Joseph Tainter

Podcast

Archeoguidaroma

Joseph Tainter: The Collapse Of Complex Societies

What history predicts about our future prospects
Sunday, June 25, 2017, 11:20 PM

By popular demand, we welcome Joseph Tainter, USU professor and author of The Collapse Of Complex Societies (free book download here).

Dr. Tainter sees many of the same unsustainable risks the PeakProsperity.com audience focuses on -- an overleveraged economy, declining net energy per capita, and depleting key resources. 

He argues that the sustainability or collapse of a society follows from the success or failure of its problem-solving institutions. His work shows that societies collapse when their investments in social complexity and their energy subsidies reach a point of diminishing marginal returns. That is what we are going to be talking about today, especially in regards to where our culture is today, the risks it faces, and whether or not we might already be past the tipping point towards collapse but just don’t know it yet. » Read more

Insider

flcikr

Too Much Complexity Is Killing Us

Why the decline is accelerating from here
Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 11:13 PM

There’s a line of thinking -- one that we ascribe to here at PeakProsperity.com -- that says today’s problems are far more complex and numerous than those we've dealt with in the past. In fact, some of them are actually predicaments -- meaning they have no solutions, only outcomes that we'll need to manage.  Moribund economic growth is only as high as it is due to massive debt binging. Ecological and energy issues are accelerating, and will for sure rear their heads at inopportune times not of our choosing.

Said another way: Eventually we're going to have to pay the bill. » Read more