The world economy and politics are doing things that are throwing red flags up for me.
The field is being shaped for a global reserve currency and obviously a global government to manage it. Look at Gordon Brown.
That would mean that there would be no place outside of that government. The economy around the world is burning down. Given that currently that Europe and Japan are socialist, China and Russia being communist and even the US is tending socialistic as well. Lots of other nations are socialist as well. So a global government would likely be socialist.
Unions are getting new support in the US Congress and so it would be possible for the unions to rebuild the guild system. The guilds kept their techniques under control by passing on death bed secrets. It didn't always work well, Damascus steel being the most obvious example.
There is also a strong anti-intellectual undercurrent out there and that isn't good for innovation either. With the heavy taxes in California Silicon Valley may not last maybe it will be recreated somewhere else, I don't know.
Then you also have the Democrats working on renewing the Fairness Doctrine, one way or another. It is funny that they are working so hard to shutdown the voices of three people on the least effective forms of communication. The lecture format, which is what talk radio is, lets you retain only about 10% after 24 hours, and people usually listen to it while doing something else which makes it even less effective. If you can't stand that little criticism you have problems. But what this boils down to is restriction of the sharing of ideas and that is very bad.
You know, 6 months ago the thought of another Dark Ages was ridiculous, I certainly wouldn't have believed it. But I have been thinking through some possible worst case scenarios, and excluding things such as nuclear war and asteroid impacts, this i about as bad as it could get. While I might think we have a even money on a Great Depression, a Dark Ages is still less then 5%, but that is way up from where it was before. It's like a swarm or earthquakes deep under Yellowstone, it could be nothing but it could be a supervolcano.