Tuesday, February 17, 2009

General Motors seeks US$30b to avoid failure.

Have the Governments of the world forgotten how economics works?

If you can't sell enough product to survive then you have no right to be here. What the Governments of the world are doing is allowing business to believe they have rights outside of operating in a market. OK, there is an economic downturn. But ask yourself why? I'm not going to answer that but what I will say is this.

The post-war project of endless economic growth and the resultant suburban dream is over. We won't be resuming revolving credit anytime soon. The growth cycle is over. And I'm not talking about the supposed 7 year residential property cycle. I'm talking the industrial/information age in its current disguise, is over.

Ok, lets assume the US Govt prop up General Motors with a $30b bail out. Then what? Who's buying cars?

Remember how much oil was per barrel before this fiasco all started? I'll ask again, what do you think caused this "economic collapse" in the first place.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

IEA admits Peak Oil

Traditionally the (International Energy Agency) IEA, has shyed away from the question of peak oil, the idea that we have, or are about to hit the maximum level of global oil production, after which we will begin an irrecoverable decline. However George Monbiot, award winning journalist from the Guardian discusses the question with Fatih Birol, the IEAs chief economist. The results are interesting.

On Peak Oil and the Current Economic "Situation"
Interestingly, or perhaps amazingly almost no one has been willing to admit (or perhaps even understands) the reasons for the current global economic financial crisis. I have always been of the vie
w that the rapid surge in energy (oil) prices created the financial conditions whereby continued "economic growth" would grind to a halt. Incidently I've been saying this for years, take a stroll through this blog site to see that. Once oil hit a certain price I predicted that global growth would slow and eventually halt. In my opinion $150 a barrel oil is what triggered the credit crisis, basically the downturn hit the most vulnerable part of the financial sector - what is now called "toxic assets".

Finally I have a reference - Reggie Abaca of Market Rap is saying the same thing.

And in case you are shocked that I'm writing ab
out peak oil again, well, just so you know, I spent the day editing a publication on Information Ethics for inclusion in a selection of papers from the 2008 ITPNZ Research Forum. The PhD is still in the forefront of my mind. Finally, Mike Moreu's cartoon today sums a lot up. Kiwi's still seem to be in denial regarding this economic situation.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

mala tempora currunt

PhD update (now there's an excuse for not blogging)

Is there a rule that every blog entry should begin with a (Smiths) song lyric, or a latin phrase?

I've omitted the song lyric and I couldn't figure out the latin for "told ya so". And anyway that sounds petty and immature, and as readers, you will no doubt be aware, that I'm trying to not do petty and immature anymore. Call it a New Years resolution if you like.

Well, when I s
ay every blog entry, I guess I mean... um, just my blog entries. I wouldn't expect that rabble of kiwi political bloggers - the boring lot that seem obsessed with blogging about current affairs and what John Key is doing and etc. That incestuous crowd that all quote each others blogs and use such tiresome bloggese like, "hat tip", or "blog roll". oops there's me going all petty again. (yes, that was meant to be so unfunny as to be funny - weird how circular humour can be)

Mala tempora currunt means something like bad times are upon us.

Upon me I mean, no I'm not talking about the "credit crunch" or the "global downturn", "banking crisis" (whatever), we "talked ourselves into this recession" don't you know. And we're now busily talking ourselves into a depression (apparently) - yippee. I love natural disasters, I remember racing off to view the Hutt River in full flood as a kid wondering what it would look like if it actually broke it's banks. I remember in my mid 20s being fascinated by
an approaching "dangerous" cyclone whilst living on the Gold Coast.

Perhaps a Samuel Butler quote would work. I discovered this by reading Norbert Wiener's, Some Moral and Technical Consequences of Automation. Wiener is generally credited for bringing to our attention, in the 1950s, computer ethics - he contended that "machines can and do transcend some of the limitations of their designers (and today we'd probably have to add, their users) and that in doing so they may be both effective and dangerous".

However, Butler's predictions were far more extreme - in 1863 he wrote an essay which was published in the Christchurch Press, he said

Day by day, however, the machines are gaining ground upon us; day by day we are becoming more subservient to them; more men are daily bound down as slaves to tend them, more men are daily devoting the energies of their whole lives to the development of mechanical life.

I think it was, to some extent, Butler who inspired Wiener. A few years ago I walked past Butlers Forest Stream hut. Forest Stream is a tributary of the Rangitata, it runs up into the Two Thumb range, for a summer expedition i traversed the range solo - a far more satisfactory pursuit than blogging under any conditions. Which reminds me, I need some mountain time. I didn't go up to Butlers hut, it was on the other side of the river and I didn't feel like crossing it - not that it was overly dangerous, just the previous year I'd had a minor scare in a swollen MaCauley river (on the Lake Tekapo side of the two thumb range) and crossing swiftly flowing streams unecessarily (a kind of natural disaster) wasn't on my wish list.

Anyway, back to the writing. (progress report - literature review of Information Ethics)