Friday, June 26, 2009

The Next 100 Years

A thoughtful patron sent in the following review of a new book, and we hope more of you will do the same.

George Friedman is a an expert on international relationships, and in his book The Next 100 Years he has boiled down relations between countries to a good ole boy science. I say that because he lives in Austin and judging by his picture and his writing, he just looks and talks like a good ole boy to me.

He points out that only a few countries ever rise to the top, and they rise for basic strategic reasons. Paramount in being the most powerful are two things. One is a superior military (intelligence and conventional forces). Another is a superior location (on water).

Friedman goes to great extent to open the reader's thought to how things change over time. One hundred years ago Europe was the top of the heap. Two huge wars later and Europe was knocked out of the top spot. Because of that, the superior location shifted west when Pacific ocean trade surpassed Atlantic ocean trade. The U.S. being located on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, became the dominant power.

For the next hundred years, according to Friedman, the United States will remain the center of trade and therefore the dominant power.

I've read lots of books like this, but Freidman's book is one of the best. It is a concise, straight forward and thought provoking take on the future of international relations.

Larry Hardee

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Have You Met Leonard?

Leonard Lucas is our new summer employee. He comes to us courtesy of the Summer Youth Work Experience Program, an arm of the WIN Job Center.
If you've been in the Library since he started, then you probably know him. He's so outgoing and friendly. In fact we think he has a future as a stand up comedian. But his plans are quite different. He's majoring in software engineering and is a real computer wizard. And he said he's taught himself most of what he knows, since his high school didn't offer computer courses.
Leonard is a Natchez native and graduated from Cathedral in 2008. He then left for Mississippi State. Unfortunately, he got quite sick during his freshman year and had to come home. He's been attending CoLin since then but plans to return to Mississippi State in the spring.
When asked what he likes about working in the Library, he said he enjoys meeting all the people who come in here. And he said he loves the food. Food?? Apparently, several of the women are mothering him and bring in dishes for him to try. But what he really likes best is talking to Patrick, our IT guy. When those two get to talking, it sounds like they're speaking a foreign language.
If you see him, you'll not be surprised that he was a basketball player in high school and still plays for fun. He said he was inspired by Michael Jordan. He's a bit of a health nut and likes to stay in shape and eat right.
But his absolute favorite pastime is designing video games - and he plans to do it professionally. One day maybe he'll be rich and famous. Hope he remembers his friends from the Library.
Whatever he chooses to do with his life, he'll be a success - and the Library is so glad we got to enjoy him this summer.