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vcczar

Books that I Recommend for this Forum

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I was taking some pictures of the books in my office and found 8 that I recommend for this forum:

1) The Color of Law

2) Political Parties in American History, 3 volumes

3) A Splendid Exchange (World History, but says a lot about US History)

4) The American Political Tradition

5) Congressional Quarterly US Elections

6) Burr by Gore Vidal (Historical fiction) 

7) Unequal Gains

8.) A Population History of the United States

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“Game Change”, a behind the scenes look at the 2008 Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, and Romney campaigns, was a phenomenal read.  There is also the sequel Double Down about the 2012 election by the same authors, though the 2012 story just isn’t as intriguing as 2008.

 

I was really looking forward to their take on the 2016 craziness — but then one of the authors was revealed to be a huge creep in the height of #MeToo and the book was cancelled.

 

Possibly my favorite book is The Next 100 Years, a 2009 attempt to forecast geopolitics over the next century, including wars, technology, demographics, etc.  The book of course never sees Donald Trump coming, but also makes the case that over the course of 100 years, no individual President or party actually matters.  Expanded over that period of time, the series of Presidents and party changes will generally cancel each other out and not move drastically in either direction.

Its been a long time since I read it, but it perfectly predicted Russia’s growing influence and expansion westward into Crimea and the Ukraine, which did begin about five years after the book was published.

It predicts a second Cold War with Russia (written 7 years before the 2016 interference of course), with us allying with eastern and Central European countries to slow down Russian influence expansion.

Russia ultimately loses this Cold War, collapsing under financial and demographic strain again much as the Soviet Union did.  China splinters under economic differences between the wealthy and the poor around this same time.

In the wake of the fall of these major world powers, Turkey, Japan, and Poland seize the chaos as an opportunity and begin to compete more on the global stage.  

The US is initially allied with all three growing powers, but soon becomes alarmed by these expansions of power.  This threat grows over a series of decades, ultimately leading to WW3 which the book predicts is US and Poland against Japan and Turkey.  Other American/Polish allies in this war include Britain, India, a re-stabilized China, and a re-unified Korea. 

The book also explores technology and demographic projections — the most interesting prediction here is that America could begin actively importing Mexican workers to make up for our significantly decreased birthrate, instead of deporting them.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Actinguy said:

“Game Change”, a behind the scenes look at the 2008 Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, and Romney campaigns, was a phenomenal read.  There is also the sequel Double Down about the 2012 election by the same authors, though the 2012 story just isn’t as intriguing as 2008.

 

I was really looking forward to their take on the 2016 craziness — but then one of the authors was revealed to be a huge creep in the height of #MeToo and the book was cancelled.

 

Possibly my favorite book is The Next 100 Years, a 2009 attempt to forecast geopolitics over the next century, including wars, technology, demographics, etc.  The book of course never sees Donald Trump coming, but also makes the case that over the course of 100 years, no individual President or party actually matters.  Expanded over that period of time, the series of Presidents and party changes will generally cancel each other out and not move drastically in either direction.

Its been a long time since I read it, but it perfectly predicted Russia’s growing influence and expansion westward into Crimea and the Ukraine, which did begin about five years after the book was published.

It predicts a second Cold War with Russia (written 7 years before the 2016 interference of course), with us allying with eastern and Central European countries to slow down Russian influence expansion.

Russia ultimately loses this Cold War, collapsing under financial and demographic strain again much as the Soviet Union did.  China splinters under economic differences between the wealthy and the poor around this same time.

In the wake of the fall of these major world powers, Turkey, Japan, and Poland seize the chaos as an opportunity and begin to compete more on the global stage.  

The US is initially allied with all three growing powers, but soon becomes alarmed by these expansions of power.  This threat grows over a series of decades, ultimately leading to WW3 which the book predicts is US and Poland against Japan and Turkey.  Other American/Polish allies in this war include Britain, India, a re-stabilized China, and a re-unified Korea. 

The book also explores technology and demographic projections — the most interesting prediction here is that America could begin actively importing Mexican workers to make up for our significantly decreased birthrate, instead of deporting them.

 

 

 

I predict the U.S. may well splinter politically due to demographic, socio-cultural, and economic differences that become insurmountable and untenable, especially in a nation whose top positions of power are based on a "winner-takes-all-system," even if the winner cannot command a solid and firm de facto mandate of support and representation, or have it's growingly inefficient economic system (which still praised by many without thinking about where it's heading, or what it's turning into) reach a peak of the sharp divide between the have's and the have not's, and corporate greed becomes more unvarnished, naked, and politically dominant, and these flaws begin hurting the nation's dominant economic standing, "terrorism" continues to grow rampantly as the U.S. and other major powers refuse to acknowledge the true reason it's on the rise and is recruiting and rebounding so easily all the of the time, and the big powers very large part of the blame originally for that rise, only playing "whack-a-mole" with individual manifestations, a tactic that will (and cannot) succeed in the long-term, but only create an endless quagmire, and the current U.S. military still failing to produce definitive results (let's face it, other than very brief and strictly defined operations that aren't even worthy of the title "war," like Grenada and Desert Storm - the U.S., and most major powers in the world, for that matter, haven't outright, flat-out, undisputedly, knock-out won a war since WW2) will continue to hamper their, and their main allies' and big enemies', effective, long-term military clout, and other things almost no American prognosticator would ever dare publish. Of course, I don't really see the rest of the world becoming a rosy paradise at the U.S.' expense either. And there's always the possibility that this is way too optimistic and the death spiral of global civilization into a new world dark age awaits instead. I'm so glad I'm on the older side, as opposed to some posters here, and many others I know, and may not live to see the worst of what's coming, which CAN'T be good, in any case.

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3 minutes ago, Patine said:

I predict the U.S. may well splinter politically due to demographic, socio-cultural, and economic differences that become insurmountable and untenable, especially in a nation whose top positions of power are based on a "winner-takes-all-system," even if the winner cannot command a solid and firm de facto mandate of support and representation, or have it's growingly inefficient economic system (which still praised by many without thinking about where it's heading, or what it's turning into) reach a peak of the sharp divide between the have's and the have not's, and corporate greed becomes more unvarnished, naked, and politically dominant, and these flaws begin hurting the nation's dominant economic standing, "terrorism" continues to grow rampantly as the U.S. and other major powers refuse to acknowledge the true reason it's on the rise and is recruiting and rebounding so easily all the of the time, and the big powers very large part of the blame originally for that rise, only playing "whack-a-mole" with individual manifestations, a tactic that will (and cannot) succeed in the long-term, but only create an endless quagmire, and the current U.S. military still failing to produce definitive results (let's face it, other than very brief and strictly defined operations that aren't even worthy of the title "war," like Grenada and Desert Storm - the U.S., and most major powers in the world, for that matter, haven't outright, flat-out, undisputedly, knock-out won a war since WW2) will continue to hamper their, and their main allies' and big enemies', effective, long-term military clout, and other things almost no American prognosticator would ever dare publish. Of course, I don't really see the rest of the world becoming a rosy paradise at the U.S.' expense either. And there's always the possibility that this is way too optimistic and the death spiral of global civilization into a new world dark age awaits instead. I'm so glad I'm on the older side, as opposed to some posters here, and many others I know, and may not live to see the worst of what's coming, which CAN'T be good, in any case.

We’re far too lazy these days to go through the effort of another civil war or fracturing.

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1 minute ago, Actinguy said:

We’re far too lazy these days to go through the effort of another civil war or fracturing.

So far. But the tensions are ratcheting up every year. And every U.S. President since Reagan (MAYBE the elder Bush) gets at least as vocal, media, and protest abuse and vitriol during their tenure as support. And every the younger Bush, Obama, and Trump, and most major candidates who ran against them were sharp dividers and partisans and certainly not those who "unified" the nation - in fact, trying to be a "unifier" is practically asking to lose an election nowadays. I can't this untenable situation being contained indefinitely. It not may not YET be ready to burst, but I'm not sure how much the "United-in-Name-and-on-Paper-Only" States of America can stay together in the long term. But, as I've often pointed out, long-term thinking is a weak point of modern Western political and economic thinking, and that is one of the reasons why China is rising ascendant, because long-term thinking and planning is their current forte.

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33 minutes ago, Patine said:

I predict the U.S. may well splinter politically due to demographic, socio-cultural, and economic differences that become insurmountable and untenable, 

Can you clarify in how you see it shaking out?  Will states break away will, the constitution be thrown out, Will we join our neighbor to the north HWO exactly do you see it happening?

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20 minutes ago, HonestAbe said:

Can you clarify in how you see it shaking out?  Will states break away will, the constitution be thrown out, Will we join our neighbor to the north HWO exactly do you see it happening?

I'm prognosticating based on broad trends and socio-political likelihoods. I'm not making prophecy or augury. It could unfold in many different ways but it's the obvious internal tensions and divides that are blatantly obvious today and are becoming untenable and insurmountable to resolve civilly that makes a splinter of some such sort nearly inevitable.

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8 minutes ago, Patine said:

I'm prognosticating based on broad trends and socio-political likelihoods. I'm not making prophecy or augury. It could unfold in many different ways but it's the obvious internal tensions and divides that are blatantly obvious today and are becoming untenable and insurmountable to resolve civilly that makes a splinter of some such sort nearly inevitable.

SO just hot-taking.. got it

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1 minute ago, HonestAbe said:

SO just hot-taking.. got it

No, prognosticating. There's a difference. I'm using trends in social, political, economic, and military affairs, both in the U.S. and outside of it (because the U.S. DOESN'T exist in a void), extrapolating these trends based on social sciences and the tendency of socio-political tensions and problems to exacerbate more often than reach amicable solutions, taking broad recurring themes from other great and vast empires of history, and making an educating, and but general guess. But I guess all that's completely over your head...

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6 hours ago, Actinguy said:

“Game Change”, a behind the scenes look at the 2008 Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, and Romney campaigns, was a phenomenal read.  There is also the sequel Double Down about the 2012 election by the same authors, though the 2012 story just isn’t as intriguing as 2008.

 

I was really looking forward to their take on the 2016 craziness — but then one of the authors was revealed to be a huge creep in the height of #MeToo and the book was cancelled.

 

Possibly my favorite book is The Next 100 Years, a 2009 attempt to forecast geopolitics over the next century, including wars, technology, demographics, etc.  The book of course never sees Donald Trump coming, but also makes the case that over the course of 100 years, no individual President or party actually matters.  Expanded over that period of time, the series of Presidents and party changes will generally cancel each other out and not move drastically in either direction.

Its been a long time since I read it, but it perfectly predicted Russia’s growing influence and expansion westward into Crimea and the Ukraine, which did begin about five years after the book was published.

It predicts a second Cold War with Russia (written 7 years before the 2016 interference of course), with us allying with eastern and Central European countries to slow down Russian influence expansion.

Russia ultimately loses this Cold War, collapsing under financial and demographic strain again much as the Soviet Union did.  China splinters under economic differences between the wealthy and the poor around this same time.

In the wake of the fall of these major world powers, Turkey, Japan, and Poland seize the chaos as an opportunity and begin to compete more on the global stage.  

The US is initially allied with all three growing powers, but soon becomes alarmed by these expansions of power.  This threat grows over a series of decades, ultimately leading to WW3 which the book predicts is US and Poland against Japan and Turkey.  Other American/Polish allies in this war include Britain, India, a re-stabilized China, and a re-unified Korea. 

The book also explores technology and demographic projections — the most interesting prediction here is that America could begin actively importing Mexican workers to make up for our significantly decreased birthrate, instead of deporting them.

 

 

 

It’s funny you mention The Next 100 Years. The guy that wrote that operated Stratfor. I applied for a low level position when I lived in Austin because I thought I’d be great working there. I was interviewed by three people, including the #2 guy. It was probably the best interview performance I ever had. I was prepared for every question and responded with depth. After the interview, I was 100% certain I got the job. They were clearly impressed. About a week later , the #2 guy contacted me and took me to lunch. He said I was massively overqualified for the position that was offered but said he’d email me personally when a more appropriate position for me opened. I told him I didn’t mind taking the lower position until the opening occurs. He said he wasn’t sure when such an opening would occur. He gave me a free membership to Stratfor services because he wanted me to know what was going on in the event a position opened. I moved to Philadelphia a few months later. 

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2 minutes ago, vcczar said:

It’s funny you mention The Next 100 Years. The guy that wrote that operated Stratfor. I applied for a low level position when I lived in Austin because I thought I’d be great working there. I was interviewed by three people, including the #2 guy. It was probably the best interview performance I ever had. I was prepared for every question and responded with depth. After the interview, I was 100% certain I got the job. They were clearly impressed. About a week later , the #2 guy contacted me and took me to lunch. He said I was massively overqualified for the position that was offered but said he’d email me personally when a more appropriate position for me opened. I told him I didn’t mind taking the lower position until the opening occurs. He said he wasn’t sure when such an opening would occur. He gave me a free membership to Stratfor services because he wanted me to know what was going on in the event a position opened. I moved to Philadelphia a few months later. 

Ha, awesome!

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10 minutes ago, Patine said:

No, prognosticating. There's a difference. I'm using trends in social, political, economic, and military affairs, both in the U.S. and outside of it (because the U.S. DOESN'T exist in a void), extrapolating these trends based on social sciences and the tendency of socio-political tensions and problems to exacerbate more often than reach amicable solutions, taking broad recurring themes from other great and vast empires of history, and making an educating, and but general guess. But I guess all that's completely over your head...

You basically said “there’s going to be disagreement in the future”

 way to go out on a limb chief  

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3 minutes ago, vcczar said:

It’s funny you mention The Next 100 Years. The guy that wrote that operated Stratfor. I applied for a low level position when I lived in Austin because I thought I’d be great working there. I was interviewed by three people, including the #2 guy. It was probably the best interview performance I ever had. I was prepared for every question and responded with depth. After the interview, I was 100% certain I got the job. They were clearly impressed. About a week later , the #2 guy contacted me and took me to lunch. He said I was massively overqualified for the position that was offered but said he’d email me personally when a more appropriate position for me opened. I told him I didn’t mind taking the lower position until the opening occurs. He said he wasn’t sure when such an opening would occur. He gave me a free membership to Stratfor services because he wanted me to know what was going on in the event a position opened. I moved to Philadelphia a few months later. 

 

1 minute ago, Actinguy said:

Ha, awesome!

The thing is, the book sounds like one of those prognostications that has a lot of real evidence, research, and knowledge between, but, from the synopsis you gave, seems to significantly self-edit due to "nationalistic or patriotic wishful thinking or avoidance of unpublishable material to the target audience." This is an issue certainly not limited to Americans writing such books, but it is a definitely noticeable thing in such works.

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Just now, Patine said:

 

The thing is, the book sounds like one of those prognostications that has a lot of real evidence, research, and knowledge between, but, from the synopsis you gave, seems to significantly self-edit due to "nationalistic or patriotic wishful thinking or avoidance of unpublishable material to the target audience." This is an issue certainly not limited to Americans writing such books, but it is a definitely noticeable thing in such works.

Well, I wouldn't put too much weight to my summary, for starters.  I typed it in about five minutes, from memory of a book I read ten years ago.

I do believe the book is based on a lot of research.  It is also a book about the next 100 years -- it's a sincere effort, but it also of course acknowledges that these are just educated guesses.  

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4 minutes ago, HonestAbe said:

You basically said “there’s going to be disagreement in the future”

 way to go out on a limb chief  

Although you seem to congratulate yourself on a such a skill, you really have no skill at all at paraphrasing or cutting to the chase of what other people say. Instead, you reword it completely inappropriate, or as an "attack or ammunition" that was never actually present in the first, or you cut quotes to specific sentences or idea that is all a small part of what's being said and declare, "that's all your saying," or "that's all you've got," which makes YOU look like the idiot (whether you acknowledge or recognize that or not). But I can see through just clumsy and juvenile tactics quite easily.

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2 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

Well, I wouldn't put too much weight to my summary, for starters.  I typed it in about five minutes, from memory of a book I read ten years ago.

I do believe the book is based on a lot of research.  It is also a book about the next 100 years -- it's a sincere effort, but it also of course acknowledges that these are just educated guesses.  

I'm not convinced the world, civilization, nations, cultures, ideals, or mores, in the world, or other such things will be recognizable to us, as we are now, in 100 years - assuming we're not just pulling ourselves out of - or still in - that quite possible global Dark Age.

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7 minutes ago, Patine said:

I'm not convinced the world, civilization, nations, cultures, ideals, or mores, in the world, or other such things will be recognizable to us, as we are now, in 100 years - assuming we're not just pulling ourselves out of - or still in - that quite possible global Dark Age.

Things really haven't changed that much in the last 100 years though(no I am not downplaying the significant changes, but in general much of the world, civilization, nations, cultures, ideas and what have you, are recognizable and still similar to where they were 100 years ago), so how you can be so sure things will be so different in the next 100?

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1 minute ago, SilentLiberty said:

Things really haven't changed that much in the last 100 years though(no I am not downplaying the significant changes, but in general much of the world, civilization, nations, cultures, ideas and what have you, are recognizable and still similar to where they were 100 years ago), so how you can be so sure things will be so different in the next 100?

I think your statement is misunderstanding the accelerating curve of change. Of the drastic changes in the 100 years previous, 95% of that change (crudely measure) has happened in about the last 40 years of it, and AT LEAST 60-75% of it since the internet came online. In the Middle Ages and Antiquity change was GLACIAL by comparison. Technology rapidly accelerates change going forward, so that a "past 100 years" watermark is NOT at all accurate for how much drastic change to except in the next 100 years.

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@Patine @Actinguy

I remember reading the book in its entirety in a bookstore in NYC around 2010 (I’m a fast reader). Even though I wanted to work for Stratfor, I thought the book was far-fetched. If I remember correctly, Poland and Mexico become major powers. China fragments. There’s a large international war. It was really specific.  “On August 27th 2061, Germany will send a peace treaty to Poland, but Poland will refuse.” It was entertaining but I remember suggesting to the bookstore staff that the book be in fiction and not political science. 

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17 minutes ago, Patine said:

I'm not convinced the world, civilization, nations, cultures, ideals, or mores, in the world, or other such things will be recognizable to us, as we are now, in 100 years - assuming we're not just pulling ourselves out of - or still in - that quite possible global Dark Age.

Yeah, again, if you actually read the book instead of debating my five minute summary, I think you'd find that he discusses this.  I also think his proposed state of the world 100 years from now, where we're at war with current real world allies and importing instead of deporting Mexican immigrants, is indeed something not particularly recognizable right now.

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1 hour ago, Actinguy said:

Yeah, again, if you actually read the book instead of debating my five minute summary, I think you'd find that he discusses this.  I also think his proposed state of the world 100 years from now, where we're at war with current real world allies and importing instead of deporting Mexican immigrants, is indeed something not particularly recognizable right now.

Have you looked at any of my network of threads for hypothetical election scenarios of various sorts as of a fictitious, but extrapolated, not created from total whole cloth, Year 2048 (a little than 30 years in the future)? My view there (which is NOT a prediction, but based on various potential extrapolations mixed with creative embellishments) is a much bigger, obvious shake-up, at least judging by your summary.

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