Nicole Foss: The Economics of Personal Resilience

8 thoughts on “Nicole Foss: The Economics of Personal Resilience”

  1. I find a lot to like in Nicole Foss and the whole “Peak Oil/Financial Collapse” crowd. Resiliency is important for so many reasons and there will be a reckoning of some sort. I’m building it into my own life.

    However, I can’t bring myself to jump on the bandwagon wholesale as it relates to specific predictions. Reason being, I don’t personally understand, at a deep level, the fields involved, and as a technical person (software) I know the details matter. A lot.

    As one tiny example, a few years ago “HTML5” was going to revolutionize the software world, negating the need for expensive native app developers. As a SME in the that niche, I tried to explain to business partners the nuance of the techniques involved, the use cases, the drawbacks, the known unknowns and the unknowables.

    But they didn’t hear any of that nuance. All they heard was $$$. Businesses were launched. Because of micro details (performance on specific iDevices, unforeseen complexity tax when dealing with multiple software stacks, etc.) most of them failed. The tech press latched on: “HTML5 is a failure.” But of course it wasn’t a failure. They just weren’t qualified to evaluate it and were only hearing what they wanted to hear.

    So much as I respect these folks and what they’re trying to do, and agree with the very broadest arc of their findings (especially the financial part), count me suspicious of anyone with a academic background when talking about technical matters. They tend to look for Big Picture themes and patterns that respond to their confirmation bias and create a tidy story. But reality is messy and unpredictable, particularly when Moist Robots are involved.

    1. I have an innate bias for “doomer porn.” This is both a personal failing and a peculiar strength. I feel (no need for external evidence when it comes to “feelings”) that something is wrong with the institutions that hold society together at the moment. So I pay attention to people who attempt to articulate the nature of the problems and how individuals might respond. No one has THE ANSWER. I don’t take anything as gospel. But each person I follow has a little piece of a big puzzle. In the end I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. While I may miss out on certain opportunities by staying out of debt and such, I’m also buying a form of insurance. You never know…

      1. While I found much to criticize, and comment on, in the video, I very much agree that there were key ‘pieces of the puzzle’ referenced in it. Thanks!

    2. I agree wholeheartly. Resilience, yes, but don’t think you can predict the details of the future. If Tesla couldn’t do it, you probably can’t either, and any idiot can extend a trend line. Interesting example in software. I used to know a lot of chip hardware engineering people in the mid to late 90s, and you likely know how THAT landscape has dramatically changed in ways that even the experts in the field couldn’t predict a few years out. I think people totally underestimate how much emotions and personalities go into all these educated guesses. Yes, the pessimist who acts on the pessimism CAN look like a genius if they are pessimistic about the RIGHT thing at the RIGHT time — but often it is the optimistic that are successful and happy.

  2. Nicole Foss and Ilargi at The Automatic Earth are incredibly important thinkers. Their explanation of deflation is central to understanding where we find ourselves today.

    I think the Primers on The Automatic Earth webpage are reading very well-spent.

    “You can’t change the waves, but you can learn how to surf.”

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