Reality Blind - Vol. 1

phantom intangible financial instruments, which allow for double counting with respect to future resources.

Ultimately, we can always print money (or simply add more ones and zeros to the big database in the sky), but we cannot print energy and concentrated resources. Only the Sun and the Earth can create those. The daily energy the sun provides doesn’t power our current infrastructure, and it takes the Earth tens to hundreds of millions of years to concentrate minerals and flammable fossils. The best we can accomplish by creating more money is to stimulate immediate energy consumption by making it seem more affordable in the short term. This, in turn, requires companies to hurry up and extract even more of our one-time endowment of low-entropy fossilized sunlight and high-grade ores. We don’t yet know exactly (although we can guess) at what point the amount of monetary claims on future energy and resource flows will exceed the physically -possible maximum size of those flows- the inflection point labeled “I” in the graphic above. When this crossover point is reached, energy depletion will increasingly manifest itself as financial chaos. TaaL: As far as I know, in this entire galaxy there’s no species, asid e from humans, which thinks that money is real, and energy is an incidental commodity. But that’s why you entertain us so. It’s as though your tribe is lost in the desert with a limited amount of water, but your leaders have decided that the important thing is not how hydrated you are but how fast you can drink. So, they have everyone eat a lot of salt to make them drink faster. And indeed, what ensues is that everyone DOES drink faster, so it seems to be working and everyone is pleased. For a while. By th e same token, using “money creation” to stimulate the faster use of a finite pool of fossil energy more quickly seems like a good idea... but only if you have a shaky relationship with the concepts of “the future,” money, and energy. And of course, humans do. Still, the future has a way of getting here every time. Your most pernicious planning mistakes come whenever some high-status fire- ape’s plan is based on a “money in” and “stuff out” type analysis. Physical reality uses the formula “stuff in” and “stuff out,” with the main part of “stuff” being energy. If you could indenture your grandchildren, would you take that deal? Indenture (I’m talking about spending an advance on their future wealth on yourself, not giving them false teeth): a reverse inheritance in which you get materially wealthier now in exchange for them being materially poor later. Disclaimer: I must admit that’s a trick question, because that’s exactly what you’re already doing, and have been for some time. Neoclassical economics


Powered by