[ExI] How slow is capitalism?
morphy at alumni.caltech.edu
Wed Apr 27 08:51:02 UTC 2011
Oh, there are even more concretely consumable forms of money in use in
poor areas of the world right now, such as salt, cattle, and various
grains. Gold and silver are money in relatively sophisticated
societies where people can pour energy into mining and refining. A
complete societal collapse could destroy much(most?) of the value of
gold and silver as much as it could destroy the value of paper money.
If power fails the least of our problems will be Wall St and the
banking system. People will starve in billions.
For some odd reason you left out the cheapest form of power generation
known yet, geothermal. Known reserves are already sufficient to power
humanity for thousands of years at wildly optimistic growth rates.
Alas, grass-roots support for subsidizing oil and gas over geothermal
among right winger voters(including right-wing Democrats) remains
On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 9:38 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/4/26 Jones Murphy <morphy at alumni.caltech.edu>:
>> A collapse of civilization will not end money, though it might return it to
>> a more concrete form for a while.
> I agree. The people who hold physical gold and silver will win, and
> loose because they will mostly starve or be robbed. But all that
> money in the bank and on Wall street will be just gone as if it never
> existed if the power fails.
>> I do not disagree that there ought to be
>> more talent focused on R&D, though.
> It's not just R&D. There needs to be a concrete willingness to spend
> vast sum of money on infrastructure.
> Ground based solar and wind will not supplant oil. SBSP, StratoSolar
> or something out of left field might.
> Once you get primary energy under control, consider what it will cost
> for synthetic oil plants (or other ways to make energy portable). The
> US uses about 20 M bbls per day. A billion dollar plant makes about
> 40,000 bbls per day. We will need 500 of them at a billion each.
> They will draw around 2 TW at at least $1200 B per TW.
> If it is done (and I doubt it) this will result in real returns on
> real investments.
>> On Apr 27, 2011 8:42 AM, "Keith Henson" <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM, Jones Murphy
>> <morphy at alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:
>>> Keith, you're so...
>> You can call it capitalism if you want and I will call it a colossal
>> waste of talent.
>> But don't complain when you wake up one morning and the power is off
>> for good along with the Internet and nobody has any idea of how much
>> "money" they have because it was all recorded in magnetic dots on
>> spinning disks.
>>> On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 7:21 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
>>>> On Tue, Apr 26, ...
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