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The Worst Possible Scenario – Humanity Stuck on This Damn Dirt Ball

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Humans evolved in a context of horrendous competition. The default state for the vast majority of humans in human history was brutish, violent, very short and miserable.  While Pleistocene humans lived fairly sedate lives (with skeletal evidence showing not much evidence of injury or starvation), as soon as populations started sharply increasing (at the ice melted at the end of the last ice age), there is evidence that human populations succumbed to ever increasing tribal violence.

The more humans had to compete for scarce resources, the more humans were inclined to use force to get what they needed. That led to the development of states, governments, taxation and (and yes, I’d regard that as a form of violence) organized religions. Organizational power became a way to address scarcity, generally at someone else’s expense. While violence was mainly  directed outwards, to other tribes, it was also increasingly directed to the poor of the tribe.

The population growth we have seen in the last few centuries is, by any reasonable metric, insane. Nothing similar happened before on the planet and, even if humanity were to go extinct tomorrow, there would be a striking demarcation between the geological strata of Earth corresponding to before humanity and after humanity. In fact, the remains of human civilization would become the most visible fossil record on the planet. The amount of stuff that we are leaving behind doesn’t even compare to the KT boundary – humans are leaving an irreversible entropic imprint on the planet that will be visible to future (alien?) forensics for more than a billion years.

Also read: Overpopulation Will Become Intensely Painful, Urgent Solutions Needed

Space Colonization or Dante’s Inferno

Suntower

NASA Suntower concept for Space-Based Solar Power.

This universe does not provide our species with any guarantee or consolation. We can argue the human predicament from a faith-based perspective, and claim that there might be a higher force “up there,” which more or less guarantees a good outcome. But there are many extinct civilizations. People in lost civilizations also had expectations and faith, but their faith was invariably squashed by harsh reality. The fact remains that lousy policies lead to collapse, and if the collapse is bad enough most people involved die.

In the past, nature may have capriciously dumped mass death randomly. These days we are actively setting the stage for mass extinctions all through our own industrial activity. And we all seem to realize that we are in for bad times, as it has become evident in the negative trend in our fictional tales. Right now Dystopian fiction is popular, arguably by crowd-sourcing decree.  At least a third of the movies I watched recently (and do excuse me if you see reason to accuse me of having a lousy taste) were about a collapsed Earth where invariably young and attractive teenagers symbolize whatever hope humanity has left.

The sad fact is that even in a worst case scenario not all humans will die.  It takes an incredibly implausible effort to kill all humans on the planet. In other words, the effort required to annihilate humans goes up exponentially and with diminishing returns. To kill the last hundred million humans becomes functionally (or economically) impossible.  That may sound like good news until you try to visualize in what kind of world humans might have to survive.  There are quite a few possible dreadful worlds that we can envision, I am sure we’ll be able to create some in a few decades. But even if we combine the most dismal projections of climate change, Fukushima-like nuclear accidents, resource depletion, global thermonuclear war, a combination of Ebola, SARS, and the black plague – we’ll see only half of humanity die.

It’s worth remembering that in a world where suddenly 90% of humans are dead, most military hardware will still be around a-plenty.  Imagine a world that’s ravaged by resource depletion, diseases, wars, nuclear wars, where only half a billion humans survive, and I’ll show you a planet that is uncannily similar to the current worst of the worst places on the planet – North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan. But even if turmoil and war do not succeed in reducing human populations permanently, even under the most gruesome conditions this planet might sustain an utterly impoverished population of billions of traumatized  human beings for centuries.

What is the point of human life? What is the point of living as a human being? My first answer would be happiness and comfort. I am personally less than enthusiastic about hard work, cruelty, suffering, affliction or fear. My personal preferences entail health, happiness, security, ambition, justice, hope, culture and freedom.

So the logical conclusion is that on this planet a whole lot of things can go wrong. The upside of things going is usually that things get better again after a while. But that is where the problem lies.

The vast majority of our affluence on this planet is based on non-renewable resources, in particular non-renewable petrochemical resources. Once these are consumed, they are gone. One way to avoid the problems posed by terminal consumption of non-renewable resources is to evolve out of outdated needs. That is what we did in the last two centuries. Humans have evolved many new technologies and organizational models to avoid depleting resources, but there has never been any reasonable or plausible guarantee along the way that we would have made it this far. In essence, that things are still working means pretty much we as a species have been lucky.

All seems to indicate that our luck is running out. Never before have we had it so well, but never before has the potential for mass death and untold suffering been so high.

The risk we face is not the total extinction of humanity. The risk we now face is that humanity falls back to the viciously primitive state that we find in the worst places of the planet. In such a hellish future, we might even be able to sustain vast population numbers under gruesome conditions (and, like it or not, humans breed more when they are miserable).

The world we want is the world of Star Trek, unbridled economic growth, and advancing medical and other technologies. The world I want is a world where problems are solved, and people become happier and happier. We are now actively risking making such positive scenario’s effectively impossible.

There is one way out of this trap, and that is to quickly develop new energy sources. It seems unlikely that we can sustain a modern society with only planetary renewable and sustainable sources of energy. I think we can’t. I think we can not have consumerism and democracy and personal freedom in a world that runs only on solar, hydro and wind power. We’ll need something else, and that something else can be probably found only off-planet.

We may have a window of only a few more decades to ensure total and irreversible energy availability, and all scenarios that include unconstrained growth involve developing resources in the inner solar system. The best case scenario involves Space Based Solar, but even at this time such a project is often regarded as sheer fantasy. Too big, too “expensive,” economically nonviable, it would threaten existing monopolies – or some other flimsy pretext.

At some point, the precious window of opportunity will be closed, and we’ll be unable to get ourselves off-planet. Technological ability will deteriorate, science will become neglected and we might fall back to a more primitive condition.

The metaphor of Dante’s Inferno would apply. The world would become an unbearable pit of senseless and pointless suffering, especially since survivors will be able to view how life used to be in 2014 on the surviving media devices. We’ll all remember what we have lost, and we will all be left fighting tooth and nail to hold on to a few precious remnants of our past glory.

The movie “Interstellar” depicts this tragedy in an easy, simplified way. Reality might be a lot more like the movie “The Road,” and such a future is not something I would wish on my worst enemies.

Images from Wikimedia Commons.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Khannea Suntzu describes herself as cosmist, cosmicist, upwinger, socialist-libertarian, hedonist and abolitionist. Khannea is transgendered, and currently lives in the Netherlands.




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. jetgraphics

    January 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

    “Space based solar power” is only a solution for space based orbiting habitats. Pumping more energy into the biosphere is a disaster in the making. Inevitably, any increase in energy use involves friction and waste heat.

  2. Damien Chall

    January 25, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    you know we can make oil using algae now right?

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Altcoins

Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Has the Potential for a Short-term Rally, Though Bearish Set-up Eyed

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  • Stellar’s XLM potentially has further room for upside, within the short-term view.
  • Danger still looms for XLM/USD, as the daily chart suggests of a bearish technical pattern set up.

Steller’s native token XLM, has failed to commit to any sustained trend. This has been the case since the start of July. Bull rallies that have been witnessed were quickly sold by the market bears. This led the market to trade within a generally long running form of consolidation. Price action is narrowing, given the unsustainable short-term trend runs that have been witnessed. It comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the Stellar foundation have certainly been busy.

Stellar Developments

It was reported recently, blockchain security company BitGo, announced their support of Stellar Lumens (XLM). Being added to the BitGo’s list, Stellar now receives custody solutions. Their users will be able to generate wallets for Stellar Lumens. This is said to be starting at some point within the next couple of weeks. Elsewhere, as previously reported, the Stellar foundation at the start of this month released their heavily anticipated decentralized exchange, StellarX.

4-hour Chart Technical Review

XLM/USD 4-hour chart

Looking via the 4-hour chart, price action has formed a bullish pennant pattern. This comes after the surge higher between September 20-23. XLM/USD has since entered consolidation mode, trading within a range-bound nature. The price is coming very much towards the end of this technical pattern seen, raising the case for an imminent breakout. Near-term support can be observed around $0.2350 area. This is the lower tracking trend line of the mentioned pennant. A failure of the support could very likely see a fast fall to $0.2050. XLM/USD was last trading in this territory between September 12 – 20. The mentioned period was during a time of consolidation, prior to the mentioned breakout higher.

Resistance is seen just ahead of the current price. The above descending trend line of the pennant pattern is tracking around $0.2460-70. Enough bullish momentum to see the breach would likely force the price running to $0.2650. This is seen as an area of resistance on the 4-hour chart view. Looking further to the north, eyes would be on the supply heading into the $0.3000 mark.

Daily Chart Technical Review

XLM/USD daily chart

Taking into consideration the 4-hour chart view, there is still room for another squeeze higher. Despite this, danger appears to still be looming for XLM/USD. Risks on the daily chart point to the downside. The view of this is that a longer-term bearish pennant pattern is containing the price. XLM/USD support on the daily chart can be seen just sub of $0.2000. A long-running supporting trend line can be seen. The price having required assistance on June 29 and several occasions from September 8 – 12. To the upside, resistance can be seen around $0.2900. XLM/USD was rejected already on a few prior occasions, by the above descending trend line. July 25-2 and then most recently September 23, all saw respective bull runs halted.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Altcoins

IOTA Price Analysis: Current Behavior Raises Concerns of Another Drop in the Price

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  • Current technical indications still point to downside risks for IOTA’s MOITA price.
  • Near-term chart view sees a rising wedge pattern. The daily chart observes a bearish pennant formation.

The IOTA price remains at risk for now of a breakout to the downside. It appears more likely that downside pressure will be seen, in comparison to any upside surprises. Despite this, IOTA’s native token has made solid recovery in just over a week of trading. Since 25th September, it has gained 8%. Trending higher has been observed from a low of around $0.5200, up to current levels around $0.5600.

IOTA Developments

Most recently, Bitpanda announced they now offer deposit and withdrawal services for IOTA. Bitpanda is fintech company based in Vienna, Austria. They specialize in selling and buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Becoming Europe’s leading retail broker for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more, boasting a user base of over 900,000 users. “We are very pleased to announce not only withdrawal and deposit functionalities for IOTA on Bitpanda, but also that Bitpanda now officially supports the latest IOTA tech — IOTA Hub,” as stated in their most recent blog post.

This move goes to show the growing presence IOTA is having across the market. The market acknowledgement of the foundation’s technology. IOTA’s MOITA is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is seen at $1.5 billion.

Elsewhere, as covered previously, the foundation is very close to revolutionizing the car insurance industry. They presented a new project in which they have been working on at bIOTAsphere. This was a proof of concept technology, known as Tangle. Full details mentioned in the previous article.

Near-term Technical Review 

IOT/USD 60-minute chart

Looking via the 60-minute chart, current price action has formed a rising wedge pattern. This price behavior makes it susceptible to a breakout to the downside. Should the bears manage to breach the lower support, sellers could pile in. To the downside, support in this view can be seen tracking around $0.5650. Further to the downside, 60-minute support should come into play around $0.5420.

Daily Chart Technical Review

IOT/USD daily chart

For over a month now, price action, as clearly seen on the daily chart view, has been firmly within consolidation mode. The range is getting tighter, building up the likelihood of an imminent breakout. Resistance is sitting just ahead around $0.5850, very close to current levels. Support eyed at $0.5430, a breakout could see the price tumbling. A potential downside target would likely be around the $0.4000 territory, testing 14th August low.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Companies

Crypto Market Development: Goldman Sachs-Backed Circle Acquires Crowdfunding Platform

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  • Goldman Sachs-backed Circle has announced it has acquired SeedInvest. The fee has not been disclosed.
  • SeedInvest are a crowdfunding platform. Circle are planning to expand SeedInvest’s offerings to support cryptocurrencies.

The Goldman Sachs funded crypto start up Circle, are really stepping up their dominance within the market. Over the past two days, there has been a couple positive developments from their camp. Firstly, the firm has acquired crowdfunding platform SeedInvest. Elsewhere, they have added a new feature for their app, known as Collections.

Circle Acquires SeedInvest  

Circle Internet Financial is acquiring SeedInvest. Should all be approved by regulators, the company are targeting the strategy of delivering a token marketplace. This will enable businesses as well as individuals to raise capital and interact with investors using open crypto rails and infrastructure. Circle will want to make it easier for startups to issue digital coins. The scope also to facilitate customers to trade a larger variety of digital tokens. A full statement can be observed by their latest blog.

Collections

Another development from Circle, coming in the form of adding a new feature, is “Collections”. This will allow its users to invest in a particular theme. The following themes offered are “Platforms, Payments, and Privacy.” Users will be able to invest in an entire theme, with a single click. Providing a simplified way for investors portfolio be focused on multiple coins. Full coverage was posted within a blog from the company.

Market Review

These developments continue to cement the huge improvements being observed across the market. The sky appears to be the limit, as the digital currency sector does not stop having its infrastructure solidified. Updates such as the announcements from Circle, demonstrate capabilities are not limited. See previous acknowledgement points of the sector taking big legitimizing steps, in a prior Litecoin article, under the section Big Infrastructure Improvement In The Crypto Market’.

The one thing that will likely continue to slowdown the market is regulation. This will have to be the case for the foreseeable future. As revolutionizing as the industry is, regulators must remain cautious for the sake of all parties involved. Their concerns remain about the safety of investors that want to participate in the marketplace as well as ensuring that anti-money laundering protocols are maintained. In the long run, it is in the best interest of all those involved. Besides all of this, there is still remains some way to go for complete a complete solid system, in comparison to the traditional financial system.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 29 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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