free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 335. DOOM AS ENTERTAINMENT

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

335. DOOM AS ENTERTAINMENT

This is a continuation of the previous article, with further discussion of the Doomer Feedlot:

I think it's a classic Marshall McLuhan situation: we like to think it is the *content* of the news items which is the reality, but, in a way, that's just an excuse, and the real story is the social relations created by a new media (in this case, the internet).

Consider power outages and brownouts, for example. Certainly, there have been chronic failures of power grids for decades, particularly in the 3rd world. However in the past you couldn't aggregate real-time news of such outages into a feed. But now you can, and you can also aggregate a readership around it. And the feed has a sort of iconic, brute power. Imagine a teletype machine in the back of a room, reeling off power outage news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It would be even more effective if you had a robot read the reports over a loudspeaker...
The Doomertron speaks... All doom, all the time.

It would be totally unnerving... You would start worrying that the world was ending due to a massive overload of power outages, simply due to the number and flow rate of reports.

In fact, though, you're just reading/listening to noise. It was there all along. You just didn't have a microphone hooked up to it before.

In a way, I think we're all just drunk on the power of the internet. The ability of the media to generate news is now surpassing the ability to digest it, so you need feedlots of media consumers to try to choke it down, like a snake trying to swallow a pig. The ability to gather and analyze statistics has taken leaps and bounds too, resulting in new forms of journalism like Stuart's massive opuses. But we're starting to reach saturation, where the consumers can't choke it down. The supply of peak oil information is grossly exceeding the reading capacity.

The solution to this problem is the Feedlot. Zones of concentrated, intensive media consumption. It's ironic that peak oilers are so strongly offended by "consumer society", and yet they tend to be absolutely feverish consumers of the classic post-industrial product: Media.

You've got the spellbound people, huddling around the robot, listening to the never-ending power outage news, and they like to think they are in touch with "reality". But they aren't actually obsessed with reality. They're obsessed with *media*. Reality is that thing you interact with when you turn the computer OFF.

I think, if you asked a lot of wives out there, the #1 impact of peak oil on their family is their flabby husband addicted to the computer. *That's* the reality.

Peak oil is something you can cope with quite easily, without following any news at all. So that doesn't explain the phenomenon of the feedlot. There is an illusion that something useful is being done, but in fact, it's more akin to entertainment, like people watching sports.

Since 2004, when I first started following peak oil, I've heard the peak oil doomertron ramble on about horror story after horror story: the Iraq war, 9-11 conspiracies, financial armageddon, depleted uranium, reinstitution of the draft, hurricanes, global warming, "trophic theory", bird flu, peak phosphorus, entropy, collapse of the dollar, the Iranian oil bourse, fishery depletion, soils, biodiversity, financial chicanery, toxic debt, power outages, zombie hordes, infrastructure deterioration etc. etc.

Meanwhile, this was the big picture (from UN World Economic Situation and Prospects(pdf)):
Strong world growth, and hundreds of millions of people raising themselves out of poverty in developing countries.

by JD

70 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 4:57:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stupid doomers.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 5:10:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD says:

Strong world growth, and hundreds of millions of people raising themselves out of poverty in developing countries.

Is this the whole story, JD?

Are you sure there isn't something which you are missing?

I am certain that if you paid a little attention you might discover that things aren't quite so well as they seem.

Do you concede that this is a possibility?

Remember the 1920's? Life was so good and it seemed like it would last forever. But prosperity ended and then depression was followed by war and war was followed by a nuclear arms race and the nuclear arms race was followed by Mutually Assurred Destruction.

Those who promise peace & prosperity are often liars:

Jeremiah 28:8-9

This should serve as a warning to anyone who predicts a utopia in humankind's future.

David Mathews
David Mathews' Home Page

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 5:28:00 PM PST, Blogger odograph said...

There a lot of things a healthy human mind does, which when taken to extreme, become trouble.

For instance, it's a very good thing to save for the coming winter. It's good to have tools and possessions. But you take it too far when you become an incurable pack-rat, saving everything from junk mail to bottle caps. (The only bonus is that you can call that TV show and be famous.)

Apropos doom and peak oil, obviously concern with risk is important in a healthy human mind. None of us would be here if we (and our ancestors) weren't pretty good at that.

But it seems that a concern with risk can also be a fascination with disaster. It can flourish on the internet, when people form like-thinking communities and reinforce each other ... but this fascination is far older and more general.

A little while back I talked about History Channel's "mega disasters" series.

Their deep voiced announcer said:

What would you do … if the ice caps melted?

would you go to the airport?

rely on the government?

what if they no longer existed?

would we survive?

Mega Disasters, Glacier Meltdown, Tuesdays at 10, only on the History Channel


Excuse me? Ice caps will melt and flood the airport before you can get there? Are they insane?

Or are they just catering to a cheap thrill and doom fascination?

I think the latter, and I think most people can watch that (like a Disaster Movie ... another example) and then forget about it.

We are weird critters ...

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 5:29:00 PM PST, Blogger odograph said...

BTW, "mega disasters" of course did a "peak oil" show ... I can't remember if that was before or after "super volcanoes"

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 6:40:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Odograph,

Apropos doom and peak oil, obviously concern with risk is important in a healthy human mind.

Very good point. But it is also important to notice that humans do not always judge risks accurately.

The best example: the city of New Orleans. The New Orleans' hurricane guide (in the New Orleans Times Picayune) devoted several pages to describing exactly what would happen should a major hurricane ever strike the city.

Yet the city, state and nation were completely unprepared when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city. Perhaps everyone should have worried a bit more and took the threat seriously.

The stories in the New Orleans newspaper were pure doom & gloom. I read then when Hurricane Ivan threatened to hit the city (choosing Pensacola instead).

When Hurricane Katrina threatened New Orleans, I knew what was coming. Yet for a short while after the hurricane hit it seemed very much like New Orleans had escaped the worst: Whew!

Then the next morning the city was flooded and a catastrophe of global proportions was occurring, but there were plenty of Americans still shopping at the mall while a thousand people drowned to death!

So the story isn't so bad after all ... a thousand people died but the economy kept growing!

David Mathews
David Mathews' Home Page

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 7:07:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

Having a debate with people who constantly change the subject is pointless, much like some jackass who posts as "anonymous," but then signs the bottom of his posts, "David Mathews," and gives a link to his homepage.

In the debate between JD and doomers, here's what I see. (For the record, I do think plenty of what JD has put on this blog is horseshit, too, such as "Mopeds Save Suburbia," or combating global warming with geo-engineering. But, at least he'll actually debate the issue you put in front of him.)

But anyway, the debates look like this:

Doomer: Peak oil will cause permanent economic contraction.

JD: No, supply is alread outstripping demand, and yet there's great growth in the world.

Doomer: Yeah, but things are still very bad, plenty of poverty.

JD: No shit, sherlock, but if it has always been like that, what's it got to do with peak oil? and poverty has been decreasing in recent years, even with more scarce oil.

Doomer: Freshwater is also running out!

JD: Who the fuck said anything about freshwater? I thought we were debating peak oil?

And it goes.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 7:12:00 PM PST, Anonymous David Mathews said...

Hello fr,

Having a debate with people who constantly change the subject is pointless, much like some jackass who posts as "anonymous," but then signs the bottom of his posts, "David Mathews," and gives a link to his homepage.

I don't care if you are unhappy, fr. In speaking about doom & gloom you should know that the subject is bigger than Peak Oil.

Peak Oil is a problem, but it is not the only problem. This is such a simple and obvious principle that I don't imagine that it needs any further explanation.

Any more questions?

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 7:35:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

"Peak Oil is a problem, but it is not the only problem."

Yes, I know, your basic argument is that, with our current consumption patterns, we are in ecological overshoot. I agree with this, and I think it's a big problem. I think there are solutions to this, and it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to have a major die-off. And doomers disagree; there's no way to avoid the major die-off, according to you guys.

This debate is well and good, but when someone makes a direct point regarding the one symptom of overshoot I thought we were debating, peak oil, I would expect you to respond directly to that point. Instead, you guys always change the subject, as if to say, "oh yeah, well if that doesn't get you, this sure will!" If we discuss one way to mitigate peak oil, respond to it.

Also, what is the point of telling everyone that die-off is inevitable?

I teach an environmental science class in high school. What should I tell the kids, that no matter what we do, a major die-off is totally inevitable? Their answer would be, "then why should I even try to conserve? I'll live the rest of my days in gluttony."

I'm going to do my best to conserve and educate others on why we should conserve. I'll teach them about sustainability, and how we can achieve it. (The knowledge is there, by the way; we just haven't used it much, yet.)

If want to keep telling me that, no matter what, my kids are going to starve to death, well, you're not helping anything much.

Now I'm off to bed.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 7:49:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

I teach an environmental science class in high school. What should I tell the kids, that no matter what we do, a major die-off is totally inevitable? Their answer would be, "then why should I even try to conserve? I'll live the rest of my days in gluttony."

If your students are Americans they are going to live out the rest of their days in gluttony. Isn't that the American Way?

If you tell your students an optimistic fairy tale about how technology will save us and the economy will grow forever and humans will colonize Mars they are probably going to devote their time to the gluttonous, wasteful, world-polluting activities which are leading to the die-off.

If you warn your students about the die-off and they respond by gluttonous, wasteful, world-polluting activities I say: Homo sapiens will go extinct and the world will become a better place by our absence than it ever was by our presence.

But you can tell your students whatever you wish ...

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 8:10:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If your students are Americans they are going to live out the rest of their days in gluttony. Isn't that the American Way?"

NO, it isn't.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 3:25:00 AM PST, Blogger odograph said...

Yes, I know, your basic argument is that, with our current consumption patterns, we are in ecological overshoot. I agree with this, and I think it's a big problem. I think there are solutions to this, and it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to have a major die-off. And doomers disagree; there's no way to avoid the major die-off, according to you guys.

No idea what you should tell the kids, but what I think is that we change those patterns constantly. They aren't that rigid or fixed railroad tracks to the future.

Right now for instance I'm sure we are seeing a significant cut-back in beef consumption. We can call it a result of population pressure as much as price pressure. World wide, grains are getting more expensive, and people who aren't becoming vegans by circumstance are at least cutting back.

If we don't take care of the planet a lot more of us are going to be vegans before this is done.

I mean, anybody counted the fish lately?

(They used to send the poor kids in Maine to school with lobster in their sack lunch, times change ...)

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 4:32:00 AM PST, Blogger FR said...

"If you tell your students an optimistic fairy tale about how technology will save us and the economy will grow forever and humans will colonize Mars they are probably going to devote their time to the gluttonous, wasteful, world-polluting activities which are leading to the die-off."

I don't tell them that technology will save us. I tell them that we need to drastically change our lifestyle. I tell them that we need to live in harmony with the principles of sustainability.

I don't tell them that the die-off is absolutely inevitable, no matter what we do, so we might as well live it up and consume whatever we want.

Hey, can you give us an approximate date of die-off? Paul Ehrlich had the balls to say specific years. He said the famines would hit in the 70's and 80's, and by 1985 we'd be down to roughly 1.5 billion people. He was totally on target with that, by the way. Do you think you can give a predication as accurate as his?

Oh, one more question. Why were my ecology professors in college so stupid? They didn't believe a major die-off was absolutely inevitable. Why don't you go educate those fools? I'm sure you have more credentials.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 4:42:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doom is entertainment definitely.
But it's like smoking crack or snorting cocaine.
You read www.dieoff.com or any of the other doomer sites "we're all going to die horribly and here is empirical proof worked out with error bars etc", you get an instant REAL POWERFUL adrenaline hit as the fear courses over you.
Then you can't focus on anything else as you spend all day googling and reading more bad nasty stuff. You then get a sugar crash because the adrenaline sucked all the sugar out of your blood so you go looking for another hit.

Doom is entertainment for Doomer crackheads.

My name is anonymous and I am an ex-doomer. I have not read www.dieoff.com or www.peakoil.com or the oildrum for thirty five days.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 4:55:00 AM PST, Blogger odograph said...

"My name is anonymous and I am an ex-doomer. I have not read www.dieoff.com or www.peakoil.com or the oildrum for thirty five days."

lol

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 5:59:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

Hey, can you give us an approximate date of die-off? Paul Ehrlich had the balls to say specific years. He said the famines would hit in the 70's and 80's, and by 1985 we'd be down to roughly 1.5 billion people. He was totally on target with that, by the way. Do you think you can give a predication as accurate as his?

You want a prediction, fr? You will live long enough to witness these events with your own eyes.

Oh, one more question. Why were my ecology professors in college so stupid? They didn't believe a major die-off was absolutely inevitable. Why don't you go educate those fools? I'm sure you have more credentials.

Your ecology professors were wrong. Humans do not judge humankid objectively. This is the reason why so many people imagine that our civilization is immortal regardless of thousands of years of history indicating that all civilizations collapse.

It is a funny thing which I have verified myself. If you talk to an atheist and point out that a natural, logical conclusion of their worldview is that Homo sapiens will go extinct like every other animal, the atheists will reject and deny that conclusion vehemently.

Extinction is an offensive idea to an atheist. After four billion years and billions of species going extinct, somehoe Homo sapiens are eternal.

Imagine that ...

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:01:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

Doom is entertainment for Doomer crackheads.

Techno-utopianism is also entertainment for technology addicts. Humans who cannot handle the truth construct their own fantasies about humankind's glorious future.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:07:00 AM PST, Blogger odograph said...

One thing that is document is that humans have a hard time with fuzzy, in-between, risks. We do well with high risks and with low ones, but middling ones give us trouble.

As I've said, I think the wise thing is to treat them as what they are, fuzzy, and I think most people (the "mainstream") already do that.

Some people who have a hard time with fuzzy risks become blithe optimists (cornucopians). Put any reasonable warnings in front of them and they will wave it away.

Some other people who have a hard time with fuzzy risks become irrational pessimists (doomers). Put any reasonable possibilities for success in front of the and they will wave it away.

It shouldn't surprise us that the extreme can wave away moderate perspectives ... because that's what extremes do.

Maybe we should retreat to a more rational mainstream?

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:21:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello Odograph,

Maybe we should retreat to a more rational mainstream?

You would classify your own opinions about the future as the "rational mainstream" but if you want to handle this subject objectively you have to admit that the entitlement mentality of the obese SUV moms actually constitutes the mainstream opinion of the future, and that opinion is not by any means either rational or healthy.

Everyone who lives dies. It is not a "doomer" opinion to point this out. It is simple biology.

Every civilization collapses. This is not a "doomer" opinion it is simple history.

Every species goes extinct. This is not a "doomer" opinion but simple biology.

Eternity and Immortality are irrational opinions held by those who cannot handle the truth. Everyone wants to live forever but everyone dies.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:30:00 AM PST, Blogger odograph said...

Do you notice David that extremists tend to speak in absolutes?

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 7:01:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three straw men:

"Everyone who lives dies. It is not a "doomer" opinion to point this out. It is simple biology."

True but some people live to old age and pass their genes on. Most of us in fact.

"Every civilization collapses. This is not a "doomer" opinion it is simple history."
Excuse me?
I think you are going to have to back this one up.
The truth of the situation (as opposed to your warped opinion) is that there are two conclusions to all civilizations:
1. They collapse (very few do this)
2. They are conquered (this is not a collapse - it is a change of rulers)


"Every species goes extinct. This is not a "doomer" opinion but simple biology."
Nope.
More species change into something else than just go extinct leaving no descendants.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 8:58:00 AM PST, Anonymous The_Setite said...

Hee Hee!! David Matthews used the bible to prove a point! Hilarious. Using a fictional text to back up a subjective belief!! Man i cant stop laughing.....
Yes im sure im going to burn in hell for that....

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 11:39:00 AM PST, Blogger bc said...

The doomers often decry the sheeple for being in denial watching sports and Britney on "reality TV". "We have the Real story", they say. Peak Oil, as Doomer porn, is just a concept, and no more real than Reality TV. Doomers have made up their own show, persuading themselves it is deadly real, and sit glued to the Doomertron.

A good illustration of how weak the Doomers argument is, they quickly give up on oil, and claim there are bigger problems. "We are all going to die when the Sun explodes! I dare you deny that!", they exclaim. Well, yeah.

As for what is different about our current civilization, you have to be amazingly ignorant not to know about the knowledge we have acquired of everything from amoeba to x-rays that makes us utterly different to any civilization that has come before.

Like Odograph, I cannot predict how long our civ will survive. But it is easily the best equipped of all to take on threats to its existence, whether internal or external.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 1:12:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

Hi bc,

"A good illustration of how weak the Doomers argument is, they quickly give up on oil, and claim there are bigger problems. "We are all going to die when the Sun explodes! I dare you deny that!", they exclaim. Well, yeah."

That's exactly right. That's what has been driving me nuts. David Mathews keeps saying, "humans will go extinct." Yes, I know, but that's not what the debate was about. I'm just saying that the extinction will not occur because of peak oil.

Oh and David Mathews -- you may be the most arrogant man alive. You said, "your ecology professors are wrong." Seriously? You've decided that you know more than PH.D.'s? What the hell are your credentials?

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 2:31:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello the_setite,

David Matthews used the bible to prove a point!

Yes, I did quote from the Bible. Did you comprehend the context and meaning of the quote?

Of course, you did not:

"Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls upon them."
(Ecclesiastes 11:12)

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 2:36:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

True but some people live to old age and pass their genes on. Most of us in fact.

You may live to an old age and have descendants but you will still die.

I think you are going to have to back this one up.
The truth of the situation (as opposed to your warped opinion) is that there are two conclusions to all civilizations:
1. They collapse (very few do this)
2. They are conquered (this is not a collapse - it is a change of rulers)


Collapse and conquest ... in either case, the nations/kingdom/empire ceases to exist and is gone forever. Whatever happened to the Roman Empire?


Nope. More species change into something else than just go extinct leaving no descendants.

You are mistaken in your opinions expressed above. There are many billions of species which have gone extinct, the vast majority of which have left no descendants. For example, Homo sapiens are the very last of their kind ... all of the other branches of our family tree have gone extinct and disappeared forever.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 2:40:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello bc,

As for what is different about our current civilization, you have to be amazingly ignorant not to know about the knowledge we have acquired of everything from amoeba to x-rays that makes us utterly different to any civilization that has come before.

Knowledge acquired becomes knowledge lost when a civilization collapses. Those who imagine that our civilization is eternal based upon our extraordinary knowledge will discover to their disappointment that immortality is elusive even for those who imagine that they are the best and know nearly everything.

Our civilization will die. Our knowledge will become lost. Our accomplishments will become forgotten. Where there are now cities erosion will erase humankind's constructions from the Earth's surface.

Nature's existed for billions of years. Our global technological civilization is only a little over a century old. Claims of immortality are a bit premature in our case.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 2:43:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

Oh and David Mathews -- you may be the most arrogant man alive. You said, "your ecology professors are wrong." Seriously? You've decided that you know more than PH.D.'s? What the hell are your credentials?

Yes, fr, I did say that your ecology professors are wrong.

Yes, fr, your ecology professors are wrong.

Yes, fr, I know more than these people with their Ph.D.s,

My credentials are derived from studying the blue sky, sunshine and waves washing up on the shore. I'm prepared to wait as long as it takes to verify that your professors are wrong, but I suspect that I won't have to wait for very long ...

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 2:46:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello odograph,

Do you notice David that extremists tend to speak in absolutes?

If you have some specific objection to the viewpoints expressed you should just say it.

If you want to make an argument on behalf of eternity and immortality go ahead and do so.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 1:29:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave:
I think you have doomer religion so this rebuttal is mainly for the benefit of the rest.

"True but some people live to old age and pass their genes on. Most of us in fact.

You may live to an old age and have descendants but you will still die."

Good so we're in agreement then.


"Collapse and conquest ... in either case, the nations/kingdom/empire ceases to exist and is gone forever. Whatever happened to the Roman Empire?"
Hmm seems you don't know your history very well.
The Empire split into two.
The western half would have lasted a lot longer except that they decided to doublecross their mercenary army by not paying them. So they destroyed the aqueducts, thus dooming the capital. At that point Rome collapsed. The Eastern Empire, however, did not. It lasted a full thousand years more and then was taken over by the muslims. The country is still there. It still has it's history and the descendents of the original inhabitants are still there.
i.e. NOT disappeared.
China is another great example of a civilization that has been around for eons but conquered multiple times. It's still there.
So, sorry, you lose this one too.


"For example, Homo sapiens are the very last of their kind ... all of the other branches of our family tree have gone extinct and disappeared forever."
So monkeys and great apes aren't part of our family? Puh-leese.
We may be the only intelligent creature around but we're certainly not WITHOUT surviving relatives.

So your religion aside I think the rest of us here will agree that your points have been debunked.

Thank you, have a good night.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 3:39:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Collapse and conquest ... in either case, the nations/kingdom/empire ceases to exist and is gone forever. Whatever happened to the Roman Empire?"

Actually the western part was conquered by the Ostrogoth. They adapted the Roman civilization and over time transformed it into the medieval feudal system. This enhanced into the absolutism European style. These absolutistic rulers started to conquer and colonize the whole world which finally ended up in new nations – one was named USA. Ever wondered why it’s called “Capitol Hill” and “Senate”?

So every so called “western” civilization is rooted in the Roman Empire which was rooted in the Greek civilization which was rooted in the Hittite one and so on …
Under this perspective, Dave, you still live in the Roman (or Greek or …) civilization. Just transformed and adjusted. It’s not about extinction it’s about ups and downs and change – and this is the normal way of history and life. So try to cope with that.

In fact just a few civilizations collapsed totally. Very isolated ones like the Mayas, and even here a big impact in the Aztecs and Incas very likely.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 4:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous luisdias said...

I see that you took the comment you made in the last post into a post itself.

Good show.

And the doomers keep coming in. Incredible. Yeah, the twenties, yeah the doom, yeah yeah yeah. Keep it coming, dudes. It's desperation panic in whining baby cries mode.

These morons keep forgetting that the world is not a peaceful place. We once had a world war. Before that we had a depression, and another world war, and famine, and disease, and other depressions, and crisis and revolutions, and wars and....

And we're still here.

If there's something peculiar about the time we live in, is it's quiet. Quite rich and peaceful.

Take advantage of it.

Even if it lasts not much long.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 4:37:00 AM PST, Anonymous luisdias said...

I love this Mathews troll material.

"Oh I know so much, you're all focked, 'cause you're dumb shits, and kno' nothin'."

And then he gets his quotes out of the bible itself. Typical. And out of nowhere comes the gem:

Homo sapiens will go extinct and the world will become a better place by our absence than it ever was by our presence.

Which, by itself, is so wrong in so many ways that my brain almost implodes in reading anything as ignorant, arrogant and righteous as this holocaust propagandistic fairy tale that seems to have spread like so many other hate themes.

This moron ultimately hates himself by being what he is, human, and tries desperately to express it, by hating everyone else. This is not news, nor noteworthy by itself. What is a pity is the attention that these creeps almost gather to their hating cults, by others that do not realise what they are really doing: a masturbation of hate.

And about the dying case of civilization. Well, as I've said a number of times, we will die eventually. And some of our knowledge will probably be lost. But, as the romans' knowledge, it won't be lost forever. As dumb it is to proclaim we live in an immortal society (and I agree, though I cannot see the dying signs you are so eager to see, that's called paranoia, btw), it is also dumb to proclaim eternal death of human civilization.

So chill out. Dance a bit. Get laid. Have a kid. Go out with pals. Turn off the computer. Run a bit, ride the bike, take a fall, heal your bruises and realise that life constantly falls and rises back, breath the fresh air. Turn off the brain for a day or two.

And tone down the preachy word. I'm so fucking tired of this culture of prophets that if he were within distance I'd have already punched this guy in the face just out of it.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 4:40:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello Anonymous,

So every so called “western” civilization is rooted in the Roman Empire which was rooted in the Greek civilization which was rooted in the Hittite one and so on …
Under this perspective, Dave, you still live in the Roman (or Greek or …) civilization.


Okay. We're living in the Hittite-Greek-Roman-British-American Empire. No empire has ever died. No nation has ever ceased to exist.

Well, should a day ever come in which there is no President, Congress or Judiciary inhabiting Washington, D.C. and no nation known as the "United States of America" on a map ... would you insist that the United States hasn't collapsed and continues to exist?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 4:44:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello luis,

This moron ultimately hates himself by being what he is, human, and tries desperately to express it, by hating everyone else.

You are very much mistaken, Luis. The people who are destroying the Earth and driving humankind extinct in the process are the ones who hate humankind and their own self.

If I tell a drug addict that he is going to die it is not because I hate the addict and want him to die.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 4:49:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello Luis,

And some of our knowledge will probably be lost. But, as the romans' knowledge, it won't be lost forever.

You are mistaken in claiming the above, Luis. Much of what the ancient Greek and Romans learned has been lost forever.

We've learned a whole bunch since then but our knowledge is just as transient as theirs. When our civilization collapses our knowledge will evaporate away much more quickly.

Given the horrendous condition of the Earth and the present level of resource depletion, it is extremely unlikely (impossible) for any sort of civilization to arise after us to relearn what we have learned.

So once it is gone it is gone forever.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 5:37:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,

"You are mistaken in claiming the above, Luis. Much of what the ancient Greek and Romans learned has been lost forever."

Due to one single event: The burning of the library of Alexandria.

That was actually THE catastrophe in human history in regard of knowledge and enlightenment. This happened because of warfare and not because of the collapse of any civilization. If there were already book printing available at that time you wouldn't currently be worried about “Peak Oil” but maybe about “Peak Methane” on Titan … Who knows …

I don't see any event - besides a nuclear war - were every library all over the world as well as the internet burns down at the same time. I’m absolutely sure it will not happen because of "Peak Oil".

„Well, should a day ever come in which there is no President, Congress or Judiciary inhabiting Washington, D.C. and no nation known as the "United States of America" on a map ... would you insist that the United States hasn't collapsed and continues to exist?”

What about the USNA (United Sates of the North Atlantic) with a capital in Brussels? Did the USA collapse or just entered the next level?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 5:46:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

That was actually THE catastrophe in human history in regard of knowledge and enlightenment. This happened because of warfare and not because of the collapse of any civilization.

Warfare is a component of a civilization's collapse.

I don't see any event - besides a nuclear war - were every library all over the world as well as the internet burns down at the same time. I’m absolutely sure it will not happen because of "Peak Oil".

Your lake of foresight does provide some insight into your irrational optimism. There certainly are circumstances in which the Internet is lost to humankind. The books will last for a while longer but eventually even the books are lost to the forces of Nature.

What about the USNA (United Sates of the North Atlantic) with a capital in Brussels? Did the USA collapse or just entered the next level?


What are you talking about ... the USNA? Such an entity will not ever exist. A day will also come in which the USA ceases to exist.

On that day in which the USA lacks its government, constitution and national boundary will you concede that the USA has suffered a collapse?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 6:25:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,

“Warfare is a component of a civilization's collapse.”

I wonder that France still exists, or the UK or Russia or Germany …
They all had warfare for centuries.

“What are you talking about ... the USNA? Such an entity will not ever exist. A day will also come in which the USA ceases to exist.”

Just for your information:
I’m not based in the USA but an entity called EU.

And now imagine you would tell a person a hundred years ago in Berlin, London. Vienna or Paris that such an entity was set up 45 year later! At that time they only had one thing in mind to do with Europe: Destroy it!

You totally underestimate the dynamism of the ability of a society to change.
And btw ... that was just an example and no prediction.

“There certainly are circumstances in which the Internet is lost to humankind.”

I agree.

The books will last for a while longer but eventually even the books are lost to the forces of Nature.

Even after WWII (which is the closest scenario ever happened in the history in regard of your expected doomsday “Peak Oil”) there were still open libraries and skilled people with knowledge.

But ... I know ... In your expected world there are no libraries available cause books were burned to heat and besides all skilled people were killed in riots and fights about the last remaining food stocks ... so ... I give up ... you are right ... We are doomed.

So what... I will enjoy my last happy days on earth and when Doomsday arrives I will face it with a smile cause I had a good an fulfilled life!

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 7:00:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Okay. We're living in the Hittite-Greek-Roman-British-American Empire."
Yes.

"No empire has ever died."
No. Just not *most*.

"No nation has ever ceased to exist."
No again. Just not *most*.

Now after you have received your intellectual beating are you going to behave like a beta-male monkey and slink off or will you insist on trying to score position of alpha?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 7:06:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,

Man you can't ever give up your religious attitude can you?

"Given the horrendous condition of the Earth and the present level of resource depletion, it is extremely unlikely (impossible) for any sort of civilization to arise after us to relearn what we have learned.

So once it is gone it is gone forever."

First of all even if your doomer-wet-dream fantasy came true and we did have global thermonuclear war where every village above 100 people was nuked and then we had a global nuclear winter followed by runaway greenhouse warming, life would still go on even if all humans died.

After that a few dozens of millions of years later there would be a fresh batch of minerals available in the form of continental crusts buckling up due to plate tectonics.
Also: the continual process of accumulation and reformation of hydrocarbons would eventually lead to more coal, oil and gas deposits so in fact, life would get a second chance even if it wasn't humans.

But that's not going to happen.
Worst case we have a nuclear war which kills a *lot* of us.
The rest will rebuild and then if they have learned any lessons, will do it in such a way that it can be sustained.

That's the WORST case.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 10:40:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, Guys, Guys!
What are you worried about?

10 to 15 year from now our cars will be filled up with a mixture of GTL made from methane hydrate, fuel extracted from algae oil and biodiesel 2.0.

It’s all in the pipeline and actually at a very sophisticated level. Big money already smells the cheese. The future looks much brighter for liquid hydro carbonate than we can ever dream about.

Peak oil is dead!

So JD you have to look for another blog theme. Some proposals:

Debunking hyperinflation / food crises / water shortage / climate change / WW III / Internet overload / pandemic

For sure the doom prophets will find there scenario!

So long…

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 2:03:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

Now after you have received your intellectual beating are you going to behave like a beta-male monkey and slink off or will you insist on trying to score position of alpha?

Intellectual beating ... ?

Please. You haven't proved anything except your extraordinary ignorance of history.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 2:07:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

But that's not going to happen.
Worst case we have a nuclear war which kills a *lot* of us.
The rest will rebuild and then if they have learned any lessons, will do it in such a way that it can be sustained.

That's the WORST case.


You are not much of an optimist, anonymous. That much is certain. With such a dismal hope as described above I think it safe to classify you as an extreme doomer.

The real optimists are shopping at the mall, oblivious to everything except for their own stomachs and eyes. They cannot imagine anything bad ever happening to them except to miss out on some sale.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 3:34:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The real optimists are shopping at the mall, oblivious to everything except for their own stomachs and eyes. They cannot imagine anything bad ever happening to them except to miss out on some sale.”

Dave,

you are inhuman to the bone! Why do you project all your hatred to others? Do you really think you are the only human being with feelings, problems and sorrows!?

Do you want to know what the real threat for the world and civilization is?

If people like you get the chance to rule! Ignorant, paranoid and covering their low self esteem with some doom fantasies with the firm believe that the knowledge of the route to salvation is their privilege - and if someone disagrees - Death to him!! He deserves it!!

You want to hear some popular names which had / have similar attitudes and mentalities.

Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Khomeini, Ahmadinedschad and in particular Hitler and bin Laden. Do you feel well in this company?

Why don’t you simply choose your brain, intellect and energy to solve the problem and try to make the world a better place instead of blaming others to be ignorant and numb!? But sorry I forgot - its soooooo convenient just to blame others.

Pessimism is always destructive (see names above) or do you know any progress made by humankind which was driven by believe in doom!?

Ah yes, my fault!
Mankind isn´t progressing, just getting closer to extinction...

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 5:20:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

Why don’t you simply choose your brain, intellect and energy to solve the problem and try to make the world a better place instead of blaming others to be ignorant and numb!? But sorry I forgot - its soooooo convenient just to blame others.

Pessimism is always destructive (see names above) or do you know any progress made by humankind which was driven by believe in doom!?


You think by listing a set of unsacory names that you have made some sort of argument on behalf of optimism vs. pessimism?

Come on, man, such a list doesn't prove anything except the profound depth of your ignorance regarding history.

Do you want to make the world a better place, anonymous? Really, now, are you serious?

How are you going to make the world a better place? I'm going to guess ... by shopping, like all of the oblivious sheep at the mall. You will buy your way out of all of humankind's problems with technology!

Okay, anonymous, tell me the future as you see it.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 8:21:00 PM PST, Anonymous Tyler August said...

David Matthews, you appear to be suffering from addiction to righteous indignation. See: http://www.davidbrin.com/addiction.html
Don't worry; it happens to all of us when we get into arguments on the internet. You can see JD and some of the other posters here getting a hit off going after doomers rather than discussing solutions--and appologies to our host.

I know, I know. I'm getting a little hit off the ol'e reward centres just posting that link, staying above the fray all Washingtonian. But it helps to keep it in mind if you want to ferment real discourse and not just call oneanother sheep and dismiss arguments.

The human race may, at some point, go extinct. But that may be due to our replacement by an artificial successor species as much as anything.
Technology is more than adequate to save the day, if we let it. Oh, yes, the sun will explode-- long before that its changing character will make this Earth uninhabitable (~1 billion years based on current models). So? Asteroid colonies and interstellar missions have been planned to the last detail since the 1960s.
After that, well, all stars will burn out, and the universe will continue expanding until eventually reaching thermodynamic equilibrium. BUT! If our successors retain the use of technology, that is no barrier. Dyson proved (tentatively) that in an open cosmology the conditions exist for an infinite amount of computing (an infinite number of thoughts thought infinitely slowly).
PHYSICS cannot hold us back. Engineering cannot hold us back.
If we are to fail it is because we, as a society, chose to, because the memes espoused by David Matthews and his ilk prove too seductive to the populace and we abandon all this nasty yucky evil anti-nature technology stuff.
Of course, then we're left with 6 billion dead and an ecology completely destroyed by those 6 billions trying to live as hunter gatherers, but I'm sure it's worth it.
You know, to live in harmony with nature.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 9:09:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello tyler,

The human race may, at some point, go extinct. But that may be due to our replacement by an artificial successor species as much as anything.
Technology is more than adequate to save the day, if we let it.


Here is a statement of blind fundamentalist faith which would put most religious fundamentalists to shame. Technology will save us! Humankind will live forever! Billions of years from now, Homo sapiens might even leave the Universe!

Blind faith in technology ... a fundamental dogma of the utopians and optimists. You won't have to wait so very long before your religion fails.

***

Humankind will go extinct and with it all of these ignorant, irrational boasts, such as:

If we are to fail it is because we, as a society, chose to, because the memes espoused by David Matthews and his ilk prove too seductive to the populace and we abandon all this nasty yucky evil anti-nature technology stuff.

Don't you know, Tyler, that it is Nature & Nature alone which keeps you alive.

Technology is a poor substitute for Nature. How so? Excessive reliance upon technology shall prove one of the primary causes for humankind's extinction.

But this is a lesson which humankind will learn in a very convincing manner over the next several thousand years. So much for your quasi-religious dreams.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 at 11:53:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The recent news about unintended consequences of social networking tools (I Has BoobToobe 2.0?) might have something to do with this.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-02/iu-tdo021908.php

A great website that may have an answer to this problem:

http://the-programmers-stone.com/about/

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 12:07:00 AM PST, Blogger FR said...

David Mathews,

"But this is a lesson which humankind will learn in a very convincing manner over the next several thousand years. So much for your quasi-religious dreams."

Several thousand years? Holy crap, you must be an optimist. I thought we were all going to die in like 15 years or so.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 1:35:00 AM PST, Blogger bc said...

David Matthews is an idiot and a troll, not worth bothering with.

luisdias raises a good point. Some of us at least, are living in a time of peace and prosperity, which is out of the norm. When in an optimal state, it is most probable that something bad will muck it up (entropic principle).

Doomerism is primarily a US phenomenon. It is easy to look around the US and see massive consumption and waste and conclude that can't got on forever, which is probably true. The real threat is to the US "way of excess". Americans try to do bring the ROW into this and say we are ALL doomed. But for half the world living on $2/day, with starvation, disease and warfare everyday threats, PO is just one more disaster to add to the list.

Right now, it's hard to see any scenarios that lead to collapse. In a complex system there may be some tipping points, but how to identify them is unknown. We'll find out the hard way.

Tainter states that for collapse to occur there must be a viable, simpler lifestyle people to adopt (eg. a pre-Amish style). Since there is no such simpler lifestyle the majority of us are willing or able to adopt, we are committed to the current high-tech, high intensity industrial lifestyle. This makes collapse less likely.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 3:31:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You think by listing a set of unsacory names that you have made some sort of argument on behalf of optimism vs. pessimism?

Come on, man, such a list doesn't prove anything except the profound depth of your ignorance regarding history."

Dave,

I asked for counter examples. Didn´t got one so far!

So!?

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:17:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How are you going to make the world a better place? I'm going to guess ... by shopping, like all of the oblivious sheep at the mall. You will buy your way out of all of humankind's problems with technology!

Okay, anonymous, tell me the future as you see it."

Dave,

You know ... if I had the answers for all the problems, misery and threats in the world I wouldn’t be here arguing with you. I would SOLVE the problems and earn a lot of money with that.

And that I’m not the “oblivious sheep” is already proofed, cause I’m here. But I’m still a part of the system. But I’m also aware that my acting as an impact on everything around and the future, so I make my decisions according to that.

How I see the future? I will not explain it in detail but I see it with humans and technology and that’s what makes me (us) fundamental different compared to you.

Dave, because you are soon keen on death, misery and destruction coming over us I give you an advice:

Buy a flight ticket (burning some fossil fuel brings you closer to doomsday) and go to one Sub-Saharan country - Kenya might be a good choice at the moment. Walk around in the slums and visit an AIDS, malaria or children hospital of you choice. You don’t have to wait ... just go and you will find all your dreams in reality and happing in real time. There you’ll find your Disneyland!

Actually Dave, bc is right. It’s a complete waste of time to go on with you cause you and your fellow religious fundamental eco-terrorist are so full of hate, arrogance and inhumanity that I could puke ... but actually I just feel sorry for you!

So, go to hell...

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:22:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

Several thousand years? Holy crap, you must be an optimist. I thought we were all going to die in like 15 years or so.

A perfect illustration of the ignorance which is so characteristic of the optimists.

You people must think: If it doesn't happen in my lifetime it doesn't matter.

So you dump all of this pollution on the Earth and you exhaust all of the Earth's resources and you destroy entire ecosystems without any thought regarding the consequences.

You people are driving humankind extinct but you are ok with it because the extinction event will occur after you have died. Reasoning with such people about the future and fate of humankind is sort of like trying to explain nuclear physics to an ant.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:25:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello bc,

Right now, it's hard to see any scenarios that lead to collapse. In a complex system there may be some tipping points, but how to identify them is unknown. We'll find out the hard way.

Tainter states that for collapse to occur there must be a viable, simpler lifestyle people to adopt (eg. a pre-Amish style). Since there is no such simpler lifestyle the majority of us are willing or able to adopt, we are committed to the current high-tech, high intensity industrial lifestyle. This makes collapse less likely.


Yes, BC, we are going to find out the hard way. And, no, our commitment to this present lifestyle does not in any way guarantee its survival.

Sometimes when you need something to survive and you lose that thing you die. This is the reason why our civilization cannot help but die.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:32:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello bc,

Doomerism is primarily a US phenomenon. It is easy to look around the US and see massive consumption and waste and conclude that can't got on forever, which is probably true. The real threat is to the US "way of excess". Americans try to do bring the ROW into this and say we are ALL doomed.

When you are at the top of the mountain you have nowhere else to go but down. America is going to find this out the hard way, and it won't be pleasant.

Anonymous claims:

How I see the future? I will not explain it in detail but I see it with humans and technology and that’s what makes me (us) fundamental different compared to you.

Humans and technology. Technology will provide.

Technology serves as a substitute for God in your worldview. Technology has an infinite capacity to solve all of humankind's problems. Technology can never fail.

Unfortunately for you, your religion is failing quite substantially right now although in a manner which is (obviously) too subtle for your limited attention span.

But a day will come in which even you will notice that technology has failed.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:45:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Technology has an infinite capacity to solve all of humankind's problems. Technology can never fail."

Dave,

Please show me where this is quoted in any comment!?

Stop wasting this blog with your fundamental shit!!!

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 5:17:00 AM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello anonymous,

Please show me where this is quoted in any comment!?

The claim is never made explicitly but is always implicit in the optimist-utopian mindset.


Except for Tyler, who claimed:

Technology is more than adequate to save the day, if we let it.

Such is the blind faith which constitutes the central dogma of the Technology Religion. You will find this religion also present in the writings of Ray Kurzweil and others.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 5:54:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Technology is more than adequate to save the day, if we let it.”

I don’t fully agree with this statement but at least it’s an optimistic worldview with an approach to solve the problems. I also see the opportunity technology has to offer to make the world a better and more sustainable place. But I´m far away to see it as God or infallible.

But your narrow worldview just implies die-off fantasies, collapse and destruction with no way out. This passive and pessimistic approach leads directly into the catastrophe.

And sorry to say that, but a simple empirical value strongly supports Tyler.
We are – after a countless number of predicted apocalypses - still here ...

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 12:59:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

"You people must think: If it doesn't happen in my lifetime it doesn't matter.

So you dump all of this pollution on the Earth and you exhaust all of the Earth's resources and you destroy entire ecosystems without any thought regarding the consequences."

How did you turn this around? I'm the one saying that we should try to conserve, and live more sustainably, for future generations. You're saying, don't bother conserving or even trying anything, because there won't be any future generations; we're all going to die. So, you're the one who doesn't care and I'm the one who does. How did you turn that around, again?

I have kids, and I'd like us to change our lifestyle so that they have a future. You don't give a shit; you've already put a fork in humanity.

By the way, by your inability to distinguish between phrases like, "technology may play a part in helping us," and "technology will definitely save us completely because it's like God and perfect and cannot possibly fail," I've determined that your IQ is somewhere in the negatives and you reached "peak learning ability" when you were roughly seven years old.

Thank you.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 6:52:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

By the way, by your inability to distinguish between phrases like, "technology may play a part in helping us," and "technology will definitely save us completely because it's like God and perfect and cannot possibly fail," I've determined that your IQ is somewhere in the negatives and you reached "peak learning ability" when you were roughly seven years old.

Well, fr, if you say so ...

Will you kindly describe the future, fr? What sort of world will your children live in fifty years from now?

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 7:20:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

"Will you kindly describe the future, fr? What sort of world will your children live in fifty years from now?"

I don't know. Unlike you, Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, I don't believe I can predict the future. I'm not that arrogant.

What I think, though, is that a lot depends on our behavior. If we continue to live the way we are, I certainly believe we're heading for a major crisis. I would regard the worst-case scenerio as a permanent depression and die-off, until there are far fewer people in the world. But I don't think that's inevitable.

On the other hand, it's possible that we can start to implement everything we know about a sustainable society. We can start to give up the personal automobile and plan our cities around mass transit; we can eat far less meat and eat locally whenever possible; we can recycle everything possible; we can outlaw disposable plastic bags; we can compost and use it as an energy source; etc. If we were to do these things, yes, I very much think that 9 billion people is not too many.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 8:13:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello fr,

In answer to my request for a description of the future, you said:

I don't know.

You, fr, are not an optimist ... you are an agnostic.

But you claim that humankind can solve its many problems by changing certain foolish behaviors. Do you suppose that humankind will make these changes or are you merely speculating about a lost cause?

And ... what is your opinion regarding the impact of climate change? It seems like humankind has already bought & paid for an apocalypse. Hard to see any happy outcome to that story even if the Peak Oil problem had a solution (which it does not).

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 9:30:00 PM PST, Blogger FR said...

David Mathews:

You said, "You, fr, are not an optimist ... you are an agnostic."

That's true. I don't know what will happen, but I will remain hopeful and do the best I can to make the world a better place. If we do go down, what have I lost by trying?

And you said,

"But you claim that humankind can solve its many problems by changing certain foolish behaviors. Do you suppose that humankind will make these changes or are you merely speculating about a lost cause?"

If the problems are presented to them in these ways, yes, I think people will make sacrifices. The major problem is ignorance; our media is more concerned with telling everyone what Brittany Spears is doing today than informing them about our economy's overshooting of the biosphere. If people knew the problems, they'd mobilize and do what's right. Yes, I definitely believe that.

As far as global warming goes, it has the same solutions as peak oil or any other ecological problem, less and smarter consumption.

 
At Monday, February 25, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM PST, Anonymous luisdias said...

Man, I couldn't believe it. The troll actually answered me and fifty other answers.

Incredible.

If mankind is in need of someone telling it that we're "addicted", Dave Mathews is not the man. He's somehow lost in a obscure comment page inside a peak oil debunked post.

What a joke. Get a life, man.

 
At Monday, February 25, 2008 at 6:49:00 PM PST, Anonymous david mathews said...

Hello luis,

If mankind is in need of someone telling it that we're "addicted", Dave Mathews is not the man.

Luis, you are a little sore only because you didn't like my answer. Too bad for you, man. Too bad for you.

 
At Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 11:33:00 AM PST, Anonymous luisdias said...

Go post your bullshit religion to the delusioned ones. Sad for me how? Are you gonna say next that I'm going to hell because I don't believe your sacrossaint words?

Bollocks. What's stupid needs to be called stupid. And what you write is a big pile of horseshit.

It's been written every single generation now, takes different approaches but the message is ultimately the same:

Armaggedon is coming, repent!

What's "sad", pal, is that you're so blind into it that you can't even see it. You're so brainwashed into this christian culture of the end times, that even if you think you've escaped it by apostasia or something near it, you did not. You are still bound to the same ol same ol.

So it's not "us" that are "destroying the world" with our "sins" and that is somehow a "novelty", but rather it is you who doesn't see that your speech is in fact 6000 years old, starting when the first pages of the scriptures were written!!

Sorry, but that's the real "sore truth". Hope you don't choke too much when aknowledging it.

 
At Friday, February 29, 2008 at 2:44:00 PM PST, Anonymous Juan said...

yqsblcesWhile agreeing about the commodification of 'doom' and its transform into a type of fetish, it's important to understand that these are not entirely disconnected from objective realities but, instead, have assigned false causalities.

In other words, people know something has gone wrong but look to monocausal and very superficial explanations rather than doing the work required to begin understanding the system as a whole and its internal dynamics.

The capital system is no more permanent than was the feudal or the slave based sets of social relations, i.e. it, like the others is historically limited not some always was/always will be system.

Its limits are exposed on the surface with every recession and depression. NB that pre-capitalist crises were never crises of too much but the contrary.

Crises within capitalism are almost inevitably crises of overproduction of means of production, falling rate and mass of profit, attempts to offset through reducing employment and wages while, during the Keynesian era, increasing state expenditures and loosening monetary policies, neither of which proved to be particularly effective other than assisting in perpetuation of lower than avg. productivity firms and creating fiscal crises of the state.

Too much capacity stands next to too little and overly concentrated power of consumption, providing the appearance of scarcity and an appearance which doomers et al take to be causal; the system's absolute global limits are misunderstood, are taken in neo-malthusian terms rather than what have for over two hundred years proven to be inherent: the contradictions within its social relations of production and reproduction and between these and the forces of production developing from them.

Neoclassical economics with its false axioms of methodological individualism/instrumentalism and equilibrium has proven its ideological function and inability to accurately forecast for a sufficiently long period to have been dismissed but, like 'peak oil', has not only survived but prospered.

So, we arrive at the UN trade and production chart which fails to take account of the shifting from inter-national to intra-corporate so effectively overstates trade while, like national GDP measures, the production measure fails to distinquish between productive and unproductive consumption so again overstates.

Nevertheless, a longer series would indicate the decade by decade post-1970 shifting to globally lower growth though I guess that most are either too young to have noticed, have not bothered to question long-run stagnation or have taken financial metrics to reflect the real.

Between 1965 and 1973, the U.S. manufacturing sector's rate of profit fell by 40%, a decline that worsened with the 1974-5 recession, was hit again by the severe early 80's slump, began recovering in the 1990s but peaked in 1997, falling into 2003 since which there has been some rise but - in all cases over the last decades - never to pre-1965-73 levels.

Andrew Glyn considered the world to have been "suddenly projected from boom to crisis” with the first phase of above. Among others, James Crotty has pointed out the decade by decade slowing in U.S. and World GDP:

"Real global GDP growth averaged 4.9%a year in the Golden Age years from 1950 through 1973, but dropped to 3.4% annually in the unstable period between 1974 and1979. Dissatisfied with the instability, inflation, low profits and falling financial asset prices of the 1970s, advanced country elites pushed hard for a switch to a more business friendly political-economic system; global Neoliberalism was the result. World GDP growth averaged 3.3% a year in the early Neoliberal period of the 1980s, then slowed dramatically to 2.3% from 1990-99 as Neo-liberalism strengthened, making the 1990s by far the slowest growth decade of the post war era."

As would be expected, the post-1973 annual growth rate of world real gross domestic investment fell substantially, by more than 50% through 1996.

With the exception of parts of Asia, economic development throughout the world failed to gain traction, chronic excess capacity on one hand and credit fueled financial exuberance on the other. Given the system's inability to create employment so rapidly as required, a glut of labor and expanding informal sectors as well. All the 'better' to intensify the international (and domestic) competition among workers, drive and hold wages down so also make consumer credit increasingly important to retention of living standards, no matter that this has been only another transfer to loan capital.

Average weekly earnings, constant 1982 dollars, for all private nonfarm workers in the U.S. peaked in 1972 at $331.59, falling to $257.95 in 1992 until 'recovering' to $277.57 in 2004 and likely having faltered again since then.

It is at least interesting that conditions of surplus labor, lower wages, deficit funding, tech innovations, etc, have not been able to generate another long wave expansionary phase.

In short, it may well be that the doomers sense systemic ending and react to this in the simplest fashions.

 
At Friday, February 29, 2008 at 4:25:00 PM PST, Anonymous Juan said...

More simply, doomers take to be real and accept a variety of beliefs all of which are subsumed into the larger category of social millenialism which is almost always related to specific actual changes and the impact of these.

One can think, for example, of masses of Argentine peasants being transformed into wage workers during the 1930s - quite a dramatic shift which found some political realization in the person of Peron and his, I would say, corrupt populism.

It has seemed to me that transitions are the breeding ground for such movements and beliefs. In a sense they erupt from what van Gennep called the liminal phase in a rite of passage.

"...rites of passage have three phases: separation, liminality, and incorporation. In the first phase, people withdraw from the group and begin moving from one place or status to another. In the third phase, they reenter society, having completed the rite. The liminal phase is the period between states, during which people have left one place or state but haven't yet entered or joined the next."

From which, a Janus faced quality of simultaneously looking ahead and back but a 'looking' confused by its own condition.

 
At Friday, March 7, 2008 at 5:13:00 AM PST, Anonymous luisdias said...

Well, yes, I agree with your reasonings Juan, but the systemic failure that you allure to can be simply a symptom of a wider picture yet to discover, or even, one that has been already discovered: the transition from a exponential population growth to a stable population number, which accumulates with a bigger life expectancy, generating a "systemic" problem. A crisis.

This is a known crisis, but we should be aware that it is a welcomed crisis. We could not grow forever. And yet, we "grow", meaning that my life is still much richer than my grandparent's life.

So, as eloquently put by you, "More simply, doomers take to be real and accept a variety of beliefs all of which are subsumed into the larger category of social millenialism which is almost always related to specific actual changes and the impact of these."

...being that the biggest and loudless change is this transition from growth to stable. One can only remember the dogma from LATOC that describes the lack of growth as the equivalent to the apocalypse, and roll the eyes out of utter non-sense.

May we survive all the bumps that mankind has inevitably to pass through.

 
At Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 2:49:00 AM PDT, Blogger Carina said...

Fear is generated and used to control people. The media know that drama sells best. The question is: who profits from a Peak Oil panic? Authoritarian leaders, nuclear energy and coal production are just a few...

 

Post a Comment

<< Home