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last night i went to a showing of this movie called The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream. It's this documentary about how we're running out of oil and natural gas, and pretty soon supply won't be able to keep up with demand, which means an end to the modern system of sprawl, where we live far away from where we work, every trip requires a car, and everything we use and even the food we eat comes from thousands of miles away. they cited some pretty shocking facts, like: every calorie of food we eat requires 10 calories of energy to produce, and that's not including the energy needed to transport the food to its destination.

the phenomenon is called "peak oil", because oil won't actually run out completely; instead, oil production follows a sort of bell curve with time, so it'll increase, then peak or plateau, and then go down after that. so 200 years from now, it'll still be possible to extract oil from the ground, but it'll take a lot more effort for a lot less oil. then the question is when the peak will happen. U.S. production of oil peaked in the early 70s. Worldwide, the peak should be happening, oh, about now. Say, 2010 or 2020. of course, we won't really know until after it happens.

essentially, there won't be enough energy to go around to satisfy our consumption. no amount of solar or wind will make up for what we fall short on in oil. so we'll be forced to live in walkable communities, buy things that aren't made on the other side of the globe, etc. but before that happens, people might get violent. most people don't even know this is happening. when gas prices go sky high, and people don't realize that this is a permanent state of affairs, they'll look for things to blame. "people will elect maniacs," the documentary says, who will sell them the quick fix, rather than long-term solutions.

i think of the war in iraq and condi rice getting voted in as the secretary of state. condoleezza's not stupid. i remember reading the transcript of her argument with barbara boxer. she said that possible WMD's were just one of the reasons we went to war in Iraq. The U.S. went to war in Iraq to protect our interests in that region, she said. Our entire way of life is based on having access to cheap energy, and lots of it. The Persian Gulf is the last major source of that. Plain and simple. It's kind of disturbing to think about, but it makes so much sense.

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today, 2/28, was Peace Memorial Day in Taiwan.

updated my web page today. a much-needed, long overdue overhaul. added my logan essay, rearranged, etc. but it’s only half done. who knows when i will have the chance to do it again? lots of homework.

another movie, 見鬼. The Eye, I think. liked it, but perhaps not enough to watch it again. would have enjoyed it more if i didn’t get the dialogue in stereo—Cantonese on the right, Mandarin on the left. I need to watch more Cantonese movies.

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in stark contrast to the taiwanese lexicon class, the language typology and universals class is quite interesting. i'll have to brush up on things like ergativity, but prospects look good.

i saw 三更 (Three). it has three movies, the third one is called Going Home. it has 黎明 (Leon Lai) in it. it's very strange, but i liked it. the first one is Memories, a korean movie. i liked that one too. they're both kind of disturbing in a way that makes you think a bit afterwards. but all very well done.

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