aMusement?

A couple of days ago, the construction of the duck yard began. The posts are set. The roof frame is up. At that time, the weather forecast was for three days of fair weather.

One guess.

Right.

It started to rain. And it continues to rain.

Mostly, this is good. Our mountain snowpack was at 75% last time I checked, and we sure needed moisture down here. We’d just finished mowing down the old, dry grass that catches snowfall during the winter, and the smooth fields are already as bright green as Astroturf.

I’m just frustrated because this is weeding season, planting season, building season, posthole digging season, not posting season.

Oh well. Here’s a link to Richard Heinberg’s site. He provides many a fine primer on everything dire.

MuseLetter #215 / April 2010 by Richard Heinberg: “Economic History in 10 Minutes”

Cassandra

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One Response to “aMusement?”

  1. publius2point0 Says:

    Mister Heinberg’s conclusion that money will devalue with the end of resources is rather shaky. Yes, money -used- to be based on the amount of gold or silver that existed, but as he points out, it no longer does. He has already written why his own prediction is incorrect.

    Money inflates so long as people can think of reasons to take out loans. If we run out of resources, the ability to come up with newer better things may indeed come, and that would certainly stop people from feeling a need to take out loans. But more likely we will start fishing resources out of lower Earth orbit, developing technologies that use fewer resources (converting the old into the newer more compact versions), and moving to a virtual market where nearly everything you have or deal with exists only in virtual reality. For instance, there is no purpose in maintaining work offices if you have people work from home in a virtual office where the boss can look over people’s virtual shoulders to verify that they’re actually working away. If you start to tear down all of the various sky scrapers where we keep office buildings, that frees up large quantities of steel and other metals for purposes that previously wouldn’t have been economical because they were competing for steel with the real estate market. You need fewer cars, less gas, fewer streets, fewer airplanes — since you may as well do your meetings in virtual reality — etc. That all frees up tons of resources and labor to work on entirely new industries. And we aren’t losing wealth in this transaction because we still have work spaces and transport, it’s just all done electronically. So we now have everything we used to have, plus whatever new industries are created with the freed up resources.

    And if we ever do run out of technologies we can upgrade to, yes that might mean that the money supply would deflate, but that doesn’t really mean anything. There would still be a limited amount of real wealth and there would need to be a way to barter those items or skills around. Whether you are using 100 points to barter for shoes in a 10 trillion point economy or 1000 points in a 100 trillion point economy is immaterial. Money isn’t a measure of resources and products any more. It’s just a token system where we recognize how much a person has contributed to society versus how much he has asked for stuff back from it. The total quantity of money in the system is irrelevant, just what percentage of the total amount an individual has.

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