Re: Will high oil/energy prices save the stock market and the internet?

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 10:20:38 MDT

"Extropian Agro Forestry Ventures Inc." wrote:
> When energy prices began to rise a year or so ago , almost
> similtaneously with the bursting of the tech bubble I began to pose the
> query.... Could a severe increase of energy costs be a deliberate ploy
> to drive the masses to use electronic devices in favor of physical
> transport and transaction modalities.

This assumes the existence of a mastermind that can effectively
implement such policies. All the evidence I've seen argues against
such a mastermind.

> Accompanying this would be the
> creation of a cash pool to stabilize the loss of investor liquidity
> underlying the market weakness. This same pool of cash could then drive
> the investor base which would buy into the companies which would merge
> with or otherwise acquire the "value corrected" internet businesses.
> The resulting world scale internet commerce
> enabled conglomerates would drive business to their door by offering the
> benefits of
> net integration to compete with more energy consuming and thus cost
> ineffective conventional cohorts??

These things do not require a master planner. The cash pool for the
first was already there, accelerated by the dotcom financial fad. The
second was a logical choice for VCs seeking to salvage the money from
the first. The third is by nature of the Internet...though having
worked in ecommerce myself, I can definitely say that it's not *that*
hard to run a solid ecommerce outfit, if you let engineering and not
marketing drive key decisions (though I may be biased given the
business awareness, especially ability to consider the other side's
concerns, of engineers and of marketers that I've seen).

> I know that if I was a global scale strategic planner who wanted to make
> the internet sucessful I would want to create this scenario. Global
> planners want to find a way to access and analyse every human action.
> Bill gates/Microsoft has created the platform for this "world domination
> enabling knowledge pool" by offering to supply the master data
> warehouse/repository system.

Except for the large percent of 'Net services that don't use Microsoft
for any mission-critical software (Web servers and CGI scripts, as
opposed to PowerPoint presentations - and it is the Web servers et al
that would record customer actions), citing the crappy quality of their
software, even if they do serve customers who use Microsoft.

> The good side is that the ineffiencies of the chaos that results from
> unmonitored
> human actions in every area of life from medicine to business to
> education might be elimenated or at least extremely reduced.
> What we are moving towards is a borg-like electronic infrastructure.

This, I will agree with. Except that there is no single unifying
consciousness. A better analogy would be a dreamer - or, better, a
disembodied brain, incapable of physical action - with multiple
personalities, where each of the personalities is flying around inside
the mind doing its own thing at the same time.

> I personally think that the computational complexity which comprises the
> living program called a living human being will be recognized by any AI
> in short order to be useful and worthy of preservation. Wishful
> thinking?

Humans don't necessarily recognize similarly-complex beings (like other
humans) as worth preservation. Better to uplift ourselves into SysOps
(or whatever), IMO.

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