Saturday, April 26, 2014

How to passively accept the world

That might seem like a terrible title for a post, and an awful thing to even consider, but there is a good reason to. Our society is more polarized than ever before. Perhaps you have too. Have you? I would like you to seriously consider it. No doubt you have moved more to the extreme of whatever position you had before: that if liberal you have become more liberal, much more, and that if conservative much more conservative. I want you to consider another possibility as well.

     You are more extreme because the system wants you to be.

     The partisan polarization is not an accident. Congress has redrawn (gerrymandered) their districts to make as few elections as competitive as possible. No doubt because of a combination of reasons: a desire of these politicians to be less beholden to money, a desire to prevent any real competition for their jobs, and monetary pressure itself advocating for less competitive elections. The result is that it no longer pays to move to the center. It's a simple matter of election market politics. That's right, elections are a market. Previously, it paid (literally) to move to the center. Because elections were competitive there was profit, that is campaign contributions, available if a politicians was centrist. The key to power lied in being centrist. Not so anymore.

     And that has CHANGED YOU. You are now more partisan as a result. Yes, you, the reader of this. Since no one is rewarded for appealing to the center the cultural forces of moderation are absent. A change in the political markets has filtered all the way down to average people like you, and now you're more extreme.

     Think about it next time you rip someone ass for being on the other side of the aisle.

     So back to that passivity thing. When we recognize that we are being played, that our attitudes are shaped by things as trivial as political markets, we should understand the value of not being hysterical, of passivity. Please realize that people pay good money to shape your attitude, and to generate moral outrage in your mind. Elections are not just about candidates anymore but about issues linked to candidates. Attitudes are being carefully cultivated among the people by this nations elite. The fact that they are a liberal/conservative duopoly changes nothing. Your outrage is farmed. You are being controlled. You are being farmed, not for food (no yet), but for attitude.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why the world cannot "run out of oil"

As oil becomes more scarce relative to market demand, prices will rise. The rise in price will stimulate new drilling, causing the supply to increase, but in the long-term not as fast as the decrease. The result will be a very slow, gradual rise in the price of oil. Oil shocks occur because of political reasons and not economic ones.

As the price rises it will pass a number of points where other energy sources are less expensive than oil. The result will be a series of brief decreases in oil demand, (and therefore also its price), which will cushion the transition to alternative energy. The entire process will take multiple generations and allow plenty of time for the development of alternative energy. Eventually, even solar or wind may be less expensive.

This idea that we will "run out" is yet one more foolish notion easily defeated by an understanding of the law of supply and demand. The law has four parts, one of which is:
     'All other things reaming the same, if supply decreases relative to demand, prices will rise and quality will fall.' Which is followed by its corollary, and subsequent effect, 'the increase in price supports the development of new technology to increase the supply, and therefore, decrease its price.'
     A planet cannot run out of oil. It can only have ever higher and higher prices until all energy sources but oil are cheaper. At that point oil is left in the ground.