[ExI] Wash post comment

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Fri May 18 21:28:31 UTC 2012

Hi Bill,

I'm very pleased at your even-tempered sensible shoes response.
Here's the deal:  I think there is a biological -- ie genetic --
predisposition in humans to be
The protohuman who stayed near a tree and dashed up to safety at the
first rustling of leaves, lived to pass on his/her genes.
Conservatism was selected first, intelligence later.

In the last twelve years, the US has descended into paranoid
psychosis, triggered by an hysterical over-reaction to 9/11.  And the
rest of the world has been dragged along into the darkness. The
attendant gloom has colored every human "challenge" with forebodings
of full-blown, civilization-ending catastrophe.  At the very least
this is pessimism on steroids, fueled by that human predisposition to
get caught up in the dance of doom.

But is it objectively real, or is it just a global emotional "bad hair
decade"?  Because from where I stand -- if I don't let the "doomers"
infect me -- life is abundantly fine.  Life is filled with all manner
of dynamically optimistic enterprises as well as more low hanging
fruit of possibilities than there are entrepreneurs to exploit them.
Problems?  Sure there are problems.  When have there ever not been
problems?  Only the dead have no problems.

I'm so tired of the dance of doom.  I prefer enhancement, starships,
and a sunny singularity.  I choose joy.

Regarding the fact-based rejection of energy-shortage gloom, check this out:


And on my own, I find this EROEI business a bit suspicious. I wonder
if it's just an artfully authoritative-sounding but irrelevant
"metric".  "Wow!, the guy's wearing a nicely-starched white lab coat.
He MUST know what he's talking about."  If tar sands are economically
feasible at oil prices above $20/barrel -- and as you no doubt know,
we're currently hovering around $95 per, with a $20 "all war all the
time" speculation surcharge -- how is EROEI relevant?  (Though I grant
you the carbon emissions issue.)

But hey, Bill, I hope things are as good for you as they are for me.

Best, Jeff Davis

 "We don't see things as they are,
      we see them as we are."
                 Anais Nin

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:08 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM, Jeff Davis  wrote:
>> On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 1:45 AM, Eugen Leitl  wrote:
>>> Advanced automation will actually make EROEI worse.
>> You sir, are an imposter.  Gene would never say such a thing.
>> Everyone knows automation makes everything cheaper.
> I think Eugen is referring to the fact that new oil resources are much
> harder to process.
> Quote:
> Worldwide, the average EROEI of oil is down to 20:1 from its original
> value of 100:1 eighty years ago. This means that our oil-fueled
> economy simply has less capacity to generate wealth than it did back
> then, because an increasing share of the energy that used to be
> dedicated to producing goods and services is being plowed back into
> securing energy.
> Even more troubling than oil’s 20:1 global average is the figure for
> new oil, just 5 to 1. It takes a lot of energy to drill five miles
> under the ocean and pump crude back to a refinery, or to cook tar
> sands to extract a usable fuel.
> Wind and other renewable energy sources offer returns in the 17:1
> range — still a nice income flow, but nothing like the flood we once
> got from oil. Everything our economy accomplishes, including health
> care, government, schools, roads, defense, repairing our aging
> infrastructure and re-engineering our built environment to handle the
> changed weather that oil use has given us, is going to have to be
> financed from a much-diminished EROEI.
> -----------
>>>All nonessential activities
>>> are reduced during crisis.
>> What crisis?  The mainstream news vs cable vs internet
>> competition-over-eyeballs manufactured crisis?  That one?  Puleeeeese!
> The crisis that means your pension and Medicare will disappear and the
> world will be forced to a permanent 'Make do with Less' environment.
> BillK
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