Future Shock was heady stuff when Alvin Toffler wrote the book. And yet, as things have turned out, most of the futurists have, and do, continue to miss the graceful artiness of complex systems. Like Kurzweil in his Singularity: Cool conceptually, but it glosses (OK, ignores, then) the financial backplane. In other words, who pays for the future and who gets run over in the process. The run-over social remnants what I call victims of displacement shock…and since we’ve had a large number of such shocks (starting with solid-state diodes, jet engines, transistors, chips, embedded processors…well, you know the list) so we’ll just call the next shock ‘x‘ to keep life simple. What’s coming with it is NLO – next level optimization – as we more and more into robotic production and the demise of human inputs. We wonder what’s left to make an ‘economy’ of? First, a few headlines before we wade into the quicksand of deep thinking…a land where we wonder “What happened to the TV Repairman and the Fix-It Shop?”
Kidnapping prevention, jail break plans, and coping with loose nukes is on the menu this morning. With the increase in public concern about potential terrorist threats, I wanted to see how we stack up against new terrorist (terrs) tactics. This morning we’ll look in on the thinking of al Qaeda and what we Americans can do in response. But we won’t do this until after a cup of coffee and some cogitation on the meaning of a new Army manual explaining new doctrine (principles) called “monetary shaping operations….” Say what?
A number of readers have asked me to write about how what’s come to be known as “prepping” helps a family to prepare for an economic depression. You know another one is inevitable, I assume: It’s what happens when the USA is forced to devalue the US Dollar because despite made-up statistical changes to our reported GDP numbers aside, the fact is that we’re quickly approaching the debt saturation point where we won’t be able to even make interest payments – let alone principal payments – to our creditors. This means folks like China and they’re not likely to be too happy about us stiffing them. But, before we get into that in detail in coming weeks, we need to develop a well-grounded perspective on the historical drivers of the arriving changepoint. After headlines, coffee, and our review of this week’s charts, of course.
Although I can fairly be accused of being something of a whiner about how the US
economy is managed, I’m usually right more than 50% of the time in the end.
And president Obama’s likely nomination of Larry Summers, if it happens, likely
would improve my batting average even further.
Nevertheless, I’ve come up with an idea this week which would – at a stroke –
make congress, the White House, and the American people seem 50 IQ points
smarter when it comes to money and economics overnight. While you let that
one roll around in the noggin, we’ll stop to smell the headlines and the
coffee…Say, did I mention growth sucks?
This weekend, reader CJ in Connecticut (who sadly missed out meet-up back there in June) has a very well thought-out question about how economics works…so we will dig into that. Then we’ll ponder how comparative risk between assets classes may be starting to come loose from its moorings…and the ice cream Saturday…er…sundae will be considering how to invest in the Ganzfeld. Before going there, however, a twinge of Gestalt from our usual quick survey of this morning’s headlines. You’ll want to pay close attention this morning because we’re going to use the news to do some ad hoc “Event scoring” as a way to intuit the future and make better investment decisions…as we arrive at another system of handicapping the future on our way to the $2-dollar options window…
[Long report warning: >7,000 words]
When someone says the word “GroupThink” I’m sure that there are some negative connotations. But in this morning’s context the term “groupthink” is not a bad thing since we’ll to be using it to help (as a group project for our mutual benefit) to come up with a different way of looking at financial data. Specifically what we’re after is to define interlocking dependencies which can then hone our investing returns not just in the market but also in day-to-day decision-making about life in general. Before starting this new look into mechanistic causality in complex systems though, there’s nothing to starting the day with some headlines as we wait for the idiotic mainstream press to deliver word of the first royal diaper being filled. Oh, wait! That’s already been done...so back to our battle between complexity theory and good old-fashioned economic reductionism.