[ExI] it was the best times, it was the best of times

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Mon Oct 7 15:58:01 UTC 2013

On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 2:44 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 06, 2013 at 03:32:28PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> > There is more free or virtually free stuff available now than at any time
> > in human history. Certainly much of it is digital, but much of it is not.
> This is correct, but I expect we've peaked on that as well, or will
> do so shortly. Maybe any resident freegans can attest whether their
> pickings have declined in quality/became more slim lately.

So now you're jumping from peak oil to peak creativity? Damn, who peed in
your breakfast Eugen? You yourself just posted an awesome robot video. Are
we peaking in robot performance as well. Perhaps it's just that all of
humanity has peaked at everything. But that can't possibly be correct,
because I don't think we've reached "peak Eugen curmudgeonism" yet. ;-)

> > The book "Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving
> Something
> > for Nothing" by Chris Anderson shows how many physical things can be free
> > as well.
> I've been in a silver/copper mine on Saturday, which has been mined
> by humanity for 6000 years, leaving 500 km of tunnels up to 1 km depth.
> Mining has ceased last century, as the richer ore veins have been
> exhausted. You might notice that while the volume still appears
> exponential
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Copper_-_world_production_trend.svg
> the price isn't showing anything too nice
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Copper_Price_History_USD.png

I'm afraid copper is going to get slightly worse before it gets better, but
I suspect it will be a fairly temporary issue. This is due to the fact that
the Kennecott copper mine here in Salt Lake suffered a major land slide in
the last year, and it's going to take a while for it to get back on its
feet. The copper, however, is still there, and likely is still profitable
to go after.

> Silver is not any different
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silver_-_world_production_trend.svg
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silver_price_in_USD.png
Looking at those graphs, I don't think they clearly make your point. Silver
production has gone up considerably. Demand has also risen, therefore the
price has remained more or less flat. There is no hockey stick there.

> I'm skipping the same part with oil, we know that oil has not
> becoming any cheaper lately.

Much more demand for oil than for silver.

> > I have an idea for a way to give people free haircuts, and the business
> > would be very profitable if it caught on. It basically involves trading
> > your time watching advertisements for getting your hair cut. It's just
> one
> > way to show how you can make the economy go without collecting money from
> > the people getting the service (or good).
> How about free energy or free food, in the long run?

I didn't say everything was free. However, if we are able to get orbiting
solar jumpstarted, it will get closer to free than it ever has been.

As for free food, food is primarily a function of energy. Currently, all
food is produced using (directly or indirectly) terrestrial solar energy.
Thus, if we can get off world energy, we can produce food in amounts
greater than any farmer now can comprehend. If you can grow meat in a tube
rather than on hoofs, it should be more efficient. I believe technology can
fix both food and energy problems if there is sufficient interest. Since
everyone is interested in food, I can't imagine us not fixing the problems,
unless some form of world wide socialism stops it.

> > A rising tide lifts everyone.
> This assumes two things: that the tide is still rising, and that
> some boats are not sinking. None of these assumptions hold water
> on a closer look. Blub.

I believe that the tide is rising. Yes, there is more concentration of
wealth, but overall wealth is still rising. The technological tide is
clearly still rising. Once again, are you predicting peak human creativity
Eugen? I think you won't find any allies on that front here.

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