Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stability Karma

If you make things more stable, efficient, and reliable in one area, the cost might include lower stability and reliability in another place or at a later time. We may be seeing this effect in much of this week’s turmoil in the world. The artificial stability in energy prices and securities markets gives way to astonishing gyrations when the traders and guarantors who kept things stable worry that they may run out of funds. The civil suppression that keeps a city stable, if taken too far, may give way to riots.

It is like driving an old car. You can keep patching it up, until one day, you can’t. Then the change you resisted is forced upon you. If you consider the extent to which the world has been resisting change and trying to impose the illusion of stability, it is easy to predict more drastic changes on the way.