Investing in Precious Metals 101 Ad

SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy changes based on science, not hysteria or speculation

Login or register to post comments Last Post 5635 reads   60 posts
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 60 total)
  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 04:08pm

    #1
    holtmf

    holtmf

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 11 2008

    Posts: 2

    count placeholder

    SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy changes based on science, not hysteria or speculation

I just watched the crash course, and as someone with a thorough background in modern science, I was distressed by its presentation of some ideas.  Additionally, I recently found a verifiable mathematical proof that our economy is doomed with 100% certainty.  I have just sent to Chris Martenson the following letter elucidating my concerns.

You are obviously adept at economic and statistical analyses, but what is your agenda with misleading your audience about the potential impact of renewable energy?  As a student of biochemistry (it’s irrelevant to this discussion but I am also a student of neurotoxicology, though primarily my interests are focused on psychopharmacology) I am very concerned with your treatment of some scientific data.  I very much hope you are as open to this letter as I surmised from your demeanor in the crash course videos.

Before I begin explaining my position (which isn’t really mine–it is influenced by so many sources I don’t care who gets credit for it) I would like to implore you to make this very important distinction.  Right now, economics as a discipline is based on belief, not fact.  No true formal proof exists of any so-called economic "law." Economics should be mathematically predictable more than any other discipline since it involves merely the exchange of numerical values.  The idea that human action is indeterminate and consequently that economics cannot be mathematically modelled is fallacious.  The motion of an individual gaseous atom in the atmosphere is indeterminate, but the total movement of heat and pressure fronts can be confidently predicted and in fact is the basis of modern meteorology.

My first concern is your video 17A about peak oil.  What purpose does it serve to exaggerate the difficulty of implementing a renewable energy infrastructure to replace oil?  That is a very destructive standpoint to popularize.  Do you even have an idea what the numerical ranges for potential output for these technologies are?  You would do well to find out.

You claim that it would take a 2000X increase in our renewable energy infrastructure to replace the oil imports we stand to lose.  While that may be true, you gloss over the fact that the United States has a deplorable renewable energy infrastructure and that 2000X is much less than it would seem.  We have almost no wind turbines installed and nothing in the sea, yet there is enough wind through the Midwest and tide in New England to power the entire country.  You in essence fudge these numbers after carefully pointing out the effect of a large GDP in a denominator of a deficit ratio.

Tidal and wind and solar energy do have enormous potential, but I am much more bewildered that you didn’t even mention geothermal energy.  Geothermal power plants tap into by far the most abundant source of energy available to be harvested by mankind.  I urge you to look up primary sources that describe the scientific merit of geothermal energy.  The fact is that powerful fossil fuel interests suppress development or implementation of new technologies to some degree.  It seems from your complete omission and the public’s general ignorance on the topic that they may suppress the news coverage as well.  Geothermal energy is so abundant that it alone could replace all current and future need for electricity worldwide with current technology.  There is no question in my mind that geothermal is going to be a big part of the answer.  The Earth’s core contains thousands of times the energy we need to power the entire world for ages just waiting for us to apply our technology.  This isn’t just something to brush aside as something you "happened to have missed" as you say in 17B.  Let me be clear:  oil IS NOT the most important energy source of the world.  That honor belongs unequivocally to geothermal.

How does this relate to the "flying around" that you treat with your intonation as if it were so axiomatic a human need that it seems a cornerstone of your argument for the necessity of oil in our lives?  Well, advanced battery technology exists that eliminates the need for fossil fuels to be burned in cars, which should be made from carbon polymers and not steel so long as we have the resources.  What is your obsession with liquid fuels in 17B?  Combustion is not the only way to propel a vehicle, and we should only burn away our oil when really necessary.  There is much more promise in further developing battery technologies, especially the ones that have been patented and not produced in order to hike oil-related profits.  Back to "flying around":  Airplanes are horribly inefficient.  Air resistance and the massive weights of airplanes demand far too much energy to be a sustainable means of transportation.

Just as the shift from mechanical work to electromagnetic work revolutionized technology from the grandfather clock and pocket watch to the computer and the mp3 player, such a shift is trying to revolutionize transportation, if we only would let it.  Electromagnetic trains in guiding rails suspended by magnetic fields would eliminate all friction aside from air resistance, and electromagnetic propulsion could be carefully controlled to minimize force upon the occupants of the train by keeping acceleration low (F=ma; you don’t feel speed, only acceleration).  Current engineering for these trains has produced plans capable of travel at thousands of miles per hour at a tiny fraction of the energy needed to fly a plane.  This technology could eventually be applied to roadways, and I have no doubts that one day even cars will function by an electromagnetic system as opposed to mechanics.

It is true that oil is finite, and it seems likely that its production has peaked.  That being the case, it is of paramount importance that we use our remaining oil to build our renewable energy and cheap transportation infrastructure, while we still have the chance.  Your arguments gloss over real solutions at a moment when you have a unique opportunity to educate your audience on the reality of amazing recent advances in energy technology.  Let me again be clear:  current technology available to be applied right now could rid the world of its need for fossil fuels forever and set up a network of energy that as long as properly maintained would supply the world with all the electricity it would ever need.

Now on to my bigger concern (yes, a greater concern than that).  This next idea is the real reason I spent the time to write you.  Though your videos show skillful critical analysis throughout, you acknowledge that the system is "at its core out of tune with reality" without delving any further into the details or ramifications of this schism.  You are also right that "every single failed fiat currency regime has failed for the same reasons."  However, you are understandably mistaken in what those reasons are, because you identify proximal causes of the ultimate flaw.

You stress repeatedly the dangers of exponential functions, but what of the exponential function of compound interest and the ramifications of the fact that it cannot possibly be sustained against realistic growth?  It’s not the population growth that we must worry about, and it is nothing intrinsic about oil that prohibits our exponential growth as a society.  No, nothing at all in the real world can maintain exponential growth indefinitely; that’s why logistic equations exist.  The resources of the Earth are being extracted at an initially exponential rate (that drops off quickly as the resource is depleted) because we require an exponentially increasing supply of money to service our exponentially increasing debts.

It is no coincidence whatsoever that our debt skyrocketed while our savings disappeared.  The ultimate source of all new money in our financial system is loans.  Since all money is loaned into existence at interest, there is never enough money to pay the interest fees, because the principle itself was the original source of the currency.  As a result, another loan must be taken out to cover the cost of the interest, transferring finance charges into further debt in an exponential pattern.  This process proceeds until a critical proportion of the total circulation must be diverted to merely servicing the growing debt and commerce can no longer persist with the remaining funds, causing mass scale bankruptcies and a systemic depression.  

This is not merely a consequence of our fiat currency’s lack of specie backing, but rather it is a process that necessarily takes place in any economic system subject to interest on its loans.  A mathematician named Mike Montagne proved this concept in 1979, but it is so subversive an idea that it still receives little attention some 30 years later.  Recall Mr. Schopenhauer’s words about the stages of truth.  This is truth, and I already consider it self-evident.  I urge you to take your time in reviewing these links and to consider their implications carefully.  I am in no way affiliated with the website or with Mr. Montagne and only recently discovered these ideas myself.

http://www.perfecteconomy.com/pg-probability-of-worldwide-economic-collapse.html is a good place to start for economic analysis based on real unbiased math.  http://www.perfecteconomy.com/index.html gives more background to the idea and http://www.perfecteconomy.com/pg-parable-of-perfect-economy.html gives a historical example (from right here in America) of a similar system being implemented and facilitating prosperity.  Have you ever wondered why it was that there was widespread poverty somewhere where land was literally available for free?  Think about that for a minute.

Interest is justified by a risk that is nonexistent in responsible loaning practices and by the desire of financiers and investors to receive money for doing nothing other than moving money.  In a mathematically perfected economy like the type Montagne advocates and similar to the one that succeeded in Colonial America, currency would be issued by the producers of goods (likely with supervision from the government) and loan payments would be made at a rate equal to the depreciation or consumption of the goods.  In this system, the outstanding debt and the remaining value of the asset are always equal, so upon default the lender receives compensation exactly matching the remaining debt.

Mr. Montagne explains in more detail than I can right now what all the benefits of his theory-based economic system are. If undeniable simple calculations are enough to convince you of truth, which I suspect they are given your apparent respect for science, you might consider updating your crash course to include the fatal flaw of the system.  You say in the final film that we cannot be 100% sure of a financial collapse, but it’s right here in the math; you only need to have a look for yourself.  There is no real uncertainty in this situation–only trepidation because the reality is so unsettling.

Considering your films’ attempts to highlight truths of the system even when they are unpleasant, I feel it necessary to inform you that on the most fundamental issue of all (compound interest) you’re still thinking inside the box, and that box is bought and paid for by the banking industry.  Hard specie slows the rate of wealth transfer to the financial sector because it forcefully imposes an upper limit on circulation, but it does nothing to correct the inherent flaw in the system that the money necessary to pay interest does not exist, and the resultant cycle of ever increasing loans can only continue unabated for a couple dozen periods before experiencing an inevitable collapse as sure as tomorrow’s sunrise.

We came off the gold standard in 1971 when it was clear that there was not enough gold left to cover our certificate obligations.  World population and economy has ballooned so much since then that it’s far too late to go back and reap any real benefit from the stability of specie.  Return to a gold standard now would merely result in the financial sector dispossessing the people of its gold as well as its property.  The only answer by now is the removal of the institution mathematically (which in this case also means scientifically, objectively, and undeniably) identified to be the culprit, and that is compound interest.

It may be hard to believe (just as it was hard for people to believe heliocentrism in the time of Galileo), but inflation and deflation are not natural or inevitable occurrences for currencies.  There is some evidence to suggest that they are, just as the sunrise and sunset suggest the Sun’s orbit of the Earth.  However, without exponential compound interest and instead with loans adjusted to reflect the consumption or depreciation of the assets they are taken against, inflation and deflation would simply not exist.  Challenge the math; it is correct.  Leave the pseudoscience of modern economics and its quasi-logical reasoning behind and open your eyes to the truth.  Everything we know about financing is directly or obliquely related to the fact that everyone considers compound interest an annoying but necessary part of the system.  Knowing that this is false and even dangerous as an accepted belief, we have no choice but to restructure the entire system starting from the correction of its fatal flaw.

Please open your mind.  You have everything to lose from ignorance, and everything to gain from properly directed activism.  I do not claim credit for these ideas, as they would not have been possible without significant input from other sources.  All the same, I can vouch for their scientific and logical merit, and I entreat you to treat this information with the utmost respect.

I reap no pleasure from spreading this knowledge, but it is something that must be done.

 

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 04:44pm

    #2

    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4469

    count placeholder

    Faith in technology

I carefully constructed the Crash Course to challenge people’s smallest beliefs ("faith in money") prior to challenging the larger ones ("faith in authority").

The one belief that I did not specifically target, although it deserves its very own chapter, is "faith in technology," which now surpasses religious faith for many in the west.  I judged this faith too deeply entrenched for casual treatment and so I left it out of the on-line Crash Course, somewhat to my regret.

Your post, well meaning as it is, is expressly based on a faith in technology that I do not hold.

TIME, SCALE, and COST.

Those are the three elements that are completely missing from your proposed "solutions" which, while admirable, propose technologies that are either not yet developed or represent fractional percentages of our installed energy base.

In order for me to respond to hopeful new technologies as realistic solutions, time, scale and cost have to be part of the proposal. Otherwise, regretfully, there’s nothing at all to respond to from a logical standpoint leaving us only to enter a belief-based fencing match.

As to the rest of your comments I had trouble making it past your assertions that "It’s not the population growth that we must worry about, and it is
nothing intrinsic about oil that prohibits our exponential growth as a
society.
" with which I vigorously disagree. 

But thanks for the links I will certainly check them out when I have time.

 

 

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 04:48pm

    #3

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 163

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

[quote=holtmf]

I just watched the crash course, and as someone with a thorough background in modern science, I was distressed by its presentation of some ideas.  Additionally, I recently found a verifiable mathematical proof that our economy is doomed with 100% certainty.  I have just sent to Chris Martenson the following letter elucidating my concerns.

You are obviously adept at economic and statistical analyses, but what is your agenda with misleading your audience about the potential impact of renewable energy?  As a student of biochemistry (it’s irrelevant to this discussion but I am also a student of neurotoxicology, though primarily my interests are focused on psychopharmacology) I am very concerned with your treatment of some scientific data.  I very much hope you are as open to this letter as I surmised from your demeanor in the crash course videos.

Before I begin explaining my position (which isn’t really mine–it is influenced by so many sources I don’t care who gets credit for it) I would like to implore you to make this very important distinction.

[/quote]

holtmf,

Good job in getting through the courses. Check out the six stages of awareness. Moving through them is essential in getting to a point of effecting change.

Chris has presented HIS ideas and clearly invites opinions. It would be good to hear your own ideas rather than a distillation of a group think. Lastly, if you have done research and have data then please present it. I have been involved in alternative energy applications for over thiry years and am interested in your ideas. The scientific method does work but little can be done with generalities. Your mention of Geothermal is appropriate and needs further investgation as regards the ERoEI principle.

By the way, congrats on getting to the first stage!

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 05:53pm

    #4

    Nichoman

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 01 2008

    Posts: 140

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

@holtmf…Chris, et al.

 

The challenge is creating a PROCESS and environment for problem solving based on proved, sound management techniques and principles.   Were all limited in our views and capabilities.   Holtmf…belief driven views versus "facts" and understanding extend in almost every discipline and applications in life and threaten us all.  All Alternative Energy options are immature with incomplete understanding and assumptions that are not proven.  Because of these…Technology never comes on line as quickly as elegantly as projected. I gleaned this from decades my working on numerous cutting edge projects as a scientist.   I compare it to cutting through a virgin, thick jungle…your going to get surprised and lost by taking wrong turns…because were pioneering.   Your perspective on geothermal…though promising…is purely academic at this stage versus Solar, Wind, Ocean, QEM, others, etc as all are at various stages of development…your view is a belief…based on unproven assumptions…as we all do!   

 

My view.  Our standards of science many ways, has reached the lower levels, not higher.   Climate Change debate is filled with ignorance, emotion, lack of standards.  Have found applies in Quantum Physics…E-M…to name just a few other areas.   As one can review here at this site…I don’t even bring up in the forum "Climate Change" comments anyymore because by most folks are too closed minded or don’t want to take the time to further understand one way or another. Same applies in all major issues…including this one…part of human nature we must move beyond this through sound leadership and management principles and techniques.

 

What does concern me as I’ve alluded to several times, is EDUCATION as Chris is emphasizing is the right first step.  But we must move forward…major problems are not identified or solved quickly but EVOLVE.   Believe the ‘Crash Course" should be viewed as dynamic…not static with room for growth and change.  No person has all the answers all the time. 

 

Finally…human nature is we all want quick answers…I encourage you holtmf to continue further dialog toward solutions as you clearly have considerable background and skills and we all win!   As I’ve mentioned in previous posts…my experience with leading edge alternative energies in short term shows mean and optimistic expectations will be disappointed.  But I do believe longer term we have solutions if we get past our DOGMA’s that may surprise some.   My opinion…take it as you will.    I firmly believe our science is not nearly complete as most believe and offer my background and accomplishments I’ll put up with anyone’s in these areas.

 

In summary…share some of concerns by holtmf…but also view Crash Course on a broad scale adequately paints the big picture.   Further efforts can only make things better…Rome wasn’t built in a day or by one person.

 

Nichoman  (Atmospheric Physicist)

 

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 06:45pm

    #6

    Michael Höhne

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 16 2008

    Posts: 57

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

Just as the shift from mechanical work to electromagnetic work revolutionized technology from the grandfather clock and pocket watch to the computer and the mp3 player, such a shift is trying to revolutionize transportation, if we only would let it

I think that’s an important point. I do believe that we can develop such technologies, but we’re only talking about it. However, if you invest 700 billion to speed up their development, then we will see and use them much faster. If all we do is bailing out failed industries, then we’re not changing anything.

The main purpose of the Crash Course – in my opinion – is creating awareness. If all people were aware that we have to change things now, then solutions would be presented much faster. I appreciate your statements about such solutions and would love to see them available today. But they are not and developing and deploying these technologies will take decades.

The call to action is starting today, not tomorrow, and this will only happen when enough people are aware of the current problems. The Crash Course is a great vehicle to raise awareness. It doesn’t provide all answers, but I doubt it can.

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 07:42pm

    #8

    Nichoman

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 01 2008

    Posts: 140

    count placeholder

    Re: Faith in technology

[quote=cmartenson]

Your post, well meaning as it is, is expressly based on a faith in technology that I do not hold.

TIME, SCALE, and COST.

Those are the three elements that are completely missing from your proposed "solutions" which, while admirable, propose technologies that are either not yet developed or represent fractional percentages of our installed energy base.

In order for me to respond to hopeful new technologies as realistic solutions, time, scale and cost have to be part of the proposal. Otherwise, regretfully, there’s nothing at all to respond to from a logical standpoint leaving us only to enter a belief-based fencing match.

[/quote]

 

Agree.  Believe this subject though, should be further pursued to frame issues and options medium-long term (say beyond ~2015).  

 

Nichoman

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 07:43pm

    #7
    mred

    mred

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 08 2008

    Posts: 56

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

Those are some sweeping and categorical statements by holtmf. Verycategorical for coming from a scientist. But if discussion is allowed I
take issue with several points:

1. Indeed economics is a very ideological discipline. It deals with
human beings and society, thus it ought to be predominantly a social
discipline. Somehow, however, economics developed a certain
physics-envy, trying to achieve the same status of mathematical
certainty and predictability (and respectability) as the most
fundamental of the natural sciences. It is plain silly to compare the
predictability of actions of thinking humans with non-thinking entities
like molecules. Interaction of humans in society is an inherently
complex process, for which it is difficult/impossible to isolate
individual factors to assess their effects. The actions of a single
human being are not subject to simple laws, like a gas molecule is; for
this reason, the attempt to capture the behavior of an economy in a
couple of differential equations (as economists attempt) is such a
futile venture.   The attempt of modern economists to have a
deterministic discipline would be funny if it had not had such terrible
consequences for everyone. The comparison with the "predictability" of
atmospheric dynamics is false on the additional grounds that the
atmosphere is a chaotic system: the predictions of its behavior diverge
exponentially in time with respect to reality. That is why weather
forecasts are uncertain even in short-term predictions. So, even for
systems composed of simple-laws-obeying-entities, the prediction of
their collective behavior is essentially intractable except for broad
statements (like pressure, temperature, etc. in thermodynamics). The
statement that "Economics should be mathematically predictable more
than any other
discipline since it involves merely the exchange of numerical values"
is an expression of a wish, nothing more. Economics deals with many
more things than "numerical values". Not because something is described
in mathematical terms it is made true. Premises are everything. Garbage
in… garbage out, as everyone knows.

2. I’m all for renewables and energy efficiency. Having said that, it
is clear that renewables suffer from an element of variability; they
can’t be dispatched on demand like the energy produced by other fuels.
For this reason alone, their level of penetration in an electrical grid
is very limited if grid stability is to be ensured. High grid
penetration of say, wind energy, has been achieved in countries like
Denmark for the exclusive reason that the country itself is connected
to a much larger grid that can absorb the dispatch fluctuations. This
problem can only be addressed by some means of energy storage. This
suffers from huge technological challenges given the mismatch between
amount of stored energy and instant deliverable power that exists in
battery systems. We are far from solving this problem. Power company
managers are as greedy as anyone else, the fact that renewables have
not taken over the power supply is something that happens for a reason.

3. The statements on geothermal energy have been pulled out of thin
air. The estimates for exploitable geothermal power are on the order of
100 GW with "enhanced technology" (Geothermal Energy Association).
China alone has a total (all sources) installed capacity of around
500GW. So much for powering the whole world with geothermal. Yet "there
is no question in your mind" regarding this topic?? "Unequivocally" the
most important source of energy in the world??

4. The rant on exponential growth of money is somewhat disorganized,
and it basically confirms what is said in the Crash Course that it is a
bad thing. Or did I miss something?

5. "Have you ever wondered why it was that there was widespread poverty
somewhere where land was literally available for free?" Ummmm…. I
don’t know, maybe because if there are no ready means to make land
productive then poverty can’t be alleviated? The original question is
posed as rhetorical, but it is really not clear what the "right" answer
is supposed to be.

6. The short term financing among producers of goods, with all debts
ultimately cancelled by the gold-paying consumer is an old practice as
the poster says. It is precisely what allows money elasticity under a
gold standard. The mechanism is known as "bill of exchange" or "real
bill". It has been known since before Adam Smith, even used as you say
in colonial America. Even the Fed had real bills in its balance sheet
at the beginning, before it started the real shenanigans in the 20’s
and started to buy government debt.

7. The amount of gold and silver in the world is irrelevant, and there
is plenty around. There is always a price at which honest money can
emerge once again. The problem at this point is: who has the largest
hoards? If the Fed has control of the American gold instead of the Treasury,
we’re pretty much screwed.

8. There is a lot of table-pounding on issues in which everyone agrees,
like inflation/deflation being a monetary phenomenon. No need to get
upset about it. All knowledge is tentative, no reason to get too
attached to it. I may have put my foot in my mouth in my statements above. If I did, let me know.

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 08:21pm

    #5

    gyrogearloose

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 355

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

[quote=holtmf]

Current engineering for these trains has produced plans capable of travel at thousands of miles per hour at a tiny fraction of the energy needed to fly a plane. 


We came off the gold standard in 1971 when it was clear that there was not enough gold left to cover our certificate obligations. 

[/quote]

 

 

Ok maybe thousands of miles per hour could be done in an evacuated non conducting tunnel ( to avoid secondary Eddie current drag ) but the cost would be a bit high…

Either you made a typo, or you do not have a solid broad engineering base to realise all the implication behind that claim and so have a blind faith in technology.

 

And why was there not enough gold left….

The answer, Too many note had been printed by a dishonest government/fed….

 

Cheers Hamish

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 08:22pm

    #9

    Ray Hewitt

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2008

    Posts: 277

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for NO policy

I was wondering why there are so many neo-Malthusians on this site until I finished Chris’s Crash Course. That there is a similar theme in the Bible illustrates how deep and wide is the fear of the future. Every generation while realizing their predecessors were wrong, say this time it’s different. And they were all wrong, otherwise we wouldn’t be here today with a population of over six billion. Needless to say they took that as a negative.

What is their proof? The proof is in the mathematics in which Chris uses the exponential curve to such effect that his neo-Malthusian followers see the exponential curve everywhere. Well ladies and gentlemen, I submit that exponential curves are not all alike. They change at different rates. It is not an article of faith that social progress, as measured by rising standards of living, have improved at a faster rate than population growth; it is a fact born out by over 2,000 years of written history.

It is in the numbers that the neo-Malthusians put their faith. Well I submit that the numbers only tell us about the past, and even then not so accurately. Establishment economists fell into the trap of believing statistics and equations are the key to establishing the right amount of money to keep an economy thriving. We know now how badly they screwed up. That’s only one example of why numbers cannot gage human behavior.

It is in the numbers that the neo-Malthusians think they need a plan, when yet again, central planning and social engineering have an equally terrible track record. Neo-Malthusians think restricting their lifestyle will have some effect, when they are outnumbered maybe a million to one by individuals hungry to improve their material wealth. If Christianity could not stop material growth, then what in heaven makes neo-Malthusians think they will have any better success? And what about living off the land independent of civilization? I dare them to try without a means of buying mass produced goods for certain basics.

Barring a meteor collision, there is no planned solution and there is no stopping the masses from improving their material wealth. The economist Hayek had a phrase to explain the phenomenon, "spontaneous order." You can’t measure it but is is there in all of us – the will to improve our well being, everyone of us. It won’t be technology alone; it will be the way entrepeneurs apply technology to produce highly valued goods. That is is what is missing in Chris’s equations. Sadly, I think Chris and his followers have substituted their faith in numbers for faith in humanity, when the data prove the opposite.

  • Thu, Dec 11, 2008 - 09:29pm

    #10

    mainecooncat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 155

    count placeholder

    Re: SOLUTION: This is a time for responsible policy …

I’m actually walking out the door right now, so I don’t have the time to respond at length to hewittr’s last post. But here’s my condensed version.

As hewittr has proven time and time again to the increased exasperation of numerous regular posters on this site his positions always contain at least one of the following:

They’re based on Strawmen. He turns others carefully constructed arguments into strawmen by pathologically misrepresenting them as some hyper-exaggerated or hyperbolic version of a cliched position.

Example, if you have even a scintilla of doubt about renewable energies then you’re a "doomer." Or (in perhaps one of his moments of greatest ignorance yet) Chis Martenson is a "neo-Malthusian." (Ha! You are indeed annoying, hewittr, but at least you’re amusing.)

They’re hypocritical. (This could’ve been called logical dissonance as well.) Hewittr frequently relies on the same logic that’s he’s criticizing. Example, that technology and innovation also follow exponential growth patterns and, therefore, will offset other examples of exponential growth. Or that there’s no way of predicting human behavior or history, which of course means that to predict anything is equally specious. Well, there’s no shortage of predictions on his end. So it really comes down to whether he agrees with you or not.

They’re dishonest. Because of the preceding, his arguments can only be considered as dishonest.

Hewittr’s biggest canard however remains his "neo-Malthusian"one in which he paints everyone in the world as like him or a "neo-Malthusian."

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book to begin an argument by misrepresenting the views of those around you as extreme or overly polarized. One can than comfortably place oneself within such a context as the balanced and thoughtful one.

Essentially the point that hewittr cannot grasp is the idea that just because you think the next twenty years are going to be a lot different than the previous or that the world is entering a paradigm shift doesn’t make one a "neo-Malthusian."

I haven’t come across a single person on this site who thinks that Homo Sapiens are going to go extinct in the next few years because of the data contained in the Crash Course. Yet this is what hewittr wants you (the casual reader) to believe because he (maybe?) disagrees with Chris’ message of change and activism because it could hurt his position in the markets or life. 

Hewittr constantly harps on the fact that the "neo-Malthusians" have always been wrong. But wrong in what sense? Again in his strawmen sense, that of the extinction of Homo Sapiens.  

So these two statements are equally true:

Homo Sapiens have not gone extinct in the past 2000 years.

The past 2000 years have been filled with great upheaval, transformation and human suffering that have been the result of unforseen (by the masses, by group think) consequences and random events (Black Swans if you will).

Once again, many people on this site argue that unprecedented change is upon us not that the extinction of Homo Sapiens is upon us.

These are not the same things, hewittr.

But you don’t care because you’re an agitator who relies on dishonest, strawmen arguments.

Until we meet again.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 60 total)

Login or Register to post comments