Update 2012.09.12 05:50 MDT: GoDaddy says it wasn't a hacker, but "a series of internal network events" that shut down millions of webpages and e-mail accounts Monday. Whether the outage came from one meathead hacking or one intern tripping, the main point in the original post below about complexity and collapse remains.
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Some anonymous hacker spent the workday kicking the crap out of GoDaddy's servers. For five hours or so, possibly millions of websites, including theÂ Madville Times, went poof! Anxious business owners and Web honchos could do nothing but wait for someone at GoDaddy to hire a competitor to help switch the sites back on.
This outage hearkens to the prospect of aÂ much larger economic collapse that I really hope economic development specialist Russell Olson will discuss with James Howard Kunstler at the Plain Green Conference. I find author Richard Heinberg amplifying Kunstler's concerns as he argues that economic growth will ruin us all:
Our solution is our problem...Â Its name is growth. But growth has become uneconomic. We are worse off because of growth. To achieve growth now means mounting debt, more pollution, an accelerated loss of biodiversity and the continued destabilization of the climate. But we are addicted to growth. If there is no growth there are insufficient tax revenues and jobs. If there is no growth existing debt levels become unsustainable. The elites see the current economic crisis as a temporary impediment. They are desperately trying to fix it. But this crisis signals an irreversible change for civilization itself. We cannot prevent it. We can only decide whether we will adapt to it or not [Richard Heinberg, interview with Chris Hedges, "Growth Is the Problem," TruthDig.com, September 10, 2012].
Wow: maybe we should hope that economic growth is over.
Heinberg's idea of what we can do to survive sounds very much like Kunstler's: decentralize and meet basic needs at the local level through gardening, coops, carpooling, and even local currency. (I'm not sure who will dig this future more, hippies or Teabaggers.)
In the same article, Hedges cites archaeologist Joseph Tainter's thesis that societies become more complex, mustÂ invest greater amounts of diminishing resources to sustain that complexity, and finally collapse. Tainter says all 24 of history's major civilizations have followed that arc. This time, for the first time, it's global civilization's turn.