Sưu tầm – This is the critical number that shows when housing breaks down | World Economic Forum

Homeless man Kel sleeps in the spot where he lives in the subway next to Hyde Park Station in London, Britain, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner  SEARCH "TURNER HOMELESS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC14F3C0C600

How much of your income do you spend on your rent?

The answer probably depends on where you live. Rents can vary wildly from country to country, city to city and even within regions.

While it probably won’t be news that people living in cities generally spend a higher proportion of their income on rent, new research directly links rent affordability to homelessness and highlights the lack of consistent data on the topic.

 When rent affordability exceeds the 32% tipping point, homelessness rises rapidly.

When rent affordability exceeds the 32% tipping point, homelessness rises rapidly.
Image: Zillow Economic Research

The critical threshold is 32%, with the report showing that American communities where people spend more than that percentage of their income on their rent can expect a more rapid increase in homelessness. The academics, working with online real-estate company Zillow, also estimate that the scale of homelessness in the US has been undercounted by around 20%.

While the work underscores the idea that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to tackling homelessness, it does offer policymakers a way to quantify and anticipate when dynamics may be shifting. Since the median US rental takes 28% of earnings, monitoring how the levels are evolving could help to flag up looming problems.

 Seattle and San Francisco are both facing an affordable housing crisis.

Seattle and San Francisco are both facing an affordable housing crisis.
Image: Zillow Economic Research

“It’s not appropriate to say we don’t have a problem until we hit 32%,” said Chris Glynn, a Zillow Research Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences at the University of New Hampshire. “It’s time to start thinking about when you will hit that threshold, and what will happens afterward and taking a proactive approach, thinking about the trajectory of your affordable housing.”

Hard to measure

Around 150 million people, or about 2% of the world’s population, are homeless, according to Yale University, and a further 1.6 billion, more than 20%, may lack adequate housing. Since obtaining accurate numbers is difficult, primarily because of variations in the way homelessness is defined, the numbers could be higher.

The Zillow academics estimated the true level of homelessness in the US was 20% greater than the official count, and said there was wide variation across the country. In Los Angeles and San Francisco rent affordability has been well beyond the “crucial benchmark” of 32% of income for decades.

While this research focused on the US, homelessness is a problem for every country.

Tenants in England paid an average of 27% of their gross salary to their landlord in 2016, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. That data also shows regional variation, with tenants in London spending nearly half of their salary on rent, while in northern England, the number was much lower at 23%.

 The homelessness rate varies by country.

The homelessness rate varies by country.
Image: OECD, Our World in Data

number of factors can push people into homelessness, including “shortages of affordable housing, privatization of civic services, investment speculation in housing, unplanned and rapid urbanization, as well as poverty, unemployment and family breakdown,” says Joseph Chamie, an independent consulting demographer and a former director of the United Nations Population Division. “Also contributing is a lack of services and facilities for those suffering from mental illness, alcoholism or substance abuse and displacement caused by conflicts, natural disasters and government housing policies.”

Drawing international comparisons can be challenging because of the different ways it is measured. Among OECD countries, Australia, the Czech Republic and New Zealand report a relatively high level of homelessness, but this is partly explained by the fact that they have a broad definition.

In Australia people are considered homeless if they have “no other options to acquire safe and secure housing, are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household or living in uninhabitable housing”.

 Homelessness is a problem in every country.

Homelessness is a problem in every country.
Image: Zillow

In contrast, the OECD country with the smallest share of homeless people is Japan – 0.004% of the population in 2015 – where figures only refer to rough sleepers.

For policymakers around the world, solving the challenge might mean rethinking ways we live and work or using technology to improve transit.

With the UN predicting that 68% of the global population will live in cities by 2050, innovation and technology can be harnessed to this end, and that’s one of the areas being explored by the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councilon Cities and Urbanization.

By Emma Charlton

Full link: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/here-s-a-way-of-predicting-when-homelessness-is-likely-to-rise/

Share – Tại sao giới trẻ ngày nay viết lách kém, điều này được lý giải trong 1 bài viết từ năm 1897 — Ngon 24h

Một bài viết từ năm 1897 của tiến sĩ Tiến sĩ Edwin Lewis trong tác phẩm: “A First Book in Writing” (Sách luyện viết cơ bản) đã hướng dẫn, phân tích những lý do tại sao đa phần người trẻ lại viết lách kém đến vậy. Tác giả Annie Holmquist đã phân tích bài viết […]

via Tại sao giới trẻ ngày nay viết lách kém, điều này được lý giải trong 1 bài viết từ năm 1897 — Ngon 24h

Một bài viết từ năm 1897 của tiến sĩ Tiến sĩ Edwin Lewis trong tác phẩm: “A First Book in Writing” (Sách luyện viết cơ bản) đã hướng dẫn, phân tích những lý do tại sao đa phần người trẻ lại viết lách kém đến vậy. Tác giả Annie Holmquist đã phân tích bài viết của Tiến sĩ Edwin và chứng minh rằng, trong thời đại ngày nay, chính người trẻ đang mắc phải 3 sai lầm khủng khiếp được viết cách đây hơn 1 thế kỷ này, khiến cho họ không còn văn hay chữ tốt nữa.

Họ không đọc những tác phẩm văn học chất lượng, những bài viết có chiều sâu

Bây giờ có rất nhiều sách nhưng lại thiếu đi những cuốn sách chất lượng, những tác phẩm văn học chọn lọc, thậm chí ở các trường học cũng vậy. Sách được đầu tư về câu từ, sử dụng chính xác, trau chuốt ngôn ngữ khá ít. Theo tiến sĩ Edwin, một chương trình đọc toàn diện có độ khó cao chính là một trong những chìa khóa để có kỹ năng viết tốt. Thị trường không thiếu những tác phẩm tốt, những bài viết chọn lọc, đầu tư để chúng ta học hỏi.

Tại sao giới trẻ ngày nay viết lách kém, điều này được lý giải trong 1 bài viết từ năm 1897 - Ảnh 1.

Một trong những cách nhanh nhất để học tốt ngôn ngữ là đọc bằng miệng. Việc đọc sẽ giúp tiết kiệm được rất nhiều thời gian và công sức giúp chúng ta có thể viết tốt hơn, đặc biệt là những ai mới tập viết lách. Đọc to mỗi ngày một vài đoạn văn xuôi với cảm xúc thăng hoa chính là một thói quen tuyệt vời.

Không có cách nào giúp chúng ta ghi nhớ từ vựng mới, hiểu được ngữ điệu vô cùng đa dạng của văn xuôi, biết được thế nào ngữ điệu của một câu văn hay bằng cách đọc và thấm từng trang sách. Khi đọc, sự lên xuống của ngữ điệu không chỉ đơn thuần là vấn đề giọng nói; đó còn là vấn đề về tư duy, suy nghĩ của người đọc, người học…

Đọc to các tác phẩm, một bài văn, bài viết được viết một cách tự nhiên với tư tưởng phóng khoáng, hành văn độc đáo, người đọc sẽ cảm nhận cảm xúc của chính mình sâu sắc hơn. Khi hoà mình vào trong tác phẩm, nghĩ mình là một phần của tác phẩm, chúng ta sẽ cảm nhanh hơn, yêu nhanh hơn, ngấm nhanh hơn và trau dồi được vốn từ nhiều hơn.

Họ đọc nhiều nhưng đọc nhanh, đọc lướt

Phương pháp skim – đọc lướt chỉ nên vận dụng khi làm bài kiểm tra chứ không dành cho việc cảm thụ một tác phẩm. Sự phát triển nhanh chóng của internet càng làm cho chúng ta đọc lướt nhiều hơn, học thích xem video, xem ảnh hơn là đọc chữ hoặc nếu có đọc cũng đọc một cách hời hợt, qua loa để nắm thông tin chứ không thấm được câu chữ, cách hành văn của tác giả.

Đọc lướt rất có hại, nó làm giảm khả năng tư duy, suy nghĩ, khả năng cảm nhận… trong khi đây là những kỹ năng cần thiết nhất của một người viết tốt.

“Để học mà nhớ được từ vựng mới và hiểu ý tưởng mới, chúng ta bắt buộc phải đọc chậm. Người trẻ có thói quen đọc quá nhanh đến nỗi bỏ lỡ phần nội dung hay nhất mà tác giả muốn truyền tải. Họ đọc chỉ để nhanh nhanh chóng chóng xem xem bài viết này kết thúc như thế nào, câu chuyện này có phần kết ra sao.

Ai cũng biết một điều rằng, tư duy không thể hiện nổi và đập vào mắt người đọc một cachs trực tiếp và nhanh chóng như câu chữ. Để có thể thực sự hiểu được ý nghĩa của tác phẩm, cần phải nghiên cứu kỹ lưỡng và suy ngẫm khi đọc. Phải hiểu kỹ, rõ ràng ý nghĩa mỗi từ, nắm bắt được ý nghĩa chính xách, nội dung muốn truyền tải trong câu.”

Tại sao giới trẻ ngày nay viết lách kém, điều này được lý giải trong 1 bài viết từ năm 1897 - Ảnh 2.

Họ không chú trọng học thuộc lòng những câu nói, đoạn văn

“Drill and Kill” – giáo dục một cách máy móc, học vẹt và học thuộc lòng đã trở thành những vấn đề nổi bật nhất trong thời đại mà người ta quá tôn vinh sự sáng tạo và cảm xúc. Rõ ràng điều này là tiêu cực. Nhưng sự thật, việc không học thuộc những tác phẩm, bài viết, đoạn văn mình thích có làm giảm đi nguồn tư liệu viết lách có giá trị?

Nhờ việc học thuộc lòng, ghi nhớ những câu mình thích, mình yêu, nhiều người rèn được cho bản thân tư duy sáng tạo không giới hạn, nhuần nhuyễn câu chữ, thành thục cách hành văn.

Các tác giả ngày nay sử dụng tư liệu từ những tác phẩm kinh điển ngày xưa rất nhiều, dường như đó là một kho tàng ngôn ngữ không bao giờ cạn kiệt. Ví dụ như các câu nói của Shakespeare được vận dụng trong các bài thuyết trình rất nhiều. Nhờ đâu mà có việc này, là vì họ thuộc lòng những câu hói đó.

Kỹ năng viết sẽ được cải thiện rõ rệt nếu người trẻ hiểu và vận dụng được 3 phương pháp trên không? Câu trả lời đã quá rõ ràng.

(Theo Annie Holmquist, Takeout)

Theo Mai Anh – HELINO

Share – Ăn vặt lành mạnh không lo tăng cân với khoai lang sấy giòn tan cực dễ làm — Ngon 24h

Bạn cần chuẩn bị những nguyên liệu sau cho món khoai lang sấy: – 6 củ khoai lang – Chút xíu dầu ăn Bước 1 Khoai lang gọt vỏ rửa sạch sau đó thái lát mỏng. Bước 2 Dùng cọ quét một lớp dầu ăn lên trên rack nướng. Xếp đều khoai lang vào rack […]

via Ăn vặt lành mạnh không lo tăng cân với khoai lang sấy giòn tan cực dễ làm — Ngon 24h

Bạn cần chuẩn bị những nguyên liệu sau cho món khoai lang sấy:

– 6 củ khoai lang

– Chút xíu dầu ăn

Bước 1

Khoai lang gọt vỏ rửa sạch sau đó thái lát mỏng.

Bước 2

Dùng cọ quét một lớp dầu ăn lên trên rack nướng. Xếp đều khoai lang vào rack nướng (không xếp khoai chồng lên nhau).

Bước 3

Đặt rack khoai vào lò nướng, nướng ở 100 độ C trong khoảng 1,5 giờ.

Bước 4

Khoai sau khi sấy khô bạn lấy ra khỏi lò để nguội rồi cho vào lọ kín dùng dần.

Trong những ngày Tết sắp đến gần, bạn muốn tự tay chuẩn bị những món bánh trái ăn vặt cho khay bánh kẹo nhà bạn thì món khoai lang sấy giòn hẳn là một lựa chọn thú vị. Món khoai lang sấy không chỉ ngon miệng, dễ làm mà đặc biệt món khoai lang này sẽ không làm bạn tăng cân như các món bánh kẹo thông thường.

Ăn vặt lành mạnh không lo tăng cân với khoai lang sấy giòn tan - Ảnh 6.

Chúc bạn thành công và có món khoai lang sấy thật giòn ngon như ý nhé!

(Nguồn: newqq)

Sưu tầm – The Return of Mercenaries, Non-State Conflict, and More Predictions for the Future of Warfare

Private armies were the norm in most of military history, and they’re making a big comeback

Everywhere around the world, the nature of war is changing, and the West is failing to adapt. Western powers are already losing on the margins to threats like Russia, China, and others that have made the leap forward and grow bolder each year. Eventually someone will test us and win.

The West has forgotten how to win wars because of their own strategic atrophy. Judging by how much money the United States invests in conventional weapons like the F-35, many in our country still believe that future interstate wars will be fought conventionally. But although Russia and China still buy conventional weapons, they use them in unconventional ways. China has armed its fishing fleet in the South China Sea, turning it into a floating militia. Russia gave T-72 tanks, truck-mounted rocket launchers, and howitzers to its mercenaries in Syria. Tellingly, Russia even cut its military budget by a whopping 20 percent in 2017, yet it shows no sign of curbing its global ambitions. Its leaders understand that war has moved beyond lethality.

Conventional war thinking is killing us. From Syria to Acapulco, no one fights that way anymore. The old rules of war are defunct because warfare has changed, and the West has been left behind. War is coming. Conflict’s trip wires are everywhere: black market nukes that can melt cities; Russia taking something it shouldn’t and NATO responding in force; India and Pakistan duking it out over Kashmir; North Korea shelling Seoul; Europe fighting an urban insurgency against Islamic terrorists; the Middle East goes nuclear; or the United States fighting China to prevent it from becoming a rival superpower.

Traditionalists who view war purely as a military clash of wills will be doomed, no matter how big their armed forces, because they do not comprehend war’s political nature, while their enemies do. There are many ways to win, and not all of them require large militaries.

Changing the way we fight means forging new instruments of national power, starting with how we think. The first step is jettisoning what we think we know about war. Our knowledge is obsolete. The second step is understanding the art of war for the coming age, so that we may master it, rather than be mastered by it.


Inthe future, wars will move further into the shadows. In the information age, anonymity is the weapon of choice. Strategic subversion will win wars, not battlefield victory. Conventional military forces will be replaced by masked ones that offer plausible deniability, and non-kinetic weapons, like deception and influence, will prove decisive. Shadow war is attractive to anyone who wants to wage war without consequences, and that’s everyone. That is why it will grow.

Future wars will not begin and end; instead, they will hibernate and smolder. Occasionally, they will explode. This trend is already emerging, as can be seen by the increasing number of “neither war, nor peace” situations and “forever wars” around the world. The World Bank’s World Development Report 2011 found that never-ending violence is on the rise, despite all the peace efforts around the world. Social science research confirms this, showing that half of all negotiated peace settlements fail within five years. “War termination” is already an oxymoron. Expect this trend to grow.

A new class of world powers, from multinational corporations to super-warlords to billionaires, can now rent private armies.

Mercenaries will once again roam battlefields, breeding war as their profit motive dictates. (I should know — I used to be a private military contractor myself.) International law cannot stop them, while the demand for their services rises each year. Things once thought to be inherently governmental are now available in the marketplace, from special forces teams to attack helicopters. This is one of the most dangerous trends of our time, yet it’s invisible to most observers. That’s by design. Private warfare is the norm in military history, and the last few centuries have been anomalous.

When money can buy firepower, then the super-rich will become a new kind of superpower, and this will change everything. As states retreat, the vacuum of authority has bred a new class of world powers, from multinational corporations to super-warlords to billionaires. Now these powers can rent private armies, so expect wars without states. This trend will grow, fueled by a free market for force that generates war but cannot regulate it. Today’s militaries have forgotten how to fight private wars, leaving us all exposed.

To the conventional warrior, this all looks like disorder and instills panic. The world is burning without a way to put the fire out. But the new warrior sees something different. States are dying as a concept and are being replaced by other actors, who also fight. How they fight is not disorder — it’s the future of war. Rather than panic, let’s master this future.

The good news is that we can win in an age of durable disorder if we understand the new rules. This begins by transforming militaries from conventional forces to post-conventional ones, and by upgrading our strategic education. We should invest in people rather than machines, since cunning triumphs over brute force, and since technology is no longer decisive on the battlefield. We also need a new breed of strategist — I call them war artists — to contend with new forms of conflict, such as private war.

Half of winning is knowing what it looks like, and this requires a grand strategy. In an age of durable disorder, our grand strategy should seek to prevent problems from becoming crises and crises from becoming conflicts. Attempting to reverse disorder is a Sisyphean task because such disorder is the natural condition of world affairs — again, it’s the recent centuries that have been abnormal.

War is going underground, and the West must follow by developing its own version of shadow warfare. Special operations forces should be expanded, since they can fight in these conditions, and the rest of the military needs to become more “special,” too. The West must do a better job at leveraging proxy forces and mercenaries. But the true weapon of choice will be the foreign legion — it maximizes firepower and minimizes risk. It will combine the punch of special operation forces with the staying power of a normal military unit, all without the problems of proxy militias or mercenaries.

In the future, victory will be won and lost in the information space, not on the physical battlefield. It’s absurd that the West has lost information superiority in modern war, given the heaps of talent in Hollywood, on Madison Avenue, and in London. The West’s squeamishness about using strategic subversion only helps its enemies.


No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

When General Patton spoke these words 75 years ago, they were true. His troops were about to embark on the greatest amphibious assault in history: D-day. Over the course of the “longest day,” 160,000 Allied troops seized a slab of beachhead in Normandy, France. More than 10,000 of them died that day, and individual acts of valor turned a potential military catastrophe into a triumph. From there, the Allies began the long march to Berlin, ending the Nazi empire.

Patton’s words are no longer true.

Today, bastards do not die for their country; they die for their religion, their ethnic group, their clan, money, or war itself. A few, like Afghans and Somalis, say they fight for their country, but the “country” in question is a metaphor and not a modern state. In fact, were there a functional state in those situations, they would probably fight that, too. Patton, were he alive, would be holding his head in his hands.

Countries need to evolve the way they fight, but can they do it? History teaches us that this transformation is difficult. Billy Mitchell was court-martialed in 1925 for having the audacity to suggest that the future of war would be dominated by airplanes and aircraft carriers, not by battleships. He predicted Pearl Harbor 16 years before it happened. His superiors laughed as they convicted Mitchell because it was easier than listening to him — only to be caught “by surprise” on December 7, 1941.

If there is anything to learn from military history, it’s this: warfare evolves before fighters do.

Strategic dogma is stubborn because everything about it is existential. If you get it wrong, the nation dies. This is why strategic leaders are leery to experiment with new approaches, and perhaps why the military calls its tactical playbooks “doctrine.” But such devotion also gets people killed. Typically, blood is required — a huge amount of it — before nations change their way of war, and sometimes not even then.

World War I is a good reminder. Strategists on all sides were stuck in their own past glory days: Napoleonic warfare. However, by the time World War I broke out, fighting had moved well beyond that of Napoleon’s day, and millions died pointlessly because leaders had no strategic imagination. Or they just toed the line. Politicians commanded the generals to win, and they in turn ordered waves of soldiers to assault fortified trenches, only to see them slaughtered by machine guns. Still, this didn’t stop the generals from doing the same thing the next morning. During the Battle of the Somme, the British suffered 60,000 casualties in a single day. That’s more than all the Americans killed in the Vietnam War. The Battle of the Somme was a meat grinder, stealing 1.2 million lives and achieving nothing.

If there is anything to learn from military history, it’s this: warfare evolves before fighters do. War in our time has already changed, but most nations have not. This includes their militaries, political leaders, intelligence agencies, national security experts, media, academic institutions, think tanks, and members of civil society who care about armed conflict. The West’s way of war has evolved little since Patton’s day, and this rigidity has cost us needless lives, just like at the Somme.

There is a choice before us. Either we spill enough blood in battle until we finally realize our problem, or we choose to change now. No one ought to select the former, but the latter is difficult. It will require disruptive thinking and bold steps that conventional warriors will reject but troops on the ground will understand.

It will not be easy, but as any soldier will tell you, nothing worth fighting for is.


From the book THE NEW RULES OF WAR: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate. Copyright © 2019 by Sean McFate. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

By 

Full link: https://medium.com/s/2069/the-return-of-mercenaries-non-state-conflict-and-more-predictions-for-the-future-of-warfare-7449241a04e5

Sưu tầm – How Long Will We Live in 2069?

Naked mole rats, the Church of Perpetual Life, and the quest to discover what the future holds for the human lifespan

There was a time when San Diego’s Town and Country resort was considered a posh destination. These days, it’s best known for its marquee along Interstate 8, which features one-liners like “There’s no way that everyone was kung fu fighting” and “Welcome archery conference — free ear piercing.”

When I visited in September 2018, the property felt suspended between nostalgia and oblivion. Huge swaths of the late-1960’s-era complex, including the fitness center and hundreds of rooms, were shuttered in preparation for a massive renovation. The areas in operation were decorated with a hodgepodge of kitsch: A large Ron Burgundy poster hung on the wall by the front desk, a flock of plastic lawn flamingos were planted in a patch of artificial turf, and faded pop-art murals painted the elevator doors.

But for the approximately 1,000 people who had paid between $395 and $1,995 to attend the third annual Revolution Against Aging and Death Festival, or RAADfest, the visit to Town and Country was their ticket to a virtually endless future. “We’re on a mission,” James Strole, RAADfest’s fast-talking, silver-haired impresario, told the assembled crowd at the event’s opening ceremony. “We’re creating a new world together — a world without pain, sickness, and death.”

Strole wasn’t speaking hyperbolically. Within the next few decades, he said, it will be normal for people to live for hundreds of years in perfect health. “We’re not talking about life in some decrepit state. We’re talking about life getting better and better and better,” he told his audience, most of whom were already well into their retirement years. “Everybody in this room has that opportunity, no matter what condition you’re in. Your body is miraculous, and it can be turned around.”

Strole was followed onstage by a colorful collection of stem cell cowboys, transhumanists, and robot enthusiasts. The weekend’s biggest draws included Aubrey de Grey, a biogerontologist and anti-death evangelist known for an unruly beard that stretches below his chest and his claim that the first human to live to 1,000 is already living among us; Bill Faloon, a former undertaker who runs a “fellowship for longevity enthusiasts” named the Church of Perpetual Life; and Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who predicts that we will soon be injecting millions of nanobots into our bodies to fight disease and enhance our cognitive abilities.

The unorthodox cast of characters wasn’t the only reason RAADfest differed from a typical scientific conference. Between three and four hours of every day’s programming was given over to an “anti-aging and age-reversal expo” called RAADcity. Inside, vendors hawked $370 on-site IV infusions of an “all-natural, holistic” vitamin therapy, as well as “youngering” stem cell treatments, lessons in “sex magic,” and something called the Theraphi Plasma System, which claimed to reverse aging, tame children with anger and impulsivity issues, and cure end-stage cancer. One Tampa-based doctor was selling a four-treatment package of “young plasma” for $27,000. Add in a steady stream of amateur song-and-dance numbers and a rambling, free-associative keynote from actress Suzanne Somers and it was tempting to write off RAADfest as nothing but a gathering of kooks, crackpots, and hustlers.

But there were also serious discussions about legitimate, cutting-edge research being conducted at top laboratories and institutes around the world. Faloon, who speaks with the urgency of a door-to-door salesman, enthused about the benefits of NAD+, a co-enzyme with lifespan-extending potential that forms the basis of a new company founded by Leonard Guarente, an MIT professor and aging pioneer. When Kurzweil said he took more than 100 pills and supplements each day, he singled out metformin, a widely used treatment for Type 2 diabetes that prominent longevity researchers believe could treat a range of age-related ailments, including heart disease and cancer. One of the most discussed topics at RAADfest was senolytics, a new class of drugs under development to treat cellular senescence, the scientific term for what happens to our bodies as they deteriorate with age.

“People are fucked up, you know? They’ve been able to trick themselves into thinking that aging is some sort of blessing in disguise.”

This tension between the fringe and the mainstream encapsulates both the dynamic state of aging research and the many open questions about how this research will, in all likelihood, profoundly change the way our species ages in the future. At RAADfest, it is taken for granted that research coming out of established labs across the country will make it possible for humanity to achieve something close to immortality. The prominent scientists who work in those labs, however, overwhelmingly view infinite lifespans as a pipe dream and caution that the interventions they’re working on, while promising, have yet to make humans live longer.

There is nobody who straddles that divide more than de Grey, a 55-year-old British expat who lives in a mountain retreat about 70 miles south of San Francisco. He’s tall and thin, and his ponytail and conspicuous facial hair invite comparisons to Rasputin, the early 20th-century Russian mystic. He’s also a bona fide celebrity in anti-aging circles—when I sat down with him on an outdoor patio during the second morning of RAADfest, our conversation was repeatedly interrupted by admirers who wanted to shake his hand or get his autograph.

De Grey spent the early part of his career as an artificial intelligence researcher and software engineer. When he was 26, he met and eventually married Adelaide Carpenter, a biogeneticist two decades his senior. “Ever since I heard of the concept of aging, it was always obvious that aging was a medical problem and therefore potentially solvable,” he told me as he ran his fingers through his beard. “And so I went through my whole early life just presuming that it was being worked on quite hard by people who were good at that.”

But the more time he spent with Carpenter and her colleagues, the more de Grey became convinced that his presumption was wrong. While technologists like himself were interested in “manipulating nature,” it seemed to de Grey that basic scientists like his wife were content with merely understanding it. (De Grey and Carpenter divorced in 2017; he was at RAADfest with his new fiancée.) “I had never conceived of the possibility that anyone could not think that aging was the world’s worst problem,” he told me. “But when I did, I decided to switch fields.”

It wasn’t long before de Grey was studying aging full-time — with the goal to ultimately cure it. In the 2000s, he helped launch two separate nonprofits to tackle the problem: the Methuselah Foundation, with the motto “to make 90 the new 50 by 2030,” and the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) Research Foundation.

De Grey’s mad-scientist appearance and willingness to make bold predictions helped garner attention for his efforts, although it often seemed that the media took him more seriously than the scientific community. After de Grey predicted in 2004 that, within 25 years, scientists would develop “effective rejuvenation therapies for humans,” the MIT Technology Review sponsored a forum into whether SENS was “so wrong that it is unworthy of learned debate.” A few months after that, more than two dozen leading aging researchers published a piece in a peer-reviewed journal that ridiculed de Grey’s approach by quoting H.L. Mencken: “For every complex problem, there is a simple solution, and it is wrong.”

But a decade and a half later, it looks like de Grey might be getting the last laugh: Today, “radical life extension” has entered both the scientific and cultural mainstream, and de Grey’s foundations are awarding grants to some of the most renowned scientists in the field. When I asked him why traditional geroscience researchers were entirely absent from RAADfest’s lineup, he insisted that some of them were “very much on board spiritually with what we do here” but were afraid of offending conservative “mainstream” funders, like the National Institutes of Health and philanthropists “who would rather die than live forever.”

De Grey refers to this as “the pro-aging trance,” which highlights another challenge he faces: In polls, a vast majority of Americans say they would not want medical treatments that slow the aging process and allow people to live decades longer.

“People are fucked up, you know?” he said. “They’ve been able to trick themselves into thinking that aging is some sort of blessing in disguise.”


The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is just off US-101, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. The modernist, I.M. Pei–designed campus borders the Olompali State Historic Park in the foothills of Marin County’s Mount Burdell; groups of deer often graze near its parking lots. When it opened in 1999, the Buck was the first biomedical research institution dedicated solely to aging; today, it is the best funded and most prestigious independent aging research facility in the world. If major advances are made in the fight against aging, it’s likely the Buck will have a hand in them.

In early December 2018, just a few months after RAADfest, I visited the Buck Institute for a daylong symposium titled “Live Better Longer: A Celebration of 30 Years of Research on Aging.” That wasn’t an arbitrary demarcation: Aging is one of the rare areas of modern science with a specific launch date. In this case, it was January 1988, when Tom Johnson, a behavioral geneticist at the University of California, Irvine, published a paper that linked a genetic mutation he named “age-1” to longer lifespans in a transparent, microscopic, mostly hermaphroditic roundworm known in scientific circles as C. elegans.

Prior to Johnson’s discovery, aging had not received a lot of attention from researchers. In the 1820s, Benjamin Gompertz, a self-trained mathematician, concluded that humans don’t start to break down at some magic age but are constantly declining and losing the ability to repair themselves, a concept now referred to as the Gompertz law of mortality. The first hint that there might be a cellular mechanism underlying the aging process came more than a century later, in the 1930s, when two Cornell scientists discovered that rats kept on calorically restricted diets lived significantly longer than their more satiated brethren.

But overall, the field was mostly known as being a haven for charlatans and quacks peddling immortality elixirs and other magical cures — a reputation that continued even after Johnson’s work was published. “In the early 1990s, this was viewed as crazy science,” Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute, told me. “When people asked, we used to say we worked on something else. We were almost ashamed to say, ‘I work on aging.’”

But over the course of the next decade, the tools of molecular biology began to reveal the inner workings of how lifespan is regulated. In 1993, Cynthia Kenyon, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that mutations on a different gene, called daf-2, caused C. elegansto live twice as long as expected. Several years later, Gary Ruvkun, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, showed that these so-called worm-aging genes were closely related to genes in the insulin-signaling system of humans. Around the same time, MIT’s Guarente and some of his colleagues discovered the first of several genes in yeast — which are also present in humans — linked to dramatically extended lifespan.

Johnson, Kenyon, Guarente, and Ruvkun were all part of the opening panel at the Buck symposium, and it was impossible to ignore how much the field had changed. Kenyon, who in 2014 was hired away from her job at UCSF by Calico — the Google-backed biotech company dedicated to combating aging — described her inability to find collaborators, or even grad students, when she was starting out. Guarente recounted the reaction of his department chair when Guarente shared one of his discoveries: “Just what the world needs — long-lived worms.” A few years later, however, one of Guarente’s former postdoctoral researchers sold a pharmaceutical company named Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, which made products based on some of those long-lived worms, to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for $720 million.

Ultimately, the Sitris research didn’t pan out, and GSK closed the company, but today, more and more aging-related products are available for consumers. Longo founded a company that sells a five-day fasting-mimicking diet meal kit called Prolon, short for pro-longevity, which his research has linked to changes in biomarkers associated with aging, like inflammation. Guarente told the audience about Elysium Health, a company he helped launch that sells a supplement called Basis, which appears to raise NAD+ levels by up to 40 percent. (The salutary effects of NAD+ were one of the things that Faloon, the Church of Perpetual Life founder, enthused over at RAADfest.) Later on, the president of Unity Biotechnology described his company’s development of senolytics, the class of potentially age-extending drugs that also had everyone at RAADfest buzzing, to treat osteoarthritis, macular degeneration, and pulmonary fibrosis.

Whereas in the past scientists hoped to discover one all-important “aging factor” to target, these days the consensus is that paradigm-changing gains in longevity will come from an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“I think the big success of geroscience drugs will be in their combined action against multiple age-related diseases,” Jan Vijg, a molecular geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told me at Buck. “I think it’s reasonable to predict that maybe three to five years from now, we’ll have a number of drugs based on these little worms that we once thought, well, it’s just an interesting phenomenon.”

Hermaphroditic roundworms aren’t the only unusual animals investigated at Buck for their anti-aging insights. After the day’s second panel, I ducked out of the auditorium to meet up with Rochelle Buffenstein, a native Zimbabwean biologist with strawberry-blond hair, glasses, and a wry sense of humor. While we were having lunch, she told me that her love of food has kept her from adhering to a calorically restricted diet in the hopes of extending lifespan. “I once spoke at a caloric-restriction society meeting and must have looked like the most unlikely person to be there,” she said. “I don’t know if not eating would make me live 20 percent longer, but I’d definitely feel like I was living 50 percent longer.”

Buffenstein has worked as a comparative physiologist in the United States since the late 1990s. After stops at the City College of New York and University of Texas at San Antonio, she was hired by Calico in 2015. When she came out west, Buffenstein brought with her the world’s largest collection of one of the weirdest and most fascinating creatures in existence: the naked mole rat.

Buffenstein keeps her collection of more than 3,500 of the hairless, blind rodents in a series of basement labs at the Buck. Naked mole rats have two massive buck teeth, small holes where their ears should be, and wrinkled, semitranslucent, grayish-pink skin. I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I saw a full-page picture of one as a child, but when I’d visited Buffenstein a year earlier, I hadn’t gotten a chance to visit her animals. (She gave me a naked mole rat plushie as a sort of consolation prize.) Now, after scrubbing my arms up to my elbows and putting on disposable shoe covers and a snood cap, I followed Buffenstein into a tropical walk-in-closet-sized vivarium that housed a colony of several hundred naked mole rats in a series of tubes and clear polycarbonate enclosures that looked like a massive hamster Habitrail.

“Evolution moves by tiny steps, and I think it’s unlikely we’re going to find an intervention that will recapitulate what evolution does,”

Naked mole rats are one of just two eusocial mammal species: Each colony has a single breeding female and a small handful of breeding males. “Lysistrata,” the name of this colony’s breeding female, was written in black ink on a notecard taped to one of the first enclosures in the room. In the wild, naked mole rats live underground, in burrows, and as a result have almost completely lost the ability to regulate their internal temperature, which meant these rooms were kept around 85 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity.

As soon as we walked in, the animals began chirping. “They have 19 different vocalizations I can recognize,” Buffenstein said before pointing out how the colony designated some of the small, dead-ended enclosures as bathrooms. “They also sometimes eat others’ poop, but only while it is being voided,” she said. (It’s crucial to maintaining a healthy bacteria balance in their gut.) “They really are the most incredible creatures. Do you know they can live for up to 18 minutes without oxygen?”

As amazing as all of that is, the most remarkable thing about naked mole rats — and the reason they are housed at the Buck — is that they seem to have overturned Gompertz’s law of mortality, which is to say their likelihood of dying doesn’t increase as they get older. That doesn’t mean they’re immortal, although a few of Buffenstein’s animals have lived for more than 30 years, roughly 10 times as long as mice and other similarly sized rodents. But naked mole rats, along with Galapagos giant tortoises, rougheye rockfish, ocean quahog clams, and Greenland sharks, are one of a motley crew of creatures that remain active and capable of reproducing right up until they die.

“They maintain heart function, hormone levels — every molecule we’ve looked at in terms of pathways,” Buffenstein said. Put another way: Somehow, even as they get older, naked mole rats don’t seem to age. If Buffenstein can determine exactly how they’re able to do that, the hope is that will help us understand how we might be able to mimic that ability in humans.


With this promising research on the horizon, how long might humans live in the future? Fantastical claims to longevity have existed since the dawn of recorded time, but reliable data about maximum human lifespan only dates to the mid-1950s, when the Guinness Book of World Records began independently verifying claims. Even then, initially corroborated ages can end up disproven: On December 27, Russian researchers published a paper arguing that the current world record holder, a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Calment, who said she was 122 when she died in 1997, had stolen her mother’s identity and was actually 99 at the time.

Assuming Calment wasn’t a fraud, since 1955, 46 people have made it to age 115. Nine of them have made it to 117 — and only two, Calment and an American woman named Sarah Knauss, have made it past 117. (Knauss died in 1999 at age 119). Over that same time frame, just under 11 billion people have been alive. That means roughly .0000004204133 percent of people have made it to 115. You’re 79,333 times more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to live to 115; 22,455 times more likely to end up in the emergency room from a golf cart accident; and 11,817 times more likely to get murdered.

That’s why 115 to 125 is often used as a range for the maximum human lifespan. Some researchers believe that supercentenarians, similar to naked mole rats, are impervious to major age-related diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s until just before they die. If scientists can figure out how to disrupt the underlying mechanisms that cause our cells to age, the thinking goes, then supercentenarians will become as common as 80-year-olds are today.

Of course, significant challenges remain. Vijg, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine molecular geneticist, emphasizes that researchers still don’t understand the relationship between aging and the diseases associated with it. During a coffee break at the Buck symposium, I asked Vijg, who has a shaved head and an impish smile, what exactly he means. “We define [aging] in very vague terms, like ‘accumulation of damage’ or ‘accumulation of errors in biosynthesis,’ something like that,” he said. “But in fact, we don’t really know what it is. What is the basic mechanism of aging? We don’t know the process.”

Judith Campisi, a Buck scientist and one of the world’s leading senescence researchers, agreed. “Take the 30-fold difference in lifespan between the mouse and the human,” she said. “We don’t understand what it is that makes a mouse age in two to three years and a human age in 50 to 70 or 80 or 90 years.”

“Evolution moves by tiny steps, and I think it’s unlikely we’re going to find an intervention that will recapitulate what evolution does,” she said.

That’s one reason Campisi and Vijg, along with virtually all of the aging scientists I spoke with, think it’s very unlikely that any breakthrough will be able to help us live to 500 — or even to 150, for that matter. “If you’re super, super healthy and you are already going to be a centenarian or a supercentenarian, will those drugs work for you?” Vijg asked me. “Will they now make you live, instead of to 110, will they make you live to 130 or 140? My guess is no.”

Of course, a future where it’s commonplace to live to 110 or 115 would represent a seismic expansion in human lifespan. The speakers and the audience at RAADfest seem to believe that’s the absolute minimum that will result from this esoteric branch of science. The scientists at the Buck symposium, one the other hand, are much cagier about making predictions based on promising initial results. Many of them remember the optimism of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the initial rash of aging discoveries helped fuel a belief that a “treatment” for aging was just over the horizon.

“It turns out it takes a lot longer to translate from mice to humans than you might expect,” MIT’s Guarente told me toward the end of an hour-long conversation in his office in mid-December. “And we still don’t know for sure that any of this is going to work.”

By 

Full link: https://medium.com/s/2069/how-long-will-we-live-in-2069-f03e698f6de2

Share – When you eat can be just as important as what you eat — ideas.ted.com

By doing something as small as adjusting your mealtimes, you can re-set your body clock and improve your health, says chronobiologist Emily Manoogian. Every weekday for the month of January, TED Ideas is publishing a new post in a series called “How to Be a Better Human,” containing a helpful piece of advice from a…

via When you eat can be just as important as what you eat — ideas.ted.com

By doing something as small as adjusting your mealtimes, you can re-set your body clock and improve your health, says chronobiologist Emily Manoogian.

Every weekday for the month of January, TED Ideas is publishing a new post in a series called “How to Be a Better Human,” containing a helpful piece of advice from a speaker in the TED community. To see all the posts, click here.

When you think about eating better, what comes to mind? Adding servings of fruits and vegetables to your lunches and dinners? Cutting down on processed foods? Consuming more locally grown produce?

Chronobiologist Emily Manoogian has found that adjusting one specific factor — when we eat — could improve our lives just as much as changing what we eat. She says, “Much the same way that you should eat a healthy meal every day, you should also eat it when your body expects it.”

Our bodies run on a 24-hour clock — right down to our cells. “Pretty much anything that you would get tested at the doctor’s office has a circadian rhythm. For instance, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally rise in the afternoon and are lowest while you sleep,” says Manoogian, a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. This rhythm “helps us be alert when we wake up, it has our digestive system ready to process food when we eat, and it helps our organs rest and repair while we sleep.” In her research, Manoogian monitors the timing of daily habits in thousands of people around the world to gain insight on how these affect their health.

In our busy and highly stimulating world, our circadian rhythm could use some assistance. “The two biggest cues you can give your body to tell it the time of day [are] light and food,” says Manoogian. “Evolutionarily, those were very reliable cues to know the time of day. But in modern society, light and food are available around the clock. This can lead to circadian disruption.”

Such disruption is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetesThe World Health Organization has listed it as a probable carcinogen when it becomes a regular feature of life due to shiftwork patterns. Even our treasured weekends and holidays can throw off our body’s schedule in a phenomenon known as “social jetlag,” simulating the feeling of having crossed several time zones as as result of staying up or sleeping later, or eating and drinking at odd hours.

“You need to keep your body on its schedule so it can prepare itself for what it needs to do,” says Manoogian. “This means using those external cues to support your biological clock: tell it when it’s morning and when it should be awake, and decrease simulation at night so it can get a proper rest.”

One way to help our bodies is by practicing “time-restricted eating.” What that means is this: Eat within the same 10-hour window every day. That’s it. So if the first thing that you consume is at 8 AM, your last meal should be at 6 PM.

The end of your 10-hour eating window should not coincide with your bedtime. (Water is fine, however.) “Leave at least three hours before you go to bed … so your body can get that proper rest,” says Manoogian. “[Your body] needs at least 12 hours of fasting every day to function properly.”

If you decide to try time-restricted eating, this does not mean you can never go to a party again or have a midnight snack. When you do exceed your 10-hour window, just get on track the next day. But you may find the benefits of this practice outweigh the inconvenience. “Time-restricted eating … can improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, can lead to about a 5 percent weight loss, improves endurance and decreases blood pressure,” says Manoogian.

If you’re interested in participating in Manoogian’s research and in tracking your own rhythms, check out the free tracking app MyCircadianClock (which was co-created by Manoogian).

Watch her TEDxSanDiegoSalon talk here:

Share – Everything You Know About Global Order Is Wrong — Foreign Policy

If Western elites understood how the postwar liberal system was created, they’d think twice about asking for its renewal.

via Everything You Know About Global Order Is Wrong — Foreign Policy

If Western elites understood how the postwar liberal system was created, they’d think twice about asking for its renewal.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People on Nov. 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Thomas Peter/Getty Images)

Klaus Schwab, impresario of the World Economic Forum, released a manifesto in the run-up to this year’s annual meeting at Davos, Switzerland, in which he called for a contemporary equivalent to the postwar conferences that established the liberal international order. “After the Second World War, leaders from across the globe came together to design a new set of institutional structures to enable the post-war world to collaborate towards building a shared future,” he wrote. “The world has changed, and as a matter of urgency, we must undertake this process again.” Schwab went on to call for a new moment of collective design for globalization’s alleged fourth iteration (creatively labeled Globalization 4.0).

Schwab is not the first to make this kind of appeal. Since the financial crisis, there have been repeated calls for a “new Bretton Woods”—the conference in 1944 at which, in Schwab’s words, “leaders from across the globe came together to design” a financial system for the postwar era, establishing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in the process. It was the moment at which U.S. hegemony proved its most comprehensive and enlightened by empowering economist-statesmen, foremost among them John Maynard Keynes, to lead the world out of the postwar ruins and the preceding decades of crisis. Under Washington’s wise leadership, even rancorous Europe moved toward peaceful and prosperous integration.

This is a story with wide support in places like Davos. It’s also one that deserves far more scrutiny. Its history of the founding of the postwar order is wrong; more important, its implicit theory about how international order emerges—through a collective design effort by world leaders coming together to reconcile their interests—is fundamentally mistaken. What history actually suggests is that order tends to emerge not from cooperation and deliberation but from a cruder calculus of power and material constraints.

Bretton Woods may have been a conference of experts and officials, but it was first and foremost a gathering of a wartime alliance engaged in the massive mobilization effort of total war. The conference met in July 1944 in the weeks following D-Day and the final Soviet breakthrough on the Eastern Front. As a wartime rather than a postwar meeting, disagreements were minimized. Though the conference was about the future order of the international economy and though the aim of the talks was to link national economies back together, the building blocks were centralized, state-controlled war economies. The Bretton Woods negotiators were government officials, not businessmen or bankers. As they had done since the collapse of the global financial system in the early 1930s, central bankers played second fiddle to treasury officials. The Americans who were bankrolling the Allied war effort called the shots.

The basic monetary vision of Bretton Woods was to create order by establishing fully convertible currencies at fixed exchange rates, with the dollar pegged to gold. But the tough conditions of the Bretton Woods monetary architecture set by the United States proved far too demanding for war-weakened European economies. When Britain, the least damaged economy in Europe, tried to implement free convertibility of pounds into dollars, its attempt collapsed at the first hurdle in 1947; the social democratic Labour Party government in London quickly moved to stop the subsequent drain of precious dollars by reimposing exchange controls and tightening import quotas. Meanwhile, the grand design for a free trade order embodied by the Havana Charter and the International Trade Organization fell afoul of the U.S. Congress and was thus stopped in its tracks. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was its cumbersome and slow-moving replacement.

The talk of a connection between the present and the Bretton Woods moment is legitimated perhaps above all by the claimed continuity of the IMF and the World Bank, which were duly set up in December 1945. But beyond institutional titles, this supposed continuity is largely false. Within a year of the founding of its key institutions, almost the entire global agenda of Bretton Woods was put on ice. Already in 1946 the Soviet Union absented itself from the formation of the IMF and the World Bank.

With the Cold War paralyzing the U.N. institutions that had originally been intended to frame Bretton Woods, what emerged under U.S. hegemony was a far narrower postwar order centered on the North Atlantic. The Marshall Plan of 1948 was not so much a complement to Bretton Woods as an acknowledgement of its failure. For true liberals in both the United States and Europe, who hankered after the golden age of globalization in the late 19th century, the resulting Cold War economic order was a profound disappointment. The U.S. Treasury and the first generation of neoliberals in Europe fretted against the U.S. State Department and its interventionist economic tendencies. Mavericks such as the young Milton Friedman—true advocates of free markets in the way we take for granted today—demanded a bonfire of all regulations. They insisted that rather than exchange rates being fixed, currencies should be allowed to float with their value defined by competitive markets. In the 1950s, Friedman could be dismissed as eccentric.

The reality of the liberal order that supposedly came into existence in the postwar moment was the more or less haphazard continuation of wartime controls. It would take until 1958 before the Bretton Woods vision was finally implemented. Even then it was not a “liberal” order by the standard of the gilded age of the 19th century or in the sense that Davos understands it today. International mobility of capital for anything other than long-term investment was strictly limited. Liberalization of trade also made slow progress. The gradual abolition of exchange controls went hand in hand with the lifting of trade quotas. Only when these more elementary limitations on foreign trade were removed did tariff negotiations become relevant. GATT’s lumbering deliberations did not begin making major inroads until the Kennedy round of the 1960s, 20 years after the end of the war. And rising global trade was a mixed blessing. Huge German and Japanese trade surpluses put pressure on the Bretton Woods exchange rate system. This was compounded in the 1960s by the connivance of U.S. Treasury and U.K. authorities in enabling Wall Street to sidestep financial repression and launch the unregulated eurodollar market, based in bank accounts in London.

By the late 1960s, barely more than 10 years old, Bretton Woods was already in terminal trouble. And when confronted with demands for deflation, U.S. President Richard Nixon reverted to economic nationalism. Between 1971 and 1973, he unhitched the dollar from gold and abandoned any effort to defend the exchange rate, sending the dollar plunging and helping to restore something closer to trade balance. If our own world has a historic birthplace, it was not in 1945 but in the early 1970s with the advent of fiat money and floating exchange rates. The unpalatable truth is that our world was born not out of wise collective agreement but out of chaos, unleashed by America’s unilateral refusal any longer to underwrite the global monetary order.

As the tensions built up in the 1960s exploded, foreign exchange instability contributed to a historically unprecedented surge in inflation across the Western world. We now know that this era of inflationary instability would be concluded by the market revolution and what Ben Bernanke dubbed the “great moderation.” But once again hindsight should not blind us to the depth of the crisis and uncertainty prevailing at the time. The first attempts to restore order were not by way of the market revolution but by the means of corporatism—direct negotiations among governments, trade unions, and employers with a view of limiting the vicious spiral of prices and wages. This promised a direct control of inflation by way of price setting. But its effect was to stoke an ever-greater politicization of the economy. With left-wing social theorists diagnosing a crisis of capitalist democracy, the trilateral commission warned of democratic ungovernability.

What broke the deadlock was not some inclusive conference of stakeholders. The stakeholders in the 1970s were obstreperous trade unions, and that kind of consultation was precisely the bad habit that the neoliberal revolutionaries set out to break. The solution, as U.S. Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker’s recent memoirs make embarrassingly clear, was blunt force wielded by the Fed. Volcker’s unilateral interest rate hike, the sharp revaluation of the dollar, deindustrialization, and the crash of surging unemployment dealt a death blow to organized labor and tamed inflationary pressure. The Volcker shock established so-called independent central bankers as the true arbiters of the new dispensation.

They put paid to what Margaret Thatcher referred to as the “enemy within.” But the global victory of the liberal order required a more far-reaching struggle. The world of the market revolution of the 1980s was still divided between communism and capitalism, between first, second, and third worlds. The overcoming of those divisions was a matter of power politics first and foremost, negotiation second. The United States and its allies in Europe raised the pressure on the Soviet Union, and after a period of spectacularly heightened tension, Mikhail Gorbachev chose to de-escalate, unwittingly precipitating the union’s collapse.

The truth is that the postwar moment that the Davos crowd truly hankers after is not that of 1945 but the aftermath of the Cold War, the moment of Western triumph. It was finally in 1995 that the Bretton Woods vision of a comprehensive world trade organization was realized. A sanitized version of this moment would describe it as a third triumph of enlightened technocracy. After Bretton Woods and the defeat of inflation, this was the age of the Washington Consensus. But as in those previous moments, its underpinnings were power politics: at home the humbling of organized labor, abroad the collapse of Soviet challenge and the decision by the Beijing regime to embark on the incorporation of China into the world economy.

Since 2008, that new order has come under threat from its own internal dysfunction, oppositional domestic politics, and the geopolitical power shift engendered by truly widespread convergent growth. The crisis goes deep. It is not surprising that there should be calls for a new institutional design. But we should be careful what we wish for. If history is anything to go by, that new order will not emerge from an enlightened act of collective leadership. Ideas and leadership matter. But to think that they by themselves found international order is to put the cart before the horse. What will resolve the current tension is a power grab by a new stakeholder determined to have its way. And the central question of the current moment is whether the West is ready for that. If not, we should get comfortable with the new disorder.

BY 

Full link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/30/everything-you-know-about-global-order-is-wrong/