KMO has turned Peak Oil apostate. Information technology and machine learning in particular, seem to have played a much more influential and interesting role in determining the course of industrial civilization over the past decade than have shortfalls in petroleum production. In short, the predictions of a Peak Oil fast collapse have failed to materialize. Over that same period, most everyone in the industrialized world has taken to carrying powerful computers around with them that fit in the palms of their hands. Governments and corporations use the data we generate with our online activity for surveillance and social control. What will the coming decade hold? Will the collapse of industrial civilization finally make its entrance, or will information technology extend it's lead over the predicted collapse? KMO puts these questions to long-time C-Realm guest, James Howard Kunstler, who predicts that the collapse is still coming, and that the next couple of years will be marked by greatly increased levels of disorder on the international stage.
Here is more conversation from KMO's recent day spent with James Howard Kunstler. They talk about (and to) artificial intelligence. Jim makes his case for the possibility of a fast collapse, and KMO takes up JMG's model of catabolic collapse that plays out over lifetimes.
Later, KMO talks about the perverse outcomes of mixing the sense of identity, community and purpose that comes with being a dog rescuer with loads of cash raised online, breed-specific adoption pipelines that need filling, and dog auctions.
KMO talks with James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and Too Much Magic, about race, racism, black separatism, the drug war, and the need for a common culture with universally accepted standards of behavior for all members of that culture. This conversation makes explicit reference to C-Realm podcast episodes 279: Overvaluing Genius and 313: Peak Oil and the White “We.” KMO concludes the episode by reading a post from the Friends the C-Realm Group on Facebook about how obsessing over 9/11 conspiracy theories directs attention away from much greater crimes.
Music by Hobotech.
KMO welcomes James Howard Kunstler back to the program to talk about the themes in his new book, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation. Jim describes himself as being allergic to conspiracy theories, and KMO explores the space of ideas looking for the place where Jim draws the line between credible speculation about malfeasance in the corridors of power and the paranoid fantasies of ultra-right-wing lunatics as exemplified by the John Birch Society. Could anybody ever be elected to high office by promising to manage economic contraction intelligently, or will promises of American exceptionalism and continued expansion mark the winner in every electoral contest? Jim says that the chronic trafficking in dishonesty in the realms of politics and finance is destroying necessary public institutions and eroding the legitimacy of government. In the second segment, KMO and Olga talk about student debt with Beth and Karl Klein and concludes with a few words about the soon-to-be-launched C-Realm Vault Podcast.