake at all - even a facebook friend - works the same way. That's how Germans in Philadelphia stopped fighting with Irish immigrants. Exposure and familiarity promotes peace.

Ayesha & Parag Khanna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304679)

I can't believe the number of idiots who actually replied to discuss this "Duh?"and/or mindless drivel.
Maybe the co-authors can catch the attention of the editorial staff of the National Inquirer.

geo- (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#40304721)

One is that the U.S. and China are deeply intertwined through geo-economic interdependence

What's the difference between geo-economic interdependence and the good old garden variety economic interdependence?

phongngo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40304927)

VietNam Student [tapchisinhvien.vn] Education [tapchisinhvien.vn]

The more things change the more they stay the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40305011)

So now instead of sending pour sods out to shoot each other, we just lower their wages so the other party has to lower the living standards of its workers in turn. Maybe there aren't any bullets flying around but this economic strong-arming still is war. And unlike a traditional war, where after all the dying there is a chance that the state which gives its workers human rights, liberty and welfare, in an economic war it is determined in advance that the winner will be whoever is the best slave driver. If this is world peace, I guess I don't like world piece as much as I thought.

Headline misleading: its economy, not technology (1)

gentryx (759438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40305477)

Global interdependencies in our economies tie us all together. The only technology required for large scale global trading are containerships and telephones. Internet, global spot trading, airmail, Bitcoin, they're all just sugar icing on top.
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