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Peak Money & "Complexity"

I was supposed to interview Jan Lundberg yesterday, but a mathematical brain fart on my part scuttled those plans. I added 3 to 11 and came up with 13 (or 1 PM). We've rescheduled for this coming Saturday.

Jan recently coined (or so he thought) the phrase "Peak Money" for an essay in which he wrote,
The former supplies of cheaply produced, abundant energy played a major role in inflating wealth over the years. Thus, peak oil brought about peak wealth and peak money. It is no coincidence that we find ourselves at post-peak money and see lower oil prices attained through demand destruction.
At the end of his essay he included this footnote:
Note: before finalizing this posting, I decided to check whether "peak money" had already been used online. Voila, my friend Jim Kunstler had done so a month ago! I'd been thinking of peak money for a little while, but must confess I've been failing to check out the popular and fun Clusterfuck Nation column that Jim produces weekly. Check out "Peak Money" Nov. 12, 2007, and I'll do the same.
In the referenced post, Jim Kunstler writes:
Finance in the 200-odd-year-long industrial era evolved step-by-step with the steady incremental rise of available cheap energy. More to the point, the instruments associated with finance evolved in complexity with that rise in energy. It was only about two-hundred years ago, in fact, that circulating banknotes or paper currencies evolved out of much cruder certificates that were little more than IOUs.

I posted something to this journal in recent weeks (I don't remember exactly what or when) in which I said something about energy and the increased level of "complexity" it allows, and someone (I don't remember who) took me to task for making vacuous use of the term. If that was you, and if you're reading this, please re-state your objection here. I'd like to have it at the ready when I talk to folks like Jim Kunstler, Jan Lundberg, or Thomas Homer-Dixon about cheap and plentiful energy and its relationship to the level of societal "complexity." If you weren't the author of the comment I'm referencing but you have a beef with the use of the word "complexity" in the Jim Kunstler quote, please do speak up.

Also, I've recently started recording interviews with a service called TalkShoe. It allows for the kinds of multi-party conference calls at which Skype generally fails. The interview is scheduled for 2 pm Eastern. If any C-Realm listeners would like to join Jan and me on the call to provide "call in" listener questions, please contact me at kmo@c-realm.com.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
The term peak money has been around a long time, at least since anyone heard the term peak oil. Hand in glove kind of thing. Peak everything is the new...uhhh, well, peak everything, I guess:)This may be the great leveling and I am looking forward to everyone calling it whatever they damn well please.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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