Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Supernova and the Economy

April 13th, 2017 by Zen

As a star (of sufficient size) burns its nuclear fuel, it fights against contraction from gravity without, by pressure from the nuclear reactions within. But when the hydrogen in the core runs out, the star contracts until it is hot enough to burn helium. Once the helium is gone, it contracts more, until it can burn the next available element.

I have been doing some thinking about what makes a nation, or society of nations, fragile. I posted recently about the collapse that destroyed the very powerful nations of the Bronze Age, and left them with Dark Ages. And I have been wondering why we are headed in the same direction. Why is it that Americans have lost their mojo?   1

I think the problem is productivity. I can see a few of you have (Vulcan-like) raised an eyebrow in abject shock, but let me explain.

It is not, of course, productivity by itself that is the problem, but an excessive focus on it, compelled by the need to raise stock price. At first, it is a good thing, as we make businesses run better. But what can we do once that particular fuel runs out?

Then we can start getting people to work more hours.

Then we can get both spouses working.

Then we can get them to spend more, and leave them in debt.

At every step, productivity is increasing, which increases stock price. But while the productivity rises, the stress on individuals and families increase also. We are effectively burning our social capital, to create productivity. This lost social capital is in the form of family, church and community ties.

When people started working more hours, that was ok, because there was a spouse there to help.

When both spouses started working, that was ok, because we had enough money for daycare.

When debts went up, it was ok, because credit was cheap.

At every step, we fall back on what remaining forms of social capital we have left. And if you don’t, well, you better scramble until you find something. The Elites don’t mind increasing the productivity, because they are disconnected from the accompanying stress. Some stars have convective bodies where material is shared through the star. In that case, you might really need to use up all the hydrogen in the entire star. But if a star is not convective, it is sufficient to just burn up the available elements in the core. Think of convection as social mobility, which we have been rapidly losing. It is worth noting that the declines in family, church and community have been most drastic among the poor, and least among the Elites. There is some evidence that the increase of depression goes back to those reduced family and community ties. (See Amy Alkon’s blog, 13 April 2017 article “Paglia: Women Have To Stop Blaming Men For Their Malaise. Alkon: And Here’s What Evolutionary Science Suggests Is The Answer”)

Now, things that can’t go on forever, don’t. In the case of star, when it runs out of nuclear fuel, or there is not enough pressure to keep it from it collapsing, then it will rapidly collapse, reaching insane temperatures and then rebounds in what we call a core-collapse supernova. Stars do not, in general, recover from a core-collapse supernova. Many end up as either neutron stars, or black holes.

Politicians like to talk about infrastructure of cities and states. But I think it is the hidden infrastructure, of social capital. That social capital would help us when things went wrong. When things go wrong is a lot like car accidents. It is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when. Because problems will come.

If the poor start to collapse, then the Elites will start to collapse, and they will lean on the poor (because they can), which will only hasten the collapse. And short of a total reorganization of society, this situation will not change. Which means the system will force itself to continue collapsing until there is nothing left.

We are reaching this point. It is all the more essential that we rebuild as much of this social capital as possible. When things get really bad, we are going to need it. Church ties and family structure will be as necessary for survival, perhaps, as it was for Noah to board the Ark.

Comments (5)
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April 13th, 2017 23:45:34

April 14, 2017

Well, that is suitably grim.

April 14, 2017

Cycles of stars and novas/supernovas are necessary to create the heavier essential elements that can then go into the creation of planets capable of sustaining life; part of the “circle of life” of galaxies, star systems and planets.

(What is the estimate for the number of star creation/nova cycles that went into creating the heavy elements found on Earth?)

I suspect that even black holes/white holes serve some kind of cycling or recycling purpose. Galactic cycles, or even universe(Hubble Space) cycles, or Big Bangs/Big Crunches might even be part of Father’s “one eternal round” mentioned by the prophet.

When I first heard someone say: “The purpose of the universe is to turn hydrogen into people”, I thought “Yeah, that is what God does; organize matter, both physical and spiritual.”

And from many perspectives, it can look like a messy and inefficient process.

Other than the city of Zion, which was physically removed from Earth, there was only one remaining “end product” of the 1656 years of civilization from the Fall to the Flood: Noah’s immediate family.

Not very “efficient”, but apparently, that’s the way it had to be.

The next purging/cleansing will be a baptism of fire, not water. Blessed will be the analogues of Noah’s family. All of human history since the flood has been, and will be, from an earthly perspective, for them, as they are the end product which will remain.

On the individual level… Going by the belief/doctrine that each individual is born into a place and time that is where he needs to be for his eternal development, then the purpose of all previous human history was to create the right set of circumstances…. for _you_.

Bruce Charlton
April 14, 2017

I’m coming round to the idea that civilization may be a mid phase in the history of Man, and that when the wheel turns fully, we will return to some economic pattern more like nomadic hunter gatherers – but transformed in spirit and consciousness. A society based around unique individuals, in families, rather than institutions.

It seems likely that Heaven will be like that… But maybe mortal life on earth might be intended, destined, to trend that way too…

I say this partly because Zen’s example is one of many suggesting that we really aren’t motivated even to try and make civilization work anymore… It is hard even to imagine people even trying… Our hearts have gone out of it.

This makes no sense in terms of economics or power, but perhaps if ( a big if) people attained a higher level of consciousness, then the possibilities would be transformed.

It’s a question of what God wants for us, ultimately.

April 14, 2017

Joseph Smith’s plat for the city of zion envisioned self-sufficient village/town societies of about 10k or so.

April 14, 2017

What I thought made this insight interesting (at least to me) was not only why things collapse, but why they don’t stop collapsing, when other times they sound shrug of disaster. This also suggests to me what we will need to do when things start collapsing.

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