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Good to see you back again, Futurist; if only temporarily. I've always enjoyed your essays.
Thank you for your very good work.


Victory is welcome. But will it last? Eco-tyranny has not said its last word.

The Futurist


Eco-tyranny has a poor understanding of its own subject matter, so will be easily bypassed. OPEC at least knew what it takes to keep oil prices high, and could manage their manipulation to some degree in order to not make it too high and burn the candle at both ends.


Dear futurist,

I value your opinion. Your sparse posts provide in depth intuition in the cacophony and fractal behavior of daily news.

We are mostly on the same frequency but your thoughts seem much more organized and that is perhaps why I find them more eloquently presented than anything I could produce.

I'd be interested in your opinion on what I see as another great distortion of our times: The war that central banks (and the collectivist societies that created them and support them) have declared on delayed gratification (i.e. saving and investment). On how there seems to be a systematic distortion of the risk/reward curve for delayed gratification, whether this distortion is feeding the mother of all economic bubbles, and how this might end. Will the distortion unravel violently once enough people decide that this suppressed return on delayed gratification is a long term thing, making saving an I unworthwhile endeavor?

Have you given any thought to it? Perhaps a topic for a future post.

The Futurist


There will be a future post on this topic. Either by The Futurist of by an allied site.


I'm glad that you are taking a well deserved victory lap - I didn't realize that this had occurred even faster than you predicted. I think your prediction of IT driven deflation is also holding up very well, but would also like to hear your take on the impact of the low to negative interest rates. In earlier comments, you said that this might have been impacting the financial measurements and decisions that were causing a slowness in other technological areas.

Congrats again and thanks again for putting you views out there with their reasoning behind them.


Getting back to the Misandry Bubble question, I'm guessing that the final reaction to Hillary as a presidential candidate (assuming no inditement) will give us some information about if we are at peak Misandry yet or if it will come during her first term.
Thanks again,



What do you consider allied sites ? I would like to check them out


Fracking has been on a Moore's law type learning curve for a while. It is driven not just by drilling technology improvements but also computing improvements and improvements in seismic exploration.

Fracking doesn't work unless you know where the oil is.

What has been found so far is that oil is everywhere. You just have to look. Maybe Herbert Gold was on to something.

Something you have not noted is the price of methane. One of the feed stocks for the plastics industry.

In addition frackers are now using residual methane from oil wells to power the oil field pumps instead of flaring it. Refining the oil to run the pumps is no longer so necessary. This makes EROI non-sense because it doesn't matter. All that counts is what it costs to produce the oil. And that is going down. Still.

Also helping is electronics that can work at higher temperatures. Because the deeper you drill the higher the temperature.

Nice article on high temperature electronics:



Drew - March 20, 2016 at 04:48 PM,

The rise of Trump is an indication we may be near or past the misandry peak.

Also consider the politics at the bottom of the last Kondratieff cycle. The 1930s. We are at a similar bottom now. Who rises at those bottoms? Strong men.

And if you look at the issues, they are roughly similar. Note the very common "Jews are stealing everything". In the US we may be quite lucky that Trump has a daughter that converted to Orthodox Judaism. He also made a commercial for Netanyahu in 2013. Funny enough the Jew haters are flocking to Trump. Reading their explanations of why he is OK despite all that is a hoot.

It also helps that Islam has taken the position that Germany held in the 30s. And Islam's opinion of the West? They are worms. It will not turn out well for them. Just as such an opinion did not turn out well for the Germans.

Even in Jew hating Europe (much more so than the US) they are looking to Israel for security methods. I'm sure the cognitive dissonance must be wracking their brains.

Girly men are on the way out. In difficult times women want protectors. The bad boys. Note how Trump has been giving shout outs to outlaw bikers? That is a tell. He talks about giving them photo ops. And all the guns they had. And the guns making his Secret Service detail uneasy. But Trump was at home. He LOVES them.

Can you imagine Obama with a gun? Trump talks about his concealed carry permit.

The Futurist

M Simon,

The rise of Trump is an indication we may be near or past the misandry peak.

I don't think we are past the peak yet, but this is a sign that it is getting near. Approx 2018 or so, following rapid deflation by 2020 (right on the timeline).

Interesting about parallels between 1930s vs. now.

Fracking has been on a Moore's law type learning curve for a while. It is driven not just by drilling technology improvements but also computing improvements and improvements in seismic exploration.

The next real milestone is for fracking to happen outside of the US. If Canada can start fracking as well, in addition to China, Russia, etc., then oil will never reach $100 again..


Dear futurist

Long time fan of yours, would say you have had profound positive influence in my life. I know you have written on Dalrock (but since removed most of those posts sadly). I must ask as I am such a fanboy, where else to you write?

Great to see you back

The Futurist


Thanks for your kind words.

Remember that this blog has had two authors over the years, one for technology and one for political-type content.


Welcome back.

What benefit to the world is Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc. without petroleum? Their main export is misery. Without petroleum income they will rapidly slide into irrelevance. I'm pleased to see them burning off their cash reserves in pointless wars. The sooner they are broke, the sooner they will be forced to modernize. Yes, I'm sad about the human cost, but long term the world will be better once the petro tyrannies are broke.

I agree with you $60 to 70 oil is the new high water mark. much beyond that fraking becomes highly lucrative, and will quickly beat the price back down. And they haven't even begun fraking overseas.

Interesting side effect of all this is the destruction of the coal market in America. We now have around 100 years of cheap natural gas ahead of us, and all the oil we need for an almost painless transition to solar and nuclear. Looking back, fracking was one of the greatest and most beneficial technological innovations in human history.

The Futurist


Indeed. Even technologies that did not reach the market (coal liquifaction and algae ethanol) continue to improve, making the pressure on the $100 oil price ever higher. Not many people understand that even a technology that did not win the race to market had a shadow effect on the disruption if it continued to improve.

Solar is now reaching cost-effectiveness across more definitions of the concept. The great thing about solar is that countries with the most sunlight are usually the poorest, hence the productivity gains are going where they might have the greatest upside. A natural resource that was not being utilized will now find greater utility..


Great point - the pressure is coming from all directions.

Demand destruction is equally important, and unsung hero of the story. Cars are increasing in efficiency. LED lighting is destroying demand relentlessly as well. One thing almost no one tracks - natural gas power plants have doubled in efficiency in the last 30 years. A huge part of wrecking the coal market is not just cheap gas, but very efficient system for converting that gas to electricity.

The Futurist


Yes, efficiency gains continue, and were described in the original article :


Note the many types of efficiency gains :

1) Lighter nanomaterials. Lighter cars mean not just less fuel, but less tire wear, fewer fatalities per crash, etc.
2) 3D Printing which enables faster production and design times, and lower cost.
3) Services like Uber that increase carpooling so more passengers per vehicle miles traveled (if you are commuting everyday to work, earn $100/day by taking someone as an Uber driver, at no extra hassle to you). This is saving millions of miles of driving.


The Futurist,

You're back! That's fantastic!

What is your take on having the Petro-Tyranny completely collapse? What I would like to see is have Russia and the Saudis have their economies contract year on year.

Russia going through this right now. Instead of reforms, they're now creating KGB 2.0 and trying to keep the government in power longer. Ideally that country would have a do-over of 1990s.

Thanks in advance!

Kartik Gada


Thanks. The collapse in oil prices is extremely negative for all oil exporters (even Saudi Arabia). Conversely, countries that were being crushed by oil imports (like India, Japan, and China) see new life breathed into their economies.

Ultimately, the US now has a trade surplus with OPEC (i.e. we still buy some oil from them, but we sell more iPads and Boeing planes to them than that).


Thanks for your reply.

But, to answer my question, when do you predict to see a complete collapse of the petro-tyranny?

Kartik Gada

It never completely collapses. It just shrinks so as to have very little power. Russia always ends up with the same type of government again and again, but at low-price oil, Russia just becomes a middling country (about as important, economically, as Mexico).


Almost four years later -- we have the absurdity of Donald Trump as President on the strength of less than a plurality) of the vote (by winning the "right" votes in a statistical freak) by offering reactionary platitudes that promise a return to an alleged better time for America. Political life can backtrack by appealing to superstition, ignorance, and base desires.

Donald Trump aligned himself fully with the fossil-fuels industry, denying global warming and even suggesting the return to the old norm of gas-guzzling vehicles. I am only surprised that he did not advocate a return to the use of leaded gasoline.

Trump is a reversion to an early-industrial ethos that holds that economic desires are the sole objective of life of most people but (a serious contradiction ensues) that the sole legitimate purpose of life for most people must be to make people already filthy rich even more filthy rich while enduring great privations of life that accelerate the intensification of economic inequality.

Reactionaries like Trump will always exist to appeal to those who cannot adjust to modernity. Some are the literal "Basket (of the) deplorable" that Hillary Clinton lampooned only for such people (many of whom did not have the word "deplorable" in their vocabulary as a badge of honor.

Genuine modernity fosters individuality (if not the every-man-for-himself individualism that Ronald Reagan promoted that can ironically enforce the conformity of poverty upon millions), and not solely in tasteless expressions of sickening vulgarity commonplace among tinhorn dictators, drug kingpins, and mobsters. It requires access to knowledge that people synthesize in ways that often defend their benign traditions. (Not-so-benign traditions, regrettably too, if those include racism and religious bigotry or a lust for a return to pre-modern social norms in economic (class) relationships.

It is easy to enumerate the faults of Donald Trump, but the most obvious is that he makes no effort to make any Hegelian synthesis between opposing agendas as a means of getting workable progress.

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