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THE SLEEPING GIANT RAGES AGAINST THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE

by The Membrane Domain
first published May 2004

(Traducción en Español)

This article was taken from an email thread. In general, it is an economic forecast that takes global warming, food, fuel, insurance, into account as it relates to society's response to human induced climate change. At the time it was written, the hope was that the forecast wouldn't come to fruition. Unfortunately, many of the forecasts have already come true.

Someone sent into the helpdesk:

Don't buy gas May 19th

It has been calculated that if everyone in the United States did not purchase a drop of gasoline for one day and all at the same time, the oil companies would choke on their stockpiles!! At the same time it would hit the entire industry with a net loss of over 4.6 billion dollars, which affects the bottom lines of the oil companies.

Therefore May 19th has been formally declared "stick it to them day" and the people of this nation are being asked to not buy a single drop of gasoline that day. The only way this can be done is if you forward this e-mail to as many people as you can and as quickly as you can to get the word out. Waiting on this administration to step in and control the prices is not going to happen. What happened to the reduction and control in prices that the Arab nations promised two weeks ago?

Remember one thing, not only is the price of gasoline going up but at the same time airlines are forced to raise their prices, trucking companies supplies forced to raise their prices which effects prices on everything that is shipped. Things like food, clothing, building materials, medical, etc.

Who pays in the end? We do! We can make a difference. If they don't get the message after one day, we will do it again and again. So do your part and spread the word. Forward this email to everyone you know. Mark your calendars and make May 19th a day that the citizens of the United States say, "Enough Is Enough"

i reply:

every couple of years someone suggests this lame idea

it is a bad, bad idea

there is zero (0) conservation in this plan

there is 100% consumer disruption in this plan

soooo... if consumers unite to cause themselves pain, they may succeed.

summary:
by everyone delaying their purchase of gasoline for a day... the price of gas could spike upward


rick replied:
I read your follow-up to this. Not sure if I totally agree with you. You can not calculate the value to the human psyche when it comes to passive resistance. If only that you think you are one of many who can silently protest what appears to be an obvious gouging of the American public. I ain't buying gas on the 19th. F-em. I'll feel better for having done that. Sort of my 60's state of mind coming to the surface again.


i respond:
heeehe... i hear ya... and understand exactly what you are saying/thinking

sorry to say, i think it is one of the larger problems we have in the USA -- humans blaming things on "business" or "government"

who are you trying to "get" by not buying gas on the 19th?

here are a few things to think about...
a) corporations are not people
b) corporations are not moral beings
c) corporations serve consumers
d) consumers are to blame for almost all that corporations do

trying to hurt businesses that are trying to help people only hurts people

that is not to say that there are not some bad people in business... there are. they should be identified and dealt with as bad people.

however MOST people that are owners of oil companies are good people... they are mostly baby boomers and senior citizens. many of them on fixed incomes. so, the question is... why do you want to hurt these people?

hopefully what i'm saying won't be misconstrued... i'm not saying that i like people using oil. NO. i'm not saying that at all. i'm saying people do use oil... they demand it. the companies only listen to us... and supply what we demand. (thus a better idea might be to stop using electric on the 19th and for all consumers to demand more nuke plants. this would really help the world.)

heeehe... the more i think about this... the more it makes me laugh... the comic irony of it all. i keep getting this cartoon in my head of a terrorist shooting himself in the foot.

heeehe... ya know what i mean? not buying gas on the 19th hurts consumers... yet it appears to be consumers threatening to hurt themselves?

ps. whoever originated the idea of not buying gas on the 19th should consider these things... and more. for instance, it is against the patriot act to make terroristic threats... saying you will disrupt the energy supply is a terroristic threat. and, i take it personal... as they are threatening me... it is me, you, the baby boomers, etc they will hurt.

pss i woulda like to have seen what happened if the oil companies had threatened not to sell gas on the 19th... heehe


terrorist pointing gun at his foot says --

"Foot, I'm addicted to buying gas. On the 19th, I'm going cold turkey for the day (whether you like it or not, see!)

But, there is no need for you to fear, Foot. I'll stock-up on the 18th... and we'll resume buying on the 20th. So, in fact, you won't have to go a day without pressing the pedal to the metal.

BANG! Oops... sorry, Foot."


you had said, "F-em."

heehe... silly me... and irony

though it's obvious for me to see, perhaps not from the view for most of you?

one point i was trying to make... was who "em" is

and, it just hit me... the name they've traditionally called utility & energy stocks -- widows' and orphans'

soooo... an alternative "business" translation might be: 'em = widows and orphans


a "bigger picture" part of a couple of these threads we've got going... has to do with a recurring vision that i've mentioned before... but i'm guessing the specific real life events around us aren't as evident to others

so, here is another attempt to explain what i've seen

first, i'd like to say... that i ain't afraid of what will happen on the 19th... if anything, i expect the only impact will be demoralizing those who attempt to make an impact

and, i sure ain't saying we shouldn't try to make an impact

but, it is an example of the vision going from the future... to the present. and, it brings up some very important points about how this process will likely unfold... the process of looking in the mirror and seeing the enemy. what does one do when he realizes... that he is the vicious giant he fears?

(most businesses and government are public... they are "of the public." most americans do not fully understand what this means. what happens when the american economy/society wakes-up to the fact that we the public... we the consumers... we have trashed the place. scientific fact that global warming is currently killing people. scientific fact that global warming is real... and our time as a species IS limited. my vision has shown a scenario where the public does not take the blame... and instead declares a war on business and/or government... declaring a "war on terror" against the terror that they helped create... heehe... a funny way to write it would be the U.S. declaring war on us.)

AS AN ANALOGY STORY SORTA-THINGIE: THE SLEEPING GIANT RAGES AGAINST THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE

imagine the mass of our population as a sleeping giant

you... and i... and some others we know... aren't sleeping... however, we are connected to the sleeping giant (as economics is a social science the sleeping giant is a large part of our society... heehe... that's why they call him giant.)

for this analogy... i'm calling our economic system our "heart and lung machine"

before the giant had gone to sleep, we all built a heart and lung machine for ourselves... we need it... we are ALL dependent on it

unfortunately, while giant was sleeping, you n' me and a few others noticed the machine was going bad... it didn't look good... it didn't sound good... it was certainly destined to fail... it's faulty fate was no longer a debate

at first most of us got mad at the machine on our own... thought about taking a hammer to it... or teaching it a lesson by pulling out the plug

but, we didn't have a chance to panic in groups... so eventually treated ourselves for shock... and tried to think rationally... i mean... i better have a plan, first?

yes... the system is bad... but i have nothing better in place to re-place it with... and for me to rage against the machine will only lead to a quicker demise for me... and you.

no, so far... it ain't to bad... i think we can figger out how to get a new machine in place... it will take some time... however, if we gather together... yeah! we can do it.

BUT, what about the sleeping giant?

what if he wakes up before we have a replacement... in place?
what if the sleeping giant panics and rages against our machine?


i've been thinking and talking to others about our puzzle

one thing that keeps coming to my mind's eye...
is a picture of this sleeping giant...
and, how his belly is a giant bell curve (the giant representing society... and his belly being the mass population)

this little economic / statistical picture helps me understand the rest a lil' easier

in particular, momentum and the movement of the belly

the puzzle that is most puzzlin' to me at the moment... what if everybody agreed... say a week from tuesday... we don't pollute.

we all agree pollution (and clearing of land) is a problem?
we all agree change is needed?
what if we ALL (or at least the belly-bell) go one (1) day without polluting?

now, it is easy to see that many, many, many people would be maimed and killed... but how many Many?

sure... emergency rooms couldn't operate... no transportation running... no power plants running

depending on the time of year, lots of "at risk" people would either freeze to death... or die from heat exhaustion

but, what would the chaos model show happening after day 1?

even if we all went back to normal... (or what had been normal until we introduced radical change?)

the disruption in the transportation and energy industries would have long lasting repercussions?

combined with the disruption in the food chain... billions of dollars in wasted food, etc.

would just one (1) such agreement amongst Man, meant in good faith, actually lead to a rapid demise of the species?

say... 30-90 days before we all die of starvation or disease?

ps. when talking to others about "really" going a day without pollution... it's funny how so many of 'em instantly think about their own poop... heeehe... "what will i do with it?"

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