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Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter, on C

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Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter, on C

Unread postby Polybius » Mon 05 Jul 2021, 17:43:17

Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter, on China's future with new perspectives...

Most of us have heard of the concept of the so-called Thucydides Trap (for those who haven't there is a TED talk on YouTube by Graham Allison) and many of us should know or have at least a basic concept of the "Great Filter" (look it up on wikipedia if not) and its fair to say for China to continue to strive as a nation for the next 50+ years or more it has to overcome the "Thucydides Trap" and furthermore for China to strive as a civilization-state for another 500+ to 5,000+ years it has to meet the challenges of The Great Filter by bootstrapping itself much further along on the Kardashev Scale, perhaps approaching Type 1.0 and solving the issues of climate disaster, global peak energy, peak oil, and other large scale energy, resource, and environmental issues in a manner, sequence, and timing that affords it a reasonable smooth transition to the stars.....

So in a re-examine of China's challenges concerning the Thucydides Trap, global peak energy decline, "Great Filter" and etc I'd like to take a modern look with new perspectives of the issues at play and have narrowed it down to three main components or points of contention for debate/dicussion.... and they are:

1) AI (or AGI as in Artifical General Intelligence)
2) Nuclear warfare, Nuclear deterrene and Nuclear blackmail
3) Global Peak Energy decline, Peak Oil, Climate change, etc

#1
With regards to AI and AGI, its my arguement that the first nation to truly conquer and dominant AI will stay on top forever... Google's Deepmind CEO had once prominently pronounced that the idea should be to solve AI first, and then use AI to solve all the other hard problems of the world, including finding a final theory of everything, making nuclear fusion sustainable and scaleable as a free energy source, etc... AI is a great "intellectual multiplier", the side that first reaches a sufficient threshold and widens the gap to a sufficent extent will mean it is all but impossible for the other side to ever catch up...(think of it as first to reach Omega Point of Singularity) A rough analogy would be to imagine that we lived in a hypothetical world in which the "Time Machine" was physically possible and could be made real, then it goes without saying that the nation that invents and deploys the first usable Time Machine would stay on top forever for all of history... Likewise, AI/AGI is not as powerful as a Time Machine in preserving eternal dominance but its close enough and I would argue is the next best thing... If indeed it was ever possible to build a Time Machine or to send or recieve messages from the future then most like it will be an advanced AGI that figures it out, solves the technical difficulties, and makes it possible.

China was projected to quickly catch up and surpass the USA in terms of AI/AGI development and advancement but as you all know the Americans have forced Tiawan TSMC to cut and severe ties with Huawei and other Chinese tech giants, as well as coerced the Dutch to ban ASML from exporting the EUV semiconductor equipment to China (thus depriving SMEE/SMIC of EUV tech ascension) and bottom line is although I believe China will become self sufficent and catch up in the next couple years, the real question is has the US slowed China down enough (with possibility of an all out full-scale chip and semiconductor embargo against all of China soon) that it will permanently keep down behind the US in terms of AI... Indeed Google's Ex-CEO recently commissioned a 700 page report detailing his plans to the US government on how exactly to achieve this gap in AI.... Frankly put, AI runs on the lower stack of chips, semiconductors, and currently that means EUV technology, lasers, optics, etc... If America can keep China from becoming semiconductor independent/selfsufficient in the high-end semiconductors (<5nm process) then the USA can effectively choke the engine of Chinese AI development by depriving it of the fuel of semiconductors... As chips are the physical stack of any AI inference, training etc without the chips the AI is useless...

#2
Nuclear blackmail.... I believe very soon the US will attempt to nuclear blackmail China (if it hasn't happened already in backdoor communications) and to an extent also hold hostage its own US allies/vassals and the rest of the world with threat of nuclear doomsday if everyone doesn't jump on the US-led China-containment bandwagon... The US may also strategically time this so as to use this nuclear blackmail card well before China catches up in nuclear parity and even before China achieves true strategic nuclear deterrence against a surprise US first strike against the PRC mainland... Thinkers from Graham Allison to Kishore Mahbubani to Ray Dalio all wax poetic about the history of empires and the rising and falling of civilizations but this is the very first time in all mankind that a rising hegemon (China) is credibly threatening to displace a declining power (USA) while both sides have nuclear weapons and with the reigning hegemon having a vast lead in nuclear power over the rising power... When the US surpassed the UK as the world's empire the UK did not have nuclear weapons... even during the Cuban missile crisis the USSR had the GDP of California and was no where close to surpassing America economically or in world trade. Humanity is at unique crossroads because for the very first time we are in a situation in which the world's declining superpower may resort to blackmailing the entire world with threat of total extinction if the world doesn't go along with US plan to first strike China in a "final solution" to rid of the "Central Threat of All Times" (quote Pompeo)

#3
Peak Oil, Global Peak Energy, resource depletion and Climate change. As you all know, recently Xi committed China to be carbon neutral by 2060, and the implication is that by then China will also be energy independent... maybe we will have solved fusion and fast nuclear breeders AND have scaled them up by them to avert the oil crash... or maybe not... but there is a real possibility that unlike the Thucydides Trap or the Great Filter, this is one hurdle that China will not be able to overcome, for simply said everything, including Chinese civilization, exists within the laws of physics and abide by this grander force rather than the other way around... human ingenuity cannot out-think the energy problem of which it exists within...

https://archive.org/details/peak-oil

China likes to talk about Win-Win whilsts US philosophy is Zero-Sum-Game but in truth from a resource and energy standpoint (most certaintly from that of laws of thermodynamics and entropy) the world at large is now an ever-shrinking zero-sum pie in which everyone's slices are getting smaller and smaller....

Energy is the "labor/muscle/physical-power multiplier effect" that gives all modern money/currency (post-industrial age) the vast majority of its value and/or purchasing power... With advances in AI displacing most if not all "intellectual labor", then the real rate limiting factors/effects to a total maximum global wealth/productivity optimization curve is no longer the pursuit of more human population (laborers/workers) but rather AI as a much more efficent augmentation or replacement of "intellectual labor" can now directly couple with the energy/resource of "physical labor multiplier effect" to achieve max productivity whilsts taking humans out of the loop... (UBI or UBS society of universal basic services/income) But even the most advanced AI society is still subject to the laws of thermodynamics and require energy and resources to run and to produce, thereby leading to the realization that as the world has hit global peak energy back in late 2019, the real rate limiting factor is not actually workers (be it low end cheap labor or high end STEM engineers) or even raw intellect (be it AI or human biological) but rather that of the remaining quantity and quality (EROEI) of energy and resources themselves...

Money is just a mere abstract symbolic token representation of the ability of cheap and abundant higher EROEI(Energy Returned on Energy Invested) energy to do 'work' on our behalf.

Wealth creation is actually the extraction, conversion and consumption of energy. All other forms of wealth are merely derivatives that are layered on top of and powered directly or indirectly by the underlining energy infrastructure of society/civilization.

Energy and resources are now the true rate limiting factor, not laborers, workers, human population, brains, smarts, intellect, AI, etc....

The US enjoys its current standard of living precisely because it is the global hegemon and thus with the petrodollar as the world's reserve currency it collects its rent by taxing/usurping the wealth of the rest of the world (QE infinity and other great harvestings)... so its quite naive for some to believe China could ever catch up to US GDP per capita because the only reason America is so wealthy is because its managed to use its military empire to basically enslave and colonize the rest of the world, so for China with 4X the population to match the current US GDP per capita living standards means China has to be able to harvest another 4 planet earths! (and the resources thereof)

The reality is a net global peak of useable energy is of no benefit nor good to anyone or any nation... however a global peak energy dynamic in which we inevitably slide down the energy consumption curve does seem to overall greatly benefit the current reigning hegemon (USA) because it gives less and less room and oppurtunity for the rising power China to grow and gives US the leverage and advantage to consolidate power by canalbalizing the rest of the world by using its existing hegemony framework and the so-called US/Western "rules based order" etc...
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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 05 Jul 2021, 23:42:33

Polybius wrote:Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter, on China's future with new perspectives........ I believe very soon the US will attempt to nuclear blackmail China (if it hasn't happened already in backdoor communications) and to an extent also hold hostage its own US allies/vassals and the rest of the world with threat of nuclear doomsday if everyone doesn't jump on the US-led China-containment bandwagon...


I think thats highly unlikely.

Joe Biden just had a summit with Putin and he threatened Putin with horrible consequences if there was more Russian hacking of US businesses..... and what happened? The Russian ignored Biden and now we're got the biggest hack of all time going on. And how did Biden respond to this new hack? Biden tried to hide from the press and then he lied and pretended he didn't know Russia was behind this latest hack.

Joe Biden is a wimp.

Putin isn't scared of Biden and neither is China. Biden is a senile old fool who doesn't scare anyone. The last thing in the world Biden is going to do is try to use nuclear blackmail against China or anyone else. Its far more likely the Chinese are blackmailing Biden by threatening to release what they know about bribing Hunter Biden (and Joe).

Polybius wrote: As you all know, recently Xi committed China to be carbon neutral by 2060


Thats going to be very difficult for them to do as China is continuing to build large numbers of coal=fired power plants. Xi is lying.....isn't that obvious?

Polybius wrote:Money is just a mere abstract symbolic token representation of the ability of cheap and abundant higher EROEI(Energy Returned on Energy Invested) energy to do 'work' on our behalf.


Actually no. Thats not the definition of money.

Polybius wrote:The US .... is the global hegemon and..... it collects its rent by taxing/usurping the wealth of the rest of the world (QE infinity and other great harvestings)... .


The US is not taxing or usurping the wealth of the rest of the world. Printing money in order to do QE has nothing to do with taxing other countries.

Polybius wrote: America is so wealthy ....because its managed to use its military empire to basically enslave and colonize the rest of the world


The US has not enslaved or colonized the rest of the world.

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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 06 Jul 2021, 13:10:04

Plantagenet wrote:
Polybius wrote:The US .... is the global hegemon and..... it collects its rent by taxing/usurping the wealth of the rest of the world (QE infinity and other great harvestings)... .


The US is not taxing or usurping the wealth of the rest of the world. Printing money in order to do QE has nothing to do with taxing other countries.

Cheers!


This is the only part of your message where we differ Plant. Here is the thing, the US Dollar is the recognized world reserve currency. This means every country involved in international trade to a large extent denominates that trade in US Dollars. When the world agreed to this system the USA promised that the dollar would remain fully convertible and that we would not abuse the trust of the rest of the world.

Technically you can still convert your dollars to any other currency more or less on demand. Since 2008 the USA has been very seriously abusing the trust of the world by significantly inflating the dollar with "Quantitative Easing" and related measures that have deliberately reduced the value of every other dollar that was already in existence from 1973-2007. Today there are quite literally trillions of new digital dollars circulating through the world economy which has placed a very real burden on all other currencies. Many of those foreign currencies also did their own versions of digitizing currency as a way of not suffering too badly from US actions, but not every country has that option and many even with the option had no desire to digitize new currency into existence with the profligate carelessness of the USA. It is not a tax per se but it is a heck of a surcharge on the world economy none the less.
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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby rangerone314 » Tue 06 Jul 2021, 14:03:25

Recent watched the original series Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force" with my sons. (the one with the Nazis). My oldest son pointed out how John Gill (doing his speech at the end) seemed just like Biden.

If you want a laugh, look up that clip on YouTube.
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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 07 Jul 2021, 12:51:54

Tanada wrote:This is the only part of your message where we differ Plant. Here is the thing, the US Dollar is the recognized world reserve currency. This means every country involved in international trade to a large extent denominates that trade in US Dollars. When the world agreed to this system the USA promised that the dollar would remain fully convertible and that we would not abuse the trust of the rest of the world.

Technically you can still convert your dollars to any other currency more or less on demand. Since 2008 the USA has been very seriously abusing the trust of the world by significantly inflating the dollar with "Quantitative Easing" and related measures that have deliberately reduced the value of every other dollar that was already in existence from 1973-2007. Today there are quite literally trillions of new digital dollars circulating through the world economy which has placed a very real burden on all other currencies. Many of those foreign currencies also did their own versions of digitizing currency as a way of not suffering too badly from US actions, but not every country has that option and many even with the option had no desire to digitize new currency into existence with the profligate carelessness of the USA. It is not a tax per se [emphasis added] but it is a heck of a surcharge on the world economy none the less.


I can't see where we even differ on this.

I said the US doesn't tax other countries....and you said" It is not a tax per se "

OK...so we agree the US doesn't tax other countries.

AND, I agree with you that there are a multitude of other financial entanglements between the US and other countries, including the denomination of much international trade in US dollars.

AND, you are 100% right that the US is intentionally devaluing the dollar by running huge deficits, doing multiple QE programs, and just printing way too many dollars and giving them away.

AND, when the US does this it hurts other countries who hold US debt or reserves of US currency because their value goes down as the value of the dollar goes down.

But it isn't a tax......its a side effect of the financial gyrations the US is going through to be able to manage its own huge debt. By devaluing the dollar and triggering off inflation, the US is effectively reducing the debt held by China and other foreign countries.

A more accurate way to describe this is to say that the Chinese and other foreigners who trusted the US government to maintain the value of the dollar made a bad investment......and now they are going to "take a haircut" i.e. lose money on their bad investment.

And its not just foreigners......every US retiree who spent decades paying social security taxes and now is counting on social security or on their savings to get them through their old age is also going be hurt.....because when the value of the dollar goes down and inflation rises, social security and cash and savings lose value.

Basically the US government is being a bad financial actor here.....and its going to hurt just about everyone except the few who are wealthy and who own lots of property and assets that will go up with inflation.

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Wow! The US Government is printing so much money they as well be throwing hundred dollar bills out of helicopters! This is great! .......or is it?

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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby JuanP » Thu 08 Jul 2021, 00:45:56

"China to US: Two can play at technological war"
https://asiatimes.com/2021/07/china-to- ... gical-war/

I think the Chinese will win this war.
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Re: Revisiting the Impact of Thucydides Trap, Great Filter,

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 08 Jul 2021, 11:51:11

JuanP wrote:"China to US: Two can play at technological war"
https://asiatimes.com/2021/07/china-to- ... gical-war/

I think the Chinese will win this war.


Possibly.

But China remains a dictatorship and Comrade Xi seems determined to have the CCP exert direct control over China's tech businesses.......and that may cause problems if it winds up restricting the freedom and creativity of China's best scientists and business leaders.

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