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About snichthewalrus

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  1. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/09/01/gree...an-agriculture/ Examples of urban agriculture in Tokyo. As more people move into cities, will we see more of this in order to improve diets, provide foods for marginal people and the environmental benefits.
  2. http://gcaptain.com/non-state-navy-shepherd-case/
  3. I am thinking of working of a setting for Texas 2050 for a Cyberpunk game in which the major cities of Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston) have grown into a massive sprawl called the Texaplex. How to determine the type of cities since today's poor neighborhood may be gentrified in twenty years and sinking to middle class in another twenty. How would you determine type of neighborhood and law code? D6 or something else.
  4. http://n1on.com/ Awesome visuals and a good story. Prime fodder for a game setting.
  5. http://gizmodo.com/5942294/the-next-indust...pping-container The company http://www.re-char.com/
  6. http://io9.com/5943053/a-brand-new-cyberpu...y-lauren-beukes http://worldsf.wordpress.com/fiction/
  7. http://www.gsnmagazine.com/node/26007?c=la...irst_responders Basically it is a system that sits on a door overhead. When someone breaks in it sprays a cloud which is invisible to the robber but can be visible under UV light. It cannot be washed off for several days. I would think by 2026 this leads to a cloud which causes a disease after several days. Guess who has the treatment.
  8. Europe is dominated by Preservationist parties. Not anti-technology but slowly developing technologies that must pass strict safety and environmental rules. Prototypes are developed in European labs then manufactured (copied, reverse-engineered and just plain stolen) in the massive industrial parks in India, Indonesia and China. Infosocialist activists and guerrillas dispense and build nano fabricators and minifacs across the Global South. It is not the global village, it is the global apartment. North America and the Pacific Rim are dominated by the biotechnology companies, a fraction of the size of a 20th century corporation but with more political and economic influence. The Calorie Companies have patented, owned and dominated the food networks across North America. From the so-called farmer's markets to the fast food restaurants to the exclusive glitterkid salons, they market food and biotech solutions under a host of different names.
  9. http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ Book Review by Frank Kaminski Neither an economist nor a formally trained scholar, Dmitry Orlov is perhaps best described in his own words, as "more of an eyewitness" to the phenomenon on which he writes. He's a Russian émigré who saw the Soviet Union fall firsthand and has been drawing on this experience in warning of the coming U.S. collapse. He came to fame five years ago with a smash-hit Internet article that won him a loyal following and a subsequent book deal. The book, Reinventing Collapse, is now in its second edition—and regardless of how well it holds up to scholarly scrutiny, it's admirable in its wit and prodigious street smarts. The book's central contention is that the U.S. economy is collapsing, and for the same basic reasons as caused the Soviet collapse: dwindling domestic oil production, a worsening foreign trade deficit, out-of-control military spending and mushrooming foreign debt. (With his usual comic panache, Orlov refers to these factors as ingredients in a "superpower collapse soup"; and he promises that "this soup will be served, and it will not be tasty!") He further argues that America is less prepared for collapse than the U.S.S.R. was, largely because of its obsession with the automobile as a symbol of, and prerequisite for, middle-class membership. And he calls for adaptation rather than reform, the latter being as futile as "you or me wiggling our toes at a tsunami." A Leningrad-born software engineer, Orlov came to the States in the mid '70s when he was 12. During extended visits back home in the late '80s to mid '90s, he watched his home country disintegrate in time-lapse fashion. He later became convinced that America was fated for a similar crash, but remained a closeted doomer for more than a decade. When he finally came out with his message, he found an eager audience among the fledgling peak oil community. Energy Bulletin published his "Closing the 'Collapse Gap': The USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US" in December 2006, and it quickly became one of the site's most popular articles ever. Orlov knew that many would reject his comparison of America with the U.S.S.R., but he insists that it's valid and telling. Starting with obvious similarities, he cites the two nations' respective advances in space exploration and weaponry, as well as their competition for the title of world's biggest debtor nation. He also notes their rivalry in the "jails race," "hated evil empire race" and "squandering of natural resources race." And he imagines that one day their two collapses may be relegated to a single textbook chapter, and that children "will like learning about the superpowers just like they like learning about dinosaurs: big, scary monsters–but extinct, and therefore not so frightening." Besides their lower level of car dependence, the Soviets' edge in collapse preparedness lay in the fact that the state provided for people's needs. No matter how bad the economy was, people never had to worry about homelessness or losing access to medical treatment. Americans enjoy no such security. Reinventing Collapse is intended to give readers a concrete sense of how they can change their lives to better face the reality ahead. Everyone's starting point, argues Orlov, should be eliminating his or her need for money. He's certain that America will choose to inflate away its debt à la the Soviet Union, making the dollar effectively worthless. Those who divest themselves of exposure to dollar depreciation will be poised not just to survive but to flourish in these trying times. For example, someone with the foresight to stockpile basic supplies like razor blades, medications and soap will be well-positioned to barter for other things. America's future economy, believes Orlov, will depend on access to physical resources and assets, as well as healthy relationships with others who have resources and assets. He illustrates how this worked in practice during the Soviet collapse, largely at the hands of itinerant merchants known as chelnoki. The chelnoki would travel abroad frequently and bring things back in their luggage. Though they had to bribe officials and were often robbed, they were the Soviets' only source of consumer products for a while. Orlov suggests that post-collapse America may evolve its own version of the chelnoki, with customers hauling away their purchases in pilfered shopping carts (already a common sight across the urban landscape, he notes). And he predicts that nomadic life will have much to recommend it. Nomads will be extremely valuable for their news of the outside world, assorted spare parts, occasional luxury items, elixirs and technical know-how. They'll also have greater survival savvy because of their highly developed situational awareness and their ability to wring the most out of resources. Orlov advises staying as far as possible from the U.S. justice system, since it "offers a fine luxury model, but its budget model is manifestly unsafe." Already grossly tipped in favor of the rich, it may drop any pretense of serving justice and become simply a tool for social control. Orlov provides some Soviet examples of this, including the Gulag policy of political imprisonment, and describes America's use of secret jails, torture and indefinite detention as steps in the same direction. Yet Orlov also foresees a melding of the official economy and the criminal one that would compel increasing numbers of people to engage in criminal activity and thus become targets of persecution by the authorities. He describes how during every economic collapse there emerges another, informal economy based around recycling remnants of the waning one—and many of its occupations involve defacing property (i.e., "asset stripping"), administering violence (aka "private security consulting") and trafficking drugs and alcohol. The author is deeply worried about nuclear waste, the fate of the prison population and the repatriating of overseas military personnel. Nuclear waste poses the gravest threat since it remains radioactive for so incredibly long. Orlov warns that future generations will be unable to deal with it and that its radiation will spread across horrifyingly vast stretches. As for the prison population, he fears that hordes of dangerous criminals will go free in a general amnesty once we lack the resources to keep prisons running. Lastly, with regard to military personnel, Orlov thinks it likely that many of the nation's roughly 1,000 overseas bases will be simply abandoned to their fates once we can no longer maintain them. The updates in this edition are mostly energy-related. For example, when the first edition came out in 2008, experts still couldn't say the exact year of peak conventional oil production. But they now have enough of a rear view to tell that it happened in 2005, and Orlov notes this in the new book. The past couple of years have also seen an accelerating trend called the land export effect, which is the tendency of oil exporters that are past their peak production rates to cut exports rather than supplies to their domestic populations. Orlov addresses this development as well in the new book, interpreting it as a sign that oil supply shortfalls will be far worse than even the pessimists expect. One valid criticism that has been leveled against Orlov is that he makes unsupported, unprovable assertions about human behavior. And indeed, his discussions in this book contain some overly facile explanations for why people have mental depression, why revolving doors exist between industry and government and the motives behind news censorship, among other things. Nor does it help that the book lacks notes or references with which to substantiate such statements. If one overlooks these flaws, however, Reinventing Collapse is an eminently practical guide written with welcome comic relief by someone who's been around the block.
  10. http://www.businessinsider.com/check-out-t...-cartels-2011-5
  11. There is always something to smuggle. If it isn't drugs it's people, guns, tech and other stuff. Look at Gaza on the Egyptian border. They smuggle fuel, food, construction materials, everything.
  12. I would think that a lot of system would be dependent on local sources. Couple days ago I read an article on a stove developed in a Kenyan slum that burned trash to cook food. People collected trash in return for tokens to be used to pay for food. As a result. The place was cleaner since the trash was collected. I can see lots of methane used from garbage heaps and waste fills to fill up gas canisters. In the Windup Girl, you had the Lord of Dung who was a Godfather figure who gained power from supplying fuel. Guess how he disposed of the dead. You might have better battery but you still need to generate power to charge it. I can see localized power based on waste conversion. Plus, and let's be honest. Many people may be reduced to a level of third world poverty. Families on scooters and motorcycles and buses. Occasional middle classes and upper in private cars. Police/military/government cars and then the rich/well connected with the imported hybrid electric foreign cars. Your punks may be power pirates maintaining the local slum power grid. People may know of the knock-off shops and sex parlors and illegal things but hell they get reliable power. Parts of the city may brown out every so often. Corporate/government land has backup generators or their own power and they aren't sharing, without some concessions. Street kids collect trash and haul waste for the local power co-op/charity kitchen.
  13. I would like to see the setting for these companies.
  14. I would say the line is. Go to your local strip mall. Not the fancy one, or the middle class one. The one on the poor side of town. Between the used book stores, the local conveyance store, the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Could you find it there? Could you find in a Army/Navy store or a dozen knockoffs from overseas on the Street (roll 1d6 for quality/chance of malfunction). I would not give the players the latest tech without raising prices. Make them work for it.
  15. The Running Man as a setting One of my favorite action-sci/fi movies is the Running Man (1987). This was before Arnold started doing more serious and family/comedy roles and was an action hero. Here is the plot courtesy of Wikipedia: By 2017, the global economy has collapsed and American society has become a totalitarian police state, censoring all cultural activity. The government pacifies the populace by broadcasting a number of game shows in which convicted criminals fight for their lives, including the gladiator-style The Running Man, hosted by the ruthless Damon Killian, where “runners” attempt to evade “stalkers” and certain death for a chance to be pardoned and set free. Ben Richards, a military pilot who was convicted of a massacre he actually tried to prevent, escapes from a labor camp with other inmates and flees to a shanty town on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Declining an offer to join a resistance movement, Richards instead seeks shelter at his brother's apartment. He finds it is now occupied by Amber Mendez, a composer for ICS, the network that broadcasts The Running Man. Richards attempts to flee with Amber as a hostage, but she alerts security and Richards is caught and taken to the ICS studios. Killian coerces him to compete in The Running Man with the threat that if he declines, his two weaker escapee friends—Laughlin and Weiss—will be put on the show instead. Richards complies, but as the show begins, Killian reveals that Laughlin and Weiss have been enrolled as runners anyway. Richards and his friends are attacked by the first stalker, Subzero, who is eventually killed by Richards and Laughlin. While continuing to evade the barbaric stalkers, Laughlin and Weiss search for the network's uplink facilities, which are within the game zone. Meanwhile, Amber begins to question the media's veracity after watching a falsified media report on Richards' capture. Amber discovers the truth about the massacre, but she is captured and subsequently sent into the game zone, where she encounters Richards and the others. The runners split up, each pair pursued by a different stalker. Laughlin is mortally wounded by the stalker Buzzsaw, whom Richards subsequently kills. Weiss and Amber are successful in locating the uplink system and learning the access codes, but Weiss is electrocuted by the stalker Dynamo. Amber's screams lead Richards to her, and as the two evade the stalker, Dynamo's buggy flips, trapping him inside. Richards then stuns the audience by merely pinning Dynamo in the vehicle, proclaiming that he will not kill a helpless man. Amber and Richards return to Laughlin, who reveals that the resistance has a hideout within the game zone. Back at the ICS studio, Killian sees Richards' popularity growing, with viewers betting for Richards to win when they are supposed to bet only on the stalkers. Off-camera, Killian offers Richards a job as a stalker, which he furiously declines. As the next stalker, Fireball, pursues Amber and Richards into an abandoned factory, Amber inadvertently finds the charred bodies of the previous season's "winning" runners. Fireball attempts to kill Amber, but Richards rescues her and kills Fireball with his own weaponry. Running out of options, Killian uses computer-generated imagery to fake the deaths of Richards and Amber in the final match of the episode. In the game zone, Richards and Amber are caught by the resistance and taken to their hideout, where they learn of their “deaths” on the show. Using the access codes provided by Amber, the resistance takes over the ICS satellite. Richards leads the rebels to the ICS studios where they seize the control room, allowing the resistance broadcast. Richards then heads to the main studio floor, shocking the live and at-home audiences who had watched him supposedly die. Amber encounters Dynamo, but she kills him when an errant gunshot sets off the sprinkler system, electrocuting him when the water hits his electrically powered suit. Richards confronts Killian, who explains that he had created the show for huge ratings and to appease American viewers' love for television. Ignoring the excuse, Richards sends Killian into the game zone aboard a rocket sled, which flies into a billboard and explodes, killing him instantly, much to the delight of the live television audience. The film ends as Ben and Amber share a kiss. So I watched this movie with my friend Geoff and we paused it several times to notice details, I think you can use these details in any near future or even far future setting. 1. The government owns the means of communication. All communications go through the government. All television, radio, print and probably internet have offical censors and are owned by the government and corporations. There are probably underground stations and papers but they are eventually brought down or constantly on the move. The Justice Department has an entertainment division to handle the criminal system. 2. The TV is on all the time. As in 1984 the television is always on. Unlike 1984 however instead of Big Brother and agricultural production we have game shows and soap operas. ICS probably has different channels for different programs (one for sports, movies etc). Whether in the high class lounges, locker rooms, hallways in ICS or even in the ghettos the TV is always on. 3. "400 blocks left over from the Great Quake of 97." The government is broke, as mentioned in the plot the world economy has crashed. How this happened is left to you. Probably a couple of factors such as environmental damage, financial chicanery etc. The government is running a triage operation keeping people fed, working and off the streets. Probably parts of the country and cities have been abandoned due to costs/environmental damage. 4. The cops and the military are the same thing. The police and security forces carry assault rifles and travel in APC's. Helicopter gunships patrol the skies. So instead of Officer Friendly with his 9mm you have Officer Friendly in a squad with access to military grade weapons. Serious problems get stamped down hard and fast. 5. ID please. Everyone in the middle class/corporate sections wears an ID badge all the time. Combine that with a health monitor/cash card/ration card. The cops and corporate security can probably stop you at any time but it beats living on the streets. 6. "Six bucks for a can of Coke". With the collapse prices have jumped. Paper money many not be all that valuable outside the safe zones. Barter/local scrip/precious metals may be substituted. Groups of enterprising people may run food/medical supplies/weapons between the cities and zones and the local fixer may be a man of respect and power. 7. "Can't leave this quad without a travel pass and you have no ID". Travel may be restricted due to prices/rationing. Now the government/corporates have priority on travel but the average citizen may need to save up for a year or more to fly across the country. Roads and rail maintenance may be neglected due to cost or restricted to specific choke points between zones. 8. "Cadre Cola/Cadre Credit line" The rulers of this world are known as the Cadre. Probably your ultra-rich goldenkids/entertainers/government and corporate are part of it. Race/religious lines mean little now, it's all about class/money/power. They have the good life equivalent to the upper-middle/high class now only with better security. Next you have the Middle then Working then Leftovers/Blanks. Living standards have dropped. Only the Cadre or those with company perks have personal transport while everyone else has to take mass transit/scooters/bike. Cadre have fresh fruit and goods from overseas while everyone else has packaged meals or local produce when in season. The cadre is not blind however, those who have an essential skills can be promoted while those who buck the system get kicked down. 9. Obviously since it is 2010 the setting is dated. However, move it ahead and it is still good. Technology maybe a little better, smaller but more expensive but your characters recognize the basics. 10. "We give them what they want". Again, in the movie we have THE RESISTANCE. However, in your setting you may have people trying to rise up the corporate latter. Criminals trying to become the power brokers. Guerrilla broadcasters and entertainers one step ahead of the government. Many average citizens may have been conditioned to accept the life they lead as it is better than 'anarchy'. How you run it is up to you.
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