The above graph is adapted from Limits to Growth, Revisited. It is not a hard and fast prediction, but rather the product of a model with 40 years of high correspondence with developments. We are, at present, at the top of the growth curves, many of which have already begun to plateau. Slopes of decline do not factor in such worst-case scenarios as widespread urban- or domestic nuclear facilities collapse consequent to economic collapse.

I've added the shading and 'crossover' circle' (coincident with 'peak everything') to indicate my best guess as to the high probablility zone for global, economic collapse, triggering the onset of TEOTWAWKI.

I fear a hard landing... no 'reboot' or 'transition' to a lower functioning economy. I urge high priority preparation now.

I've got a short glossary of terms at the bottom of this page... if you come across an unfamiliar term, please scroll down and check it out.

Information I'm including or pointing to doesn't mean I necessarily agree with it. Rather, I've found it to be stimulating and worthy of consideration. I'm sure you'll exercise your own judgement... we're nothing if not independent! 8)

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ozymandian Moment

Painting by Julie Krizan

As remembered,
Apologies to
Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveler from an antique land, who said: 

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert... 
Near them, on the sand - half sunk - a shatter'd visage lies, 
Whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read:
The hand that mocked,
The heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, 
KING of Kings!
Look upon my works, ye Mighty...
and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. 

Round the decay of that colossal wreck, 
Boundless and bare...

The lone and level sands stretch far away.  

The Ozymandian Moment

Long before I first looked up to mark the falling sky, this poem siezed me, and clung tight.

It's one of only a handful of poems I've ever memorized, and the only one before I was ten. Before I new the term, it whispered to me of TEOTWAWKIs past, urgent and unforeseen. It invoked a horrified fascination that has never left me.

I've wondered since; am I prone to apocalyptic thinking - and was therefore drawn to the poem and all the rest? Or did it 'imprint' me with apocalyptic vision - an organizing principle by which I order a deluge of factoids?

Or is it just obvious?


From Ugo Bardi's post, The Seneca Effect

The Seneca Effect - The path of increase is slow, but the road to ruin is swift - describes a curve. The Seneca Curve resembles the familiar Bell Curve (describing a gradual rise followed by a soft landing), but has a decisively abrupt drop - aka the Seneca Cliff - along its trailing edge (describing a sudden, hard landing).

In Ozymandian terms, the Seneca Curve has three sections.

The Rise of Humankind;
The Ozymandian Moment;
The Colossal Wreck.

The Rise of Humankind is familiar to us all, taught as the 'inevitable, upward march of Progress'. The vast superiority of our species over all others. Of the Present over the Past. 

Oh sure, it's had its ups-and-downs. Quibbling episodes of rapaciousness, inquisition, war, genocide and terrarism [sic]. But it's all been in good fun, and ya can't make omelets without busting eggs. Overall, we've mounted the heights. 

Our Present justifies our Past.

The Ozymandian Moment is the peak of the curve. We can see further than ever before; our powers at their zenith. We entertain the smug notion that we have arrived. That we possess all knowledge and wisdom. That the future is but the mere elaboration of detail; the tying up of loose ends. The consolidation of gains.

And clearly, we can extrapolate ever upwards. Progress and Growth forever and ever, amen!

And then... the Colossal Wreck.

I believe that our Ozymandian Moment lingers, but is almost past. That our Colossal Wreck will be global in scale, with lone and levelled sands - in a manner of speaking - to mark our passing.

Will there still be human travellers to wonder at our shatter'd visage? Our vast and trunkless legs of stone? I hope so. 

And I wish them brighter prospects than our own.

Apologies to Pat Oliphant

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