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The Conversation #59 – Charles Hugh Smith

We’re in an era of over­lap­ping crises, and I think that’s what makes it sort of unique. We’re aware of the finan­cial aspect, which is sort of expo­nen­tial increase in debt. We’re also aware that ener­gy, the cost is going up because we’re reach­ing to deep­er and more expen­sive reserves of ener­gy, at least fos­sil fuels. So that’s anoth­er if not cri­sis then um… Well, actu­al­ly it is a cri­sis, because the world we’ve con­struct­ed is based on cheap fos­sil fuels.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be con­tex­tu­al­ized.

The Conversation #51 — Phyllis Tickle

Historians get real­ly ner­vous about pat­terns. That’s chang­ing a bit now. And the truth of it is there’s not much way to avoid the 500‐year cycle. You almost have to work too hard to unsay it, it’s so obvi­ous­ly there in every way. And if you say every 500 years we go through one, then you imme­di­ate­ly say we’re in the 21st cen­tu­ry and baby are we going through one.

Postcapitalism

Neoliberalism is bro­ken. The eco­nom­ic mod­el of the last thir­ty years. It worked for a bit, dragged the bot­tom two thirds of the world’s pop­u­la­tion up the income scale dra­mat­i­cal­ly, facil­i­tat­ed the tech rev­o­lu­tion. But it’s stopped work­ing.

The Conversation #44 — John Seager

In 1962, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth con­trol pill. I would sub­mit that that’s one of the four or five most trans­for­ma­tive tech­no­log­i­cal changes of the last mil­len­ni­um. Not just the last cen­tu­ry. Because for the first time in the his­to­ry of the world, half the peo­ple on Earth no longer have to depend on the oth­er half for the arc of their lives.

The Conversation #41 — John Fullerton

I actu­al­ly think you can trace many many of these big sys­temic crises to being symp­toms of the flawed idea that eco­nom­ic growth can go on indef­i­nite­ly, expo­nen­tial­ly, on a finite plan­et. That’s sort of my North Star. And then as a finance per­son, why do we think we need eco­nom­ic growth? Well, because the way our cap­i­tal sys­tem works is that cap­i­tal demands that growth.

Forbidden Research: Messing with Nature Part II: Climate

Solar geo­engi­neer­ing rests on a sim­ple idea that it is tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble to make the Earth a lit­tle more reflec­tive so that it absorbs a lit­tle less sun­light, which would part­ly coun­ter­act some of the risks that come from accu­mu­lat­ing car­bon diox­ide in the atmos­phere. When I say tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble, it appears that at least doing this in a crude way is actu­al­ly easy, in the sense that it could be done with com­mer­cial off‐the‐shelf tech­nolo­gies now, and it could be done at a cost that is real­ly triv­ial, sort of a part in a thou­sand or a part in ten thou­sand of glob­al GDP.

Social Disruption and the Sharing Economy

I think there’s an unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to change our rela­tion­ship with polit­i­cal pow­er. And I don’t think we need to be afraid of it. I don’t think we have to com­pro­mise our core prin­ci­ples in order to do it.

Robert Reich’s Advice for the Next President

The next President is prob­a­bly going to have to deal with some very dif­fi­cult eco­nom­ic times. The hous­ing mar­ket is start­ing to look like a bub­ble. There’s a pos­si­bil­i­ty of that bub­ble burst­ing. We’ve been there before.

Douglas Rushkoff’s Advice for the Next President

I think it would be inter­est­ing if the President had to be a min­is­ter for a day and actu­al­ly engaged with people’s spir­i­tu­al bank­rupt­cy, and think about, Do I want to solve this by lying to them with anoth­er myth, or do I want to help them con­front the truth?”

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