It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Brave New World

Posted by chrisrick13 on October 10, 2017

It is obvious: I am looking forwards


Alas, Dr Bartlett is no longer with us. (Colorado Uni.) He has on record the most compelling lecture on exponential increase ever. His interest was in oil and it is scary. The exponential curve applies everywhere else as well.

Simply described it is pretty much a back to front ‘L or a ‘J’ in the right font (where the bottom part is actually flat leading up to the curve). You can trundle along on the bottom happily for a long time with not much change. When you start to turn the corner nothing much happens for a while but there are plenty of warnings as the gradient of the curve starts to change. Then very quickly the change goes infinite as the line goes vertical.  Good examples of the trundle are oil consumption and population growth,

Perhaps the world economy has been doubling on a cycle for many years. Double not very much is…not very much. The curve looks flat or very nearly so. Then you reach the point where it is more than not very much and the doubles are significant. This happened in the late 1900s.

We are very close to the vertical line. At least very much closer. At this point economical theories that worked where the line was flat simply do not apply. There is no theory or set of observations in place to deal with the curve. There is certainly nothing for the vertical line. Practically, this old earth will not support it.

There are many things that stop working as we step off the ‘J’ curve. Pensions are one. Supporting national debt at anything other than a very small percentage of national productivity is another. Company growth and stock market growth is another. The curve will wiggle in ways that seem random even if they are not. It is another world, one that nobody has any idea how to live in. Our leaders continue to try to force the J-curve but we are close to the vertical part where they will be powerless.


It is obvious: I am looking forwards while our leaders can only look backwards


One Response to “Brave New World”

  1. Mark said

    hiya Chris, Can you point me to the data behind your claim?
    2 minutes web-searching finds which shows the rate of GDP increase has been declining over the last 50 years. Or are you talking about something different?

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