* U.S. Discovers massive mineral wealth in Afghanistan Roughly $1 trillion worth:
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
There's my favorite Chinese curse, which goes "May you live in interesting times. May you attract the notice of those in high places. May you find what you are looking for." All three seem to apply in this case. Yet again a case of massive natural wealth found in a brutally fractious country. So far, much of the reaction I've heard has resembled "Oh. Shit."
Of course, the United States and many other industrial powerhouses once had massive resource reserves, but those have largely been used up and all the cheap stuff now lies underground of harsh political and geographical terrain.
Many of the devices powering the information revolution depend on lithium batteries. It will be interesting to see if technologists end up supporting bloodshed to keep that cheap, just as previous generations did to preserve cheap oil.
Of course, this cycle can't continue forever. We've got to find better ways of recycling old technology and using less resources in the new stuff.
Conor Friedersdorf argues the United States should run away from the Afghan resources, "sending someone else across the minefield in our stead. The United Nations? The World Bank? The China Mineral Corporation? Whoever it is, better that they suffer the consequences of this find than that we do."
* Chamber President wants government to pay for BP cleanup Speaking of the dangers of risky resource extraction, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to push for the government to bail BP out.
It's a particularly shocking display of privilege, unjustifiable under free market ideals or any other. The translation on his statement is easy: "Shut up peasant, and pay your betters."
* Culinary diplomacy with the Axis of Evil Cafe The Conflict Kitchen, started by a group of Pittsburgh artists, features food from places the U.S. is on bad terms with. The project is intended "to help people see these countries as everyday, human places that are defined by more than just their policies and government."
The article has a particularly interesting account of a meal (and the ensuing conversation) via satellite between a group in Tehran and Pittsburgh.
* New Soft City One of the latest augmented reality proposal. We'll see how it pans out. I'm waiting for the inevitable black market/social uses of this technology to start arising and honestly I find them more fascinating than seeing in flashier ways if the buses are running on time.
* And Still They Cry Out On the anniversary of the Green Uprising, rebel calls still ring from Tehran rooftops.
* Prince Poppycock at America's Got Talent. Let's change things for a sec for the less serious. This is just absolutely divine.