Live World Indices are powered by

Friday, October 18, 2013



Top Priorities

Rule #1: Top priorities are non-linear

A few days back a number of colleagues were discussing whether over-population or climate change should have a greater priority. One person stated that such a debate was meaningless, as they both must be addressed in equal form and substance. I agreed, but took it all one step further. Writing that there are multiple threats facing humanity that need to be dealt with concurrently and equally. As each threat entails unknown, unknowns which could bring about unspeakable events. Our fragility has never been so complex and exposed. 

Comments: October 17, 2013

I concur and believe there is no sense debating what problem has the greatest priority, as there are just too many unknown, unknowns. Four practical concerns come readily to mind. One, the other reactors at Fukushima could blow sky-high at any moment with undefinable outcomes.Two, all pollinating bugs could disappear everywhere, in short order; seriously disrupting global food chains.Three, biochemical events could rapidly accelerate the acidification of the Oceans in just months - then all bets are off. Four, a limited nuclear outburst in the Middle East could trigger Russia's automated and antiquated "dead-hand launch system" that effects an all-out strike on Western targets.

Notably, these concerns do not include more popular discussion topics such as; financial collapse, climate change, and overpopulation. Suggesting that we face multiple issues whose ranking values in terms of priority are hidden. Leading one to assert that the actual problem is that there is no complete solution because humanity ultimately faces the universal constraints of entropy and infinity. To my knowledge, applied physics has not discovered any devices or means that would allow us to leap over these barriers. 

It is then paradoxical that there is no solution, which in and of itself is the solution.    

Moreover, facing the governing laws of physics and the vast number of unknown, unknowns it seems debating, discoursing or conversing about prioritising these concerns would bear little fruit as there are no absolute metrics that could be applied to objectively weight these concerns. Even if that were possible, there is always the possibility that some other concern would jump onto the agenda, seemingly out of the blue  - making all preceding concerns and debates completely irrelevant. 

So , that's why I agree with you and conclude that we'll just have deal with them all concurrently, notwithstanding what gets in our way.


T.A McNeil
First Financial Insights
October 17, 2013