Feb 202015
 
 February 20, 2015  Posted by at 2:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrFlattr the authorDigg thisShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone


Wyland Stanley Boeing 314 flying boat Honolulu Clipper. 1939

A few days before I arrived in Melbourne, The Automatic Earth’s Nicole Foss was one of the key speakers in The Great Debate, which this year took place on February 13. It’s sort of the main event in Melbourne’s annual Sustainable Living Festival, which in 2015 runs from February 7 to March 1. Apart from Nicole, other speakers included George Monbiot and David Holmgren.

In an impressive ‘take no prisoners’ speech, Nicole makes short shrift of the vast majority of idea(l)s about ‘softly transitioning’ into the world that lies beyond the dual credit ponzi and cheap energy bubbles. Everybody who harbors such idea(l)s should take note, lest they end up finding themselves in any one of a large variety of dead end alleyways.

Something along the vein of what my buddy Scott used to say: ‘it’s a good idea but it’s wrong’. People need to think about how much energy use and how much complexity is involved in what they would like to see as their way forward. If there’s too much of either, let alone of both, that way is simply not viable, and it’s back to the drawing board.

I’m not going to transcribe too much of her talk, it’s well worth watching the few minutes she talks. Still, here’s one quote from Nicole:

Our society will be forced to simplify. The paradox with low-energy-profit-ratio energy sources is they cannot sustain the level of complexity necessary to produce them. [..] If your solution rests on complexity, it’s not going to work. We’re going to contract and simplify, like it or not.

The Great Debate – SLF 2015 from SLF on Vimeo.

Start at about the 33-minute mark for Nicole’s talk. She speaks for just over 10 minutes. ‘Enjoy’!

Home Forums Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne

This topic contains 51 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  TonyPrep 2 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 52 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #19298

    Wyland Stanley Boeing 314 flying boat Honolulu Clipper. 1939 A few days before I arrived in Melbourne, The Automatic Earth’s Nicole Foss was one of th
    [See the full post at: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne]

    #19303

    Raleigh
    Participant

    Nicole – great, great job! I listened to all of what you had to say, but I didn’t listen to the whole thing. IMHO, you made the most sense. You seemed to understand the psychology of humans the best, whereas some of the others seemed to think it was (our raping the planet) just more about not knowing who to delegate to. Your answer to the speaker who asked how should we live if we were given a clean slate (at 1:39:24) was perfect: “We’re forced to be competitive and we’re trying to steal each other’s lunch.” […] The problems all come when you scale things up too much. When you scale things up beyond a certain level, you get something Dmitry Orlov calls ‘functional stupidity’. You get a system that becomes completely impervious to evidence, completely self-serving. And the things it does are functional in the sense that they keep that system moving, but they’re stupid in the sense that they destroy the larger context in which that system operates.”

    “But this time we’ve got some consequences to live through for being in this state of overshoot” – yes, way, way, way too many people.

    Great job, Nicole!

    #19304

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Thanks 🙂 It’s difficult to make a coherent argument in 10 minutes, but it can be done.

    #19305

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Straight to the heart of the problem (with an actionable solution); well done.

    #19315

    Annette
    Participant

    Nicole – you are all ways coherent and – even for one who is not native to English – very easy to understand. I have a habit of going back and see what’s been said and predicted before to see how it face up to the reality of “later”. Match only by “the limits to growth” you have the best “track record” by fare.

    So tacking notice of your view of the future I’ve pulled resources with a friend. We are not there yet – but shortly we should be debt free to the outside world and I’ve just turned full time on the farm in order to speed up the degree of self sufficiency in food and fuel.

    So your work does change the world – at least it did change mine – and for the better.

    Thanks – you are a sane voice in a somewhat sick culture,
    Annette

    #19316

    Greenpa
    Participant

    Nicole (and all) – I was speaking in Pennsylvania a week ago- and asked my audience at the outset – “How many of you believe our species is heading into a bottleneck?”

    80%. No one asked for an explanation of bottleneck. I asked basically the same question of a different audience 4 years ago – 20%. A week later, I was talking to college professors- they think the same. I said “Not everyone is going to come through.” “No, they’re not.” is the reply. Meanwhile- the Kardashians keep cashing in. Greasing the rails.

    #19317

    chettt
    Participant

    Nice job Nicole although you did seem out of place with this group.
    You seemed to be the only one addressing reality as opposed to idealistic notion that the people of the world will see the error of their ways and come together choosing to live with less. The notion that you can “vote” not to collapse is just so cute but also just naive intellectual BS. For the most part people still ignore and/or dismiss your resource limitation argument and pretend that climate issues can simply be address by some global epiphany. My hope is that we will be lucky enough to at least get a benevolent dictator to rule over the other side of the eventual collapse.

    #19320

    E. Swanson
    Participant

    Great presentation by Nicole, whom I’ve followed since her time at The Oil Drum. It’s rather obvious that exponential growth on a finite planet based on the consumption of finite resources is a dead end as that path will surely hit the wall of reality at some point in time. When that will occur is the question we’ve debated for years, with Peak Oil being just one example of a hard limit.

    But, thinking back to The Oil Drum days, I recently had a go around with Evan Means on his blog about his notions regarding Climate Change. Here’s a link to his post, NASA Satellite Climatology Data, with my replies in the comment section, starting HERE. I think Euan really doesn’t understand the problem, as he shows in this reply, in which he wrote:

    “At high latitudes there is in fact no winter troposphere at all – I think that is because there is no winter CO2 greenhouse. The surface lies in the stratosphere. …”

    Euan later posted several comments on RealClimate’s commentary about Booker’s piece in the Telegraph, Euan presenting his opinion of the adjustments made to the weather records to remove various sources of error before computing changes in global averages. Of interest to me was a comment he posted about the demise of The Oil Drum, in which he blames those of us who were concerned about Global Warming as the cause. But, if Euan is wrong now, he was wrong then and efforts to present the case on that venue died because of his errors. It’s little wonder that concerns about all of these future problems are being buried under an avalanche of disinformation, thus foreclosing any option to halt the continuation of business as usual…

    #19322

    gezelle
    Participant

    @ greenpa….I have also seen the change in people’s belief patterns that you describe.
    However, while many of them believe that not everyone will make it, they always believe that they themselves will. I have no such certainties about myself.

    #19331

    John Day
    Participant

    Nicole, that was the most perfectly honed 10 minutes of lucidity, spoken with perfect articulation of each syllable, no uncertain pauses, and brilliantly illuminated by the clearest vision, which shone through.
    Tar sands and fracking as “sucking beer out of the carpet” will be the header on my news compilation for today.
    Go Girl!
    @gezelle and Greenpa,
    I am absolutely uncertain about myself, but due to a higher degree of preparedness, responsibility, and a career in public health, I expect to spend a lot of the rest of my life helping my people die well, whatever that may mean. It has already begun for me, personally.
    No, I’m not Jack Kevorkian. That’s not what I mean.
    People don’t just die simply. It’s complex. A lot of the resources of a family and community go into the end of life. There will be a lot of that compressed into a much shorter time, and not much of it will be happening in the ICU.
    Those of us who are not flailing, and know how to be of help and support to the dying and their loved ones, will have lots and lots to do, and will mainly be rewarded with quick expressions of gratitude…

    #19332

    adrian144
    Participant

    Can Nicole (or anyone else) point me to a link where Nicole talks about what the MC mentioned about Not Buying Property? I don’t remember coming across that, though I have read quite a lot here.

    #19333

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ adrian144

    Here, try this;
    http://transitionnambour.blogspot.com/2012/02/review-of-nicole-fosss-talk-at-big.html

    It seems buying property is not necessarily out of the question, but rather dependent upon location and value. The U.S. property market is over priced. But she goes into the conditionals at the above meeting.

    #19335

    Raleigh
    Participant

    Was reading about “insight,” relating to insight into our own personal lives. The writer said that insight is never enough, that even though some people are lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be) enough to realize how they became who they are, it’s never enough. If we are struggling, we must act, do things differently. And yet, we usually don’t. We cannot unlearn what we’ve learned, and most often we just continue on with the way things have always been.

    David Holmgren feels that we will have to go through a sort of “hell on earth” scenario before we ever change. I believe he is right, a cold, hard slap across the face. The two fellows to the right of Nicole seemed to think that magically we’d get a kind of consensus if only we’d start talking, communicating.

    I believe it takes two things: a real crisis to wake us up, and then, after the rude awakening, we get the insight, why change is necessary. Only after the crisis do we begin to think about history.

    Listened to it all; thoroughly enjoyed it. Good points from everybody, but most especially Nicole and David. Thanks for this!

    #19343

    John Day
    Participant

    I read Holmgren’s Permaculture book so slowly and carefully over the course of last year, studying and meditating. I’ve done a lot of kitchen garden and fruit tree work in the past 17 months, after years of developing “insight”, but now I grow food, too.

    #19345

    David H. is waking up, and he knows it; good on him. As for property, the crux for Nicole and I has always been: don’t go into debt buying property. If you have the money, you ‘re sure you want to stay where you are, and you have a solid plan for the property, which can’t NOT include providing for your own basic needs, then go right ahead.

    #19348

    Euan Mearns
    Participant

    @ E Swanson, just to make the record clear.

    Final years of The Oil Drum there were 4 managing editors of which I was one. Two. including me can easily be described as climate sceptics, one a well informed warmist and the fourth neutral leaning warmist. It was the best balance that emerged. But the comments on the site became dominated by the Green calamity side of the debate creating the situation where those running the site lost the will to continue.

    Roel and Nicole at an early stage had a major disagreement with the then site administrators and the solution then was that they left. This benefited all. Pretty much like Greece leaving the Euro. I don’t agree with all that Roel has to say, but he is a very well informed, intelligent and literate guy and I appreciate what he does here. Nicole also spent huge amounts of time explaining to me things I didn’t understand.

    And so to the recent “Booker Telegraph Homewood scandal”. I spent the last 2 days looking at all the temperature records within 1000 km radius of Alice Springs – 30 records in all. Comparing raw records with homogenisation adjusted records shows 3 things:

    1) 29 of the 30 records are cooked to a greater or lesser extent (comparing V2 raw with V 3.1 homognenised)
    2) Records are cooked to create warming and cooked to create cooling in almost equal capacity which cancels out in the sub-regional analysis
    3) None minus 1 and all of the records are to be trusted

    Booker Homewood and GISS are simultaneously all right AND all wrong. Now go figure a way forward. Post on EM on Monday.

    #19351

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Adrian, we have written a lot about property over the years. The main point is not to buy property with debt, because property prices will plummet, you will find yourself in negative equity, unemployment will go through the roof so servicing debt will become far more difficult, and you would likely be foreclosed upon at some point. Or the banks might call in your loan, even if you’ve never missed a payment.

    If you can afford to buy a really useful property (that gives you control over the essentials of your own existence) with no debt, in the understanding that the price will fall drastically, and you are able to absorb that kind of financial loss, then go ahead buy it. In financial terms it would be a terrible investment, but there is more than finance to consider. Learning curve time for getting established is very important too. Those with more resources have fewer hard choices to make (fewer trade offs between time and money).

    If you already own a property it makes sense to sell if it is not a useful property, or if you have debt on it that you can neither repay nor manage through the foreseeable future. Managing debt would mean finding additional income streams to give you a substantial buffer on ability to pay, or pooling resources with others so as to cover the debt. If it is a very useful property and you can manage the remaining debt with substantial safety margins, then it makes sense to keep it.

    #19358

    adrian144
    Participant

    Thanks. We live in Japan, which has a whole bunch of issues about land (overpriced is only the start), but I’d like to start growing stuff, and the idea of improving the quality of land which wasn’t mine sounds a bit painful. We wouldn’t buy with debt, for sure.

    #19359

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Where in Japan? Not in the areas that are irretrievably contaminated I hope? Okinawa would be alright, and probably the western regions, where power production is not so compromised (Japan has an east-west divide in terms of power system frequency that makes east-west transfers problematic).

    Japanese property is much less overvalued than it used to be, thanks to the 25 year economic contraction that has already taken place there. They are at a different position in the cycle than everyone else – closer to the endgame where hyperinflation is a bigger risk than the deflation that has already happened there.

    #19367

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    Yes, I thought Nicole was probably the most lucid. I have no idea what version of capitalism Jess thinks is possible without growth. If it is profitable, that leads to growth; if it’s not profitable, it won’t be done. I suppose Monbiot is hoping for a non-collapse collapse. The others seems to be wishing on a star.

    However, Nicole also said the consequences of the debt bubble are going to be visited fairly soon. This is a constant theme of hers and, though perhaps the consequences are already here for many, I wonder just how soon is “fairly soon”. Monbiot thinks the system is fairly resilient and I guess that’s why we’re still waiting. Nicole said don’t worry about whether collapse is coming, it is. But it can be “coming” and still take another few decades, could it not?

    #19368

    sydjf
    Participant

    Raul,
    “David H. is waking up, and he knows it; good on him.”
    Huh. David Holmgren and Bill Mollison wrote Permaculture One in 1978 as a positive solution to the problems that were predicted in the limits to growth conference in the early seventies, i am guessing well before you started writing anything about the limits to growth.

    #19369

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    I have huge respect for David Holmgren. He is a true systems thinker, and an exceptionally good one. Ilargi means that he is relatively new to an understanding of the dynamics of finance. He is not at all new to energy analysis or ecological systems thinking, in fact he was doing that substantially before I was, given that he is almost 10 years older than I am. His seminal work was produced when I was less than 10 years old. We work very well together. I love his propensity to interpret the landscape everywhere, in ways I could not hope to do myself.

    #19377

    adrian144
    Participant

    Oh ghod no, we’re in Wakayama just south of Osaka. The government certainly doesn’t look like it’ll be able to pay its debts back at current and prospective growth rates without debauching the currency completely, but how long they’ll be able to put off the reckoning is anybody’s guess. The market for land in the countryside seems to be pretty constipated as far as I can tell – people just can’t be bothered to sell for low prices, and they aren’t poor enough to have to, so they just hang onto it. Houses also aren’t an asset here, oddly, they’re effectively disposable.

    #19379

    dragonfly
    Participant

    Thanks all, it’s been fascinating to think about all of these topics and hear what’s on the minds of others. For those who think the financial side of this crisis will continue to play out, there is a unique voice out there speaking to a deflationary bust in 2015, a massive QE4 response that dwarfs the last three, a temporary inflation cycle into 2020, and then the real depression. The only writer I’ve found who actually called what we’ve seen in oil, gold, US dollar, and long-bonds comments over at Seeking Alpha under the handle Contrarianadvisor. His comments are archived back to early 2013.

    Many of us crisis-focused worriers, some who have been calling wolf for decades, are not able to go the perma-culture route and will be surviving in urban communities. We’ll be doing our best to support each other and it makes sense keep a heads-up on managing the financial side of things, as the deck-chairs become fewer and potential inflationary waves sweep the remaining ones out to sea.

    I agree with Nicole that promises that can’t be kept, won’t be. It’s then a question of how the renege goes down and the time-frames involved. I suspect it will be a volatile series of reactionary dynamics over many years which accomplish the task.

    But, in the meantime, if there is a short-term bust this year, followed by an inflationary cycle for a few more, that process would really throw a lot of people for a loop.

    2015 should tell the tale on that scenario.

    #19386

    sydjf
    Participant

    Nicole,
    I think that along with John Michael Greer and Dimitry Orlov, you are a brilliant systems analyst, but humbly may I sugest that being an expert in financial systems is but one aspect of the long descent that the human race faces.
    If we are to be trully resilient to the challenges that we are facing, we need to have more than just a superficial understanding of what permaculture is. The word Permaculture is derived from the terms permanent culture for good reason. The science of permaculture addresses all aspects of the human ecological condition as well as the financial aspects.

    #19398

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    One thing I’d disagree with Nicole about is that the best way to address climate change is not to talk about it. For a start, just as she says that economic and industrial collapse is inevitable (so there is no point in either pressing for it or trying to speed it up), it is also true that climate change will remain on people’s lips for a long time, regardless of whether one wants people to stop talking about it. Remember, also, that this is the year that “THE SOLUTION” will be agreed on, so hoping people don’t talk about it is rather forlorn.

    Climate change is also relentless. Whilst humans can kick the can down the road, in many ways, on finance and the economy, for some time (though collapse is, in the end, inevitable), there is no way to do that with the climate. The glaciers and ice sheets continue to melt (which is proof positive that warming never stopped, for those who think it stopped in 1998), the oceans continue to warm and acidify and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly evident. Climate change does and will affect people in a very personal way, just as collapsing economies do. But it also affects the necessities of life (food, water and shelter) in a way, I think, that collapsing economies don’t (though, obviously, in our crazy world, many people need to get money in order to buy things they could perhaps supply for themselves in different circumstances).

    #19399

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Sydjf,

    I focus on financial systems only because finance has the shortest timeframe and is therefore likely to be the first system to fail for most people. Of course all other aspects of reality are important. Systems thinkers acknowledge all aspects of limits to growth and how they all inter-relate. This is why I teach permaculture, of which I have far more than a superficial understanding. I was originally a biologist and environmental scientist, so I am going back to my roots in many ways.

    #19400

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    TonyPrep,

    Collapsing economies will deprive a huge percentage of humanity of the essentials far more quickly than anything else will. Once money ceases to circulate in the economy, many thing cease to be possible almost from one day to the next. This is a huge existential threat, since organizing relief programmes is likely to take longer than people have before suffering dire consequences. Of course climate is important, but if we don’t look after the short term, we won’t have a long term to worry about.

    #19414

    dragonfly
    Participant

    Hi Nicole,

    I’d really like to hear your thoughts on how we deal with over 400 commercial nuclear reactors that require maintenance. My sense is that we’re at a make-it or break-it point in human history. If we don’t advance to the point where we have sufficient energy to deal with our past mistakes, then it’s very likely we don’t have a future at all. Does anyone really think that we have the option of dialing it all down and returning to a simpler time? I recommend Eric Lerner’s 1991 book The Big Bang Never Happened and a look at the work his group is doing on pulsed-plasma fusion technology.

    #19424

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    We aren’t going to deal effectively with them at all, which means that various parts of the world will become uninhabitable for a long time. Not that people will actually stop inhabiting them, but those that stay would suffer some really unpleasant consequences. It won’t wipe life off the face of the earth or anything like that IMO, but it will be very bad, and very variable with location. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near a nuclear plant in a future where we won’t have the money or the energy to prevent horribles problems.

    #19427

    Cory
    Participant

    Test.

    #19429

    Cory
    Participant

    Nicole – since you are here and speaking about property, I thought I would let you know that my brother “Cory” who used to post occasionally to this site acted upon your advice in 2008 and sold his family home at what turned out to be the bottom of the market.

    In the intervening years, as prices rose and rents went higher than his monthly payments, he realized the gravity of the mistake he made and became more desperate over time. Recently, he took his own life.

    It strikes me from his writings what a profound impact you had with your words. In particular there was an exchange this last year where (his words) “she refused to admit how wrong she was” which had a devastating impact upon him.

    While it is clear to me and the rest of the family that Cory had problems, I am struck as to what could have possibly been said here so as to be so influential to him. Thus, I am wondering if there is any way I could go back and see what he said here over time that caused him to mention this site in his suicide note? As the members of his extended family are now trying to pick up the pieces, any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you – Ann

    #19431

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    Nicole, with respect, I think you missed my points:

    1) Not talking about climate change is not an option, just as collapse is not an option. Certainly, this year, climate change will be talked about a lot, due to, at least, COP 21 in Paris – the day of decision.

    2) It’s not an absolute certainty that money will stop circulating before climate becomes a widespread problem and starts to have severe impacts for the majority. I’m sure that you, like me, are completely dumbfounded that things have more or less stayed afloat for as long as they have and completely incredulous at the way financial markets seem to defy gravity, year after year. I have no idea how long this can go on. I feel sure they will collapse soon but then I felt that sure about 5 years ago and even 10 years ago.

    The other point, I suppose, raised by some of the panel, is that post collapse, the ability to adapt to climate change is severely reduced. I’m not totally sure about this but it’s a point worth considering. If we don’t talk about climate change, at least in terms of adaptation, if not mitigation, then we won’t address it – I don’t think the appropriate actions are necessarily exactly the same as for financial and industrial collapse, in all respects.

    Tony

    #19432

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    Ann,

    I’m really sorry to hear about Cory. It’s hard to know what to say but I think I’ve been through a fraction of what he’s been through, though he was clearly much braver than I in taking decisive steps. The worst I did was listen to Chris Martenson and buy some gold, several years ago. It was a small but significant amount. It was pretty much at the most recent top of the market and has since fallen substantially. This is in no way comparable to what Cory decided to do, though I assume he got agreement from his spouse. I know from my own experience that it’s hard to talk about this stuff and to be on the same page.

    The conversation you’re referring to is, I think, in the comments to the article about Nicole moving to New Zealand.

    Reading through those comments, I have sympathy for Cory’s point of view. If his quotes are accurate, then the message certainly was, get out of property and wait for the housing market to crash within 5 years and Nicole or Ilargi certainly didn’t appear to realise that what they said in that comment conversation is somewhat different from what they were saying in 2009. Having said that, I’ve always taken specific timing of predictions with a pinch of salt. No-one knows the future and so we take the best stab that we can at preparing for an uncertain future. This follows on from what I wrote in earlier comments – there is no knowing just how long the powers that be can kick the can down the road. it’s impossible to know when the top or bottom of a particular market is reached and this is only determined with hindsight.

    Please accept my condolences to you and Cory’s family for your loss.

    Tony

    #19435

    Globull Warming is a hoax, scam and power grab. To anyone of any scientific talent and integrity it is obvious that is is the case.

    Thus the fact that Monbiot was involved discredits the entire affair.

    #19445

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Hello Ann,

    I am very sorry for your loss. The best record of what was said the last time (as far as I remember) that Cory posted here is to be found at the link provided by the poster above (http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2014/05/nicole-foss-at-atamai-ecovillage-new-zealand/?paged=2). I am sure there were many previous postings, but those would be unsearchable since we changed software platforms for our site (blogger to joomla to wordpress) over the years.

    Cory seemed very disturbed when I interacted with him. I remember him insisting at one point that we repudiate our entire analysis because he had lost money in the short term. I think he acted on one part of the message we share here, while not considering the rest of the picture. What we explain here is very complicated, but we are always happy to talk people through that picture if they ask. We don’t tell anyone what to do, we simply provide information and analysis that gives people the tools they need to make their own decisions.

    I am not surprised that rent would be higher than monthly mortgage payments, but mortgage payments are but one aspect of the cost of property ownership, so that is not an accurate comparison by itself. The property market has not bottomed, it has just been temporarily propped up by backing all mortgages with taxpayer guarantees. This will not continue for much longer. It is not a promise that can be kept if it is called on, it is merely a bluff to restore market confidence, but that can, and will, dry up very quickly once the credit crunch resumes.

    Property prices will fall much further than they have so far, leaving very many people trapped in negative equity at a time of sky-high unemployment and rising interest rates, when servicing debt will be very difficult. This dynamic is already underway in many countries, notably in the European periphery, and many more are set to follow, including the US. Sitting on the sidelines in cash, with no debt, is the safest place to be in the economic depression that is coming. Rent is paying someone else a fee to take the property price risk for you, and that risk is currently very substantial. Renting also allows people to be flexible as to location at a time when moving to find a job in a shrinking job market may well be essential.

    Selling is not a mistake, but it needs to be an informed choice made by weighing up all the options and understanding the risks and benefits of each way forward. What we try to provide here is the capacity for people to make such choices. There is a mountain of detailed analysis here. If you would like to understand our views in detail, then the primers section is the place to start. I am sure you will have other priorities at the moment however, and I wish you and your family peace at this difficult time.

    Nicole

    #19450

    Cory
    Participant

    Tonyprep – thanks for the kind words.

    Nicole – he was not so much concerned with “losing money” in the “short term” as he was with losing credibility in the long term. As the proud protector of his wife and family, in 2008 he took decisive action, telling everyone he knew of massive price drops, incredible instability, a president that may not survive his term in office. In short, massive “on the ground” upheaval in the next 2-5 years.

    He put all of his credibility at risk with that decision, and in the end, he lost all of it. The final straw was when the rent rose again and they had to move to a new area with lesser schools. At this point his wife no longer had confidence in his judgment of what is best for the family. As I too am a mother with young children, I cannot say that I blame her in that regard.

    Perhaps you have a different idea of what constitutes short term than I do but understand we are now 6 years in what was portrayed of a 2-5 year timeline of massive upheaval. When one makes a decision like he did that is so far out of the mainstream, you only have so much time to start proving your foresight before your credibility is gone.

    In the long term you may be right, but that does little good if the people who acted upon that message are no longer around to actually benefit from it. Ann

    #19452

    caper
    Participant

    Nicole-
    It is really good to see you posting here again and if I may say so you look great!

    #19453

    caper
    Participant

    Cory-
    You are, without a doubt, a world class dingbat.

    #19454

    Nicole Foss
    Keymaster

    Ann,

    Unfortunately useful contrarian forecasts never seem credible at the time they are most valuable, which is the time when one can act on them before the various financial traps close. To be a contrarian is to be lonely, in the sense of always being disbelieved when it matters most. It takes a thick skin to hold to a position one knows to be right even in the face of ridicule from the mainstream. People are typically far more comfortable being wrong along with everyone else than being right alone. To be wrong along with everyone else means one can avoid taking any kind of personal responsibility for one’s decisions. One need not make the effort to understand a situation and act in accordance with that understanding. The social pressure to conform is very strong, which is why we have such large swings of herding behaviour in the first place.

    I think it is critically important to be proactive in understanding a situation, and that one should always take personal responsibility for decisions rather than leaving those decisions to a consensus of the uninformed, or blaming those who provide the critical information and analysis. It isn’t easy, but ultimately it is the only way to avoid the traps set for the masses. The trap that is looming on the horizon is probably the largest one in recorded history. Falling into it will be the road to ruin for the middle class globally. Cory was trying to extract himself and his family from this trap, which was the right thing to do. Unfortunately he was seeking for certainty of timing, which is impossible to provide. All timing forecasts are probabilistic. The timing is far less important than the overall picture however.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss, although accepting the blame for it would be inappropriate.

    Nicole

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 52 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.