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« Heading into Winter - Equinox 2017 | Main | Spring Equinox - From Africa »

December 21, 2017


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Thanks George and thanks for the Robert J. Gordon book tip. It was available at my library, so I will have it as soon as they notify me.

As the great unraveling speeds up, I could handle losing the internet, but not books. If I make it pass the next big step down, perhaps I'll start a survivors book club.

Best of luck in the new year, professor.


My my, time flies ! Thanks George for your perspectives, always appreciated. I came across an interesting , very low energy footprint "software technology" that might make this planet a better place, who knows...Anyway, happy holidays and will read you in 3 month time again (I hope) :-)
Regards, Enki

Molly Radke

GLAD TO SEE YOU BACK AGAIN! Missed you. Your post was sorta grim.....but it comes to the same conclusion that my less informed reasoning has brought me. We be in for DIFFICULT times, I fear. And as well intentioned as we may be, personally, I'm thinking there's not much we can do to avoid this bleak future. Alas. None-the-less, BEST New Year's Wishes to you.


I know of no thinker who talks more of sapience than you.

The lower your social class, the ‘wiser’ you are, suggests new study

"The answer is that raw intelligence doesn’t reduce conflict, he asserts. Wisdom does. Such wisdom—in effect, the ability to take the perspectives of others into account and aim for compromise—comes much more naturally to those who grow up poor or working class, according to a new study by Grossman and colleagues."

George Mobus


Hope you enjoy Gordon's perspective. He puts most stock in the technology innovation theory of economic growth but seems to have missed the role of energy in powering industry!

On the wisdom distribution article: Unfortunately there is an alternate explanation. I will give them that social status might affect how much natural (genetically endowed) sapience emerges, but another possibility is that people in the high end of the wealth/income classes are spoiled! That is, they are also more narcissistic and selfish because they got used to having what they wanted. There is another study that correlates the fact that people in the upper classes tend to not be willing to follow the rules because they feel entitled to not do so! Still it is good to see the interest in studying the phenomenon of wisdom.


Will have to take a look. Thanks for the tip.

I may be writing more frequently. I have reached a nadir in my next book project and have some interesting new findings to run by readers.


Let's hope the new year is a little more stable than the current one has been. The problem with chaotic dynamics is that you never know what even might happen. The only thing you can say about chaos is that the system is about to flip to a new attractor basin when things get really wild.


Godofredo Aravena

Hi George

Welcome winter solstice. My journey from a day of six hours of light, to a day without darkness begins again…
Once more thanks for giving and providing a space for meditations about current state of things with an ample view, a bit out of the square without being radical.
In my personal journey to try to put some structure into the Universe and our day to day reality, It has taken me a long time to understand some of the basic rules of the Universe, and one is the “limited randomness”.
The interesting thing about the Universe is that runs under a controlled or limited randomness, it is the rule, otherwise it wouldn´t exist. Who would create something that always does the same thing?. Limited randomness is the way to make it work and run in an interesting way. That means that nothing repeats.
Systems created by humans in general terms do not follow this rule. As they are created to be used. The rest of the systems (non humans) exist just to be. Their only reason to exist is to run, and for that reason, they must have ways to find equilibriums. And they do.
Cycles are the basis, but they are never the same. There is some magic behind that, as nothing ever repeats, there is no way to know the outcome, no matter how much information we may have regarding past events. There is no way to know for sure what tomorrow will bring. But at the same time, we can be sure that the uncertainty will be constrained, within some certain limits. Always the same, but different. Interesting.
Even though the Newtonian laws and relativity apply and are always present, in the real world (out of the labs) you can never predict a phenomenon that follow these rules in a precise way. Exact predictability only works in labs where freedom is constrained. Randomness coupled to very sophisticated and complex systems (most of them totally beyond our understanding) produces this impossibility to accurately predict events in this Universe. Stars can be predicted just because their cycles are very slow, and we are talking about a small window in time, but how accurate will be the predictions of today after only 10 million years in the future (less than a blink of an eye in stars scale)?
You can never be totally sure about anything. At most have a rough idea. Just rough trends. The task of predicting an outcome in a useful way, that means, detailed enough to be able to change the course of possible events is very close to impossible.
Just as you say, we can predict that the economic system will collapse, but we do not know when and how. We can “smell” it, that is all. There is no way to be prepared. But, who wants to be?
One of the pleasant things about this reality is that you can never get bored…

On the other hand, in a society of followers (as described in an earlier post), there is no way to change a trend that can be smelled by a few. The only way is if leaders change the path. But as today leaders are also followers. This system is dammed.
So, all it can be done is to sit and watch, and be part of the spectacle. Taking notes, to be legated to the next generations.

All systems are designed to keep some certain equilibrium. Within a range that is part of the “limited” randomness of each system. In some cases, big oscillations, in other cases, small, considering an absolute scale for the size of the systems. But always small in relative terms. This limited randomness is very important because it provides the way equilibrium is achieved, going from one extreme to the other.
But, human society is not a system designed, it is being made along the way, totally improvised. So it does not have a way to find an equilibrium in a an automatic way, as most other systems do. I believe that a new system-society has to be developed, and this time, designed. Not improvised. That is why we have to collect the understandings of why this system failed, being that an important reason to be part of this collapse.
The other task, developing a new system-society requires a lot of understandings about humans and nature. There is a lot to do in that area.


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