Lawrence Auster asks:
“Is some kind of intensification of the world going on? At the very moment that uprisings are proceeding in several Muslim countries simultaneously, uprisings are proceeding in several states of the United States simultaneously.”
Yes, some kind of intensification of the world is going on, and I think we can find an apt metaphor in the laws that relate the volume, temperature, and pressure of a gas in a closed container.
As you reduce the volume of the container, or add more molecules of gas, the average distance between particles decreases, and the energy density of the system increases. Pressure also goes up, because collisions with the walls of the container become more frequent, and because collisions between particles inside the container happen more energetically and more often, the pace of chemical reactions rises as well.
This is exactly what has happened to the world, and very dramatically so, in the last few years. Not only has crowding increased in the world’s crowded places, but far more importantly, the revolution in electronic communications — in particular, the advent of massively interconnected, global social networks that operate with zero latency and with little regard to political boundaries — has decreased the average distance between individual human beings by orders of magnitude in a very short time. In effect, the world has been compressed to a small fraction of its former volume, almost in the blink of an eye — and what we see now is the sudden increase in pressure, temperature, and chemical reactions that the gas laws tell us should happen under such circumstances. And as those reactions happen, they in turn liberate even more energy into the system, creating shock-waves of localized increase in pressure, and raising the overall temperature and energy density.
So yes, a very rapid “intensification” of the world is underway — and we should expect it to continue.