Norse Paganism For Beginners

I am a proud Norse Pagan… and for the record, those who assume that Norse Pagans are racists or skinheads, for me that could not be further from the truth because you can ask anyone in my life, and they would tell you that I am the warmest, kindest, and most accepting person. So let’s get down to business.


The Basics: What is Norse Paganism?

Norse Paganism is a religious movement based on the practices and beliefs of pre-Christian Scandinavia. The origins of the Norse Religion date back to the Germanic people of the Iron Age, and its development continues up until the Christianization of Scandinavia.

At the beginning of Christianization, many kings converted due to military and economic interests. In addition, some ordinary people adopted the Christian god as part of their polytheistic pantheon instead of choosing one. Because of this, the Norse religion never truly disappeared: many Pagan myths, folklore, and rituals were influenced by Christianity and vice versa.

In modern times, Norse Paganism had a surge in popularity, and many religious groups based their faith in the Old Norse Religion. Some examples are the Asatru, which is recognized as an official religion in some countries, the Vanatru or Heathenry (although this last one isn’t exclusively Norse Pagan).


Is there a “Bible” in the Norse Pagan Religion?

The Old Norse religion has its origins in the Iron Age and was transmitted orally, so there isn’t one specific book about it similar to what we know as the Christian Bible.

There aren’t written sources from those eras, except picture stones and runic inscriptions in memorial stones that mention their deities and myths. There’s archaeological evidence that gives us clues about different religious practices in the Viking Age, such as artifacts or ship burials.

We know about this ancient religion mainly from Roman sources, such as Tacitus and Julius Caesar, and Old Norse manuscripts created after the Christianization of Scandinavia. The most famous is the anonymous Poetic Edda and the posterior Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, the Hávamál and other Icelandic sagas such as Heimskringla and Landnámabók.


Norse Pagan Beliefs

Before continuing with this and the following sections, I would like to make a quick disclaimer: it’s impossible to explain all the intricacies of the beliefs in every variation of the Norse Religion while keeping it short at the same time. Therefore, I encourage you to use this as a guide and keep exploring the topic in-depth after you finish!

To understand the beliefs of the Norse religion, we need to ditch the modern mindset, influenced by Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam).

These are the key elements of the Norse Pagan beliefs:

  1. Polytheistic Religion
    • This means they worship multiple deities. These gods and goddesses have human characteristics, personalities and emotions: they get married, have children, fight with each other… Most importantly, they have talents and flaws, as opposed to the all-knowing and supremely good Christian god.
    • Deities are classified into three groups:
      1. Aesir or the deities of social realities such as justice or wisdom (for example, Odin or Thor)
      2. Vanir or the deities of sexuality, fertility and magic (such as Freyja and Freyr)
      3. Jötunn or giants, representing chaos and destruction.
  2. Animistic Worldview
    • This means that culture and religion are not separate from each other, in fact, in pre-Christian Scandinavia, there wasn’t a word for “religion” as we have today.
    • Instead, the divine was part of everyday life: gods, goddesses, spirits and other magical entities are present in animals, nature and even in man-made objects. They worked with them as “allies”, creating a relationship of collaboration.
  3. Ancestor Worship
    • Ancestors played a big role in family life. Keeping some kind of contact with them was crucial to ensure the well-being of the family: when venerated properly, they would give their blessings and provide happiness and prosperity. Otherwise, they would haunt the living and bring bad fortune.
  4. Fate
    • The Norns controlled the fate (or Urðr in Old Norse) of men and gods alike. Even though these three women decided the fate of everyone and everything, the Norsemen and women had an active role in their lives: instead of surrendering to the events, they approached their circumstances as a battle that one should fight and confront with honour.
    • This is similar to how the gods would fight until their end at Rägnarok.
  5. The Afterlife
    • There isn’t a clear picture about what happened in the Afterlife, some sources say the dead went to one of the many realms in the underworld (the most famous are Valhalla and Hel), others mention the reincarnation within the family line.
    • What we know for sure is that there wasn’t a dualistic view of death, as it happens in Christianity: it was accepted as part of the natural cycle and there weren’t any “good” realms or “bad” realms to reward or punish one’s actions.

Norse Religion Practices

To understand the practices in Norse Religion, we must identify its main purpose: to secure the survival and regeneration of society. Because of this very reason, neither in Pre-Christian Scandinavia nor in modern times, practices and rituals weren’t homogeneous, although there are some aspects in common.

There’s some evidence of big national religious festivals, but most of the feasts were tied to the village and farming life. Since survival was the goal, some of the blóts or blood sacrifices were celebrated around the moon phases and the farming seasons to ask the gods for a fruitful and successful harvest.

In the past, animal sacrifices were the most common. Human sacrifices only occurred in extreme situations, such as famine or during war times, using prisoners as offerings to the gods.

There’s also evidence of artifact offerings in bogs or wetlands (for example, bracelets, weapons, or tools). This is the preferred method in modern rituals (just make sure that everything you leave in nature isn’t harmful or polluting) and using mead.

Transitions in life were greatly celebrated with different rites of passage, such as the birth and naming of a newborn, marriage, and funerals.

As mentioned earlier, faith was present at all times. There were many other practices such as seiðr, a magical practice associated with prophecy, Trolldom or folk magic, and ancestor veneration. Some sagas also mention small figures that were carried in one’s purse that represented different gods and goddesses.


How to become a Norse Pagan

If you are looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to become a Norse Pagan, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there isn’t one!

Spirituality and religion are extremely personal matters that one has to explore over time and, eventually, decide what beliefs and practices resonate the most in their life. Not only that, but it isn’t something set in stone: it can and will change over time as you grow and learn.

Let’s take Christianity as an example. Even though the Christian God is the same for everyone that follows this religion, there are many branches with different rituals and worldviews, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, or Orthodoxy.

So… when can you consider yourself a Norse Pagan? Again, I won’t give you an exact answer (sorry!): you shouldn’t depend on another person to decide your spiritual path and give you a label, especially if they are a stranger on the internet.

Personally, I think that the moment you decide to follow the Norse pantheon and take an interest in understanding the rituals, culture and customs is a good start. Others might disagree and prefer a certain ritual or rite of passage to mark this event, similar to the baptism in the Christian faith or going through the 13 moons in witchcraft.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this is all up to you. Luckily, there are options for everyone and there are many paths you can explore inside Norse Paganism!


Norse Pagan Paths

There are many branches or paths within the Norse Religion: some of them are community-based, others are more solitary. In some cases, they prefer to stick to the tradition as best as possible, while other paths adapt the religion to modern times or are more philosophical.

Do you really need to follow one of these branches? Absolutely not! Actually, if you are a total beginner, I recommend that you start by studying as much as you can about Norse mythology and history before sticking to one.

Here are some (and definitely not all) of the paths of Norse Paganism:

  1. Ásatrú
    • This religious movement started in the 19th century and was recognised as an official religion in Iceland in 1973. The name means “true to the Aesir gods” and, as you can imagine, it’s focused on the worship of the Aesir (such as Thor or Odin), one of the tribes of the Norse gods.
      • This is a community-based religion, so the individual acts for the benefit of the group. The organisations in this path are known as “Kindred”, their priests and priestesses are called “Gothar” or “Gythia” (feminine) and their congregations are “Folk”.
      • Their main guidelines are based on the teachings in the Hávamál, although this book isn’t the centre of the whole religion.
  2. Vanatru
    • The name means “true to the Vanir” and it appeared around the early 90s as an alternative to Ásatrú, for those attracted to the Vanir tribe of gods. The Vanir are the gods and goddesses of fertility, life cycles and magic, so the focus of this path is witchcraft, folk magic, divination and nature.
      • Also, gods and goddesses are treated as individuals and there are specific rites and ways to communicate with each of them, as opposed to Ásatrú, where the ceremonies and offerings are similar for all.
      • Although the community is important for Vanatru too, this religious path is less structured than the Ásatrú.
  3. Rökkatru
    • This term was coined by Abby Hellasdottir and it means “true to the Rökkr”. The Rökkr are the “dark” deities and the Jotun or giants in Norse mythology (for example, Hel, Loki or Jörmungandr). They represent concepts like death, chaos or the primordial elements, such as ice or fire.
      • For the Rökkatru, darkness or chaos don’t equate to evil, as it does in Christianity. Instead, they are accepted as part of life and its cycles, so they deserve to be worshipped too. This doesn’t mean that you can’t honour other gods, but it’s important to understand all parts of them.
      • This path is linked with Norse Shamanism, its focus is on the development of the individual and their personal connection to the deities, as opposed to Ásatrú.
  4. Other Paths
    • If none of these paths resonates with you, here’s more information to keep exploring other options within Norse Paganism:
      • Thursatru
      • Odinism
      • Lokeans
      • Tribal Heathenry

TitleAuthor
The Wanderer’s Havamal Jackson Crawford
The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes Jackson Crawford

The Rx We Need to Stop Elise Stefanik From Being NY’s Governor

And, how to save the New York midterm elections for Democrats


The specter of Donald Trump running for president of the United States in 2024 is a frightening prospect all by itself. But, in the meantime, the possibility of losing the Senate and/or the House of Representatives next year presents an even deeper danger.

For New Yorkers, it’s pretty safe to assume that our Washington representatives will be safe, but what’s really necessary is to flip a seat or two to help make up for any losses in other states due to gerrymandering or lack of a viable candidate or just plain voter ignorance.

New York’s Attorney General Tish James with Cait Augustyn, Candidate for Cayuga County Legislature in District 1 . Ms. James made an impromptu stop at Auburn, NY’s statue of Harriett Tubman and met with several supporters.

It’s a frightening thought that everything from women’s rights, worker protections and our very health might come under the direction of certifiable morons and that the inmates will actually be running the asylum.

It’s the 2020’s version of the 1950’s Red Scare that got us all building fallout shelters and hiding under our desks at school. Only this time the “Red” is the GOP, or rather a mutated version of the party of Lincoln … Republicans gone wild.

In New York State, I see a serious challenge from the right in the form of Elise Stefanik, the #3 hitman in the House who has been salivating over Cuomo’s demise and Upstater Kathy Hochul’s ascension like a wolf at a sheep fest. She’s the only real hope Republicans have of occupying the Governor’s Mansion.

It’s keeping me up at night.

I had a chance meeting with the one part of the cure for my insomnia I have overlooked.

Tish James the Cuomo Giant Killer

New York’s Attorney General is just what the Doctor ordered. And, it’s a prescription for success that may just ward off any challenge by Ms. Stefanik.

Not only did the popular Ms. James do the work to get Cuomo to resign, she also holds the key to prosecuting Trump and bringing him to his knees begging for forgiveness for the wrongs he’s done.

While other people talk, she actually takes action and makes it happen.

I was impressed shortly after she took office as NY’s AG, and my admiration has only grown as time’s gone by. She’s smart, she’s savvy. She’s got the energy, has won statewide and has what it takes to not only lead Democrats to victory, but to help turn out the vote to unseat a Republican or two in the process.

Tish James is the medicine we need in 2022.

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Imagine if Kyle Rittenhouse Had Been Black?

If he hadn’t been shot to death that night, he would surely be in prison for his entire natural life.

Imagine this, Kyle Rittenhouse is a 17-year old Black kid from Illinois. He drives across the border into Kenosha to support the Black Lives Matter protests and on his way, a friend gives him the AR-15 he was holding for him because he’s too young to own one himself.

Fearing that other BLM protesters might be endangered by armed Trumpists, Black Kyle mingles with the marchers to let the Trumpists know that there is armed protection. Things quickly get out of hand and the young, Black, and armed, Kyle raises the weapon and fires it in self-defense. Two white Trumpists are killed and third one wounded.

Kyle, our Black one, then proceeds to run toward the police who are moving in on the crowd to investigate reports of shots fired. With the AR-15 hanging at his side and hands in the air, he moves briskly toward the police who now look like a US occupying force from Afghanistan.

What do you think happens to Black Kyle at this moment? I am willing to bet that he would have been mowed down by no less than 30 guns of the converging police. The amount of bullets soaring his way would have cut him in half.

Put yourself in their shoes, though: A young Black kid with an AR-15 is running toward them. Sure, his hands are over his head but he’s still a “young, Black kid with an AR-15,” right? There are shouts from the crowd that the kid coming at them had just shot people — sure, the cops, mostly white but not all of them, would have reacted the way they usually do when Black people are involved: Shoot first and ask questions later.

If Black Kyle managed not to be executed by the police that night, he would have by now been sentenced to an eternity of time in prison. Black people can shoot Black people and get away with it — they aren’t supposed to be shooting white people, though. Especially Trumpist white people who are backed by Fox News and the Republican Party.

Let’s get back to our reality for a bit.


He Was Protecting His Community

No matter how it would have been sliced, the Right was going to make the Kyle Rittenhouse story a rallying point. In the current iteration, white Foxified Trumpist slaughters two Americans aligned with the Black Lives Movement and, of course, they cry in mob-like unison, “he was protecting his community.”

This is the first lie, not that truth ever really matters to these people. Rittenhouse wasn’t from the community in which he pulled the trigger of that illegally-possessed weapon of mass destruction. He is not a resident of Kenosha but Antioch, Illinois. He drove himself across the border, and not his mother as has been wrongly reported.

The protests in Kenosha kicked off because 20-year old Jacob Blake was shot by police while being arrested. Blake, who was left crippled as a result of the shooting, had a knife in his possession. The police opened fire on him. Remember this moment when we remember how Kyle raced toward the police with his arms raised after he had finished his shooting people — they let him pass without a word being said to him.

Suffice it to say, the right has made Kyle Rittenhouse a hero.

He has been praised by all wingnuts starting with Trump and trickling down through the Pachinko machine of hate the Republican Party has become. Tucker Carlson has a special report in store for us thanks to a camera crew that was embedded with Kyle during the trial — even though his lawyer was against such a manipulation orchestrated by Fox News. The esteemed, and alleged rapist Matt Gaetz, has offered Rittenhouse a job — God Bless America and God Bless guns! Yippee!

Rittenhouse was protecting his community, the one that consists of course of white, Foxified Trumpists. He was protecting the “community” of white Americans, the ones who are being “hunted” by white liberals and illegal immigrants. Rittenhouse is a hero in his community — he is a soldier on their made-up front.

Forty, thirty, twenty, maybe even ten years, ago, Kyle Rittenhouse would have been found guilty, at least for involuntary manslaughter. He’d be in prison at this moment. The right, however, made this their cause. The right wing machine needs Rittenhouse to be innocent because with his innocence comes big plans — a big, bloody and not justified future for Trumpist fascists: Shooting liberals is now okay so long as you make it seem you were scared.

We already know that shooting Black Americans is cool with them — and quite often, if not always, the shooting are justified by white juries. Now the bullets can be earmarked for the rest of us and very little law enforcement will be enacted to keep us safe.


The Other Slice

Had Kyle Rittenhouse been Black and he somehow managed not to be killed that night by the police or the mob of white “patriots,” then Fox and the right would have been out in force in cities and towns all over America, gunned up like the dummies they look like, while they awaited the verdict.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nutty declaration that liberals are “hunting patriots” would have carried so much more weight, and even made her seem right in their eyes. The whites killed in my make-believe tale, would surely have already had parks, schools, strip malls and shooting ranges, named after them. Martyred for the cause of American fascism, eternal fires would be flicking in town squares all over the land they have us American patriots unwanted.

Had Kyle been Black and he was acquitted — something that would never happen in America — the proverbial shit would have hit the fan. It might have even been the turning point; the event that historians later would identify as the one that unofficially started the Civil War.

Take for example what some historians consider the moment when the South Carolinian, and pro-slavery, Senator Preston Brooks nearly beat Senator Charles Sumner to death with cane on the floor of the Senate in 1856. Some call this the moment when a civil war became inevitable.

Black Kyle, even if he was “defending” himself like the white Kyle, never would have been acquitted. The jury would have convicted him so fast, and the judge, who was clearly rooting for white Kyle to go free, would have thrown every possible year he could at the poor, Black kid.

I am not sure Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty of murder. I don’t believe he went there with the intention of gunning people down. I think he is a dumb and impressionable kid who was in a place he never should have been. I think the horseshit excuse that “bearing arms” is our constitutional right, and so we all get to walk around like a bunch of gunned-up losers looking for trouble, also led us to those deaths.

At a minimum, Rittenhouse should have been found guilty for manslaughter; instead, he will walk free and straight onto the sets of the right wing media machine. He will declare to the army of ignorant Trumpists out there who are envious at Rittenhouse’s good fortune — after all, he got to gun down a few liberals and was found not guilty.

Rittenhouse’s trial, no matter how it could have been sliced, would either become a case where the system is fixed against Trumpists and so the system must be torn down; or, with acquittal it becomes a declaration that hunting season on liberals is now open.

Guess we are now, my fellow non-Trumpists?


Yes Trolls, COVID Deaths Have Been Racially Disproportion

Ironically, this racial disparity has increased the risk for white folks too

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the almost unimaginable loss of life, rationality has been among America’s greatest casualties.

Thus, the proliferation of those who think doctors and nurses are the ones killing patients brought to the ICU, rather than COVID being the culprit for that.

Or those who believe taking horse de-wormer and inhaling hydrogen peroxide is better for attacking the virus than anything a hospital might do.

This lack of critical thought is also evident in the way some understand (or, more to the point, fail to understand) the data on COVID deaths.

To wit, several persons who have recently written to me insisting the claims about COVID disproportionately killing Black people and other folks of color are false.

As they explained it, those who push a racial disparity narrative do so only to besmirch the good name of America (and white people in particular) for letting it happen.

But as with all things, they’re wrong.

First, COVID has most assuredly hit Black folks especially hard — as well as Latinos and Indigenous persons — and the data is clear on this point.

Second, my purpose in pointing this out is not to shame white people but to wake us up, not only to the racialized injustice of COVID but also to how that injustice, ironically, has increased the risk to us.

In seeking to debunk COVID’s racially disparate toll, my electronic detractors pointed specifically to recent CDC data (see below), indicating that the share of COVID deaths among whites (61.4 percent) has been roughly equal to the white percentage of the population. In fact, they noted, the white share of fatalities has been slightly higher than the white proportion of the nation, which stands at 59.7 percent.

While the Black share of deaths (15.1 percent) has been above their population percentage too (12.6), the fact that this is also true for whites — and that the Latino death share (18 percent) is below their population percentage (18.6) — suggests COVID has been a pretty equal opportunity killer.

Centers for Disease Control, Health Disparities, Provisional Death Counts for COVID-19

But this is all kinds of wrong.

And if the people who sent me this had read the entire report whence these numbers came — or could merely understand it — they would know that.

Racial disparity in COVID deaths is evident once you adjust for age

To understand the racially disproportionate impact of COVID, one must remember that this virus is especially deadly for the elderly due to underlying health issues more likely experienced by them. And since white folks are far more likely to be elderly — a function of systemic racial and economic inequity suppressing life expectancy for others — a large share of the dead will be older and white.

But that’s why you have to age-adjust the data. Only then can you get a clear sense of racial risk at every age group.

And when you make those adjustments — which the CDC did in that same report mentioned above — you can see the magnitude of the problem.

Although COVID does kill older folks at racially disparate rates, the disparities above the age of 65 and especially 75 are not as significant due to the consistency with which this virus kills the aged.

Where things change significantly is when you examine the non-elderly.

Among persons 55–64, whites are 69 percent of the population, but only 45.5 percent of those who have died in that age group.

For persons 45–54, whites are 61 percent of the population but a little less than 37 percent of the dead from COVID.

On the other hand, Black folks are 12 percent of the 55–64 population but 21 percent of COVID deaths in that group — a rate nearly 1.8 times what it would be if their deaths were consistent with their share of the 55–64 age cohort.

For 35–44-year-olds, Black folks are a bit less than 13 percent of the population but more than 23 percent of deaths in this group.

Latinos are 18 percent of the 45–54 age group, but 35 percent of that cohort’s deaths — almost double the share we’d expect if deaths mirrored the population percentages.

And the data is genuinely stunning for Indigenous persons.

For 35–44-year-olds, Indigenous folks are 0.7 percent of the population but nearly 3 percent of deaths — a share of deaths fully four times their population percentage of that age group.

For 25–34-year-olds, Indigenous persons are 0.8 percent of the population but nearly 4 percent of the dead in this group.

A few calculations from the following chart also demonstrate the magnitude of COVID’s racial disparity.

While only 15 percent of white COVID deaths have been to persons under 65, nearly a third of Blacks who’ve died were younger than that. And while only 1 in 33 white decedents have been younger than 50, almost 1 in 10 Blacks who have died were that young.

For Latinos, nearly 4 in 10 of the dead have been under 65, and around 1 in 8 have been under 50.

For Indigenous persons who have died, 42 percent have been under 65, and 1 in 7 have been younger than 50.

Racial disparities in health outcomes are NOT just about economics

Some might say that these racial disparities in COVID deaths, though real, aren’t about race per se. This is the kind of racism denial you often get from certain quarters of the left. Such persons don’t dispute the disproportionate disadvantages Black folks face, for instance, but merely insist that those disadvantages have less to do with race-based unfairness and more to do with socioeconomic status.

But denial, no matter how “progressive,” is still just bullshit.

Although COVID data hasn’t been broken out by race and class together, we know that when it comes to the co-morbidities that tend to make COVID fatal, Black, Indigenous, and Latino folks suffer more of them than whites at every level of economic condition.

Indeed, better-off persons of color typically fare no better than lower income and working class whites when it comes to health, and often quite a bit worse.

For instance, in one study of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) — a leading indicator of population-level health — Black women in low poverty neighborhoods were more than four times as likely to experience a severe maternity-related complication as white women from high poverty neighborhoods.

Likewise, Black women with at least a Bachelor’s degree had SMM rates 2.4 times higher than white women who never graduated high school.

In other words, racial health disparities before COVID, which have now driven COVID disparities over the past 19 months, are not simply about Black and brown folks being poorer, on average than white people.

It is not a matter of “class, not race.” It’s about how racial mistreatment and discrimination, historic and contemporary, have affected Black and brown people, even when they are educated, employed, and have decent health care coverage.

But ironically, all this Black and brown death has also hurt white people

Having said all of this, just because persons of color have borne a disproportionate share of the suffering from COVID does not mean white Americans can breathe easily.

As I’ve discussed previously, the trajectory of COVID has demonstrated how interrelated we are and how dangerous it is to think you’re not at risk just because others seem to be taking the brunt of the damage.

When the early reports last April indicated the impact of COVID mainly was falling on Black folks in large urban areas, many seemingly decided the virus wasn’t a risk to them.

That was the point when conservatives, led by President Trump, started demanding the re-opening of temporarily shuttered businesses and the resumption of normalcy. Now that they knew those people were doing the bulk of the dying, it was as if they decided they could go back to their regular lives, confident they would be safe.

And so they did: they refused to mask, scoffed at social distancing, and then when the vaccine became available, they were the ones disproportionately refusing to take it.

Now, look what’s happened.

In March and April of 2020, white folks were only about 30 percent of those who had died from COVID, even with the way this virus primarily affects the elderly and even with whites being a disproportionate share of such persons.

But by the end of 2020, 55 percent of those dying monthly were white. Now, over 60 percent of the overall dead are white. And increasingly, this toll is falling on white folks in precisely the conservative, Trump-loving states where people felt immune.

It’s no exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of white people have died who wouldn’t have died had we taken COVID more seriously early on when it seemed primarily a problem for those who weren’t white like us.

But because of the early disparities — still evident once you adjust for age — we took our foot off the brake, and here we are, pushing 700,000 dead. More than 1 in 500 Americans have now died because of COVID.

Yet, in the face of this mass death, millions are choosing, out of allegiance to a real estate developer and former game show host, to rely on Facebook friends, Reddit threads, and MAGA TikTok for advice rather than scientists and doctors the world over.

Between their medical ignorance and their inability to interpret basic data, there is no reason to think things will get better for America anytime soon.

The 99/1 Rule That Will Make You Unstoppable

Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

Oprah Winfrey

Do you know why there are people who succeed in almost everything they set out to do? They don’t have more time, they don’t have skills that you or I can’t have, they have simply known how to go one step further to Pareto’s Law until it becomes the 99/1 rule.

Until I learned about Pareto’s Law, I thought productivity was about getting as much done as possible.

The way I had to finish the tasks was to spend time at the end of the day when the head is not totally optimal and the quality of your work decreases considerably.


A first step to being unstoppable

Pareto realized that 80% of the wealth in his country was owned by 20% of the population. Over the years he also observed this interesting effect in different aspects such as:

  • 20% of the people you know provide you with 80% of support and satisfaction (friendship, love… etc).
  • 20% of the customers generate 80% of the revenue of a business.
  • 80% of your success depends on 20% of your effort.
  • 20% of the exercises you do will bring 80% of benefits to your body.

Forget 80/20 and focus on 99/1

By now you will have read this theory an infinite number of times. What was later demonstrated is that within that 20% the 80/20 rule occurs again. Thus we have that 4% of the population has 64% of the wealth. And from that 4%, we could do the same rule again.

If you have any doubt about what I am talking about, here are some examples:

  • 1% of businesses have the same capitalization as the remaining 99% of companies.
  • 1% of F1 racers are paid the same as the rest of the pit lane.
  • 1% of Medium accounts have 99% of followers.
  • 1% of works of art are worth the same as the remaining 99%
  • 1% of the world’s richest people own 85% of the world’s stocks
  • 1% of our personal relationships bring us 99% of our happiness.
  • 20′ of sport at very high intensity per day produces changes in our body far superior to those of walking for 4 hours.

So all the extraordinary benefits come from 1% (or even less) of the tasks we do. Look for asymmetries in your life and focus on them.

Have you ever had a partner or friend that you don’t know how he/she can possibly have time to do everything he/she does? When we were little there was always a classmate who was the best in sports, in studies, the one who was the most flirtatious, and even the one who went out partying the most.

Knowing how to be within that 1% in many areas of our lives can make us unstoppable.


Where can I apply the 99/1 rule?

The 1% rule is applicable to all areas of life: studies, work, soft skills, sports, investment, business, art….

Many people have no idea of the enormous capacity we can immediately possess when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.

Tony Robbins

In other words, 99 percent of your results should come from 1 percent of your time. Does that mean you should work less? Not really. What this concept seeks is to motivate you to focus on the things that really matter, especially the tasks that help us reach our goals.

How do you identify that 1% of super-productive actions focus on them and leave aside the rest that is not?


Think again about the things you have to do

You want to take on too much. In addition to the projects you’re taking on, you feel like you have 50 other smaller tasks that require your attention. You have a ton of unanswered emails in your inbox. A colleague working on another project urgently needs your opinion and they’re already on deadline. And that’s not to mention the pounds of laundry waiting for you at home.

But it’s not all bad news. Solutions for prioritizing tasks and making decisions are not new. In fact, one of the best decision-making and time management frameworks was invented half a century ago by old-school productivity master and busy man Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States.

He created a matrix that bears his name and states that tasks can be classified into four groups:

  • Important and Urgent tasks: you should focus all your attention on completing them.
  • Important but Non-Urgent tasks: tasks that are important for your professional and personal development and should be done once you have completed the tasks in the first group.
  • Not important but urgent tasks: these are the tasks that you should delegate
  • Not Important and Not Urgent tasks: don’t do them, use this time to watch Netflix or read a new book.

Stop to think and classify the tasks, focus on the first two groups and forget the rest.


Create habits

This is the point that will get you where you want to go.

Focus on that 1% of tasks that give you results and turn them little by little into habits. Successful people, if they have gotten to where they are, it is because they have good habits. Locate those habits that detract and turn them little by little into positive habits. Habits are the first stepping stone in building a system.

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress

James Clear, Atomic Habits

Repetition is more important than volume or the importance of the action itself. The important thing is to put it into practice not in speed, but in the quality of the result.

When we talk about a small change we think of trivial, ridiculous actions. Set a point to start your habit and dedicate 2 minutes to implementing it.

What can you do with two minutes? 10 push-ups, prepare your clothes to go for a run, write two lines of a post …

Every day dedicate these two minutes, when you feel confident increase this and dedicate 2 more minutes to the next action that requires the habit.

Ritualize the process, standardize it before moving on to the next one.


Generate Momentum in your life

Momentum is a double-edged sword. It can propel you to new heights or keep you locked into previous choices and old habits. Years are wasted for the sole reason that we tend to keep doing what we are already doing. Inertia eats up opportunities.

James Clear

Why is it so easy for us to get into bad habits, but so hard for us to form good ones? The simple answer is that bad habits give us instant results, satisfying our instant gratification monkey, while the results that come from good habits are delayed.

Concatenate productive actions and they will magically bring you closer to where you want to go.

Improving 1% every day will lead you to be x37 better than your current self in a year. Conversely, being 1% worse every day for a year takes you back to basically zero.


ProTip

I’m going to show you one of the biggest pain points in today’s society and how you can benefit from it.

Deep Work is one of the most demanded skills in the multitasking society we live in. Knowing how to focus on a single task and not stop until we develop it.

In this new economy, three groups will have a particular advantage: those who can work well and creatively with smart machines, those who are the best at what they do, and those who have access to capital.

Deep work is like a muscle, which means you have to build it.

5 Ways To See How Committed He’s to You

Words aren’t enough to prove that he wants to make the relationship works.

Every man can say he loves you to death that he doesn’t think he can live without you. But how true is that sentence? Does he mean what he said?

I talked about how it’s a waste of time trying to change his mind and make him commit to you last week. But what about those men who say he’s committed, but it doesn’t feel 100% right to you?

He clearly loves you and wants a relationship. But his actions day to day make you doubt it. You want to see how committed he is, so you don’t just waste your time in the relationship.

I don’t like thinking too much about relationships. It’s mentally unhealthy. But I also think we should reevaluate our relationship once in a while just to see if we are still on the same page with our partner.

He has concrete plans for the future with you.

A clear sign he wants to spend the rest of his life with you is by seeing what’s on his future plan. Are you included? Does he use a “we” when he talks about it? If the answer is no to both of those questions, then maybe you shouldn’t invest too much in the relationship just yet.

For men, having concrete plans about the future, which includes the woman he loves isn’t always easy. But if he really wants you in his life forever, then he’d figure it out.

He introduces you to his family and friends

The tricky thing is, sometimes a man has a traditional family who isn’t cool with all of this “dating culture,” so that might be his main reason for not introducing you to them yet.

But at least if you’ve been dating for quite some time, you got to know his friends. You can’t be the one who introduces him to all of your close people, but when it comes to his social life, he doesn’t want you to know.

If that happens, then you have the right to bring it up and ask for his sincere explanation.

He doesn’t treat you as a backup plan

It’s fair to say that men who aren’t committed enough will try to keep their options open. How do you know? Simply by seeing whether he flirts easily with other women or not.

I’ve seen men who are already taken but still on Bumble trying to find “new friends” to connect with. Or you probably heard those common stories where they’re out of town for a business trip but then actively seeking hookups and dating apps at the same time.

He can convince you however he wants that you’re the “one” for him, but if he always acts like he wants the cake and eats it too, then it’s surely not a good sign.

He supports your goals and dreams

It’s highly recommended to have your own things going on so you don’t get obsessed with your relationship too much. But what if he doesn’t support you? Should you take it as a red flag?

I will personally reconsider being with the man for the long run if that happens. Supporting each others’ goals and dreams in a relationship isn’t actually that hard. If he doesn’t even care about it, then there are a couple of reasons:

  • Either he doesn’t plan to stay in your life for the long haul (which means he isn’t that committed to you).
  • Or he thinks your goals aren’t important enough

Whatever the reason is, it’s totally normal to expect your man to support you with your personal goals just as much as he wants you to support his.

He doesn’t play with the “breakup” words easily

Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who, every time a big argument happens, throws the “breakup” words like it’s nothing? If you are with someone like this, I can assure you he’s not 100% in it.

Because no committed man likes to say “let’s just break up then” in every fight that’s happening. He should figure a way out to solve the problem rather than acting like he’s so ready to exit the relationship at any time.

A relationship like this is also very toxic. I’ve been there before, and I can tell you, it doesn’t matter how many times he told me “I love you”, I never fully trusted him that he wouldn’t break up with me in the future.


Parting Words

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.

Peter F. Drucker.

It’s true that women are easily tricked by the words she hears from the man. So it’s no surprise many of them stay in a relationship that’s actually going nowhere. Her man keeps saying we’ll get married eventually, and that’s enough to make her stick with him for years.

I’m not saying it’s easy to get away from a man like that but it’s certainly not worth it.

Don’t hurt yourself by trying to put “more” so that he can see your efforts and finally change his mind.

’Cause I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.

On Meaningful Work

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Chinese proverb

‘A job that teaches you nothing, is just a job. And because it teaches you nothing, you’ll remain stuck there. Unless you do something about it.

Most employers don’t care about what you think. They care about your labor. You become a more valuable asset when people care about what you think. If all you’re selling is your labor, you’re selling yourself short. The modern economy is built on ideas.

You have something valuable to give to the world, and it’s easier than ever to do it. Give the world your best and see where it leads. The creative person you were as a child is still part of who you are now. You are a vault filled with ideas waiting to be unlocked from within.

It’s not a lack of ideas that holds us back, it’s usually a lack of execution. We tend to wait for someone else to give us permission. Give yourself permission.

Whatever makes you unique, is what makes you remarkable. Whatever makes you remarkable, is what makes you marketable. There’s room in the world for your individual uniqueness. It just might take awhile to find the people who will value it.

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do what you love. It starts by being bold enough to try. You have to start somewhere to get where you want to be. And if you’re fortunate enough to do the things you love, you should be grateful. Be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given.

Why Do I Feel Stuck?

It happens every once in a while, and it’s normal.

In life, there are moments when we feel like life is monotonous. And in those moments, we often ask ourselves: “What am I doing with my life?”

It is normal to feel this way because these moments often happen in life, and they will always come and go.

Sometimes the trigger would be our self-doubt, which will lead us to compare ourselves with other people. We might also overthink what other people think or say about us.

And once you felt that way, you’ll go down the rabbit hole of attacking yourself until you feel like shit.

Overthinking about being stuck will not get you anywhere. But it would be best if you didn’t avoid or deny this feeling. It’s something that we should accept, as it is a process that makes us grow.‍

It is a way for us to be able to understand ourselves better.

So take some time to grasp the feeling, declutter your mind, and try to figure it out. It will take time to do so, but you can’t “unstuck” yourself just by thinking about it. You have to do something to untangle yourself.

Just like how you wouldn’t know if you’d like to eat something before trying it, sometimes we need to experience the things that we don’t enjoy to understand what we want in life.

It’s not stupid to do the wrong thing, be at the wrong place, or have bad timing. At least you tried, and you should be proud of trying.

You’re Not Lazy. That’s It. That’s The Problem

You’re not lazy.

That’s not the problem.

It’s not that you’re scared or distracted or something else. You don’t have to hustle like Gary Vee. You don’t have to just do it. You don’t have to be a living embodiment of the swoosh. It’s interesting how many times this idea comes up. Even Shia LaBeouf has a spin on it.

Here’s the big secret…

We think being lazy is the opposite of being successful and productive. What if it’s not? What if being lazy was necessary? What if procrastinating weren’t a bad thing? What if you were just bad at them?

Maybe being lazy is a skill.

We’ve forgotten it.

Everyone is lazy.

Here’s the most basic definition of lazy:

Unwilling to do work.

I’m pretty sure that includes all of us. Nobody loves work. Some of us have managed to make money off doing things we enjoy. We call it “work” because it earns income or brings us some kind of reward. The dirty little truth is that we do it for its own sake.

We got lucky.

There was a point in human history where laziness couldn’t exist. You either found food and shelter, or you starved. You froze. You got eaten. Once you had food and shelter, you didn’t go about making more shelter just for the hell of it. You kicked back and relaxed. You painted the walls of your cave because you wanted to, not because it was “work.”

My neighborhood has a few stray cats. They don’t do anything more than they have to in order to survive. They enjoy long naps.

This is what animals do.

We’re animals.

None of us are exactly “willing” to do work. What we’re willing to do is exchange our time and energy for things we need. We want to do as little work as possible for the maximum outcome. Doing more work than necessary is actually the root of our biggest problems.

Laziness is good for you.


We crave homeostasis.

Do you know what really motivates people?

A desire to do nothing.

We operate on what psychologists call drives, or needs. Our biggest need of all is homeostasis, a point where we can stop worrying about everything and just chill out for a little while. We do things so we don’t have to do them anymore, at least not until tomorrow.

We don’t allow ourselves to do nothing anymore.

We’ve bought into the lie that doing nothing is wrong. If it’s not unproductive, it’s just plain boring. So we look for fun.

We eat out.

We go to movies. We play games. We throw parties. We bathe. We get drunk. We do anything but stay home.

The closest thing we have to nothing is called meditating. We’re supposed to do it sitting upright, with our legs in a pretzel. We’re supposed to by special clothes and download apps. We have to consume it. We write about it in journals. We track it in apps.

You know the worst part?

We’re constantly sold homeostasis. Every ad out there sells the idea of lounging around doing nothing. It’s just that they’re doing it in an exotic location, or in leisure, because that’s approved. The marketers and influencers have taken something we can do for free whenever we want, and they’ve turned it into the most exclusive form of luxury.

Only the rich can be lazy.


Being lazy is the best type of rest.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: Your family goes on vacation, or you take a trip with friends. It’s supposed to be relaxing.

You come back exhausted.

Stuff like this has happened to me my entire life. I do something that’s supposed to be restful and restorative.

It makes everything worse.

We think we understand rest. We don’t. There’s actually seven types of rest, and you need them all:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Sensory
  • Creative
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual

Some people get all these types of rest without really trying. I remember those days, before I had a spouse or a kid. I could do whatever I wanted, and I almost never felt tired. I could be lazy, and there was nobody around to heap demands on me or pass judgment.

Those days are gone.

If you’re like me, you have lots of pulls on your time and energy. It’s easier to get worn out. It’s hard to figure out what kind of rest you need.

It’s even harder to justify getting that rest.

 Now I’ve honed the ability to procrastinate. I don’t have to clean the counters right now, or the toilets.

They can wait. My rest is more important.

Rest, it’s one of my favorite things. I enjoy it more than Netflix.

It’s even better than sex.

I love being lazy.


Drop the ball

One of my favorite books is Drop The Ball, by Tiffany Dufu. It’s one of the most underrated self-help books of all time. Maybe that’s because it suggests there’s nothing wrong with you, except one thing:

You do too much.

Some of us are overworked because we’re taking up the slack from coworkers and spouses who don’t pull their weight. We take on their responsibilities, and over time it becomes an expectation.

They feel entitled.

There’s a simple solution to this problem.

Stop doing it.

Being lazy is hard work for some of us. We have to learn the art of not doing their work, to the point it becomes a problem. It will bother us to see work not getting done. We have to get over it.

It’s called learning to be lazy.


Being “busy” is killing us

The true opposite of being lazy is having something to do. They fit together. We do things in order to satisfy our drives. Once they’re done, we’ve achieved homeostasis. We can go back to being lazy.

We’ve twisted purpose into something else. Now our lives our full of things we have to do that don’t achieve homeostasis.

They throw us further out of whack.

Most of us don’t need 40–60 hours a week to do our jobs. It’s not even close. And yet, we’re pressured to fill up that time. In fact, our jobs are often filled with disruptions and distractions.

Whenever we do finish our work earlier, we’re not rewarded.

We’re punished.

Our bosses give us more work. They cut our hours and send us home. So we find ways to look busy. We write memos. We hold pointless meetings. We attend professional development workshops.

It’s all a waste.


Bring back lazy

Maybe you feel out of whack. Maybe you struggle to focus. You have actual things you want to accomplish, not just busywork. For some reason you just can’t get started on them.

Maybe it’s not because you’re lazy.

Maybe it’s because you’re not lazy. You’re doing too much. You’re trying to please your family, your boss, and even total strangers. You’re not doing the things that would actually satisfy you, and it’s keeping you from achieving homeostasis. Either that, or you’re mistaking your body’s need to do nothing as a bad thing, and you’re depriving it of valuable rest.

I have a suggestion, and it goes counter to the Nike slogan. They say, “Just do it.” For some of us, that’s the answer — not always.

Just don’t.


This is the Dawn of the Age of Collapse

Our Civilization is Now Reaching an Omega Point — the Point of Irreversible Collapse

This gentle world that you and I know, that I love, of old parks full of ancient trees, long walks through them — all that is now coming to a swift and sudden end.

We are reaching what I call the Omega Point. “O” for game over. The Omega Point is the inflection point at which our civilisation will no longer survive — and we are coming closer and closer to it by the day now. We are surely going to hit it within the next two decades, perhaps the next decade, on the trajectory we are on.

Omega isn’t some kind of abstruse notion — it’s just simple economics, which any grade schooler can understand. Let me explain it you conceptually, and then I’ll describe how life will change as we begin to hit it.

The world’s GDP is about $80 trillion. Omega is theoretically hit when the costs of the existential threats of the 21st century that our civilisation now faces — climate change, mass extinction, ecological collapse, and the pandemics and social upheavals and economic depressions they’ll ignite — exceeds the world’s GDP. At that point, we are spending every dollar, euro, and renminbi we have to fight floods, hurricanes, fires, and pandemics — which leaves nothing, and I mean nothing, over for air, water, food, energy, medicine. Bang. The lights go out.

In the real world, though, Omega is hit long before the costs of our existential threats reach the ceiling of global GDP. As we fight climate change, ecological collapse, mass extinction, pandemics, authoritarianism, we must still feed and nourish and clothe and mend ourselves — that is, we need to spend a significant percentage on the basics, food, water, air, medicine, shelter, clothing, and so forth. That’s about half of global GDP right now.

So realistically, Omega — the point at which our civilisation collapses, for sure, permanently, game over — is hit at about half of global GDP spent on combating our existential threats.That leaves us too little left over for the basics of life, and civilisation descends into chaos, ruin, and social collapse — just as it has, for example, in America, as people fight each other bitterly for self-preservation.

So we hit the Omega point when the damage caused by our existential challenges — climate change, ecological collapse, pandemics, authoritarianism, etc — reaches $40 to 60 trillion at our current level of global income and wealth.

Now, if that doesn’t make sense, think about it this way.If you had to spend 100% of your income, say, mending your roof, or shoring up your home’s foundations, you’d be effectively broke. Sure, you could borrow, maybe, if you were lucky, and you had good credit. But you would still be bankrupt in net terms. And as a world, we have no such luxury — when we are broke, collectively, nobody is left to lend to us. Omega therefore represents the point at which our civilisation is effectively bankrupt: when we’re $40 trillion to $60 trillion in the hole.

At that point, there will be no way out. We will be broke, and not have the economic capacity to mitigate, avert, or address problems like climate change and ecological collapse anymore. Their costs will have exceeded the total economic resources of our civilization.

Nice theory, Queen, you might say — but so what? Surely Omega, this sci-fi concept you’ve invented, is in the distant future. It’s something our great grandkids might have to worry about! Relax, dude! Everything will be fine!

Wrong!

Let me put in context for you just how close we are to hitting Omega. $40 to $60 trillion might sound like a lot — but in fact, it’s not. It is frighteningly little. Take Covid. It’s a relatively minor problem compared to climate change or mass extinction, in scale, scope, and intensity. Its damages won’t remotely approach those of a melted down planet. And yet the IMF has estimated that Covid has already cost us $24 trillion.

Covid alone takes us about 40 to 60% of the way to hitting Omega. Covid alone. My God. This afternoon, when I thought about this, and ran the numbers in my head, my heart skipped a beat. We are in serious, serious trouble, I thought. My God. Are you seeing the problem here? Let me spell it out.

So what about climate change? The IMF has estimated that climate change costs about 7% of global GDP — but that’s just subsidies for undercharging for carbon (if that makes your head spin, don’t worry about it.) That doesn’t factor in the damage caused by climate change — megafires, megafloods, mega-hurricanes, and so forth. It doesn’t even factor in, for example, the global microchip shortage, that was essentially caused by climate change.

So how much is that? Easily twice as much again — so now we’re at another 15% of global GDP. And even that’s sure to be a significant underestimate. We don’t know how much climate change is really going to cost us — all we know is that the costs are going to be singular in human history. The costs are going to be so great at some point they can never be repaid at all — do you know how to make the Arctic ice freeze again, how to make a rainforest? I didn’t think so. So doubling that estimate of climate change’s costs is far too conservative. I’d put the truer number at closer to 25% of the world’s GDP. But we can put it on a spectrum from 15% to 25%, because even that conservative math makes the point frighteningly clear.

In a world of Covid plus climate change, we’re already close to hitting OmegaCovid costs us 10 percent of the world’s GDP, and climate change another 15% to 25%. That’s 25% to 35% of global GDP — just on these two threats alone. Omega’s hit somewhere near fifty percent, remember. That means that we are more than halfway to hitting Omega, right now. That we are almost sure to hit it by the end of the decade or so.

We haven’t even factored in the biggies yet: mass extinction and ecological collapse. We are used to living in an alienated, hyper-technological, disconnected way. But the truth is that the basics of our lives come from…the earth. The insects and worms turn the soil in which we harvest our crops and medicines. The fish clean the rivers which supply our reservoirs. The trees, like the ones in my park, breath out the air we breathe in. The earth’s great ecosystems are reaching tipping points, because industrialisation and its predatory economics rips their roots out at the bottoms, killing off the most vulnerable things: little insects, fish, young saplings. Where and when they’re “replaced,” monocultures are made, which are no substitute for natural ecosystems and their complexity and productivity.

As the planet’s great ecologies collapse, our civilisations basic systems will fail. The most basic of all. Air, water, food, medicine, energy. The ones we have long taken for granted. And that’s when the fireworks will really begin. Life will become a bitter, brutal battle for self-preservation. Neighbour will turn on neighbour, and friend on friend — not just at local scales, but at national and then international ones. What will you do when the food, water, medicine, and air begin to run out? Well, the first thing you’ll do — have to do — is pay through the nose for what’s left. And the ensuing despair, poverty, and rage will kickstart a new wave of fascist-authoritarian movements globally.

If you think all that’s some distant fantasy, take a hard look at how long it took America to collapse. The middle class became a minority in 2010, and by 2016, Trump was made President, by an enraged, downwardly mobile white majority. That is how fast a society comes apart — even the richest one in the world. And in that way American collapse is a tiny warning of what awaits the world in an age of civilizational collapse. People turn ugly and stupid as they fight for self-preservation. Politics turns fascist. Economies go south. And a sense of indifference takes over. Because life becomes a bitter struggle for each isolated, disconnected individual. If you’re living, like the average American, a life of unpayable debt, facing an impossible challenge till the day you die — what emotional or economic room do you have to care about anyone else? You don’t. Bang. That’s how societies collapse: poverty.

So how much will ecological collapse and mass extinction cost us?Physicists have a point called a singularity — where all the laws of physics break down. This is an economic singularity. Nobody knows, and in a sense, it doesn’t matter, because the question makes no sense. How much does it “cost” to live on a planet where the air isn’t breathable, the water isn’t potable, and the food isn’t edible? Where life itself is poisonous? The question itself is absurd. The only good way to frame it is the opposite: it costs so much that nobody really realises their potential. People live short, dull, stupid, angry, desperate, lives, where they get sick, die young, and nobody much cares about anyone else. That’s what it costs. Attempting to quantify all that is an exercise in futility — all that we can say is that the cost is civilisation itself.

Still, for the sake of argument, let’s say, conservatively, again, that ecological collapse and mass extinction cost us another 25% of global GDP. They do so by causing widespread shortages of the basics. You used to be able to go the store, and buy anything you liked — now getting good water and fresh food is a daily challenge, which often goes unmet. Then there are the pandemics, which seem to erupt every five years or so. There’s the shortage of life-saving medicines, which cost a society huge numbers of life-years. There are the costs of migrations — people simply abandon those places which have become deserts, as the topsoil eroded away. Fire Belts, Flood Belts, Plague Belts — all these are the vocabulary people speak now, and the price of being poor is living in one. If you have the money, you flee, at all costs.

As a result, financial systems begin to break down. Who’s going to insure a Fire Belt, Flood Belt, Plague Belt?Those who did go broke — bang! There goes a whole asking sector and insurance industry. Who’s going to write a mortgage against a home that’s going to be incinerated or flooded — or already is, every year? Who’s going to insure a life whose expectancy is declining due to a new pandemic every few years? As financial crashes follow ecological ones, as natural disasters metastasise into economic catastrophes, whole economies begin to seize up. Banks don’t lend, businesses shutter their doors, mass long-term unemployment is the new normal. Getting money out of the bank is an iffy affair. Paying your bills — who knows if you’ll do it this month.

All that? Easily another 25% of global GDP.

And that puts well past the Omega Point. 20% Covid. 15 to 25% climate change. 25% ecological collapse — in truth, the number will be much higher. Still, all that is enough to put our civilisation past the point of no return. Add those up, and you get somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of GDP as the costs of our existential challenges. Bang. That’s too much. We can’t pay it. We can’t afford it. It makes us broke. And growing, poverty produces across our civilisation what it always does in societies: despair, rage, hostility, cruelty, stupidity, violence, fascism.

Omega. Game Over. The point at which the costs of our existential threats exceed our civilisations economic resources. When that point is hit, there is no turning back. Collapse is inevitable. We are, in my estimation, somewhere between 10 to 15 years away from hitting Omega.

Those are words that are frightening for me to write. They take my breath away. I’m not often wrong on issues of economics — I predicted everything from the crash of ’08 to the wave of authoritarianism sweeping the globe to American collapse. That’s not to toot my own horn. It’s to warn you.

The problem of imminent civilizational collapse is not being taken nearly seriously enough. How do we fix it? We invest, right now, like never before.

While we still have the money, energy, time, While we still have the resources to address our existential problems. Before they swamp us, flood us, incinerate us, spin out of control. Take Covid as an example. It was better to swallow a bitter pill, like New Zealand and Taiwan and Vietnam did, and lock down swiftly and hard — they have, by and large, bounced back. Those that didn’t swallow the bitter pill, like America, Britain, and Europe, are now paying a price without end — a pandemic that has spiralled out of control and won’t go away.

The lesson couldn’t be clearer. We have to get serious about our existential threats now, before they spin out of control.The closer that we come to Omega, the uglier life will get. The poorer we will grow as a civilization, and the uglier, stupider, more violent life will get — and the more powerless we will be to change it all. Just like it has in America.

I’ve estimated it will cost about $20 trillion to begin really addressing all these problems — a quarter of global GDP. 

That’s the scale at which we’re talking right now. Do you hear anyone — a single prime minister, politician, leader, CEO, talking at those scales?

I didn’t think so. And that, my friend, is the problem. We are about to be engulfed by our existential threats, and it is already hitting us faster, harder, and more severely than anyone much thought. Civilizational collapse is now the theme that will dominate the rest of our adult lives. Covid is a warning. This is the dawn of the age of collapse.