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We as humans are incredible inventive, the collective human brain is the source of loads and loads of artificial resources. The ability to find solutions for many problems is a huge asset. According to the first law of thermodynamics we will never be able to create energy, as we know energy can not be created or lost, only transformed from the one form into an other form. The amounts of energy during the carbon period we will never be able to explore ever again (unless nuclear fusion will become commercial available). The fact that credit, energy, water and food will become expensive is inevitable. Economists who tell otherwise doesn't understand current and future developments very well. This we can't change, we must get used to it. We have to transite from high energy economies/societies to low energy economies/societies. The main distance between those two can be described in one combo word: distance/transport: low energy economies/societies have low distances between physical transportation things (people, products and services). If we're able to realize designed (not caused by just collapse) low energy economies/societies, we will maintain (steady growth in) prosperity levels and wellbeing levels. This is where the great thinkers of PeakOil like Heinberg, Kunstler and Klare go wrong: they don't believe in or systematically underestimate the power of widely spread human intellect concerning this. When credit, energy, water and food gets expensive, we can make many artificial 'workarounds" that increase the supply of and lower the demand for credit, energy, water and food and thereby support our economies/societies. We must stop our fixation on 'wanting to maintain the unsustainable' and switch to 'creating sustainable prosperity'. We as mankind are very good at finding new ways, we have always been good in 'workarounds' and 'artificial resources'. (Note: here is not written: in continuing to do the same as we used to do now. The times of cheap energy en cheap credit are over, continuation of current behaviour is no valid option.) What are artificial resources? Anything (visible or invisible) that mankind has made. The source of all artificial resources is the human brain and it's shared ability of pollination with each other's information, knowledge, experience and inventions. Every artificial resource is originated/invented/formed/improved by the collective capacity of the human brain. Examples of artificial resources? Money, credit, freedom, government, media, models, programs, templates, telecom, the TCP/IP (Internet) data protocol and infrastructure, GSM, UMTS/CDMA, MSN, VOIP, videocalling, Web 2.0 (people feeding publishing engines, bypassing 'professional' media rapidly in media consumption time: YouTube, FaceBook are examples of the Web 2.0 model), search engines, open source projects, legislation (insuring long term ownership), justice, databanks, geopolitics, inter­na­tional cooperation, sky traffic control and sky ways, IP numbers, domain names, etc, etc. And there is still many whole new worlds to discover in the field of artificial resources. We know what we know and we don't know what we don't know. Especially in the main basic area's with new severe shortages (capital, energy, water, food) the artificial resources will help us to cut demand by doing things differently, by replacing old ways of achieving things by new ways of achieving similar benefits/targets. Huge advantages will be achieved in telecom: videocalling, video meetings, mobile internet and remote office technologies will cut huge in the personal miles levels with out lowering prosperity levels (even improving prosperity by cost/time reduction). Huge advantages are possible in office technology by implementation of the XML model (a cut to the bone data focused model instead of application captured model). Yes, economies/societies will be severely different than back in the cheap energy times. But when this is accepted, it's all downhill (much more easy realizable) from there. Acceptance that's needed for it is more uphill (the most difficult part of the transition process). The transition from a high energy economy/society to a low energy economy/society will be difficult: a huge challenge. Unlike former transitions (coal to oil, coal to gas) there is a time/price frame. The price frame helps (makes transition economic right to do), the time frame doesn't help: each year the transition later starts the road will be more descent and more rockier due increased prices, economies in problems, credit shortages, supplier capacities, etc, etc. The artificial resources are a huge reservoir of solutions. They will not give the answer on the Energy Crisis (until fusion or other technology comes online), but they will help is adjusting to lower energy supply and high energy prices. For the US there is one huge danger as side kick of the current governmental mainstream (as defined in the Patriot Act I and II): freedom of speech/thinking/communication is under siege, and the great inventors/thinkers are free spirits: the like free environments. It's a sad thing that the US say they exporting freedom, but restraining it in their homeland by the Department of Homeland Security (making exporting freedom more sound like exporting free markets -never the less important- only). If there is one nation who can't afford to loose the human intellect it's the US. Bad situations make bad legislation, always been so, this time it's not different. The internal freedom of the US is at stake: criticising the government can be seen as terrorism and put someone out of the legal system without any rights. Intellectuals are know for criticizing governments: it's their hobby, their other passion. By the recent freedom of speech undermining legislation the US is losing it's attraction to the global intellectual world, risking the loose of no longer being the intellectual crossroad of the world. The Asian Lions and Russia are very much interested in becoming the new innovative centres of the world, and the research cost price facet is much in their favour. The current intellectual freedom and creativity undermining (yes, that's the right description of the Patriot Act I and II) legislation and organizations (DHS) are even a threat for a possible brain drain (active emigration of intellectuals to other nations) for the US. The fact that the US has lost its position on the Internet traffic market is a sign of this. 10 years ago, 70% of the Internet traffic was routed through US hubs, these days the market share of the US in Internet traffic is only yet 25%. Due the Patriot Act federal officials can access all information in US based servers. Companies that commercial compete with US companies aren't charmed by such overpowered authority. A sign of drifting away from the centre of a major development and also an indirect effect of KGB/Stasi like legislation in the US. Freedom attracts activities, freedom is economy. Freedom limitation is realizing just that the 'enemy' wants to realize just by our selves. A freedom protection legislation that's more hostile to our freedom than any enemy ever could realize. The freedom limited legislation was already designed, and just put in place one month (historical record) after 9/11. Governments that restricts freedom kills innovation and thereby economies. Anno 2008 Tesla (according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica good for a place in the top 10 of most genius people in history) should be held in Guantanamo Bay as potential terrorist instead of being the inventor of many power devices as he lived today. By his free mind and passion for technology, strange behaviour and not by anyone to be followed mind/brains and preferring technology above business cycles plus holding many patents he had many corporate enemies. Still he is the father/designer of our electrical power infrastructure by given us the AC power transmission. Even today we all use at least 50 times a day one of his inventions: from the induction electrical motor, to hydro power turbines, poly-phase AC that made electricity portable, the radar, remote control, robotics, neon light and radio (reverse granted to him in 1943 by the Supreme Court). Obsessed by also being able to transport energy wireless. He was also the intellectual father of 100 years later actual warfare designs of the SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative), HAARP (High-frequency Active Aural Research Program, but he rejected the stratospheric technology as carrying too much uncontrolled impact for these protection layer of the world), ionic propulsion and energy weapon programs. A single man with 700 mainly important patents on his name. Just Google or YouTube the guy: he's really under exposed for his major impact on the 20th century. Also has contributing a lot to the basic physics science. Tesla was a man of Da Vinci and Einstein type of size. Freedom of thinking and speech creates/pollinates inventions. Capital has already left the US, energy also, water and intellect are hesitating. With capital away, energy away, water away, intellect away, major just these days needed innovation and technology will become difficult. Artificial resources grows on freedom of thinking and speech. Ask Germany (before WW II) for the science effects of guaranteed freedom and ask Germany (Nazis) and the USSR (one party based communism) for the science effects of restricted freedom. The world needs brilliant minds, they move always to secured freedom locations. The US before WW II and the cities of Holland in the Golden Ages are the best historical examples of this. Guaranteed freedom, that's what governments should make to contribute to solutions. Unfortunately they just act opposite, they don't get this. Yes there was a white spot on the political map after the collapse of communism. Communitarianism (a strong government that pushes to individual social behaviour) was has filled this spot. Unfortunately it has taken the bad things out of both communism and capitalism and blend it to a freedom poisoning model. Etzioni as ideological foreman of this movement and influencer of many western statesmen don't see the freedom poison of there own (designed for social societies) model. Social cohesion can not be paid with lost of freedom and privacy. Freedom and privacy are the pillars of the Bill of Rights (Etzioni's reply: "the rights are too much emphasized, what about responsibilities?"). Responsibilities and rights are not contrary but complementary issues, Etzioni doesn't get this, sees them as contrary: plays them off against each other. Of course a state can't nurse her inhabitants (Etzioni and his responsibility legacy), nor can a state control her inhabitants as Etzioni says that's the best for everyone (security demands limited freedom/privacy). Etzioni has brought 'intellectual' 'legislation/acceptance' of Big Brother practices that goes much, much more further than the Stasi in the DDR ever has gone. States are not much about freedom, they never are and never will be, states likes control, people like freedom. Freedom creation by the state the Etzioni way is exchanging intellectual freedom for fake state controlled security. Not a good inventive environment. Artificial resources needs / only grows in intellectual freedom. We need artificial resources more than every. It's up to politicians to ensure freedom of thinking, speech and communication and direct actively end all anti-patriotic legislation like Patriot Act I and II and all its institutions like the DHS and FEMA. Otherwise, we have shoot ourselves severely in the leg concerning our future. The feature movie Rendition is about the dangers of such a behaviour of states. The freedom Bin Laden was trying to attack, we have killed it for him and damaged by this our economic perspectives/vitality as well. Etzioni has a great mind, but he has gone bad / is poisoned by the 9/11 events and the "security first" concept caused by that. Etzioni's legacy must be stored on the bookshelf right next to Marx, as publications that highlighted vital issues and fight for improvement, but had a wrong focus/direction. For example: Raiffeisen has got even less than 1% of the exposure of Marx, but has a huge (beyond imagination) complete positive impact on Europe as legacy. Talking about artificial resources: Raiffeisen his legacy is certainly a huge artificial resources in times of shortened distances due to energy prices (read: advanced localization): his local finance models became literally the foundation of food production in Europe in those times of scarcity of credit, and thereby has made the industrial revolution and city growth possible. Smart politicians tries to implement his earlier very interesting (active society) legacy, but skips his security first ideas. As a sociologist he totally misjudges the effects of his theories on the real motor of econo­mies and governments: an innovative economy is something that needs freedom, not state control. An active society comes when governments step back a little and/or governments stimulates micro level social structures, and maybe a government only can step back a little and are national governments not good in creating nor supporting micro level social structures. We need artificial resources, not a reinvention of the DDR or the USSR. They both weren't well known very well for their economic performance. Freedom of mind equals maximal prosperity growth, regardless the situation. Some artificial resources are unlimited, yet has limits. Credit based on money creation by loans (our current financial system) is an artificial resources that is unlimited when used wisely and can support economic growth and prosperity enormously. But overstretched used, it crosses its dynamic limits, something that could lead to collapse of this important artificial resource. Artificial resources needs the right (and sometimes balanced) environment to contribute maximally to development and not have negative side effects.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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