22 September 2005
All is well with you. That’s great. The yuppie lifestyle is intact. You’ve kept up with—and even passed—the Jones family, in spite of their new BMW. You live in a place free of any possible adversity. That’s great.
There’s a time, a place and a lifestyle that might surprise you. Yes, even you might be surprised at what’s required of you. Perhaps it’s a natural thing—earthquake, flood, tornado—you know the lot. Or, maybe the rolling blackouts roll over you for thirty days at a time. Imagine your lifestyle without power for thirty days.
Or, imagine what could happen when everything that can’t happen happens at once. Odd sequences of tornadoes in a six-state area accompanied by a terrorist attack on a scale never-before-seen on the west coast wouldn’t necessarily do it. What if we were also at war in three places simultaneously? What if there was a sudden run on the dollar due to years of trade imbalances? What if anarchy became common?
When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein tells the story of some rather bright guys who bet against some things occurring concurrently. Design for a number three catastrophe when you know number fives are possible, and you get trouble. Blunder a bit in your estimates, and trouble swamps you. Global currency collapse isn’t likely, except...what if your government gets so deep into debt and deficit spending that…nah, can’t happen.
There is a combination of events that cannot happen simultaneously. You believe they can’t. They can and they might.
You’ll want to pick a way to live differently even if it’s 2008 before you need to!
Filed under: Thinking