…this week’s global run on credit seems like a casebook example of how a natural system failure to provide growing physical returns on investment would effect financial commitments for endlessly growing financial returns. They naturally conflict.
One thing we can do is watch it closely, so others may learn from our experience. Because systemic collapse is a big physical process in a big physical system, displaying all-together new kinds of rapidly spreading behaviors, watch for that. If you see that sort of thing perhaps you’ll ‘believe your eyes and ears’ and not feel the observations were ‘planted’ in your imagination somehow.
Remember what things seemed to mean before and after,
and make note of it.
The question is what’s our exposure on global warming.
For one small part of it we may need to build a 10 foot high sea wall on the entire world coastline. My guestimate is that that would be about $5,000/ft for the cost of straight forward construction on solid ground. It would be far less than the reimbursement of property owners for the first 10 ft elevation of their property. The earth’s coastline is about 844,000 km, though I doubt that includes the intricacies of wetlands and estuaries etc.
The places where environmental protection, waterfront access or shipping locks and other things are needed would also add to the cost. Maybe you’d just say screw it and screw them with half the world’s coastline and cut the losses with that part of it. The places that wouldn’t be saved from rising waters by a sea wall include big sand bars like Long Island New York. Continue reading Construction Estimate
The clear root of terrorism is a major world religious community that has come to look at us with such horror and disgust that they approve of their sons blowing themselves up in protest. That seems more than strange, but no one seems to be trying to explain it. From an evidence point of view, facts are facts, though.
That community seems to see something about us from the outside that we can’t see from the inside. The difference between inside and outside views of natural systems is a common blindspot. No doubt, looking closely at someone else’s ugly reflections of us is unpleasant, and they may be really missing things too, but because any complaint has some valid basis, it could be important for us to consider it.
We long have, and still do, actually seem to be blowing ourselves to smithereens with money, and we have often appeared to hold all else in profound disregard. As our speed of change accelerates with compounding investment, and we maintain confidence that growth will solve even the exploding crop of imbalances it creates in our lives, we now seem to be loosing control of events to boot. Two cultures, at war, both mesmerized by blowing themselves up. It’s a remarkable parallel.
I’m not getting much sleep lately, taking on too much, burning with ideas; not a good plan. But then neither is humanity’s plan for us all to make decisions 16 times faster every lifetime forever.
It indicates we’re missing something, like where the heck are we going anyway! Sounds presumptuous perhaps, but I can fix that. The underlying problem is that our perceptions of where we are operate on a sliding scale.
Continue reading What’s the plan man!
Thomas Friedman made a very good point in his op-ed column on CAFTA in the Times today (6/24/05).
The hazard of protectionism in a rapidly growing global economy is shutting yourself out, proverbialy cutting off your nose to spite your face. With China on the make, particularly, it is almost certain that trade barriers between the US and Central America would undermine joint ventures between US designers and Central American producers. Competiton with China is going to be nip and tuck and we shouldn’t let protectionist urges do that.
First, though, let’s take a moment and celebrate the problem. It’s been a hundred years or so that the developed economies, the US and old Europe mainly, have been doling out a few fish and unsuccessfully trying to teach the rest of the world how to catch their own. It was a largely disappointing enterprise, save for easing our guilt for being rich and not knowing how to share it. Continue reading Trading up
Joe Frank, the late night NPR weirdo, renders his imaginary average American characters and situations with a wandering laser beam, creating fascinating strangers. Last night he started talking philosophy, gave me the opposite reaction and I just had to shut it off. We’re all not good at something it seems.
For a while I’ve been wondering how I can give credit where credit is due to the neo-cons. I’m generally loath to give them and inch, considering their tendency to ridiculously abuse any opening. It would be SO helpful if they would just say what they mean, for example. Continue reading When they’re right theyre right!