Global Military Spending Down; First Time Since 1998

Unfortunately, it's not because governments are getting along with each other: Deep cuts in American and European spending were balanced out by spending increases in China and Russia.

What's the Latest Development?

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending around the world totaled $1.75 trillion in 2012, a 0.5 percent drop from the previous year. Although small, it represents the first real decrease since 1998, and it was largely due to two trends that canceled each other out: The US and its European allies cut expenditures significantly and scaled back their Iraq and Afghanistan operations, while China and Russia increased their spending by 7.8 and 16 percent respectively.

What's the Big Idea?

SIPRI executive Sam Perlo-Freeman puts it simply: "We are seeing what may be the beginning of a shift in the balance of world military spending from the rich Western countries to emerging regions." For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, the amount of American spending as a portion of the total fell below 40 percent. Meanwhile, China's spending has risen 175 percent since 2003, and despite reassurances from its government, other Asian nations are concerned about their increased capabilities. Spending is also up in the Middle East and North Africa, largely because of the Arab Spring uprisings and the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Photo Credit:

Read it at GlobalPost

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less