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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.

Living in Information

The fram­ing of what we design is very impor­tant to how we go about it. We have not been fram­ing these things as con­texts. We’ve been fram­ing them as prod­ucts, ser­vices, and a whole oth­er series of terms that are— Tools, for exam­ple. And these are things that are most­ly trans­ac­tion­al. They’re not things that are meant to be inhab­it­ed.

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 #52 — Walter Block

Benevolence isn’t inef­fi­cient and I’m a big fan of benev­o­lence. It’s just that it’s not enough. It’s okay for a group of twenty-five or fifty peo­ple where every­one knows every­one. But when you have 300 mil­lion in the US or 7 bil­lion in the world, if we were self-sufficient and we had to pro­duce every­thing for our­selves we’d all die, or 99% of us would die. So we have to coop­er­ate with each oth­er. But the only way to coop­er­ate with each oth­er in such large num­bers is through mar­kets.

The Conversation #38 — Alexa Clay

I think at a fun­da­men­tal lev­el I just believe in human agency. And I think that every­one should feel like they can par­tic­i­pate and shape the econ­o­my, rather than feel like they’re expe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms of the econ­o­my. When the reces­sion hap­pened, there was all this chat­ter around well, the Fed is going to do this. Or the banks are going to do this. And gov­ern­ment is going to do this. And there was no nar­ra­tive around what peo­ple are going to do.

Douglas Rushkoff WebVisions Portland 2016 Keynote

Google just has to grow. It has to keep grow­ing. But Google grows at its own per­il. Google grew so much that what hap­pened? It out­grew Google. Google had to become what? Alphabet. Now what is Alphabet? Alphabet is not Google. Alphabet is a hold­ing com­pa­ny. So Google’s new busi­ness as Alphabet is to do what? It’s to buy and sell tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies. So, once a com­pa­ny becomes just too big to flip any­more, it becomes a flip­per of oth­er com­pa­nies.

The Conversation #6 — Jan Lundberg

If we are look­ing at what oil real­ly pro­vides to soci­ety, and what keeps us going for essen­tial ser­vices and goods, then our life sup­port sys­tem is in jeop­ardy. We are not prepar­ing for peak oil. We are not reor­ga­niz­ing our­selves for a degrad­ed ecosys­tem. So we are head­ing head­long into col­lapse, and this is some­thing that is not being dis­cussed. It is taboo to imag­ine that the whole growth scheme some­how comes to an end or that there is some­thing like peak oil that doesn’t trans­late into some tran­si­tion of renew­able ener­gy to make pos­si­ble a green con­sumer soci­ety with this lev­el of pop­u­la­tion.

The Conversation #4 — Colin Camerer

We know very lit­tle about com­plex finan­cial sys­tems and how sys­temic risk, as it’s called, is com­put­ed and how you would man­age poli­cies. And if you look back at the finan­cial cri­sis, you can either say, as many econ­o­mists do, It all had to do with badly-designed rules,” which may be part of the sto­ry; it’s cer­tain­ly part of the sto­ry. Or it may have to do with the inter­ac­tion of those rules and human nature, like mort­gage bro­ker greed, opti­mism… And you see it not just in indi­vid­u­als who now have hous­es and fore­clo­sure, but at the high­est lev­els.