Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Darius Guppy


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

that's a good precis, shame the original article was so waffly

world isn't finite,

Good grief! And you complain about Mr Guppy's starting assumptions?! Just because human capital and ingenuity makes the "world" seem larger than, say, Malthus thought it was, doesn't mean that it isn't finite. We can argue about its size, but it is very certainly finite. The thing about exponential functions is that they inevitably grow past any level of finite resources, and do so rather quickly - just ask any bacteria who survived the agar plate disaster of generation 61 what he thought the availability of resources was in generation 57.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good grief! And you complain about Mr Guppy's starting assumptions?! Just because human capital and ingenuity makes the "world" seem larger than, say, Malthus thought it was, doesn't mean that it isn't finite. We can argue about its size, but it is very certainly finite. The thing about exponential functions is that they inevitably grow past any level of finite resources, and do so rather quickly - just ask any bacteria who survived the agar plate disaster of generation 61 what he thought the availability of resources was in generation 57.

I think you and I conceive of resources in different terms

you seem to assume that to consume means to consume physical things - but does a Ford Fiesta contain more physical stuff and require more energy to build and run than a Model T?

I don't know a definitive answer, but my guess is they require a similar amount of physical stuff to produce and maintain, and yet a Fiesta provides hugely greater economic benefit than a model T.

the big difference in my world view is that intelectual property is a powerful capital resource

it allows you to conduct business across the atlantic via skype/internet video that would not have been possible 100 years ago, ie uses much less energy/matter than an ocean liner for the same ends

modern organisation and engineering of shipping allows a much lower matter/energy footprint to move stuff around, and often allows less stuff to be moved to the same ends, whether we are talking about food, car parts, or information

If you wanted music in your home you used to need a guitar or a piano, and a big enough home to store it.

Now you can live in a small flat and, if you can shell out about £1000 for a decent (ish) hi-fi, you can have the New York Phil playing quite convincingly in your living room conducted by a great dead conductor. You get so much more quality of life for much less use of physical resources.

in summary, peoples' lives, their quality of living, which is what an economy delivers when it grows, improve off the back of both technology as well as matter/energy. As physical resources deplete, the cost goes up, and technology adapts to use these resources - some of the most frivolous/expensive consumer goods I knwo of (ipads, smartphones, luxury cars) don't depend on sheer energy/mattter use to provide quality of life, they depend on technology.

Sure, in 20 years time there is a fair chance more poeple will not own/run cars for example in response to raising energy prices; but the market and technology provision will improve public transport so your smartphone tells you exactly what bus/train connections to get from anywhere to anywhere and books your tickets ahead to save time. The BA London City to JFK direct flight, combines with a bit of IT co-ordinating door-to-door pickups and fast-track customs/checkin, gets people from London office to NY office as fast as the old concorde service, except with a lower fuel burn than concorde, etc etc.

Technology is a resource that, as far as I know, does not have a limit, or not one anywhere near the economic limits (which are soft and based on pricing power) of matter and energy.

That';s what I mean by there effectively not being limits - maybe I should have said not being hard limits - on resources

(populattion growth is a different question, and since you clashed with me sometime ago on the solidity of estimates for the topping-out of world population, I am compelled to agree with you, after some mulling, it is a wildcard)

Edited by Si1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you and I conceive of resources in different terms

you seem to assume that to consume means to consume physical things - but does a Ford Fiesta contain more physical stuff and require more energy to build and run than a Model T?

I don't know a definitive answer, but my guess is they require a similar amount of physical stuff to produce and maintain, and yet a Fiesta provides hugely greater economic benefit than a model T.

the big difference in my world view is that intelectual property is a powerful capital resource

it allows you to conduct business across the atlantic via skype/internet video that would not have been possible 100 years ago, ie uses much less energy/matter than an ocean liner for the same ends

modern organisation and engineering of shipping allows a much lower matter/energy footprint to move stuff around, and often allows less stuff to be moved to the same ends, whether we are talking about food, car parts, or information

If you wanted music in your home you used to need a guitar or a piano, and a big enough home to store it.

Now you can live in a small flat and, if you can shell out about £1000 for a decent (ish) hi-fi, you can have the New York Phil playing quite convincingly in your living room conducted by a great dead conductor. You get so much more quality of life for much less use of physical resources.

in summary, peoples' lives, their quality of living, which is what an economy delivers when it grows, improve off the back of both technology as well as matter/energy. As physical resources deplete, the cost goes up, and technology adapts to use these resources - some of the most frivolous/expensive consumer goods I knwo of (ipads, smartphones, luxury cars) don't depend on sheer energy/mattter use to provide quality of life, they depend on technology.

Sure, in 20 years time there is a fair chance more poeple will not own/run cars for example in response to raising energy prices; but the market and technology provision will improve public transport so your smartphone tells you exactly what bus/train connections to get from anywhere to anywhere and books your tickets ahead to save time. The BA London City to JFK direct flight, combines with a bit of IT co-ordinating door-to-door pickups and fast-track customs/checkin, gets people from London office to NY office as fast as the old concorde service, except with a lower fuel burn than concorde, etc etc.

Technology is a resource that, as far as I know, does not have a limit, or not one anywhere near the economic limits (which are soft and based on pricing power) of matter and energy.

That';s what I mean by there effectively not being limits - maybe I should have said not being hard limits - on resources

(populattion growth is a different question, and since you clashed with me sometime ago on the solidity of estimates for the topping-out of world population, I am compelled to agree with you, after some mulling, it is a wildcard)

But there are hard limits on resources.

The earth only contains so much.

This is a hard fast unchangable fact, and therefore everything else you said collapses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But there are hard limits on resources.

The earth only contains so much.

This is a hard fast unchangable fact, and therefore everything else you said collapses.

this is naive

accesible resources deplete with extraction, but increase with improved extraction-methods

there is an anormous amount of physical resource in parts of the planet we have not yet reached

eventually, energy, as a resource, should be effectively free (when nuclear fusion is sussed) and besides, we can expand our global horizon by outreaching to more resource-rich planets thru the solar system

of course a follow on issue is this - what if our ability to extract more resources (where we previously couldn't due to technology limits, ie better earth extraction or future use of space) does not keep up with our demand?

that is a serious question, and even if negative, it is bordering on your simplified assertion that resources are literally finite; I would argue that pricing power will control this in a soft way, but against that I would also argue that markets are not perfect

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.