Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Next Steps

In the comments section of Socionomic Trendspotting 2010 - The Gritty Reboot, the comments stuck with me and I thought I'd address some of my thoughts as a post.

Fool53 wrote: "...What we are dealing with is a once in 300 year state of collective conscience, but it's also coupled with the largest debt bubble in the history of mankind. So what unfolds seems that it should be unprecedented, although not Armageddon..."

Greg B wrote: "...For those who don't shut down and "hibernate" (perhaps because we knew before that winter does come and go) the big question becomes what to do until Spring. Really hard to plan for a 5 year economic winter..."

Those comments do a fantastic job of summing up my mood at the moment. Part of the reason postings have been spotty lately is that I've been very busy, but the other reason is that I seem to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've said my piece. FutureJacked started as a way for me to bounce around ideas on what was coming our way. Well, "it" is on our doorstep and now I have few real answers and don't really know what to suggest or plan for at this point.

When this house of cards goes, it is going to be stunning in every sense of the word. How we react to the falling roofbeams and just where the blind beast of mass rage is going to devour populations is something I just can't be sure of. Planning is fine, but when reality hits, plans will change. Having a plan is important, I believe, but being flexible is just as key to surviving the coming crash. All that said, I am actually a bit more optimistic than I was last year. Yes, things are going to be bad in many ways. But this isn't Armageddon. Frankly, it is time my country shucked off this old skin of overfed, credit-gorged, adolescent consumerism and re-learned what it means to be a mature country. A crash is the bitter pill that helps effect the cure.

Much of this thinking was sparked as I reread David Hackett Fisher's The Great Wave earlier in the month while holed up during a bitter cold snap. I strongly recommend reading it for a perspective on just how vast the price revolutions of the past have been and how they serve as prologue for what is to come. Seeing someone recognize that history can be modeled very well as wave movements (even if he doesn't use Wave Principle or Socionomics as part of that model) is refreshing, even if the message can be unsettling for our particular time and place.

Thanks for your patience with my maundering. Keep an eye on mood and markets and be ready to act when others freeze up.


Greg B said...

It is the most elusive piece of the puzzle. If we accept that strange days are coming, what do we do different?

The was a discussion on The Oil Drum called "Thinking About Planning for the Future" that poked at the question a bit. One post by "minsyntax" had an interesting perspective about preparing for one stage at a time.

What I took from it was to prepare for the assumed immediate effects of a negative event or change in such a way that you can ride through it and emerge with the strength and resources to survey the newly created conditions (economic, social, whatever) and prepare again for the new next assumed negative event or change.

Here's a link to the TOD post:

My assumption is that the immediate effects we will see are financial and economic. A multi-year depression with: severely lowered values of paper assets, much higher unemployment, deflation, reduced globalization, reduced consumerism, and a banking crisis. So that's what I'm trying to prepare for.

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