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Catalyst for economic collapse

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Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 10 Oct 2016, 18:02:01

Okay is the weak point in our Economies the Electrical grid? As per the "olduvai cliff". The financial markets? International commerce and trade? What will be the initial straw that will break the Economies back? Perhaps something exogenous to the Economy ?
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby radon1 » Tue 11 Oct 2016, 01:27:32

Collapse is already happening right in front of you. Look at Venezuela. This is what happens when a territory drops out from the international system of the division of labor. Expect more of that sort as time goes by.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 14:53:47

But another big global financial crisis may be right around the corner:

global debt — including the debts of governments, households and non-financial businesses — reached a record $152 trillion in 2015, an amount much higher than before the 2008-2009 financial crisis.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 78a78dc098
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 15:32:39

I'd say many of you are still enamored of the "fast crash" scenario, an event with no precedence whatsoever. The Great Depression, two World Wars, the Cold War, innumerable financial conniptions, the Spanish Flu pandemic - none of these things stimulated worldwide collapse. Most probably the widespread collapse will never happen as an event.

All the evidence I see favors the "slow crash" scenario. IMHO, the End of Days, TEOTWAWKI, whatever you want to call it, began a couple of centuries ago, when the human race went into population overshoot. You have lived your entire lives within the slow death of planet Earth, as did your Grandfathers, and all your ancestors since about 1800 AD.

Now for the rest of your lives, and that of your children, for people all over the globe, life gets steadily more difficult forevermore. At some point, people will notice that this long drawn out process (rather than an event) has crossed over from inconvenience to desperation.

There will not ever be anything you can distinguish as "The End". Even though some of you are rabidly partisan and will probably consider the swearing in of Trump or Clinton as The End.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 16:24:00

First off, I myself have never committed on time tables. I have simply commented on processes and dynamics. Neither am I predicting. I compare it too what the study Limits to Growth yielded. That is different scenarios under different input variables. My only solid conclusion, is that a huge die off is coming along with a severe indefinite economic slowdown. Different regions will experience different facets of this collapse scenario differently both in intensity and timing. But again, both the lives of rich world denizens and poor world are going to be drastically affected even as poor country folks are already feeling some severe effects.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 17:37:24

I agree, a huge die-off is coming. But will it take 10 years or 200 years? I'm betting on around 50-100 years, at least.
I think the catalyst will be a gradual reduction in living standards for the bottom 95%, resulting in near anarchy, and revolution (think Venezuela). I believe a sudden economic collapse will not happen because the necessary corporations will be kept afloat by transferring their debt to the peons.
I think TPTB will remain in control throughout this, but it will be hard to keep making diesel for the tractors and distribution networks when the refineries are blowing up. Thus the die-off.
Of course, all bets are off if they to speed things up with a nuclear war, or gene-engineered disease.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby GHung » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 17:59:24

radon1 wrote:Collapse is already happening right in front of you. Look at Venezuela. This is what happens when a territory drops out from the international system of the division of labor. Expect more of that sort as time goes by.


The costs of dealing with and protecting against failed states (many of our own creation) will be a growing drag on the ship of BAU. Greer touched on it this week in his discussion on Joint Operating Environment 2035:
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ ... sight.html

4. The genesis of warband culture in failed states. While JOE-35 rightly identifies the collapse of weak states into failed-state conditions as a significant military threat, a lack of attention to the lessons of history leads its authors to neglect the most serious risk posed by the collapse of states in a time of general economic retrenchment and cultural crisis. That risk is the emergence of warband culture—a set of cultural norms that dominate the terminal periods of most recorded civilizations and the dark ages that follow them, and play a central role in the historical transformation to dark age conditions. .......


....The spread of failed states around the periphery of the industrial world is thus an existential threat not only to the United States but to the entire project of modern civilization. What makes this a critical issue is that US foreign policy and military actions have repeatedly created failed states in which warband culture can flourish: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine are only the most visible examples. Elements of US policy toward Mexico—for example, the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scheme—show worrisome movement in the same direction. Unless these policies are reversed, the world of 2035 may face conditions like those that have ended civilization more than once in the past.

http://dtic.mil/doctrine/concepts/joe/j ... july16.pdf
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 18:10:28

KaiserJeep wrote:All the evidence I see favors the "slow crash" scenario. IMHO, the End of Days, TEOTWAWKI, whatever you want to call it, began a couple of centuries ago, when the human race went into population overshoot. You have lived your entire lives within the slow death of planet Earth, as did your Grandfathers, and all your ancestors since about 1800 AD.

(Red text mine). The more time goes by, and the more the "solutions" to problem X only cause problems Y and Z, the more this makes sense to me. I'll opine that the Bible's "Garden of Eden" story says that the "end of days" came when people learned to live in organized societies (the result of the critical mass of knowledge represented by "the Apple"). Once that happened, the treadmill of "advancement", both technologically and economically was a built in requirement for competing societies to grow and prosper (i.e. effectively compete). Once that treadmill is strongly entrenched, it won't be stopped until a big enough external force (like mother nature) stops it. Because the competing societies won't let it stop. Ever. If they have ANY way to keep the music playing.

Now for the rest of your lives, and that of your children, for people all over the globe, life gets steadily more difficult forevermore.

Maybe, generally, but I don't think steadily. But it also depends on who you are, and how quickly problems like AGW progress. Technology sure provides a lot of nice toys and tools to the well-off, in the medium term.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby EdwinSm » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 00:32:05

Easter Island is a poster child for 'die-off' in human population.

Some time back I looked at a number of internet articles trying to put some figures to this. Maximum population figures ranged from 7 000 to 20 000, and a lot of the time tables varied as well as arguments over were the topping of the statues an act of war, or a reverent laying them down, and how much civil war there was.

What surprised me most was that the "die-off" on Easter Island seemed to take about 100 years. While the population is estimated to have collapsed by 75-90% it was not an 'instant event' (which was the impression I got from Monte's postings - although the reindeer on St Matthew's Island did collapse in one sever winter).

This all helps reinforce my idea of a slow collapse over years, with different communities experiencing differing rates of reduction in standard of living. Also that due to numerous stress factors we will never be able to agree on a single event causing 'collapse' (although if enough of society survives the later day historians will simplify what happened and pick one event).
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby careinke » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 00:41:05

I think the collapse will start with an economic collapse. As a matter of fact I support it as our only chance.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby radon1 » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 03:31:56

GHung wrote:The costs of dealing with and protecting against failed states (many of our own creation) will be a growing drag on the ship of BAU. Greer touched on it this week in his discussion on Joint Operating Environment 2035:
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ ... sight.html


Greer describes it well but he puts a political (anti-US?) spin on it. There is no need for the US to intervene for a peripheral state to acquire "the failed" status, even though such interventions do play a role from time to time. Nobody intervened, say, in Venezuela.

Having said that, Greer has a very good grasp on the matter. He produced a number of essays couple years ago on the economic development in the US from the founding times, and these essays were really good. Maybe, even surprisingly so, given that this is not his area of specialisation (or is it?). He described the way the US system of the division of labor developed, and identified the true drivers for its development. Even the expressions that he used - like "wealth pump" - are right on the spot, as long as their emotional connotations are ignored.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 09:17:02

radon1 wrote:
GHung wrote:The costs of dealing with and protecting against failed states (many of our own creation) will be a growing drag on the ship of BAU. Greer touched on it this week in his discussion on Joint Operating Environment 2035:
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ ... sight.html


Greer describes it well but he puts a political (anti-US?) spin on it. There is no need for the US to intervene for a peripheral state to acquire "the failed" status, even though such interventions do play a role from time to time. Nobody intervened, say, in Venezuela.

Having said that, Greer has a very good grasp on the matter. He produced a number of essays couple years ago on the economic development in the US from the founding times, and these essays were really good. Maybe, even surprisingly so, given that this is not his area of specialisation (or is it?). He described the way the US system of the division of labor developed, and identified the true drivers for its development. Even the expressions that he used - like "wealth pump" - are right on the spot, as long as their emotional connotations are ignored.


There is another factor to consider with 'failed states'. Other than pride, what interest is it for the USA to keep getting involved? This point actually applies to much of the world, not just the failed states. A large percentage of the USA voter group would not be at all unhappy for our country to become less globalist and more nationalist. Not in the sense of attacking neighbors as it is portrayed by the globalist believers, but in the sense of mind your own business. Americans traditionally believed in letting the world outside of North and South America do its own thing. If you look at the total history of the USA it was only after World War II that the elites managed to convince the average voters that intervention in Europe and Asia and Africa are vital to our national interests. There was always a minority who did not buy into that meme and since the events of 9/11 those forces have been growing.

The question goes along the lines of, if we had been customers of the middle east without being involved politically would the radicals be interested in attacking us?

The counter argument is, after the radical forces in Africa/Asia/Europe run out of local people to hate we will be next on the list. Most people do not take this argument seriously.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 09:18:38

onlooker wrote:Okay is the weak point in our Economies the Electrical grid? As per the "olduvai cliff". The financial markets? International commerce and trade? What will be the initial straw that will break the Economies back? Perhaps something exogenous to the Economy ?


Say the 'economic collapse' takes place Monday.

What do you think your town, your state, the USA and the World will look like in October 2021?
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 10:40:19

Is this a trick question? haha. Seriously, I am not sure. According to ETP modelers availing themselves of the ideas put forth in the The Korowicz paper a fast devastating economic collapse can and probably will happen. This is briefly based on the weak links of the financial sector in particular JIT shipping/trade and the funds to back up said trade given that nothing backs fiat currency anymore. Along of course with a serious disruption in the energy sector as either producers or consumers or both have a very difficult time accessing energy/oil. Answering directly your question Tanada, if the Economic collapse was truly worldwide and devastating, I expect that in five years time from now, we would be seeing a very different world in which whole industries have collapsed and a form of martial law has been put in place to service the needs of the populace and to enforce law and order. Kind of similar to the Great Depression with people on food lines and such. I am not dogmatic on this. Nor am I an expert on ETP modeling. I did read your rebuttal to it which was quite good So in light of your views I am sure you do not forsee such a dramatic unwinding and collapse in the Economies scenario. I am unsure. It is also possile we can see a Long Emergency as written by Kunstler and Greer. That long emergency would entail a steady deterioration and downturn in economic conditions for vast numbers of people.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:02:13

onlooker wrote:Is this a trick question? haha. Seriously, I am not sure. According to ETP modelers availing themselves of the ideas put forth in the The Korowicz paper a fast devastating economic collapse can and probably will happen. This is briefly based on the weak links of the financial sector in particular JIT shipping/trade and the funds to back up said trade given that nothing backs fiat currency anymore. Along of course with a serious disruption in the energy sector as either producers or consumers or both have a very difficult time accessing energy/oil. Answering directly your question Tanada, if the Economic collapse was truly worldwide and devastating, I expect that in five years time from now, we would be seeing a very different world in which whole industries have collapsed and a form of martial law has been put in place to service the needs of the populace and to enforce law and order. Kind of similar to the Great Depression with people on food lines and such. I am not dogmatic on this. Nor am I an expert on ETP modeling. I did read your rebuttal to it which was quite good So in light of your views I am sure you do not foresee such a dramatic unwinding and collapse in the Economies scenario. I am unsure. It is also possible we can see a Long Emergency as written by Kunstler and Greer. That long emergency would entail a steady deterioration and downturn in economic conditions for vast numbers of people.


No tricks, when I ask someone for their opinion there is no wrong answer.

Personally I believe we have been in the 'long emergency' for several decades already, highlighted by the decay of infrastructure which I have posted about extensively. That does not mean there can not or will not be sudden drops during the next few decades.

My basic premise however is, history does not end with the next dramatic upset. Even flat out WW III thermonuclear war would not end history. To be sure it would kill hundreds of millions to billions and really make life tough for the survivors five years after the war, but history did not start in whatever year we were born and will not end whatever year we each die.

There frequently seems to be a preponderance of folks who think if they have to change their lifestyle due to exterior circumstances that is "The End!"

Change is the eternal reality of human existence, you are conceived, grow, are born, grow a bunch more, age and eventually die. Not having the Internet or Smart Phones or a nice Public Library are not the end, all of those things are conveniences. Minimal food/clothing/shelter is all it takes to survive, at least up to the point you need medical care.

I do not look forward to losing the conveniences of modern American life, but I also do not expect to drop dead 30 seconds after losing that lifestyle.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:12:25

Seems like we have a long human history of rather violent responses by many countries that suffer economic "collapse". In fact it often didn't take full collapse but just significant decline. Granted I don't see Greece becoming much of a direct threat to its neighbors let alone the US.

But eventually all countries will see stress levels grow over time. And I haven't noticed any significant changes in human nature.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:29:21

KaiserJeep wrote:I'd say many of you are still enamored of the "fast crash" scenario, an event with no precedence whatsoever. The Great Depression, two World Wars, the Cold War, innumerable financial conniptions, the Spanish Flu pandemic - none of these things stimulated worldwide collapse. Most probably the widespread collapse will never happen as an event.

The Great Depression did stimulate worldwide collapse . . . among those countries newly connected into the newly formed global economy. It took several years after the 1929 Wall Street crash for the depression to sweep around the world, especially to cities dependent on heavy industry. But the crash was fatal and fast. Same in 2007, as the high-tech bubble, housing boom and peak (low-cost) oil conspired to destroy credit and debt. It may have started with bad mortgages in the Inland Empire and Cincinnati, but soon swept around the world.

KaiserJeep wrote:All the evidence I see favors the "slow crash" scenario. IMHO, the End of Days, TEOTWAWKI, whatever you want to call it, began a couple of centuries ago, when the human race went into population overshoot. You have lived your entire lives within the slow death of planet Earth, as did your Grandfathers, and all your ancestors since about 1800 AD.

Yes, we have been drawing down the earth's natural capital at a frantic pace, converting the its riches into bright shiny toys, rust, and entropy.

KaiserJeep wrote:Now for the rest of your lives, and that of your children, for people all over the globe, life gets steadily more difficult forevermore. At some point, people will notice that this long drawn out process (rather than an event) has crossed over from inconvenience to desperation.

There will not ever be anything you can distinguish as "The End". Even though some of you are rabidly partisan and will probably consider the swearing in of Trump or Clinton as The End.

It happens regionally, already done in Haiti, Somalia, Libya, Sudan etc. Those places where populations bloomed early. And ecologies were scorched.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 02:56:38

While I do lean towards a slow collapse, Friday's internet attack could indicate a possible catalyst for an economic collapse. The internet service company Dyn was attacked. Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit were among the sites taken offline on Friday. Also Amazon Web Services was affected.

Given the larger and larger share of e-commerce a sustained attack that knocks out a major e-vendor for several days (not just hours) might be enough to trigger an economic panic. The attacks don't seem to be at this stage yet but they might get there soon.

The attacks on Friday used smart home devices ... so [using an idea someone else posted (on other forum)] imaging your new fridge hooking up with other fridges to bring down society 8O


In the early days of commercial programming (like in the 1970s) there was a lot of teaching about redundancy in the system to help keep the resilience of things going. The department store company I worked for had a secret computer backup location, that as a programmer I was told existed but I never knew where it was. Now, in the name of efficiency more and more power is being concentrated in fewer and fewer companies, which makes for a cheaper but less secure system.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 03:43:41

Hold on a minute, the internet and computers I do know about. The resiliency and the bandwidth and the availability of the network is in fact constantly growing. The network gets more and more robust as time passes, not more and more vulnerable.

The digital-denial-of-service (DDOS) type attacks that have been taking place recently do not reflect a network vulnerability, only a lack of resilience in the sites being attacked. As individual devices like PCs get higher and higher levels of performance, they can hammer individual websites harder and faster. When the number of service requests overwhelm the server for the web site, individual sites go unavailable. It is an indication that any server that suffered an outage in a DDOS attack needs to be upgraded.

When the sites being attacked via DDOS are also distributed, redundant, and part of the infrastructure, the servers themselves are already fairly robust. The attackers had to first spread a Trojan virus which activated simultaneously in hundreds or thousands of PCs, in order to generate the transaction load for directly-attached-to-the-backbone infrastructure sites like Twitter, Etsy, Github, Vox, Spotify, Airbnb, Netflix, and Reddit. The ability to do this is limited, requiring pre-planning, and since the various servers exist in multiple machines with multiple backbone interconnects, the outages were confined to one geographical area - the East Coast of the US from the Mid-Atlantic states to New England. I was using NetFlix pretty constantly on Friday here on the West Coast, with no outages, no slowdowns, no problems.

Embedded somewhere in the Trojans that caused the attacks are digital signatures from the hackers responsible. Every WWW user has an existing profile, and if you have ever written code for apps used on the WWW, you have a file containing examples of your work, so that you can be recognized when you write some code to a more sinister purpose.

They are going to get the creeps, and when they do, they will get a long vacation in the barry place with no network.
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Re: Catalyst for economic collapse

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 11:10:04

Hawkcreek wrote:I agree, a huge die-off is coming. But will it take 10 years or 200 years? I'm betting on around 50-100 years, at least.
I think the catalyst will be a gradual reduction in living standards for the bottom 95%, resulting in near anarchy, and revolution (think Venezuela). I believe a sudden economic collapse will not happen because the necessary corporations will be kept afloat by transferring their debt to the peons.
I think TPTB will remain in control throughout this, but it will be hard to keep making diesel for the tractors and distribution networks when the refineries are blowing up. Thus the die-off.
Of course, all bets are off if they to speed things up with a nuclear war, or gene-engineered disease.


Yeah, but Malthus said basically the same thing, and he was never right concerning people. His theory does describe animal populations pretty well, but people do things that the constraints don't address. I like how you seem to recognize this, but then suggest that doom will still come - at a much slower pace. I guess you think the pressures are still on, regardless of what's done to address the problems in the near term? What kinds of pressures persist like that, economic, societal or environmental? I guess all of those, but not all with the same veracity. I don't know, I still think that people have a way of using creativity that will surprise you vis a vis collapse, fast or slow.
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