virus: A New Age (was: story-telling ape)

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 11:36:53 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

> "Science" is a dead horse! Has anyone woke up to realize we have passed the
> age of science...the age of technology...the age of mechanics...the age of
> art...the age of philosophy...the age of industry...are now in the age of
> "spirituality" and moving toward the age of recreation (in that order, I
> think)?

This ties in (a little) with something I've been pondering for the last
week or so: the balance of world power.

Throughout history power has been driven by different forces or masked in
different guises. There was the Age of Religion, in which one belief
system battled another for dominance. The Age of Kings when one serfdom
battled another for the glory (and wealth) of their lord. And the Age of
Lucre, where the balance of power is governed by the control of money and
the prosperity it brings.[1]

I've been pondering this in relation to my own countries role on the world
stage. As control of cashflow and the means of producing it slowly slip
from the from the USA's grasp, it seems a new age is dawning. The Memetic

What is the US's largest, most profitable exports? Entertainment and
Software. And how better to rule the world than by becoming the leader in
the setting of opinion, fashion, desire, and knowledge? (And of course
providing them all at a tidy profit.) Why sweat market forces and
military might if you can control the forces that command them? Why fear
the hand of another, if you control their mind?

The recent spate of anti-China movies is a good example. I predict public
opinion across the world (for our movies play everywhere) turning further
against China in the next year with the result that the role it plays in
the balance of power in Asia will come into question. It may become the
next North Korea, a pariah to all its neighbors and, as a result, a
military target to be watched closely. Or, more likely, there will be a
battle outside of China between those invested in the old Age, those with
capital invested in China, and those who've staked their personal power in
the new Age, the moralists and moviemakers. (Odd bedfellows to be sure!)

What will this new Age bring?

-Prof. Tim

[1] Note: these are just rough generalizations, not a thesis statement.