[ExI] Meta question

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 02:24:10 UTC 2016

On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 5:52 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 20, 2016  Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> Somewhere over
>> half way into the movie (which hit number one in Germany) Hitler has a
>> flash of insight where he says if it wasn't me it would have happened
>> anyway with someone else.
> I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with Hitler about that.

It's the Hitler character.  I don't think Hitler himself had that much insight.

> I think if Hitler
> had never been born WW2 would not have happened, or at least the European
> part wouldn't have.The general population was enthusiastic when German
> troops marched into the Rhineland in 1936 and they approved the annexation
> of Austria in 1938 so those things probably would probably happened even
> without Hitler.

You know more about this segment of history than I do.

> But the German people were far less enthusiastic about
> occupying Czechoslovakia in 1939 and even less so about marching into Poland
> 6 months later. Hitler really had to push for those last two and that's what
> started the War and I don't think that would have happened without him.

I suspect that eating up countries is like eating potato chips, it's
hard to stop.

>> The problem is much wider than Germans or Americans.  It's humanity
>> wide that the perception of a bleak future (relative to the past and
>> present) flips a population wide behavioral switch that puts the
>> population on the way to war.
> But In Germany in the late 1930s the country was in a clear economic
> upswing, hyperinflation was long over, people had jobs and they were doing
> pretty well and there was every reason to believe their children would do
> even better, but that's when Germany started a World War because Germany was
> being lead by a madman. Economics certainly plays a important part in
> history, but so do individuals.

A madman who became Der Fuhrer due largely to the bad economics of the
time when the Germans elected him.  History has a long tail.

>> A rational view is that (on average) you loose
>> wars half the time.
> If it's a nuclear was you loose 100%
> of the time. And the Allies won WW2 but other than stopping a madman it's
> not clear exactly what they won.

Unfortunately rational thinking is one of the casualties of the mode
turned on by perception of a bleak future.

>>> >  In 2016 the richest 62 people on the planet


>> It would help if the very rich decided it was in their interest for
>> the bulk of the population to see that they have a bright future, but
>> directly redistributing their wealth will not fix the problem, they
>> don't have enough to do it.
> There is not less wealth in the world today than there was 30 years ago
> there is considerably more,

On a per capita basis, I wonder.  Most of the increase in world per
capita income in the last 30 years has happened in China.
EP/memes/War theory says that as long as they see a bright future,
i.e., one better than the current or at least not worse, war mode
thinking will not arise in China.  A good part of the problem in the
US is that the average worker got used to a high and increasing
standard of living.  Toward the end, the standard of living was held
up by the housing bubble.  High energy prices seems to be a major
contributor to the collapse.

> but it is being distributed into far fewer hands.

>From an EP viewpoint, I am not sure how much of a problem that is.  We
need to sort out how the super rich use their resources.  If they are
using them as founding capital for new industry, that's one thing.  If
they just sit on vast amounts of non circulating money that's another.
I suspect that's what happened since the injection of vast amounts of
money post 2008 does not seem to have caused inflation.  The worry is
about deflation.

Economies are emergent.  I don't think anyone actually understands
them.  However, Gail Tverberg is one of the few who couples energy and
debt into the model.


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