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5 Reasons Not to Predict the End of the World

5 Reasons Not to Predict the End of the World

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.”

— Haruki Murakami

So you want to talk about the end of the world without sounding like a crank?

Rule #1 should be: Don’t predict when it will happen.

A lot of the writing on this site has to do with the collapse of civilization (and what that means). Following Jem Bendell, author of the now (in)famous “Deep Adaptation paper”, I anticipate “inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe, and possible extinction”.

Of course, all civilizations collapse. And all species die. Eventually, everything ends. But we are now in a process of acceleration toward that end. When will this happen? Who knows. The best answer I have read is “sooner rather than later”–which doesn’t really say much.

I have noticed, though, that a lot of people who are in the Doomer and Post-Doom communities are not so circumspect when it comes to putting a date on the end of the world.

Here’s five reasons why you shouldn’t put a date on the end of the world.

1. You’re wrong. (Collapse is complex.)

The collapse of any civilization is a complex phenomenon. Our global industrial-capitalist civilization is incredibly complex. And it stands to reason that the collapse of that civilization will be complex as well. And that makes predicting it that much harder.

I think some of the tendency to over-simplify collapse is driven by an unconscious desire for control. We feel out of control in our lives. Contemplating collapse only amplifies this. Imagining a simplified collapse gives us a sense of control. A false sense. The desire for control is a big part of the reason people deny collapse. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that we would see vestiges of this desire in the doomer and post-doom communities.

When you talk about collapse as something simple, you’re wrong. Because it’s complex.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Enjoy the End of the World

How to Enjoy the End of the World

Eric Peters: “The Next Market Cleanse Will Be Sharp, Deep, Fast And Feel Like The End Of The World”

Eric Peters: “The Next Market Cleanse Will Be Sharp, Deep, Fast And Feel Like The End Of The World”

The latest weekend note by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management, is his latest masterpiece in lyrical, stream of consciousness, financial analysis, and can be broadly divided into to broad parts: his latest take on financial markets analyzing the build up of disequilibrium which eventually culminates with discrete “flushes” that reset the system; how bold investors inevitably give up on financial sense and logic long (or just) before said flush takes place, and what this upcoming Minsky Moment could mean for the future. We have excerpted from this section in the current note, as for the remainder of his weekend observations – which deal with tectonic macro and geopolitical shifts – we will follow up in a subsequent post.

Anecdote: “The most common example is a ball sitting atop a hill,” she said, polished accent, hint of condescension. “Locally stable, but one nudge and it’s all over.”

She drove terribly fast, discussing Minsky Moments; the idea that persistent stability breeds instability. “Naturally each cycle is different in key respects, and that’s because you’re far better at preventing past problems from recurring than new ones from arising.”

I smiled, amused, insulted. “Despite knowing this all too well, you humans remain inexplicably fixated on the rearview mirror. And this blinds you to all manner of hazards ahead.”

She initiated a few perfect turns of the Tesla, dodging a squirrel or two, tumbling, unhurt. “The source of instability in this cycle is your dissatisfaction with ultra-low bond yields.” $8trln of sovereign debt carries a negative yield, still our central bankers buy. “You should logically respond to this historic rise in valuations across asset classes with a reduction in your expectations for future returns.” I nodded. “But instead you respond with indignation.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

A Brief Visit to the End of the World

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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