If you haven't already, go check out (and play) NationStates. It's an online game where you create your own nation and rule it. It's not so much simulating as it is role-playing (for instance, there's no way to declare war on another nation, or initiate trade, or any such stuff except as role-playing via the forums), but it's still wickedly fun. The game is primarily made to promote Max Barry's new novel, Jennifer Government; the book is, of course, in my little list. Advertising can be effective, if it's targeted correctly. Go on, check out my nation, Mr Schrøder's nation, and Niels-Henrik's nation. I aim to be capitalist, Alex aims to be socialist, and Niels is... despotic. He may claim to be aiming for it, but my guess is that despotism just comes naturally to him.
I'm going to this country's capital city, Oslo, this weekend to meet up with Mr Schrøder. I hope he is the sweet misanthropic socialist geek that he claims to be, and not an eccentric 60-year-old lunatic whose interest in me revolves around my internal organs and the well-being thereof. Because if you are, I swear to Athe, I know Kung Fu!
Here's a thought: if we assume Sturgeon's Revelation to be essentially true, and that the amount of stupid people around the world is a direct result of it, things wouldn't be that bad, because the amount of smart people would increase proportionally as there will be more and more people on the planet. The problem now is just finding them. Speaking of which: I don't endorse overpopulation. In fact, I think we should slow down a little. This has been repeated by several intellectuals over the years (not that the general populace ever pays any attention), and so I'll repeat it: humans have an enormous advantage (well, several) over the other animals, in that we can plan what happens to our species. Whereas the other animals reproduce wildly until natural measures are taken (this usually involves starvation because of lack of food or being eaten by predators because, well, predators need food, too), we can plan ahead and make sure that this doesn't happen. If we continue this wild orgie, we'll start seeing resource wars, and although I've never experienced one (and I never will), I submit that it will be, shall we say, unpleasant. I don't want that. I like my species, and I would like to see it survive into space, and that can only be accomplished if we are sensible.
This is one of the reasons I refuse to procreate, by the way. Another, more immediately pragmatic reason is that children are noisy and require enormous attention, and that would seriously cut in on my fun time.
Unfortunately and unwillingly, I have started saying "1337" and "n00b" whenever I see something that rocks or sucks, respectively. I apologize to all who are affected, and I will shape up. I blame Pure Pwnage.
"Audio, video, disco!"