Friday, 7 March 2014


TYGER  of  TYGERs ...

                ... struck again with the force of a brain tsunami - a MustRead if ever there was one, with Vaclav Smil stating at the outset:

              "My firm belief is that looking far ahead is done most profitably by looking far back and that this approach works both for natural catastrophes and socioeconomic trends."

The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008 

                 From the back cover description:

              "Fundamental change occurs most often in one of two ways:  as a 'fatal discontinuity.' a sudden catastrophic event that is potentially world changing, or as a persistent, gradual trend. Global catastrophes include volcanic eruptions, viral pandemics, wars, and large-scale terrorist attacks; trends are demographic, environmental, economic, and political shifts that unfold over time. In this provocative book, scientist Vaclav Smil takes a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary look at the catastrophes and trends the next fifty years may bring. This is not a book of forecasts or scenarios but one that reminds us to pay attention to, and plan for, the consequences of apparently unpredictable events and the ultimate direction of long-term trends...."

              The contents pages may best describe the all-embracing topics covered:

              A small paragraph from Chapter 3 Unfolding Trends sums up the essence of trends affecting practically all of human endeavours:

              "Perhaps the most helpful way to think about globalization would be to get rid of the term, and not just because that noun has become so emotionally charged. The term interdependence describes much more accurately the realities of modern econ­omies. Once they left behind the limited autarkies of the preindustrial era, states have come to rely on more distant and more diverse sources of energy, raw materi­als, food, and manufactured products and on increasingly universal systems of communication and information processing. No country can now escape this imper­ative, and as this process advances, it will become impossible for any nation—no matter how technically adept or how militarily strong—to claim a commanding place on top."

Go, get yourself some Tyger Nights.....