Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Curse of Cassandra

Cassandra is a figure from Greek mythology. She was given the gift of prophecy, but Apollo later cursed her so that nobody would ever believe her prophecies. Imagine the frustration of seeing the deaths of your family and the destruction of your nation and not being able to do anything about it.

This is how my life seems to be going these days. I don’t have the gift of prophecy, but I do have access to a powerful conceptual tool that scientifically explains how cultures function. Virtually nobody believed me when I took my money out of the stock market in 1998 and counseled them to do likewise. The Complex-Systems Theory of Culture provided the basis for understanding that the stock market was unstable and that all investments were high-risk. It took another ten years before it crashed, but that is the nature of non-deterministic theories. They can tell you what is happening, what may happen, but not exactly when it will happen.

Now I am trying to explain why our current economic crisis is sliding toward a devastating economic depression. Nobody wants to believe me because looking this particular future square in the eye is just too painful. I continue to try to convince people of this horrific future because we can still avert this disaster.

It is difficult to look into the future and see a possible tragedy, but it will be even worse to look back and know you could have helped to avert the tragedy. Nobody will act to avert the catastrophe as long as the “experts” continue to tell us that the recession is over and the recovery is beginning. Remember the “good-old-days” when George W. Bush would have a press event every few weeks to claim that we had won the Iraq War? Eventually he stopped doing that because it became obvious that we had not won the war, and we were not likely to ever win it. We are experiencing the same circumstances now. Every month since April of 2009 some “expert” or group of experts have released a statement suggesting that the recovery is about to begin or has begun. Every month it becomes obvious that the recession is not over and the recovery has not begun. Eventually these people will stop releasing these foolish statements because we will stop listening. Maybe people will start listening to me when the “experts” stop trying to force recovery by the shear power of positive thinking.

I would like nothing more than if the “experts” were right (for once) and I was wrong. The problem is that my science is stronger than their positive thinking, and it tells me that we are slipping inexorably into another Great Depression. My science also tells me how we can change course and avert this catastrophe. All that is required is that people have to believe what I am saying.

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