In 1971 in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I was attending my first year of college, I observed a lecture by a visiting academic. I went to a small liberal arts college, Florida Presbyterian, later to become Eckerd College. The lecture was in the chapel, the only venue large enough to hold several hundred students. Evidently, this outside lecturer was well known. He was a biologist.

The talk was about the growth and crash of biological and social systems. With charts he described an inevitable increase in the cost of petroleum until the price would make it unavailable for regular use. He showed a pattern across several systems of a line slowly inclining until, with surges, an almost vertical line results. Then the system crashes.

Lately, I’ve been the signs of acceleration. There is no end to places where this pattern can be observed. Noting how these various signs of acceleration connect suggest ways we might be able to more easily weather the crash.

I first noticed the acceleration in the gift trade where I was a sales rep for 19 years. When I started in 1980, unicorns were big, but fading. The trend had lasted several years. In Rockford, Illinois, they were still popular in 1980. The unicorns had by then abandoned the urban centers.

Gift trends started in cities and on the coasts, and then they worked their way across the country. In the early 1980s, a trend lasted about two or three years. I observed teddy bears, penguins, kittens, etc., getting introduced at trade shows; and less than three years later, they’d be dead.

Around 1986, Montgomery Wards, Sears, Osco and Walgreens (four chains with offices in Illinois that I served) became interested in contemporary trends and fads. What was formerly the territory of unique small stores was being focused on by the chains.

Over the course of my 19 years in the business, I observed the corporatization of trends such that a new fad didn’t just appear in the unique shops. Within three months of introduction, new trends were appearing in discount chains across the country. The location where trends used to die, discount chains, became part of the introductory campaign. Simpson-related products revealed this trend.

By the end of the 1980s, cycles were lasting maybe 1.5 years. By 1999, a new critter would catch fire and be ashes in less than one year. Trends didn’t start on the coasts anymore. They seemed to appear everywhere at once.

The stock market is finally crashing. The acceleration phase is evidently complete. Based on the biological principles explained to me in 1971, the Dow has several thousand points, down, to go.

Dramatic increases in autism are possibly being mirrored by a dramatic fall in the birth rates of males that are maturational accelerated. (Autistics are maturational delayed.) There are hidden accelerations, perhaps the most powerful being the disappearance of males with blustering, combative personalities along with the demure female ready to cooperate in any way. Traditional tough male/cooperative female social structure is disappearing.

There is that saying, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” War as a vehicle to create the mass experience of feeling part of something larger than the self is dead. Societies are not producing children interested in that kind of sacrifice. They are not identifying with people in their culture as much as they are identifying with those that share online culture. Online culture has no boundaries. It offers an experience of being part of something larger than the self, without war.

Our craving for integration is leaving war behind. Risking death is no longer necessary to embrace life.

There is an acceleration of people living on the planet whose death did not occur because of war and disease. Perhaps a date for world peace could be plotted by mapping out that trend.

A dance of accelerations and crashes is occurring all around us, all part of the macro trend which is not difficult to see. Turn off the TV. A paradigm has peaked. A paradigm that feeds off oil.


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