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« University of Washington Scientist: Fake News is Real News, Somewhere | Main | Watching the world fall apart I »

June 21, 2017


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I have discovered an interesting video that connects the dots to "the missing sapience problem"

It's short, scientific and entertaining:

What do you say, probable? sounds plausible to me ;-)

George Mobus


Thanks very much for the link. I will investigate further and perhaps resurface my Sapience book! I can't necessarily address the probability/plausibility at present, but will dig deeper. Thanks again.



"Things are really going crazy" says it all....
Regards Enki

Molly Radke

I've been saying for FIFTY years that there's only SO MUCH OIL on the planet, and we need to conserve it. My first husband....a SCIENTIST....would just say, "Oh Molly....don't's a big planet." Well DUH. But even a big planet is FINITE, and the amount of ANYTHING on it is FINITE.

Tom S


Is there a website for this annual meeting? Where can I find a list of the papers which were presented?

The facebook page for the International Society for Biophysical Economics has not been updated this year. Neither has the website ( Am I looking in the wrong places?

Was the conference primarily about declining EROI?

-Tom S

Godofredo Aravena

Hi George,
I would say that this downhill trend began in the late 60´s, when population surpassed 3600 million and suddenly, with the help of technology, humans began to become a real threat to the Biosphere, combining number and power. A moment in time that (interestingly) coincides with the publication of "Limits to growth".
What has changed recently is the growing awareness of the problem, still not enough to revert the process though, I guess it will never be, as I wrote in Carolyn Baker´s Blog some years ago. Today we are just being dragged by the system, just as we have been along our entire life (but without noticing it). Nothing to do to change the course of events certainly. The only questions to be answered are related with how the collapse will actually unfold. I would guess that it will hardly be an abrupt process. Population and the human system will adapt to changes, just as the people from Venezuela has been adapting to the growing limitations they experience without doing something to change things. I would extrapolate that behavior to the world while experiencing the collapse. As it has already been happening, if you make a parallel. We are already living the collapse, in first person. An interesting moment in history.

George Mobus


It does, doesn't it.



Glad you indicated "first" husband!!! If you get to Tacoma again, let me know.



The ISBPE organization is still not very organized! At the meeting we had a business session in which it was revealed that there are still a number of unfilled "positions", including web guru! This meeting was a work shop so the presentations were not really "papers" as such. I don't think there will be a submission of papers, even though some of us have tried to prepare such. If I get a chance, I will try to post what I wrote.

The main topic was EROI, but there was a considerable amount of dissension as to what that should mean. One significant problem in expanding the boundaries of EROI analysis is that most of the data are reported in dollar amounts and the analysts are forced to convert dollars into joules for consistency. The problem is that dollars are incredibly lousy measures of anything anymore. Financialization of the economy has distorted the value of dollars so much that nothing really meaningful can be said about energy costs converted from dollar measures. This will continue to be a major problem in BPE for some time to come, I'm afraid.



Got your email, but will need time to digest - long!

Not sure that one can answer the question about how the collapse will unfold. Too many variables, I think.

Re: (in your email) the nature of evolution, and my "faith" in it, it seems to me you may be working from an incorrect consideration of evolution. It is not based on pure random events (and magic), as you suggested, though random events do play a role (i.e. mutations). Rather, it follows a pattern of unfoldment (covered in my book - Principles of Systems Science). That is why I asked the question about trajectories!

Richard McBroom

It started November 2016.

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