The Futurism Is Not Bright

When I was a kid, I stumbled upon a book called Future Shock, by someone named Alvin Toffler. I remember the book for a few reasons. One is it was based on the idea that the pace of change was accelerating and that humans were ill-equipped to handle the onrush of the future. The other memorable part of the book was the claim that society was moving from an industrial age to a super-industrial age. The book was written in 1970 and I read it in the early 80’s, when it was obvious there would be no super-industrial age.

The book is close to 500 pages and it could have been boiled down to 50 pages. In fact, it could probably be condensed into a blog post. The main point of the book was that societal change was accelerating. That point was made just about every way possible and then filled out with predictions that turned out to be all wrong. That was something else I learned from the book. Futurists are extremely long winded. That said, he sold millions of copies and became something of a rock star, so he knew what he was doing.

In fairness to Toffler, by 1980 he had figured out that his super-industrial society idea was a flop, so he came out with an updated vision of the future called The Third Wave. This book predicted that the developed countries would move from industrial to technological societies. He coined the term Information Age. In fairness, he was not wrong about most everything like he was in the previous book. For example, he predicted the end of the nation state and the growth of the global entity that transcended the nation state.

That said, he was still wrong about most stuff. For example, he predicted that technology would result in greater democracy with populations exerting greater control of society and instituting more local control. Pretty much the exact opposite has been the result of the technological revolution. I think we can also say that the idea of a managerial class rising out of the technological revolution was something that many conservatives were onto long before Alvin Toffler predicted it. Burnham wrote The Managerial Revolution in 1941.

Anyway, that all came to mind when I saw this posted on Breitbart. George Gilder is a futurist, an economist and an advocate of intelligent design. He is co-founder of the Discovery Institute. It’s probably accurate to describe him as a techno-utopian, one of those guys who sits around thinking about the singularity. He has a book out predicting the end of Google and the rise of a block chain technology as the salvation of humanity from technocracy. The Breitbart piece is an effort to sell books to conservatives.

Gilder is also a rabid philo-Semite. He wrote a book called The Israel Test, in which he credits everything good in the world to Israel. That won him endless praise from neocons and Buckley Conservatives. He has argued that antisemitism is the hatred of capitalism and excellence. The only reason to mention this is that like all futurists, Gilder is a bit of grifter. The futurism game is not any different from reading tarot cards or doing astrological charts. The idea is to tell the mark what they want to hear. Flattery always sells.

That’s futurism’s main attraction. It allows the futurist, as well as his audience, to avoid dealing with present reality or learning much about past reality. They cherry pick from the past to create a narrative that results in the future of their making. When times are bad, the futurist peddles a future that is devoid of the bad things of today. When times are good, well, all the great stuff of today is going to be awesome in the future. There’s never been a futurist that predicts doom. Those guys are called prophets and we remember them.

In the 1970’s when American manufacturing was in trouble, Alvin Toffler wrote about a future of super-industry, where everyone had a super job. In the 80’s when things were looking up, the future was going to be even more super. The futurist is primarily concerned with future earnings and no one is buying a book or paying for a speech about how crappy things are going to be in the future. That’s why Gilder is out with a book claiming techno-feudalism is going to be replaced by a new utopian algorithm that makes everything super.

Now, what about his central claim about Google? That it’s model for skimming off the economy is doomed to failure? The fact that he seems to not have the slightest idea how Google makes money or how it is arranged as a business is not encouraging. Comparing Google’s business model to Marxism is just marketing. It is boob bait for the bubbas that read people like Michelle Malkin. The book is probably littered with the usual abracadabra words and phrases that titillate the audience of Conservative Inc.

The fact is, Google’s business model was a complete accident. Like most tech companies, it was supposed to be a pump and dump. Page and Brin wanted to sell their search engine once it gained popularity. When they could not find a buyer, they figured out how to turn it into a roadside bandit, charging tolls via ad dollars. They correctly saw that the search engine was a bottleneck and the bottleneck is always the best place to skim from the users. Google simply taxes people on their way from one service to another.

Can this model last forever? Nothing lasts forever, but as a state protected monopolist, they will exist until the state decides otherwise. Given that Google has more than enough money to buy every elected official in Washington, no one in politics is in a hurry to break up Google. Throw in the fact that like the state security agencies, Google can spy on all of the elected officials and their aides, Google and the rest of the oligarchs will remain in power until the revolution. But, that’s not a promising future, so futurists ignore it.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Severian
Guest

“no one is buying a book or paying for a speech about how crappy things are going to be in the future.” All due respect, but what about Paul Ehrlich and The Population Bomb? Liberals still treat that guy like the second coming of Jeremiah, even though he got everything wrong (and even had to cut a check to economist Julian Simon when he lost a bet on his predictions). Ann Coulter makes a nice living off things like Adios America, as does Mark Steyn. You can make a lot of money exaggerating people’s anxieties, e.g. every non-slasher horror film… Read more »

Member

The point of The Population Bomb was to give abortion fetishists another moral justification for baby-murder. That’s why leftists bought it. Same with global-warming alarmism, which gives leftists moral justification for high taxes on industry.

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

Also notice the 70s fixation on population control only seemed to focus on indigenous white Americans. There was never a perceived need to control the birthdate of other groups or a call for slowing or halting immigration.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

The US was 85% White in the 70’s. Also Americans and Europeans used more resources than basically all other groups at the time. China and India had much less development than. now. If you believe that resources are scarce and its an opinion I share than logically you want less of the people using most of the limited resources. I prefer conservation and sustainability myself but I get the impulse. I’m more tribal than a “Good White” though and have no problem with Us vs Them but the Left is very much a universal humanity creed which obviously puts me… Read more »

Member

Leftist concerns about overpopulation seem to have been an inverse function of the proportion of whites on the planet. Even as the global population careens towards it’s tech-maxed carrying capacity, which is probably hundreds or thousands of times that of more primitive existence, and devastating ecosystems throughout much of the world, the once environment-crazed left has mostly lost interest in the topic.

This hints at an answer to Joe Sobran’s question about in what society a progressive would become a conservative — the one in which they don’t exist.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

“…an inverse function…”- what a great point. They DO lose interest in their existential causes, don’t they?

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

How many people is enough AntiDem? Germany with good reason has been complaining about a lack of Lebensraum for more than a century now. Right now that nation contains the entire population of Europe in the early Renaissance circa 1400 crammed into a nation about half again as big as the US state of Oregon! It has roughly 15x the population density of that State and as a former Oregonian I can tell you we were complaining bitterly when it hit that dense The US has a population of more than a 3rd of a billion people which is a… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I must agree, the Pop Bomb was early, but not wrong. I was, defending the cucks who said we can fit ever-one into Texas.

A Kunstler comment: “Deprivation does not bring reduced reproduction, it brings increased infant mortality, which brings about attempts to increase reproduction.”

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

He seemed to be so early as to be partly wrong, but its coming true now. And, to be fair, there were huge famines in Africa in the 1980s.

https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-worlds-most-important-graph/

Apex Predator
Guest
Apex Predator

Actually, one of the most damning and highly visual representations of the truly grim nature of the matter can be found here:

http://metrocosm.com/us-immigration-history-map.html

I can’t advise strongly enough to bookmark that and send it to anyone with their pointy little head still poked firmly in the sand. It is… depressing.

Member

Fuck off. If you think there are too many people on the planet, then be the change you want to see by French kissing a .44 Magnum. Otherwise you’re a hypocrite and probably a lefty shill trying to flack for the abortion business.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

It’s the spay-and-neuter problem.
Gephart gave us Live Aid to feed them, they lived to have more, and now here they come.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

This wasn’t directed at me but it might surprise you that huge chunks of the Dissident Right don’t care about abortion, especially since abortion is about 2/3rds non White and don’t give a crap about Christendom either I suspect most of us are fairly secular and many are borderline agnostic. We also are aware of the havoc over population is causing the biosphere and the results which may be global conflict on a scale that makes the current crisis look like walk in the park So yeah, there are too many people. We just want our lands for ourselves As… Read more »

Dtbb
Guest
Dtbb

I read somewhere that half of the people who have ever been born are alive right now.

Hoagie
Guest
Hoagie

And whitey to blame for it.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

Whitey is to blame for it and for pretty much every problem facing us.

We are the ones who developed technology to allow all these people to be fed and worse are stupid enough to intervene instead of letting nature take its course

Don’t feed strays and don’t share tech. Us vs them , no white mans burden and until Y/T gets this he’ll get kicked in the ribs over and over

pyrrhus
Guest
pyrrhus

I think Ann Coulter is more like a Prophet….Adios America is well on the way to becoming the American future, and is already the American present in some places.

Wolf Barney
Guest
Wolf Barney

Ann’s great, but she was about 20 years behind Peter Brimelow, Sam Francis, Pat Buchanan, Roy Beck, Sam Huntington, Lawrence Auster, et al.

chedolf
Guest

I had the same opinion of Ann Coulter, but then I checked her old columns, and turns out she’s been citing Brimelow and his book “Alien Nation” since at least 2006. I only wish she had made it her focus a decade sooner.

Wolf Barney
Guest
Wolf Barney

I stand corrected. I thought Ann got onboard the immigration restriction issue just a few years ago. Anyway, she’s doing a great job keeping the issue front and center. By the way, thinking of those names, I remember Richard Lamm, who I believe was governor of Colorado, was very vocal about slowing down immigration in the early-mid 90’s. He was a Democrat. So was the late Barbara Jordan, who introduced legislation but passed away before it went anywhere. And Roy Beck has been a Democrat. (maybe still is?) Those were the days when Dems cared about the working man and… Read more »

Severian
Guest

I take your point, but it’s worth pointing out that the reverse phenomenon sells pretty well — futurists say whatever the present trend is will continue and it’ll be great; Ehrlich et al say the present trend will continue and it will stink. I don’t think we’re constitutionally capable of hearing “we’re doomed no matter what.” E.g. how many of us think there will be serious political violence before 2020? And how many of us are seriously preparing? Not just buying a gun, but hitting the range, working on moving targets, packing bugout bags and fortifying bunkers? Catastrophes always catch… Read more »

Member

As I noted in my response to Z, what about James Howard Kunstler?

Severian
Guest

I don’t know who he is, sorry. Looks interesting though.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

JHKunstler’s blog’s themes were Peak Oil and the Long Emergency, now he speaks to the Golden Golem of Greatness and political-financial collapse, as part of the Long Emergency.

Center-left, outraged by Her Royal Meanness. Pithy like Z.
The blog is called Clusterfuck Nation, kinda says it all.

Member

He may have center-left roots, but he repeatedly rails, in his inimitable style, against black social dysfunction, the race hustle, and the overall multicultural racket.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

His rightwing and WN commentors are quite good, but the lefties drag everything down when they go into rote recital mode.
Rather wearying.

Drake
Guest
Drake

Steyn wrote “America Alone” 10 years ago. He sure seems spot on for the fate of Western Europe. The Eastern Europeans are proving surprisingly stubborn and sensible.

dad29
Guest

Umnnhhh….there’s also a very good and lucrative market for Doomsday books. “CRISIS!!!” sells, at least for people who are small-time retail investors.

Member

Funny, all the time I was reading your part about Toffler I was thinking of Gilder.
It does go both ways about playing to your readership, doom or utopia.

These books for the most part don’t wear well. I couldn’t be coerced into pulling the Gilder books I have off the shelf to read again. Now Derbyshire’s ‘We are Doomed’ does get that but then I need to pour a stiff one after rubbing in the black pill.

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

I’d sure like to hear more about that revolution promised at the end. Specifics on how to kick it off especially appreciated. Or I submit that it will be a crash with plenty of ethnic and other genocides, famine, disease, nuclear plants blowing up from lack of maintenance/power and other future history book goodies.

Member

Futurism, and there are other things like it, such as the constant predictions of an economic and societal apocalypse, pick up on certain trends and stretch them out over time or impose on some thing an importance which they turn out not to have. Remember the Singularity? I hardly even remember what it was, but I’m sure there is someone out there saying that it is just around the corner. Yes, sometimes we end up with a future determined by an accumulation of incremental changes, but we also get futures as a result of qualitative revolution due to some new… Read more »

DeBeers Diamonds
Guest
DeBeers Diamonds

The future of Google is either that of the East India Company or Standard Oil. Left untrammeled, it will eventually acquire governmental powers, or it will be broken up and/or nationalized. The only thing that can seriously harm them is if Apple/Amazon decide to make a loss leading search engine. But the obvious collusion in Silicon Valley prevents this.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I see the same thing. Since Z has tapped the forbidden, I’ve read that the Rockefeller family began as marranos who fled Spain, sheltered in Turkey, then went back to France. John the senior was given $20 million dollars by the Rothschilds bankers to go start buying out oil claims. His gangs were notorious for beating up other crews and stealing their barrels. A brilliant man, he invented the corporate balance sheet- not something one learns in a log cabin. Standard Oil became the Great Game of the 1900s oil wars, when navies’ steamships were converting from coal to oil.… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Public-private partnerships are Crown Corporations.
A floor, or a ceiling?

Member

I remember thinking almost 15 years ago that any company that could dominate search technology could easily dominate political discourse at some point. Their acquisition of Youtube was the thing that really set off alarm bells.

As for Toffler, he kept predicting humanity would eventually figure out how to cheat death by the early 21st century and live for hundreds of years, or even attain immortality. I was enthralled with the idea…until I awoke one morning and realized that I did not have that much more time left. So much for that.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

We’re going to miss it by *thaaat* much.
Sucks to be the last mortal generation, eh?

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton

“…boob bait for the bubbas that read people like Michelle Malkin.” That’s a bit harsh, don’t ya’ think?

Wolf Barney
Guest
Wolf Barney

Yeah, Michelle’s been a longtime writer at VDare, so she’s not so bad.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I finally heard why Alex Jones attacked her in a street incident. He said she had been barking accusatory questions at him, when one of her crew elbowed him- hard- in the back. Being a loud Texan, he said regretfully, “well, then I just lost it.”

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

The alt-right/HBD set is odd. They gave serious street cred to a lunatic like Spencer who destroyed the movement and yet is quite happy to see Alex Jones get thrown under the bus.

Wolf Barney
Guest
Wolf Barney

I’m not seeing the Alt-Right folks happy to see Jones banned at all. Quite the opposite. If they’re happy, it’s only that when the more mainstream right gets banned, it’ll bring more attention to the problem such as what we saw with Trump’s recent tweet. An Andrew Anglin ban won’t draw much attention.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

I think banning Alex Jones and PrisonPaul would be great, because it will convince MAGApedes that the same old classical liberalism isn’t going to cut it. What I expect at some point is that Jones will be banned and PrisonPaul will not, in an attempt to split them up. Paul has remained steadfastly loyal to Jones despite clear ideological differences between them. I don’t trust Spencer, I find it spurious that he wasn’t banned while Jared Taylor was.

Member

Why does it always have to be a bus? Can we freshen it up please? There are other things to be thrown under. A trolly. A Hummer. A bear. Alex Jones got thrown out of the airbus. Alex Jones got thrown out of the Airbnb.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

Airbnb and several “dating” apps have banned several dissidents, infamously including Jack Posobiec who was cheating on his wife.

Chris_Lutz
Member

It’s the Singularity all of the way down. Immortality is just around the corner. We’ll be immortal gods. Glenn Reynolds over at Instanpundit always strikes me as close to that with his constant concern about longevity.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Chris;

Good insight. “We’ll be immortal gods.” Just a slight paraphrase of what the serpent reportedly told Eve in the Garden.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

It’s going to get mighty interesting, if it gets out that our overlords have been consuming the placental blood of aborted babies to help their immortality along. That might be how all of these political leadership types end up living and somewhat functioning into their 90s or so.

And that’s my batsh*t crazy thought for a Monday.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Not crazy at all. Planned Parenthood, China and Israeli gangs are selling those organs to *someone*.
I thought Fidel Castro was never gonna die.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

(Late edit)- apologies, few have heard the rumors that Israeli gangs are amongst the top human and organ traffickers. Most of this activity probably come from the USSR’s expatriation of Red Mafya from it’s prisons, which was hailed as a humanitarian move.

These are the guys coordinating with Eastern European criminal networks plaguing all of Europe, buying up London’s best properties, and running the Black Exchange in Ukraine, the hacker market that rules spam, identity theft, and “Russian infiltration”.

It sounds like more JQ fingerpointing.
I wish I’d been discrete and left that out.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

Why not crack the aging barrier? The alternative is slow death.

Do note too that many on the Right are in a religious bubble and don’t get that huge chunks of the population aren’t that religious in terms of the afterlife stuff

The US is more church going than anywhere in Western Europe but its positive impact on our culture is nothing special

It doesn’t make American better in the broader sense and I’d argue that despite being far more church and faith focused our internal problems are comparable or worse in some ways.

Member

Taleb nailed these futurist grifters (and the rest of our pundits) by stating they have no skin in the game. All they have to do is tell people what they want to hear. If the elite like it, the grifter will never be called on the carpet for getting it all wrong.

Member

There’s never been a futurist that predicts doom. Those guys are called prophets and we remember them.

After we stone them.

pyrrhus
Guest
pyrrhus

Another nice addition to the discussion would be the Thomas Friedman ‘World is Flat’ bunch…lots of money there, though it was obviously balderdash…Yet another group, still very successful, is those pushing the Bill Gates ‘Africans/3d worlders will all be middle class just like you lucky whites’ in just x years.

DWEEZIL THE WEASEL
Guest
DWEEZIL THE WEASEL

A broken clock is right twice a day. I will believe this malarkey when it happens.

Kentucky Headhunter
Guest

I watch a lot of Sci-fi movies from the 50’s and 60’s. In many of them, but mostly the 60’s ones, the U.N. is a big deal and seems to be performing a world government role (Star Trek has the Federation, an interplanetary U.N.), but that didn’t happen. Is this an example of failed futurism or something else?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The U.N. Is a third world money and power grab, dressed up as a guilt job on the US and the West. The concealing cloak was pulled away from that rat’s nest a long time ago.

Member

One way to look at the UN is as a body like the Estates general in France before the Revolution. It fell into desuetude and at a crisis point was called upon to perform a miracle, which it could not perform. But those called together in its name did manage to fuck things up unroyally and sent the country into 60 years of wars and revolutions.

The key thing is to suppress the idea of using it to solve some great problem in the future, because chances are our grandkids will get killed by whatever solution it comes up with.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

Whig History or Whig Futurism has a high human equality component and assumes that deep inside every foreigner is White person wanting to get out.

Harmonium
Guest
Harmonium

One thing about the “black swans” of google and Facebook is surely who their creators happened to be. They immediately receive a loyal, politically powerful block of users driven by the added purpose of controlling a key media nexus. In retrospect one might say they were obvious swans, but everybody feigns obtuseness. Anyone slightly comp literate who lived through the period knows there were many perfectly adequate search engines and social media networks in existence years before Facebook and google. The canny advertising campaign of “google it”. I bet the best thing that ever happened to the winklvoss twins was… Read more »

Abelard Lindsey
Guest
Abelard Lindsey

I remember George Gilder and his schtick. I was never impressed with any of his books. My understanding is that he invested all kinds of dot-coms in the belief they were the future. He then lost big during the tech crash and then semi-retired somewhere cheap where he could live on little money (Idaho is one place I’ve heard he was living).

Megatrends was another book that came out in the early 80’s about how super everything was supposed to be. Bruce Naisbitt was the author of Megatrends, I believe.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

No matter what one predicts, assumes, or invents, the future has a way of coming out very differently than expected. Those who happen to be in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time, will be lauded as visionaries, and will never ascribe their success to a large measure of luck. Someone, somewhere, was going to succeed and prosper, and it just happens to be them. There was going to be a guy who would make out like Warren Buffet, and it just happened to be Warren Buffet. That said, you need to play in traffic for… Read more »

Din C. Nuffin
Guest
Din C. Nuffin

So true. Every time some “concept” took off on wall Street, there were “visionaries” who bet the farm, and their companies, during the downturn.,

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I used to get Gilder’s short-lived tech investors’ magazine. How many venture capital Angels can dance on the head of a pin?

A b c d
Guest
A b c d

Ultimate boob bait going right now is Alan Dershowitz

He’s brilliantly created a perfect niche for himself

Member

Abcd: I just find him to be overexposed and annoying.

Lance_E
Member

The trouble with futurists is that they’re half-right. Technological progress has been accelerating sort-of exponentially. However, social progress has been regressing. And even if that regress is linear, rather than exponential, eventually we’re going to exhaust all of our social capital and thus the resources needed to invent and maintain new technology. We’re already at the point in time where futurists say that groundbreaking discoveries should be happening every few years. So what’s new? The smartphone was invented in 1992. The Human Genome Project finished in 2003. Bluetooth, YouTube, and modern web browsers were all early 2000s. It’s like we’ve… Read more »

Ursula
Guest
Ursula

It appears most of the research and innovation is either being done by DARPA (with our tax dollars) or large technology interests like Alphabet (parent of Google). If some new thing emerges by some creative individual outside these labs, it gets swallowed up and becomes part of the Borg. Weapons and AI robotics, all owned and developed by government-corporate nexus. Almost everything else left to languish.

Lance_E
Member

Yes, I agree: degradation and destruction of talent is probably the biggest issue, but monopolization of talent and confinement to “IQ shredders” is not helping matters either.

Star Child
Guest
Star Child

Sometimes the futurists get it right. It amazes me that in the government office I work at, I sit in a semi-circle of control desks, interacting with wall sized computer screens, and that my fellow co-workers include an Asian, an East European, and a Nigerian. It’s quite similar to the control deck of the Star Ship Enterprise of Gene Roddenberry’s TV series “Star Trek”.
How is it that Toffer got it so wrong so quickly, and Star Trek is still in syndication?

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Star Trek runs continuously on BBC America.
I feel as you do- I love being alive to see this marvelous, glorious, tumultuous age.

We saw the Heights- if we also get to see the Fall or the Breakaway, we will be the most blessed generations in human history.

Member

I read this book when it first came out back in ’70. The same with Ehrlich’s nonsense, two years earlier. All I can say, the future isn’t what it use to be.

Member

Nobody mentioned flying cars yet. Of course Dick Tracy style watch phones happened to a large extent but nobody wants to use them. Hell, phone technology has advanced to great extent but most like to text instead. What’s next, morse code 2.0?

Don’t forget DIVERSITY, that’s a great social advance. Just no for white people.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Even catastrophes which appear blindingly obvious after the fact are anticipated in their time by very few. That is probably due to the nature of humans, not catastrophe. And, if there is one thing even more difficult to predict than bad news, it’s good news. So I place my hope in moving forward, when I have any, on my ignorance.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

James; One reason people miss seeing actual catastrophes in the making is that they have seen so many false predictions in their past. Actual signals are therefore buried in noise from ‘catastrifards’. Why do so many people predict catastrophes_? Makes you look smart. You’re the center of attention. Might get you some power and money. Some women are drawn to men who offer to protect them from impending doom, etc. IOW, the usual: Sex, Money & Power. Real basis for prediction_? Who cares_? There were reasons why the Old Testament/Torah called for the the death penalty for false prophets. (In… Read more »

Pimpkin's Nephew
Guest
Pimpkin's Nephew

“If there is one thing even more difficult to predict than bad news, it’s good news.” Bravo. Few predicted in the Fall of 1940 that British and American troops would be patrolling the streets of Berlin in 1945. Few predicted in 1945 that no nuclear war would happen as of 2018. Few were predicting in 1985 the sudden collapse of totalitarianism in Russia and eastern Europe by 1990. Few were predicting Trump’s victory over his inane GOP opponents in the primaries, or his victory over the reprehensible HRC in 2016. Stuff happens that isn’t always bad. I still think we’re… Read more »

Sean
Guest
Sean

Rawles has done pretty good with his series of Doom, then Recovery. While the stories are quite lurid, they pretty much follow the same line in each one. I didn’t buy anymore after the first two. I visit his site at survivalblog.com just about daily, because I get a lot from other posters and the great prep ideas and practices. Where he falls off the horse in his books is when his subjects talk in ways that nobody talks these days, sans profanity, and behavior like Sunday School children, in the most violent of situations. In other words, and I… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

JWR promotes a very individualistic/nuclear family model of survival that is most acceptable to those of upper-middle class income. There’s a clear reluctance to form groups in the wake of the OKC bombing militia scare, but it is the only plausible way forward.

Member

So much of one’s doom timeline depends on what you see of the world. I’ve always lived in peaceful suburbs. So it’s almost impossible to imagine shit ever hitting the fan. If you always watch the news, or you’re in college, and all you see is political agitation, you think shit hits for sure in about 4 years. If you have lunch in the inner city you and witness the mass of poor dirty dumb people, drug addicts, illegals, and homeless. All multiplying, and mocked by luxury condos a few blocks away, you think this just CAN’T be sustained much… Read more »

Pimpkin's Nephew
Guest
Pimpkin's Nephew

It’s an excellent point, and an honest one. Looking out my window, walking down my street, buying groceries and exchanging pleasantries with cashiers and casual acquaintances, it’s not radically different from the atmosphere of McCartney’s ‘Penny Lane’.

Cut the power for several hours on a summer night, and you bring people together – even in the city. Cut it for several days, of course, then you bring people to the edge of cannibalism. We’re working in a very fine margin here between reconciliation and total war…

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

Normalcy bias. I have it too. It is kinda hard to see the SHTF. But that doesnt mean it cant

DLS
Guest
DLS

I recall Gilder declaring in the late 90s that Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom fame had basically won the internet after his company’s purchase of MCI. I believe he also touted Paul Allen who, despite all his broadcom efforts, ended up with less of a fortune than if he had just stayed invested in Microsoft. He predicted that owning the bandwidth made them the masters of the internet. How did that work out? Hundred of billions in broadcom stock losses when the bubble burst. Hilarious money quote from the link below: “The trouble with my business is that everyone came in… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

I had to read Malthus as a college freshman. He’s not taken seriously in most places any more although I think a real Malthusian catastrophe is looming in Africa. After whitey gets chased out the population will rapidly return to pre-colonial levels.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

A large amount of American soy is grown to be exported to feed pigs in China. It’s actually a major spat in the trade war, there isn’t much difference between American and Brazil/Argentina soy so its a minor loss as markets adjust, but it is a short term hit. All that soy could be diverted to Sub-Saharan Africa if need arises. The Chinese are also slowly mechanizing African agriculture, and President Ramaphosa is about to hand over a lot of land gratis.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

If I were God Emperor Trump, I’d dip in that budget to offer free transit and visas to all Afrikkaner and Boer.

Diversity Inc wants war? Here’s a frickin’ stick in yer eye, you rat bastards!

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

From my meddling outsider perspective (ignore my handle, I’m actually from Ohio), I don’t think most South African whites are willing to leave, most of them remain deluded liberals. They’d be better off in Australia/New Zealand, or even Argentina/Chile/Uruguay for that matter. The actual number of “Boers” is something around 30,000, and many of them are actually moving to the neighboring countries to farm there. If we really wanted to squeeze the ANC, we’d seize their offshore assets and deport all expatriate black South Africans from the West. Every so often a carrier group has to transit the Magellan Straits,… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

Important to note that the South African military is pathetic. All combat-capable units are posted far away in Central African UN peacekeeping missions (IMO to guard against a coup). If it were so desired, partition would not be a logistically difficult assignment. It would be important to gain the participation of both the EU and India and the acquiescence of Russia. China is aiming to make South Africa a vassal.

Drake
Guest
Drake

ZeroHedge had a story about a lot of them heading to Russia to farm – where they get some free land. Australia seems happy to have them too.

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

No, that is not correct. Russia is demanding a fairly significant investment, I will be surprised if that many actually end up leaving for Russia. Australia cucked out due to the left demanding that Muslims be let in first due to “greater danger”. The ANC won’t take all the farms at once, but they will probably make farmers hand over equity stakes to the workers (i.e. cronyism)

J Clivas
Guest

“There’s never been a futurist that predicts doom.” Kunstler (James, not William) continually does.

Member

We’ve beaten Z over the head enough with this. Time to let him up.

BillyPilgrim
Guest
BillyPilgrim

I’m reading “Life After Google” now because, for over thirty years, Gilder has explained foreseeable tech developments in a way that put me ahead of other investors.

Member

Future Shock: Jackboots with tasers.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

“Don’t tase me, bro!”

Butternuts
Guest
Butternuts

This book is worth reading. His three key points are sound. 1. Google’s ‘free stuff for eyeballs’ business model is not sustainable. The online advertising model is broken with 25% of net users utilizing ad blocking software – up from 15% a year ago. All their user-pay plays have been busts – cloud, pay, music, health, etc. 2. The notion of machines taking over the world as espoused by fellow futurists like Martin Ford is a long way off – how are those self driving cars that were going to be ubiquitous this decade going? 3. Blockchain/P2P tech shows us… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

The trick to reading any of these books is to step away from acceptance of the overall thesis and look for the “nuggets” in the authors research. Your point 1 is excellent. Did some work with one of the Google divisions that ventured into financial services a few years ago. Was surprised at how un-adept they were outside the eyeballs/advertising realm. Doesn’t mean they won’t learn, but elements of this remind me of the days when the Japs were all 16 feet tall. We know how that ended. I’ve been running my own little experiment with Facebook. I now go… Read more »

sirlancelot
Guest
sirlancelot

My apologies. Not as well read as some of you. All this talk of soothsayers has conjured up the name “Nostradamus” 🙂

Seems fortune-telling has been with us for a long time.

Funny to think when I was a kid the year 2000 seemed like a long way off.

We were all supposed to be living like The Jetsons

Member
Felix_Krull

“That said, he was still wrong about most stuff. For example, he predicted that technology would result in greater democracy with populations exerting greater control of society and instituting more local control.” That’s not such a bad guess. It’s only with the internet that direct democracy has become possible on a large scale. It has not materialized, but that may only be a matter of time. In fact, it’s mostly lack of will and imagination that are the problems. You could institute it tomorrow if you wished, at least in Euro-style multi-party systems. Here’s how you foment revolution in five… Read more »

Member

“[Toffler] was still wrong about most stuff. For example, he predicted that technology would result in greater democracy with populations exerting greater control of society and instituting more local control.”

I would submit that it’s still too early to tell. The internet has radically altered the landscape with regard to the dissemination of information. Those in power are fighting back right now (via censorship of social media) but it’s a losing battle for TPTB.

The ultimate end result of this could easily end up being exactly what Toffler predicted. Time will tell.

Riuchard Raymond
Guest
Riuchard Raymond

http://www.sweetliberty.org/nobarbarians1.htm
Need to seriously read this, there is a youtube video of this as well
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0C7pyNzpg8

ErisGuy
Guest
ErisGuy

Toffler (which my spell check converts to ‘toddler’) had one prediction right. In some version of Future Shock, Toffler predicted homosexual marriage.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Imagine the consternation during the deer hour at the fusion center if the power failed.
Those damned electricians were called, but they haven’t shown up yet.

Besides, their last repair wasn’t worth sh*t.
And what’s with these wierd block by block power outages. The servers at State, the EEOC, and DOJ are all barely running on backup- and the A/C is failing.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

(See those cell towers? Those dishes are rented space by each provider. Repair means a guy with climbing skills swapping out modules. But down at the bottom is a lonely little shed where the real action happens. Shadowban this, mf’ers.) No, that’s wrong. The OSS was formed for manhunters to chase down the werewolves, Germans who were sabotaging power stations, water mains, and phone lines after the war. Ya know, the NYT and Wall Street firms have high-speed repeater links. They may have feeds from the building, but are often a standalone unit in an isolated area. Visible on building… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The Somalis held an Eid festival in the Vikings Stadium, 10,000 strong, slaughtering a live animal on stage and holding the bloody carcass aloft in joyous celebration of their faith tradition.

Imagine the eeking and ooking if the lights failed. Tis a damn shame, it is.