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Not suggesting that my definition is the same as the druid. When I think about catabolic I think about "catabolic state" which many times is used as related to protein catabolism (certainly in fitness, but also in science pubs. Just google for catabolic state and also in some cases in google scholar).

While catabolism is obviously more general, I kinda like the implications of the use related to catabolic state: cut in protein (cut in what is important). I think we are going to see this kind of societal options in the future: due to lack of resources, people cut the "retrograde" (e.g. trains), but arguably more fit for a future with less energy.

There is indeed an "impedance" between highly individualistic ideologies (e.g. car good, train bad) and an energy constrained future. Thus many decisions that cut on the muscle and maintain the fat.

by cagatacos on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 12:36:20 PM EST
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It is quite possible that certain elites are no dumbheads and foresee an inevitable collapse of the current global developments. So they (presumably) take the matter of selecting and implementing catabolisms into their own hands. If so, their plan and resolution are impressive, well concealed, with plenty of approximate reasons of ideological follies and individual rationalities.

In this particular case, catabolising on trains and public service does not immediately seems to release "needed" resources, even if only for the elites. It looks more like that the broad elites decided that some 60-80 years of enhanced public infrastructure was an optionally shared privilege, and that they have all sovereignty to end that. They seem to enjoy denying more and more service to those unable to keep up with rent charges. And with little doubt, that's were the elite consideration broadly ends. But the consistent direction towards intense overshoot and sharp social differentiation makes the problem of intelligent design recognition no laughing matter.

by das monde on Sun Sep 4th, 2011 at 01:52:16 AM EST
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Designs and goals may be too lofty a concern here. Consider financial coprorations and institutions run by sociopaths. They are looking at trying to, (gasp!), maintain and regain capital instead of making returns on investment. Their behavior seems based more on identifying anything that costs money to run and cutting back on it on the theory that this will provide more money to pay themselves back. They likely are not and will not be concerned with the second and third order effects until and unless they are hit in the face by them.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 4th, 2011 at 08:34:47 AM EST
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The power of sociopath selection! Why it naturally looks stronger than ever before?
by das monde on Tue Sep 6th, 2011 at 07:07:42 AM EST
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