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JimD

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Collapse marches on
« on: July 17, 2015, 04:50:50 PM »
While the Green BAU team's cheerleaders dance, chant and shake their pom poms at the Black BAU team across the court - who, of course, are dancing, chanting and shaking their pom pom's in furious opposition in the great circus for the clueless masses - we catch a whiff upon the breeze.

sniff.. sniff..??? ...ahh carrion...the smell of napalm in the morning..smells like victory?

and the wind clears the fog for a bit and we see the early carnage as the weak are shunted aside and the wheels grind them into the mud. 

Europe and Asia have drifted once again into the pre-war years.  Germany is dropping its mask and once again returning to its drive for dominance while the militants of Japan move to throw off the yoke of subservience.  A lot of the rest of the world is already in the war years at this point.

Subtract two states and add them to the collapse list.  Who would have thought 2 years ago that both would have come from the European fold?  It was a surprise to me, but then that is the nature of systemic collapse - it is not always the periphery which tumbles first.  Neither country would have seemed to be that close to tipping and their membership in or proximity to the powerful would have seemed to insulate them from such events, which rightly should be happening to those colored folks scattered around the periphery of the important parts of the world (that is sarcasm btw).  Ukraine of course found itself in the place of the perfect pawn - lootable and located on the underbelly of an opposition power to the Empire.  Who could resist such a delectable weakness.  Not us.  The Greek people, struggling mightily to drag themselves out of the Middle East and become European (a waste of time really) leave themselves badly exposed to the corruption of their oligarchs who proceed with their European brethren to rape all who get in the way.  Germany and the Bankers also could not resist.  Get what you can while you can and then cut them off to die.  It is not your fault if they are incapable of looking out for their best interests and confused about the exercise of power.

So Germany is once again openly asserting its power and dictating the course of events - we have some experience on how such actions facilitate European cooperation.  Should do wonders for dealing with climate change.  (I'll just skip the links to what is going on in Europe.  If this is all news to you it might be time to shift ones focus for a time).

Japan is under the political control of the militarists in case you didn't know.  Once again they are being pushed from behind by the Empire ('once again' referring to the strong push towards empire building they were given by Teddy Roosevelt and company which led directly to the growth of their ambitions and thus to their atrocities in Asia before and during WWII.  TR by the way believed that the way to 'civilize' the savages was to exterminate most of them.  A concept which obviously carried strong appeal with Japanese cultural attitudes.).  Naturally we (and they) do this to counter the evil Chinese and their growing power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/17/world/asia/japans-lower-house-passes-bills-giving-military-freer-hand-to-fight.html?_r=0

Our pre-war years now rhyme with those which came before in history's poetic play.

As collapse marches on it leads to increasing conflict not cooperation.  We are far beyond the carrying capacity numbers and there is just not enough to go around - even if we and the Germans and the Japanese and the Chinese and the Russians wanted to share.  Which we don't.  So pick your team and gird your loins.  The Finns are lining up with the Germans.  Who are you going to line up with?

Our situation continues to rapidly deteriorate.  We watch the daily ice numbers and argue over how fast it melts from the bottom and how much heat is blowing in from the Pacific.  It's being torched here and stirred there.  Interesting, yes.  However, I see a mostly unstated but intense desire for the big 'catastrophic' melt out.  Which is clearly based upon the belief that this shocking event will stir the masses and the useless 'policy' makers to finally understand the threats we are facing - and then take global cooperative action.  Do you  really think there is any chance of this happening?  Really?

Look at what is going on in the world.  Global cooperation?  In a circumstance where that cooperation naturally will result in a significant percentage of the total going under the wheels of the bus.  We know what the Germans and the Americans are going to do in that circumstance.  Do you doubt what the Japanese and the Russians are going to do?  What are you going to do?  What are the Indians and the Chinese going to do?

We used to have discussions here regarding a deliberate or managed collapse.  This is sort of what it would look like I guess since that is clearly the road we are upon.  Shove the Greeks under the wheels and cut your losses.  Portugal next?  Or Spain or Italy?  There will certainly be more EU countries falling by the wayside at least until the EU goes the way of all things.  It is just who's next.  Does anyone doubt that there will be bloodshed in Aisa - beyond what is already occurring I mean.  What happens if the psychopath Netanyahu decides that he has to deal with the Iranians on his own since the US has taken the last possible step to avoid direct conflict (the duration of this decision is very debatable given our internal politics).  Need I say that the above is a tiny sample of the whole.

Collapse is here now.   We are stepping down those stairs one at a time.  Your favorite BAU will not prevent it nor delay it.  We need to deal with it - now.  All your Green shit will not stop it nor will your AI dreams laid on the alter of Progress prevent it.  So what are we and what are you going to do?
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ritter

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 06:07:47 PM »
Hey Jim,

Thanks for stopping by and stirring the pot.

I quite frankly don't know what to do at this point. I'm cognizant of all the issues you bring up (and there are plenty you left out, but you're aware of that) and see no real viable way to extricate ourselves from the mess we've made. I work toward reducing my footprint (while employing parts of your much disparaged green BAU).

However, my efforts have shifted toward working on community climate resilience (adaptation planning). I have little faith that such will work as I fear the impact is coming too hard and too fast. But I don't know what else to do. Sitting and fretting just doesn't cut it. It is difficult to live in two worlds, trying to keep an eye on things and understanding when to grab your loved ones' hands and jump off the train. I'll likely die of a stress-induced heart attack, stroke or aneurysm first!  :)

Anyway, good to read you--always thought provoking.

oren

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 10:50:54 AM »
Jim, I read you loud and clear. We are collectively marching towards collapse without even blinking. And it doesn't help that the psychopath Netanyahu is my own PM.

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 11:04:33 PM »
Puerto Rico!  Our own little collapse right here in the US.   We should ask the Germans for advise don't you think?

Course since they are not 'real' 'mericans we should just give them independence and take away their passports - it's what Schäuble would do.

Quote
The Commonwealth is now in legal limbo, facing a well-organised pack of hedge funds that scooped up the debt at distressed levels and appears determined to extract maximum value in the courts, even if this means shutting down part of the island’s education system and social services.
Puerto Rico is not covered by the “Chapter Nine” bankruptcy code in the US, and therefore cannot resort to the sort of orderly debt restructuring that helped the city of Detroit to get back on its feet after defaulting in 2013.
By a quirk of law, it does not enjoy the partial protection of full US states. At the same time, it is unable to draw on support from the International Monetary Fund since it is not a sovereign country.
“We don’t know how the bankruptcy is going to proceed. It could easily turn into a free-for-all,” said Desmond Lachman, a former IMF division chief now at the American Enterprise Institute.
If the hedge funds press for their pound of flesh, they could drive the economy into the ground. The more the economy tanks, the less tax they collect, and the more they have to tighten. It is crazy,” he said.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/03/investing/puerto-rico-default/

http://www.businessinsider.com/puerto-rico-has-triggered-the-biggest-municipal-default-in-us-history-2015-8

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11781249/Puerto-Rico-triggers-historic-default-as-austerity-spiral-deepens.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

SATire

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 07:29:43 PM »
Puerto Rico!  Our own little collapse right here in the US.   We should ask the Germans for advise don't you think?

Course since they are not 'real' 'mericans we should just give them independence and take away their passports - it's what Schäuble would do.
lol!
No, Schäuble was suggesting to give Puerto Rico the Euro if USA would give Greece the Dollar

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/wolfgang-schaeuble-will-griechenland-gegen-puerto-rico-tauschen-a-1043049.html

But he mentioned that he was just kidding in case one would not recognize that.

If the Germans would suggest something (what they surely will not do unlike some others) it would probably be to give them 1-2 hair-cuts (cutting the dept by some factor) and some suggestions for reforms to do. Like happened in Greece. And if everything fails to work they pay anothertime the bill and make new suggestions for reforms. And probably repeat that same procedure next time again. No matter if it works or not...

But remember - the last result in Greece was not Schäuble's suggestion (he proposed to stop that programs) nor the suggestion of the Greece people (they voted to stop that, too) nor the suggestion of the majority of the Euro-countries (most countries wanted to stop that). But for some reasons they proceeded to talk about programs, more money and reforms nevertheless. That outcome was a miracle to a lot of people here. I doubt that that was only because of France and 2-3 more countries. Maybe Obama phoning some people had some effect... Since that time Merkel and Schäuble have different opinions on the matter - both probably bad for Greece and bad for Germany, too.

Another sign of doom of EU is, that it is now much more likely that UK will exit the EU after the planned referendum: Several UK people dislike the programs and the lack of solidarity and thus the EU at all. Other EU countries dislike the lack of solidarity of UK with Greece: the little risk (0.5 bn) of UK must be backed 100% by the other countries. Such feelings will make it very difficult for EU countries to pay UK-bonus in future again - so future of EU looks pretty dark. An EU without UK is way worse than a Greece without Euro (but still in EU)... But Obama again did make use of his telephone. So there is some kind of hope.

I agree - it is not looking well here. Also the different writing in different countries is extreme today. E.g. news in USA/UK are much different from Germany, northern, middle and eastern Europe. And then we have e.g. Russia or China with a totaly different kind of language (even after translation). How can we come to international agreements under such situations? I agree with you that we are on the way to some kind of collaps and that we are accelerating on that path.

And politics still is discussing that Greece thing most of the time - and ignore the real problems like the ever increasing number of refugees. It is clear that what we today call a big wave is only the beginning of what will happen while AGW and population increase are proceeding. We will have to build much more tent camps and houses and have to be solidaric to many more poeple. Probably we will continue to fail as usual...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 07:35:16 PM by SATire »

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 09:18:28 PM »
SATire

Yes.  The  Schäuble jibe was making a play on a phrase used in the US by fundamentalists.  "What would Jesus do?"  It just seems when they use it they come up with a solution which is worse than the problem.

I am waiting and watching the Catalonia situation in  Spain as the next big problem for the EU.  This has huge downside potential no matter which way it goes.  Civil war, secession, military rule, maybe all of them.  And Italy is waiting in the wings for their turn in the spotlight.  Will Poland rethink the EU and the Euro?  They would be foolish to adopt the euro at this point.  The UK should stay out of the EU and the euro mess in my opinion.  The EU issue goes back to a point I made some time ago.  For Europe there has to be a decision to have full political union like the US has or everyone should walk away.  The EU/Euro structure as it exists now is non-functional and will remain so.  The global financial situation is not trending better but towards more crisis.  Going forward as the dynamics of collapse press upon us all those financial issues will continue to worsen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/world/europe/catalonia-calls-election-in-new-bid-for-secession-from-spain.html?_r=0

One thing that has surprised me is how fast the EU seems to be crumbling.  Two failed states in Europe now and Spain thinking hard about joining them.  Huge financial problems looming.  And, of course, the US hanging over it all pushing buttons to its advantage.  The situation in Europe could easily be the dominant collapse focus of the decade.

Don't forget to watch the US debates tomorrow.   It will be the best of entertainment.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

TerryM

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 10:42:09 PM »
JimD
Is there any possibility that when the Empire went after Russia, the real enemy of the US was Europe and the Euro?

It started like a " Why don't you and he fight, I'll hold your coat", but with Russian/US trade increasing as Euro/Russian trade slows, it's becoming unclear, at least to me, who is expected to sustain the most pain.
Russia probably could not have abrogated so many trade agreements had not the sanctions been imposed, & Europe was profiting handsomely from some of these trades. If a strong Europe was seen as a threat by America, that threat has certainly been dealt a blow.
The flexibility of the Ruble allows Russia to profit even with low oil prices, while local production is boosted by higher import costs and exports that are more than competitive. If raw materials had to be imported this wouldn't be possible, but this isn't a problem in Russia. As the Euro floats either imported raw materials cost more or higher European wages and infrastructure costs push the price of the item above the competition.
If Europe is forced to rely on LNG, she will no longer present any threat as a producer of finished goods & simply removing Russia as a customer negates any advantages of scale for European manufacturers.

The thing that makes me doubt such a scenario is that I can't imagine that the US now sees itself as having enough of an industrial base to protect or grow. Most of the world has been content to allow China to build whatever needs building, while they rely on services or raw material exploitation to pay the bills.

If European manufacturing is actually the target the US is doing a masterful job of laying waste to an enemy without the enemy even identifying who is responsible.
Terry

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 01:02:12 AM »
"Dancing to the Precipice"

When I read about the impending societal and economic collapse scenarios, whether causality is due in some part, directly or indirectly, to AGW/CC or other factors, it reminds me of many of the conversations I've had, over the years, my with wife about the inevitable collapse.  My wife is a retired university administrator, educated in economics and finance, a prolific reader of history and a self-admitted "Francophile."  During these conversations she quite often refers to "Dancing to the Precipice, The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era", a biography written by Caroline Moorehead.  This books book provides insight as to how the aristocracy continued to live their lives in splendor, completely oblivious to the surrounding societal and economic events which led to the  French Revolution.  Yes, I finally did read the book!!

I see the 0.1%, who control the machinations of the global economies today as being equally oblivious to reality as the French aristocracy in the 1800s.  They're living lives of luxury and could care less about the needs or happiness of the burgeoning class of serfs.

Tomorrow's GOP debate will be entertaining, and provide some insight as to which  candidate, if elected, will bring us to the precipice more rapidly with no assurance of a soft landing. At best, a progressive Democrat may slow the dance to a waltz and provide a somewhat softer landing for some who fall off the cliff.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 09:08:40 PM »
Terry

I would say no that Europe/Euro was not a target of the US.  Parts of Europe (notably the British) have accepted vasal status in the Empire or play the part of important but secondary level entities.  No one takes complete direction and none have yet stood in direct opposition to our wishes (I do think that day is coming).  Much of what the US orchestrates in the world requires partners and the Europeans (including Canada, Aus, NZ) are critical to make our strategies work.  And they do largely succeed.  We get most of the goodies from that and they get their share of what we manage to control.  It is a great system if you are on our side. 

We would not destroy that set up.  But there is no reason for us to wish that Europe get stronger than its relative position either.  It would make them more difficult to deal with and less amenable to following our directions.  So the inherent weakness of the EU/EURO setup suits us well as it helps keep Europe from getting stronger.  It rewards the very strong and slowly chokes the week.  It suits us fine.  We do not have problems dealing with a strong Germany (and its northern European allies) because of our relatively much stronger position.  But if I were a citizen of one of a number of different European countries I would be alarmed at the current situation in Europe and the direction it is is trending. 

It is always worth keeping in mind that a power like the US is not really anyone's friend.  We have uses for all of our allies and they need to pay the price we want for our continued relationships.  But we do need all  of those allies also so there are limits on us as well.  There is no omnipotence.  While we bear responsibility for what we do in the world (we are obviously not too troubled by what we have done) our allies also bear significant responsibility for helping us accomplish those things. 

We are at a transition point in global structures.  Our actions broke the new structure which was growing out of the demise of the USSR.  Russia was actually slowly integrating itself into the western alliance and was on the verge of becoming a major power once again with enough influence in Europe to potentially challenge our hold on our European allies.  Thus it became desirable to some to continue to press on the periphery of Russian security requirements.  Hem them in and diminish their ability to gain strength.  Thus Ukraine (which anyone who paid attention knows was started by the US and our move was backed by our European allies who also had some fears of the growing power of Russia).  Then our pivot to the east to hem in China.  These moves have triggered an alliance between the two and a number of other countries are joining in the growth of a new power block.  Even some of our allies ignored our wishes and hedged their bets by joining their new financing structures.  I expect this block to grow in strength and I expect a lot of US efforts to weaken it.  There is certainly a big complication in that as you pointed out - we must have China make us stuff.  The need us and we need them.  So there are limits to what kinds of pressure we can put on them.  They gain a lot from partnering with Russia in a lot of ways as that makes it even harder for us to lean on them.  It is interesting.  But it also highlights collapse dynamics in play.

One very interesting effect of the plunge in oil prices is the effect it has on Russian finances.  It is devastating as they are extremely dependent on oil production.  While this plunge certainly causes significant problems in the US oil industry they are not sufficient to really harm our economy as they are offset by big jumps in car sales and other knockoff effects.  They hurt Canada a lot, but like I said that is not something we would go out of our way to avoid if the stakes are high enough.  I have always wondered a bit if this situation with low crude prices and Saudi insisting on pumping vast quantities in an effort to crush the high cost producers like the tar sands and fracking companies does not cause much anguish in Washington due to its very adverse effect on Russia.  The pain of what the Saudis are doing to us is well worth the price if it does significant harm to the Russians.  Considering our long term relationship with the Saudi's I wonder what the Russian interpretation of these events is.  And how long does this low crude price situation have to last before Russia is backed into a financial corner.  And will their growing relationship with China be enough to offset that financial pain.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 09:33:37 PM »
"Dancing to the Precipice"

When I read about the impending societal and economic collapse scenarios, whether causality is due in some part, directly or indirectly, to AGW/CC or other factors, it reminds me of many of the conversations I've had, over the years, my with wife about the inevitable collapse.  .....

I see the 0.1%, who control the machinations of the global economies today as being equally oblivious to reality as the French aristocracy in the 1800s.  They're living lives of luxury and could care less about the needs or happiness of the burgeoning class of serfs.

Tomorrow's GOP debate will be entertaining, and provide some insight as to which  candidate, if elected, will bring us to the precipice more rapidly with no assurance of a soft landing. At best, a progressive Democrat may slow the dance to a waltz and provide a somewhat softer landing for some who fall off the cliff.

I certainly agree that the 0.1% could care less about the needs or happiness of the bottom 90%.  They exist to extract rent from and when they are no longer needed they will facilitate their demise.

But I am not so sure about the idea of them not being clued into the status of mindset of the proletariat.  I think they have a very large and sophisticated structure in place to keep them brainwashed into supporting the chosen policies of that 0.1%.  Fox, talk radio, support to fundamentalist religion, Libertarian ideology (conservative anarchism is its correct political science catagory) and so on.  This structure began being built in opposition to FDR's reforms and, to be honest, his constitutional violations.  They have spent 70 years redefining liberalism as some kind of evil and systematically working the levers of Congressional and Judicial power to reverse every aspect of liberal/socialist support to that mass of the 90%.  They have wholly succeeded.  When the mainstream candidates of the Democratic party for the last 25  years have been indistinguishable from what used to be moderate Republican ideology you know they have won.  When the bulk of the working class holds liberal policies in contempt and abhors unions they have won.  There are no progressive Democrat's who have any chance of holding high political office.  Other progressives would fight them in any case.  All you have is Hillary and Biden.  I am convinced that one reason the Republicans hate Hillary so much is that she 'is' so conservative.  She holds the middle ground and thus is very dangerous to their hegemony.  It forces them even further to the right.  Her positions are one reason why she gets more money from Wall Street than any of the Republicans do - so they clearly do not think she is some crazy liberal.  I never forget that she started out as a Republican and campaigned for Goldwater.  She may have some liberal positions on domestic policy but her foreign policy credentials are solidly conservative.

In any case I don't see much likelyhood going forward that anyone is going to try and take care of the bottom any more than is required to keep the lid on.  They will continue to bleed them into servitude.  Entertain them and program them.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 12:32:44 AM »
Below is a link to a top notch essay from Geer.  It explains a lot of the reasons why I hate the Progressives just as much as I hate the conservatives.

A sampler:

Quote
...Those other candidates who are getting less tepid responses from the voters than Clinton are doing so precisely because a significant number of voters think that electing one of them will actually change something. The voters in question are wrong, of course. Barack Obama is the wave of the future here as elsewhere; after his monumentally cynical 2008 campaign, which swept him into office on a torrent of vacuous sound bites about hope and change, he proceeded to carry out exactly the same domestic and foreign policies we’d have gotten had George W. Bush served two more terms. Equally, whoever wins the 2016 election will keep those same policies in place, because those are the policies that have the unanimous support of the political class; it’s just that everybody but Clinton will do their level best to pretend that they’re going to do something else, as Obama did, until the day after the election.

Those policies will be kept in place, in turn, because any other choice would risk pulling the plug on a failing system. I’m not at all sure how many people outside the US have any idea just how frail and brittle the world’s so-called sole hyperpower is just at this moment. To borrow a point made trenchantly some years back by my fellow blogger Dmitry Orlov, the US resembles nothing so much as the Soviet Union in the years just before the Berlin Wall came down: a grandiose international presence, backed by a baroque military arsenal and an increasingly shrill triumphalist ideology, perched uneasily atop a hollow shell of a society that has long since tipped over the brink into economic and cultural freefall.....

I strongly note that the last bolded part is not unknown to our adversaries.  The US crushed the Soviet Union by bleeding them by forcing them to spend more than they had to try and keep up with us.  It was not possible and led to their collapse.  The US now has the same vulnerability in that we actually cannot afford much longer to keep all of the balls in the air.  I believe that Bin Laden, al-Baghdadi, Putin, Xi Jinping at least understand that this weakness exists.  Such a hypothesis adds great weight to many of their actions over the last 15 years.  By any stretch of analysis along these lines Bin Laden would be certain that he beat the US into the ground.  The wealth we have spent countering his organization has exceeded their costs a million fold - and we accomplished absolutely nothing.  Thus Bagdadi's efforts to draw us back into close quarters to bleed us some more.   Anyway, enjoy.

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-suicide-of-american-left.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 04:04:39 PM »
Illegal immigrants into Europe (counting Greece as part of Europe for arguments sake)

What is happening at Calais is chump change. 

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/08/greece-gets-sudden-influx-of-50000.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

oren

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 11:30:42 PM »
Illegal immigrants into Europe (counting Greece as part of Europe for arguments sake)

What is happening at Calais is chump change. 

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/08/greece-gets-sudden-influx-of-50000.html

This one is truly disturbing. Collapse begets collapse. The problems in Syria etc. spill over into Greece, helping to tip it further into collapse (as if any help was required...)

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 08:11:39 PM »
One of the big drivers of political controversy here in the US is also illegal immigration.  We are estimated to have 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.

But ours so far are not of the migration due to collapse catagory like one could claim for Europe.

Quote
The number of migrants at the EU's borders reached a record high of 107,500 in July, officials say, as a sharp surge in expected asylum requests was reported in Germany.
Germany has seen a wave of migration from Syria and the Balkans, and now says it could receive as many as 750,000 asylum seekers this year.....

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33972632
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ritter

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 10:58:23 PM »
But ours so far are not of the migration due to collapse catagory like one could claim for Europe.

Oh, I don't know. Seems like much of the news I read about Mexico, it's not far off from collapse. It's really quite startling how many nation states are teetering, the US included. Look out Canada!


JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2015, 12:12:59 AM »
But ours so far are not of the migration due to collapse catagory like one could claim for Europe.

Oh, I don't know. Seems like much of the news I read about Mexico, it's not far off from collapse. It's really quite startling how many nation states are teetering, the US included. Look out Canada!

There are certainly lots of nations teetering.  But Mexico not yet really.

Mexico is not really in that bad of shape economically.  Mexico's economic growth has exceeded that of the US recently.  Inflation is exactly where the central bankers want it.  Debt ratios are in a good range, balance of payments is ok, unemployment is 4.4% in June.  Those are pretty good numbers compared to most other countries.  That is one of the prime reasons that current illegal immigration to the US from Mexico is actually just a small fraction of what it used to be.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of US political warfare (and also military thinking btw) is that we are always fighting over the last battle not the next one.  Illegal immigration was really bad circa 2009 but is much less of a problem now when it is dominating the political debate. 

For instance:

The peak year for total illegal immigrants in the US was 2009 at approx 12.2 million and now sits at 11.3 million.  That entire drop of 1 million is the same as the estimated drop of the total of illegal Mexican immigrants (6.9 down to 5.9).  Under 1 million of that total of 11.3 came here after the 2009 recession and percentage wise the Mexicans were not the dominant group as we have that  net outflow of Mexicans.  Mexicans do make up the largest percentage of those in country but they are also the ones who have been here forever.

From the politics you would think that they are like the zombies coming over the wall to consume us all. 

Personally I don't have any issue with Mexicans being here.  We stole about a 1/3 of the US from them so in a way most of us living in the western US are really in occupied Mexico. Plus in a ruthless world you have to have friends and for the US to be smart the first two friends we have should be Canada and Mexico.  It is simple geographic strategy.  Fortress North America.  It makes far more sense for the US to make sure Mexico's economy is strong than to be worrying about Israel.  My experience with Mexicans (Mexican-Americans) is that they are hard workers and good citizens (with the standard exceptions for all groups of people).
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ritter

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2015, 12:26:40 AM »
But ours so far are not of the migration due to collapse catagory like one could claim for Europe.

Oh, I don't know. Seems like much of the news I read about Mexico, it's not far off from collapse. It's really quite startling how many nation states are teetering, the US included. Look out Canada!

There are certainly lots of nations teetering.  But Mexico not yet really.
[snip]
My experience with Mexicans (Mexican-Americans) is that they are hard workers and good citizens (with the standard exceptions for all groups of people).

I guess I was thinking more along the lines of climate change and drug lords, less so legitimate economy. Thanks for the education either way. Yes, Mexicans are pretty much the backbone of our local (California) economy.

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2015, 01:51:05 AM »
Ahh gottcha.

Well the best way to kill off a large part of the Mexican economy (which does not appear in official statistics) is to legalize as many drugs in the US as you can.  Then make the stuff here and tax the crap out of it.

As US history shows, from the era of Prohibition which was responsible for huge growth in organized crime in the US, those illegitimate funds have to get laundered and turned into legitimate investments that help the economy grow.  Many of the very wealthy in the US have roots in organized crime money.  The same process is going on in Mexico.

Climate change effects will eventually drive many north of course.  Just as they will drive many in the southern US north.  Those folks in Oregon will likely build a wall to keep us from AZ and CA out.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

SATire

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2015, 12:02:14 PM »
Illegal immigrants into Europe (counting Greece as part of Europe for arguments sake)

What is happening at Calais is chump change. 

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/08/greece-gets-sudden-influx-of-50000.html
Just to make it clear: A lot of immigrants in EU are from Syria. Those are clearly not illegal but have a right for asylum (they are bombed by their own people and additionaly from abroad - e.g. Assads Christians are bombed by IS from Iraq, IS people are bombed by US and Kurds are bombed by Turkey). We have to take them all and to spread them homogenously over EU countries (short of Hungaria or UK, which have problems with that...). In Germany we expect 800.000 this year - we will have to learn to live with that since we should expect more problems as AGW gets more severe...

This is a much more important problem than all the financial issues or debt discussions we are wasting our time and power for in EU.

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2015, 06:59:51 PM »
SATire

Yes, I understand that is the way your laws read.  Here in the US we do not do things that way at all.  There would be zero prospects of structuring our laws that way.  To us those are illegal immigrants.

I wonder how long the situation lasts there before there is a realization that Europe has to stop allowing such immigration.  It is not sustainable and it will, as you imply, have huge negative consequences over time.  The vast majority of those folks will never willingly leave.

You say that you will have to learn to live with such immigration as AGW gets worse.  You cannot afford to do that.  Europe will have to reverse that policy and use force to prevent such immigration as doing so will eventually be key to survival.  One of the downsides to dealing with collapse.  Preventing mass migrations as collapse progresses will become a dominant theme all over the world. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2015, 07:15:02 PM »
This seems like a good place to drop this item.

Below is a good primer on how complex systems fail.  We are not talking about Black Swan types of failure but rather failure in complex systems which are known to be at failure risk and where we have already taken extensive precautions to prevent it.  But it happens anyway.  Why?  Think here of airplane accidents, space craft crashes, 9-11, stock market crashes, nuclear accidents and the like.

The highly complex technological civilization we are running is easily the peak of human generated complexity.  We see failures all the time as the article points out is inevitable.  We have read and discussed Taleb's The Black Swan (I am reading it aging right now) and the threats to the system by the highly improbable catastrophic events.  Well deep danger to the system can also come from non-Black Swan events that are sitting right in front of our faces.  As all the stresses of over population, declining carrying capacity, advancing climate change, various collapse dynamics, declining wealth which can be expended to prevent known failure modes, etc continues to increase there is a certainty that non-Black Swan failures will increase and by increasingly destructive.  We are not going to have the ability in the future to keep all the balls in the air so to speak.  This is the catabolic collapse mechanism which Greer discusses frequently.

“How Complex Systems Fail”

Quote
Lambert found a short article by Richard Cook that I’ve embedded at the end of the post. I strongly urge you to read it in full. It discusses how complex systems are prone to catastrophic failure, how that possibility is held at bay through a combination of redundancies and ongoing vigilance, but how, due to the impractical cost of keeping all possible points of failure fully (and even identifying them all) protected, complex systems “always run in degraded mode”. Think of the human body. No one is in perfect health. At a minimum, people are growing cancers all the time, virtually all of which recede for reasons not well understood.

The article contends that failures therefore are not the result of single causes. As Clive points out:

This is really a profound observation – things rarely fail in an out-the-blue, unimaginable, catastrophic way. Very often just such as in the MIT article the fault or faults in the system are tolerated. But if they get incrementally worse, then the ad-hoc fixes become the risk (i.e. the real risk isn’t the original fault condition, but the application of the fixes). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire#Wigner_energy documents how a problem of core instability was a snag, but the disaster was caused by what was done to try to fix it. The plant operators kept applying the fix in ever more extreme does until the bloody thing blew up.


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/08/how-complex-systems-fail.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2015, 08:01:02 PM »
Some current news collapse items.

Greek government falls.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34007859

Macedonia activates the military to seal the Greek border to stop the flow of immigrants.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6a5ff6c6-4772-11e5-b3b2-1672f710807b.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3jTOwxtVY

Hungry is building a border fence to keep the immigrants from crossing (sounds like Donald Trump).

Quote
But not all are so welcoming. Anti-immigrant vigilantes have begun patrols along the border, in search of migrants who have escaped the attention of border police who use heat-seeking cameras, dogs and sometimes helicopters to monitor the area.

Hah!  We do that here in the US too.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/68a8244e-2b92-11e5-8613-e7aedbb7bdb7.html#axzz3jMko8lOp

The dealing with the immigrants 'may' go fairly humanely in the main western European countries like Germany and Sweden, but things will get really ugly in the Balkans.  There is going to be bad violence in time.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

SATire

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2015, 03:12:15 PM »
This seems like a good place to drop this item.

Below is a good primer on how complex systems fail.  We are not talking about Black Swan types of failure but rather failure in complex systems which are known to be at failure risk and where we have already taken extensive precautions to prevent it.  But it happens anyway.  Why?  Think here of airplane accidents, space craft crashes, 9-11, stock market crashes, nuclear accidents and the like.

The highly complex technological civilization we are running is easily the peak of human generated complexity. 

[...]

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/08/how-complex-systems-fail.html

JimD,
because you drop this link here in the context with "collapse" and "AGW in general" I want to take a chance and drop some of my thoughts.

After reading that pdf-arcticle in the link you provided I am quite sure, that the authors are talking about machines and plants and such when they are talking about complex systems: Most of the points they address would probably be wrong if such complex system would be some kind of ecological sytem or human cultural system.

So I believe you overstrech the message of that article when you claim "The highly complex technological civilization we are running is easily the peak of human generated complexity." by a wide margin.

Personally (a person building machines many others would consider "complex", e.g. 3D printers not for plastics but for real things) I am sure that each proper designed complex system is expected to fail some day and the complete risc assessment is an important part of the manual and the training of the customer.
To get a bit nearer to collapse I have to think about complex systems, which may harm a lot of people in case of failure. Think e.g. a nuclear power plant in an area with possible tsunami or the release of a genetically modified life-form in an area, from which it might spread out of any control. The use of such systems must be decided by all people concerned and not only "the buyer".
In case your law is "follow-up care" (e.g. you may do anything what is not forbidden by actual law) instead of "precaution" (e.g. you have to get a permission before you do such dangerous things), then there could be some useful information in that linked article: It could motivate reasonable laws.

But for really complex systems (human generated complexity or such) I am sure the points in that article are not working. Perhaps I will try to explain that below.

SATire

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2015, 05:57:45 PM »
In the post from JimD above failure of a complex system was discussed. So I would like to ask if complexity is the problem and if complexity could result in any kind of collapse related to AGW or such things discussed here. I think the opposite is the case: Increasing complexity would reduce the risk for such collapse and help us to learn to live with changes like consequences from AGW.

In ecology it is well known, that a complex ecosystem with large diversification with a multitude of interdependencies between species is a very stable ecosystem. In very simple ecosystems instead the death of a single species may have dramatic effects on the others resulting in unstabilities and high risk for collapses. E.g. arctic ecosystems are much more vulnerable than natural ecosystems in temperate regions. Nature grows to as high complexity as possible and that should be proove enough, that complexity is not a problem but a natural goal.

For example in agriculture: A monoculture on a dead soil is a very unstable system. Small changes in precipitation, the wrong herbicide or a transfer of a resistance-gene to a weed and the system collapses. This kind of simple but unstable modern agriculture can not last for longer than some decades and kills also more complex agricultures in the neighborhood. Collapse of such simple systems is imanent and the next simple system must be in development to sell it in that case. On the other hand an organic agriculture with intact complex ecology is stable and can be done sustainable (that means: for ever).

I think the same is true for human civilizations: The human brain is asking for complexity - no one wants to live the simple life in a jail. If you think about collapse and how to deal with the consequences of AGW then what could help us best is increasing complexity of our civilizations. At least we must prevent that the diversification of our civilizations is reduced further. That is actually our main problem: More and more people are doing the same things in the same way and we are at risk to becoming like a very simple monoculture of only one human civilzation - that is of course very dangerous and unstable. Instead we should continue to have different civilizations and different ways to do things and the eat things and to do different religions, economics and techniques and such.

For example we should skip the word "developed nation" or "undeveloped country" at all. Because "developing other civilizations" includes the risk that at other places things are done in the same way and thus most probably wrong way. Instead we should learn from other civilizations alternative way of living and learn cultural recieps for living in peace with nature or even to learn, that we are just part of the nature and thus the "living in peace with nature" is actually non-sense. In this context let me refer to Alberto Acosta, since he describes the wealth of a multitude of civilizations from a perspective of people, who managed for allready 500 years to survive the attempts for colonisation/development ("Buen vivir" http://www.amazon.de/Buen-vivir-Recht-gutes-Leben/dp/386581705X - at least a spanish version should exist, too. Otherwise, maybe look here for the baiscs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_of_Nature )

To conclude: We need as much complex human systems as possible. We are different and do different things and that is the best way to stay tuned for any changes. Any reduction of complexity and any simplifications/generalizations expose us to great risks - since that standardized way of living will surely be the wrong way at other places or at other future circumstances.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 06:03:54 PM by SATire »

wili

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2015, 06:36:37 PM »
" no one wants to live the simple life "

Lots of religious people (and others) through the ages would beg to differ.

But I (kind of) agree on your general point.

I think perhaps 'top-heavy hierarchy' would be a better term than 'complexity' for a lot of what historians and others are talking about. This would put it more in line with what we see in natural ecosystems where top predators are generally relatively small in number.

We certainly need our farms to be more 'complex' as you rightly point out.

"we are at risk to becoming like a very simple monoculture of only one human civilzation"

Are you familiar with Vandana Shiva's short book "Monocultures of the Mind." IIRC, she makes much the same point you do here. http://www.amazon.com/Monocultures-Mind-Perspectives-Biodiversity-Biotechnology/dp/1856492184

I like your points about the terminology of 'developed' etc. I have long thought that this should be mostly inverted to see what supposedly 'developed' countries can learn from those cultures who have managed to live in some kind of equilibrium with their local environments for millennia.

Are you familiar with "Farmers of Forty Centuries"? http://www.amazon.com/Farmers-Forty-Centuries-Organic-Farming/dp/0486436098
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 06:53:40 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

sidd

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2015, 08:36:03 PM »
1) complex ecosystems simflify radically as they collapse. As more and more links and nodes disappear. Eventually leading to great simplification such an ocean of jellyfish ...

2)Since the invention of agriculture and the invention of money (whether as a unit of account, exchange, or other) we have simplified ecosystems to monoculture which better suit our societal systems. As I see it, the complexity and richness of virgin ecology is increasingly replaced by a reduced and impoverished remnant in massive monocultures. But this complexity cannot really be suppressed, we merely attempt to substitute with increasing complex social forms. Thus the social structure of  hunter gatherer groups is simple, but they lived in incredibly complex ecosystems, while now we live in simple ecosystems, but we had to build incredibly complicated societies to do so. It is not completely clear to me that one excludes the other, but that is where we are.  Human societies, evolved over the last decamillenium or so cannot begin to match the complexity of Nature operating on a scale of gigayear. Complex human systems operating in a simplified ecology is not nearly as rich and resilient as the original unsimplified ecosystem, and much more fragile. We see this fragility every day.

Edited to add:
a) Wendell Berry: “We thought that we were getting something for nothing, but we were getting nothing for everything.”

b) Ellul has a great deal relevant to say in "The Technological Society." This ought to be read in parallel with his book "Propaganda."
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 08:55:58 PM by sidd »

wili

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2015, 10:40:53 PM »
"complex ecosystems simflify radically as they collapse"

That may be true ultimately, but along the way they may get even more complex, or at least more erratic and unpredictable. That is my (and others') understanding of language change, at least (I'm thinking particularly of the transitions from Classical Sanskrit and Irish to their later forms).

And I definitely think that society will get more erratic an unpredictable as it collapses.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2015, 11:17:47 PM »
I believe JimD is referring to Joseph Tainter's theory on collapsing civilisations. Complexity increases energy use, and because complexity keeps growing (because it has to solve problems growing out of complexity) energy use keeps growing too. At some point there's not enough energy available to further or even maintain complexity, and collapse ensues.

And this is where your analogy, SATire (which is good BTW, I had never thought of it that way), is off. Ecosystems respect limits - like available energy through photosynthesis - and so complexity has a limit too. Humans don't respect limits, have massively increased energy use by digging up stored energy, and thus massively increased complexity and consequent problems.

There is an overshoot of complexity, but like you say complexity is not the problem, it's the energy required to maintain it that is the problem.
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JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2015, 11:36:45 PM »
Very  good comments.

Neven is correct on the direction of my intent.

Perhaps I should have provided more context to my reasons for posting this item in this topic.  I am deep in several blogs and sort of lost track a bit of how much of the contents there existed here.

The source of the link is the NakedCapitalism blog.  This blog is heavily invested in financial/banking/economics and their spillovers into real life (haha).  NC is one of the most prestigious blogs in existence and it has direct input to policy makers and is widely read by Congressional staffers and everyone associated with very high level issues on their subject matter.

The other blog I peruse which impacts heavily on this subject (and is the prime source of the intent I meant to bring to the post) is Greer's blog TheArchdruidReport.

Aside from the link internal to the NC post, which would naturally be the meat of SATire's posts, above the comment by Yves was the following:

Quote
A second way that the economic thinking has arguably increased the propensity of complex systems of all sorts to fail is by encouraging people to see themselves as atomized agents operating in markets. And that’s not just an ideology; it’s reflected in low attachment to institutions of all sorts, ranging from local communities to employers (yes, employers may insist on all sorts of extreme shows of fealty, but they are ready to throw anyone in the dust bin at a moment’s notice). The reality of weak institutional attachments and the societal inculcation of selfish viewpoints means that more and more people regard complex systems as vehicles for personal advancement. And if they see those relationships as short-term or unstable, they don’t have much reason to invest in helping to preserving the soundness of that entity. Hence the attitude called “IBY/YBG” (“I’ll Be Gone, You’ll Be Gone”) appears to be becoming more widespread.

The internal link was clearly oriented towards 'machines' in the hardware sense.  But 'machines' can also be referring to all kinds of structures in the markets, financial systems, mechanisms for governing, banking, politics and such.  This is the types of complex mechanisms I was orienting towards.  These systems are very complex and as our civilizational structures have become more 'advanced', if you will, all of these types of non-mechanical mechanisms have had to also become increasingly complex to deal with the additional failure modes each level of complexity brings weith it.  Management and administrative overhead grows faster with increasing complexity than the benefits which are delivered by that additional complexity. 

An example from my own experience.  I spent many years as one of the USG's 'soldiers' in the fight against various terrorist entities.  There was a system in place, budgets, personnel, many organizations, a complex web of contacts, arrangements with a host of non-US actors and so on.  Just what you would expect.  A significant, but not existential, problem was being dealt with.

From Yves post

Quote
how complex systems are prone to catastrophic failure, how that possibility is held at bay through a combination of redundancies and ongoing vigilance, but how, due to the impractical cost of keeping all possible points of failure fully (and even identifying them all) protected, complex systems “always run in degraded mode”.

So this is where we were at on the morning of Sept 11, 2001.  And the system failed anyway.  Yes we were running in degraded mode, but like Yves says the cost of having total security is impractically high. 

What was the response on a global civilizational level?  We added in a HUGE number of additional levels of redundant security systems.  Added complexity, huge costs, very small additional benefits.  Think the dept of Homeland Security, militarizing police forces, the stupid stuff at the airports and dozens of other measures.  Then we also engaged in a couple of wars which lasted 10-13 years and ended up in inconclusive states, but were the genesis for the rise of ISIS.  And the creation of additional civilizational failure modes which are far worse than the ones all this added effort since 9-11 was intended to deal with.  Our reaction to a failure was to beggar ourselves and destroy a vast amount of wealth - to no effect other than to make ourselves weaker and more fragile.

So I would posit that, No, adding additional much more complex layers of mechanisms on top of the vast number of civilizational structures we have now will NOT make our civilization more stable.  Just the opposite.  Civilization is not analogous to ecosystems.  Complexity works in opposite directions in their respective worlds.  An ecosystem which is complex is clearly where you want to be.  A civlization which is complex (especially extremely complex) is very fragile.

Globally we are in a position of declining per capita wealth and our ability to pay for the many levels of mechanisms is becoming more constrained every day.  That 'degraded' mode which Yves referred to is getting more degraded all the time.  This means we are hanging on the edge of complex system failures all over the place.

Some are going to happen and they will have big effects.  We are at the point where dealing with further shocks like this means we will have to let go of other layers of redundancy elsewhere in order to pay for the new ones.  If Bin Laden were alive today and you could ask him who won the confrontation between Al Queada and the US he would not hesitate to say that he won.  I happen to think that as well.

So in my frame of reference we not only have the Black Swans which have the possibility to stair step us down the collapse slope we have the above types of complex systems failures to think about and maybe plan for dealing with as they will take us down that slope also.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

oren

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2015, 12:04:59 AM »
I just wanted to add on top of Jim's comments a note about complexity.
Satire means the complexity through diversity, which leads to more resilience and redundancy over the long term. It is a complex of independent systems.
The complexity to worry about is the other complexity - that of interconnected and interdependent systems. It leads to increased resilience over the short term as the ability of a larger entity to absorb shocks is much higher, convincing most people that this is the best way to proceed. But over the long term, if this single interconnected system fails, there will not be any other systems independent from it that can continue functioning normally. And since the creation of the interconnected entity brings down the volatility of shocks, confidence level is actually way up while catastrophic risk chance grows.
For example, a failure of one bank leads to big short-term problems, and some people lose a lot. If you socialize the cost of bank rescues through deposit insurance and other less formal means, you mitigate a lot of the short-term problems, and can absorb very large shocks. However, should the day come when many banks fail together, the whole financial system might come crashing down and no bank will be safe. So you've created a new much bigger risk at a lower rate of prevalence than your usual risk.

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2015, 12:16:30 AM »
Oh.  I meant to add above that the comments to the NC link are pretty good and one might find them worthwhile.

I like oren's comment too.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

SATire

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2015, 01:12:58 AM »
I believe JimD is referring to Joseph Tainter's theory on collapsing civilisations. Complexity increases energy use, and because complexity keeps growing (because it has to solve problems growing out of complexity) energy use keeps growing too. At some point there's not enough energy available to further or even maintain complexity, and collapse ensues.

And this is where your analogy, SATire (which is good BTW, I had never thought of it that way), is off. Ecosystems respect limits - like available energy through photosynthesis - and so complexity has a limit too. Humans don't respect limits, have massively increased energy use by digging up stored energy, and thus massively increased complexity and consequent problems.

There is an overshoot of complexity, but like you say complexity is not the problem, it's the energy required to maintain it that is the problem.
Neven, we should try to hit the nail and not everything else, too.

You say, complexity requires energy. That is true - like in entropy. But that energy is not the problem. You could also blame momentum, mass or any other physical quantity. Actually complexity needs not only energy but also time. Time is important to set up complex things, e.g. a very rich culture based on music, art, literature... is complex but would not harm the planet. 

Respecting limits is close to the point. Respecting all other life-forms as much as oneself is maybe a bit closer. Respecting the complexity of nature (which includes oneself) and increase it instead of steamroll it is what I believe would hit the nail.

Reading sites like "naked capitalism" and ignoring the often very strange comments there it looks like the complex financial system / political system may be the problem. But the financial system is not complex anymore - it is the same stupid thing nearly all over the planet and it is very easy (maybe too simple) to move the money arround the planet and to do harmful things. A more complex financial system consisting of various different machanisms e.g. not all based on easy money would probably help. And I can not see why energy is the problem behind the financial system - I think our monocultural financial system is just exploiting the "free energy stored in history" to make profit. Therefore, not the complexity needs energy but the simple system we established world-wide results in extensive energy use. Just exchange it by a more complex financial system (which looks not only for the financial year but for longer time scale) could help. Making it more simple would make it just easier to do stupid things while looking good.

Political systems are actually systems created by the people - so actually not energy based. But today those systems have to play under the rules of above simple financial system.

Maybe in the next days I could explain the idea what I mean by "a more complex financial system".  But today I want to close that the problem is not the complexity, not the technology nor somethings else. The problem is what we do with all our abilities. No ideology and no fighting any other ideology will help us.

Andruin

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2015, 01:58:18 AM »
I think that rather than complexity, it's redundancy that keeps systems stable. For example, an ecological system with a single predator but many forms of prey can be complex, but it's not stable and it's the lack of redundancy that makes it unstable.

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2015, 07:28:15 AM »
"... transitions from Classical Sanskrit and Irish ..."

You interest me strangely, but perhaps not appropriate to this thread. Would love to discuss, mebbe in a new thread or email ?

sidd

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2015, 07:17:15 PM »
[...]

The internal link was clearly oriented towards 'machines' in the hardware sense.  But 'machines' can also be referring to all kinds of structures in the markets, financial systems, mechanisms for governing, banking, politics and such.  This is the types of complex mechanisms I was orienting towards.  These systems are very complex and as our civilizational structures have become more 'advanced', if you will, all of these types of non-mechanical mechanisms have had to also become increasingly complex to deal with the additional failure modes each level of complexity brings weith it.  Management and administrative overhead grows faster with increasing complexity than the benefits which are delivered by that additional complexity. 

An example from my own experience.  I spent many years as one of the USG's 'soldiers' in the fight against various terrorist entities.  There was a system in place, budgets, personnel, many organizations, a complex web of contacts, arrangements with a host of non-US actors and so on.  Just what you would expect.  A significant, but not existential, problem was being dealt with.

From Yves post

Quote
how complex systems are prone to catastrophic failure, how that possibility is held at bay through a combination of redundancies and ongoing vigilance, but how, due to the impractical cost of keeping all possible points of failure fully (and even identifying them all) protected, complex systems “always run in degraded mode”.

So this is where we were at on the morning of Sept 11, 2001.  And the system failed anyway.  Yes we were running in degraded mode, but like Yves says the cost of having total security is impractically high. 

What was the response on a global civilizational level?  We added in a HUGE number of additional levels of redundant security systems.  Added complexity, huge costs, very small additional benefits.  Think the dept of Homeland Security, militarizing police forces, the stupid stuff at the airports and dozens of other measures.  Then we also engaged in a couple of wars which lasted 10-13 years and ended up in inconclusive states, but were the genesis for the rise of ISIS.  And the creation of additional civilizational failure modes which are far worse than the ones all this added effort since 9-11 was intended to deal with.  Our reaction to a failure was to beggar ourselves and destroy a vast amount of wealth - to no effect other than to make ourselves weaker and more fragile.

So I would posit that, No, adding additional much more complex layers of mechanisms on top of the vast number of civilizational structures we have now will NOT make our civilization more stable.  Just the opposite.  Civilization is not analogous to ecosystems.  Complexity works in opposite directions in their respective worlds.  An ecosystem which is complex is clearly where you want to be.  A civlization which is complex (especially extremely complex) is very fragile.

Globally we are in a position of declining per capita wealth and our ability to pay for the many levels of mechanisms is becoming more constrained every day.  That 'degraded' mode which Yves referred to is getting more degraded all the time.  This means we are hanging on the edge of complex system failures all over the place.

Some are going to happen and they will have big effects.  We are at the point where dealing with further shocks like this means we will have to let go of other layers of redundancy elsewhere in order to pay for the new ones.  If Bin Laden were alive today and you could ask him who won the confrontation between Al Queada and the US he would not hesitate to say that he won.  I happen to think that as well.

So in my frame of reference we not only have the Black Swans which have the possibility to stair step us down the collapse slope we have the above types of complex systems failures to think about and maybe plan for dealing with as they will take us down that slope also.
Yes, JimD - in my first answer to your link I referred to that internal article, which I understood is dealing with machines and plants and such. That article is not right in my opinion as I described. Thus I tried to use the same systematics for other complex systems (I choose ecology and human civilization) because I thought you (JimD) were doing something similar.

But now it is clear you ment something different from machines but also different from the systems I have in mind. You are actually talking about some kind of "war system" or "terror fighting system" while I was silly enough to think it was about a tower not designed stable enough to survive a plane crash (which is ridiculous).

Now I have to admitt that for that special system (war system) increasing complexity is indeed the road to collapse. Of course - because war is not a part in nature so all of the things I were talking about are not appropriate. And you are right - that "war system" answered 9/11 with wars (what else) letting the complete region collapse (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia and others indirectly affected). That war system in US is truely too complex and results in collapse.

For all other "natural" systems complexity is beneficial. And I would also include mechanical systems, machines and plants into that systematics as well as political systems, culture and just everything usefull or necessary for interactions between humans and other living things. All such systems should be complex in the sense that a multitude of different versions should exist at different places and times and also complex enough also on its own so that each system is highly efficient and not harming humans or other living things. Actually that is just natural sense and nothing strange. Some few civilizations just forgot some important aspects and thus we have a problem now.

wili

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2015, 07:44:04 PM »
As I think this thread is making quite clear, the definition of 'complexity' can be, well, rather complex.

Complexity that involves unsustainably high levels of energy to support it is, I hope everyone can see, tautologically unsustainable. I have read that the aborigine tribes in Australia have extremely complex systems of mythology and story cycles, but, while these may require a good amount of time for people to learn and pass on, it does not directly require large amounts of exosomatic energy to develop and sustain. The 'complexity' of modern industrialized civilization is quite different in this regard.


It also strikes me that a lot of what is termed 'complexity' in the works by historians (which I should be more intimately familiar with than I am) has more to do specifically with hierarchical complexity that is particularly 'top heavy.' As stated earlier, while there are hierarchies of various sorts in most systems, extremely top heavy ones, tend not to be sustainable over time.

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2015, 04:47:18 PM »
Quote
....But now it is clear you ment something different from machines but also different from the systems I have in mind. You are actually talking about some kind of "war system" or "terror fighting system" while I was silly enough to think it was about a tower not designed stable enough to survive a plane crash (which is ridiculous).

Now I have to admitt that for that special system (war system) increasing complexity is indeed the road to collapse. Of course - because war is not a part in nature so all of the things I were talking about are not appropriate. And you are right - that "war system" answered 9/11 with wars (what else) letting the complete region collapse (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia and others indirectly affected). That war system in US is truely too complex and results in collapse.
....

"War system" is a good phrase to describe some of the systems.  There are, of course, a very large number of other complex civilizational systems which are not 'natural' also, but might need different category names (I messed up with my post starting this mini-thread by not being clear enough on what I was talking about).  Watching the world and US markets this morning I think we can say that they are not a natural system and that they do not get more stable as they increase in complexity.  Complexity in them is actually used by various actors to extract significant 'rent', which is a degradation of efficient market operation. 

One might respond that almost all civilizational systems relate in some way to conflict management so in that sense 'war system' is appropriate.  I would not have an argument with that in a general sense.

Examples of the kind of systems I am thinking of:

Military
Security
Financial
Banking
Utility
Governmental
Economic
Transportation
Globalization/business
Trade
Regulations

Maintaining these mechanisms naturally requires a certain level of expenditure of various kinds of social capital (energy, $, human time, etc) and the amounts of that capital available are finite and usually fully allocated.  If new requirements for additional levels of control of the above systems arise then the only way to implement them is to obtain more resources or increase control efficiency.  During the civilizational rise phase when new sources of energy, wealth, human labor are being created paying the costs for these additional levels is affordable - with the understanding that there is a diminishing rate of return as each layer is added.  This imply's that, excepting some social/technological advance, there is an upper limit to the number of layers where any additional implementation would not provide net benefits.  There are many notable examples of unexpected 'crashes' in these mechanisms even in the rising phase of the cycle.

In a constrained or declining situation the above systems are even more prone to crashes as the ability to implement new layers to control new threats disappears or requires one to weaken another system to obtain the resources for the higher priority system.  Eventually as the available resources decline sufficiently layers of control cannot be maintain at all and have to be abandoned.  The degradation is much worse in these circumstances and crashes are more severe and one frequently cannot recover from them and is forced to a lower layer of complexity.  This is a version of a description of Greer's catabolic collapse.  This argument also leads to the logic of a civilization not being able to maintain very complex technologies at a certain resource level as is often also discussed in collapse dynamics discussions.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2016, 05:50:06 PM »
Excellent post on Orlovs blog.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-prescription-for-2016-collapse-early.html

Quote
...There are some general properties of collapses to keep in mind.

1. All things that must collapse eventually do. All empires collapse—no exceptions.
All buildings collapse—unless they are demolished first. All Ponzi schemes—such as the current financial system, based on runaway debt—collapse when you least expect them to. Seeing as collapses aren't optional, it makes sense to get used to the idea of them happening, and to learn how make the best of them. Some people consider this and are filled with grief. As I pointed out before, collapse is the worst possible time to suffer a nervous breakdown, so please get your blubbering over with ahead of time.

2. Some collapses are actually good for you. Some really important things could be saved provided whatever less important thing that would cause them to collapse collapses first. For instance, if indistrial civilization were to collapse soonish, this would avoid ecosystem collapse, leaving whatever survivors would be left with breathable air and a survivable climate. And if the gigantic bubble in human population, which grew apace with the burning of fossil fuels, were to pop before turning the planet into a giant smoldering trash heap, then the few survivors would have a reasonable chance of making it.

3. Bigger collapses are nastier than smaller ones. For example, if you had lots of local banks and credit unions making loans to people who then couldn't repay them, then some large number of these banks and credit unions would collapse, insured depositors would be repaid, bad debts would be written off, and the entire system would eventually recover. But if you have a handful of gigantic banks and financial institutions holding most of the bad debts, and they fail all at once, then that brings down the entire system. And if you bail them out, then the entire system ends up on life support for the rest of its life, because nobody has any incentive to stop generating bad loans, since now everyone expects to be bailed out again and again.

4. Frequent collapses are better than infrequent ones. This is because unless things—be they populations, Ponzi schemes, economies, cities or empires—collapse on a regular basis, they tend to get too big. And when they get too big, their collapse (which is inevitable, see Point 1 above) becomes bigger, making them worse (see Point 3 above). Plus, frequent collapses of the nonfatal kind can be actually good for you (see Point 2).

For example:

• If the electric grid collapses now and again, then you will eventually learn that you need to get yourself a 12V system, a generator, some solar panels, a wind generator, and install LED lights.
• If water pressure goes down to zero periodically, then you will learn that you need to put in some cisterns, a filtration system, a demand pump, and collect water off the rooftop.
• If garbage collection stops for periods of time, then you will learn to incinerate and to compost, and will try to minimize the amount of nonbiodegradable trash you generate.
• If paid work disappears for periods of time, then you will learn that you need to keep a few months' worth of savings around to ride out these periods.
• If stores run out of food on a semi-regular basis, then you will learn that you need to grow your own food, put a chicken coop in the back yard and figure out how many lazy beds of potatoes you need.
• If banks periodically confiscate all your money (that's called a “bail-in,” and it's actually been made legal not too long ago), then you will learn to keep an absolute minimum of money in the banks, and figure out other, more reliable forms in which to store your savings.
• If you were to periodically find yourself cut off from the medical system, then you would find out ways of staying healthy and of treating yourself.
• If you periodically found it impossible to buy gasoline, you would learn that you can't rely on your car, and would instead bicycle, or walk, or take public transportation.
• If your country's government periodically turned fascist and started detaining, torturing and killing people indiscriminately, then you'd learn that you need to get yourself a second passport, and practice getting out of the country in a hurry.

These are all examples of small, frequent collapses that are good for you.

But that's not what everyone seems to be aiming for, now, is it? What everyone seems to be aiming for is preventing any and all of these small, frequent, nonfatal collapses. However, such efforts are in direct contradiction with Point 1: “All things that must collapse eventually do.” Instead of preventing collapse, such tactics guarantee a single, huge, catastrophic collapse that can very well turn out to be fatal for huge masses of people. But that's OK: see Point 2: if “the gigantic bubble in human population... pops before turning the planet into a giant smoldering trash heap, then the few survivors will have a reasonable chance of making it.”

And so, what if you aspire to being one of these few survivors who might stand a reasonable chance of making it? My prescription is simple: Collapse Early and Often.

This bit is worth repeating.

Quote
But that's not what everyone seems to be aiming for, now, is it? What everyone seems to be aiming for is preventing any and all of these small, frequent, nonfatal collapses. However, such efforts are in direct contradiction with Point 1: “All things that must collapse eventually do.” Instead of preventing collapse, such tactics guarantee a single, huge, catastrophic collapse that can very well turn out to be fatal for huge masses of people.

This is BAU and our current version of mass Green BAU.  Collapse is fundamentally related to global carrying capacity - overpopulation and lack of resources.  The planet is finite.  Climate change is just icing on the cake.  If we do not manage collapse but fight it we make things much worse in the long run than is the minimal possible. 

We are speeding towards catastrophe.  Managed collapse (or degrowth) is like putting on the brakes to lessen the inevitable impact.  BAU's which are intended to prevent degrowth is like hitting the gas to try and blow thru the wall at the bottom of the hill.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2016, 08:47:08 PM »
Having already acknowledged that I have a bad habit of repeating myself,   :o  I've chosen to copy and post this comment on several  threads where it seems relevant. I apologize in advance.

As context, I have an economics degree and MBA from the University of Chicago.


From my economic perspective, I have consistently argued that this growth system (capitalism) which is constrained by a finite resource (earth) with feedback loops that have significant lags (AGW for example) under "Business as Usual" behavior is destined to collapse. I have often referenced or suggested the books of a researcher for whom I have a great deal of respect. Among  many other books, Donella Meadows authored "Limits to Growth" which was published in 1972 and "Thinking in Systems" which was posthumously published in 2008. I would encourage  everyone to read these. They are fascinating, accessible and entertaining. Donella was a research fellow at MIT when she published "Limits to Growth" and taught at Dartmouth College for 29 years, beginning in 1972 until her untimely death in 2001 at the age of 60.

If you want to get an understanding of the challenge humanity is facing, these two books are essential reading. Systems thinking allows a person to see the interconnectedness of trends and  events that seem totally unrelated.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have recently completed research that set out to  evaluate the predictions that "Limits to Growth" made in 1972. The research is complete and "Limits to Growth", which predicts an overshoot and collapse before 2070, is remarkably accurate.  Current population, economic and environmental trends are frighteningly in line with the forecasts set out in the book.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2016, 03:31:01 PM »
This could have gone in either of the empire threads, or the economics ones, but as it applies to everyone I put it here.

I don't know if this could be said any better. 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/02/01/the-west-is-traveling-the-road-to-economic-ruin-paul-craig-roberts/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2016, 02:25:19 PM »
Sweet - an Indian gated community

We should hand out GoPros to the rioters when they storm this place sometime down the road and burn it to the ground.  It will be great entertainment.

Quote
Many years ago, when Delhi’s air pollution was as high as it is today, my colleague Anil Agarwal and I had gone to meet a high-ranking, responsible government official. This was in the mid-1990s, when air was black because we did not even have the most rudimentary fuel quality and emission controls. The official was genuinely stumped by our demand that government should take steps to control runaway pollution. He kept asking, “But is Delhi really polluted?” I was equally flummoxed; air was foul and black. How could he miss it?

Then I realised that his world was not mine to see. He travelled from his home, located in luxuriantly green Lutyens’ Delhi—also known as the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), where government resides—to his office, also in the same verdant surroundings. Nowhere did he see any dirt; nowhere did he smell the air. And as it was not seen, it could not exist, so nothing needed to be done.

This incident came to my mind when I read that the Government of India had decided to select New Delhi—Lutyens’ Delhi—for the smart city makeover....

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/02/delhis-wasteful-smart-city-for-its-elites-bloombergs-parasitical-model-for-the-future.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2016, 04:41:37 PM »
Fukushima – Deep Trouble

One could have put this in the Fukushima thread but the point this time is not the reasons why Fukushima points to the weaknesses of nuclear power as some sort of 'fix' for climate change, but rather as another example of how collapse is marching on. 

There is basically no chance - as in zero- that Japan can ever clean up and restore the areas effected by the disaster.  There is not enough money any more and there is not enough time left either.  What this means is that some day this area, due to the force of circumstances, will be repopulated by the Japanese people and they will suffer the consequences.  This will happen because they will have no other viable options.

Quote
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster may go down as one of history’s boundless tragedies and not just because of a nuclear meltdown, but rather the tragic loss of a nation’s soul.

Imagine the following scenario: 207 million cardboard book boxes, end-to-end, circumnavigating Earth, like railroad tracks, going all the way around the planet. That’s a lot of book boxes. Now, fill the boxes with radioactive waste. Forthwith, that’s the amount of radioactive waste stored unsheltered in one-tonne black bags throughout Fukushima Prefecture, amounting to 9,000,000 cubic metres

But wait, there’s more to come, another 13,000,000 cubic metres of radioactive soil is yet to be collected.

Quote
...And, there’s still more, the cleanup operations only go 50-100 feet beyond roadways. Plus, a 100-mile mountain range along the coast and hillsides around Fukushima are contaminated but not cleansed at all. As a consequence, the decontaminated land will likely be re-contaminated by radioactive runoff from the hills and mountains.

Quote
...It is a super-colossal problem. What if bags deteriorate? What if a tsunami hits? The “what-ifs” are endless, endless, and beyond.

The black bags of radioactive soil, now scattered at 115,000 locations in Fukushima, are eventually to be moved to yet-to-be built interim facilities, encompassing 16 square kilometers, in two towns close to the crippled nuclear power plant,” Ibid. 

By itself, 115,000 locations each containing many, many, mucho one-tonne bags of radioactive waste is a logistical nightmare, just the trucking alone is forever a humongous task, decades to come.

According to Japanese government and industry sources, cleaning up everything and decommissioning the broken down reactors will take at least 40 years at a cost of $250 billion, assuming nothing goes wrong.

Of course something 'will' go wrong so the idea that it can be done in 40 years for $250 billion is just BS.

Japan will never finish this process as by 2055 we will be swamped with the disasterous effects of climate change and collapsing food systems.

Worse than the above is this...

Quote
Yet, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant remains totally out of control with no end in sight. ...

As recently as October 30, 2015, The Japan Times reported: “Extremely high radiation levels and the inability to grasp the details about melted nuclear fuel make it impossible for the utility to chart the course of its planned decommissioning of the reactors at the plant.”

On the other hand, according to TEPCO, preparation is underway for removal of the melted nuclear fuel, scheduled to begin in 2021. “But it is difficult to know what is happening inside the reactors, and there are no established methods for doing so… It is not difficult to get a camera inside the reactor. The problem is the camera breaks down due to high levels of radiation,”...

Beyond the remote possibility they find the melted nuclear core aka: corium, engineers have not yet figured out how to cart the molten core away, assuming it can ever be located, and somehow handled. Meantime, if molten core burrows through the steel-reinforced concrete containment vessels into Earth, then what? It is likely a disaster for the ages!

So they do not know yet - after 5 years!! - where the melted nuclear fuel is, nor do they know what to do with it if they find it, and, of course, they supposedly have plans to start cleaning it up in 5 more years. 

Then there is a whole section about how many people have actually died from this and will die in the future. 

This is collapse.  Problems which cannot be fixed, due to lack of money, time and knowledge.  As time goes on this bar constantly lowers as time continues to run out and available resources dwindle.  In Japan we have this.  In the US we have city water lines, grid obsolescence, road and bridge disintegration, crumbling housing infrastructure, etc.  All places have similar issues.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/22/fukushima-deep-trouble/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

magnamentis

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2016, 06:34:17 PM »
While the Green BAU team's cheerleaders dance, chant and shake their pom poms at the Black BAU team across the court - who, of course, are dancing, chanting and shaking their pom pom's in furious opposition in the great circus for the clueless masses - we catch a whiff upon the breeze.

sniff.. sniff..??? ...ahh carrion...the smell of napalm in the morning..smells like victory?

and the wind clears the fog for a bit and we see the early carnage as the weak are shunted aside and the wheels grind them into the mud. 

Europe and Asia have drifted once again into the pre-war years.  Germany is dropping its mask and once again returning to its drive for dominance while the militants of Japan move to throw off the yoke of subservience.  A lot of the rest of the world is already in the war years at this point.

Subtract two states and add them to the collapse list.  Who would have thought 2 years ago that both would have come from the European fold?  It was a surprise to me, but then that is the nature of systemic collapse - it is not always the periphery which tumbles first.  Neither country would have seemed to be that close to tipping and their membership in or proximity to the powerful would have seemed to insulate them from such events, which rightly should be happening to those colored folks scattered around the periphery of the important parts of the world (that is sarcasm btw).  Ukraine of course found itself in the place of the perfect pawn - lootable and located on the underbelly of an opposition power to the Empire.  Who could resist such a delectable weakness.  Not us.  The Greek people, struggling mightily to drag themselves out of the Middle East and become European (a waste of time really) leave themselves badly exposed to the corruption of their oligarchs who proceed with their European brethren to rape all who get in the way.  Germany and the Bankers also could not resist.  Get what you can while you can and then cut them off to die.  It is not your fault if they are incapable of looking out for their best interests and confused about the exercise of power.

So Germany is once again openly asserting its power and dictating the course of events - we have some experience on how such actions facilitate European cooperation.  Should do wonders for dealing with climate change.  (I'll just skip the links to what is going on in Europe.  If this is all news to you it might be time to shift ones focus for a time).

Japan is under the political control of the militarists in case you didn't know.  Once again they are being pushed from behind by the Empire ('once again' referring to the strong push towards empire building they were given by Teddy Roosevelt and company which led directly to the growth of their ambitions and thus to their atrocities in Asia before and during WWII.  TR by the way believed that the way to 'civilize' the savages was to exterminate most of them.  A concept which obviously carried strong appeal with Japanese cultural attitudes.).  Naturally we (and they) do this to counter the evil Chinese and their growing power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/17/world/asia/japans-lower-house-passes-bills-giving-military-freer-hand-to-fight.html?_r=0

Our pre-war years now rhyme with those which came before in history's poetic play.

As collapse marches on it leads to increasing conflict not cooperation.  We are far beyond the carrying capacity numbers and there is just not enough to go around - even if we and the Germans and the Japanese and the Chinese and the Russians wanted to share.  Which we don't.  So pick your team and gird your loins.  The Finns are lining up with the Germans.  Who are you going to line up with?

Our situation continues to rapidly deteriorate.  We watch the daily ice numbers and argue over how fast it melts from the bottom and how much heat is blowing in from the Pacific.  It's being torched here and stirred there.  Interesting, yes.  However, I see a mostly unstated but intense desire for the big 'catastrophic' melt out.  Which is clearly based upon the belief that this shocking event will stir the masses and the useless 'policy' makers to finally understand the threats we are facing - and then take global cooperative action.  Do you  really think there is any chance of this happening?  Really?

Look at what is going on in the world.  Global cooperation?  In a circumstance where that cooperation naturally will result in a significant percentage of the total going under the wheels of the bus.  We know what the Germans and the Americans are going to do in that circumstance.  Do you doubt what the Japanese and the Russians are going to do?  What are you going to do?  What are the Indians and the Chinese going to do?

We used to have discussions here regarding a deliberate or managed collapse.  This is sort of what it would look like I guess since that is clearly the road we are upon.  Shove the Greeks under the wheels and cut your losses.  Portugal next?  Or Spain or Italy?  There will certainly be more EU countries falling by the wayside at least until the EU goes the way of all things.  It is just who's next.  Does anyone doubt that there will be bloodshed in Aisa - beyond what is already occurring I mean.  What happens if the psychopath Netanyahu decides that he has to deal with the Iranians on his own since the US has taken the last possible step to avoid direct conflict (the duration of this decision is very debatable given our internal politics).  Need I say that the above is a tiny sample of the whole.

Collapse is here now.   We are stepping down those stairs one at a time.  Your favorite BAU will not prevent it nor delay it.  We need to deal with it - now.  All your Green shit will not stop it nor will your AI dreams laid on the alter of Progress prevent it.  So what are we and what are you going to do?

words would always slightly differ but then this is what i'm preaching to all those who want and the majority who does not want to hear, usually calling me names for that LOL since 1998. this post is so spot on that there remains only to discuss things endlessly or say nothing more :-) my deepest respect for the level of understanding this excerpts is showing. hope my non-native english skills allowed to find the right words.  ;)

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2016, 08:58:52 PM »

words would always slightly differ but then this is what i'm preaching to all those who want and the majority who does not want to hear, usually calling me names for that LOL since 1998. this post is so spot on that there remains only to discuss things endlessly or say nothing more :-) my deepest respect for the level of understanding this excerpts is showing. hope my non-native english skills allowed to find the right words.  ;)

Well thanks! 

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there remains only to discuss things endlessly or say nothing more :-)

This place is definitely where I find myself.  I post a bit now and then, but most of the time I just read the bau nonsense and shake my head.  I hopefully wait for the first giant catastrophe to show up and generate panic in the public as that is when I think we will start to take actions...until then not so much.  Unfortunately I don't believe the arctic melting out will carry that kind of weight with the public so, unless a Black Swan type of event happens, I expect we will see the bau camps scrimmaging with each other for another 20 years or so.  In the meantime I spend all the time in the wilderness I can manage.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2016, 03:17:47 PM »
The next battlefield with ISIS

Less one might think this is not a big deal think about Europe's refugee problem.  Libya has a large coast on the Mediterranean and it is directly south of Malta and Sicily and then the Italian mainland or in the east to Crete. 

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The Islamic State (ISIS) is taking on recruits faster than anyone can keep up with, and it’s heading towards Libya’s oil crescent, eyeing billions of barrels that a country at war with itself cannot protect—even with U.S. air strikes.

In mid-December, the United Nations brokered a power-sharing agreement between Libya’s rival factions, but there is no chance of implementing this. ......

According to U.S. intelligence figures, there are an estimated 6,000 ISIS fighters now in Libya, headquartered in the town of Sirte, as Oilprice.com has reported in the past. From here, they control hundreds of miles of coastline.

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....ISIS fighters have also been tracked down to Benghazi, but here they have not solidified control yet. Still, Benghazi is an important recruitment venue. More specifically, this is where it can combine forces with it radical brethren in the form of Ansar al-Sharia and other radical factions. Benghazi is where ISIS gets bigger. And its pace of recruitment is faster than anything we’ve ever seen before. It absorbs new radical factions wherever it goes. The more successful its attacks and territory grabs, the more successful its recruiting becomes. In Libya, the former prowess of Ansar al-Sharia has quickly waned. ISIS is more brutal, and more decisive. It’s either join or be killed..

So what is it after? There is a multipronged strategy here. The first is to get closer to Europe. The second is to get closer to Africa. The third is to get closer to more oil revenues to fill quickly depleting coffers in Syria and northern Iraq....

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....Last month, ISIS attacked Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, which lie east of Sirte and beyond its area of control. Es Sider is an oil port, and Libya’s largest export terminal, with a capacity to export nearly 450,000 barrels per day. Ras Lanuf is a refining area. Ras Lanuf has storage tanks, and the tank attacked by ISIS was holding about 400,000 barrels of oil. The attack on Ras Lanuf was captured on video.....

But ISIS has farther-reaching oil plans in Libya. It’s going after the producing fields in the southern desert....

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Unable-To-Halt-ISIS-March-Towards-Libyan-Oil.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2016, 09:02:09 PM »
Another step on the road to famine.

Imagine wiping out the 3rd most productive river system in the world.  When the crap hits the fan down the road a few years no one is going to be bringing them food to replace the capacity they have deliberately destroyed as by then there will no longer be extra to go around.

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The Mekong region is Asia’s rice bowl: in 2014 lower Mekong countries (Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam) produced more than 100m tonnes of rice, around 15% of the world’s total. The region’s fertile soil depends on nutrient-rich sediment that the Mekong carries downriver, mainly during the rainy season from June to October; more than half the sediment in central Cambodia comes from China. The river and the nutrients it brings also support the world’s biggest inland fishery, accounting for a quarter of the global freshwater catch, feeding tens of millions of people.
The region boasts remarkable biodiversity; only the vast basins of the Congo and the Amazon compare to or surpass it. There are more than 20,000 types of plant and nearly 2,500 animal species;..

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According to International Rivers, an environmental NGO, the full cascade of dams planned for the Lancang would trap nearly all of the sediment coming from China, cutting the water’s sediment load in half. That will be bad for soils and bad for fish; the sediments provide the river’s nutrients. And the dams lower down could worsen the problem; the clear, “hungry” water that flows from them in spates will carry away existing sediment in riverbanks and riverbeds. Some of that will be deposited farther still downstream; some will wash uselessly out to sea.

Those lower dams will also make things yet harder for the nutrient-deprived fish. The 11 proposed in Laos and Cambodia could block the migration of around 70% of the Mekong’s commercial fish catch. Interfering with the fish’s feeding and reproduction to that extent would imperil the food security of populations across the lower Mekong basin, where the average person eats some 60kg of freshwater fish per year, more than 18 times what is on the menu in Europe or America. Considering how poor many of the people here are, replacing fish as a primary protein source is virtually impossible.

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/

http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21689225-can-one-world-s-great-waterways-survive-its-development
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

oren

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2016, 10:35:58 AM »
A train wreck in extremely slow motion, and you watch, powerless to do anything.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2016, 06:42:09 PM »
The linked article describes how the modern Turkish state is sliding away from democracy due to numerous factors include climate change accelerated refugees from Syria.  This is an example of political regression towards tribalism that climate change is accelerating around the world (Trump's nationalism in the USA is another example).  While this is an important trend to acknowledge and track; nevertheless, I still believe that post-collapse the 1% (think Davos elites) will maintain sufficient disruptive technology (think AI, robotics, 3D printer manufacturing, etc.), that dark feudalism will not be the government norm circa 2100:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/turkey-press-crackdown-elif-shafak_us_56e34597e4b065e2e3d60d6c

Extract: "Turkey is being shaken by a number of crises at once -- from the massive influx of Syrian refugees, the fight with the Kurds and now the crackdown on free expression, including the seizure of the country's leading paper, Zaman. What is going on?
Turkey is going through a deep, dizzying, dangerous social and political transformation. So much is happening so fast there is no time to stop and think and analyze. Abnormalities have become the new normal.

Turkey's ruling elite from President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan's AKP, or Justice [and] Development Party, has been confusing "democracy" with "majoritarianism." Democracy is not only about the ballot box and the number of votes. That's only one of the essentials. Democracy is also about rule of law, separation of powers, a free, diverse media, freedom of speech, women's rights, minority rights. In all these respects, Turkey has been sliding backwards sadly."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JimD

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2016, 04:21:42 PM »
I mentioned in another post the other day about how lack of the means to afford maintaining current infrastructure is one of the symptoms of collapse.  Here is a hard example of such a thing.

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...Repaving roads is expensive, so Montpelier instead used its diminishing public works budget to take a step back in time and un-pave the road. Workers hauled out a machine called a “reclaimer” and pulverized the damaged asphalt and smoothed out the road’s exterior. They filled the space between Vermont’s cruddy soil and hardier dirt and gravel up top with a “geotextile”, a hardy fabric that helps with erosion, stability and drainage.

In an era of dismal infrastructure spending, where the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the country’s roads a D grade, rural areas all over the country are embracing this kind of strategic retreat. Transportation agencies in at least 27 states have unpaved roads, according to a new report from the National Highway Cooperative Highway Research program. They’ve done the bulk of that work in the past five years.

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...Gravel and dirt are rough on tires, axels, suspensions, and wheel bearings, not to mention the extra work of keeping cars clean.

There are unintended consequences, too. “A lot of people in Vermont drive Priuses,” Mattinat says. “But when, after about a year or two, their Priuses just gets totally beat up, there’s a lot of people who turn in their Priuses and go back to an SUV.” ...

Thus we see not only the drop in complexity forced by not having the wealth we once had but also how this lower technology makes one of the newer green technologies less viable. 

Here in AZ most low use roads are unpaved and many of them receive almost no maintenance at all (literally years between grading sessions).  You are expect to dive a vehicle which is capable of handling the road or you don't go there..in other words big pickups, jeeps and SUV's.  In the early days of paving in farm country only the lanes leading into town were paved as they had to handle the loaded farm trucks while the outbound lanes were left unpaved. 

https://www.wired.com/2016/07/cash-strapped-towns-un-paving-roads-cant-afford-fix/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Collapse marches on
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2016, 05:03:35 PM »
I could dream of a world with recumbent bikes but they need good road to be efficient and comfortable...