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Monday, September 29, 2008

In the Guardian, John Gray takes the Wall Street crisis alongside the first Chinese spacewalk as a watershed moment: the end of American hegemony. I'd say that's still a bit premature—for one, the turnover of administration will restore at least some of America's luster internationally and reorient our still-immense wealth towards more productive ends, and second the sheer interconnectivity of the global economy means that our financial crisis threatens to take everybody else down with us—but we're certainly moving towards a truly multipolar world, with all the good and bad that will bring.

And we're moving there faster and faster: the Japanese are working on a space elevator, while the Chinese say they can complete an "impossible" Emdrive for use in space. This puts Obama's support for NASA in particular (and science research in general) in context—this stuff really does matter.