Labou's client state commences its death rattle

What should we call this sovereign debt crisis? There does not appear to be one overall name that we can apply to the phenomenon. Even in the year after the downturn, the consensus is revolving around the Great Recession. Markets are still not reacting with confidence to the Special Purpose Vehicle designed to issue debt shoring up the PIGS. It will allay the crisis and delay the reckoning.

Of concern is the lack of decoupling between Britain and the Eurozone. Despite Cameron's scaremongering speech yesterday, Fitch has greeted the latest well-trawled measures with some scepticism.

The FTSE 100 also closed down 0.8pc at 5028.15 as the uncertainty in Europe continued, and after Fitch, the ratings agency, issued a veiled warning that the Coalition Government would have to do more than was currently implied to reduce the deficit, or put Britain's AAA credit rating at renewed risk.

Within hours, the Chancellor announced that he was running his sliderule over benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions, as Labour's client state commences its death rattle.

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A respite in the Frankfurt salient

I suppose this is what you call a respite. Even though markets fell and the € remained below the significant $1.20, the Eurozone was committed to its hairshirt, a puritanical straitjacket of catastrophic proportions. Whilst I argued for reform of their welfarism for many years, they wish to self-destruct their Ponzi schemes as quickly as possible for small pieces of paper. This is Hitchhiker's Guide madness.

European finance ministers attempted to calm nerves by finalising details of a safety net for the eurozone and moving to tighten up budget discipline. Ministers from the 16 nations that share the single currency were due to agree arrangements to allow a Special Purpose Vehicle to raise up to €440bn (£363bn) to lend to eurozone nations that run into Greek-style problems, officials said.

They were also due to discuss ways of avoiding another Greek debt crisis by tightening surveillance of national budgets and introducing earlier and tougher sanctions against countries that breach EU deficit limits or misrepresent their statistics.

Free up space

The US space industry (or that part of it which depends upon NASA and Pentagon subvention) is under threat from European and Asian rivals. Not because of protectionism in the classical sense of Jasminlive tariffs but because US export controls do not allow US firms to compete at all. And they are falling behind.

Export control reform in the United States has made progress, but "the proof will be in the execution of it," Lambert said

"We need to do this. We have second- and third-tiers [companies] going out of business because they can't export and they're not competitive in the global marketplace," he said. "I think we're coming to terms rather quickly with a design and a framework that will allow us over time to transition to a much more effective export promotion strategy as opposed to an export control strategy."

A new riff on the damage that governments can cause because they are not nimble enough to respond to the marketplace. But the removal of restrictions on exporting space industry and allowing a competitive industry to develop is paramount, if newspace is to survive.

Even dinosaurs need second brains...

The US Defence Department, looking at the world around itself, has joined the dance of numerical iteration (in computer parlance: the upgrade) and is looking towards more open architectures so that it is not beholden to chaturbate rooms providers, like Lockheed. Nothing like good old-fashioned competition to reduce expenditure, and upgrade platforms.

In 2008, then-Pentagon acquisition chief John Young put the total cost of developing and installing Increment 3.1 and what became 3.2A and 3.2B at around $8 billion. The figure has likely gone up because the Air Force now plans to upgrade more F-22s.

Once the new architecture is installed, "if we want a new capability on the airplane, we can go out to industry with an RfI [request for information] and say, 'You all got good ideas; can you make it work with this architecture?'" Weber said.

The ultimate goal is to allow systems such as new radars to be "plug-and-play," as a printer might be to a desktop computer, he said.

How can they turn 'plug and play' into a dance of billions? Unbelievable. Boomers! Your vanished entitlements have funded empire (and what resources did you get out of Afghanistan for that investment?)

Europe squanders its breathing space

The transfer union is off the table; Eurobonds will not be tolerated; it is doubtful that the EFSF can be enlarged.

What remains? A disorderly rout once the ECB's firepowers is exhausted. Or a European coup d'etat overturning parliamentary sovereignty and constitutions: political will overriding legal niceties designed to protect democracy.

Soon, the EU periphery may face costly chaos or a bureaucratic technocracy with a representative figleaf.

Innovate to cure

An article, interviewing the IEEE emerging technology committee chair: Professor Atam Dhawan at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dhawan highlights five categories: IT software, optical imaging technologies, bioelectronics, regenerative medicine and medical robotics. The overlap between the categories is quite clear; their effect, if state systems and debt dysfunction do not kill off all innovation, will prove revolutionary.

We no longer appear on the map

How long does it take to construct a three dimensional map of the known universe, out to 320 million lightyears? About ten years on our current technology. The all-important third dimension depended upon the ability to map redshifts amongst all of the imaged galaxies, relating them to each other as well as to earth.

One of the first comments on the article asks where is the "You are here" arrow. Within the immensity of the map, earth and indeed, the Milky Way are lost. Just as Moore's law is an exponential trajectory inwards, one can map humanity's sense of significance against the scale of the universe. As the universe inflated to cosmic, our centrality in nature plummeted to irrelevance, indifference and insignificance.