"The more I study mathematics, physics, history and the natural world, the more I know that this reality is a construct created to test us." So you'll find in the LiveJournal lament of "weev," one of the top trolls Mattathias Schwartz investigated in this Sunday's NYTM (see previous post). Weev says his quotes on "philosophy" were taken out of context in the piece and that he only agreed to be interviewed to discuss his deep thoughts on chivvying people on the Internet; his personal life was out of bounds. Sigh. Even the trolls can't trust journalists any more. Something about the Seven Ages of Man, the mass murder of Egyptians and fishing nets follows. Decide for yourself whether Schwartz was unfair to weev or all too kind:
This was the age of Taurus, the bull. The cow was sacred to everyone in the age of Taurus. This prohibition upon the slaughter of cattle came out of necessity. A farmer would have his cow, and in times of crop disease or drought, he may out of desperation butcher his cow to feed his family. Next year, he would have no cow to work his fields or to butcher, and thus his family would starve. However, the philosophy of Taurus was not sustainable with the temporary population growth it enabled. This civilization that spawned in the fertile crescent eventually left vast deserts as its legacy, the direct result of this aggressive agrarian expansion. In response came rigid hierarchies, lack of upward mobility, prostitution and slavery. So Moses saw the long-term destructive nature of the cow worshippers and came down from the mountain to kill them all, blowing the Ram's horn. Thus came the age of Aries, the age of the trader slash herder, the age of the Jews, and the dominant philosophy (pantheistic animal totemism) disappears everywhere but India, where unique environmental conditions (monsoons, heavy phosphorus deposits) make the old agrarian philosophy sustainable. What else can you do in a vast desert for food, except herd? So after the massive killing spree spurred by Moses, the population of civilization explodes yet again to strain its limits, causing prostitution, slavery, famine and chaos. Along comes Jesus, with yet another moral basis for humanity to live on. The dominant philosophy (Judaism) loses most of its market share to Christianity. So what was the solution to this resource crisis? What's the astrological sign you see Christians advertising on the backs of their cars? That's right, the nordic invention of the fishing net saved humanity from the wrath of the apocalypse. Thus came the age of Pisces. So we're at a new resource shortage. Global peak phosphorus happened in 1989. Phosphorus can be recovered though, so it isn't too critical, but it is definitely bad for growing grain. We consistently as a planet consume more grain every year than we produce. Eventually those fat stockpiles are gonna hit bottom, and then shit hits the fan. We have already seen tortilla riots in Mexico, and commodities shortages and export controls in nearly half the world. Oil is going to become a little scarcer, but isn't going to run out anytime soon. The Saudi fields have peaked and Kuwait's are about to do so, but it doesn't matter. There was a strategic decision to bleed the middle east dry of oil long ago. We still have plenty of shit we can drill elsewhere. America's deserts have plenty of light sweet crude, I assure you. So what resource are we going to run out of? There's a very important one, one that is required to grow things. One that is required for human beings to survive. T Boone Pickens just put 200mil of his own money into securing rights to this resource. The first ETF for this resource appeared a couple years ago, and Sydney is opening the first futures market for this resource. My hedge fund heavily speculates in this resource. What resource is this? What age are we coming into? Fill in the blank!