Chart Week: The Resilience/Vulnerability of the Status Quo
  (February 3, 2011)

There is a peculiar divide between the conventional and unconventional perception of the resilience/vulnerability of the Status Quo.

The conventional view sees the Status Quo as stable and powerful enough to weather any threat or storm short of a full-scale thermonuclear war (i.e. an exchange of 1,000+ nuclear warheads) or climate catastrophe (meltdown of the Antarctic ice cap, etc.).

The unconventional view is that the Status Quo is increasingly vulnerable to a "Black Swan" type catalyst: disruption in the global oil supply chain, a global climate event, hyper-inflation that destroys the dollar, etc.

A few years ago I sketched out the basic power nodes of the Status Quo:

If I were technically adept on graphics, I would add roll-over charts of each node's total employment and budget. But interestingly, these two data points would not necessarily reflect the power and influence concentrated in each node.

For instance, the Federal Reserve has relatively few employees and a modest budget.

One conclusion I draw from this chart is that a whole heap of folks are deeply committed to sustaining the Status Quo. That deep desire to maintain their perquisites and status certainly add to the system's resiliency.

If I were technically adept on graphics, I would configure this into a 3-D chart with lines between various nodes that reflected the strength of the ties. That configuration would tell us more about the networks within the Status Quo than budgets or personnel numbers.

I purposefully drew this chart to mimic brain cells and neural networks. The more connections and nodes in a network, the greater its resiliency. Those expecting a tipping-point cascade collapse of the entire Status Quo may be surprised by the system's reserves of resilience, some of which is depicted in this crude chart.

If you would like to post a comment, please go to

Order Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation or Survival+ The Primer from your local bookseller or in ebook and Kindle formats.

Of Two Minds is also available via Kindle: Of Two Minds blog-Kindle

"This guy is THE leading visionary on reality. He routinely discusses things which no one else has talked about, yet, turn out to be quite relevant months later."
--Walt Howard, commenting about CHS on another blog.

NOTE: contributions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this site by making their Amazon purchases through this site.   Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site over the past years--you have made a difference in this little corner of the world wide web.

Or send him coins, stamps or quatloos via mail--please request P.O. Box address.

Subscribers ($5/mo) and contributors of $50 or more this year will receive a weekly email of exclusive (though not necessarily coherent) musings and amusings, and an offer of a small token of my appreciation: a signed copy of a novel or Survival+ (either work admirably as doorstops).

At readers' request, there is also a $10/month option.

The "unsubscribe" link is for when you find the usual drivel here insufferable.

Your readership is greatly appreciated with or without a donation.
For more on this subject and a wide array of other topics, please visit my weblog.


All content, HTML coding, format design, design elements and images copyright © 2011 Charles Hugh Smith, All rights reserved in all media, unless otherwise credited or noted.

I would be honored if you linked this essay to your site, or printed a copy for your own use.



Making your Amazon purchases
through this Search Box helps
at no cost to you:

Add to your reader:

Survival+   blog  fiction/novels   articles  my hidden history   books/films   what's for dinner   home   email me