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Being crushed by monopoly power does not equal insufficient energy, unless you want to metaphorically link finance with energy, in which case the whole discussion becomes irrelevant.

Conflict between elites is a thing. Class conflict is a thing. Sometimes systems do have to respond to outside shocks, but people are also capable of fucking things up all on their own in the process of pursuing their own petty agendas.

It's worth asking the question of whether the modern world is facing a situation of actual impoversihment, compared to our recent past (as the energy theory seems to be suggesting), or whether its a case of the concentration of wealth (demonstrated by both history and experiment to be largely inveitable) leading to gross distributionary imbalances. Are current problmes in the world fundamentally supply or demand issues?

I always wonder about theories like this, trying to make everything look as if a problem is the inevtible working of nature. But I am not convinced by arguments which suggest that an animal which is being bled dry by parasitic leeches is suffering primarily from reduced blood flow.

by Zwackus on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 05:22:44 AM EST
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That is how good times end: everyone is demanding, not many are really supplying.

Elites do not even have to rationalize their perceptions and preferences. It is enough to rely on hierarchical primate instincts, both dominant and submissive. Incidentally or not, the discipline of those instincts largely safeguards primate populations from Malthusian perils. Not seeing this dynamics in hierarchical or territorial species is like not seeing genetic evolution beyond cell biochemistry.

Humans venture to be smarter with Keynesian or Marxist economics - but somehow the trust in greenhouse welfare is never deep. Instead, people become bitter like in the USSR. Abundance is not trusted even in r-selected species.

It is not really that we are vitally running out of resources. Instead, the fabulous bonanza of fossil fuels, technological progress, intensive agriculture, popular entertainment, mass consumption is ending. The signs are noticed by elites and lowly Trump, Brexit supporters, but not by comfort loving middle classes. The latter see either glorious progress or final destruction. Most likely though, the next 850 years will be normal Dark Ages, with populations surviving in primal ways in areas endowed with not-too-terribly-spoiled environment, modestly providing institutions, and fortunate choices of leaders.

by das monde on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 06:45:35 AM EST
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It's not exactly a theory since those have to be testable. For those we can at least demand that causes should precede results.
by generic on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 08:59:16 AM EST
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a theory since those have to be testable
Not a true statement of facts.

A theory expresses belief in (probability or "faith" performance) a particular design of phenomena, or events of which intangible or tangible, natural or mechanical, or combining foregoing constituents; a fiction.

People may or may not agree a theory presented by its author; a theory may not even be available to any number of people for argument; but among those who agree a theory, the truth of the theory is self-evident in that agreement so assembled, in both the subjective and objective commitment of the decision, namely each person, enumerated.

Whether or not people other than the theory's author require argument of its principles and manifest truth, and which types of theory, as if to produce agreement among themselves is a cultural artifact of a society.

The method which the author or other people, select, by agreement, to argue a theory is also a cultural artifact of a society. Let us note, "the scientific method" advocates 100% predictability from the product of any theory, measureable.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 12:31:25 PM EST
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also defined "observed", which is a whole other kettle of ... METACOGNITION!!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 12:54:46 PM EST
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I plead lack of sleep.
by generic on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 04:24:02 PM EST
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