Very interesting, BigBad. Those observations (similar to what I, as an international lawyer and former historian, have made for -- lo! -- these many a year) and Potential's feellings (similar to my own) emphasize what I've come to think: that the future of our civilization lies not in the heartland of the West, western Europe and North America -- but on its fringes. And I don't believe that those fringes are more calming (despite a hectic life in Bs.As.) or, overall, more satisfying (beyond necessity, not a great factor) than in Cono Sur.