Today’s energy bottleneck may bring down major governments

Recently, I explained the key role played by diesel and jet fuel. In this post, I try to explain the energy bottleneck the world is facing because of an inadequate supply of these types of fuels, and the effects such a bottleneck may have. The world’s self-organizing economy tends to squeeze out what may be considered non-essential parts when bottlenecks are hit. Strangely, it appears to me that some central governments may be squeezed out. Countries that are rich enough to have big pension programs for their citizens seem to be especially vulnerable to having their governments collapse.

Figure 1. World supply of diesel and jet fuel per person, based on Middle Distillate data of the 2023 Statistical Review of World Energy, produced by the Energy Institute. Notes added by Gail Tverberg.

This squeezing out of non-essential parts of the economy can happen by war, but it can also happen because of financial problems brought about by “not sufficient actual goods and services to go around.” An underlying problem is that governments can print money, but they cannot print the actual resources needed to produce finished goods and services. I think that in the current situation, a squeezing out for financial reasons, or because legislators can’t agree, is at least as likely as another world war.

For example, the US is having trouble electing a Speaker of the House of Representatives because legislators disagree about funding plans. I can imagine a long shutdown occurring because of this impasse. Perhaps not this time around, but sometime in the next few years, such a disagreement may lead to a permanent shutdown of the US central government, leaving the individual states on their own. Programs of the US central government, such as Social Security and Medicare, would likely disappear. It would be up to the individual states to sponsor whatever replacement programs they are able to afford.

[1] An overview of the problem

In my view, we are in the midst of a great “squeezing out.” The economy, and in fact the entire universe, is a physics-based system that constantly evolves. Every part of the economy requires energy of the right types. Humans and animals eat food. Today’s economy requires many forms of fossil fuels, plus human labor. This evolution is in the direction of ever-greater complexity and ever-greater efficiency.

Right now, there is a bottleneck in energy supply caused by too much population relative to the amount of oil of the type used to make diesel and jet fuel (Figure 1). My concern is that many governments and businesses will collapse in response to what I call the Second Squeezing Out. In 1991, the central government of the Soviet Union collapsed, following a long downward slide starting about 1982.

All parts of economies, including government organizations and businesses, constantly evolve. They grow for a while, but when limits are hit, they are likely to shrink and may collapse. The current energy bottleneck is sufficiently dire that some observers worry about another world war taking place. Such a war could change national boundaries and reduce import capabilities of parts of the world. This would be a type of squeezing out of major parts of the world economy. In fact, shortages of coal seem to have set the stage for both World War I and World War II.

Each squeezing out is different. When there are physically not enough goods and services to go around, some inefficient parts of the economy must be squeezed out. Payments to pensioners seem to me to be particularly inefficient because pensioners are not themselves creating finished goods and services.

World leaders would like us to believe that they are in charge of what happens in the world economy. But what these leaders can accomplish is limited by the actual resources that can be extracted and the finished goods and services that can be produced with these resources. When there are not enough goods and services to go around, unplanned changes to the economy tend to take place. These changes work in the direction of allowing parts of the system to go forward, without being burdened by the less efficient portions.

[2] The importance of diesel and jet fuel

Diesel and jet fuel are important to today’s industrial economy because they fuel nearly all long-distance transportation of goods, whether by ship, train, large truck, or airplane. Diesel also powers most of today’s modern agricultural equipment. Without the use of modern agricultural equipment, overall food production would decline drastically.

Without diesel, there would also be many other problems besides reduced food production. Diesel is used to power many of the specialized vehicles used in road maintenance. Without the ability to use these vehicles, it would become difficult to keep roads repaired.

Without diesel and jet fuel, there would also be an electricity problem because transmission lines are maintained using a combination of land-based vehicles powered by diesel and helicopters powered by jet fuel. Without electricity transmission, homes and offices without their own solar panels and batteries wouldn’t be able to keep the lights on. Gasoline pumps require electricity to operate, so they wouldn’t operate either. Without diesel and electricity, the list of problems is endless.

[3] Green energy is itself a dead end, but subsidizing green energy can temporarily hide other problems.

Green energy sounds appealing, but it is terribly limited in what it can do. Green energy cannot operate agricultural machinery. It cannot make new wind turbines or solar panels. Green energy cannot exist without fossil fuels. It is simply an add-on to the current system.

The reason why we hear so much about green energy is because making people believe that a green revolution is possible provides many temporary benefits. For example:

  • The extra debt needed to subsidize green energy indirectly increases GDP. (GDP calculations ignore whether added debt was used to produce the added goods and services counted as GDP.)
  • Manufacturers can pretend that their products (such as vehicles) will operate as they do today for years and years.
  • The educational system is given many more areas to provide courses in.
  • Citizens are given the hope that the economy will grow endlessly.
  • Young people are given hope for the future.
  • Politicians look like they are doing something for voters.

Unfortunately, by the time that the debt comes due to pay for subsidized green energy, it will be apparent that the return on this technology is far too low. The overall system will tend to collapse. Green energy is only a temporary Band-Aid to hide a very disturbing problem. Its impact is tiny and short-lived. And it cannot prevent climate change.

[4] Energy bottlenecks are a frequent problem.

Energy bottlenecks are a frequent problem partly because the human population has tended to increase ever since early humans learned to control fire. At the same time, resources, such as arable land, fresh water supply, and minerals of all kinds, are in limited supply. Extraction becomes increasingly difficult over time (requiring more inputs to produce the same output) because the easiest-to-produce resources tend to be exploited first. Extracting more fossil fuels to meet the energy needs of a growing economy may look like it would be easy, but, in practice, it is not.

As a result of energy bottlenecks, civilizations often collapse. Sometimes war with another group is involved. In such a case, the population of the losing civilization falls.

[5] The standard supply and demand model of economics makes it look like prices will rise in response to fossil fuel shortages. The discussion in Section [4] shows that energy supply bottlenecks often occur. When they do occur, the response is very different.

Figure 2. From Wikipedia: The price P of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price (supply S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand D). The diagram shows a positive shift in demand from D1 to D2, resulting in an increase in price (P) and quantity sold (Q) of the product.

The model of many economists is far too simple. Based on the model shown on Figure 2, it is easy to get the idea that a shortage of oil will lead to a rise in prices. As a result, more oil will be produced, and the problem will be solved. Or perhaps efficiency changes, or substitution for a different type of fuel, will fix the problem.

When bottlenecks appear, the real situation is quite different. For example, increases in oil prices tend to cause food prices to rise, and thus increase inflation. Politicians know that citizens don’t like inflation and therefore will not vote for them. As a result, politicians tend to hold down prices. The resulting prices tend to fall too low for producers, and they start producing less, rather than more.

Energy products of the right kinds are essential for making every part of GDP. If there is not enough of the right kinds of energy products to go around, what I call some kind of “squeezing out” is likely to take place. Early on, there may be changes that reduce energy consumption, such as cutbacks in international trade. More businesses may fail. Eventually, some parts of the world economy may disappear, such as the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991. Or war may take place.

[6] When there is not enough energy of the right kinds to go around, spreading what little is available “thinner” doesn’t work.

As an example, if people need to eat 2,000 kilocalories per day, and if the food supply that is available would only supply 500 kilocalories per day (on average), giving everyone the same quantity would lead to everyone starving. Similarly, if a communist government gives every worker the same wage, lateness and “slacking off” become huge problems. Experience in many places has shown that equal pay for all, regardless of native abilities, responsibilities, or effort, simply doesn’t work. Somehow, diligent work and greater responsibility needs to be rewarded.

When an energy bottleneck occurs (leading to too little finished goods and services in total being produced), what I call a “squeezing out” takes place. Such a squeezing out may be initiated in many ways, including a war, angry citizens overturning a government, financial problems, or a shift in climate. The winners in a squeezing out end up ahead; the losers see collapsing institutions of many kinds, including failing businesses and disappearing government organizations.

[7] Most people do not understand the interconnected nature of the world economy, and the way the whole system tends to evolve.

The Universe is made up of many temporary structures, each of which needs to “dissipate” energy to stay away from a cold, dead state. We are all aware that plants and animals behave in this manner, but businesses of all kinds and government organizations also require energy of the right kinds to grow. They get much of their energy from financial payments that act as temporary placeholders for goods and services that will be made in the future using various types of energy, including human labor.

Strangely enough, because of the physics of the situation, business and government organizations are also temporary in nature, and in some sense, they also evolve. In physics terms, all these structures are dissipative structures. Physicist Francois Roddier writes about this broader kind of evolution in his book, The Thermodynamics of Evolution. In fact, economies themselves are dissipative structures. I have written about the economy as a self-organizing system powered by energy many times, including here, here, and here. All these self-organizing structures eventually come to an end.

History is full of records of economies that have collapsed. The book Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Serjey Nefedov analyzes eight of these failed economies. Populations tend to grow after a new resource is found or is acquired through war. Once population growth hits what Turchin calls carrying capacity, these economies hit a period of stagflation. This period lasted 50 to 60 years in the sample of eight economies analyzed. Stagflation was followed by a major contraction, typically with failing or overturned governments and declining overall population.

[8] Logic and some calculations suggest that the world economy is likely to be reaching a major downturn, about now.

One way of estimating when a major contraction (or squeezing out) would occur would be to look at oil supply. We know that US oil production hit a peak and started to decline in 1970, changing the dynamics of the world economy. This started a period of stagflation for many of the wealthier economies of the world. Adding 50 to 60 years to 1970 suggests that a major downturn would take place in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. Since it was the wealthier economies that first entered stagflation, it would not be surprising if these economies tend to collapse first.

There have been several studies computing estimates of when the extraction of fossil fuels would become unaffordable. Back in 1957, Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover of the US Navy gave a speech in which he talked about the connection of the level of fossil fuel supply to the standard of living of an economy, and to the ability of its military to defend the country. With respect to the timing of limits to affordable supply, he said, “. . .total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today’s unit cost are likely to run out at some time between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account.”

Confusion arises because some people would like to believe that fossil fuel prices can rise to extraordinarily high levels, and this will somehow permit more fossil fuels to be extracted. However, as I discussed in Section [5], the problem is really a two-sided one. Politicians want to hold fossil fuel prices down to prevent inflation, while oil producers (such as those in OPEC+) choose to reduce production if prices are not sufficiently high to meet their needs.

An easily missed point is that tax revenue from the sale of oil is often a large share of the total tax revenue of oil exporting countries. Because of this issue, in order for prices of oil to be adequate for oil exporters, they must include a wide margin for payment of taxes. These taxes are used to support the rest of the economy. For example, in Saudi Arabia, taxes provide support for huge building programs that provide jobs for citizens, but are of questionable long term value. These projects keep citizens happy, at least temporarily. Without adequate subsidy from tax revenue, citizens would want to overturn governments–a form of collapse.

[9] Energy problems are easily hidden because “scientific models” are considered to be important in forecasting the future. These models tend to be misleading because they leave out important elements regarding how the economy really works.

The easiest models to make are the ones that seem to say, “the future will be very similar to the recent past.” These models miss turning points. They assume that growth will continue even though resource extraction can be expected to become more difficult. Some examples of overly simple models include the following:

  • Money is a store of value. (Not if the economy has stopped functioning properly because insufficient energy resources are available.)
  • Forecasts of Social Security payments recipients will be able to receive in the future are overstated. (It takes energy of the right kinds to produce the goods and services that the elderly require. If the economy is not producing enough goods and services because of energy extraction limits, the share that pensioners can receive will need to fall so that workers can be paid adequately. Inflation-adjusted benefits to the elderly must be much lower or disappear completely.)
  • Climate models give high estimates. (These models miss the real-world difficulty of extracting fossil fuels. They also assume the economy can grow indefinitely, greatly overstating future CO2.)
  • Future energy supply based on “Reserve to Production” ratios give high estimates. (Reserve amounts are often puffed-up numbers to make an oil exporting country look wealthy.)
  • Energy Return on Energy Invested models greatly overestimate the value of intermittent wind and solar energy. (It is easy to assume that all types of energy are equivalent, but intermittent wind and solar cannot replace diesel and jet fuel.)

[10] Added complexity is not a solution to our energy problems.

Many people believe that if we can just be smarter, we can solve our energy problem. We can add more fuel-efficient engines, more advanced education, and more international trade, for example. Unfortunately, many things go wrong, leading to an upward energy complexity spiral. Difficulties include:

  • The complexity changes with the best payback tend to be discovered and implemented very early.
  • Added complexity may lead to higher energy consumption if cost savings result. For example, more vehicles may be sold if reduced fuel consumption makes their operation more affordable to a wider number of users.
  • Wage disparity results because the wages paid to highly educated employees and those in managerial positions leave little funding available to pay less-skilled workers.
  • Less-skilled workers indirectly compete with similarly skilled workers in low-wage countries, further holding their wages down.

It is clear that we are now moving past the limits of complexity. For example, international trade as a percentage of GDP has been falling for the world, the US, and China.

Figure 3. Trade as a percentage of GDP based on World Bank data for the World, the United States, and China.

Countries are now actively trying to bring supply lines back closer to home. Trips for goods across the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans are being reduced, saving diesel and jet fuel.

[11] Repayment of debt with interest acts like a Ponzi Scheme if there is inadequate growth in the energy supply.

Most people today do not realize the extent to which the entire financial system is dependent on growing inexpensive-to-produce energy supply of the right kinds. It takes physical resources of the right kinds to produce goods and services. Resources such as fresh water, copper, lithium, and fossil fuels require more and more energy consumption to produce the same amount of supply because the easiest-to-extract resources are extracted first.

When the economy is far from limits, adding more debt (or other types of promises, such as shares of stock) does seem to increase “demand” for finished goods and services, and this, in turn, tends to increase the production of fossil fuels and other commodities. Thus, for a while, increased debt does indeed increase energy supply.

But when we start reaching extraction limits, instead of producing more fossil fuels and other commodities, higher debt tends to produce inflation. (In other words, more money plus practically the same amount of finished goods and services tends to lead to inflation.) This is the issue central banks are up against today. Central banks raise interest rates in response to the higher level of inflation, partly to compensate lenders for the inflation that is taking place, and partly to make their own economies more competitive in the world economy. The combination of higher interest rates and higher inflation is problematic in many ways:

(a) Ordinary citizens find that they must cut back on discretionary goods and services to balance their budgets. This tends to push economies in the direction of recession and debt defaults. Some citizens find they need to apply for government assistance programs for the first time.

(b) Businesses find it more difficult to operate profitably with higher interest rates and inflation. Businesses increasingly expand in programs supported by government subsidies, such as those for electric cars and batteries, as it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit without a subsidy. In the US, defaults seem especially likely on commercial real estate loans.

(c) Governments become especially squeezed. Many of them find that their own tax revenue is falling at precisely the time when citizens need their programs most. Governments also find that with higher interest rates, interest costs on their own debt rises. Subsidized programs increasingly seem to be needed to keep the economy operating. The number of retirees also grows year after year. Government debt levels spiral upward, as shown for the US on Figure 6.

With all these issues, the world becomes increasingly prone to war. Political parties, and even groups within political parties, find it increasingly difficult to agree on solutions to problems. The stage seems to be set for an array of worrisome outcomes, including major debt defaults, failing governments, and even widespread war.

[12] The world economy was able to grow rapidly in the 1950 to 1980 period because of a rapid rise in energy consumption. Now, there is an energy bottleneck. The recent increases in interest rates seem likely to burst debt bubbles. They may even squeeze out some major economies with pension programs for their citizens.

Figure 4. Measures of average interest rates of 3-month US Treasury Bills and 10-year Treasury Securities, in a chart produced by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.

On Figure 4, the significant increases in interest rates up until 1981 corresponded to a huge increase in world energy consumption in the 1950 to 1980 period (Figure 5).

Figure 5. World per capita energy consumption, with the 1950-1980 period of rapid growth highlighted. World Energy Consumption by source, based on Vaclav Smil’s estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy for 1965 and subsequent years. Population estimates used to produce per capita amounts are based on estimates by Angus Maddison for dates prior to 1950. They are based on UN estimates for more recent years. Chart prepared by Gail Tverberg in 2018.

The rapid rise in fossil fuel consumption in Figure 5 was the reason why the economy was able to grow as rapidly as it did in the 1950 to 1980 period. Raising interest rates acted like brakes on the economy and lowered oil prices. The Soviet Union was the economy most harmed by these low oil prices. It also had a communist form of government that did not work well, compared to capitalism. Ultimately, the central government of the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Now, the rise in interest rates during 2022 and 2023 on Figure 4 correspond to a very different situation. Extraction of fossil fuels, and in particular the heavy oil used to produce diesel and jet fuel, is no longer growing rapidly. Instead, what has been growing is debt, especially government debt. Figure 6 shows US government debt through April 2023. US government debt spurted upward in 2020 and is still rising rapidly.

Figure 6. US Public Debt, based on a chart prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The business closures in 2020 and interruptions in travel reduced oil prices and provided a good excuse for more government debt. All this debt added buying power, but it didn’t actually produce very many goods and services. Instead, it added a debt bubble. Similarly, investing in close-to-useless green energy temporarily added GDP, but it mostly added a huge debt bubble. Raising interest rates is likely to burst these debt bubbles.

The US and other rich countries have also put in place pension plans for the elderly. These are not treated as debt, but they depend upon resources of all kinds being available to feed, clothe, and provide shelter to a growing army of retirees. If there is not enough diesel to allow as many goods and services to be produced as are produced today, there is likely to be a huge problem if payouts to pensioners aren’t significantly reduced. Other citizens will be unhappy if retirees get a disproportionately large share of the reduced supply of goods and services. Some will say, “Why work if retirees on pensions get more than those of us who are still working?”

Thus, the world seems to be increasingly in a situation where more squeezing out will take place. Major governments, especially those with pension plans for their citizens, seem especially vulnerable. No one understood that there had been a temporary rapid rise in energy consumption per capita in the 1950 to 1980 period (Figure 5) that led to a temporary spurt in interest rates on bonds. This temporary rise in interest rates made pension programs look far more feasible than they really are for the longterm.

[13] How does the problem resolve itself?

It seems to me that the problem of debt bubbles and of unaffordably generous pension plans is very widespread. Analysts of all kinds have missed the hidden brakes on economies caused by inadequate energy resources of the right kinds, relative to rising populations. Collapse of at least some central governments seems possible. Perhaps some of these collapses can be postponed by rollbacks in government-sponsored programs, particularly those for the elderly and for those who are not working.

But even aside from the pension problem, there is a problem with many debts not being repayable in an economy that is forced to slow, as described in Section [11]. Many other promises become iffy as well. For instance, derivatives may not be able to pay as planned.

If there are problems with inadequate supply of essential materials, they are likely to spill over to asset values. For example, a farm that cannot purchase fuel for its agricultural equipment is, in some sense, not worth very much, since workers with simple tools like shovels cannot produce very much food. Likewise, a factory with permanently broken supply lines is not worth much.

I wish I could provide a happy-ever-after ending. The closest I can come to such an ending is to say that it appears to me that there is a literal Higher Power that is somehow providing an enormous amount of energy in a way that allows the Universe to continually expand. This literal Higher Power is, in some way, influencing the world today, through the self-organizing nature of the economy. The book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe, by Ward and Brownlee, explains that life could not have happened on the Earth, as quickly as it did, by chance alone. Perhaps things will turn out differently than we expect.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,851 Responses to Today’s energy bottleneck may bring down major governments

  1. Someone here mentioned the book “The Great Taking”.

    Mario Maneco, the ex-London bond trader, talks about that

    It has become quite famous in some circles.

    I have read that book and was not impressive.

    Let’s face it. I don’t know about David Rogers Webb, but Maneco and the guys he is taking to all made their fortune catering to the top 0.1%, making money for them and now living in comfortable lifestyle.

    Without the Great taking, they would be doing manual labor at wherever they were born, or at most live like Jane Austen’s landowners, having to ride horses to go anywhere.

    Without the Great Taking of resource from the less able to more able, the less likely to advance civilization o the more likely to do so, etc, etc we would still be stuck in the mediaeval era.

    Before Gabby Princip tried her tricks, Joe Gallieni played a patriot (despite of his Italian surname – like Napoleon, Gallieni was another Italian who led millions of French to their deaths) and Chucky did his ‘duty'(i.e. f**kup), 90% of all income and properties were on the hands of the top 4% in United Kingdom, ironically the most ‘equal’ country in Europe. In Russia it was more like 95% on the hands of 2%; ironically the reign of Nikolai II, before 1914, was the era where the most development had occurred in the entire history of Russian Empire.

    Which is why I say all the time that if the Belle Epoque had continued we would have already entered the next level of civ by 2000 at the latest.

    Thanks to these three morons, plus countless others mostly in Entente side, at the beginning of 1919 there were millions of people from lower-middle and lower classes, plus millions more colonials (including a Hussein Onyango Obama, whose grandson would later make the US presidency into a joke), who demanded their shares, so all the wealth from the colonies, which were all going to the top to develop civ, were instead diverted into the pocketbook of peoples who had no business enjoying the comforts of civilization and now every fool in the deepest corners of earth rides an automobile and watches satellite tv and streaming, wasting valuable and irreplaceable resources.

    Maneco and his circle are the very people who benefited from the Great Taking, and now they have no seats on the party of the top of top, they are whining. They should be grateful to the class which gave them their comfortable status.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      hey did you ever think that if you get to be one of the ones who achieves a disembodied existence that it might be terrible and there might be no escape and it would be like eternal hell?

      no, you just assume that nothing will go wrong and disembodied existence will be great.

      not only great at the start, but great forever.

      that would be a huge and unjustified assumption.

      fortunately disembodied existence will never happen anyway.

  2. David says:

    For people interested in germanium – and lots of other essential elements – here’s Simon Michaux’s recent talk on the impossible future that had been planned for the world

  3. MikeJones says:

    As crisis deepens, Cubans scramble to migrate by any means
    By Dave Sherwood Reuters
    November 9, 20236:11 AM ESTUpdated 2 days ago
    He and his wife, who is unable to walk due to a leg infection, have no retirement funds, no well-placed relatives in foreign countries and little access to legal entry programs, he said.
    “For us, this was the only option, and the most difficult,” said Echavarria. The couple plan to make the approximate 1,500-mile (2,400-km) trek through Central America by car.
    The United States – the top destination for Cuban migrants -has since 2022 increased legal pathways to migration for Cubans, including visa access in Havana, in an effort to reduce illegal migration.
    About 10,700 Cubans were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in September, up from around 6,200 a month earlier, according to U.S. government statistics. Levels of border arrivals, however, are still lower than a year ago, when fewer legal avenues existed to apply from abroad.
    Artist Ernesto Perez, 51, told Reuters he had waited since 2015 for his turn to enter the United states legally under a family reunification program. When that didn’t work, he applied for the sponsorship program.
    “Not having a response since 2015, one gets desperate,” Perez said outside the U.S. embassy in Havana as he stood in line for his long-awaited interview. “It crossed my mind to go through Nicaragua … but I decided to wait a little more and I got lucky.”
    Cuba blames the long-running U.S. trade embargo and Trump-era sanctions for fueling the economic crisis and the exodus of more than 400,000 Cubans leaving for the United States in the last two years.

    • Cuba is a country with a strange history. There is a huge bulge in population during the Fidel Castro era (baby boom), after Castro came to power. During this time, Castro was able to get oil from the Soviet Union, and the country was able to prosper. He spread the wealth around to poor people. This is a demographic chart from 2015. Lots of babies were born during a roughly 15 year period.

      With the inexpensive fuel, the island was able to prosper, until the Soviet Union started running into problems with its exports. This actually started to happen before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. FSU= Former Soviet Union. You have to subtract FSU’s own consumption from FSU’s production. FSU’s own consumption stayed high, even as its exports fell.

      Emigration has no doubt affected population, as well. There are fewer younger adults, and even fewer children.

      Communism hasn’t worked well in Cuba. Also, as an island nation, Cuba is handicapped. It needs to import an awfully lot of goods, including fuel to make high-priced electricity. No wonder people want to move out.

      The IEA gives this overview of Cuba’s energy supply.

      It is mostly based on oil, even for making electricity. This makes any kind of manufacturing very expensive.

  4. MikeJones says:

    Americans continue to ransack their retirement savings, survey finds
    KERRY HANNON November 11, 2023 at 7:30 AM
    The number of participants taking hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) was up 13% in the third quarter versus the second quarter, according to a new survey from Bank of America, which tracks about 4 million clients’ employee benefit programs.

    That tallies up to more than 18,000 plan participants, the highest level in the past five quarters since Bank of America started tracking this data, and up 27% compared to the number of withdrawals during the first three months of the year.

    To be clear, while these numbers have ticked up, they are still a very low percentage of overall plan participants.

    Taking a loan from retirement savings is undeniably a quick cash move during uncertain times, but consequences exist.

    “In looking at our data across 401(k) plans, economic hardships continue to be a factor,” Lisa Margeson, managing director, Retirement Research and Insights Group at Bank of America, told Yahoo Finance.

    “While there could be several factors at play, the economic environment, following a year of high inflation and the rising cost of living, could be influencing this ongoing trend.”
    Oops.. the Kids are alright

  5. Today is Veterans Day, Remembrance Day in Canada.

    I respect the troops of the Central Powers, who fought to defend Western Values. Less so for the Entente.

    I cited a book of Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The House of 7 Gables”. Long story short, a powerful Bostonian politician wanted the house site of a schmuck who was tried and burned for witchcraft. The schmuck’s son hides an important document which wold have given the politician a land as big as a New England state. Many years later a descendant of the schmuck who was killed returns to Boston to watch the end of the family., and at the end the narrator says the family bartered the land claim for the house site of the schmuck.

    In effect the Entente bartered a continued Belle Epoque, a continued advancement of Civilization and Singularity, Type I Civ, etc for the enlargement of Serbia (which was all negated by 2006 when Montenegro bolted out), the establishments of dead-in-the-womb states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc, and six billion Third Worlders who are unlikely to contribute anything to the advancement of civilization.

    Quite a good barter, isn’t it?

    Dante’s Inferno ends with three guys who are eternally burning in the hell, namely Judas Iscariot, and two guys who betrayed Dante(Ugolino and Ruggieri).

    Kulm the Statusquo’s Inferno ends with two guys and one half-girl, Gabby Princip, Joe Gallieni and Brigadier Charles “Chucky” Fitzclarence, whose crimes against civilization cannot be measured, in the core of the inferno where they enjoy 100 millard degree heat. The nameless Canadian woodsman who invented avoiding the poison gas by putting the urine soaked cloth and the nameless Turkish sniper who shot Henry Oswald Moseley would also have their spots. Although we don’t know their names, the guy upstairs should know and put them in there.

    • Dennis L. says:


      On Lex Fridman there is an interview with Elon, referenced earlier. Elon notes the accomplishments of the Chinese, the cities are impressive.

      Duran has an interview on YouTube which I referenced earlier, you may find it interesting. Alex Christoforou does news summaries from various capitals of Europe. They are incredibly pleasant as compared to say Minneapolis which is cold and gloomy, even the entertainment venues are cold. St. Paul has a huge problem plowing snow with only one plow; sort of a joke, streets look that way.

      No arguments here, observations along the lines you often reference.

      Dennis L.

      • The first person who catalogued all of China’s achievements in science was Joseph Needham. Before Needham, no Chinase bothered to catalogue its scientific achievements, since all of its literati did was regurgitating the words of Confucious and his coterie, who lived in 6th century BCE.

        china in 1911 was little different from China in , say, 221 BCE, when the First Emperor of China started the Imperial System. The names of the emperors changed, and sometimes some nomad chieftain became Emperors, but the same thing occurred again, again, and again for 2100 years until the British Navy turned the Chinese junks into matchsticks in 1839.

        Elon Musk likes to curry favor to China since it is cheaper to do business there, with less red tape, less strict environmental restriction and less of everything.

        But we already know how the Chinese would behave if left to their own devices from the regime of Xi Jinping, who now wants to play an Emperor, turning the communist committee system into an empire for himself, not unlike Russia or North Korea.

        The Chinese cities Elon talked about would look much less impressive after this book by Ralph Townsend, an American diplomat which was actually in China during 1930s, who saw and did all, and got really really sick about China.

    • drb753 says:

      There is no guy upstairs.

  6. hkeithhenson says:

    From the NEJM.

    Association of SARS-CoV-2 Infection during Early Weeks of Gestation with Situs Inversus

    Y. Wang and Others

    This report describes an increase in diagnoses of situs inversus on fetal ultrasonography beginning 4 months after the start of the SARS-CoV-2 surge in China in December 2022

    • The Cleveland Clinic says

      “Situs inversus is a rare genetic condition in which the organs in your chest and abdomen are positioned in a mirror image of normal human anatomy. Nearly all of the organs in your chest and abdomen develop in your body in a left-right formation. In situs inversus, your organs develop in a right-left formation.”

      To a lay person, it doesn’t sound like something that would be a huge problem. Most people wouldn’t notice it, until they had an appendicitis on the wrong side. Perhaps the doctor would notice the difference when listening with a stethoscope.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Association of SARS-CoV-2 Infection…”

      it should be clear to anyone who is giving attention to the health damages related to BOTH the viral infections AND the toxic vaccines, that every exposure to these increases the risks of severe health problems.

      though a person living in a “don’t ask don’t tell” social circle would more likely be cluelless about vaccine damages.

      it’s certain: the human race has PERMANENTLY had its average health degraded by the now endemic virus and its never ceasing production of variants.

      the avoidable vaccines just add to the damage caused by the somewhat unavoidable virus.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      to be clear, I tend to agree with most all scientific studies that I see that show that the virus and its variants cause health problems.

      what a cluelless person would not realize is that although there is huge financing for studies of the health issues caused by the virus, there is close to zero funding for any research into the health issues caused by the vaccines.

      hkeithhubbard is quite intelligent, so he of course should be able to figure out why this funding discrepancy exists.

      though I’m sure it has never occurred to him that the scientific literature he reads just never seems to have such studies about the vaccines.


      • hkeithhenson says:

        I don’t doubt that the vaccines cause some problems, vaccines always have done so. The question is do they cause more damage than the disease?

        I should note that the Chinese report on situs inversus mentioned that it was still very rare even with the Covid associated uptick.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          but for me that question is irrelevant (since I don’t see the vaccines as having any good documentation of good effectiveness).

          again in my opinion, both are well documented to cause multiple health problems, many quite severe.

          and it seems to me that you will never read about vaccine induced health damages in the literature you often refer to.

          I think it’s intuitive that the spike protein in both often causes severe cardiovascular problems, and both seem to damage immune systems.

          but you will probably 100% only encounter the virus damages in your reading material.

          • n15 says:

            There’s only one mathematical equation you need to make the decision.

            Outcome = [Harm = Total Cumulative All-Risk Cause of Mortality, Disorders, Etc] – [Benefit * Probability of ”reducing, preventing, removing” a very specific ”supposed” event with undefined criterion]

            First one is pretty much always Number to Harm is high like 1 in 20 to 1 in 30 whereas the latter is always 1 in 928,483 or whatever due to low prelevance rate and fraudulent scientific methodological manipulation, poor quality control, intentional maleficence, etc.

            People buy lottery tickets when they have a 1 in 20,000 or 30,000 chance of getting into a car accident for example, or get scared when they have a 1 in millions chance of going down in an aircraft whereas the cancer, metabolic diseases and whatnot from eating linoleic acid from industrially processed seed oils, taking up mercury/aluminum from make-up/byproducts/not doing any physical activity all add to the 1 in 1,000/500/200/100/20/10 risk category of getting there.

  7. yes we can says:


    drb753 says:
    November 10, 2023 at 3:12 pm
    ” If you block the internet 100% you are creating the conditions by which you lose control of your own population.”
    I mean, surely, they wee able to control the population with other means, prior to the adoption of internet by most people.

    There was religion, books, television, and radio, which were highly censored and monitored. Governments regularly monitored phone calls and opened suspicious mail.
    They did all these things without “Big Data.”

    • drb753 says:

      no SWIFT. Supermarkets stop paying, providers stop sending food. At some point someone is going to regain control but not before total mayhem.

    • However, things change after enough years with the internet and with electricity. The system becomes dependent on both the internet and electricity. In fact, fossil fuels are important in today’s system as well. If one piece is unplugged, the whole system tends to fail.

  8. Ravi Uppal says:

    It is not only quantity but also the quality that matters .
    “69% of all US oil production is now unconventional tight oil, basically from four major basins. Three or four of those basins peaked years ago, no longer grow, and are struggling to maintain production levels. ” Read the full report .

    • Ravi Uppal says:

      Interest rates , oil plateau , decline rates and the coming economic crisis of 2024 . Spanish . Use google translate .

      • Replenish says:

        The author distills the argument..

        Pandemic response relaxed “growth of expected demand”
        Maximizing production and depleting wells to keep up
        Accelerating the transition while Oil supply is available
        New energy source piggybacks on expanding supply of last
        Printing $$, No intention of paying back debt
        Resource nationalism, Armies take what is valuable
        Digital panopticon as last resort to ration remaining supply

      • Includes nice graphs that can be read without google translate. Saudi Arabia seems to be at peak oil, according to the person making the chart. The oilystuff blog shows that US production of tight oil is still rising, and total world supply may be fairly level.

        These things, by themselves, are not catastrophic. But the financial system problems, put together with them, create a major disaster. There needs to be growth in the kinds of oil that the economy really needs.

    • In the last link, “Israel to UN Security Council: “We bomb Palestinian homes and hospitals killing thousands because rocks are thrown at us.”

      This is sort of the way it appears to me.

      The next to the last link is about strikes and burning down factories in Bangladesh because wages of factory workers are too low. No doubt, inflation is a big issue in these workers needing higher wages.

      • ivanislav says:

        “In 2021 alone, Israelis suffered 1,775 rock attacks by Palestinian terrorists, but the world says nothing!”

        • drb753 says:

          You joke about it, but what about all those Abrams with a dented fender now? Insurance does not pay, and people will think those soldiers are lower class dudes, driving any wreck.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        “because rocks are thrown at us”

        I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the Hamas raid or whatever you want to call it killed at least 1400. Given the relative populations, this would be like 9/11 had killed 90,000 in the US.

        Due to the 9/11 attack, the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan for 20 years and (unjustified) invaded Iraq with a huge number of deaths.

        I understand enough evolutionary psychology to know what is going on, but I have no idea of how to fix the mess.

  9. jupiviv says:

    Hey there Gail. I don’t recall seeing the work of Simon Michaux referenced here. Suggest checking him out if you’re not familiar. He does what very few people in the collapse community has the time or ability for – a systematic analysis of the available official data about resources. Here’s a recent video:

    Although, he’s also big on thorium reactors as the next big thing. I don’t really share his enthusiasm as he seems to rely on a “bad decisions” model for explaining why they aren’t already in use yet since the technology itself is 60 y.o. The following article offers a better explanation:

    • drb753 says:

      Michaux is well known and oft discussed around here. The article you link does not say a single word about why thorium would work less well in a NPP. And indeed there is nothing to say. Mixed oxides fuel (as opposed to enriched uranium) has been used successfully by several countries. If you or anyone else is so against 233U, you can make a MOX fuel with thorium and plutonium for example, although 233U will work just as well.

      • jupiviv says:

        Well the comments section here is a unnavigable jungle and Fast Eddy is its king, but that’s good to know.

        You’re right about that article not explaining why thorium would work less well in an NPP, but I didn’t make that claim so it’s a non-issue. All I said was that the reasons for its neglect as an alternative are practical rather than, as Michaux suggests, political/ideological. But this article –

        …seems to be rejecting the possibility of its use in existing NPPs. And also the fact it does not eliminate uranium demand due to the need for conversion to 233U. But unlike you (?) I’m no expert on this subject to put it mildly.

        “Unfortunately, the capacity of thorium-uranium fuels to match existing reactor performance benchmarks remains uncertain, and fabricating thorium-uranium oxide fuel would require up-front development costs and qualification efforts.”

        • drb753 says:

          I bet Russia and China have those ceramics down pat by now.

          • jupiviv says:

            Whatever you say but I will always balk at “if only our dastardly reptilian overlords did X instead of Y” arguments. In fact the pro-thorium cause is similar to anti-oil in that it identifies specific human agents motivated by avarice or ignorance fostered by and benefitting the avaricious/decadent/pedophiliac “them” as the reason for inaction, rather than the interdetermination of the overall socio-economic metabolism of capitalist/industrial civilisation and the belligerent relationship to its own natural limits that has always characterised its perpetuation.

            • drb753 says:

              It’s more a matter of economics. doing thorium in the current western climate, you might also get a bunch of lawsuits if anything goes wrong. The bottleneck is diesel anyway. But different countries have different strategies and much different disposal costs.

    • ivanislav says:

      >> I don’t really share his enthusiasm […] since the technology itself is 60 y.o

      Then you should actually read the article you linked:

      “By 1977, however, the government abandoned pursuit of the thorium fuel cycle in favor of plutonium-fueled breeders, leading to dissent in the ranks of the AEC. Alvin Weinberg, the long-time director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was, in large part, fired because of his support of thorium over plutonium fuel.”

      It’s reasonably thought by many (and stated by some who were around at the time if you watch documentaries) that the US abandoned thorium because it doesn’t produce plutonium for weapons. There may still be some necessary R&D or hidden feasibility issues, because thorium was the route not taken, even though its origins are 60 years-old as you say.

      • jupiviv says:

        That isn’t true either, according to the article I cited in my second post:

        “Spent fuel from a thorium-uranium oxide-powered nuclear plant would not have a nonproliferation advantage over currently used fuel. Thorium would not eliminate plutonium production in current reactors and would provide a second weapons-usable isotope, uranium-233, to spent fuel.”

        • ivanislav says:

          I don’t care about one (not-very-accomplished) person’s strawman argument based on stupid selection of thorium-based technology who works for the very agencies who have decided against the technology.


          >> One advantage of thorium fuel is its low weaponization potential; it is difficult to weaponize the uranium-233/232 and plutonium-238 isotopes that are largely consumed in thorium reactors.

          If you are going to take that nobody’s opinion seriously, then you had better take this guy’s opinion seriously, who is for the technology:

          >>> Alvin Radkowsky (30 June 1915 – 17 February 2002) was an American nuclear physicist and chief scientist at U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion division. His work in the 1950s led to major advances in nuclear-ship technology and civilian use of nuclear power.

        • ivanislav says:

          Look the entire thing is stupid, if you actually look into the technology, you will understand that it burns the overwhelming majority of fuel, while Uranium does not. Maybe you can find some dumb variants that incorporate thorium – fine, don’t use those.

          • jupiviv says:

            I can’t “look into the technology” because it’s not my field. I don’t know what to look for. And unless you do, your opinion about the author is irrelevant. But if you want to wikipedia at me, two can play at that game.

            “In 1994, the US government declassified a 1966 memo that states that uranium-233 has been shown to be highly satisfactory as a weapons material, though it is only superior to plutonium in rare circumstances. It was claimed that if the existing weapons were based on uranium-233 instead of plutonium-239, Livermore would not be interested in switching to plutonium.[8]”

            In any case uranium remains part of the process of thorium-to-233U albeit to a far lesser extent at least in theory.

  10. fasteddynz says:

    Rent of primary residence, the cost that best equates to the rent people pay, jumped 0.6 percent. Rent of primary residence has gone up at least 0.4 percent for 26 consecutive months!

  11. Tim Groves says:

    This is the muslim English version of “Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed …”

  12. I AM THE MOB says:

    Korean Indie-Pop Singer Nahee Is Dead at 24

    Korean singer Nahee died at the age of 24, her record label Mun Hwa In shared in a Nov. 9 Instagram post.

    The recording group added, “We send our deepest condolences to the deceased’s final journey.”

    A cause of death was not given.

    She looks like a little barbie doll.

  13. fasteddynz says:

    Everything if fake:

    What’s the Media Saying?

    The Economist, April 13: America’s Economic Outperformance is a Marvel to Behold
    CEPR, May 10: Joe Biden Has Given Us the Greatest Economy Ever
    Inquirer, June 20: Spread the News: U.S. Economy is Strong Under Biden
    WSJ, June 29: U.S. Economy Shows Surprising Vigor in First Half of 2023
    Yahoo Finance, July 14: Americans Haven’t Felt this Good About the Economy in Almost Two Years
    WSJ: July 27: Could a Recession Still Be Years Away? Steady Growth, Moderating Inflation Improve Odds of Extended Expansion
    Bloomberg, August 7: The US Economy Is Great. Stop Worrying About It.
    WSJ, September 2: Resilient U.S. Economy Defies Expectations
    The Guardian, September 15: US Economy Going Strong Under Biden – Americans Don’t Believe It
    WSJ October 18: The Economy Is Great. Why Do Americans Blame Biden?
    Bloomberg, October 22: Biden’s Economy Is Great Everywhere Except in the Polls
    Bloomberg, October 26: Yellen Says GDP Data Show US Economy Is ‘Doing Very Well’
    WSJ November 1: The Economy Is Great. Why Are Americans in Such a Rotten Mood?

    • Maybe Americans have figured out that they cannot afford a home. The cannot afford a car. Grocery prices are high; restaurant prices are too. University price are ridiculous, as are healthcare prices. The situation becomes impossible to handle.

      • fasteddynz says:

        We need to be careful not to overestimate the MOREONS… remember even after Fizzer said they never tested to see if their Rat Juice stopped the spread of Covid – even though Bidet and Fawchi and everyone said it would … the MOREONS kept taking more boosters…

        They are really … really … really… f789ing stooopid

  14. moss says:

    Friday’s kunstler
    Hillary Clinton demonstrated this perfectly the other day on ABC’s The View when she accused her party’s opponents of trying to “do away with elections, trying to do away with the opposition, and do away with a free press….” It’s hard to imagine a more impressive lack of self-awareness.

    And, of course, they are the party of “Joe Biden,” the moneygrubbing ghoul pretending to be president and pretending to run for another term — with hard evidence of his crimes publicly unspooling day by day now. The Democratic Party will not survive after an election that he runs in, and there is plenty of reason to believe that his regime might cancel or postpone the election
    no evidence provided

    It’s harder to imagine a more impressive lack of comprehension during composition,
    a skilled and witty wordsmith though he may be

  15. fasteddynz says:

    Like.. oh wow…

    The Point 4 in the erstwhile whistleblower allegations was this:

    Make sure form and quantity of additive upregulating LINE-1 reverse transcription activity makes it hard to detect among legit adjuvants

  16. fasteddynz says:

    As if we didn’t have enough issues with the Covid “vaccines”, here comes a new revelation making splashes in the metaverse. The Vigilant Fox tweets that:

    “🚨 Cancer Virus Found in COVID Shots: “This Is Looking Very Bad,” Says Dr. Peter McCullough. “SV40 is a known cancer-promoting segment of DNA. And yes, they’re in the shots,” reported @P_McCulloughMD. “What I’m telling you is the shots promote cancer through SV40, and they inhibit our ability to fight cancer by suppressing the tumor suppressor system. So now this is looking very bad. Every system is showing cancer rates are up. So, that’s inarguable. The big question is, how much of this is due to the vaccines?”

    Decimation Demoralizes… and preps the MOREONS for extermination … they will go happily

  17. MikeJones says:

    Teachers Are Revealing The Moments That Made Them Want To Leave Education Forever, And It’s Deeply Disturbing
    Fri, November 10, 2023 at 10:16 PM EST
    2.”I was supervising the car rider line at dismissal when I saw a student (who was not in my class) running towards the line of moving cars. I held out my arm and called for her to stop. A moment later, I heard her mother start screaming profanities at me from her car, which she had stopped in the middle of the drive, holding up the whole line. I simply stepped back and allowed her daughter to get in the car. The next day, this woman once again stopped her car in the middle of the drive to scream at me about how rude I had been the day before. I, again, stepped back from the curb and waved the line forward. The next day, this woman called my principal to complain about my ‘behavior.’ The principal apologized on my behalf and told her that he would speak to me about it. That’s when I realized I was in a toxic work environment with no administrative support or respect from parents, and I resigned at the end of the year after 15 years as an educator.”

    26.”I’m going into my sixth year as an elementary music teacher, but I think it will be my last. The student behavior has gone way downhill and admin does very little about it. Sometimes it’s because their hands are tied with what they can or cannot do. But, it’s a joke when a kid who was just terrorizing classmates (or you) is back in your class less than 10 minutes later like nothing happened. I don’t want to see Jane or Jon after they tried to hit me or a classmate, made verbal threats about killing someone, wouldn’t stop screaming, or threw a chair.”

    “It’s worse when they come back with something that can be seen as a reward by other students too, like a snack, candy, or a fidget toy. The student might need it, but others are going to feel like they need to do the same thing so that they can also have that ‘fun break’ (and I definitely had that happen last year). Also, it’s hard to want to notify home when problems arise (not even the drastic ones I just mentioned, just average problems too) when some parents don’t respond when you try to communicate, or they are indifferent (or make excuses).”

    The Kids are Alright…

    Impact of Glyphosate on Our Health – with Dr. Stefanie Seneff | The Empowering Neurologist EP. 20

    recently had the great pleasure of discussing Glyphosate and its impact on human health with Dr. Stephanie Seneff of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Seneff’s work focuses on the role of toxic chemicals and how they can affect the environment, and importantly, your health.

    • I have heard from teachers that students act very badly, and that parents are part of the problem. They act badly, and encourage their child’s bad behavior. It becomes very frustrating.

      • fasteddynz says:

        Primitive MOREONS raising primitive MOREONS… letting them do whatever they want… is problematic

  18. Dennis L. says:

    Lex Fridman has a new interview, posted 11/8/23

    There is an attached timeline, two hours plus, popcorn with butter sounds good.

    In the beginning discusses chimpanzees, not good pets, eat your face and bite your nuts off, ouch!

    Dennis L.

    • This is the attached time stamp.

      I picked out a couple of sections to listen to. It was interesting. Thanks.

      Pinned by Lex Fridman

      Thank you for listening ❤ Here are the timestamps:
      0:00 – Introduction
      0:07 – War and human nature
      4:33 – Israel-Hamas war
      10:41 – Military-Industrial Complex
      14:58 – War in Ukraine
      19:41 – China
      33:57 – xAI Grok
      44:55 – Aliens
      52:55 – God
      55:22 – Diablo 4 and video games
      1:04:29 – Dystopian worlds: 1984 and Brave New World
      1:10:41 – AI and useful compute per watt
      1:16:22 – AI regulation
      1:23:14 – Should AI be open-sourced?
      1:30:36 – X algorithm
      1:41:57 – 2024 presidential elections
      1:54:55 – Politics
      1:57:57 – Trust
      2:03:29 – Tesla’s Autopilot and Optimus robot
      2:12:28 – Hardships

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      oh so chimps like to eat nuts.

      hey Cro, what are Rocky Mountain oysters?

      • drb753 says:

        Bet he uses the rubber band method, by which the oysters are unretrievable and lost in the field. a lot safer and it takes a minute. wrestling matches with flying hooves are not worth the trouble.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          but that way, how do you make the stew?

          • drb753 says:

            No stew. That’s tragic I know. I appreciate all manners of offal, but it took us 3 hours to cast-ate two young bulls and we were so shaken we did not even save those oysters. We stopped the operation until we could get the tool via mail. The rest has the rubber band now.

          • Cromagnon says:

            Breaded with lemon juice.
            They taste like calamari.

        • Cromagnon says:

          I remove them in winter via an extremely sharp instrument. It is highly dangerous. If I had more help I would employ different methodologies.
          I eat a lot of them as they are the size of large oranges at that stage.

  19. Tim Groves says:


    Hi! I’m bumping this to the top, as it is well down the thread now.

    “specific genes”

    We don’t know . . . yet.

    That’s what I suspected.

    But let us consider an analogy, the tame Russian foxes. We know that the psychology of those foxes is quite different from the wild ones There is a fair amount of detail known about which genes were selected, many of them have to do with the dopamine pathway.

    If you can agree that the fox genes are different because of selection, why do you have a problem with human genes being different over 400 years of selection that was as intense as that applied to the foxes?

    I love analogies… and foxes. Yes, I agree that, over the course of decades or centuries, people and other animals can be selected genetically (or, to use as technical term, bred) for characteristics such as tameness, temperament, and all sorts of physical and behavioral characteristics.

    But I don’t agree that people can be genetically selected for wealth in this way. Wealth is not a characteristic in the sense that physical or behavioral traits are.

    Wealth is an external measure of a person’s financial status and material possessions. It can change over time and is influenced by various factors such as income, investments, and financial decisions. One can go from rags to riches and from riches to rags. Yet according to Jeremiah, a leopard cannot change his spots and, as the old Tamil proverb has it, a tiger will not eat grass, no matter how hungry it is.

    I take it that you are not suggesting that there are genes controlling the process of going from rags to riches and then back to rags?

    So what are you talking about when you are referring to “wealth” as as a characteristic that can be determined genetically?

    We also have to remember, as you seem to have forgotten, that much of human behavior and thinking, including judgements about wealth, status, morality, aesthetics and the relative merits of baseball and football teams, is determined or strongly influenced by cultural factors. We CAN change our spots or our diet on a whim.

    While wealth can impact a person’s lifestyle, opportunities, and access to resources, it is not an inherent characteristic that is amenable to genetic influence, unlike physical or behavioral traits. Change my mind!

    • Tony V says:

      you got to be kidding me..
      wealth elasticity is basically non-changing for top % because they are that selective about choosing their mates

      yes there are wealth preserving and wealth cultivating genes
      it’s called
      lust for power
      restraint and control
      sensitivity to external rewards

      it’s not weird that entrepreneurs are disagreeable, business owners/CEOs to be primary ‘thinkers’. no it does not matter one iota what the culture is, it just amplifies or decelerates your progression rate. culture is a multiplier.

      intelligence in savannah desert may not be too great without all those mumbo jumbo scales of efficiency in the past, but higher complexity tasks, for sure.

      the one constant that is always true that while permanent income may be related or not related to various personality factors such as conscientiousness, the maintenance of wealth inter-generationally is not luck or random culture mumbo jumbo.

      pre-camp persecuted ”targeted” intellectuals vs their descendants show same pattern of accumulated wealth regardless if they start with 0 or 100 resources.

      no culture does sheet for your wealth. it may change your business deals or luck amplifer chaos saddle point but the millions of decisions you make daily from what you eat, what you spend your time on are primary rooted in your genetic architecture with psychosocial attributes.

      extrovert? more chances to meet people, more likely to take risks, hence more likely to lose and gain wealth. analytical? more likely to make less bad actions on aggregate and be strategic aka ”finance/law/etc-savvy”

      the most stupid myth i’ve heard over these 999 leftist years is the same. humans are blank slate and culture can make a bozo from african hut staring at sky turn into jacky billionzaire when your typical 90iq $32millionzo becomes debt ridden a few years after retirement.

      on other hand if you can make 1,394 patents and inventions because of your conscientiousness, intelligence and whatnot — and you kept that historical lineage — it doesn’t matter what culture you are from. you are useful to other humans, you will accumulate wealth or capital if you don’t donate it all away.

      there’s a reason physician parents tend to produce physician offspring, and domain/trade-related descendents. even if the change is media designer to AI UX designer or whatever different migratory occupation, there is definitely a blueprint factor. a sunflower seed doesn’t become a winterseed just because you change the soil or make the sun brighter (environmental variance). that blueprint determines how many pathways and constricts your bandwidth of distribution of choices significantly. if you have that many more ”good” genes, like disagreeability, social tact, social dominance, good looks, intelligence — the advantage is just compounding that you will earn and maintain that wealth more easily even if you made a few bad decisions or you started in lulu land because…. intelligent people migrate… or save up.. or bribe.

      please no more cultural marxist hypothesis. it only amplifies or attenuates your potential, and usually the less of the ”wealth” contributing, cultivating or maintaining genes you have with more ”bling-bling” i spend it all, omegalul my child can go be independent — you are not going to be having any success with keeping intergenerational wealth as a median worker bee.

      • Tim Groves says:

        please no more cultural marxist hypothesis.

        Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

        you got to be kidding me..

        No, not at all. Please don’t mistake your lack of comprehension for my lack of seriousness.

        To discuss all the points you are trying in your awkward clueless way to articulate one by one would take too much time and effort—which I am not going to put in because I’m busy today and I think you are basically trolling and not attempting to be serious.

        Also, Tony, you babble too much. You can write coherent sentences, but you have trouble stringing them together into coherent paragraphs. As a result, your thoughts explode into the outside world like farts. Other people can hear them, or even smell them, but can’t make out what you are trying to convey.

        So for all these reasons I can’t afford to spend more than my tea break on you.

        Instead, I am just going to insist that REGARDLESS of whether wealth elasticity is basically non-changing for top % or not, it doesn’t follow that these people have SPECIFIC GENES FOR WEALTH.

        If you think it does follow, well, that’s your prerogative. And I will think in turn that you are ignorant of genetics and logic and that your education in general has been sadly neglected.

        Several others here, Keith prominent among them, have been telling us that genes trickle down from the elite to the masses. The rich have more surviving children in every generation than the poor, they say. There are not enough county seats and manor houses for all the rich kids to inherit, they point out. And so, a lot of people born rich, complete with their complement of SPECIFIC GENES FOR WEALTH, are forced into the middle and even the working classes. Also, poor women get nocked up by rich men and vice versa, more often that a lot of people imagine. And, if this was not the case, the increasingly inbred upper classes would disappear through the cumulative effects of inbreeding on infertility and mental disabilities.

        Therefore, after centuries or millennia of this genetic flux, the middle and working classes must be awash with these self-same SPECIFIC GENES FOR WEALTH.


        What none of you know-it-alls seems to realize is that humans are not bred like prize heifers or pedigreed dogs and cats—with their owners carefully arranging each mating and killing off any offspring that don’t meet the criteria for the breed.

        Even the Hapsburgs, in all their glory and with their distinctive jaws, were not inbred to quite that extent.

        And the Windsors—Charles, Andy, Edward, William and Harry—do they look like they have inherited any SPECIFIC GENES FOR WEALTH along with their titles, stockholdings and property portfolios? Zeriously…..? And you think I’M KIDDING YOU?

        Despite their pretenses, the elite or the aristocracy do not form a distinct and separate genetic population from the rest of the population. Tony, go ahead, make my day! Rebut this without coming across as a pretentious windbag. Keith, come down off that satellite and explain how the Windsors hold on to their Kingdom because of their genes for wealth! If they had special genes, they wouldn’t need an official succession or property rights to do so, would they?

        Genetic populations are defined by patterns of genetic variation that are passed down through generations and are typically associated with geographic or ancestral origins. Wealth is a socioeconomic characteristic that is not determined by genetics but rather influenced by various factors such as inheritance of status and property, income, investments, education, and opportunities.

        While it is true that individuals from wealthy families may have certain advantages and opportunities that can contribute to their financial success, these advantages are not based on genetic factors. Wealth disparities in society are primarily a result of socioeconomic factors, including access to education, social networks, economic opportunities, and historical and systemic factors such as inheritance and social structures.What you are missing—Keith and Kulm and of course you Tony—is the following three paragraphs, which I’ve taken almost verbatim from Peter Medawar. And this is really educational and could really blow your minds, if you could wrap your brains around it.

        Here goes:

        Natural populations of outbreeding organisms, including humans (and including the 0.1 percent of society’s wealth holders), are persistently and obstinately diverse in their genetic make-up. Natural selection does not work towards the fixation of a particular genotype, of some preferred genetic formula for adeptness. It is populations, not pedigrees, that evolve.

        And the end-product of evolution, if it can be said to have one, is itself a population, and not a representative genetic type to which every individual will represent a more or less faithful approximation. The individual members of a population differ from one another, but the population itself has a stable genetic structure, or in other words a stable pattern of genetic inequality.

        Individual members of the population do not breed true, for being heterozygous their offspring will necessarily be unlike themselves. But, as G. H. Hardy pointed out, the Mendelian process is such that the population as a whole breeds true, i.e. reproduces a population of the same genetic structure as itself—even if its individual members do not.

        Norman, I’m expecting a Like from you for this comment!

        • hkeithhenson says:

          “The rich have more surviving children in every generation ”

          Clark makes the point that this ended around 1800.

          Beyond that point, famines, the main killer of poor children, became much less common due to a lot of factors, primarily society wide increasing wealth.

          The genetic selection from the days before 1800 are still with us. They account (in my opinion) for the large difference in economic success between racial groups.

          • it is on record that at the start of ww1, better off recruits were on average 6” taller that poor ones

            this didnt help against machine guns

            but it does demonstrate a survival advantage overall

            • hkeithhenson says:

              One of the surprises from history was that the US had a food crisis before the civil war. The evidence was irrefutable, the poor were stunted by at least an inch of height.

              There was considerable opposition to this conclusion because few thought the US had ever had a food crisis. But after 30 or 40 years it became accepted.

              I saved the paper so if someone want to read it, ask.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, here in East Asia, and in the African and South American jungles, and in Europe during the period of the Roman Empire, being shorter demonstrated a survival advantage overall.

              How else do you explain why the average height of all the above-mentioned peoples was less than five feet?

              I am still banging my head on doorframes when I walk into old houses in Japan. The clearance on those doorways is typically about 5 ft 9 in.

            • ive always been fascinated by the asian height thing Tim

              that must go back 000s of years, with an infinite number of selection influences—nobody can ever know what they all might be.

              as i recall, a recent discovery on one of the islands out there showed a fully human race of people of only 3ft tall.

              that height conveyed advantage with theier environment

          • Tim Groves says:

            Keith, please address the point that the rich and the poor in every country are part of the same population, and it is the population as a whole that evolves. Genetic evolution works at the whole population level, not at the level of subgroups.

            I believe you have said or implied yourself that people born into rich families often move down into the poorer classes because there isn’t enough room at the top for them all. This is reasonable as they have to produce more offspring than are required to replenish themselves in order to have “spares” in case the heirs die young. So if the heirs don’t die young, their siblings will have to be pushed out and find other places or else be killed as was the case among the ruling Ottoman Sultans.

            So, inevitably, rich genes will flow into the rest of the population.


      • Tim Groves says:

        I wrote two long replies to you, both of which ended up in the black hole of WordPress Moderation. So I’ll try a short, “one-bite” response to see if that makes it it through.

        Wealth elasticity is basically non-changing for top % because they are that selective about choosing their mates.

        Wrong. A more accurate statement would be: Wealth elasticity (whatever that is supposed to mean) is basically non-changing for the top whatever % (to whatever extent this may be true) because they are that scrupulous about hoarding their assets.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Oh Good. That got through.

        One more:

        yes there are wealth preserving and wealth cultivating genes
        it’s called
        lust for power
        restraint and control
        sensitivity to external rewards

        Yes! That’s the spirit! You’ve moved from Keith’s “genes for wealth” to “wealth preserving and cultivating genes”. That’s a much wider definition. Wouldn’t be any gene that in any way contributes to preserving or cultivating wealth in any form?

        You haven’t shown or made a case that such genes exist. You think you can prove your claim through sheer bluster.

        But if these genes do exist, then they must also exist throughout the general population and not just in top-tier individuals. And if they only exist in some individuals and not others, then they don’t exist in some of the individual members of the top tier. They aren’t concentrated in one small in-group but are shared among the entire population.

        That comes from Genetics 101, which neither you nor Keith seem to have studied or absorbed.

        • Tony V says:

          How about this? I’ll take Stephen Hsu’s black box to make a generation of iteratively selected embryo technologies that simply use linear interpolations of large data sets and start my lineage. You should know that there are multiplicative functions and synergistic interactions that give rise to emergent properties, whether it’s protein chaperones, RNA transcription processes, enzymatic reactions, degree of myelination in neuronal conduits, amount of long-term potentiation modulation — we can be as reductive as possible but the problem with people like you is that they conflate scientific ”knowledge” or understanding with ”reasoning”.

          I’ll set my sights on the truth theory of correspondence, thanks.
          You can continue your lineage of ”random walks”, while everyone who shares the similar notion that there are sets or collections of information-increasing processes and methodologies can be utilized to induce kinesis towards certain traits. A trait with X random distribution of Y variance doesn’t change the fact that social stratification, class stratification is intrinsically transmissible and intergenerational mobility is for the top more so than the bottom whom drift between bottom deciles and middle deciles precisely because the top are more selective and in-breed (aka hemophilia).

          Once we get designer babies, we can get rid of people with notions like you ”omegalul we didn’t know what specific gene-mechanism of 1 to 1 correspondence yields A, B, C molecular pathway” .. no human brain ever needed to infer causality from mechanistic causes or RCTs. Abductive reasoning is there to fill the gaps of reality and test hypotheses.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Tony, the problem with people like you is that you write things such as “the problem with people like you is…”

            That’s confrontational BS. There is absolutely no problem with people like me. And while it is true that people like me, I am me—an individual, a one off, a hexagonal pen in a round hole, definitely not a type, the one and only, who needs no introduction.

            The other problem with people like you is that your prose is dense and incomprehensible to the point where nobody—not your college tutors, not your research paper reviewers, not even your most loyal friends or devoted fans—can be bothered to decipher it.

            You have a choice. You can learn to write in a way that communicates with your audience, or you can write the way you do now with the result that nobody will read you.

            Remember Uncle Albert’s advice:

        • Tony V says:

          Also I want to clarify. There are different dimensions to g. Spatial g, verbal g, mathematical g that can be transmissible. It doesn’t mean a doctor becomes a doctor, with doctor-only lineages, only that there are statistical regularities for conducive traits to those occupations, and while occupations do change overtime, the field whom occupations that reside on those latent factors show up time again and again so there is horizontal associations to say a lawyer, or poet in past or whatever equivalent in the future. Get it? It’s not A->A->A but latent A-> all new subtypes of A as in Ab, Ac, Ad.

          Maybe this is hard for you to conceptualize?
          Yes, and some of that g can also regress, even more so for the less selective individual.

          Heard of network theory? Ergodicity theory? Graph theory? Ultimately human cognition has some level of mathematical properties that are innate and reflective of their choices that are trans-invariant with respect to the properties of society. No one is saying that all 100% of observed variation is due to that, just that it is statistically significant to a large extent. As you said we are not monoculturist with lab techs working around the clock in Mosanto human breeeding farms, and even that would counter your point about ‘wow we didn’t know FOXp2 gene” so we can’t deduce causality or whatever stupid ”my skin cell can’t be observed or seen, so how do i really know that i know that i really know?”. I have no doubt there is considerable scientific fraud in modelling and modern medicine, but even the rudimentary kid whom sees he or she is an aggregate admixture of some variation of their ancestral population, can concur that a large fraction of observable physical traits is due to their parents.

          Heritability increases in age until 70 or so, it is also very low at the beginning. People seem to be in denial about this for some reason. Personalities are not clones, but dispositional factors (environmentalgene) interactions are amplified or attenuated.

          JP(allocentric) in NA can be more openly expressive, but ultimately, what are the societal-level ”factors” that show up?

          Once certain enclaves or thresholds of the same type of seeds ”appear”, they create the same type of societies.

          African-heritage with african-heritage
          Asian-heritage with asian-heritage, break up into breeds, haplotypes, whatever.

          economic conservatism, unruliness, conformity, whatever. You can construct as many sub-factors in each generalized latent factor as you want. I’m glad I have a brain constructed on episodic simulation (metaphysical properties) manipulation and not wowifyoudidn’t test shooting 200 bullets at kids and determine what was the actual actual cause of death, then it’s not true! it could of been bacterial infection at last 0.1 second, it could of been punctured lung, it could of been an electron ray from the sun heating up a lipid and oxidizing it near the teared area and damaging DNA. These types of people are insufferable. One’s epistemic experiences are biased, yes. Human knowledge is incomplete, yes. Hence, that is what you use reasoning for -_-

      • Tim Groves says:

        no it does not matter one iota what the culture is, it just amplifies or decelerates your progression rate. culture is a multiplier.

        Wrong again. By culture, I am referring to culture in the E.T. Hall sense: a shared system of beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviors, and artifacts that are learned and transmitted among members of a group. Culture encompasses the patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that are characteristic of a particular society or social group. Culture shapes individuals’ perceptions, interpretations, and interactions with the world around them.

        Cultural evolution contrasts with genetic evolution in being Lamarkian. You can pass on what you have learned directly to the next generation.

        I don’t expect you to grok this, but if you had the most snazzy wealth preserving and wealth cultivating genes going, but you were lost in the jungle as a baby and brought up by bears, wolves, tigers or members of the Yanomami tribe, you would have zero hope of ever rising to the top of the ziggurat with the Olympian super-rich. Because you would not learn or inherit or be part of the culture.

        On the other hand, the Windsors—Charles, Andrew, Edward, William, Harry and the rest of the Firm—are not members of the Olympian super-rich on account of their genetic superiority, but precisely because they have learned, inherited and become part of the culture that makes them Windsors. By all accounts, they are as dumb as doorknobs.

    • Each person is influenced both by his genes and by his upbringing. There probably is an inherent interest in “fitting in” with others in his clan as well. All of these things go together in a way that leads to the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” What one family views as a desirable outcome will be different from what another family finds acceptable.

      At the same time, economic opportunities change over time. Academic degrees that paid back generously a few decades ago now provide only low-paying jobs. Homes that used to be affordable now seem out of reach. This leads to a generation of frustrated young people. This seems to be part of the reason for the high rate of drug addiction and depression.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Taking Keith and Mr. Clark’s hypothesis (for that’s all it is, despite any claims to the contrary) to it’s logical conclusion, then soccer players over the generations would develop genes for soccer playing, surgeons would develop genes for surgery, money lenders for money lending, jazz musicians for rhythm, etc. All of these things are skills that are taught, or handed down the generations as cultural attributes.

        Tony doesn’t understand culture in the anthropological sense. He doesn’t have enough education or general knowledge to know what he doesn’t know.

        I am not particularly academic, but I know a lot of general knowledge in a wide variety of fields. And I also know what I don’t know. And it pains me to have to confront people who know next to nothing and yet have strong opinions about everything.

        To paraphrase Bugs Bunny, “The nerve of these characters!”

        But never mind. At least I’ve got you to talk sense with, and Van Morrison to listen to.

        You can see through
        Your rose coloured glasses
        In a world that seems
        like glamour to you
        You’ve got opinions and judgements about
        All kind of things
        That you don’t know anything about

        Don’t you know the price that I have to pay
        Just to do everything I have to do
        Do you think that there’s nothing to it
        You should try it sometime

        • I was looking at the story of Sam Bankman-Fried. As we know, he recently was convicted of fraud with respect to SBF cryptocurrency.

          His parents were Barbara Fried and Sam Bankman, who seem to have had more than a passing involvement with the fraud.

          Both parents were professors of law at Stanford University. His mother taught legal ethics; his father taught financial regulation.

          The WSJ article points out, “details that would seem a little heavy-handed in their irony if included in a novel.”

          I also think of Anthony Fauci and his wife Christine Grady, who served as the head of Bioethics at the time Fauci was making all of the pronouncements regarding what people could do. She led the way with changing views about what was ethical or not.

          Somehow, having training in what is expected can permit people to figure out how to manipulate the system. Also, “birds of a feather tend to flock together.”

          It is difficult to separate nature and nurture. Opportunity plays a role, too.

        • Tony V says:

          No, it isn’t soccer playing genes or musical playing genes. You seem to think people become ”specialists” from extreme selection. There is random error in transmission and selection. That is not what happens. This is only if you have the maximum informational content available at both the genotypic, and phenotypic level, and you can infer the state of developmental processes needed to inoculate that level of expression or potential. That does not exist, and will not for some decades.

          Unfortunately you are beating a strawman argument.

          • Tim Groves says:

            One doesn’t beat a straw-man argument, Tony. One makes or builds it or puts it up.

            One beats a dead horse, or beats about the bush, or beats a retreat, or beats a drum, or beats an opponent at chess or soccer or in war, or beats a victim or a child or a spouse, or beats a retreat, but one never ever beats a straw-man argument.

            You seem to have misunderstood what I was clearly attempting, which was to take Keith’s original claim of “genes for wealth” to its logical conclusion in order to show it up as false.

            I expect that Keith knows it is false, but he is unwilling to admit that he erred in making it. And so we have embarked on a long slogging match in which you—as his champion—are continuously missing the point and raising nonsensical objections and opening new fronts, and beating about the bush and spewing out reams of incomprehensible jargon in an attempt to blind and browbeat me with science.

            I have never claimed any particular expertise in genetics, but I did watch Gattaca. 🙂 So I know the genetically modified aren’t always an improvement on God’s handiwork.

            But the more important point is that cultural factors explain everything about the rich hanging onto their wealth. Genetic factors are superfluous. As are epigenetic factors, but that’s a whole other sandbox fight.

        • hkeithhenson says:

          “would develop genes for soccer playing, ”

          Utter nonsense. Now that would work if you killed the losers and bred the winners for new players.

          • n15 says:

            I think the other guy meant general fitness, like higher VO2 max, more density of certain fibre types, etc — or more openness towards physical activity and less inclination towards intellectual activity — or more enjoyment of routine.

            That’s pretty extreme reductionism and a misrepresentation of someone’s argument. Truncation of distributional probabilities is not what is happening in real life.

          • Tim Groves says:

            According to the Guardian, Qusay Hussein went as far as torturing Iraqi national team players who missed penalty kicks. Than must have really motivated their genes to improve.

            But seriously, Keith, if you simply bred athletes to be better athletes, which theoretically could be done, what would be the result?

            Doubtless, you would get magnificent athletes, but you would have to carefully select the breeding partners at each generation, as is the case with many domestic breeds of animals, and you would have to be careful not to breed in undesirable characteristics or breed out desirable ones.

            Human beings have been breeding animals in this way for thousands of years, but I don’t think human beings have ever bred other humans in this fashion, even when totalitarian empires existed that possessed the coercive power to do so.

            While I must resist the urge to make sweeping generalizations, the strongest and most able athletes might turn out to be of low intelligence—as in the case of certain dog breeds, or they might turn out to be sterile due to various factors associated with excessive inbreeding. The point is, it is difficult to breed for one specific set of traits without changing a bunch of other traits, especially if you want to keep the breed breeding true, so to speak. If you don’t mind having sterile athletes, then it’s technically a lot easier.

            • a man and a woman, in a normal course of events and interaction, find each other on common ground of physical attraction and intellect.

              from that, they reproduce accordingly, kids of a similar level.

              this doesnt always work out, but mostly it does.

              a child may be born with all kinds of defects….thats life.

              we all want our kids to be perfect…but
              In the words of Philip Larkin, (who was my local librarian a long time ago):

              They fuck you up, you mom and dad
              they never mean to, but they do
              they give you all the faults they had
              then add some extra
              just for you.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “human beings have ever bred other humans”

              For the simple reason that the breeders don’t live longer than their subjects.

              The genetic selection for (the traits leading to) wealth was a happenstance of the prevailing stable agrarian society. A culture which respected property and for the most part rejected violence. This (along with famines and disease) set up the differential survival between children of the poor and those with wealth.

              The prevailing liberal meme is that everyone is equal. That’s not the case, not on an individual level and not on a group basis. Genes matter, as Heinlein said, if they didn’t you could teach calculus to a horse.

              Clark’s more recent work is even more heretical. He makes a case that social standing is largely set by genes when you are born. He and his student have mapped

              I am not trying to neglect the effect of learning and environment. Genes are known to set your heights, but poor diet will stunt. Same with intellectual achievement. You could be bright as a button but raised in refuge camp, it’s not likely you will ever get the Nobel Prize.

              In reference to inbreeding, I have been astounded at the recent work archeologist have been doing in graveyards. It seems that people imported wives from a considerable distance, generation after generation.

              I wonder how they figured it out?

            • Tony V says:

              Yes as I stated earlier..

              Consider a simple scenario. You breed two variants of a plant species for height. After a while, you have created a genetic difference of say 5 cm on average. Now if you put the tall plants in a worse environment for growth, it will be somewhat less tall, say 3 cm, shorter than it would be given identical environments. Thus, the genetic difference is 5 cm, but the phenotypic difference is only 3 cm. So between group heritability would be more than 100%. Since humans tend to construct their own environments — active gene-environment correlation — some of their environmental differences can also be genetic in origin. If these are nonetheless equalized, the total genetic effect will be larger than the phenotypic difference. As such, the between group heritability will be greater than 100%, which is odd. This is arguably the case with regards to Africans living in Africa (poor environment) and elsewhere (better environments built by non-Africans). When Africans live in Africa, their IQ mean is about 70, but when they live in Western countries, it is about 80 IQ for pure Africans (100% African genetic ancestry). As such, the 10 IQ gap closing is due to environmental factors being relatively equalized. However, the difference in these environmental causes are themselves caused by the the genetics of Europeans, and as such, should be considered genetic effects as per active gene-environment correlation. In this case, depending on our terminology, we might say that the total genetic gap is 30 IQ (including the active gene-environment causation) or 20 IQ if we are interested only in the direct genetic effect.

              There is compounding heritability when you become top percentile. Yes if you were reborn with nothing you may not be a trillionaire family again but likely you still would become a top multi millionaire. But if you maintain trillionaire status over generations then you will have accumulated sufficient genetic potential to prevent low-moat climbers from winning. Just like Apple Store or anything in life that rewards you for compounding time advantage.

      • fasteddynz says:

        Fast Eddy has zero interest in fitting in with billions of mOrEoNs…. that would make him one of them

        No thanks

      • Mozarts Father was a gifted musician, same with Andrew Lloyd Webber, but we dont have 10 generations of Mozarts, or a line of Webbers

        I know doctors with children who are doctors, or whose fathers were doctors, but it doesnt seen to run past 2 generations

        no doubt there are exceptions, but they are rare i think

    • hkeithhenson says:

      Credit where due, this isn’t my work or research.

      Adding to Tony V’s list, Clark lists selected traits that include literacy, numeracy and willingness to put off rewards. I think intelligence was pulled up by the wealthy having more surviving children.

      But if you don’t buy this story, what did cause the incredible economic takeoff that we see in history?

      • ////////what did cause the incredible economic takeoff that we see in history?/////

        cheap iron—which gave us access to cheap coal, and then cheap oil

        you may want to create fancy theories about it, but everything we have was built on that, there really has been nothing else Keith.

        You even put a precise date and time on it—9 am, January 10, 1709.

        before that date, we lived on the energy the land produced –a regenerative economic system, supporting a world population of less than 1 billion

        after that date, we adopted an extractive economic system –which in 300 years, put 8bn people here.

        everything comes back to that.

        • Tim Groves says:

          I agree with you Norman, although we can bicker over the details. I’ve said basically the same thing in a reply to Keith that has been held up in moderation.

      • and reading the interesting link keith—it makes a fundamental error about englands economic growth

        that came about because we were far less controlled by religious dogma

        the great ironmasters—who kicked it all off, were dissenters—quakers, baptists and so on.

        they went their own way, because they were barred from politics, the law and universities.

        this stuff is all well documented—well worth reading up.–dont take my word for it.

      • Tim Groves says:

        I’ve penned a lengthy reply that I think rebuts Tony V’s points, and also explains in some detail why I think yours and Clark’s hypothesis is not realistic. Unfortunately, that reply has not made it through the moderation filter, because although I say so myself, it was very educational as well as entertaining.

        I usually try to answer questions at reasonable length, and if my recent reply to Tony doesn’t appear, I may attempt another go at it tomorrow.

        As for your question, ” what did cause the incredible economic takeoff that we see in history?” if you mean over the past 300 years, I would say the exploitation of first coal and then oil and the possibilities that the utilization of those resources on an industrial scale opened up plus the synergistic effects of the various accompanying technologies fully account for what we see. I occasionally spar with Norman as to which was most important—energy or technology—but we both agree that both were essential to that incredible economic takeoff.

        One thing that I don’t think contributed to the incredible economic takeoff was superior genetics. I think we still have much the same genome as our ancestors had in the Neolithic period, with no specialized “genes for wealth” that they didn’t possess. We differ from them in terms of the extent of our cultural evolution. Tony flared up at my mention of culture, but I suspect he misunderstood it as a mixture of flower arrangement and piano recitals, when it is much much more than that.

        According to the anthropologist E.T. Hall, who everyone of our generation with aa least a half-decent education must have studied, culture is a shared system of beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviors, and artifacts that are learned and transmitted among members of a group. It encompasses the patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that are characteristic of a particular society or social group. Culture shapes individuals’ perceptions, interpretations, and interactions with the world around them.

        Hall emphasized the importance of understanding cultural context and the role of nonverbal communication in intercultural interactions. He introduced the concept of “high-context” and “low-context” cultures, which refers to the degree to which meaning is conveyed through explicit verbal messages (low-context) or through nonverbal cues, context, and shared cultural knowledge (high-context).

        Human beings have undergone a tremendous amount of cultural evolution at an increasing pace since the Neolithic. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors developed language, agriculture, astronomy, mathematics, plant and animal breeding, philosophy, herbal medicine, surgery, metallurgy, singing, dancing, theatre, storytelling, mythology, religion…….

        Unlike genetic evolution, which is Darwinian, cultural evolution is Lamarkian. What we learn can be passed on directly to the next generation by teaching or by emulation.

        There is no need to cite as-yet-unobserved genetic changes to account for things that can be perfectly well accounted for by cultural and social factors.

        • Tony V says:

          yes tim you are correct there is gene-culture co-evolution with some lamarkian parameters

          the british elite with ”cultural relativism” was instigated to keep cultures backwards

          “What is the potential rate of expansion of the population which sustains the average individual in a condition of life equal to or better than the condition of a previous, less numerous population? Quality of condition is properly defined in the same way; quality is the equipotentiality of the culture representing individuals in such a condition to maintain at least the same rate of growth of population.”

          So cultures do have a hierarchical stratification of evolutionary progression that yields negentropic-levels of self-organization of societal structures, like say, humanist ideals, or renaissance culture over the more backwards tribal culture or everyone-for-yourself-bugmen mentality culture in China with no neo-platonic reasoning processes engaged, or agrarian Samurai culture of perpetual wars between sub-factions — that is true. Opportunities affect ‘societal’ level-distinctions which are affected by the thought-patterns (meta-cognitive informational-theoretic) preceding each societies, as no one lives in a vacuum, but all things being equal — at the individual level, of every strata, on a group basis, it is still the individual’s potential and aptitude that is able to make best use or express a given defined potential limited by that societal constraint of technological or cultural progress. You can cancel out measurement error on an aggregate basis, as an independent factor, natural selection (high mortality) will sustain higher levels of population fitness longer than random genetic drift of large populations in invariant environments that a while longer to decay.

          Ultimately when a large enough criticality reaches, the next level of development is possible. Say a low-trust vs a high-trust society, where one flips the game-theoretical accounting payoff rapidly. Like mainland china vs taiwan or whatever.

          However, the proportion of attributional variance of observed potential to unobserved potential is not what I’m talking about but rather the proportion of realized observed potential, in the same way I’m talking about the constituents of a milk fraction (narrow h^2) not all the relative abundances or total fractions of each component of a sum of a milk glass (wide h^2) in an isomorphic analogy. The unobserved potential is definitely bigger than the fraction of observed potential, which is undeniable. If one was given 2900 year’s technology or ”meta-cognitive” parameters, assuming Mr. Britian didn’t turn everyone into a mindless-zealot with no reasoning capacities.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Thank you Tony! When you approach Tim by agreeing with him, even in part, he purrs like a cat given a bowl of fresh cream.

            gene-culture co-evolution with some lamarkian parameters

            That sounds about right. I will try to read up on it and see who’s been writing about it.

            A lot of what you write goes way over my head just like a conversion in a rugby match. But that could be partly because I am unfamiliar with the jargon used in the fields you are commenting on. Note to self: “Must make more effort there.”

            Also, I appreciate the link to that 1978 issue of The Campaigner. That’s a very long and fascinating main article. I’m going to print it out to read in front of the fire.

        • Christopher says:

          “I think we still have much the same genome as our ancestors had in the Neolithic period, with no specialized “genes for wealth” that they didn’t possess. We differ from them in terms of the extent of our cultural evolution. ”

          There are claims that evolution exploded from culture becoming more and more advanced. There is likely a feedback loop between culture and genome. But I guess that feedback loop may recently have changed profoundly, since nowdays anyone can reproduce and most children survive.

          One important contribution for faster evolution: the more people we have in the human population the likelier there is for a succesful gene to appear. A winning gene spreads very quickly.

          • n15 says:

            passive complexity does not necessarily lead to active complexity
            increase in N sampling -> increase in directionality of aggregate of basis of N
            fixation is inversely related to velocity. large or spliced sub-nodes make it difficult for small-effect sizes to be ‘fast’ same as start-up vs bureaucrat, higher-to-down-level recursion effects take longer to propagate

            Model of hierarchical complexity
            most people on our planet operate at the sensory-motor to concrete level
            western world has abstract to systematic. metasystematic, paradigmatic and cross-paradigmatic are limited to +3z or higher

          • It looks like this book was very popular (and highly rated) when it came out.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Well, perhaps winning genes are spreading here and there all the time, but the population that houses the gene pool has expanded to the size of an ocean—going from one billion to eight billion individuals—over the past two centuries.

            How fast would a successful prize-winning gene spread when the genes are only shuffled once every 20 years or more, and prize-winning genes can only become dominant if they offer a significant enough advantage to allow their owners to eliminate the competition.

            I’m not denying the spread, but just thinking out loud.

            We know that people must have pretty smart in the Neolithic period because they needed to survive in far harsher climatic and environmental conditions than most of us have to endure today. Admittedly, they would have needed a different mix of abilities. Not being able to read, write or perform algebra or calculus would not have been a handicap, but being unable to kindle a fire or track, hunt, catch and cook animals for food might have been fatal.

            I would also note that, for what it’s worth, it is generally estimated that approximately 98-99% of the human genome is shared with the chimpanzee genome. Meanwhile, the percentage of genetic variation within a single ethnic group is generally estimated to be around 0.1% to 0.5%, meaning that individuals within the same ethnic group share about 99.5% to 99.9% of their genetic material. And there is more genetic variation among Sub-Saharan Africans (even if you don’t count Elon Musk) than among all the other human groups on Earth.

            I am not sure what the main implications of the above facts are. Or what conclusions we would be justified in drawing from them. But it looks like a little genetic variation can add up to a lot of difference in the type of creature that the genome codes for.

            • Christopher says:

              Price winning genes takes more than a human life time to spread significantly, evolution is a very patient process.

              Compared to base line (average) evolution speed from the point when humans split from chimpanzees about 7 milion years ago, the last 10 000 years is almost 100 times faster, according to the book I referenced. I must admit I don’t recall the details concerning this claim.

              “I would also note that, for what it’s worth, it is generally estimated that approximately 98-99% of the human genome is shared with the chimpanzee genome. Meanwhile, the percentage of genetic variation within a single ethnic group is generally estimated to be around 0.1% to 0.5%, meaning that individuals within the same ethnic group share about 99.5% to 99.9% of their genetic material. And there is more genetic variation among Sub-Saharan Africans (even if you don’t count Elon Musk) than among all the other human groups on Earth.”

              These measures are only significant if you assume that all genes are equally important. Some genes are more stable, a mutation in such a gene will not be as consequential as a mutation in a less stable gene. The fairly quick evolution of the last 10 000 years will primarily operate with the less stable genes. Changes in a particularly important (small) subset of genes can still make a significant difference.

              I believe it is likely that Gregory Clark is correct, if belonging to the 20% economically most succesfull selects for certain traits (bourgeoisie traits), then 800 years would make a difference. I can see why these traits (agreableness, conscientiousness, high IQ) would be important for shaping a society in which industrial civilization could start. In other words the gene distribution of lets say 500 AD anglo-saxons could not have started industrial civilization, it had to be changed by a gradual cultural selection process to produce the 17-18 century british.

              If you instead of bourgeoisie traits select the first male who inherits almost everything and he marries someone that’s a daughter to someone selected in the same way, you end up getting somethin like King Charles. But that is an exception.

    • a species can have different traits, and acquire them by different influences

      such influences can be minute and go unnoticed but they are there

      and the species itself is still the same species.

      A tame fox mating with a wild fox can only produce foxes—they will have different traits, but they will not become other than what they are.–change would take millions of years.

      If it were possible, a modern human could still mate with one one from 10000 years ago—and still produce a human offspring.
      neanderthals and modern humans interbred 50k years ago

      but we could not mate with one from maybe 5m years ago—it wouldnt work

      there are different traits within families—I’m a danger to mankind if i use tools, yet my bro has made a lot of money building houses—why should that be?

      wealth itself would seem to be result of response to opportunity

      kid i was at school with got a job putting up tv aerials in the early tv days—then South Africa introduced TV in the early 60s, so he shot off there and became a multi millionaire in the TV aerial business.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        “change would take millions of years.”

        Heavy selection can make rapid changes. The tame fox breeding got substantial results in the first 8 generations.

        “we could not mate with one from maybe 5m years ago”

        I presume you mean “and produce fertile offspring.” I don’t know, Bonobos and chimps are separated by over a million years and they are known to produce offspring. But at least they have the same number of chromosomes.

        About a million years ago the line that led to humans when through a bottleneck where the population was reduced to around 1300. This continued for around 100,000 years. During that time the line reduced the chromosome number to 23 by fusing two.

        The population expanded after the bottleneck and the Neanderthals split off something like 700,000 years ago.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Keith, we don’t breed humans the way we breed foxes. Humans are notoriously prone to outbreeding, which is why early morning milkmen often have a smile on their face and a spring in their step.

          Even the Barretts of Wimpole Street couldn’t keep Elizabeth from eloping with Robert Browning, and they produced a son.

          There were occasions in earlier times when Europeans burned daughters who refused to marry the men chosen by the parents for them. But this didn’t stop youngsters from running away.

          And these arranged marriages were not arranged on the basis of maximizing anybody’s genetic traits, but on maximizing the financial profit or social status of one or both families involved, which is a very different thing.

          Take the case of Bold Jamie and what he had to go through for the sake of getting together his own true love.

  20. Dennis L. says:

    TM has a post out

    Basically the problem is lack of energy growth. The solution as I keep saying is above us and TINA. Starship should go this month, supposedly all fish are being counted, etc.

    The question I see is matching liabilities and income producing assets keeping timing in mind, not a day late and a dollar short. The cost of working capital is 6x greater now than say a year ago, give or take. This is real world, on the ground stuff all of us use. Collapse of the financial system would be terrible, everything becomes local. Or, you can run but you can’t hide.

    Some of you may find this of interest.

    Has some interesting insights into US and global policies, looks back to the enlightenment and rationalism and includes current humanism and the individual.

    Started Saplosky’s “Determined”, it is going back but it is insightful into Stanford University Thinking.

    “The Ancient City” is a book in progress, interesting ideas, particularly the similarities of religions between India, Greece and Rome. Will finish this one. It fits with my idea that we discover the fabric of the universe.

    Dennis L.

    • I thought Tim Morgan made some good points about the limitations of renewables:

      The limits of renewables

      First, renewables cannot match the energy density of fossil fuels. No electricity storage system can ever replicate the ratio of power-to-weight of the humble fuel tank. This ratio of power to weight is a critical limitation. It’s why we cannot use batteries to propel large aircraft, or build electricity-powered ships with the same cargo-carrying capabilities as vessels fuelled by oil.

      Second, this lesser density creates a dependency relationship between renewables and fossil fuels.

      The lesser density of wind and solar power, in comparison with fossil fuels, means that these energy systems require a correspondingly larger material infrastructure.

      This in turn results in a disproportionately large requirement for material resources. Energy transition will demand vast quantities of everything from concrete and steel to copper, lithium, cobalt and the numerous other metals that renewables systems require.

      Accessing these raw materials and using them to make equipment in turn requires huge quantities of energy. The most efficient sources of this energy are oil, gas and coal.

  21. yes we can says:

    I notice in sustainability discussions there is no discussion about non-Western civilizations. There is no explanation for why China did not go back to the stone age when the various empires that have come and gone over the last thousand years collapsed. Inda-same. There is no explanation for why sub-Saharan Africans didn’t degrade their ecosystems when their civilizations collapsed.

    If renewables are about making a quick buck and political posturing why do poor countries like North Korea install solar panels if they don’t help them meet their energy needs?

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      you do know this is an unprecedented global Industrial Civilization of 8 billion people, yes?

      the higher you are, the worse is the fall.

      the 2030s are going to be brutal.

      • yes we can says:

        There is no high or low, there is only a reliance on fossil fuels to survive. If someone in Haiti also relys on fossil fuels and food abroad to survive they will suffer just as much as someone in Washington, D.C. or Tokyo.

    • the answer is straightforward

      knowledge cannot be unlearned

      if people have transitioned from flint axes to bronze axes they do not return to flint axes if the energy/knowledge remains available to make bronze.

      yes, progress might go on hold for a while, until energy sources pick up, but if sufficient energy is there, people will find the means to utilise it–and continue to progress as best they can.

    • The overshoot problem in early years was pretty much too many people for resources. Sometimes land was degraded and trees cut down.

      A local collapse could temporarily reduce population, solving a big part of the problem. Land could regenerate on its own.

      The remaining population could use their skills to continue to work, perhaps moving in with a nearby group.

      Once we got dependent on fossil fuels, it became harder to get along without them.

  22. fasteddynz says:

    el mar on November 10, 2023 at 11:11 am said:
    Thank you! This is a very good article that shows the connections between our predicament.

    Due to the path dependencies and the many feedback loops, our BAU system can only continue to grow or collapse.

    It can’t be brought down in stages. It will collapse like a wooden house gnawed by termites when the everything bubble bursts. It will burst!

    It is praiseworthy that Mr. Morgan is trying to spread hope and optimism.
    But there is no solution. We are living through a one-off event. Like a table fireworks display.
    Because there are only two states for our civilizational cycle. On or off.
    “Seneca Cliff” is a good description. When the deflationary depression sets in globally due to energy scarcity, a rapid chain reaction on the highest wave levels will lead downwards, back to a subsistence economy.
    Then there will only be room for very few people and industrial civilization will be over.

    Reply ↓

    on November 10, 2023 at 11:24 am said:
    Thank you. I’m not sure about optimism, but I’ve never been a “we’re all doomed!” Cassandra, like Private Fraser.

    There may be no solution, but there may be better or worse adaptation – perhaps…………

    He knows… but prefers not to say.

    • Hubbs says:

      I have been binge watching some YT videos on the James Webb Telescope lately, as there appears to be, as Ecclesiates wrote “nothing new under the sun,” here on earth or at least under our own sun. Same old gloom and doom, financial gurus trying to sell you something, politics, media, You Tube hucksters etc.

      In the past, there was a buffer to our civilization- things like being less than a generation off the farm, recognized physical silver and gold coins, and less vulnerable complexity. Cars and the gasoline life line vs horse and hay in the barn.

      All this blather about bitcoin, CBDC, fiat dollars and other fiat currencies. Kind of got me thinking how scientists may have gotten the big bang theory and the very age and creation of the universe wrong, or at least our current theories don’t cut it. Hard to tell from what scientists really think now with the new data coming in from the Webb telecsope vs more of the same You Tube hucksters. But it indeed appears, as I have always opined, that the universe is indeed STRANGER than we can ever imagine. We may be just as clueless about the ultimate fate of our own industrialized civililization. Even your mass die off from all these vaxxes could be usurped by a sudden and speedy collapse due to financial and connectivity issues.

      But it may not be a matter of determining how our complex, financialized, JIT supply line world economy declines. It maybe that the whole system just “poofs.” It will not matter how many stocks and bonds, BTC, or even gold and silver you think you have (especially the latter if you have paid someone else to “store” it for you.) The system suddenly becomes totally irrelevant when the time comes.

      No. All of a sudden, none of that will matter. The whole table will be flipped over more quickly than we though possible and all of us will be stuck dumbfounded that our bank accounts, cell phone and internet service don’t work, nor do the gas pumps work nor is there any more food magically appearing on the grocery shelves, much less the grocery stores being open.

      Which is why for now, only a few are eyeing the limited supply of lifeboats. The rest of us will be the dumbf8cks who had no clue.

    • ivanislav says:

      Technology will come to the rescue! Nanotechnology, human life extension, and cat-girl strippers will be available in the near future. A world of abundance for all!

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      excellent article, not perfect, but blows away your entire personal history of your feeble attempts to comment about reality.

      I notice you don’t comment there, surely because the intellectual level is too high for you.

      or were you banned on that site also?

      now onward to the WA tax haven.

      hope you have 20 good years there!

  23. fasteddynz says:

    Brazilian fitness influencer Luana Andrade, 29, died suddenly and unexpectedly this week from four heart attacks in a row. It’s totally normal. Happens all the time.

    The day after Luana had a routine lipo procedure on her knee in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she started feeling unwell. And then the healthy fitness influencer began having one heart attack after another. Hospital tests showed a ‘massive thrombosis’ and she was pronounced dead in the hospital around 5:30am local time on Tuesday. Her cause of death was recorded as a pulmonary embolism.

    Blood clots.

    Luana wasn’t the only one.

    💉 Brazilian model, fashion designer, and Instagram influencer Vanessa Mancini, 41, died this week after having a ‘massive heart attack’ at HOME.

    And more recently on October 22nd, C&C reported the tragic sudden death of New Zealand fitness Influencer and bodybuilder Raechelle Chase, 44, who was said to have ‘inspired millions’, and was a single mother of five.

    Despite assurances in all the original articles, there’s still been no word from the coroner about the cause of Raechelle’s sudden and unexpected death, and there never will be.

  24. fasteddynz says:

    On October 17th, Katherine Palombi took her “perfectly healthy” daughter Melody to her pediatrician’s office, the Herbert Kania Pediatric Group in Warwick — News15 actually named the practice — for Melody’s 15-month well-visit. The pediatrician gave Melody three vaccine injections: varicella, DTaP and Hib. Two days later, without any warning that anything was wrong, Melody suddenly and unexpectedly stopped breathing and her tiny baby heart attacked her.

    EMS and then St. Anthony’s hospital medical staff provided emergency care but nothing helped. And listen to this: News12 asked the hospital for the baby’s records. The records showed Melody had liver failure, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest. All at once. With no warning. Two days after a well-visit where the pediatrician found nothing wrong.

    An autopsy is pending, but come on.

  25. fasteddynz says:

    Fast Eddy
    just now
    Fund your documentary. Seriously?

    All my spare change is going to the vax injured Gofundme operations.

    You know — all those people who wished me dead from Covid — then they crashed and burned after the 5th shot… and now they ask me to donate $$$$ to help them when their governments who gave them the safe and effective… tell them to get f789ed.

    Ya I am donating 10’s of thousands each month to these poor souls.

    Nuthin left for the doco… sorry … maybe ask Netflix?

    BTW – he banned me for a week… no $$$ for you MCM

    • houtskool says:

      What does nz stand for? Nothing to zay?

    • Tim Groves says:

      That was my “like”! I would have given you 10of them if WordPress permitted.

      So, MCM banned you? He banned Sage Hana the other day too. As I said on Sage’s substack, MCM is a serious and sensitive lad who doesn’t take too well to sarcastic criticism. Although considering the places he’s been and the people he’s had scenes with, it should be like water off a duck’s back.

      • fasteddynz says:

        1 week ban…

        He’s basically … a wanker… and he does not like it when folks SCHAD all over his weekly vax injury and death reports… I don’t get it – surely he compiles this to encourage SCHAD?

        • Tim Groves says:

          Perhaps he considers his Substack as an online memorial service and expects people in attendance to act like mourners?

          In any case, someone is always offended, and the only way not to offend them is not to say a word. But what’s the point of living if you can’t show a little SCHAD at times like this?

          I’m much more fond of The Covid Blog. He makes a point of digging up the online histories of people who’ve died suddenly and unexpectedly and pasting all their previous “I Got My Second Booster” selfies and their mean remarks about the unvaxed. That format makes for excellent SCHAD. Sometimes, I actually salivate while browsing it.

  26. houtskool says:

    With more and more sponsoring of diverted energy from governments through fiat currencies, the EMM (Energy Minsky Moment) will leave a package on my doorstep. The waiting is for the ‘buzz’ from another drone delivery.

    Like a Israeli girl on a rented toilet waiting for a bullet at some random party. Or should i say, parity?

    The west thinks carpets can fly, the middle east think carpets brings you many virgins. Capital thinks people keep their carpets clean forever. The Dalai Lama keeps on spitting.

    Brain quantity is no guarantee for succes.

  27. davecoop says:

    Figure 6, above, says a mouthful — isn’t this headed for something analogous to liver failure?
    On another topic,, until this week, gave me a link to find EIA estimates of world crude oil production, but I now fail to find that info, & I’ve emailed them about it, without results — does anyone know how/where to find that, now?
    If you don’t find it, maybe email them at

    • EIA had a note up recently that the site would be down for maintenance about now. I don’t remember the exact dates.

      • It is hard to believe that US public debt can keep rising as rapidly as in the past. Maybe with enough QE, interest rates can be kept low, and the pretend situation can continue.

        • yes we can says:

          I don’t see a cut-back in lending.

          Student loans are still being given out to anyone with a pulse and are still being guaranteed by the government.

          It is also a great source of investment revenue.

          Lending will continue until the end.

          • Standards at universities are rapidly falling.

            Faculty members are being given too large classes. They cannot keep up with the grading, so they cut back on the requirement.

            Undergraduate standards are falling too. Required tests for high school graduation are disappearing. Tests to check proficiency in reading and math in lower grades, before moving on to the next grade, are seeing their “acceptable level” reduced. (This works around the problem of young students not really learning through distance learning in 2020 and 2021.)

            Everyone can be accepted in such a system because the standards are sufficiently low. Paying back loans needed to graduate is another issue.

            • yes we can says:

              The purpose of the university system is not to produce productive workers, it is to create cash flow for investment and retirees. It functions as a tax on the young to support the old and idle but wealthy.

              In the last ten years, the purpose of the private sector has changed in response to the changes in the university system. Its purpose is now not to make money but to help politicans reach political goals.

            • I think one function of the university system is to keep young people out of the workforce for a while, to help raise wages for those who are in the work force.

              From what I can see from a distance, teaching gets to be minor effort of universities, pushed off to part time faculty members with masters degrees, to the extent possible. Wages for these people are appallingly low. Regular faculty and a large number of administrators are involved with producing “academic papers” over very questionable value and getting funding for such papers. The university also focuses on building a huge football field that might attract the interest of wealthy (male) donors, and a fancy eating facility that provides higher-cost and better-prepared food than local restaurants. Residence halls (no longer dorms) have a separate bathroom for each bedroom. The whole cost of this boondoggle becomes far too high for families to afford, or students to pay for with part time jobs.

              A major purpose of the system is to inculcate in students the view that “all can succeed, regardless of how little ability and how little time they put in studying,” and give students the idea that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are major goals of life.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “The purpose of the university system”

              From the viewpoint of the student, the value of going to a university is the people you meet and the relations you form. The only person I know who fully understood this is Esther Dyson. You can see from her Wikipedia page how she exploited her time at Harvard.

        • universal law:

          this year’s debt must be repaid by next year’s increase in energy production

          if next years debt isnt sufficient to do that, then economic collapse is inevitable

          bank loan, mortgage—national debt—makes no difference.

          a nation can print money for a few years to patch up the hole, but that doesnt change the end result

  28. Agamemnon says:

    With the price of renewables dropping precipitously, however, the project’s economics have worsened.

    Are renewables really cheaper than nuclear when you take all factors into account?
    It seems nuclear is the only viable solution to keep some resemblance of modern life. But the nuclear waste had never been solved .
    My rosy glasses wilting.

    • Intermittent renewables are cheap if you assume that intermittency doesn’t matter. Also, you have to assume that wind and solar “go first,” on the electric grid, without any charge for the by fossil fuel electricity providers for the balancing services that they are providing. Under standard pricing arrangements, fossil fuel (and nuclear providers) often have to accept negative wholesale electricity rates to provide balancing services for wind and solar. This is part of what makes nuclear comparisons not work out well.

      With respect to not understanding the full cost of wind and solar, it helps if a person ignores the huge amount of upkeep required on wind turbines, and the big-end-of-life disposal costs for both (especially solar). Overlooking the very short life span of wind helps, too. The comparison is also helped by overlooking the need for a huge increase in transmission lines, at great cost, because wind and solar installations are generally far away from electricity demand centers. These transmission lines tend to start fires, creating yet another problem.

      I don’t think most people have tried to make a reasonable comparison. There is a lot of money to be made in all aspects of wind and solar. Leasing land to wind or solar providers can offer politicians good income. As long as wind and solar are perceived as “good,” researchers can get research grants if they can say good things about them.

      Recently, higher interest rate has made all types of energy more expensive. Energy types with big upfront investment becomes especially problematic in a higher interest rate environment. This is what is starting to make the comparisons come out poorly.

    • drb753 says:

      Nuclear has a few aces up its sleeve. The modular small reactors of course, but also the fact that nuclear waste can be handled on the cheap. Not clear to me why the West has to inflate those expenses so much. Germany used to dump everything in a salt mine. The USA has deserts with very low rainfall, and everyone has geological formations which are dry, even soggy Finland. Then there is always the possibility of accelerator driven systems. I am familiar with the topic, and I am sure not all stones have been turned.

      • HereHare says:

        I know that the Russians are very confident on the future of nuclear and are busy building them in many countries.

        I am not knowledgeable enough in this area to know if it will work or if its EROEI is too low (because of the huge costs of mining, refining, building and maintenance).
        I can say one thing with certainty though: the US empire will not be able to build and maintain NPPs with good EROEI (not to mention the accidents). Given the corruption, the decline in IQ and the “climate caused” sudden deaths that will accelerate in future years, we should consider ourselves lucky if all the NPPs are decommissioned before any major disaster happens.
        Or maybe, like D. Orlov suggests, a UN supported Russian/Chinese army will be dispatched to take control and safely decommission the US NPPs (together will all the nukes).

        As such, I would recommend everyone move upwind of the closest NPP, preferably up a mountain.

        • We need processed uranium, and it may be increasingly difficult to get. Uranium in mined in a limited number of countries, with Kazakhstan being number one in production. Russia is the number one country for processing the uranium.

        • postkey says:

          “energyskeptic says:
          March 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm
          The main issues with nuclear reactors are their capital cost and long time to build, the odds are good that since they’re all ageing there will be more Fukushima’s and breakdowns, turning the public against their use, and above all, no where to store the waste. Plus nuclear is baseload power and doesn’t ramp or down quickly enough to match demand, which will bring on a blackout (no problem now but a big one when natural gas runs out). But that’s not the real issue – the real issue is that transportation depends nearly 100% on oil, and that transport that really matters, freight, runs on diesel fuel and their combustion engines can’t burn anything else, and coal and natural gas are near their peaks as well, and there isn’t enough biomass to make a significant amount of diesel from biomass. The thousands of suppliers for a nuclear generator won’t be able to ship, truck, fly, or send their components by rail to the building site, the workers won’t be able to get there without cars – civilization ends when transportation stops, especially trucks.” ?

  29. JesseJames says:

    Tony Seba is famous for his prediction on how fast electric vehicles would replace gas powered cars.
    He says that 20 years to almost entirely replace gasoline powered cars. and 10 years to go from 11% to 81%ish.
    He famously based his prediction on pictures of New York City, one showing all horses and carriages, and then 10 yrs later mostly cars. He claims that this occurred even though…roads had to be built, manufacturing supply chain and fuel infrastructure had to be developed, yadda yadda
    In his talk he claims high tech will cause the disruption. There are some notable problems with his analysis. First…his picture and hence, his evidence, is of New York City, the wealthiest and most productive city in the world at that time. He also fails to mention that gas was virtually free back then….who wouldn’t jump to use it. The automobile also increased productivity, due to cheap fuel.
    Also, I don’t believe his data but nevertheless…his claim about EVs made big news.

    Here are some problems with his claims.
    For horses to cars they had ultra cheap fuel
    For cars to EVs….electricity prices are increasing, and the renewable energy revolution is stalling.
    For cars to EVs, insurance costs for EVs are going through the roof….indeed, it is doubtful if they are even cost effective when factoring in all variables.
    EV demand and affordability is falling due to high cost.
    Massive materials needed for EVs is not available.
    The charging infrastructure for EVs is way behind and silicon valley cannot fix it without trillions in infrastructure being built.
    The energy equation is one that Tony Seba does not address really. It is all totally built on the delusion of renewable energy replacing FF energy.

    So I call rubbish on Tony Seba….his claims are just more of the “silicon valley” can do it all…so give our startups your money….Silicon Valley does not create energy

  30. Hubbs says:

    I posted this for the cartoon. A lot of valid points here by Casey, but with a hell of a lot of sales pitches. How many people can afford to get second passports and have overseas residencies, rely on their stash of vaulted gold overseas, etc.? Easy for him to say. He has made a small fortune in the great skim in his lifetime doing no useful or productive work, and now gets religion and wants to “help” the average investor.

    It’s called “selling it.”

    A post by Steve St Angelo behind the paywall demonstrated that the price of silver correlates with the cost of production which is linked in large part to the cost of energy ( and I assume declining ore grades, increasing cost of credit, debt etc.)
    Interesting that he pointed out that the biggest shale oil producer, Chesapeake, had to declare bankruptcy yet these silver and gold miners seem to survive without bailouts or bankruptcy, making the point that precious metals stackers are constantly claiming that the banks like JP Morgan are manipulating the price and have been ripping off the public when it is the precious metals dealers themselves who have been ripping off people. In particular he pointed out how the money honey Daniela Gambone who was a standard on kitcom for years, then switched to Stansberry Research for about a year, and now as of Oct 31 has landed at ITM Trading with Lynette Zang. Daniela is chasing the money for sure. So how can ITM afford her? By pricing, for example American Eagles at over $8.00 over spot (based on sales of 500 in a monster box,) whereas other dealers have prices less than $5 an oz over spot. Steve forgot to mention that Lynette really pushes sales of numismatic coins which command an even higher profit/premium than standard rounds.

  31. MG says:

    Unlike the natural environment, the human environment is not self-reproductive. It is always about moving substantial amounts of energy and resources from one place to another.

    Nature is practically in a standstill state in comparison to the amount of the movement caused by the humans.

    That is why the areas abandoned by the humans and regained by the nature, where the energy available for the humans has been depleted, have such a deadly appearance to the humans: there is no energy and resources for the humans to prevail over other species and natural forces.

    • Nature is almost at a standstill until earthquakes and volcanos take place. Also, tsunamis and and hurricanes. There is a Mandelbrot fractal distribution of these kinds of events. We tend to forget about them, but very big ones can come along.

      Even erosion can have a huge effect. It is not obvious, but it can ruin agricultural land.

      • MG says:

        But these events are even more contradictory to the human environment. From the point of view of the human-directed movement of energy and resources, they constitute the need for even more energy and resources to stabilize or redirect them.

        They are just the confirmation of the nature powers. They mean the standstill for the human environment. The human environment needs to be constantly shaped and maintained.

  32. I thought this article was interesting. Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a forward looking metric of US economic activity. Right now, it is flashing warning signals of with respect to near-term US recession.

    The article also discusses the difference between individual citizen’s perception of economic situation and CEO’s perception of what is happening. CEOs are now quite bearish, but this problem has not yet filtered down to the understanding of many citizens. This adds to the view that recession is likely ahead.

    The article includes quite a few graphs.

  33. MikeJones says:

    Coming Soon: More Oil, Gas and Coal

    It’s no secret that fossil fuels are still going strong, as we discussed last month. But a new United Nations-backed report paints an alarming picture of how dramatically coal, oil and gas production is expected to grow in the coming years.

    If current projections hold, the United States will drill for more oil and gas in 2030 than at any point in its history, our colleague Hiroko Tabuchi reports. So will Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    In fact, almost all of the top 20 fossil fuel-producing countries plan to produce more oil, gas and coal in 2030 than they do today. If those projections hold, the world would overshoot the amount of fossil fuels consistent with limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius — the level scientists say would result in vastly more life-threatening heat waves, drought and coastal flooding.

    “Governments are literally doubling down on fossil fuel production; that spells double trouble for people and planet,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, said in a statement accompanying the report. “We cannot address climate catastrophe without tackling its root cause: fossil fuel dependence.”

    In the United States, where President Biden campaigned under a “no more drilling on public lands” slogan, the Willow project will extract 600 million barrels of oil from pristine federal land in Alaska. The U.S. is now the world’s biggest crude oil producer, and is ramping up exports of natural gas. Its two biggest oil companies are buying up smaller rivals in a bet that fossil fuels will remain profitable for decades to come.

    Brazil, where President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has vowed to “prove once again that it’s possible to generate wealth without destroying the environment,” plans to increase its oil production by 63 percent and to more than double its gas output in the next decade.

    India, which has promised to significantly expand renewable energy production, will more than double its production of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, by 2030.
    Canada, which wrote its 2050 net-zero commitment into law, is on track to boost its oil output by 25 percent in the next 12 years.

    The Kids are alright

    • It is amazing the range of future fossil fuel extraction projections that can be made. If an outside consulting group is used, it can be selected based on its willingness to make projections of the desired level.

      The climate change narrative makes it sound like world leaders are in charge. Moving away from fossil fuels would be a good think, with this view.

      • MikeJones says:

        I am amazed, myself, Gail…the Magical Mystery Ride is most entertaining…when will it end? They keep us all guessing.
        Of course, one here keeps us all on track…we all are going to die soon….yep…. eventually he’ll be spot on, yo go EddieNZ

  34. Zemi says:

    It’s finally going mainstream.

    “The real Covid jab scandal is finally emerging
    The young and healthy, who were at minimal risk from Covid, should not have been told they had to take the vaccine”


    On 29 April 2021, Lisa Shaw, a clever, sensible, creative, mischievous, award-winning presenter at BBC Radio Newcastle, had her first Covid vaccination. Like millions of us, Lisa was delighted and relieved to get her jab.

    A few days later, Lisa developed a headache and stabbing pains behind her eyes which wouldn’t go away. By May 16, she was taken by ambulance to University Hospital of North Durham. Tests revealed blood clots in Lisa’s brain and she was moved to a specialist neurology unit in Newcastle. By now, she had difficulty speaking. Scans showed she had suffered a haemorrhage in the brain and part of her skull was removed to try and relieve the pressure. Her husband Gareth Eve remained by his wife’s bedside, but Lisa told him to go home because she was worried about Zachary, their six-year-old. One final kiss. The last time Gareth heard her voice. Lisa Shaw died on May 21 from complications arising from the AstraZeneca Covid vaccination.

    The coroner said: “Ms Shaw was previously fit and well” but it was “clearly established” that her death was due to a very rare “vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT)”, a new condition which leads to swelling and bleeding of the brain.

    “For an awfully long time people like us weren’t able to tell our story because we were put in the box of crackpots and conspiracy theorists,” Gareth Eve told me yesterday. After Lisa died, Gareth says he had phone conversations with several leading broadcasters. “They would express sympathy, but then they were very nervous, they’d say they have to be very careful, you know, how they report the story without breaching broadcasting guidelines by implying there was any problem with the jab.”

    As this newspaper reported yesterday, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been branded “defective” in a multi-million pound landmark legal action which will suggest that claims over its efficacy were “vastly overstated”.

    • I notice this article was in the Telegraph, not on some website that most people think is dealing with conspiracy theories.

      • HereHare says:

        Gail et al., do you remember the 2000s?
        A couple of years after Bush started invasions in Afghanistan (for opium) and Iraq (for oil), suddenly, all the MSM found its heart and spine and started publishing the truth about the lies that led to war and the disastrous effects of the war.
        And yet nothing changed. US did not leave those countries until they were sucked dry.
        So why would the MSM propaganda suddenly allow the truth?

        Simple. Psychologically, most people need closure. Just like automatons, most people are soulless NPCs – but they do require maintenance.
        A normal human would demand justice, but the NPC are placated with words. They love MSM for burning the guilty in effigy. The truth serves as a “reset” for the NPCs. They regain trust in MSM and they are not mad at their leaders for being lied to. The endless recycling of politicians also helps – yes they are the same people, but they are not “in power” anymore and that’s punishment enough (apparently).
        Just look at all the evil rethugs (same that killed millions in Iraq) being sold as “freedom fighters” (from Tucker to the new house speaker). Not to mention the genocidal maniac Obama complaining about Israel (of course without doing anything).

        • yes we can says:

          A lot of “NPCs” (on the left and right) are broken people. They are old, or are just getting by. These people do not have the resources to mount any reistance to the international order. The people most likely to rebel are upper class w te men who are quickly being replaced with a more docile population of upper class people. In many parts of the world there was never the equivalent of the American revolution or the civil rights movement because the upper class had no desire to radically change thhe government or society. The new upper class has no desire to challenge anything the government is doing. The War On Drugs did not end because they finally said enough is enough but because the government. can not afford more prisons and other reasons.

          “A normal human would demand justice,”
          There is no such thing as a normal human. In societies where human sacrifice was normal no one saw it as an injustice. Most people are afraid to rebel against society because they don’t want to be socially alienated which means every time there is a rebellion, there is some level of social support for it. It is never 10 or even 100 socially isolated and low status people leading it.

          • n15 says:

            yes power is only changed at the whims of the upper class.
            even when i was in a private high school, the politicians only spoke to the parents in the stadium by changing their facing direction opposing to the students about the war in the middle east.

            simply put, for the majority of humans, if it can’t be seen, or heard, it doesn’t exist and vice versa.

            never heard about irradiated uranium deposits in the east, drone strikes, etc. people don’t care, submission is the norm for centuries.

            only people with a strong stake in the future, esp with wealth and power have a desire to change the status quo.

            people are content with being given X standard of living for zero freedoms, its good-enough to reproduce.

    • fasteddynz says:

      Doesn’t matter now as the Mission is Accomplished… 6B+ have permanently damaged immune systems…

      Now we wait… for the pathogen … to be released

    • Print a little more money!

      I wonder if the US government’s FedNow program is aimed at bailing out financial institutions, in the next round of bank failures.

  35. Scenes which will be rampant after the Hordes Victory

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson traveled Ireland at that time. He had a specially designed carriage, to not see the people suffering, whom he did not consider to be subjects advanced enough to be considered in his poetry.

    The people running public policy knew who were worthy and who were not and acted accordingly.

    It is interesting that the people who stayed in Ireland wrote almost nothing about the famine. James Joyce only mentioned the famine once in his books, I think in Ulysses, when Stephen Dedulus, whose family is supposedly poor but he had the wherewithals to play an artist, met a half crazy guy talking about the famine.

    Even now, the elites of Dublin avoid talking about it, since they benefited from it. They refuse to admit that it is a genocide, and they try to stay as friendly as possible to their friends in London.

    • The powers that be are trying to prevent huge famine, this time, I would expect. If there isn’t enough to go around, they would like to funnel the goods and services that are available to those most likely to be able to use those goods and services productively in producing more goods and services.

      • Fred says:

        “The powers that be are trying to prevent huge famine”.

        There are plenty of commentators who assert that they’re doing their best to create a huge famine. The playbook seems to be to create chaos then take control as ‘saviours’ afterwards.

        That’s the standard US Empire regime change playbook too.

    • drb753 says:

      Eat our maggots in silence please.

  36. @JMS

    Digital identity is the lesser of all the worries facing the world.

    By 2030 most people will be too hungry and destitute to waste too much time on digital identity.

    A lot of people here are still under the normalcy bias, thinking everything will continue, albeit with some reduced capacity, after the Hordes win.

    If I have to live in a world where I have to worry about digital identity, that will be a better option than maybe 90% of the scenarios which will await the Core.

    • JMS says:

      I suppose currency and digital identity are an attempt to manage degrowth and colossal debt and the distribution of rations to the useful mouths (the useless ones, which are the majority, will be probably dealt with by the combination of graphene oxide and EMF’s).
      It is undoubtedly a better scenario than the uncontrolled and catastrophic collapse one.
      But who are the Hordes? The Chinese? Whoever survives the great bottleneck will live under a Chinese-style techno-totalitarian regime.

  37. @I AM THE MOB

    I do not follow your logic of the OECD countries losing a large amount of population and causing a loss of 1/2 to 2/3 fossil fuel consumption creating a new peak.

    Without maintenance, which won’t be done by the non-OECD countries, the current infrastructure withers away. And there will not be enough resources remaining to rebuild.

    We have trouble manufacturing nuclear reactors since t he last reactors were built many years and all the people with that kind of knowledge retired and since there was no money on it no new students joined there so the people doing the work are older people and immigrants who will take the tech back home.

    There is simply no coming back from a civ which loses 1/2 to 2/3 capacity. I would like your explanation on this.

    Also, the best and brightest, with the darkest shadows , ‘might’ come out with some new ideas, but even now Keith Henson’s idea, which is feasible with enough investment, is not being put into use. Without the necessary infrastructure which is needed to extract the resources to build the new contraption, how can a new peak arise? The Hordes will simply destroy them all.

    • I AM THE MOB says:

      “Without maintenance, which won’t be done by the non-OECD countries, the current infrastructure withers away. And there will not be enough resources remaining to rebuild.”

      Yes, it will be done by non-OECD if that is what is required to keep global BAU lite operating. And much of the infrastructure may not be needed anymore. And much of it has been outsourced already via WTO and under the mask of “lowering CO2”.

      Most of the consumption of FF’s in the OECD is to consume useless luxury “accessories” anyways.

      Think of it like sports. If all the major sports in the US collapsed. NHL, MLB, Nascar, etc. It would cause the NFL to and remaining to rise substantially.

      I’m not suggesting things won’t be messy or will be easy. But there is a way forward. And going backwards is not an option. (at least in the macro sense)

      • The trend always is toward increased energy density and more complexity according to Eric Chaisson. Also, people cannot imagine going backward, so that there is a big push from that direction. So somehow, the long-term direction of the world economy would seem to be would seem to be headed in that direction, over the long run. There could be a big downward dip before the next upward trajectory, however.

      • Who will pay the non-OECD countries to keep the maintenance? They can’t even maintain their own infrastructure. Why should they maintain the infrastructure of the OECD countries?

        And where are the capital and resources to do that?

        There is a singularity of sports around the world, soccer (which is called football outside of USA). All you need to play soccer is a ball. It is the lowest denominator.

        NFL is actually energy intensive. it needs a lot of equipment, a full 100 yard field, etc. Which is why it is only played in USA and some English-speaking countries. Every single country on earth plays soccer since it requires the least amount of energy.

        And, whether you like it or not, we are going backward. Way, way backward in the scenario you described.

    • I AM THE MOB says:

      What I mean about the innovation angle.

      Look how simple creations like “Zoom” or “Uber” etc. Can reduce consumption and resource use. .

      Imagine a society ruled by scientists. Not by politicians.

      Imagine a more creative society with a much brighter population.

      “Adversity is the midwife of genius.” — Napoleon

      • Society is ruled by self-organization, under the thumb of some of some Outside Power that we cannot fully understand.

        • hkeithhenson says:


          I agree with you on the first part, if there is a shortage of 3/4 inch #10 bolts, the information will flow back to the factory that makes them and after a while, no shortage. If there is a shortage of the steel used to make the bolts, that information will flow back to the steel companies and more iron ore will be mined or scrap melted down. Multiply this by millions of times and you have the economy.

          I don’t see any need or evidence of an “Outside Power.”

      • Zoom and Uber are all dependent upon existing communication services, existing roads, etc.

        Ayn Rand imagined a society ruled by techies. She conveniently forgot who would farm to feed these smart-asses. Perhaps she thought John Galt could create food from dust.

        Hydroponics can produce some fancy veggies. It is notoriously inefficient producing staple crops, which are needed to gain calories to work. After 3 days of eating arugula and other veggies with funny names, one suddenly craves a nice piece of bread.

        And Napoleon’s genius sometimes went AWOL when he needed it the most, like Leipzig or Waterloo. Defeated by the Irish soldier who closed the gates of Hougomont and was a pauper 6 years later, or John Lees, who was both at Waterloo and Peterloo and died of wounds from the latter.


        • yes we can says:

          Ayn Rand was imagining of a society where Je ws were fully liberated to create wealth. Of course she doesn’t put it that way, but she was the offspring of Je ws fleeing Soviet Russia when the oppressive system turned against them instead of giving them maximum liberty. They really believed a system that banned Christianity and all forms of dissent and autonomy would leave them alone. Many J ews fleeing Soviet Russia became neoliberals in the U.S.A.

          • if you harass and persecute any segment of sociry, the smartest will evade that, and when smart people marry smart people they end up with nobel prizes, or ver rich, or both

            • Tim Groves says:

              Here’s Ayn discussing the US policy on the Middle East in 1979. Not for the faint-hearted. (2m 30s)

            • Ayn Rand’s views have always been appalling

              this is why they are aired—because of their violently divisive nature—a truly awful woman, with ranting going back many years

              she got her notoriety simply through spouting off stuff and calling attention to herself

              now—-who does that remind you of?

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, that was a reasonable summing up of Ayn’s MO IMHO.

              Who does that remind me of?

              Propriety forbids. 🙂

              But she was certainly a provocative figure. They say she drove her husband to drink. And I can believe it.

            • i’m amazed she even had a husband

              totally bonkers, even if highly intelligent by some standards

            • yes we can says:

              That’s it?” Just get money” ?
              They wouldn’t try to punish those who persecuted them?

              The concept of forgiveness is unique to Christianity, imo . Most religions permit vengence even if the the high preists will not offically condone it.

            • certainly they do

              but that doesn’t stop the motivation towards wealth and intellect

    • Fred says:

      Institutionalised incompetence at every level is the norm now in the West. A heady mix of deranged ideology (climate change, trans, diversity), poor education, malignant bureaucracy, financialisation etc.

      Other places look like they’re going to thrive for a while, Russia being the most obvious. Africa may develop if they can stop the West from stealing their shit.

      So No, not doom everywhere.

  38. Jan says:

    In addition to speculations about new measures: think about Seligman, learned helplessness and if it could apply to the last pandemic. It is basics in psychology. Seligman proved that the inescapable group developed helplessness (which includes another social behaviour and less agression) while the helplessness of the escapable group was hindered by a psychological mechanism. It is only in the mind! But it might show effect next time.

    • I AM THE MOB says:

      “when nobody wakes you up in the morning,
      when nobody waits for you at night,
      when you can do whatever you want.
      what do you call it,
      freedom or loneliness?”

      ― Charles Bukowski

      • Zemi says:

        “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.”

        ― Bill Hicks

        • Zemi says:

          I once read a book by Martin W Ball. He experiments with the drug 5-MeO-DMT. This is illegal of course and I certainly do not recommend it. He treats it as a sacrament and claims it allows you to know reality objectively.

          He said that when he tried it, he expanded beyond his body until he became the universe. Then there was only him, and he felt he was god. He wrote that he had never felt so lonely in all his life, and that he couldn’t wait to return to his earthly body as an individual human.

          Well, if it was a true experience, it would explain why we are all one. And it echoes in a way the comment by Bill Hicks, above.

          • fasteddynz says:

            Fast Eddy says this is EXACTLY how feels from the moment he wakes till he goes to sleep at night. No drugs

          • Kowalainen says:

            For sure any extremely lonely panspermia eventually would want to embody sapient and sentient beings. The solitary loneliness from the pitch black darkness in an eternity can be mitigated by some absurdities in the Moneky Business, unless it all becomes too predictable and repetitive. Then the bell rings and the circus travels to another town.

            We all want to be delighted by others, isn’t that so? But at what cost?

            “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
            — Orson Welles

      • Heinrich Karl Bukowski was born at Andernach, Germany

        The best writer of the rednecks grew up speaking German and was not even an Amerian

        showing how intellectually devoid the American rednecks are

      • Kowalainen says:

        The freedom of being alone perhaps?

    • I found this 2016 article on Learn Helplessness.
      Learned Helplessness at Fifty: Insights from Neuroscience

      Steven F. Maier and Martin E. P. Seligman

      Learned helplessness, the failure to escape shock induced by uncontrollable aversive events, was discovered half a century ago. Seligman and Maier (1967) theorized that animals learned that outcomes were independent of their responses—that nothing they did mattered – and that this learning undermined trying to escape. The mechanism of learned helplessness is now very well-charted biologically and the original theory got it backwards. Passivity in response to shock is not learned. It is the default, unlearned response to prolonged aversive events and it is mediated by the serotonergic activity of the dorsal raphe nucleus, which in turn inhibits escape. This passivity can be overcome by learning control, with the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex, which subserves the detection of control leading to the automatic inhibition of the dorsal raphe nucleus. So animals learn that they can control aversive events, but the passive failure to learn to escape is an unlearned reaction to prolonged aversive stimulation. In addition, alterations of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-dorsal raphe pathway can come to subserve the expectation of control. We speculate that default passivity and the compensating detection and expectation of control may have substantial implications for how to treat depression.

      • I AM THE MOB says:

        ‘Those, who really possess sensibility, ought early to be taught,
        that it is a dangerous quality, which is continually extracting the excess of misery, or delight, from every surrounding circumstance. And, since, in our passage through this world, painful circumstances occur more frequently than pleasing ones, and since our sense of evil is, I fear, more acute than our sense of good, we become the victims of our feelings, unless we can in some degree command them.”

        -The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe

      • fasteddynz says:

        The Biden saga is an example of this … thoroughly corrupt … degenerates … yet nothing ever happens to them

      • fasteddynz says:

        Let’s not forget – norm is a huge fan of joe and hunter

    • I think that you are right about this relating to the pandemic and its response.

    • drb753 says:

      What is wrong with the old concept of cowardice? Whether it is learned slowly or swiftly it is still the same. Of course mankind had plenty of time to develop learned hopelessness, after centuries of near universal serfdom. In fact, generally the shorter the time elapsed from the end of serfdom, the more learned helplessness among populations. Southern Italy and Russia, as opposed to Northern Italy or Armenia, are but two examples. Note that Armenia has had its share of tragedies, but those somehow became a learning experience for fleeing and rebuilding elsewhere.

  39. fasteddynz says:

    Daewood Davis went down with an injury during a routine play and did not get up. It did not look like a serious hit but the entire game was called off after he went down. The play looked routine much like Damar Hamlin last year on the Buffalo Bills when he went down with an injury. He lay motionless on the field for several minutes. Update: Dolphins WR Daewood Davis suffered an injury in tonight’s game and has been taken to Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville for further evaluation. He is conscious and has movement in all extremities.

    And… he’s gone… no follow no nuthin… he’s just… gone…

  40. Harry says:

    Survival Lilly looks at WEF-Plan.
    They will shut down the internet (fighting a digital virus) for implementing digital identities and currencies afterwards.

    • Hubbs says:

      I remember Gonzolo Lira (before he was captured /imprisoned by UKR) remarking from his location in Kherson, UKR that what he hated most during the power blackouts was not being in the dark but not having communications. I wonder what has happened to him.

    • I AM THE MOB says:

      They don’t really need to bring the whole thing down. Just convince people that it “COULD” happen and that creates the opportunity for whatever they want to do with it under the guise of “safety”.

      “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception”

    • Then maybe the world can return to sanity.

    • Cromagnon says:

      Shakespeare told you EXACTLY what to do. If you don’t then prepare to leave the simulacrum.

      • ivanislav says:

        I don’t follow, please elaborate.

        • Cromagnon says:

          It involves the role of lawyers in “civilized” life……

          The body politic needs to remove the parasite class (Lawyers and the entire edifice of control) or death will ultimately ensue.

    • I am afraid this lady might be right. If the World Economic Forum is talking about shutting down the internet for a while, to induce a different kind of learned helplessness from what was happened during the pandemic shutdown. Electricity could very likely become a problem without internet connection as well.

      This would be easy to do in Canada, where a single internet provider is used. The WEF is strongest in Europe. I don’t know how internet service is provided there, but given Europe’s problems, I would think that this would be an early target. The plan, after turning the internet back on, would be to implement a digital ID so what goods and services that are available could be rationed to people who were found to have high enough social credit scores, or something like that.

      • drb753 says:

        Can anyone guess a time scale for this?

        • The woman in the video said her guess was “within three years.”

          I understand that the US is now trying to roll out a limited form of Central Bank Digital Currency in the US called FedNow.

          The FedNow Service is a new instant payment infrastructure developed by the Federal Reserve that allows eligible depository institutions of different sizes across the U.S. to provide instant payment services.

          Through financial institutions participating in the FedNow Service, businesses and individuals can send and receive instant payments in real time, around the clock, every day of the year. Financial institutions and their service providers can use the service to provide innovative instant payment services to customers, and recipients will have full access to funds immediately, allowing for greater financial flexibility when making time-sensitive payments.

          This website has more about the system, as of October.

          My understanding from someone involved with teaching is that there is hope/plan to role out the service more broadly, for making payments to individual accounts. I would have a hard time imagining this program being developed to do a huge number of things, within three years. My guess is that the places shut down most for covid will likely be the hardest-hit and first affected by this kind of shutdown.

        • sciouscience says:

          Paranoid numerologist sources say next week.

      • drb753 says:

        And specifically, do you think only the internet, or also SWIFT, would be taken down?

        • I would imagine that SWIFT works over the Internet.

          • drb753 says:

            So you would expect a hardware type of interruption, akin to someone cutting undersea cables, rather that a software one, where limited services by a small number of players are kept alive. I tend to disagree. In my mind it would be close to an adblock with only a few whitelisted. Eurasia of course will have its own internet.

            • I would assume that cutting the internet would primarily affect a number of OECD countries. The rest of the world might go on largely as before. If SWIFT could work on that subset, without the rest, I suppose it could work.

            • drb753 says:

              Good points. Some considerations: first, any such move (blocking the internet) would be led by the US, and yes, affect its subjects primarily. Second, we would have a number of SWIFTs, some regional but some also global. The US would still need to import oil and some metals it is not producing (like manganese and titanium), and has to pay for it. The shipment has to be organized. If you block the internet 100% you are creating the conditions by which you lose control of your own population.

  41. hkeithhenson says:

    “According to technology analyst Eli Dourado, the impact of molecular manufacturing on the economy would be hard to exaggerate. Nanotechnology pioneers Josh Storrs Hall and Robert Freitas “each independently and simultaneously estimated that mature nanotechnology could replicate the entire capital stock of the United States – ‘every single building, factory, highway, railroad, bridge, airplane, train, automobile, truck, and ship’ – in a mere week… that would correspond to a US GDP of four quadrillion dollars per year, around 160 times as high as it is today.” 7”

    Speculation, of course. But if it happens, we can pay off the national debt.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “… estimated that mature nanotechnology could replicate the entire capital stock of the United States – ‘every single building, factory, highway, railroad, bridge, airplane, train, automobile, truck, and ship’ – in a mere week…”

      where would the raw materials come from?

      the nonsensiccal nature of this “speculation” dwarfs even your Tabby AI powered vast Alien civilization nonsensse.

      I could not have imagined that you could far surpass your previous efforts, but you have.


    • The article says:

      Molecular manufacturing, in its most ambitious incarnation, would use programmable tools to position single atoms and create specific chemical bonds in order to build larger structures from the ground up. This would be true precision engineering.

      Instead of relying on expensive and scarce resources, molecular manufacturing would take advantage of the abundant nanoscale elements around us.

      It still would take a huge amount of energy to break the bonds holding these single atoms in molecules, the way I understand the situation. Somehow, this energy would have to come from somewhere. I don’t think we have an approach yet to capture this energy from the sun and store it, or otherwise obtain this energy very, very cheaply.

    • JesseJames says:

      Baseless speculation like this is intended for nothing else than to provide a “news link url” to someone else writing another baseless article about how technology is going to save us….providing the fools that want to believe in such nonsense ….hope.
      It is a “source”.
      Other benefits are hyped up gov R&D grants, and potential startup funding “evidence”.

      • sciouscience says:

        “start up” does seem to imply ‘very finite.’

      • Engineering magazines seem to like to run articles on ideas that might work sometime. In fact, textbook publishers want to make engineering look like a field with growing job availability, forever. They will gear their publications toward what might work, and overlook bottlenecks outside the immediate field that might stand in the way.

  42. JMS says:

    Digital identity is coming, cash is leaving. By 2030, those of us who are not dead will be as poor as Somalis, albeit even less free than them.
    By 2030, those of us who are not dead will be as poor as Somalis, although less free than them. This is how you reverse overshoot and cancel capitalism. Smart move, plannners.

    • Hubbs says:

      I still think that a cyber attack/outage will be the initiator of the chaos. No ATM, no credit or money flows. The trucks stop. No food, no gas, no rule of law., no comms.

      • JMS says:

        Nah, that would be too chaotic, unpredictable and potentially risky. The safwest plan is one in which the frogs only find they are being cooked when they no longer have strenght to offer any resistance.

        • drb753 says:

          Some people have agency too and can see that the zombies that populate the USA will not act until they are desperate. a 5 days blackout is all that is needed to get the process started.

    • All is Dust says:

      A highly centralised economy with high availability and reliability requires bucket loads of cheap energy. Just saying…

      • JMS says:

        Sure, but China manages to consume a third of the US’s energy per capita, and this despite being the world’s factory.
        USA 304,414,000 Btu/person
        China 105,687,000 Btuperson

      • Good point!

      • The Soviet Union tried a highly centralized economy, and it didn’t work. Planning has to be at the lowest level, based on what individual people can see will work and can find the resources for. This is how self-organization works.

        I am afraid central planning won’t really work, even with bucket loads of cheap energy and ChatGPT.

        • JMS says:

          Maybe it won’t work, but at least that’s what planners are trying to implement. Anyway, our growth economy isn’t working either.

          • Yes We Can says:

            Central planning can work if the different nodes of the system are close together. If everything is closer together, the cost of moving goods, services, and information goes down. A fifteen minute city is only really possible with a much smaller urban population and maybe that is what they are counting on. They could be admittting that they are expecting cities will be smaller and that supply chains will become shorter and more regional. They are also admitting that we will have to go back to a preindustrial idea of how citities will work. In the past cities were small and walkable because most people lived in the country and were farmers.

            I doubt this could work with computers or progressive politics.

            “The 15-minute city, with its emphasis on walkability and accessibility, has been put forward as a way to better serve groups of people that have historically been left out of planning, such as women, children, people with disabilities, people with lived experience of mental illness,[9] and the elderly.” ( w iki pedia. the 15-minute city). A resource-constrained future is going to be harsher on people considered vulnerable unless they have family to help them. Of course, this is precisely what many elites fear, a rise in fertility, a growth in family size. They do want the government and the market to continue to serve the role of protector and provider.

            They want to keep their jobs.

  43. Rodster says:

    Don’t forget to purchase a new EV!

    “Time For A Generator? New Warning Says Half Of US At Risk Of Grid Down This Winter”

    • A person can find quite a few articles about a new plan to encourage people to shift to heat pumps for heating. I can see why this might make sense if homes currently are using electrical resistance heating. If there is enough electricity available in the area, I can even understand substituting electricity for oil. But it does add additional grid demand, and it makes the problem of not enough electricity worse!

      April 18, 2023:

      Biden-Harris Administration Announces $250 Million to Accelerate Electric Heat Pump Manufacturing Across America

      Sept. 21, 2023

      What a 20 million heat pump commitment means for the US

      A consortium of US states and territories just announced a commitment to deploy 20 million heat pumps by 2030. Here’s why that matters.

      Nov. 9, 2023 Heat Pump Installations Slow, Impeding Biden’s Climate Goals
      The devices can heat and cool homes more efficiently than furnaces and air-conditioners, but their sales have slowed because of higher interest rates and a slow rollout of federal incentives.

      Mr. Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, offers tax credits of up to $2,000 a year for the purchase of heat pumps, devices that can heat and cool homes and are significantly more efficient than oil and gas heaters. Those incentives defray only a small portion of the $16,000 an average heat pump installation costs, according to Rewiring America, a nonprofit group that is working to increase the use of cleaner forms of energy.

      A much more generous program that would provide rebates of up to $8,000 for heat pump purchases, which Mr. Biden’s climate law also authorized, is not expected to be up and running until sometime next year; the timing will vary by state. That program is taking longer to set up because it will be run by state governments, which have to devise a system for dispensing the money and then submit those plans for approval by federal officials.

      • David says:

        Heat pumps using electricity which comes 20% from coal and 40% from natural gas are likely to be nearly as ‘dirty’ as gas or LPG (propane) boilers:

        More PM-2.5 particle emissions
        Lower GHG emissions
        Higher installed cost.

        The installation of wind and solar has to be accompanied by storage, so that adding millions of new heat pumps avoids the need to bring new gas and coal power plants onstream. Storage might be a big problem. Watch Simon Michaux’s recent talk.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Heat pumps, personal experience.

        I installed my own, I have the epa license, air to air; it works as long as the ambient air is >30 degrees F, -1 degree C.

        The ground is about 42 degrees F or so down four or more feet in MN, heat comes slowly from the center of the earth, it is pumped out of the earth using a water/antifreeze mixture with long loops or with two wells, one to pump the water, the other to reinject said water, obviously colder. With that system you have a heat pump and two water pumps. Anyone seeing complexity her? Sooner or later all pipe leak, with multiple hundreds of feet pipe, finding the leak could be interesting.

        Gail mentions she has one for her basement, mild climate, costs more than heating remainder of home. My experience is disappointing, thankfully winter only lasts eight months in MN.

        A gas furnace has no moving parts other than a couple of relays and a gas valve. simple, reliable.

        New gasses are less efficient at transferring heat, operate at much higher pressures than previous freon 22 which was less efficient than freon 12. More complexity. See a pattern?

        What probably works? E/W dimension of house > N/S, house has glass facing S makes S side warmer than N side and N side is dark, bank into ground on N so no windows. Or superinsulate and pay more for the insulation than the cost of the house. Triple glazed windows are out of sigh expensive.

        Solution,, have a smaller house, be comfortable and heat with gas, simple.

        Dennis L.

        • For the last 10 days, we have been trying to get our basement air-to-air heat pump fixed. It is fairly new (replacement for a previous heat pump), so the parts that broke (compressor and some other part) are still under warranty, but the labor and the lost coolant are not.

          Just trying to diagnose what is wrong with the heat pump has been a problem. A part (other than the compressor) rusted through on the bottom, allowing the coolant to leak out. This is what caused the compressor to fail. The repair people first replaced the compressor and then discovered that there was still a leak so that coolant wouldn’t stay in. They eventually figured out what part had rusted through. This part is not kept in stock locally. We are now waiting for this part to be sent here. We are near the end of the expected 5-day wait.

          Over the years, we have had many needed fixes for the heat pumps in the basement, mostly when the temperature was below 30% F, and also now, with the rusting out problem. We have had pretty much no problem with our gas system for the rest of the house. The complexity of the heat pumps is a problem.

          • fasteddynz says:

            You need to get a Rayburn and a mountain of coal … supported by a diesel boiler and and a 1200 litre storage tank…. try telling people at a dinner party that this is your heating system….

          • yes we can says:

            I’m having a similar problem with heating and cooling in my car. For the last three years, there has been a problem. Luckily, mechanics can use computers to help diagnose the problem but it seems like every year something fails. I’ve determined that the right thermostat is installed but the car thinks there’s a problem with it.

    • ivanislav says:

      How much better is a gas car? If the power goes out, the gas pumps stop working.

  44. fasteddynz says:

    Release the Cannisters!

    Release the Cannisters!!!!

    There’s A “Crisis Brewing”: Powell & Piss-Poor Auction Spark Chaos In Credit Markets, Crypto Soars

    • David says:


      See my earlier comment. John Ward has another hypothesis, a US-China ‘arrangement’. It sounds as pleasant as the Hitler-Stalin pact.

      I prefer your UEP because I think 2.5 bn survivors would just about cope amid the wreckage at a drastically lower standard of living. Both hypotheses fit the observations, so do some others.

      Culling the herd is common to all the hypotheses that are now floating around. Nothing else has made sense since about 2020. Sowing confusion in the public mind is probably deliberate, too, so to sum up I don’t know … and if you’re honest nor do you.

  45. Zemi says:

    For about a couple of weeks now, my little part of London has been quietening down. There are fewer people on the streets and in the cafes. It makes me wonder why it happens. We’re still quite a few weeks from Christmas. Are the Londoners who weren’t born in London taking time off to go home? I wonder what percentage of Londoners these represent.

    It’s the same every year, of course. What is it like in your part of the world? Is there an October-to-January exodus of part of the population?

Comments are closed.