The great unraveling — Part 1

Net energy — the lifeblood of civilizations

No surplus energy = No civilization

End of growth

“Social and financial collapses happened many times but are easily ignored or forgotten. Yet history does not forget, nor do complex systems refrain from doing what they are wont to do. Complex systems begin on a benign organizing principle and end by absorbing all available energy while destroying the system itself.”

What is our system exactly?

An illustrative example of decline in net energy vs increasing maintenance costs. The chart is not based on actual data, and thus it is an illustration of the concept only. The topic would well deserve a decent study though.

The GWP [Gross World Product] grows when energy consumption grows super-exponentially (at an accelerating rate), or when global energy reserve discovery exceeds depletion.

If growth rates of wealth approach zero, civilization becomes fragile with respect to externally forced decay. This appears to be particularly true if prior growth was super-exponential.


Heaps of sand

Catabolic collapse

The cost of complexity

Social hierarchy

The great unraveling

“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed”

“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”




A critic of modern times - offering ideas for honest contemplation.

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A critic of modern times - offering ideas for honest contemplation.

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