Predicting the future is always hazardous: there are no time-travellers nor Mentats nor psychohistorians on the horizon to offer advice. Malthus was wrong in his predictions by a few centuries but he is casting a long shadow on the fast-approaching rendezvous with new resource limits. We can still beat him if we can harness the sun or its secret, the fusion. But it is a long and squirrely IF.

Humans love muddy metaphors to expound their views. Social challenges and problems are a lot more complex, even for a true anarchy that never is. Muddling-through is best humans do. But it is more fruitful if one is well-informed: learn the rule, perhaps, just to figure out how and when it breaks. Building social constructs like capitalism or socialism or survival-ism are such exercises, not an eternal solution – they help focus the on-going tussle between the haves and the have-nots, the masters and the slaves. Remember divine rights of the king?  They are coming back, yes! Complete with knights, castles, and torture chambers. Slum dwellers are suckers for a fairy-tale god, they love famine-induced spiritualism, and live on to procreate farm labor, and the gun fodder for the deadly games that the ordained uber-class plays with things that go swish-bang in the night or day. Beckets always die prematurely, at times gracefully perhaps, defending stupidity.

Production, interest, capital, growth, dollar, ever-higher GDP are words of an era whose end is suddenly upon us. We do not know it yet, like the chicken that runs about without its head, for want of a new vocabulary that fits the inexorable decline. The new catch words will include barter and make-do.

There is a pedagogic use for “He is dead, Jim” doomers. We pick on doomers because they offer a view that clashes strongly with recent history. But wait, Hobbes will reign again because he said, “…life is short, nasty, and brutish.”  Nietzsche and his “God is dead” will fast disappear along with the uppity middle class as absence of religion takes away the last hope from the wretched, the spineless, and the doomed who find it hard to defend their dignity. I will not be surprised to see a sequel to “Return of the Native.”

Worry not, each community will live by its reach to resources. How they organize and live will depend on the wisdom and courage of the people. Sheep shall have a shepherd, lions a pride.

Meanwhile drive your humvee, lust for the pretty face on the TV, and enjoy modern-day Sinai in Las Vegas with its golden calves while Moses is away.


The Pushtun and the Gringo


The Pushtun and the Gringo went to desert
On a beautiful poppy-red drone,
They took shrapnel, and plenty of powder,
Wrapped up in a five ton bomb.
The Pashtun looked to the stars above,
Singing, he aimed his mortar,
‘O lovely Gringo! O Gringo my love,
What a rounceval Gringo you are,
You are,
You are!
What a rounceval Gringo you are!’


Gringo said to the Pushtun, ‘You elegant biped!
How charmingly deadly your outburst!
O give me some oil! and the pretty poppies too!
But what shall we do for a house?’
They droned away, for a decade and a day,
To the rocks where the poppy grows
And there on a wall was Goldman-Sachs
With a loan at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a loan at the end of his nose.


‘Dear Gold, are you willing to sell for one dollar
Your ARM?’ Said the Goldie, ‘I will.’
So they bought, and were foreclosed next day
By the Congress who lives on the hill.
They dined on oil, and snorted poppy,
Over a hot runcible spoon, oh my Gott!
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They overdosed by the light of Herr Gott,
Herr Gott,
Herr Gott,
They overdosed by the light of Herr Gott.

<can you hear Edward Lear groans?>

Population Purge

The human population reaches 9 billion around 2042. The non-fossil energy, about the only kind available at that date, may sustain about a billion, about the same as the pre-industrial count. Maybe add a few percent more to account for the wisdom we have gained since the 1800s. But I doubt it.

Prices of everyday goods are rising as the demand for energy soars. Soon Dorothy may have to replace her red shoes with those made of discarded tires from her SUV. No roads of gold, no air travel, and no spin around the block. The little wizard is counting on dirty coal to run his fantasy world a little while longer.

New technology? Yeah, that! Ask the Federal Reserve, Bernanke will print it. Ask the Congress, it will fund technofixes with defunct dollars. The blue collar scientists, however, are looking for a hole to crawl in before it hits the fan. Going from fossil fuels to sustainable energy is like asking a crack baby to get high on plain water! The best of them, wind and solar, are subsidized by oil, utilize high-maintenance technology, and offer miniscule energy-density compared to oil. A whole new infrastructure is needed – about 191 million new vehicles just for the US to carry on with its non-negotiable way of life.

Let us build solar-electric airplanes, now! But wait, GAO says we have this $53 Trillion debt. Double or nothing.

“The only humane approach to the impending comedy,” says Alex the Anatosaurus “is to institute population rationing. I been there. I extinct.” The plutocracy, hankering after the good old feudal days, is against population rationing because, when the oil is gone, they fancy a hundred slaves for target practice. The priest cannot survive without supporting the rich, and, you know, He wants the destitute illiterates to keep buying his keep. The middle class does not have the money to buy a decent brain to think with. The poor and the Armageddonites have their eyes fixed on their just reward – after they are dead – that’s a lot of TNT to clear the deck. In the meantime, do not worry, the soldiers are dying to ensure that SUV tanks are full and the boob-tube is blaring sweet-nothings.

Anyway, here is Mat Noir’s list of population control method.

  • Forget carbon credits. Institute child credits. Reserve 1.6180339887 children for every female for the next 25812.807449 days. (Bernanke must have a couple of brain cells to maintain liquidity in child credits on Chicago Commodity Exchange. If a couple exceeds their credit, cut off the little pinky of the female, and that of the male as well, the one between his bandy legs.)
  • Use a random number generator as in “your number is up.”
  • Treat dementia with an over dose of barbiturates. Like Kurt Vonnegut said the doctors should stop curing pneumonia, “the best friend of old people.”
  • Mandate drinking and driving, encourage drag racing.
  • Fire all firemen.
  • Clone Stalin – the purge expert.
  • Learn from Eating Raoul, the movie
  • Klone Kavorkian.
  • Deny medicine to proselytizing religious kooks. Ask them to pray to their favorite god for good health or go complain in person.

But I hear China is ready to scrap the one-child policy. That’s what happens when you own America and, the nouveau riche Chinois, flush with political power and foresight of a billy goat, shake their Pavlovian penis at the Mandarin communistards.