MetaForecasting @F-L-O-W


As 2013 emerges from the ingredients mixed together in 2012 and before, 2014 brings a tipping point in money and mankind.
View | Rear View Mirror through the New York Times

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Noise Increases; Signals Harder to Find

Overall, noise in all systems is accelerating. It’s going to be more and more important to be able to detect signals in larger, more dense, and at higher levels of frequency than ever before. Something like Antifragility–benefiting from disorder–which is different than Resilience is going to be more and more important as discontinuous change emerges.
"The point we will be making here is that logically, neither trial and error nor "chance" and serendipity can be behind the gains in technology and empirical science attributed to them. By definition chance cannot lead to long term gains (it would no longer be chance); trial and error cannot be unconditionally effective: errors cause planes to crash, buildings to collapse, and knowledge to regress." – Nassem Taleb in understanding-is-a-poor-substitute-for-convexity-antifragility

Transduction of Energy
: From Fossil Fuels to Experience, Knowledge and Wisdom?

Breakthroughs are going to be the wildcard and they will happen at an accelerating rate, and exponential rate which is currently the rate at which scale is translating fossil fuel energy into knowledgeability.

“ . . . the idea of the future being different from the present is so repugnant to our conventional modes of thought and behavior that we, most of us, offer a great resistance to acting on it in practice.” – John Maynard Keynes, 1937

Bio-Tech Revolution: Article

Phytochemicals, as you may know, are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Nutraceuticals are plant- or animal-derived products. Both, however, are meant to provide health benefits.

Natural gas and oil will create a new industrial boom in the US as foreign firms move operations to the US to insure secure and cheap sources for their energy needs. Europe will lose over 5 million jobs to the US due to energy costs. Foreign firms will move to take advantage of the refusal of american firms to adjust to the strategic advantages of the US infrastructure." – Roaring Teens

Changing Food Consumption Habits: Food, Inc | The Skinny on Obesity

"THE collapsing economy is affecting the how, what and where of consumer food purchasing trends. For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact."

Retailers will reintroduce manufacturing in the USA, especially clothing firms looking to tighten the fashion cycle by sourcing close to their operations and taking advantage of the capacity of the US Transportation system to deliver finished goods to coastal shipping facilities, reintroducing the strategic advantage of being able to deliver goods to all major global markets from the USA within two weeks." – Roaring Teens

Off-Peopling Accelerates: Blog | Robots-will-take-our-jobs? | Hyper-Human Warning

"Off-Peopling" means the way automation makes people jobless. Unlike outsourcing, where jobs are moved from high – wage earners to low – wage earners, jobs in an off-peopling scenario are moved from people to machines. Traditionally, work involving physical hazard, boredom and laborious jobs are the ones to be off-peopled. Robots, for example, don’t get bored and don’t even complain and can be easily programmed, and can work non-stop if necessary. This is applicable not just for unskilled manpower or blue-collar jobs but even affecting the skilled workforce.

Figuring out how to manage and apply all of the information is an enormous challenge, a challenge made even more complex by biochemical individuality: the fact that each of us is unique. In both preventive medicine and traditional "curative" medicine, what works well for most people may have adverse effects on any given individual. Hopefully, the new science of human genomics will help us to sort this out, and this process of individualized medicine is beginning already. – Life Extension

Big Data: Good Article

"Data have swept into every industry and business function and are now an important factor of production, alongside labor and capital…Leaders in every sector will have to grapple with the implications of big data, not just a few data-oriented managers."
Progress in medicine is expanding so rapidly that the doubling time for medical knowledge is now about four years (although there no means of really measuring a moving target like expanding knowledge with any degree of accuracy). That means that during the next four years, we will learn as much about medicine as was discovered from the beginning of human existence until now.

Life Extension, Genomincs and Individualized Medicine: Life Extension Manual | Audio

In 2014, the realization that life extension is not a myth, but a practical process that will be available as a part of a process of individual biochemical design. Traditional one-size-fits-all medicine is rapidly becoming obsolete, and it will soon come to be generally regarded as dangerous…the 21st century promises to be the century of biology and medicine.

"If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic." – Hazel Henderson, futurist and evolutionary economist.

Non-Traditional Investment

Due to disruptions in the normal business cycle, typical investment will not find many takers, so alternative forms of investing will become the norm, or what will be entrepreneurial-driven investment, rather than traditional long-term buy and hold types of investment. Instead investments in cost-cutting systems, big data and efficiency creating systems, are likely to become the new production.

In the nine short years since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, social media has evolved from dorm room toy to boardroom tool. Last year, 73% of Fortune 500 companies were active on Twitter, while more than 80% of executives believed social media engagement led to increased sales. So what does 2013 hold for social media in the workplace? It looks like many of the big (and sometimes overhyped) promises that have surrounded social media – better insight into customer behavior, improved office productivity with internal networks and, of course, significant, measurable ROI – will finally begin to bear fruit." – Forbes

Social Media Will Change Work: | | Forbes – December 11, 2012

A recent report from McKinsey showed that a majority of the estimated $1.3 trillion in untapped value from social technologies lies in “improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises.” In other words, social media is poised to become an office productivity tool, much the same way that email did in the late 1990s.

"The dramatic and accelerating evolution of technology is, however, quickly turning the prospects of investing in a historically great business into something more akin to sleeping on top of a ticking time bomb. You don’t know when it’s going to go off, but sooner or later, it will. Owners of these businesses are underestimating the probability that the move toward commercial-free, commercial-skipping, and commercial-light alternatives will cause cash flow to plummet instead of grow." – Gary Brode

Collapse of Newspapers, Music…NOW–> TV | another-pillar-of-mass-media-collapses |

"Eight in 10 American investors have an emergency fund they can use in case they are suddenly without income, according to a Wells Fargo-Gallup Investor survey. But about half of those with a fund say it will last six months or less. The survey is conducted quarterly with Americans who have $10,000 or more of investable assets. Roughly 40% of American adults meet this definition." – Gallup

Beware Absence of Buffers: gallup poll | follow the returns…

One difficult lesson of the financial crisis is that when property values are plunging and jobs are disappearing, credit tends to dry up. That is, credit lines make a lousy source of emergency funds since they tend to disappear when most needed. Given that unemployment in the U.S. remains above 8% and underemployment is at about twice that level, and many more Americans are worried about losing their jobs, it is not surprising that investors who can do so are building real emergency funds — cash or cash equivalents — just in case the economy suddenly worsens.

"In one sense, a stronger and more liquid investor balance sheet is good for the economy. Stronger balance sheets make consumers more credit-worthy over time and provide a substantial financial base for the overall economy. On the other hand, building emergency funds means less investor spending in the immediate term — something that is not good for consumer spending overall or for short-term economic growth. Regardless, the good news is that when investors do feel confident enough to start spending more aggressively — perhaps after the election and after the fiscal cliff issues are resolved — there is the potential for rapid economic growth."

Decreasing Aggregate Demand: Consumer Index | Post Keynes

Forecasting demand is a difficult thing, however it is clear that aggregate demand is decreasing and that negative demand still poses the greatest danger to the now, near, and far futures. In a growth-driven system, demand is a primary driver of price, supply, profitability and more important cash flow. Negative demand means negative cash flow in almost all cases, meaning that cost-cutting is in the cards in many forms. The new healthcare law, as an example, will precipitate further cost-cutting through limiting hours, pushing the burden for healthcare into direct and indirect taxation–again moving private costs and debts to the public in the process.

Bloomberg reported last Friday, "average incomes for individuals ages 25-34 have fallen 8%, double the adult population’s total drop, since the recession began in December 2007. Their unemployment rate remains stuck one-half to 1 percentage point above the national figure." [Be careful what the increase in housing prices actually means!]

Retirement Scramble:
State of Retirement | SafeSecureRetirement.pdf

2014 signals an inflection point, where an acceleration of retirement will begin to occur and people have not put enough away for their retirement. Retirement Ages will be extended by Social Security, while businesses will work in the reverse, choosing to move older people out because of lack of skills, and off-peopling.

"Privately-run, individually-directed voluntary accounts supported by tax deductions do not work. Expensive to maintain, these are subject to financial risks and leakages, and provide meager incentives to save at a huge loss to the taxpayer. In the end, 401(k) plans make it difficult for America’s working and middle-class families to save enough for a safe and secure retirement." – A Safe and Secure Retirement for All Americans

March of Islam: | Sharia

Islam influences continue to make their way into more and more governments at higher and higher levels, validating that progressivity is not going to be the only solution to complexity.

Egypt approves constitution drafted by Mursi allies

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s allies, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power. Final elections commission figures showed the constitution adopted with 63.8 percent of the vote in the referendum held over two days this month, giving Mursi’s Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution. …

@2030: Bloomberg Analysis | Global Trends 2030 | World Transition

New technologies, dwindling resources and explosive population growth in the next 18 years will alter the global balance of power and trigger radical economic and political changes at a speed unprecedented in modern history, says a new report by the U.S. intelligence community. The 140-page report recently released by the National Intelligence Council lays out dangers and opportunities for nations, economies, investors, political systems and leaders due to four “megatrends” that government intelligence analysts say are transforming the world.

Those major trends are the end of U.S. global dominance, the rising power of individuals against states, a rising middle class whose demands challenge governments, and a Gordian knot of water, food and energy shortages.
Good news from Germany: A ‘global transformation of values has already begun’. It’s proving tough to leverage changing attitudes into sustainable behaviour — but a transition to a more sustainable society ‘would be welcomed by a significant part of world society’.

In a 400-page report called World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability, the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WGBU), the heavyweight scientific body that advises the German Federal Government on ‘Earth System Megatrends’, reviewed a wide-range of values surveys. A significant majority of the German population, it found, views growth and capitalism with scepticism and ‘does not believe in the resilience of market-driven economic systems’.

This post-materialist thinking is not limited to the well?-off and educated. In South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, India, and China, the report also found, a significant majority supports ambitious climate protection measures, and ‘would welcome a new economic system’ to achieve that.

A key barrier to change is that value systems are often ‘abstract concepts perceived as an hypothetical area of life’. Other obstacles include a lack of long-term orientation in policy; loss aversion; path dependencies; distorted fiscal incentives; the ‘lock-in effect’ of existing systems; plus laws and institutional inertia.

Seeking inspiration, the report examines how great transformations happened in the past: the abolition of slavery; the green revolution in agriculture; the spread of the internet.

A key conclusion here is that ‘individual actors and change agents play a far larger role as drivers of transformation’ than they’ve been given credit for in the past.

Just found (Dec 09) CIA cooling report: "The western world’s leadlng climatologists have confirmed reports of a detrimental global climatic change [cooling]. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new cllmatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the Earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo?boreal era (1600-1850) – an era of drought, famine, and political unrest in the western world." (1974)

Climate Change: Cool/Warm? | Cool | EPA (Disappointing:( | Actions To Take | Carbon Cycle

Warming, Cooling, Myth or Magic, it’s won’t make a difference, we won’t make it anyway, hehe!

"In a contrarian view of the economy, not only is there no real danger at the core of the american enterprise, it is about to embark on a growth curve that has not been seen since the days of JP Morgan pulling money from around the globe to grow US GDP over 8 percent per year, 100 years ago." – Roaring Teens

Roaring Teens! | OMG | Outlook 2013? | World3

Natural gas and oil will create a new industrial boom in the US as foreign firms move operations to the US to insure secure and cheap sources for their energy needs.  Europe will lose over 5 million jobs to the US due to energy costs.  Foreign firms will move to take advantage of the refusal of american firms to adjust to the strategic advantages of the US infrastructure. 

Retailers will reintroduce manufacturing in the USA, especially clothing firms looking to tighten the fashion cycle by sourcing close to their operations and taking advantage of the capacity of the US Transportation system to deliver finished goods to coastal oshipping facilities, reintroducing the strategic advantage of being able to deliver goods to all major global markets from the USA within two weeks. 

Regionally, stock markets will come back to life and expose smaller enterprises to a high risk angel investors type market which will invigorate growth funding in the USA.

Finally, Florida will become the start up capital of the world as retired parties bring their Human Capital to the table and become the creative springboard for exponential growth as the average working age of the retired on their third wind expand well into the mid 80’s.

"In total, chemical-related companies have announced $45 billion in projects over the next several years (most of which will be in Texas and Louisiana). Warren Buffett’s Union Tank Car – which leases railcars – is currently operating at full capacity. And railcar manufacturer and lessor American Railcar Industries, controlled by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, has a backlog through 2014. Trinity Industries, the biggest railcar producer, is converting wind-tower factories to meet the growing demand for railcars." – Stansberry Research

What is 200 times stronger than steel?

And now you know the rest of the story…hehe

The antidote?

Antifragility? | Read a Review & Prologue

"Wind extinguishes a candle and energizes fire.

Likewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos: you want to use them, not hide from them. You want to be the fire and wish for the wind. This summarizes this author’s non-meek attitude to randomness and uncertainty.  We just don’t want to just survive uncertainty, just about make it.

We want to survive uncertainty and, in addition –like a certain class of aggressive Roman Stoics —have the last word. The mission is how to domesticate, even dominate, even conquer, the unseen, the opaque, and the inexplicable.


Join Mike Jay, for a program of Resilience @F-L-O-W:
"Designing Antifragility!" in 2013 Click here to register

Grabbed the (context) piece below from Stansberry Research Digest,
as it sums up a lot of the meta-models of energy as a game changer…
look, it’s only a matter of time, before we figure out a way to put back into the earth, what we are taking out, with similar gaseous properties and viscosity, that is my bet…
if the government wanted to create a market to get this done faster, instead of taxing people, they would create a new industry that pays for putting CO2 back where natural gas is coming out of and waste products deep within the earth to sequester them where we are extracting fossil fuel. I’m not saying it would be easy or simple, but think about it, what if someone could get paid, with the same funny money they are giving banks to lend out, to do something productive…?
It’s just an idea, but there is a sea change occurring as a result of energy dynamics…
Manufacturing will rebound in the USA, Energy will continue to evolve the way we are investing in energy and the real economy and jobs are going to be the result–what’s more–jobs that people can do….
SOON, we will add Robotic-Aided Output to our definitions of work, where a person and a robot will do some form of larger, more complex work, where the human and the robot will work together to "aid’ each other in the process of using our current human resources, while we convert fossil fuel energy into innovation and new work.
It’s just a matter of time…a short time, where we see all these effects, and I believe we ride the next wave up as a result!
ROARING TEENS, are you ready?
I predict China will have a new manufacturing competitor, and it will be ROO–robot-aided output, an entirely new field of work, as it is now in infancy, as ALL of us are robot-aided, we just have dumb robots, soon, we will introduce robotic agents and mechanisms that can shoulder some of the serial-computing we lack as parallel-processing humans. China can’t do what we can do with robots, they have created a HUGE SOCIAL Nightmare, soon to play in a theatre near them…they MUST have low-paying jobs, and can’t OFF-People their society as we can and will, and are doing now…and with energy shifting everything, we now have enough CHEAP power to push out the demand-curve and create new production (and consumption) paving a way for the "jetson" lifestyle which will typify the epitome @BS…consumers–>u ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!
CHINA will become more important for it’s ability to affect rare earths, which a robotic society needs, than it will it’s ability to make cheap toasters, SOON!
NOW, a work of caution, or the proverbial cold shower…all we are doing is pushing our already limited growth scenarios along the peak line–delaying Seneca’s curve a little longer–so while we are going to get a window, both individually and collectively, what is on the other side is not going away, but becoming sharper, and this curve is still this curve, and until through some form, we leap the curve, we are stuck with the ride, fyi.
How we understand this and what is going to occur as we face this paradigmatic shift–one way or the other–is going to be key in this decade of the ROARING TEENS.
Most of you understood why I wanted Obama to "cheerlead us through he malaise" we are/were facing (asymmetrical, some will face each, I’m not sure where most will be yet, time will tell soon)…but think about this…
If you have what is basically a cheerleading, led by a large cheerleading squad (media), then anything worth cheering about, gets cheered about…it’s the nature of the thing…so if the malaise (at least in the USA, Europe is in big doodoo because they have no energy miracle and THEY are going to hear that great "sucking sound" as jobs fly out of there like no person’s business)…if the malaise is gone, then what do the cheerleaders have to cheer about?
Yep, they will cheer about anything, and make what is happening into the ROARING TEENS!
Because that is what cheerleaders do–>cheer.
I don’t have a corollary of the mid-twenties as my history is light to see if there were cheerleading then as well, but surely what you see is a fortuitous (for some) concurrence of events, the democrats come out smelling like a rose…and the home team will win, producing a set of dynamics where we’ll see a third democratic term possibly by Michelle Obama, no less…and certainly Biden, heaven forbid…to keep the ROARING TEENS ROARING….
I have mixed emotions about all of this, and of course we should as nothing has changed, only the fact that we have delayed the inevitable with a lot of fanfare and of course, space-time, that may/will help us as technology is growing exponentially, so problems we once had, we might not have…we can eliminate them<–my favorite.
I can promise you this, the next few months are going to be interesting–both politically, technologically and economically…but with FAR more flair than we were expecting just a year ago!
OBAMA elected in 2016?
Inflation becomes an issue, the USA Budget is Balanced in 2016!

One industry is finding yet another use for cheap natural gas…

According to the trade publication Oil & Gas Journal, oil and gas producer Apache (with the help of oil services firms Halliburton and Schlumberger and equipment maker Caterpillar) is working to convert its drilling equipment to run on natural gas instead of diesel. And the cost savings would be huge…

In 2012, the industry will have used more than 700 million gallons of diesel through the tools needed to perform hydraulic fracturing. ("Fracking" is a key technique in extracting oil and gas from shale formations.) That’s $2.38 billion, using recent average prices of $3.40 per gallon.

Converting these operations to natural gas would reduce fuel costs by 70%, according to Apache Executive Vice President of Technology Mike Bahorich.

Consider these numbers from Apache… One of its "frack jobs" in the Granite Wash at the Stiles Ranch field in Texas typically uses 36,290 gallons of diesel to complete the job. Using an average price of $3.40 per gallon, the total fuel cost for one job would be $123,386. At current natural gas prices, the cost drops to $74,473. And Apache has up to 12 frack jobs running at one time.

"This is a real trend, and it’s happening now. We’re witnessing a sea change in the industry that will have a great impact not only on how much less oil is imported but also will help keep our air clean," Bahorich said. "By using field gas, the U.S. would import 17 million fewer barrels of oil each year to make the diesel to fuel these fracs."

We discussed how low natural gas prices are also attracting manufacturing and chemical companies back to the U.S. And the trend is only strengthening.

The cost savings are so significant, even Wal-Mart is switching back to "Made in America." On Tuesday, the country’s largest retailer told suppliers it would add $50 billion of American-made products to its shelves over the next 10 years.

In the last fiscal year, Wal-Mart spent $335 billion on buying and transporting products globally… So the $5 billion a year is only 1.5%. But other retailers will follow suit.

And the job creation that results in the U.S. will only feed Wal-Mart’s customer base.

William Simon, Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO, told the audience at the National Retail Federation convention in New York this week, "A few manufacturers have even told Wal-Mart privately that they have defined the ‘tipping point’ at which manufacturing abroad will no longer make sense for them.

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