The above sections are done, the lower ones are coming: Section 19: Future Shock Section 20: What Should I Do...?

How long will it take? Completed sections are between 3 and 14 minutes in length, meaning that all 20 sections should take about 2.5 hours.

What is it? The Crash Course seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face.

How to save and watch offline If using Firefox, you can save each one with DownLoadHelper. Then rename the .flv files to .swf files.

To play: 1. Drag and drop into a browser to then watch them. or 2. Right click and select "open with..." and then pick a browser (Firefox, IE etc), and tick "always open with", so all .swf files are opened with your browser.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

This two part interview with Chris Martenson is extremely interesting. It expands on the current videos, but also goes into Peak Oil, and gives quite a clue into what the last 4 videos are going to cover.

I just sat down to watch this series and unfortunately this chapter has got me rattled.

Chris says that "you are here" on an exponential graph. He then says "You happen to live at a time, when hundreds of individual graphs are all approaching the vertical phase of their exponential trajectory"

Now this puzzles me - because, frankly, it's utter bollocks!

Chris has already explained that an exponential function (or graph) grows at a continous rate. He talks about population growing at 1%.

Now if you take *any* exponential graph and you're at the end of it (i.e. the right hand side) you will *always* be in the vertical phase! The thing grows by a fixed multiple in each time period!

So to say that we "happen" to be in a particularly vertical phase of the graphs for population, oil consumption and money supply is non-sensical. They are continually increasing and if you'd carried out the same exercise 50 years ago you would get the same results. The scaling would be different (e.g. instead of the peak being $10Trn it would be $2Bn) but the shape would still be the same and the WOW factor would still be there. If we carry on as we are and you plot the graph again in 20 years time, today will seem like a non-event and suddenly THEN will be the "vertical phase".

This to me seriously undermines whatever it is Chris is about to say - which is a shame, judging by all the comments folks have made about his videos.

Now by overlaying the 10% curve plotted separately to fill the same size chart area, you get this:

So the higher the growth rate, the sharper the curve with a fixed boundary.

And the higher the boundary with a fixed growth rate, the sharper the curve.

So, I think with a real world bounded system, like population, oil resources etc etc, you are limited in how you can draw it. Unlike money, which knows no bounds

So I think Chris is right when he talks about a "take off point". There is always a 'kink' in the curve between flattish and rockets away

I think it also shows how a small growth rate is manageable for a very long time. But a higher one causes real problems really quickly.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

to New Zealand house prices, and come up with this:

This makes an assumption about the rate of price inflation. If this was in fact higher, then nominal house prices would fall less, and more real value would be lost due to price inflation. If inflation is lower than assumed, then nominal house prices would fall more, and less would be lost through inflation. Either way, in real terms, there will be a loss. It just depends whether it is as noticeable in the prices advertised, or whether it is more hidden by inflation.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

Ive been asked a lot lately about when the remaining Crash Course chapters will be done. I even set a target of Wednesday (two days ago) as a completion date. ..... I am getting in about 10 hours a day on the Crash Course (and not a lot of sleep). At this pace I will finish by months end, or thereabouts. I seem to be unable to lower my quality standards, and so I will simply work as hard as I can to complete this task. This will be a huge relief, as it will allow me to concentrate more fully on analyzing and writing reports about the current state of the economy, working on my book, and providing subscribers with more value.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

In the real world, it seems very unlikely that we would have exponential growth until the resources were exhausted, and then usage would instant;y drop to zero. In practice we are more likely to see:

Now if you take *any* exponential graph and you're at the end of it (i.e. the right hand side) you will *always* be in the vertical phase!

I now see what was meant.

Yes, if you draw any exponential function from the start of time to now, you will be at the 'vertical' phase of the curve. I agree.

But, I don't think that is what Chris means at all.

I think this is what Chris means.

1. First you have to estimate the total resources available. Yes it's an estimate, but that's what you do.

2. Then you draw the exponential function from the start of time until the resources are exhausted. This is very important. It is not drawn just to 'now'.

The result is that most of the time 'now' will be somewhere on the curve.

I think the point Chris is making is this. We are getting close to the end time of a number of curves drawn as in (2). So we are on the vertical phases of them.

I do not want to get back into an excessively long discussion about the maths of the exponential function. It is explained simply here:

In plain words, this means that x grows exponentially if it increases proportionally to its own value. Most often exponential growth occurs in situations where "x creates more x", typical examples being population growth and compound interest. Exponential growth can occur both when the time intervals are discrete, for example in annual or monthly interest compounding, and when the time variable is continuous, as in continuous compounding of interest or modelling of large populations. The discrete time case is more often encountered in practice and is easier to analyse mathematically, since we don't need to resort to the exponential function.

Any suggestion that 3% growth per year is not a simple function is just plain wrong.

Now having re-watched Prof Albert Bartlett's videos, I realise that using the "doubling time" makes thinking about this even easier.

As he explains, the doubling time ~= 70 / growth rate.

eg if the growth rate is 7%/year, the doubling time = 70 / 7 = 10 years.

It is then easier to imagine doubling the value every n years.

That gives this type of curve, with each doubling point marked:

It is no more complex than this.

A tree has 15 apples.

Day 1: Eat 1 apple. Day 2: Eat twice as many = 2. Total consumed = 3. Day 3: Eat twice as many = 4. Total consumed = 7. Day 3: Eat twice as many = 8. Total consumed = 15.

There are no more apples. Please note: On the last day, ~ half the apples were consumed. It took 3x days to consume the ~ first half. This simply demonstrates how growth rates result in a vertical phase, which are relatively short.

Can you answer this question from Part 3 of 8 of Prof. Albert Bartlett's video series ?

If not, please watch it until you can.

I repeat:

IMO it's vital this is understood.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

I'm puzzled as to why this thread has only received 127 views. I know most people will have already watched he videos, but I had hoped the screenshots would have been useful, and the extra stuff I've posted.

PS You do need to be logged in to see this area, so if you point anyone here, you'll need to explain that.

I'm not meaning to question the powers-that-be; however wouldn't it make sense for the Beginners Forum to be available publicly to entice people into joining - instead of only seeing the heavier stuff? jm2c.

And aye, I should really use View New posts.. A habit I got out of after being a moderator on multi-language forums

Question away I was thinking the same thing. It all used to be available to all, but some got disabled for visitors because the hit rate was causing problems. On the new host we might be OK now to make it all available again. I'll ask him upstairs

A multi-language forum Now that is one good reason for not using it

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

I just sat down to watch this series and unfortunately this chapter has got me rattled.

Chris says that "you are here" on an exponential graph. He then says "You happen to live at a time, when hundreds of individual graphs are all approaching the vertical phase of their exponential trajectory"

Now this puzzles me - because, frankly, it's utter bollocks!

Chris has already explained that an exponential function (or graph) grows at a continous rate. He talks about population growing at 1%.

Now if you take *any* exponential graph and you're at the end of it (i.e. the right hand side) you will *always* be in the vertical phase! The thing grows by a fixed multiple in each time period!

So to say that we "happen" to be in a particularly vertical phase of the graphs for population, oil consumption and money supply is non-sensical. They are continually increasing and if you'd carried out the same exercise 50 years ago you would get the same results. The scaling would be different (e.g. instead of the peak being $10Trn it would be $2Bn) but the shape would still be the same and the WOW factor would still be there. If we carry on as we are and you plot the graph again in 20 years time, today will seem like a non-event and suddenly THEN will be the "vertical phase".

This to me seriously undermines whatever it is Chris is about to say - which is a shame, judging by all the comments folks have made about his videos.

I agree.

also, the peak oil video is weak. no mention of the cartel controlling production, price etc.

no mention of any undeclared fileds like under Alaska, or the claims that there is another 200 years worth oil.