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cheeseandbeans

So The Economy Might Crash And Peak Oil Hits, And We All Go Back To The 50's

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Different but not so bad. The upside is the world economy holds together, the downside is we go back to the 50's. From what i am told the 50's might be the best option.

1850's or 1750's?

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No, the fiftiies.

EDIT: Just kidding. It won't be like the past, it will be very high-tech everywhere, and rich in pockets, even if most of mankind is having a hard time. Just like today, in some ways.

:lol::lol::lol:

The Roman philosopher Seneca had some advice that might be well heeded by posters on this site:

"Unhappy as I am, how have I deserved that I must look on such a scene as this? Do not, my Lucilius, attend the games (property market?), I pray you. Either you will be corrupted by the multitude, or, if you show disgust, be hated by them. So stay away."

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Also the collapse of certain systems, although painful short term, can be massively helpful in the long term. An example is communism. A coming example might be oil dependency, another, centrally planned money.

Indeed. Big government of all forms has exceeded its sell-by date, and while the short-term consequences will be bad for many, in the long term the world will be far better off without it.

But if we can get through the next century without ending up back in the caves, and create a sustainable presence across the solar system, the whole galaxy will be ours for the taking: and the great thing about the speed of light being so low is that once we're out of here, no-one will be able to control a group of people who don't want to be found.

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Indeed. Big government of all forms has exceeded its sell-by date, and while the short-term consequences will be bad for many, in the long term the world will be far better off without it.

But if we can get through the next century without ending up back in the caves, and create a sustainable presence across the solar system, the whole galaxy will be ours for the taking: and the great thing about the speed of light being so low is that once we're out of here, no-one will be able to control a group of people who don't want to be found.

Mwahahahahahahaaaaa..... :lol: [/ming the merciless parody]

Do you know any physics? Time slows as you speed up, until it stops at the speed of light, so you can never accelerate up to that speed even if you could take the physical forces turning you into a piece of spaghetti. And since when was 30,000,000 metres per second a 'low' speed?

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Do you know any physics?

Yes, I have a Physics degree from Oxford. You, however, appear to have learnt physics from the back of cornflakes packets.

And since when was 30,000,000 metres per second a 'low' speed?

Since light took 100,000 years to get from one side of the galaxy to the other.

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Yes, I have a Physics degree from Oxford. You, however, appear to have learnt physics from the back of cornflakes packets.

Whoopidoo. I have a degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Oxford so I spent 4 years taking physicists hair-brained schemes and trying to turn them into practical reality. Had a look on my cornflakes packet just now and couldn't find any mention of general relativity...

A degree in physics also explains why you don't have much grasp of economics...

Since light took 100,000 years to get from one side of the galaxy to the other.

That's because its a really really really big place.

I also went up to Oxford to read Physics (but read PPE and became an economist, as I developed 'lazyitus' during my gap year).

Almost snap - read EEM and became a behavioural economist...

You cannot reach the speed of light because you would have infinite mass at that point. However, from your perspective as an astronaut, everything would be normal, and you would only be feeling the normal push of the propulsion system. One gravity of acceleration is quite sufficient to get very close to the speed of light (say 99%) quite quickly, so it might feel no different to standing on the Earth, and there is no need to get squashed.

Only if you can ensure every molecule in your body accelerates at the same rate or the differentials become more and more exxagerated - this is where the spaghetti metaphor comes from as bodies near black holes feel greater gravitational pull on the side nearest to the black hole. This gradual stretching effect quickly accelerates with unpleasant consequences if you happen to be made of flesh and blood.

MarkG is right that if the speed of light is the limit, the Galaxy would be like a humungous version of the 16th century world of sailing ships, with starships taking many years to cross the 'oceans' (less subjectively for their crew - as you say, time slows), so empires would be of limited size. Great for diversity, anarchy and intrigue.

However, there are some recent indications that supra-light travel or communication might be possible. This might allow instantaneous communication throughout the whole Universe. This would allow a single mind to be constructed using all the matter and energy in the Universe - an Omega point. Also rather thrilling.

(Starship travel will be easily attained with mature nanotechnology. If instantaneous travel is possible, it might never be bothered with.)

You should watch less Star Trek :D

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True around black holes, where you suffer from massive differential acceleration, not on a starship at 99% of the speed of light, where you are accelerating at a cosy uniform one gravity.

Remember, it is relative (thus relativity). If a starship is coasting (without accelerating) at 99% of the speed of light from our perspective, from their perspective, they might as well be stationary. A simple acceleration of one gravity would feel just like it does from a stationary start - that is, no different to standing around in Earth's gravity now. From that standing start, they could re-accelerate to 99% of the speed of light (from their perspective, remember, for them time is slowing). To us they would be pushing incrementally closer to lightspeed and hardly changing speed at all - only to them, with time slowing would they seem to be making massive extra speed. That's how it works - you can always speed up, but you can never beat lightspeed, because time is forever slowing. Even at 99.9% of the speed of light, if you shone a torch out front, it's light would zoom away at the speed of light. But only for the torch-holder, whose time has slowed. An external observer, would see the torch-light merely creeping away from the front of the ship as the torch holder stood frozen like a statue, trailing just behind.

You should watch more. :D

Except the resistance from surrounding material would get greater and greater, making you very hot and slowing you back down. After all, even a vacuum is packed full of quantum fluctuations and not truly 'empty'...

I think we might have strayed off-topic for a while there...

So, house prices - up or down? :lol:

Edited by IamSpartacus

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I have a degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Oxford so I spent 4 years taking physicists hair-brained schemes and trying to turn them into practical reality. Had a look on my cornflakes packet just now and couldn't find any mention of general relativity...

Maybe you should read your cornflakes packets more often, because you don't appear to understand relativity.

A degree in physics also explains why you don't have much grasp of economics...

No, a degree in economics explains why you don't have much grasp of economics.

Except the resistance from surrounding material would get greater and greater, making you very hot and slowing you back down.

Indeed, a problem that's often understated, though largely irrelevant at realistic speeds. We pretty much know how to travel from star to star at 1% of the speed of light using fusion for propulsion, though there's a lot of engineering required to make it work. We can probably manage 10% of the speed of light, but anything much beyond that is going to be very difficult for humans due to the energy required to accelerate a human and all their support infrastructure to higher speeds and then to slow them down at the other end: you'd need a ship composed mostly of antimatter for fuel, even fusion wouldn't come close.

Even then, though, colonising the entire galaxy would only take about 10,000,000 years. That's nothing on a galactic timescale.

Then massively up, as any house/land on Earth becomes a hyper-valuable antique from the ancient past

I disagree. Someone, sooner or later, will destroy Earth... then it will be worth approximately zero: even if they don't drop a big asteroid on the planet in the next couple of centuries, no realistic technology will protect it from someone throwing billion-ton rocks at 90% of the speed of light.

And, in any case, what would be the value if interstellar tourism is impossible due to huge travel times?

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Down a lot (in real terms - unknown, nominally - and the government have a massive interest in minimising nominal).

Then, after the debt shake-out in a decade or two, massively up, as the realisation creeps in that any house/land on Earth is becoming a hyper-valuable antique from the ancient past - a time when the population wasn't mega-trillions, and everyone lived on Earth. Like owning in Central London now, but a million times more.

Better hang onto my house for the long-term then... :lol:

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Then earth sends a radio/laser signal to the receiver describing the 'astronauts' in sufficient detail to assemble copies. Effectively, once the 'advance base' is in place, 'people' can travel instantaneously (subjectively) at the speed of light between solar systems.

Well, yes, if people can be copied then we can populate other planets more rapidly, but that's not 'travel': your old body is still on the planet you started from, unless you kill yourself after you're transmitted.

Similarly, even at the speed of light, a 'holiday' to Earth from a random point in the galaxy would average a 100,000 year round-trip: I doubt too many people will be eager to spend all that time travelling just to see Big Ben and the pyramids. Heck, even without deliberate destruction you could easily find that the entire planetary economy has collapsed and everyone has gone back to the caves in the time between setting out and arriving here... whole new civilisations could grow and die in that time, and just imagine the inflation during the course of your trip. Not to mention that the quaint old B&B you booked would have collapsed into dust before you got here.

Edited by MarkG

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If you want to know what I truthfully think will happen, the clue is in what you just said.

I think at some point in the next two decades, there will be a recursively self-improving artificial intelligence that will rapidly become a superintelligence.

Want to bet on it?

Recursively self-improving artificial intelligence machines are so laughably simple and domain-specific it's hilarious (cf Hofstader et al).

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All very interesting stuff guys, but near light speed travel and slowing of time is something we'll unlikely experience in our time.

Not too sure if the super artificial intelligence being will put a stop to all our space travel fun, but before it comes along I think we might just have a chance of getting this bad boy up into space so we can build a few cities up there (probably even in our lifetimes)

We have everything we need (Carbon Nanotubes), so now all we need is ten or twenty billion of funding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

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No matter how Douglas Hofstader might define the term, 'recursively self-improving' isn't limited to his definition. Humans are recursively self-improving to a degree, properly so with genetic engineering, so there is an existing proof of concept. Something that could enlarge/improve its hardware with nanotechnology would be more so. The halting problem is nonsense in a real environment.

Sportsman's bet for 15th August 2026 then - you'll have to buy your own half and mock me from afar, as I'm staying anonymous. :lol:

(As for me, victory will involve no time for a half. Ah well.)

The brain is neither a machine in the ordinary-language sense, nor is it a Turing machine (it's non-deterministic), so the halting problem doesn't apply.

Recursively self-improving suggests a conscious machine that can respond to its environment and understand and spontaneously model its position within that environment. I haven't seen any evidence we've even got part of the way there.

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Guest Bart of Darkness
And since when was 30,000,000 metres per second a 'low' speed?

Depends on your destination. For the local shops, it might be a tad excessive. For the nearest star, a wee bit slow.

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Different but not so bad. The upside is the world economy holds together, the downside is we go back to the 50's. From what i am told the 50's might be the best option.

Don't you mean "The economy might crash AS peak oil hits...." ?

If we go back to the 1950s, that implies the world economy must suffer quite a dislocation, since the international division of labour we have now did not exist in much degree in the 1950s. Most countries had national markets with only some exports, Britain and the US being about the only major exceptions at that time (if we're talking early 1950s). Actually, I don't believe cultures can run back in time, because expectations and aspirations run forwards. Even declines are not simple reversals of ascent.

I don't know what to make of the peak oil issue now. Production is now affected by political posturing, terrorism, hurricanes, economic downturns and shortages of vital equipment and personnel. It's open to question whether we will ever get to a true geological peak, like the Lower 48 did in 1971, or whether there will be a range of peaks due to multifarious factors over a number of decades, each one prompting some shakeout of weak national finances and switch away from fossil fuels.

For the time being I will just keep a close eye on production and trends in new capacity.

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Don't you mean "The economy might crash AS peak oil hits...." ?

If we go back to the 1950s, that implies the world economy must suffer quite a dislocation, since the international division of labour we have now did not exist in much degree in the 1950s. Most countries had national markets with only some exports, Britain and the US being about the only major exceptions at that time (if we're talking early 1950s). Actually, I don't believe cultures can run back in time, because expectations and aspirations run forwards. Even declines are not simple reversals of ascent.

I don't know what to make of the peak oil issue now. Production is now affected by political posturing, terrorism, hurricanes, economic downturns and shortages of vital equipment and personnel. It's open to question whether we will ever get to a true geological peak, like the Lower 48 did in 1971, or whether there will be a range of peaks due to multifarious factors over a number of decades, each one prompting some shakeout of weak national finances and switch away from fossil fuels.

For the time being I will just keep a close eye on production and trends in new capacity.

If the economy crashes it won't be because of peak oil, a crash seldom has a singular factor to blame.

Exports have been a major part of the world economy for centuries - Just read a little about the British empire and you might see how this was the case.

Peak oil is a factor - but the world economy has a way of working through things. As long as fiat money exists (and the major economies support it, which they will) then something else always comes along. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if peak oil is an issue then the money will go somewhere else.

Oil is part of the problem, but history shows the markets, even in a crash, usually find a way.

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..... needle shaped gun, and shoot its payload backwards to deccelerate.

Let me just put a stop to this, right here, right now.

needle will not be shooting his payload to deccelerate anything, anytime soon.

nuff said...

PS - keep me out of your astro-porn fantasies in future pleeze...

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If the economy crashes it won't be because of peak oil, a crash seldom has a singular factor to blame.

Exports have been a major part of the world economy for centuries - Just read a little about the British empire and you might see how this was the case.

Peak oil is a factor - but the world economy has a way of working through things. As long as fiat money exists (and the major economies support it, which they will) then something else always comes along. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if peak oil is an issue then the money will go somewhere else.

Oil is part of the problem, but history shows the markets, even in a crash, usually find a way.

I think you will find that the development of trade and money are intimately linked, if you look into the history of commerce. The first currency known was glass beads used in the Middle East associated with the very earliest metals industries. Ores and the fuels to smelt the ores were rarely in the same place, you see, so trade routes had to develop to bring one to the other and that meant developing some means of holding value to balance the transaction during WIP.

Oil prices have been a strong factor in causing recessions and stagflation. There will always be multifarious factors, as I pointed out in my original post I don't expect the world ever to reach a geological peak in oil production. This is the main reason that CERA does not buy into the Peak Oil theory.

If you look at consumer goods markets in the 1950s versus today, you will find that the distance to market was limited compared to today. For instance, in the 1950s it would have been uncommon to see a foreign made car in Britain. One of the delights of travel in Europe up until the early 1980s was that the cars were different in different countries, reflecting the national character. This variety has unfortunately vanished with "the Global Village". The same may be said of most consumer goods.

The point is that production today is by global corporations that fine-tune their operation by extreme specialisation of different functions in many different countries to exploit comparative advantage (or labour arbitrage, some would argue). They have no home market, rather, they have no home at all, they compete in all countries, usually against the same competitors. Globalisation in essence means encountering the same companies throughout the world, producing and selling. This is completely in contrast to the Fifties, when you encountered different companies in different countries and all of them had a home national market, to which their products were specifically tailored.

There was of course some import and export of goods in the Fifties, but this was peripheral relative to the central drive to compete in the national market. As an example, I can still recall how extremely rare it was to see a Japanese car in Britain in the early 1970s. I can still recall specific instances of seeing early, ugly Toyotas and the odd Mazdas. Then we got into the 1980s and it became a torrent and our companies were going out of business.

Modern business is extremely dependent on a robust international banking system to enable these disossiated operations to take place (as well as cheap energy to allow for all the shifting of goods between production centres). Yet both the financial system and the energy supply are now in question. I'd worry about the financial system more than oil.

Durch might be able to say more about that point.

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I think you will find that the development of trade and money are intimately linked, if you look into the history of commerce. The first currency known was glass beads used in the Middle East associated with the very earliest metals industries. Ores and the fuels to smelt the ores were rarely in the same place, you see, so trade routes had to develop to bring one to the other and that meant developing some means of holding value to balance the transaction during WIP.

I disagree - the first currency was an army. If my army was bigger than yours, then i had more purchasing power. I could visit your economy and take whichever assets i required.

If you look at consumer goods markets in the 1950s versus today, you will find that the distance to market was limited compared to today. For instance, in the 1950s it would have been uncommon to see a foreign made car in Britain. One of the delights of travel in Europe up until the early 1980s was that the cars were different in different countries, reflecting the national character. This variety has unfortunately vanished with "the Global Village". The same may be said of most consumer goods.

The Global village has existed for centuries, coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, cotton, steel, salt ... the Global market place is defined by what is economically viable to transport and how far, at what cost. The global village is not fixed, but fluctuates based on supply and demand, always finding a use, as any market will.

The point is that production today is by global corporations that fine-tune their operation by extreme specialisation of different functions in many different countries to exploit comparative advantage (or labour arbitrage, some would argue). They have no home market, rather, they have no home at all, they compete in all countries, usually against the same competitors. Globalisation in essence means encountering the same companies throughout the world, producing and selling. This is completely in contrast to the Fifties, when you encountered different companies in different countries and all of them had a home national market, to which their products were specifically tailored.

Corporations aren't a modern invention, and if you go back to the 1850's, 1750's, 1650's you'd find they still existed - some private, many not. In the olden days people used to call global corporations 'countries'.

There was of course some import and export of goods in the Fifties, but this was peripheral relative to the central drive to compete in the national market. As an example, I can still recall how extremely rare it was to see a Japanese car in Britain in the early 1970s. I can still recall specific instances of seeing early, ugly Toyotas and the odd Mazdas. Then we got into the 1980s and it became a torrent and our companies were going out of business.

And the torrent of companies going out of business was accompanied by... a torrent of business' setting up and flourishing. Hence the decent economic shape the UK is currently in. Markets are markets, money is money (however it is defined) and for civilisation to survive there is always a market, making a profit in whatever is the current currency.

But what about all the commodities above - down in real value massively in todays terms, but would we pay 1950's prices for them? History shows we would. And would the market gravitate towards them? of course. Hence the market still survives, albeit differently.

Modern business is extremely dependent on a robust international banking system to enable these disossiated operations to take place (as well as cheap energy to allow for all the shifting of goods between production centres). Yet both the financial system and the energy supply are now in question. I'd worry about the financial system more than oil.

Maybe we'll go back to the 50's, maybe a banana will be a luxury rather than 20p from the supermarket. An economic crisis this does not make. Value shifting between products and changing relative value is only to be expected in any free market. The financial system is very mature, centuries old and guess what - the money men always make good. So unless the future economic trends are going to buck a thousand years of history, the big financial institutions will survive. Maybe not all, maybe not in the same shape, but with diverse assets spread across multiple nations the world isn't going to end quite as some say.

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  • 337 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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