Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back in Prague

I'm back in Prague, enjoying certain things (like parks, architecture, beer and food, rather few cars), hating others (quality of services, behavior of people to each other, reckless drivers).

I was thinking about a post evaluating my overall experience, maybe even a comparison of the cultures. I don't think I can do that. I just want to say this: You need to go there and return back to make a proper comparison.

I will note one other thing. The distances here are incredibly smaller. If you ride a car for 30 minutes outside of the city, you get somewhere. In the USA, it does not even count as a trip. Within such distance, there are literally hundreds of places worth visiting around Prague (not to mention the hundred within!). There are maybe two in San Diego, if you live in the right spot. It takes 45 minutes even to get to the San Diego Zoo.

Take Climate Change Seriously

There is one thing most of us can do to slow down or stop global warming. It comes for free - it even saves you some money. It increases your welfare or at least economic well-being. It gives you more free time, better social life.

Yes, I'm talking about NOT having babies.

The subconscious urge to spread your genetic material makes you have sex, not to have babies, and you can do that safely and comfortably these days. And you should find a restraint on the conscious level, because you now know you will save plenty of resources and reduce your CO2 (etc.) emissions.

Defend Yourself

How would you defend yourself if you were a small country, say Georgia, against somebody like, I don't know, Russia?

Obviously, raw military power is useless. It is not feasible to build regular army strong enough to defend your country against opponent that much bigger. One would hope that NATO and such organizations could help. But our own pre-WWII experience suggests otherwise.

Other means are difficult to obtain, and if your country signed certain international contracts, also illegal. I'm talking about nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Such weapons won't help you in a local fight, they won't drive insurgents away but may deter your opponent from a full scale invasion.

As a legal and feasible method I see only special form of military training. You need to teach your people how to use guns, grenades, rocket launchers and explosive in a partisan war. Basically, you need to teach them how to become terrorists. If you opponent comes, your people will be learning it anyway - like Czechs (few of them) did when Germans came. Or even fewer when Russians did.

Let's hope it's not what Georgians are doing these days. It's kind of hard to prevent the people to use this partisan knowledge later in other causes. Like defending Islam, for example.

Anyway, all my support goes to Georgia. I hope their suffering will help others to remember that Russians are not a civilized nation and it seems unlikely they will ever be. Unfortunately, that does not mean that anyone who can do anything will do something. So what, Russians are conquering one small nation, right?

Well, one at a time. That takes Ukraine and Slovakia to get to Czech Republic.