Tuesday, August 23, 2022


I remember writing Seven! like it was yesterday. I started with a tribute to the "lucky" number seven. My public blog's view counter had recently passed 7,777,777, and I included a screenshot of that. I hadn't captured the actual moment, so it did require some photoshopping. And if you look at the post, it has exactly 777 comments under it. I wonder how that happened.

The year was 2015, and it was just three months after I had switched from a public forum to the Speakeasy. That happened on May 10th, 2015, and how I made the transition was that I wrote a post for the Speakeasy, and posted part of it on the public blog. I announced "A new post is up," and then I turned off the comments. That was the final comment, and at the bottom of the partial post, I explained what the Speakeasy was, and how to subscribe.

So, if you subscribed, you then got to read the rest of the post and join the discussion under it. There was no more discussion on the public blog after 5/10/15. Too many trolls. Anyway, the point is that the Speakeasy comments have now been going as long as the public blog, plus 3 months. So I thought it would be interesting to see which blog has more comments.

I figured it would be close, but the public blog was open for anyone to comment, while the Speakeasy is only open to an exclusive group. Plus, just looking at the view counts, 7.77M compared to 1.9M here, I thought for sure the public blog comment count would be at least a little bit higher. I was wrong. Fofoa.blogspot.com has a grand total of 62,600 comments, and the Speakeasy has more than 74,600! To me this indicates that the subscription format is more conducive to a vibrant discussion than the open format, and it has fewer trolls. 😉

This year is also the 25th anniversary (what's that, silver?) of ANOTHER (THOUGHTS!). ANOTHER and FOA posted for about 5 years total, from 1997 to 2001. The USAGOLD discussion forum was active for 11 years, from 1998 to 2009. And I have now been here for 14 years, 7 at the public blog, and 7 at the Speakeasy. A few of you have been here that long as well!

While my New Year's posts are a time to look back at the past year, and to make predictions about the coming year, I think of these anniversary posts as a time to look all the way back, to when I first became aware of the things I write about, and to take stock of where we might be in the big picture of this history through which we are living, the history of the end of the $IMFS.

So, to kind of put a pin in the big picture for this year, I often say that there are times when the $IMFS is more prone to having an accident than others. I call it the Danger Zone. It's not about predicting that something big is going to happen immediately, but rather identifying times when something big is more likely to happen than at a random time.

It's like the DEFCON system used by the military, and I have raised the alert level to the Danger Zone a number of times. In the DEFCON system, DEFCON 5 is the lowest level, the normal state of readiness, or alertness. So, when I raise it to the Danger Zone, it's like raising the DEFCON level to 4. In military terms, DEFCON 4 is called the "double take," or "above normal readiness." For me, it's when I start topping off my preps, and paying close attention to everything.

So far, every time we've entered the Danger Zone, we eventually retreated back to DEFCON 5, the normal state of the $IMFS. So, my pin for this year in the big picture of all years so far, is that we are now in the permanent Danger Zone. That is, we are now stuck in the Danger Zone (or higher) until the $IMFS ends. I will try to explain.

[The middle 80% of this post goes here, and can be found at the Speakeasy. But here's how it ends…]

Looking back over the past 14 years, I'm amazed at how well this Freegold lens has worked! I know you're probably thinking, "But it's been 14 years, and still no Freegold." You're right, but it was never about timing. It's about seeing and understanding what's happening, the best and most useful way possible.

The lens is backward-looking. It explains what happened, correctly. It's not a crystal ball. My future calls are my own. They come from properly understanding what has transpired.

I think I have a pretty unique perspective on the last 14 years. Being a blogger, I have a time-stamped log of my daily thoughts on current events, from posts, comments and email. It's kind of like an electronic journal, but I'm constantly refreshing my memory by going back to search for where I've written about this or that in the past.

Every year on this day, I do some sort of a retrospective in the post. At the end of every year, I look back on the past year. And as you've probably noticed, I quote myself a lot, and link to posts and comments from the past.

There's a lot of searching involved in doing that. Something will cross my radar which harks back to something in the past, but with 700 posts under my belt and 140,000 comments on my blogs, it can sometimes take a minute to find what I'm looking for. And through this process of repetitively refreshing my memory of my past takes, I have built a kind of 3D model of the past 14 years in my mind. I don't have that kind of clarity for other periods of time, so I don't think it's too common.

It's my lens, and I formed it through the process of deconstructing Freegold.

And as I now look back over the past 14 years, it all makes sense. It works. This lens works!

Someone who shares this lens, although he doesn't comment very often anymore, is Aquilus. Knowing I was working on Fourteen, he sent me his own pithy summation of today, which was so good I thought I'd share with you:

14! Quite a difference from a few years ago. Recession to borderline depression all but guaranteed in Europe and China, while the US is talking soft landing, LOL. Re-onshoring and near-shoring in full swing with just-in-case more important than just-in-time, super-high dollar probably doing enormous damage to all emerging markets and then some with eurodollar debt, a US that is so split that the other side is considered sub-human as a rule, great local powers re-emerging and the Pax Americana retreating to around US interests only.

And we can't forget the willing separation of the $IMFS from a huge chunk of the planet's real assets like energy, food, metals, etc. with these sanctions in place. Then there's the EU 15% reduction and re-distribution of energy, which will go over like a lead balloon when countries that are somewhat ok energy-wise have to freeze their population out of "solidarity" with Germany, France, etc's poor planning.

On the Asian side, let's not forget Japan rearming for real for the first time since WW2, same thing with South Korea. Taiwan itself is in mass production with Mach 3 or 4 rockets that can hit the 3 Gorges Dam and Beijing, and that China cannot stop in bulk. See this video for what a 3 Gorges Dam burst would do and what the Taiwanese rockets are all about:

Yeah, quite a year!

Gold is still the only pure, no counterparty wealth item left, everything else is mired in debt and related to existing credit flows (see crypto busts). So, from that standpoint, 14 is a good number. 😉

I also heard from DI today. He says hi. He wrote:

A lot has been happening this year! Thanks to your lens, I can take it all in stride. No worries. :-) The freight train seems to have some real speed wobbles now!

Funny, "speed wobbles" is a reference to a comment I wrote way back in 2008. I was discussing positive feedback loops with a commenter who was some kind of an engineer. In positive feedback loops (sometimes called vicious circles), any disturbance in the force, or perturbation in a system, will result in an increase in the magnitude of the perturbation as the system overcorrects one way, then overcorrects back again. It can quickly get out of control:

Imagine a child on a skate board being pulled faster and faster behind a small motorcycle. And then down a small hill. The skateboard's sensitive turning mechanism and small wheels cannot handle the speed, and even the smallest tilt in one direction causes an overcorrection in the other, and an even bigger correction back again. This happens 3 or 4 times almost instantaneously and totally unexpectedly and results in what we used to call a "face plant".

That same month, in 2008, Ender wrote:

Keep in mind that large changes happen at a snail's pace.

He was right, but eventually things must speed up. Has there been any perturbation in the system lately? Any disturbance in the force? I love this video. It's how I visualize the end of the system. I have it cued up to where we are now:

We're in the final stretch. The transition has begun. No more DEFCON 5 until Freegold. It might get brutal for a while, but hopefully you're prepared, and you know what to do.

Because we are speaking of currencies here,
the transition will be brutal! -ANOTHER

However, everyone that is positioned in physical gold
will carry this storm in fantastic shape. -FOA

Thank you all for sticking around! I wouldn't have kept doing this for this long if it weren't for all of you! :D