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"You Are Here": Echoing The Cognitive Dissonance Of September 2006

Tyler Durden's picture


With an almost perfect six-year lag, the S&P 500 appears to be following the same path as it did into the Subprime crisis from the Feb 2003 lows - almost too accurately. The analog is stunning 'optically' and even more concerning from a behavioral perspective. By this time in 2006, we had seen the US Home Construction Index drop 40%, Subprime lenders going bankrupt left and right, Magnetar Capital had started to create CDOs with the express intent of failing, and Nouriel Roubini had just given his IMF presentation on the forthcoming US housing bust and major recession. Despite all of this, which in hindsight was extremely worrisome, the S&P 500 managed to gain 200 more 'the Fed has our back'-points before cognitive dissonance finally gave in to the reality that the 'music had stopped' - first out wins, and large crowds and small doors don't mix. With the current market rising on ever-decreasing volumes (in futures and stocks - so it's not about the high-price equities), divergence between the new highs in equity indices and falling 'net new highs' in NYSE stocks, and near-peak post-crisis level of complacency in options prices, it seems risk and reward are at best skewed neutral, and at worst flashing red warning signals.

The '03-to-'08 Analog...


This time we have energy and food price inflation soaring; debt soaring; Advanced economies at ZIRP (and some NIRP); asset prices levitating; Europe in tatters; and China's growth gone... and yet, we keep buying - as the golden carpet ride of Central Bank malinvestment blinds us to the reality that we 'need' a devaluation... It is no different this time - we are behaviorally the same humans with all of our greed and avarice and self-important status-quo defending to be done; As Darth Vader might have said if he was still around (in the future?): "The Cognitive Dissonance Is Strong In This One"


NYSE Net New Highs Are Bearish-Diverging...


S&P 500 Options Implied Skewness (the amount the distribution of returns is different from normal and biased away from downside moves) is at near-peak post-crisis levels of complacency... and rising...


We can only assume that TPTB know this - and the jawboning that has managed to stabilize our markets for the last month has enabled enough protection/hedging to be put on as to provide comfort to those that really matter when this thing cracks.


(h/t Brad at NewEdge)


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Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:00 | 2748435 death_to_fed_tyranny
death_to_fed_tyranny's picture

Tired of the jawboning! God please get it over with! Oh. And. FUCK YOU BERNANKE!

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:40 | 2748507 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

bottom line they will say everything and do nothing....that way the markets are good until the december is perfect strategy

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:16 | 2748740 Muppet of the U...
Muppet of the Universe's picture

I love how ZH just puts on chart on top of the other, squeezes it to fit, and calls it reasoned assessment.  I never knew the truth smelled so much like bullshit.

You wanna see something special?  Check out 30 year bonds versus the Dow or S&P, over a 20 year period.  & line the peaks with the troughs...  notice the bubble shape formation?  LOL, that is about as legit as it gets, as long as your using charts like this to predict the market.  LOL

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 01:50 | 2748804 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Stay long and sayonara suckka.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 02:52 | 2748844 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

calling others bullshit while posting youtube videos.... LOL

go and enjoy your brainwashed life

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 11:01 | 2749509 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

" . . . as long as your using charts . . . . "


" . . . as long as you are using charts . . . "


". . . as long as you're using charts . . . "


I was beginning to think you might have an argument worth taking a look at.  But when I saw the 3rd grade grammar mistake, I opted out from clicking the link.  Call me superficial.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:16 | 2748566 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

So, I guess no shorts until ES 1780. Thanks ZH, you are the greatest.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:01 | 2748436 max2205
max2205's picture

Two years to keep dancing!

Doubt it'll take that long though.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:04 | 2748441 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Déjà vu.

"we can only assume that TPTB know..."

So they are doing god's work? Providing a lesson for us, again?

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:35 | 2748604 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Amnesia is the new Déjà vu

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:28 | 2748747 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:59 | 2748442 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

who knows anymore how long the inevitable can be postponed. i had sept of LAST year as the CRASH and now we are at highest can't run calcs and make sense of ANYTHING when QE and ZIRP have skullfucked the markets into pure hopium stupor distortions!

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:06 | 2748445 prains
prains's picture

just enough time for one more hit of crank boys, back up the truck

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:24 | 2748606 intric8
intric8's picture

This is exactly why you go long and yet feel horrible about it. This artificial inflation via the PPT is nothing but thin ice over a very cold lake. The depth of that lake is unkown, but its a long ways down.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:12 | 2748460 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

AAPL wasn't 670, AMZN wasn't 260, FB wasn't public. So, dream on, SP will not be above 1500 until Bernanke is fired.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:11 | 2748734 r3phl0x
r3phl0x's picture

Stop thinking, and go long anyway. The iPhone is on track to replace the US Dollar as a global reserve currency by 2015.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:14 | 2748463 AUD
AUD's picture

has enabled enough protection/hedging to be put on as to provide comfort to those that really matter when this thing cracks.

Is this a joke?

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 08:06 | 2749077 Rollerball
Rollerball's picture

Gold bricks buried deep.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:15 | 2748465 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Deja vu ain't what it used to be.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 08:26 | 2749100 crusty curmudgeon
crusty curmudgeon's picture

Haven't I seen this post somewhere before?

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:16 | 2748468 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

2016 tops but it will be one hell of a bumpy ride before then. It might not even last 3-6 months at this rate.


Those dealers are having to drink all the kool-aid they can take and more.

Collateral needs are breaking the shadow banking system.

Rehypothcate can only go so far.

All the warning signs are flashing.

For how long? Who knows.

A lot of talk about the next 4-8 weeks and there is good reason for that. One little overnight bump and this thing is going down.


Lets be clear too the system would have broke shortly after MF Global had they not broken out the swaps again. The jawboning has been going on for far too long.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:16 | 2748469 Diamond_Dave
Diamond_Dave's picture

I would say there are a couple of mirror points on that trend comparison, and if we mirror from here looks bad for next two years. Is that train leaving? Toot-toot; next stop Clarksville.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:17 | 2748470 mayhem
mayhem's picture

i am starting to think this is going to be a slow, painful pullback in late Sep. Nothing to move politics. Hard to trade. i would prefer a reset and mayhem  

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:25 | 2748588 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

well .. maybe minus the mayhem (no eponymous offense intended)

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:17 | 2748471 JohnG
JohnG's picture



Just wait til Friday at Jhole.

I'm not always short, but when I am, I short everything.

Stay thirsty my friends.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:27 | 2748490 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I think you will get stung. QE means that market will go up til election, no QE means that Fed thinks economy is in OK shape so market will go up also. these markets are too controlled to touch

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:02 | 2748571 JohnG
JohnG's picture



There will be no outright QE.  Jawboning works, but is having a decreased half-life, just like QE.

What the FED *thinks* is irrelevant.

Also, I made no mention of HOW I short everything.  I lean hard on the hedges.  Hope to lose on those.  Don't think so.

In any case, in the medium term, this market is going down without plain outright QE.  Unless the ECB forces Bernank's hand, there will be no outright QE.  Merkel is smarter than that.

edit: Didn't junk you, I only upvote sparingly.  Everyone's entitled to thier opinion and I read and appreciate mostly all except trolls.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:55 | 2748769 TraderTimm
TraderTimm's picture

While I support short selling in all its forms, I'm not so sure if it will be this particular juncture. I wish you the best, but this market is clinically insane.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 14:49 | 2750223 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

No QE at JHole, Dow drops 100 but then recovers

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:19 | 2748475 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Are we all talking about the same thing here? Are we discussing a possible 10% correction in the markets? I am thinking this is like a rope that snaps and decapitates the people holding it.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:19 | 2748476 adr
adr's picture

The iPhone5 failing to sell 1 billion units in 24 hours to support Apple's share price will be the 2012 Lehman moment.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:26 | 2748591 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

I'll take a dozen

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:41 | 2748709 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Four Legs Good--wait, patience, mon ami. - Ned

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:56 | 2748771 TraderTimm
TraderTimm's picture

Given the timetable of approximately 10 months, I'd say we have until iPhone6 before it all goes to hell.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:20 | 2748479 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I simply can't imagine we will advance beyond S&P 1450 regardless of what they do. We are coming into a critical couple months and if they don't do QE3 there is no way they can keep a market this illiquid afloat.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:36 | 2748500 knukles
knukles's picture

The psychology out there is absolutely a disaster.
I know doctors getting real estate licenses (holy shit!)
Gubamint employees retiring early to get in the "senior" most secure position with retirement benefits.
Neo-Cons going absolutely ape-shit with the Romie-Rand ticket thinking that the world's been saved (watch out for any surprise win or loose, not...)
My friend in the investment biz think it's all warm and stinky while their employer official line is Everything's Coming Up Roses....
Commercial property lease and sale signs flooding the market anew,(supposed to be a lagging indicator, so if alls good shoulda been disappearing by now)
Got buds under water starting to panic.... even tho can handle the payments
Got bunches of ex-dem and ex-repubs who were all for Paul gonna either not vote or write in Paul, taking away the independent base Roomie needs to win....  And we may say there's no difference but I'll take a change right now....
Nothing is right, correct, A-OK, supposed to be...
Dismal shit.

Very dismal shit.

Fuck this.  Time for some entertaining reading. 

Or maybe Lizard Lick Towing or Storage Wars, the new employment opportunities of the New Normal

While the US sinks, China dives and Europe disappears.


Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:52 | 2748526 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Knukles I had a beer with one of my best friends last night. This was the conversation...

Him: I have been reading about China lately. It's crazy what goes on with their government. It seems like real Orwell type shit with the government controlling information and cracking down on people"

Me: You are fuckin with me right?

Him: Eh?

Me: nevermind.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 02:47 | 2748842 schatzi
schatzi's picture

To my friends and colleagues I paint a similar frustrated picture of doom and gloom (in the European core busy paying 50% income tax + social security - Jeez I'm pissed off just being reminded), yet I get dismissed as a dumbfuck loonie, because the government here has everything under control.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 11:18 | 2749568 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

Knukles - very accurate summation.  Agree with everything except the compromise on the Romie ticket (I think that's what you were saying).  RNC dirty tricks, and totally disenfranchising their constitutional/small-government base, is going to blow this thing wide open.  Those of us refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils may indirectly cause the blue fascist to get elected instead of the red one this time, but that's the pain it's going to take to wake people up to get out of this one party dick-tatorship.  As somebody said recently:  whether it's a blue or red condom, we're still being screwed by the same dick. 

Good article on RP and the liberty movement here:

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:40 | 2748505 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture


Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:33 | 2748481 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

".....the S&P 500 managed to gain 200 more 'the Fed has our back'-points before cognitive dissonance finally gave in to the reality that the 'music had stopped' - first out wins, and large crowds and small doors don't mix."


You rang?

And I never give in without first waging a fierce ear to ear fight. You ain't seen nuttin' yet.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:31 | 2748498 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Time to start drinking in the mornings again. I found a recipe for homemade irish creme for my coffee. See you-all bright and early in the a.m..

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:33 | 2748499 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Subprime loans “affirmative action” - Andrew Cuomo


The financial world did not collapse because of 15,000 loans from this one settlement, but this case did not exist in isolation. Cuomo held this press conference as a warning to all lenders that the Clinton administration intended to enforce the CRA broadly with all lenders, and in fact he explicitly stated this. When that didn’t free up credit as quickly as Clinton desired, he and Congress mandated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase more subprime paper — which Cuomo baldly admitted was riskier and would have a higher rate of failures — and to turn them into mortgage-backed securities, which they marketed as low-risk investments based on implicit government backing.

This did what the heavy-handed enforcement of the CRA could not: it made lenders enthusiastic about subprime lending. Why? They could make short-term profit on every mortgage regardless of the borrower’s ability to repay, because Fannie and Freddie would buy them anyway. With the risk removed from lending, subprime loans became quick-buck rackets for all lenders, predatory or not. 

The second half of the video relates what we already know about Barack Obama. He sued Citibank to force more subprime lending, and his ACORN partners did the same elsewhere, initiating actions like the one Cuomo heralds here as a great breakthrough in affirmative-action lending. Obama bears responsibility at the edges for the beginning of this disaster, and more for his inaction while in the Senate as Alan Greenspan warned them of the coming collapse. Most of this falls on the Clinton administration and Congress in 1998-2000, who set this brush fire alight and then kept the firefighters at OFHEO at bay by calling them racists. 

How we forget the failure by many examples to keep the peasants on the plantations. Look, another one escapes… 

Who Let Her Off the Plantation???!!!



Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:45 | 2748516 hannah
hannah's picture

the last time, the fed could still put trillions into the market because oil was $30, corn was cheap and chinese labour was cheap. lets seem them put a trillion dollars in with oil at $90 and corn at all time highs.


no way they get away with it this time.....oh they will try but we cant survive continuing $90 oil. much less $140 oil.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:50 | 2748522 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

It will cook the system that is for sure. Bernake on a tightrope while being smacked from both sides of the aisle.


Heck we are at $3.80 plus on the national average without QE. It shall be fun.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:21 | 2748743 r3phl0x
r3phl0x's picture

The Fed can print as much as they want, because the money never ever reaches the lower / middle classes who would bid up food / oil. It goes straight to banks, who short commodities and occasionally crash the latest real estate / equity bubble-du-jour, to keep the QE flowing.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 04:35 | 2748905 taraxias
taraxias's picture

Yeah, I know what you mean, they SHORT commodities so much that Brent is riveted over $100 and food related commodities are at all time highs.

////// snark

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 21:55 | 2748534 HaroldWang
HaroldWang's picture

Looks like 1800 SPX is just around the corner. Funny thing, I watched "Trader" again the other night about Paul Tudor and they were overlaying crash scenarios to then modern charts. It's amazing that it worked out and the market crashed. Guess history does rhyme.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:02 | 2748544 Whiner
Whiner's picture

They are still pumping and humping: FHA, FHLB, Fannie, Freddie, Student Loans (on to one trillion next year)100s of billions in new derivatives, etc., ad nausium. The leverage in the system is as taunt as the last flood room on The Titanic. Whe she goes, I say she goes fast as digits can fly, and she goes deep to the bottom of Davey Jones locker. I don't know where to hide except phys. PMs. Keep a wad of fiat under the mattress, things to barter, stock of meds and ammo.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:28 | 2748550 mirac
mirac's picture

  lolOK.  If your going to give me a New Highs chart, ya shudda supplied a New Low I have to go and find one!

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:41 | 2748616 honestann
honestann's picture

As conventional wisdom endlessly pushes the notion that "rising prices are healthy" AKA "booms are good", many if not most ZHers see through the blatant artificiality and consequences of this nonsense.  However, I wonder how many ZHers have ever sat down and considered what an economy would look like that was intentionally structured to achieve the exact opposite of conventional wisdom.

What I mean is, and economy where everything is dirt cheap.  However, unlike conventional wisdom, we should rule out all artificial mechanisms (like central banks, monetary manipulation, etc).  So what we should imagine is an economy where everything is dirt cheap because absolutely nothing is done to artificially jack up prices.

What does this look like?  Well, for one, no credit.  Or to put this another way, everyone is free to lend their savings to others at whatever terms the lender and borrower voluntarily negotiate.  However, nobody can lend one penny more than the savings they have accumulated through productive work.  In other words, no privileged bunch of predators can create any fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve debt-note toilet-paper out of thin air to lend to others.  Anyone who wants to spend more than he has earned and saved must convince someone else to part with their hard earned savings --- and must agree to whatever terms the lender is willing to accept, no matter how scary those terms might be (like risk losing everything they own).

I will not waste time by itemizing all the other differences that would have to exist in such a society, because most people can figure out what they are easily enough.  Just imagine a world composed of individuals, but no fictitious entities (governments, corporations, authorities, officials).  Just regular folks dealing with regular folks voluntarily --- period.

If you do the mental work and figure out what such a planet or country would look like, you find that everything would be cheap... at least relative to anyone in western or large societies is familiar with today.

The next question is... would this be a good place to live?  The answer is a very strong yes!  To be sure, it would be more difficult to accumulate huge wealth.  That's because every single way that exist in western and large societies to accumulate huge wealth are artificial and [mostly or entirely] non-productive.  For example, you can't just create unlimited sums of fiat, lend to others, then make a killing off interest payments those poor suckers pay you.  And you can't send government thugs to shut down competition just because you happened to file some stupid piece of paper (like a patent application) with some so-called official (none of whom would exist).  And so forth.

So, to get obscenely wealthy, you'd have to be one of the most extraordinarily productive individuals on planet earth.  Then you could accumulate huge wealth, though it would almost certainly take you somewhere between decades and your entire lifetime.  A time during which your brain would become very habituated to focusing on reality and thinking up highly productive techniques, not finding ways to scam and enslave your fellow human being.  In other words, your wealth would legitimately belong to you.  And you would be successful because you were able to produce higher quality goods at lower prices than anyone else in the same market as you.

In other words, everything rich folks would do to make themselves rich would improve the quality and reduce the prices of goods for everyone else.  What a concept!  But this is, in fact, exactly the state of affairs in a natural world... a world devoid of predators-DBA-government, predators-DBA-corporations, predators-DBA-centralbanks, predators-that-be.

For most folks, who would not be as amazingly creative or productive as the very richest, what would a life in such a world be like?  Well, if they were willing to make a reasonable, moderate effort to learn a skill and produce something (for their own business or as a contractor/employee for another), they would live a very high quality life... much higher than middle class live today even without accumulating any (much less astronomical sums) of personal debt and collective debt (though "collective debt" is an utterly bogus notion).

In such a world, a home would cost about 8x ~ 12x less than typical homes today (even after the housing crash).  People always say BS when I introduce this 8x to 12x number, but those who read the detailed calculation grudgingly admit that is correct.  Just remember, given typical mortgage rates, people pay 3x more than necessary simply because that's the nature of a 30-year mortgage.  The other factor of 2x ~ 4x comes from other gains.  Just to choose one, consider how much you pay for the land under your home.  Why is that land expensive?  Originally people simply claimed land that others were not using.  The predators-DBA-government put a stop to that.  Now they sell 1 square mile chunks to developers for a few tens or hundreds of thousands (depending on where), and the developers subdivide each square mile (640 acres) into thousands if not tens of thousands of individual little tiny "lots"... and sell them for gains of 50:1, 100:1, 500:1 or more.  Huge ripoff.  And that's just the start (I will not repeat my whole analysis here... again).

In such a world, education would be free, or virtually so.  A great many humans would rediscovery the apprentice phenomenon (from the viewpoint of master as well as apprentice).  Rather than get royally screwed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by banksters in order to pay pro-authoritarian, pro-collectivist brainwashers, you'd actually get paid to help a master.  True, you wouldn't get paid very much, especially at the start, but the faster you gained skills, the faster your master would be forced to increase your pay for fear you'd find another master or start your own business!  Duh!

In such a world, healthcare costs would be a minor afterthought, except for the most time, effort and machinery-intensive situations.  Most people would be fabulously healthier, largely because they would have the understanding and attitude that "I'm responsible for myself".  They would also be too smart to pay good money to poison themselves with mercury-tainted high-fructose corn syrup and endless other atrocities that are common today.  When those extremely rare situations occur where very expensive procedures are necessary... you can either pay or die or accept charity.  That would be your choice.  Sorry, but a healthy society does eliminate or solve every rare unfortunate accident.

I raise this thought experiment for one reason --- to get people to think.  And I mean really think.  Not just accept thousands of utterly bogus, artificial, unnecessary premises, then grind yourself into a hopeless state of confusion trying to find a way to make the impossible possible.  That's what those false premises were designed for by the predators --- to get you so confused, and make you feel so hopeless that you just let them continue to make all the decision for you and everyone else, and enslave everyone on earth.

Humans have absolutely zero hope for a better future... unless humans learn to think, from first principles, every single time, and on every single issue.  And humans must stop and reject absurd thought processes the moment they become absurd or contradictory... not just continue on, accept the absurdities and contradictions, and try to find ways to compensate for them.  Learn to think like an engineer - know that the first component that doesn't work, and work reliably, will bring down the entire airplane... or scheme.

Perhaps most of all, consider why every collectivist idea is inherently and necessarily bad.  The reasons for that are endless, but consider a couple of the more obvious and generalized.  You know, like the notion "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".  Well, collectivism is nothing more than giving some predator the power to lie, cheat, steal, defraud and at least force everyone else to comply with their dictates.  That kind of concentration of power has never, not once in history over a significant timeframe, been positive.  Also consider that it is clearly and blatantly insane to make everyone adopt the same ideas and actions.  The first time, perhaps even by accident of nature, those ideas and actions lead to disaster --- you have assured that everyone goes down.  In contrast, when everyone is free to make their own decision and take their own actions, any unfortunate disaster (or intentional malevolence) only trashes that small minority that adopted a specific modus-operandi.  Everyone else is left healthy and ready to carry on.

I am always amazed to read what smart people say, here in ZH and elsewhere.  What the predators know so very well is this.  That even the most brilliant human being, if you can get them to accept even one bogus premise, will wander off into blatant insanity and destruction because that's where that false premise invariably leads.  Or at the very least, these brilliant humans become terminally confused and thereby disabled and incapable of helping advance honest, ethical, natural, benevolent ideas and actions.

Any non-trivial thinking process is like navigating your way across a wild, furious river by jumping from stone to stone.  If you don't land directly on each stone in a solid, stable way, you slip off into the rapids and get washed away into wild, crazy insanity.  To cross any rapids, or figure out any non-trivial issue, humans must start from the start, observe and execute every step carefully, and make zero mistakes.  Especially today, unless you're naturally insightful and skeptical, that is not an easy task.  The predators-that-be and predator-collaborators of this world have deployed a huge quantity of smoke, mirrors, holograms and threats to confuse and mislead.  They are very clear about how thinking works.  They don't need to convince you of anything, and they know it.  They know that all they need to do is get you to make one mistake and you'll slip up and get swept downstream into one of the insanities they endorse.  Or, at worst, you'll become confused and thereby disabled, because no human is likely to put their foot down and take personal risk unless they are clear and certain about their own insight and thinking process.  If you don't thoroughly understand yourself, they've got you by default --- in every single issue.

What would it be like to live in a world where everything is dirt cheap, and everyone is free?  I'd love to find out.  But first we must live in a world in which predators are shot dead when they wander onto our farm, into our factories, or into our towns.  Not a world where predators are always handed the keys to the city as they are today.  What a world.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:15 | 2748669 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"But first we must live in a world in which predators are shot dead ..."

Clearly the rub is who is going to do that, and how? The predators are there precisely BECAUSE they were selected to be the best at shooting other people dead first. The long history of war made War King, and since success in war was based on deceit, that eventually made Fraud King.

It is too glib and facile to recommend that we do better death controls (i.e., shoot the predators dead) unless one provides an overall system of better death controls, within which that operates.

So far, I can not imagine anything that would work. It is way too easy to throw away one line like that, in order to sustain all the other fantasies of "what if" ...

However, since everyone lives by being a robber, and everyone can rob the same things, and since life can reproduce, and reproduction can go exponential, the basic problems inherent in the nature of life have selected for those who were the best at being dishonest to control civilization. I agree that they are doing an extremely bad job, at the present time, however, I can not think of any practical ways to do better death controls, since killing other people requires militarism and militarism requires deceit to be successful.

It is an interesting question whether the human experiment can survive ... we have applied science and technology to become orders of magnitude better at being dishonest and violent, but have not quantum leaped that through to a radically different system ... yet ... we should, however, I can not imagine any way to get there, other than through insane processes of booms and busts, maybe eventually evolving a better ecology, IF we manage to survive those processes ???

I totally agree that better industrial ecology and design science applications could create orders of magnitude more abundance and wealth. However, without better murder systems, then there can be no better money systems, to actually do the real accounting to work such a system of abundance. The death controls have to be the keystone of any system of alternatives.

I suppose it is theoretically possible, but the evolution of that seems to require a series of political miracles, at least to take place within the foreseeable future. WE should, but there is no sign that the elites are doing anything else than prepare for wars and martial law, as their "solutions" to the current problems. Indeed, we should replace those predators with better ones!

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:11 | 2748732 honestann
honestann's picture

Some good points, partly because you miss my main trust (which was trying to get people to think thoroughly, carefully, and most importantly, from first principles).  You are correct to point out how powerful predators have become today, and to point out how problematic it is to eliminate them.  In fact, I believe humans have waited much, much, much too long already.  The predators now control virtually all the technology today, putting them in a position to dominate regular folks.  The only event that could change that is for massive numbers of humans to wake up, get honest, and start thinking straight.  But as you probably agree, the probability such an event will take place is infintesimal, and that's probably optimistic.

Amazingly, the predators could be taken down simply by stopping work.  Just stop.  But there again, you'd need to get huge numbers of people to stop working before the predators would fall.  So that won't happen... that's nothing more than fantasy, unfortunately.

The "human experiment" has already failed, and is merely in the process of spiraling down the toilet for its last hurrah.  It will continue to be more and more insane as it goes, which it must be in order to continue to sanction and support the same batch of predators who destroyed everything in the first place.

In the long run, there are only two possible outcomes for mankind.  The most likely is total destruction and extinction.  That is certainly what the vast majority of mankind deserves for sanctioning, supporting and defending the predators who enslave them and destroy their world.  It is slightly possible that a few individuals or very small collaborative groups of individuals will be able to evade the chaos as mankind spirals down the toilet.  They'll need to become virtually if not literally self-sufficient and independent of all commericial systems (electricity, water, fuel, etc).  This is no small effort, yet is within the capability of a few individuals smart enough to avoid debt and save more than they consumed for 2 or 3 decades of productive work.  This is the direction I have taken, and the direction I advise anyone who isn't frozen in the headlights like 99.999999% of humanity.  The real solution, and probably the only viable permanent solution, is to get out of dodge.  And in this sense I don't mean "leave the USSA", I mean "get off this rock" called planet earth.  Only in space, where resources are so spread out, and distances are vastly, vastly, vastly too great for predators to even find prey, much less force them to do anything can sentient entities get down to the business of moving forward into a productive future.

There will be no political miracles.  Sorry.  As much as I'd love to see someone like Ron Paul get elected to slow the spiral down the toilet (to give us more time to get out of dodge), even that much is virtually impossible.  Humans are simply too stupid, and too willing to be stupid.  Humans are dumber than rocks... literally... and they have clearly decided to remain that way.

Don't make their mistake!  No way are "predators" a solution.  Predators are destroyers.  What is needed is production, advancement, and more production.  This cannot happen in a world where predators have become vastly more dominant than producers.  And remember, destruction is inherently, metaphysically, vastly more potent than production.  So the tools predators have are simply overwhelming, which is the core reason predators win --- the deck (of reality) is vastly stacked in their favor.  And that will remain true in any world/environment where population density is significant.  Only when individuals can avoid predators (or are willing to go all-in to apply destruction to the predators too) can productive individuals prosper.

BTW, though you are correct, if every human tomorrow clearly understood that human predators in expensive clothes are just as much predators as wild drooling beasts from the deep forests, the predator problem would end immediately.  So while "it ain't gonna happen", it is also true that it would happen given widespread understanding of this one simple fact.  Also BTW, if all of a sudden humans even started to "take care of business" (eliminate predators), they would vanish into the forest so fast you'd be stunned.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 01:57 | 2748809 Ungaro
Ungaro's picture

Great essays, Ann! Thank you.

My views are not as pessimistic as yours albeit I agree with most of your points. The fundamental problem I see is the disparity in the rate of humankind’s intellectual and spiritual evolution.

We have evolved intellectually at an unbelievable rate, a rate which keeps accelerating. We have not evolved at all spiritually; we are still at the level of the caveman. We have yet to contain our most basic emotions of fear and greed.

My hope for humanity springs from the knowledge that the predatory systems will, sooner or later, collapse under their own weight especially since there are no natural limits on their growth. We have seen just such a collapse of the former Soviet Union. When that comes to pass, smaller, more responsive systems can emerge, new thought forms can begin to take hold.

After the collapse of the USSR I was ready to declare that federalism was dead but I was dead wrong. Instead, the military-industrial complex has merged with the financial-political axis to create the Orwellian reality we have today – the predator just got bigger.

The predator dies when it runs out of prey. The response of just stopping to work, as you suggest, is impractical. However, “dropping out” temporarily is not. To me, this meant getting out of debt, moving to a distant and still free country, stopped paying most taxes (sales, property and excise taxes; all but federal income tax) and continued to work as a sole proprietor. For me, this is the way of starving the beast.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 07:34 | 2749036 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Ungaro I admire your strategy can you share what county you live in. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 00:06 | 2751516 honestann
honestann's picture

I have to disagree.  To me it is clear that on the average humans have become massively more ignorant and stupid as the years pass.  Don't be too impressed by bling-bling in fancy packages, even somewhat technological ones.

I don't know how to relate to that term "greed".  I suspect that term is foisted upon everyone as a purposeful scam by the predators-that-be.  That's what they want us to think.  For example, I am extraordinarily interested in "advancement".  Is that "greed"?  Well, this desire for advancement gives me zero desire to lie, cheat or steal anyone.  If I want advancement, I must observe, speculate, understand, invent, prototype and produce to achieve the advancement I want.  I'm not sure that much resembles what you mean by "greed".  Plus, what you probably do mean by greed... well... I don't feel that.  Am I a freak?  Maybe somewhat, but not as fundamentally as the predators want us to believe when they concoct false alternatives like "fear and greed".

The Soviet Union "collapsed" for two reasons.  They had a strong competitor, and they realized the version of predator-delight being practiced by their competitor was more delicious than their own brand.  So they simply switched from the USSR brand of predatory behavior to the USSA brand of predatory behavior.  I'm not sure what significance that had.  I mean, predators find it much more advantageous to collaborate than producers do, which is a huge part of our problem (the producers).

Yes, the exponential growth curves will end, then level-off or collapse.  That always happens on a limited environment like earth.

I too left the USSA about 2~3 years ago.  At this point, I and the people I'm collaborating with are mostly slowly spending our years or decades of savings to implement a solution that will let us escape this horrific disaster of predators-gone-wild.  Let's hope we finish before everything collapses so bad that even those of us far, far, far in the extreme boonies get swept up in the disasters of the final days.  We continue to develop our self-sufficient systems, but becoming completely self-sufficient is extraordinarily difficult for super-high-tech folks like us (if for no other reason than we want access to new technologies like carbon nanotubes and such, and can't afford to develop everything from scratch ourselves).

BTW, where did you escape to?

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 19:28 | 2750986 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Unfortunately, yes, I must  "agree, the probability such an event will take place is infintesimal, and that's probably optimistic." ... Therefore, I am not sure why we bother to research and think about these problems, when the conclusions always end up that we are trapped inside of runaway systems of lies, backed by violence, that do not care what the "truth" is ... except to use parts of that to become better at lies and violence.

I am not sure that I missed your main point ... rather my conculusions tend towards the opposite pole to establish unity. I.e., we accept that everyone is a liar and robber, and thus, there are NO "good guys" only different kinds of "bad guys," and then approach the human ecology problems from that perspective.

However, so many other more significant trends are on a runaway trajectory, that nothing seems to matter, other than that runaway rush to transformations that go off the scale of anything we were previously thinking about, when we started defining our problems, and looking for solutions within that frame of reference.

The human experiment is building better symbolic models of the universe, which work.

The predators are just as much a part of that as anyone else, indeed even more so!!!

That is why I always say that the theoretical solutions are for everyone to become better wolves, not better sheep. However, as you have correctly stated, all the evidence indicates that the overwhelming vast majority of people act like brain dead sheep, and there is practically nothing to support any beliefs in politiical miracles that that will change in any good ways. Instead, the runaway trajectory towards them being fleeced until they are slaughtered seems the only probably future. However, nevertheless, the wolf-people are creating conditions that will suercede themselves too.

As science fiction becomes fact faster and faster, some of the wildest changes of state become plausible.  However, there are no linear ways there. It appears that everything we are presuming will still exist may well not, and so, whatever solutions we propose will do nothing real, until reality makes them irrelevant.

I AM attempting to "think thoroughly, carefully, and most importantly, from first principles" ... which is why all of my bla, bla, blah is based on my understanding of energy laws, and general systems theory, and tends to primarily be based on the evolution of ecologies.  I place the top carnivores in the human ecology in that context. I think that predator/parasites and their prey share an unconditional love, since they are ONE. 

Theoretically, we should democratize our death controls, which then could enable us to democratize our debt controls. Everything you looked at, which is theoretically possible, as productive wealth and abundance, is possible only within a better murder system, which then makes a better money system possible. That continues to be even more true IF we survive to have any other habitat beyond planet Earth.  However, all of that optimism for a greater use of information and higher consciousness tends to be blown away  by the apparent runaway reality of the established systems of fraud and robbery driving themselves through self-destruction, due to final failure from too much "success" at fraud.

Eliminating the predatory is absolutely impossible. Only doing their job better is theoretically possible. However, that returns us to muddling through the madness of militarism, where "success" is based on triumphant deceits, which finally destroys itself. Given that the vast majority of people were brainwashed to believe that the best solutions are to all be better sheep, the final failure from the insanity of wolves with mad sheep diseases appear to be the most probable short-term future, while the longer term future makes possible some events which utterly supercede the human frame of references ...

The simplest charts that give rise to the most cognitive dissonance are the exponential growth curves in EVERYTHING. Almost all of human history, and especially most of our lives, up until now, has been riding along on the same old trajectory of those exponential growth curves, EVERYWHERE. Nothing in our experience enables us to imagine the obvious theoretically possible time when the absolute impossibility of endless exponential growth shows up in those charts, as our reality.

As long as the human population continues growing, at any expnential rate, nothing important has really changed. When that finally stops, one way or another, THEN things HAVE CHANGED!!! ... However, meanwhile, one of those charts may jump right off their page, such as the "singularity" of technology of artificial intelligence, or anything else totally outside of our current frame of reference.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 23:54 | 2751499 honestann
honestann's picture

Boy can I ever understand your feeling of futility, though from the other side of the fence --- the greener side!  But this is pure coincidence, because I'm working with a small group of people who have a solution - a technological solution that can be implemented by a small group, hopefully soon enough.  And that is the rub - how soon is "soon enough".  We wish we knew.  We must implement the solution with only our own time, effort and financial resources, because asking for support from corporate or government sponsors would definitely lead to our technology being stolen and applied to diametric opposite goals.

So from your perspective, and the perspective of just about everyone on this sorry little planet, there is no solution.  Or in your case, you appear to believe there is some kind of "hyper-predators solution", to "out-predator the predators", I guess.  Fortunately, we know better, and have a better solution (if we can finish in time).

The life of predators doesn't work unless there are [sufficient] prey.  The human population of earth exploded after humans learned to be producers.  Before that, humans were predators like every other species --- just grab and consume whatever you can find.  But when humans started being producers the quantity and quality of "goods" (mostly food at that time) exploded so dramatically that the human population was able to explode.  The current domination by predators will lead to the reverse phenomenon.  And yes, as you pointed out, once the predators consume their prey (human producers), they will very quickly consume there way through other species, then expire themselves (since they refuse to produce in order to live).

I cannot accept that "everyone is a liar and robber" because I am not.  And though I am realistic and therefore negative about the rest of humanity, I have to believe that at least thousands of humans refuse to be "liars or robbers".  I even bet that at least thousands of humans try to be honest, which is the most fundamental and necessary attribute in any non-predatory human being.  Without pure, unlimited "honesty with self" a human is just a collection of horrible, destructive ideas almost entirely created and sold to them by crafty predators.

I suppose we can agree on one thing.  That either we must "destroy predators" (which means, "destroy the destroyers"), or we must find a way to "evade predators".  You seem to think it is impossible to evade predators, but there you are wrong.  It is arguable whether it will be possible to evade predators on earth, I'll agree with that, because the predators will always have the newest and most effective technologies, including technologies to find us, perhaps even when we are hidden deep under ground.

However, you don't understand outer space as well as I do.  Astronomy and space sciences were my first intellectual interest and addiction starting at age 8 and continuing for decades, and leading-to and overlapping-with other physical sciences and engineering.  Once a few honest, ethical producers can escape into outer space and establish self-sufficient living systems, we can permanently escape the predators.  The dynamics on a fixed-size planet like earth massively favor the modus-operandi of predators.  The dynamics in a solar-system the size of ours, much less a galaxy or universe, massively favor the modus-operandi of producers.  I am certain most people cannot even begin to imagine the volume of the solar-system.  Further, I am certain most people cannot even being to imagine how effectively an individual or small collaborative group could hide in the solar-system.  The predators would never be able to find them.  And if by some amazing fluke of luck predators did find them, the producers would see them coming from a long, long way away, and could escape to other locations long before the predators arrived.  Further, the energy required to get the predators (or their agents) to the producers would be so vastly more valuable than anything the predators (or their agents) could possibly collect from the producers, the entire situation collapses into a farse of enormous proportions.

Like all other exponential curves, the exponential curves relating to mankind will terminate and level-off, or terminate and then collapse.  That's fine with me!  The earth is vastly over-populated as it is.

Finally, at the end, you put your finger on something that can happen - but won't necessarily happen - to change everything.  Something like what those wannabees call "the singularity".  What you and others don't realize is, the singularity already happened --- 14 years ago.  Fortunately, it did not happen at a corporate or government institution or laboratory.  It happened in the laboratory of a private individual who absolutely, positively will not let the breakthrough fall into the hands of any pack of predators, predator-supporters or classic organizations (all of which seem to be corrupt, even including the singularity folks).  The only reason you haven't seen the "explosion" of goodies yet is the fact that the original proof of principle implementation was much too slow to be very practical for anything.  In the past 14 years its architecture has been drastically enhanced, plus computers, GPUs and parallelism are a lot further advanced today.  So all that remains is re-implementation, which is ongoing but still several years away (depending on available resources of the individuals involved).

So you put your finger on the nature of the final resolution of the predator problem.  Either the predators will wipe out mankind, followed by themselves... or a small collaborative group of honest, productive individuals (both organic and inorganic) will leave this planet and set up self-sufficient and predator-safe operations elsewhere (probably in the asteroid belt to begin).  Which possible future will happen?  Sadly, we don't know.  Humans are so corrupt that no mechanism exists to help fund this tiny group without alerting the predators-that-be.  And that would be the end of this infinitely more desirable alternative.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:30 | 2748748 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You've posted a fine comment.  Here's my only problem with it (which does not negate your overall thesis):

"Not just accept thousands of utterly bogus, artificial, unnecessary premises, then grind yourself into a hopeless state of confusion trying to find a way to make the impossible possible. "

Isn't that what you just did?  You proposed a perfect world and then suggested that one not subscribe to the vision.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 23:19 | 2751441 honestann
honestann's picture

I don't think I propose a "perfect world".  I propose a world in which honest individuals act as honest, ethical, benevolent observers, scientists, engineers, inventors and... producers.  I don't know about you, but I've been an inventor and scientist-engineer since junior high school.  And nothing about that was remotely like a "perfect world".  To advance my knowledge required huge quantities of time, effort, diligent observation, endless grueling thought, re-thought and re-re-re-re-thought, savings, investment of savings in equipment, learning to prototype and then manufacture, and so forth.  I guess that is the most "perfect world" I can imagine (once the predators leave us alone), but I don't think most people would consider that a "perfect world".  In fact, the very reason others don't do what I and a few others have done is... because it is so overwhelmingly difficult.

Also, I do subscribe to the kind of "perfect world" I advocate, though I just can't accept the term "perfect" because it sounds so....... effortless?  In fact, for about three decades I have been learning about self-sufficient systems, lived in a mostly self-sufficient system for many years, have been designing and implementing various elements of a newer self-sufficient systems now and then, and most recently implementing a breakthrough technology that will make it possible for us to escape this planet and live the good life in outer space.  Hint: the technology has nothing directly to do with self-sufficient systems or space travel, yet makes them utterly practical (enough for the few of us to get off this rock and be self-sufficient for the eternity that follows).

What I'm saying is this.  Sometimes I am just too tired to work and I read ZH.  And sometimes I am foolish enough to write comments.  But I am totally beyond being confused by predators --- I am essentially immune to that now.  I understand the nature of reality and the nature of consciousness better than all but a few others on this planet (even as I remain ignorant of a great many other topics).  But what I and the small group I work with do know, is a technology that lets us get off this planet, become free of the drag of the screaming chimps we call humans and humanity, forever beyond the reach of predators, and ultimately an eternity and universe to work with.  That is as close to my "perfect world" as I need to get to fuel the intellectual fires that motivate me.  I wish was certain we could finish in time, before humanity spirals so far down the toilet that basic infrastructure becomes unavailable before we're completely hidden and self-sufficient.  Close call, so back to work.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 01:48 | 2748802 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Sounds nice like Heaven and I don't mean that in a religious sense but as a descriptive term.  You failed to take into account (no insult intended) Human Nature, Disease and a host of other issues that make us human. 

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 04:22 | 2748898 gwiss
gwiss's picture

We can see a world around us where everyone is free.  It's called nature.  And it's great.  Absolutely fabulous.  Amazingly resilient and stable, while retaining agility and adaptability.  Yet, it is also a place that is incredibly dangerous, because nature achieves its resilience, stability, agility and adaptability not on an individual level but on a systems level, and it sacrifices an immense number of its participants at the altar of expediency in order to retain these qualities.  It does not utilize individual intelligence to accomplish this equilibrium, but in fact depends on devolution to raw predation to accomplish this.  Nature depends on the weak, stupid, inflexible, and sick being eaten quickly before they suck any significant amount of resources out of the system and into making copies of themselves.  Nature does not depend on cooperation for the health of its system but instead on survival of the fittest.  Thus the focus of priority for nature is not the individual, but the system.

So we have a problem when we attempt to create a world of peaceful and cooperative freedom amongst the human population.  The problem is that this world where the individual is at the apex of concern is a creation of our imagination, and the average human is not smart enough to accomplish the world you dream of.  Average humanity does not read Zero Hedge.  Average humanity does not give a crap about economics or egghead preoccupations like the nature of money, the origin of the social contract in the reality of our permanently separated and isolated individual consciousness, and the fact that rights are simply reciprocal recognitions of similarities rather than existing as some supernaturally gifted quality.  Instead, the average human would rather post on Facebook, watch the latest incessant reiterations of the Kardashians, and bumble along in a very superficial and shallow existence consisting mostly of emotion and sensation and passive vegetative absorption of external stimuli.  If you attempt to talk to the average human about deeper things, their eyes glaze over and they quickly find an excuse to go somewhere else.

But, we have given these same humans the right to direct society just as much as you do, which is always the downfall of the system.  You will always be outnumbered by these people, and if given the right to vote on it, they would not choose the system you are describing, because they are not capable of actually thinking through the long term outcomes of systems accurately enough to correctly predict the outcomes of choices.  Thus, they will always fall for the political solution, which is nothing more than the age old system of ganging up on each other the same way chimpanzees do.

So, if you want a system which stays at an equilibrium of maximim individual freedom voluntarily chosen by citizens who understand that this is the sweet spot for maximal efficiency, you have to figure out a way to keep those who are aware from being outbred by those who are not, because once those who are not aware outnumber those who are, it degenerates into mob rule.   Thus you have to figure out a way to halt these free but only moderately intelligent people from being organized by a few smart people and taking over your system, because gangs and governments are to societal organization what nuclear weapons are to the arms race. 

The westerns solved this problem by having the lone gunslinger who saved the townspeople from tyranny ride off into the sunset after he guns down the bad guys, thus neatly forging and using and then discarding the tool that preserves freedom.  But how could we accomplish this in real life?

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 07:45 | 2749046 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

My only regret is that I can only give you 'one' upvote.  Well stated. I took notes.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 19:38 | 2751049 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"The westerns solved this problem by having the lone gunslinger who saved the townspeople from tyranny ride off into the sunset after he guns down the bad guys, thus neatly forging and using and then discarding the tool that preserves freedom.  But how could we accomplish this in real life?"

Excellent summary of the dilemma of death controls. Ah, for those days when there were no railroads, and no telegraphs, and therefore, the lone gunslinger could survive simply by riding a horse, and shooting faster.

And you were completely correct that, in our times, "gangs and governments are to societal organization what nuclear weapons are to the arms race. "

Therefore, the more we study the charts about our current numbers, the more manifestly insane those become, and our cognitive dissonance rings so loudly we can barely hear it anymore!

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 00:17 | 2751401 honestann
honestann's picture

I guess I have to agree with you (and give you an up-arrow) while simultaneously I disagree with you on the fringes.  I say "on the fringes" because I have already seen and experience enough to have given up on mankind and "homo stupidus" as a whole.  At this point my only hope is that a tiny sliver of "rational consciousness" (for lack of a better term) can be saved.  Given how corrupt, stupid and insane mankind is, why should we even hope they survive?  Like you pointed out (in your comments about the futility of voting), it seems the destructive side of mankind will dominate until mankind has vanished.  So let them vanish.

I too have a generally positive response to "nature".  However, my perspective is wider.  To me, nature includes the entire universe, and also includes the entirety of what sentient beings can make of this universe.  I do not say this to denigrate all the billions of years of evolution since the first single-cell lifeforms, nor how the vast majority of that time and organisms were entirely incapable of "the good life" as I tend to describe it.  I guess the way I see it is this.  How can I denigrate the sometimes seemingly "crude" nature that necessarily came before the advent of more advanced consciousness?  Given the nature of reality, I see no other way to get to more advanced consciousness.  So why would I trash it?  And so I don't.

However, I do distinguish what is now possible and entirely practical given more advanced consciousness from what was possible before such a time.  And I do admit that I vastly prefer a "sentient, productive, engineered future" to what many people think of as the "classic darwinian toughest-predator-wins future".

We are at the point where we can choose which future we want.  I freely admit this is difficult in practice, especially at this specific point in history as human predators are taking total control of everything.  However, if we make just one single leap, one that is possible (but will be fought by the predators tooth and nail), what happens if a few individuals are able to establish self-sufficient dwellings in outer space --- beyond reach of the predators?

The answer is clear.  The predators will destroy the remainder of humanity, then themselves, and the future of the universe will belong to the honest, productive being who populate the universe.  Who cares about earth, anyway?  Now this may sound like a pure fantasy dream, but careful analysis shows it is not.  The nature of outer space makes it inherently impossible for predators to run the same kind of racket against producers in outer space.  The facts of reality, the nature of outer space is such that the predators would not even be able to find individuals in this solar system (if they make any attempt to hide), and even if they did, it would cost them vastly more in time, effort and energy to make even lame attempts to reach them, much less attack them --- than they could ever hope to steal from individuals in space.  I and a small group of like-minded individuals have pretended we were the predators and tried to find ways the predators could force anyone to finance them (give them fuel or whatever) or otherwise do their bidding.  We've tried and tried, but always the result is the laughably hopeless failure of the predators... but only in an environment on the scale of a whole solar-system.

In other words, the dynamics for predators and producers is very much opposite in outer space as compared to here on planet earth.  I admit this is not inherently obvious to earth dwellers, but think it through and you'll find it is true.  Sadly, earth dwellers will suffer long and hard where it hurts most.  Yet they asked for it, sanctioned it, supported it, voted for it.  So sadly, most of them deserve what they get.

Yes, most people think of "rights" as something "given to them" by some fictional god or some fictional authority.  That is, of course, totally absurd, and the millions who believe this are competely set up to be enslaved by predators.

So I think we agree as far as "on earth" goes.  Though it may be possible for a few individuals or tiny groups to carve self-sufficient living quarters into mountains in the most remote boonies or beneath the surface (or floor) of the south pacific ocean, that is clearly just a very temporary solution, and only a way to gain sufficient time to get the hell off this freaking planet.  Until that is accomplished, the dynamics of predators will prevail, and mankind will continue to spiral down the toilet of history.

But me?  I'm only concerned with the 0.0000000001% of humanity (plus or minus a few) who invest their time, effort and resources to create and hide-away in those remote self-sufficient communities, prepare for the day we can escape into space, and create technologies that lead to the day we can escape, become free, independent and live in completely voluntary pico-societies in outer space, and then spend the next eternity engineering the universe to our liking.  BTW, the group I am working with has a breakthrough sufficient to make all this happen in our lifetimes.  All that remains is modern re-implementation of our already proven technology, which would be trivial to achieve if we had the resources of moderately large corporations or government.  Unfortunately, we cannot ask for support of these fictions, for they would immediately attempt to steal our technology to assure their never-ending dominance, so we're stuck with just our own resources.  Remember this message in 10 or 20 years if you learn some unknown group of individuals has in fact left this planet --- without the knowledge or permission of the predators-that-be.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 08:27 | 2749102 Element
Element's picture

honestann - good read, thanks

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 10:23 | 2749390 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

The world you described can only exist when magic is the primary technology, and it would have to be magic far exceeding that of Harry Potter's fictional world. You write "...imagine a world composed of individuals, but no fictitious entities (governments, corporations, authorities, officials).  Just regular folks dealing with regular folks voluntarily --- period." That would require existing at the level of hunters/gatherers with perhaps a little agriculture at best. It would also require a fundamental change in human character, which is fundamentally flawed from birth. Even the Garden of Eden, as described in Genesis, wasn't as idyllic as your imagined world, and it had an omniscient and omnipotent God who created it.

Where exactly do you draw the line at fictitious entities? Is an insect colony a fictitious entity? Is a marriage, or a family, a fictitious entity? What about a community, or tribe? Tribes have worked out really well in Africa, haven't they? Or how about the tribes in the Western hemisphere - Mayas, Aztecs, etc; they were all organized, so do you exclude them? Without governments - and I'm pretty much aligned with the Libertarian desire for small government - there would be no highway system, no internet (no ZH!), no significant education. I'm using 'government' in its most general sense here, as a term applied to any organized human communal effort. Without corporations you'd have no mass production, no supply chain infrastructure, no iPhones, not even matches or steel-bladed knives.

Borrowing from another poster, your vision seems heaven-like. That poster meant it in a non-religious sense, but heaven needs a 'deus ex machina'. It needs a god who resolves the unresolvable. Or it needs magic as a provider for all our everyday needs. So keep dreaming, but never think it can really ever be as you wish.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 22:17 | 2751349 honestann
honestann's picture

Sorry, but you adopted some of the very strange and erroneous premises the predators fed to you, just as I warned against.  To claim that humans on a planet without government would have to live at the level of hunter-gatherers is exactly the opposite of reality.  The more humans are free, the more they make voluntary and mutually beneficial agreements with other productive humans.  It is only the imposition of powerful predators that thwarts the natural development of mankind.

Now, you can claim that "predators are natural", and I'd have a difficult time arguing against that, because very recently I pointed out that all humans were predators before humans learned to become producers several thousand years ago.  So the predatory aspect of past human behavior is in fact entirely unarguable.  However, humans were predators because ALL animals were predators, and all animals were predators because they did not produce goods that would not other wise exist, they consumed whatever goods natural processes of the environment caused to exist.  True enough.

However, when humans discovered productive behavior (like extracting the seeds from their food before they ate the food, then planting those seeds in the ground to create a huge quantity of new, additional, produced food), they no longer were required by their nature or reality to be predators.  To be sure, predatory behavior was part of their history, but there was no longer any reason for predatory behavior to remain part of their modus-operandi.  In fact, productive behavior was so vastly more beneficial and efficient, the human population of earth exploded by a factor of 100,000 times or more... far beyond the population that natural (non-productive) processes could sustain.

Therefore, productive behavior is necessary for human survival, unless you're ready for 99.999% of human beings to die first.  That will indeed necessarily happen in the future as predators consume more and more, and fewer humans are stupid enough to be productive and thereby set themselves up to be victims.

I'm not sure what your god reference is supposed to prove.  The universe is eternal, which mean, nobody created reality.  Reality today simply is the reality of eternity, except the configuration of that reality constantly changes.  There is no creator, and in fact there can be no creator.  Even human creators/producers only "produce" in the sense that they create/produce many instances of certain beneficial configurations of the underlying basis of reality, but do not and cannot actually create anything in the most fundamental sense.  There is inherently no way to convert nothing into something.  To claim there is some such way is for you to invoke pure, unadulterated "magic" as the fundamental nature of reality.

Yes, an insect colony is a number of individual insects.  The colony cannot do anything that a number of individual insects cannot do, therefore it has no reality.  Furthermore, if you prefer to look at this in a more scientific way, when a number of insects wander into the same area of space and are thereby deemed "a colony" by you, note that no increase in mass occurs.  The fact is, nothing "popped into existence" when those insects found their way to the same area of space.  Therefore, you cannot legitimately claim that anything fundamentally real came to exist.  And you can't say that anything fundamental real ceased to exist when they finish eating the dead bug they all found (by smell perhaps), and wander away.

You are so wrong!  First of all, there have always been "highway systems" in regions where no governments existed.  To be sure, those "highway systems" were not composed of asphault and concrete and steel as they are today, but they were in fact "highway systems" in the sense that they served the same purposes.  Furthermore, there are a huge number of modern roads that were built, and are owned by private individuals and small groups of private individuals --- perhaps even including the housing development you live in.  If you read my posts, you'll find one in the past week or two where I described how "highway systems" would be vastly more intelligent if they came about organically.  This was in a post where I asked the question "do we really want ANY government services at all?", and came to the conclusion "hell no!".  I specifically addressed the "road systems" because almost everyone considers the road systems probably the easiest to defend --- because on the surface they seem beneficial, and often because they were at one time paid for semi-voluntarily (by gasoline taxes), so the more you travel on them, the more you pay.  As I point out (with my own situation as example), we would all be in better situation now if such vast sums of money were not spent on road systems.  Go find that post for an answer to probably the easiest strawman argument for predators-DBA-government.

BTW, the argument for the road system necessarily claims the following is acceptable behavior.  You hand a lollipop to someone, then steal their purse.  In your way of thinking, it is just fine to steal from people as long as you give them something of value.  That is pure, unadulterated nonsense, and the typical kind of braindamaged notion that predators push via their paid agents (public school systems and mainstream media).

The internet would exist today with or without government.  I was around designing and implementing all sorts of computer and electronics devices and systems before you ever head the term "internet", and there were already [very crappy] private alternatives.  Yes, they were crappy, but they would have eventually developed, and today they would not be fitted with a "cutoff switch" that el-presidente Obamaniac/Romnazi could press.

One thing I can promise you is this.  We would all live a vastly better and higher quality life if government did not exist.  That you can point to a few scraps of benefits that you have access to that can be traced to some of the money stolen from you and billions of others does not in any way justify that theft.  And it does not prove the world is a better place for that theft.  In fact, the world is a vastly, vastly, vastly worse place for that fact, which anyone with half a brain can figure out.  Simply observe that government produces nothing, but they do consume massive quantities of wealth that would have been spent to develop new products to be sold to everyone... new products that benefit people or else nobody would buy them (because nobody would be holding a gun to your head and saying "pay-up or I'll lock you in a cage or blow your head off, terrorist").

Do you understand that what we call "corporations" today did not exist when the USA was founded?  That does not mean that individuals could not contract (or hire) other individuals to work in their fields, in their barns, in their factories in the same way productive corporations work today.  To claim any such notion is not just crazy, it flies in the face of reality and history.

Nothing magic happens when you call yourself and your business "a corporation".  If you operate a bakery and call it "Joe's Bakery" (a descriptive term, not a formal term), you do exactly the same as if you hang a sign (and sign paperwork with predators-DBA-government) that says "SugarHighBakeryCorporationLimitedIncorporated".  To imagine that "corporations" have any significance (except to be protected from the consequences of their destructive actions via predators-DBA-government-imposed "limited liability" and other barbarous notions) is just plain crazy talk.

You might get the impression I'm on a rage against "fictions".  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!  My whole life, since junior high school and until today, I have been an "inventor" - a scientist, engineer, inventor, product-developer.  And every single product or device or technology that I have developed was a fiction when I dreamed it up, and remained a fiction until I created a physical, working embodiment of that fiction... at which point all those implementations rolling off the production line became real.  So I positively love fiction!  What I hate, and recognize as massively destructive, is billions of crazed chimps (human beings) spending the majority of their time, effort, attention taking actions because they imagine various fictions are real.  This is as insane an activity as can exist, for the very most fundamental form of insanity is the inability to distinguish existent from non-existent AKA real from fiction.

You will never find any real or fictional god to resolve the unresolvable.  That is a silly statement.  You have a finite brain with finite capabilities, so you will never understand the entirety of reality.  Neither will I.  Get used to it.  Get real.  Yes, it is my message that is "get real", and your message that we must "keep dreaming".  Because you will never find any form of fiction, whether god or king or society or government that knows everything, much less gives a crap about helping you have a better life.  If you want a better life, that's up to you, starting with avoiding the predators as much as you can.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 22:50 | 2748627 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

The crowd is dying of suspense but odds are against anything big coming out of Jackson's cornHole. I know I'm not the only one who wants to hear Zimbabwe Ben say "$650 billion LSAP begins now, make it so!" and the confetti and balloons drop down and the dancing girls come out and the music starts and the ligths go all disco - solid gooooooold bitchez.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:22 | 2748683 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Me thinks the market keeps going up until short term gains become long term gains resulting in a lower tax rate. When did most of last fall's buying occur after the August sell-off? Drag out a chart and take an educated guess.

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 23:43 | 2748711 radicall
radicall's picture

First Article in a while on ZH that is actually Bullish Stocks!!! Implies 1800 S&P Target by 2013???

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:16 | 2748739 CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

2006? Fuck, I can't do this for another two years!


2006 was pretty good though. I got the best dog ever and the Cardinals won the World Series. If the Cardinals win again this year I could tolerate more market bullshit.

Barely though.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 05:56 | 2748971 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Congrats on the best dog ever.  Good memories that can last a lifetime.

Enjoy your pup!

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 01:39 | 2748798 zebrasquid
zebrasquid's picture

ZH has been wrong on stocks for years now so this is interesting in a contrarian sense.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 02:06 | 2748816 q99x2
q99x2's picture

As long as algos aren't programmed to sell lower than their buy price then it is impossible for the markets to go lower. Don't worry. BTFD.

Although a big holder such as a foreign central bank could dump and crash the markets very quickly the algos would step in just about as quickly and ramp it back.

I think the markets are safe since they have nothing to do with the economy or underlying fundamentals any longer.

Then there is still the cognitive dissonance which seems to be the valuations but who cares even if they double. That is a human problem not a problem with the markets or the algos and certainly not a problem for Obummer.

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 07:10 | 2749020 gboos
gboos's picture

I don't like to say it, but for me the market seems like to see new alltime highs this year ...  Why ???? ....

1. "Everybody" ist short in his mind ....

2. German constitutional court will give it a "yes you can do it ... ESM" ....

3. ECB will buy massive amounts of bonds from Spain etc ... this gives market a big cash impact ... So what to do with the cash ? Buy other bonds ? No !!! Buy stocks ....

4. On the short-run VIX levels under 15 where bearish for 2-7% in the last 3-4 years .... But the long-term bullish trends have seen steady VIX levels below 15 ....

5. I can't believe on myself to write a bullish comment ... I'm always bearish and always short ... But what I'm thinking about the future is coming from learning from the past ... They will push the hole world up to the limits, but it won't help you to know it's wrong for the next 3 trading months ...

6. Come let's make huge bonuses and the end of the year .... Who knows what's coming next.




Good luck ... 


Thu, 08/30/2012 - 09:25 | 2749214 hedgeisforpussies
hedgeisforpussies's picture

wrong we are in feb 07 already. another 100 points left not 200. we will likely make 1520 high around jan-march next year then we will have 2 years of hell. 

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:36 | 2755841 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

close match but I found the 280 and 430 day ROC's more accurate than going that far back for s&p500. Just sayin'

Keep an eye out, it could turn out this way.

For gold an ROC of 277 weeks seems to be a good predicting trend which is this far back. Given the convoluted translation from sp500 to gold spot ... perhaps this is right

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