I suppose many of you have seen this video, at least the first one…
I saw it for the fist time an hour or so ago, and immediately decided to share it. Why? Because in times where our “Leaders” speak of growth as the only way to come out of the crisis, this video is really “uncomfortable knowledge”.
Let me quote here the sidebar on page 53 of Bernard Lietaer’s book “The Future of Money”.
“The “Josephpfennig” or the impossible mathematics of compounded interests
Indefinitely compounded interests in the real world is a mathematical impossibility. For example, one Pfennig invested by Joseph at the birth of Christ at 4% compounded interest would have grown by the year 1749 to the value of one ball of gold of the weight of the earth. By 1990 it would have grown further to the value of 8.190 balls of gold of the weight of the earth. At 5%, by 1990 it would buy an incredible 134 billion balls of gold of the weight of the planet earth.”
I haven’t verified the calculation: Please let me know if this is dead wrong!
Is growth a lasting solution to correct the present economic downturn?
Now here’s another quote, from Einstein:
“The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science. ”
What question should we formulate to solve the intractable problems of our age?
Or is this question based on a wrong assumption: There are no problems, certainly not an intractable ones. In which case the question becomes:
Why do so many people feel there is a problem?
In both case, please let me know what you think.
2 million views for an old codger giving a lecture about arithmetic? What’s going on? You’ll just have to watch to see what’s so damn amazing about what he (Prof. Albert Bartlett) has to say.
When I saw this lecture at a conference in 1995, I came out blasted, thinking “This needs to be required listening for every person on the planet. Nothing else will matter if we don’t understand this.” The presenter is Albert Bartlett, a retired Physics prof. at U of Colorado-Boulder.
The presentation is titled “Arithmetic, Population, and Energy,” and I introduce it to my students as “The most boring video you’ll ever see, and the most important.” But then again, after viewing it most said that if you followed along with what Bartlett is saying, it’s quite easy to pay attention, because the content is so damn compelling.
If you forward this to everyone you know, we might actually stand a chance in staving off disaster in the global finance system, peak oil, climate change, and every other resource issue you can think of. Without a widespread understanding of what Bartlett’s talking about, I think we won’t be able to dodge ANY of those issues.
BE ABSOLUTELY SURE you catch the parts about “the bacteria in the bottle” (in Part 3) and the list comparing things that add to the problem and things that address the problem. If we don’t choose from that right-hand column, nature will choose for us.
I for one, would rather we be the ones making the choice.
The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See