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Gone to Shit 

Wednesday, Feb 4 2009
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The thinkers at the Long Now Foundation do not think that stock market will rebound in the second half of this year. But they don’t think it won’t rebound, either. They just don’t think about that stuff, since six months hence is a pathetic time frame when you have millennia to consider and a 10,000-year clock to build. They do love, however, anyone with their finger on the pulse of upheaval and catastrophe, and today that’s Dmitry Orlov, who gives a lecture titled Social Collapse Best Practices, in which he compares, in PowerPoint detail, the “collapse-preparedness” of the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. He comes away with a chilling conclusion: We’re screwed, worse off than they were, and they were pretty screwed to begin with, what with all the Stalin and vodka and blue-jean shortages. What makes Orlov more than your average shouty commentator -- and suitable for inclusion into the Long Now’s esteemed list visionary visiting speakers -- is that he first laid out his argument back in 2006, when housing was peaking and the economy was humming. If you listened to him then, you might have shorted the banks. Guaranteed you’ll come away today wanting to hoard gold, if not potatoes.
Fri., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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Michael Leaverton

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