Thursday, November 18, 2021

Capital As Power

Someone turned me on to the capital as power website a few years ago. I found this essay, Growing through Sabotage just yesterday. The essay is a worthwhile read, but what struck me was this figure:

showing world energy capture by humans from 10000BCE to present. I can't find any other charts to cerify this so let's assume its accurate but not precise early on, with more precision since record keeping. Archaeologists are now finding stuff (see The Dawn Of Everything) from early on. 

What's going on around 300-250BCE? If that isn't an artifact, it sure looks like we were going exponential and then got whacked. We got back to exponential 2000 years later but there was a slow down. What was it?

I'm going to say the Axial Age slowed us down. The deverlopment of unviersal coinage and universal religion. Although the Axial Age was supposed to be starting around 600BCE, this could be the conseqence. There was no catastrophe or social upheaval. The age of coin and lack of credit had finally stopped up the pipes.. Around 1700CE credit got revived, and there it is, capitalism.

I will submit that we need something like this now before the Big Squeeze.

I submit cryptocurrency, properly wasteful, is the coinage we need. It turns perfectly good electriciy into dead air and social constructs. It is no more trustworthy than credit, and a million times more wasteful, slow, stupid, cumbersome. 

At least until nuclear fusion. Go HB11!

1 comment:

  1. The Axial Age: "the German philosopher Karl Jaspers noted that all the major schools not speculative philosophy we know today seemed to have emerged - apparently independently - in Greece, India and China at roughly the same time, between the eighth and third century BCE; what's more, they emerged in precisely those cities which had recently seen the invention and widespread adoption of coined money... Now, the core period of Jasper's Axial Age - encompassing the lifetimes of Pythagoras, the Buddha and Confucius - corresponds not only to the invention of metal coinage and new forms of speculative thought, but also the spread of chattel slavery across Eurasia, even in places where it had barely existed before" - Debt, the First 5,000 Years by David Graeber