Waking Ideas Publishing - Health & Life Stories
Written By Danny Nicolas
"Anyway, here we go.... pull yourself a nice Espresso and sit down for a short story that will explain why we're utterly screwed if we don't act and why acting to stop the progression of what is going in our economy right now is not an option - it is an imperative.
There happens to be a particular species of pond lily that is extremely prolific. In fact it grows so fast that it doubles in size through both growth and reproduction in just one day.
We will start with a pond of a surface area of 4096 square feet, or about 64 feet square. We will place within that pond one lily with an area of of one square foot; that is, a lily that is a square of 12 x 12".
This pond contains fish, which would like to live in symbiosis with the algae and other growing plant material within the pond. In order to do some part of the pond's surface must be exposed to the air so that oxygen and carbon dioxide can be exchanged, and some part of the pond's surface must be open to the sun, or the algae that make up a good part of the food the fish eat (we will assume they do not eat the lilies directly) can survive. The lilies will conveniently consume the urea (nitrogen) that the fish excrete, preventing the pond water from becoming poisonous. So long as this symbiosis is maintained all is fine. But if this symbiotic relationship fails all the fish will die.
We are the fish, incidentally, and the lilies are debt.
Now here's the question: Will the fish inevitably die and if so how long, in days, will pass before they perish?
On the first day there is 1 square foot of pond that is covered.
On the second, 2
On the third, 4.
On the fourth, 8.
On the fifth, 16.
On the sixth, 32.
Note that on the 6th day just 0.8% of the pond is covered with lilies. You would not detect any problem on the sixth day, I suspect. More than 99% of the pond is open to the sky!
Now here's the nasty truth: If you're a fish you're halfway to being dead!
Wide awake yet? I hope so; let's continue.
On the seventh day 64 square feet are covered.
On the eighth, 128.
On the ninth, 256.
On the tenth, 512.
The pond is now 12.5% covered. More than 80% of the surface area is open to the sky. When you hear someone say "we have 80% of our resource left; we can't be in trouble", consider exactly where you are. Why? You'll see in a moment....
On the eleventh day, 1024 square feet are covered.
On the twelfth, 2048.
On the thirteenth day there is no surface open to the sky and every fish in the pond dies.
When did you figure out you're in trouble? Was it on the twelfth day? Well if so you had literally less than 24 hours to commit mass lilicide or you're all dead! You literally can't spend one day debating with your fellow fish even though you still have half the surface area open to the sky on that 11th day.
This is the nature of exponents folks."
-Karl Denninger continues in a simple explanation of What You Simply MUST Understand
"One final point and I will leave you to think this over: The World Economic Forum (WEF) said recently that for us to achieve a 3% GDP growth for the next decade we would have to double the total systemic debt. That is a roughly 7% annual growth rate in debt, or a "spread" of about 4% over "growth". In order to do this, the amount of earnings from everyone in the economy that will have to be diverted to interest payments will also have to approximately double. Yet it is the inability to pay that interest (and principal where it is paid down) that is factually known as the trigger for the 2007/08 financial collapse and this growth in debt, at their assumed 3% growth rate in GDP, will produce only a 34% increase in output with which you must pay for that doubling!
We must accept what we have done.
The fact is that if the pond will be covered entirely with lilies on October 31st it is now October 30th.
We have two choices: We either start killing lilies and find a way to keep them from reproducing, even though it appears we have half of our pond still uncovered and all is fine, or we will all perish with certainty."
Published on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 11:44 am | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.