Pretending tomorrow

Written in May ‘o8, a nicely sour article, maybe to read later with a very good mood on hand. Or a jigger of scotch:

For a while in the 1990s, the idea was a “service economy,” kind of like the old fable of the town whose inhabitants made a living by taking in each other’s laundry — only in our case it was selling hamburgers to tourists on vacation from their jobs making hamburgers elsewhere, or something like that.

The Winking OwlThen came the idea of the “information economy” in which making things of value would no longer matter, only the processing and deployment of information (sometimes misidentified as “knowledge”). This model seemed to suggest a yin-yang of software engineers who made up games like “Grand Theft Auto” serving the opposite cohort of people who bought and played the game. If nothing else, it certainly explained how lifetimes could be frittered away on stupid activities.

That illusion yielded to the housing bubble economy, which actually did produce a lot of things, but not necessarily of value — for instance, houses made of particle board and vinyl 38 miles outside of Sacramento. It was a tragic and manifold waste of resources, as well as an insult to the landscape. But the darker side of the housing bubble lay in the world of finance, where a vast empire of swindles was constructed to support the Potemkin facade of production homebuilding.

Now we are in a strange period when those swindles are unwinding.

And more vinegar from Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler, author of ‘The Long Emergency’, nine novels and editor at Rolling Stone Magazine “I know it is difficult for Americans at every level to imagine a different way-of-life, but we’d better start tuning up our imaginations….”:

The standard of living in the US can’t be supported on debt anymore. The people of the US don’t produce enough real value to service their debts. Institutions can no longer be supported on debt gone bad. Something’s got to give — meaning something has to bring the US standard of living down to a level consistent with our declining actual wealth.

Nuthin’ to it then.

Maybe it will not be complicated, what’s ahead, and we will produce real value in a world more brittle than we’ve realized, and perhaps more tender.

Reminds me of a poem, The Transition Position

Large aged institutions seeking restitutions match gumptions, aim assumptions, challenge improvements, educate movements, calling sufficient not less than omniscient — a task recommended even if dead ended. Regardless conditions in mind or munitions, that’s preservation not creation; a consensus objective to soothe the subjective; assets sophisticated in actions distillated. Real value let me tell you, in all categories, is not in these stories.

What is the deductive that spurs the productive?…

Isn’t it proven that what keeps us movin’ is not intellectual, not dreams ineffectual, however analytical or grandly political? No! Freedom’s invincible if based on the principal that each can find motion from ocean to ocean, reaching and catching, dreaming and matching, in faith and with fearing, with sweat and engineering, with diligent facts in solvent pacts. If anyone will share it, let’s base it on merit. This is the trend to level the bend, to smooth the tension in cash flow and pension. To recover know how, compete and show how. …