by “Ferret” Ball
[Ferret Ball is the nom de guerre of a 2008 Augsburg College mathematics graduate now doing postgraduate and independent studies, in topology and the modeling of “strategic space”. Needless to say — a blinding glimpse of the obvious, indeed! — if she writes more for Bodwyn Wook, we shall create for her her own category. — ed]
In what follows I will not be presenting a mathematical argument. Most general readers probably do not have the ability to follow such a presentation. So what I am doing really here is just kind of an exercise in thinking out loud. That is a metaphor too, but now so is Anne Frank’s statement that “paper is patient”. “Quick as thought,” a line from The Hobbit, is more like it especially in an internet age. I am twenty-three and it is really a whole lot harder for me to understand how radically the world has changed for older readers, my parents, baby boomers who are the target of so much of Bodwyn Wook’s annoyance, than it is to speculate — mathematically — on short and midterm futures. That’s just how it is. I grew up in the internet in more ways than one and while in many ways that amounts a big fat too bad for you, especially if you are older and did not, there is still more to it than that. At last the system of the world (Newton) is approaching the point I find where decisive calculation is now just about possible. By “decisive calculation” I mean mathematical operations that all by themselves change the outer or objective situation, as algorithms are being run. I am in the process of setting up something like this now. If nothing else, as an experiment it is way less expensive than the CERN collider. So now let’s talk about China (and the Far East culture area).
Some statisticians calculate the slippage in the capacity of big organizations now, for example the US govenment, unilaterally to realize goals as originally foreseen by policy planners has already exceeded a certain mathematical constant. This artifact comes from certain forms of analysis, and all it means is that any undertaking now by the US government in the war on terror, for example, only has about a fifty-fifty chance of success. That’s anyway you cut it. In other words many areas of government concern are now not mathematically predictable in any meaningful way as goals in themselves. That is true regardless of any infinity function for any power variable, theoretical or material. In the war on terror the role of allies is not critical either way. And this same constant number conditions today all domestic and international efforts, for example in the economics and domestic policy areas. In fact a parallel number plus or minus three percent applies to international businesses too. Interestingly, these constants because of globalization of information can be said to run concurrently with the field or domain of the internet, or cyberspace. The wiggle room in this is a certain amount of phase variation between the two numbers. (This as I wrote before somewhere here in a comment is the same virtually as the electronic gauge of the physical universe and it is actually coexstensive, but that is only a side issue now.) All I have written down so far now then is about our present baseline as mathematical observers. Now for something specific about China.
Our baseline itself is only a shifting platform of course. This must be kept in mind all along. In this early postmodern period (what Bodwyn Wook calls the “end of the old Atlantic West”) the system of evolving Chinese policy in the world today operates with three elements. First there is a system of client states. By these we usually mean more and more African countries and South America, especially Argentina, being woven into the Chinese resource domain. There is however another client domain on which China for now is relying to maintain security for now against the low intensity but chronic transnational terrorism threat. The real security issue for China is not a terror attack — most muslim terrorists just don’t look very Chinese! — but how to transform the situation on China’s western border. This is the second phase of dealing with this second tier I have just mentioned of defender clients. An important debate in Chinese leadership circles now is about how to manage the growing Turkish nationalist movement. If they can manage that on their western borders and have a buffer of united Turkish speakers, mostly muslim, against Russia and Europe plus a rock over India’s head, the Chinese can dispense with other clients and devote their resources even more decisively to their third element of policy security. That’s their naval expansion. Right now they are sending warships to Somalia to tangle with the pirates there. And just in case you couldn’t guess what’s in this suitcase, that ship’s captain and crew who fought off the last attack were all trained. They were really well trained. So I hope you can figure what I am getting at now. It’s this. We’ve been hearing a lot of people say that China is tied to the West economically and of course naturally will keep on borrowing us money during what looks like a very bad recession. And anyway they “have to” and there is no choice because otherwise they will have mass unemployment and huge social unrest. But the Chinese also have a lot of nationalism going on, many Chinese including maybe especially the common people think of themselves as being on the way up, and anyway as always the final decision will be made by Chinese leaders as a power matter. If they can make something of the Turkish movement in their Far West, then they will be able to forget about further subsidizing First World client economies. Cutting off the cash will just help clear the way for Chinese activities in the world. It’s something like letting an outdated industry take the big smackdown instead of pouring out more money, only to lose it all anyway.
Anyway that is an example of what could be going on, and that’s what I’m working on now — basically I am taking a flat surface with huge inertia and trying to see if anything I can do can make it change shape. Wish me luck, it’s your butts too!
[Andrea Ball all rights reserved December 20th, 2008]