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07/06/2010

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Edward  Boyle

So medical costs to maintain life beyond normal bounds plus to "heal" societal illnesses (high sugar, low nutrition diet, sedentary lifestyle) with high cost pharmaceuticals and miracle high tech gadget treatments creates huge profit for companies, impoverishing the people (and companies and local and state governments) simultaneously. So my last commentary about high productivity in goods production creating debt was not on the wright track completely. Demand is created elsewhere - plastic surgery ads or similar.

Other idea:

Avg. societal EROEI (Net Energy) X Technology = Disruptor Effect(D.E) or (productivity Accelerator)

D.E. x G.D.P. = Noninflationary Growth Potential (NIGP)

Net Energy has declined from say 100 in 1880 (Spindletop) to say 10 today and maybe 1 in some years. Significant revolutionary technology leverages energy to do significant things (transport, heating, lighting, cooking, food storage). Patents have declined in real usefulness over time. Cars, Telephones, refrigerators, maybe radio and TV were really important. Changing one molecule to get a new patent drug on the market with no real improved effect is no improvement. A slightly better form of Windows program or a slightly more effiicent automobile is not massive game changing technology. So we could say that technological leverage is falling similar to Net energy over time to 1 from original "100" (how we measure difference between 1 Horsepower horse to a Model T then compare that to a Prius is the question.)

So if NIGP peters out over time (no procentually revolutionary ideas and increasingly expensive energy) then printing presses and financial bubbles are the only way to maintain the appearance of societal growth as the people are not really getting a better life quality or quantity from what is being added to the system (McMansion , Trip to Cancun, McDonalds, plastic surgery). These things are just consuming energy inefficiently on credit or at least instead of real investment in a better future. Rome used wood and slave labor and had to go ever further to get the slaves and wood and it was wasted on more and more luxury without serious purpose. Only the center of power can maintain this illusion of NIGP over longer term due to financial and military leverage (US Dollar as global reserve currency/Troops stationed globally like in Roman money and troops) to suck up all energy/finances (Gold/Silver/Coal and slaves to Rome/Saudi oil/ US Bond investments and Chinese imports to USA).

Energy Intensive Technology(always more complex and less revolutionary to get 1% more efficiency) loses advantage as EROEI goes to unity so the total assumed civilizational(Imperial) organizational architecture collapses unless the transition to lower intensity energy technology and civilizational structure is made in a reasonable time to stop collapse (Eastern Roman Empire). Alt-enrgy with localization and Transition Network type ideas implemented on a WWII type top down manner might have right effect, who knows.

So Net Energy (100) x Technology (100) = Productivity Accelerator= 10,000 in 1880. GDP (and population)had a lot of growth potential from that basis.

Carrying Capacity for Earth was increased enormously due to this by maybe ten times in human numbers and 100 times in production of goods and services. As this number approaces unity we are in a no growth scenario, a static world, dreamt of by our alternative future friends. However we cannot simply maintain the status quo without growth, everything goes backward, as the infrastructure basis of the population and civilization is a high value for these named variables. So basic goods and services will become rare and expensive. Inflation(high price levels) and depression(generalized poverty)simultaneoussly as the NIGP falls.

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