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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Deus Ex Economy

"where an author uses some improbable (and often clumsy) plot device to work his or her way out of a difficult situation."

Literally "God from the Economy".

Deus Ex Machina originally referred to Greek plays where a Deity would descend from Olympus to drastically alter human lives and circumstance. The Greeks, like so many other cultures, firmly believed the gods took interest in human affairs, and actively participated in individual lives.

Centuries of human civilization, where the unexplained or unexpected was attributed to divine intervention.

And as they say... time passed.

Today's modern human is a far cry from the hardly and determined ancestors he descends from. But certain aspects of Hydrocarbon Man are recognizably rooted in our history. Various passions seem to withstand the test of time like hatred, greed, or lust. Some are learned habits such as our marvelous use of tools, while some are simple routines like braiding your hair. But all of these things stretch across thousands of unknown centuries and geographic boundaries and are as real today as they have ever been.

Perhaps our need to believe in some directed force guiding our lives is one such inherited trait?

Despite being expressed in as many different ways as their are people to experience it, today's predominant belief system is without question the world economy. Like fish immersed in water, we float almost unaware in a warm and sustaining sea of markets, and could scarcely imagine otherwise. So unfaltering is our belief in this system, that attempts to question it are viewed as absurd by many. Just like our Greek fore-bearers, we accept the pronouncements of the market without regard for it's credibility, and even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

We have become accustomed as a species to this "God from the Economy" world view, where we mortals enjoy the heavenly intervention of the all powerful market forces.

But is our common belief of Deus Ex Economy justified, or a dangerous and embarrassing hand me down from our past?

In view of hydrocarbon depletion, maybe it's just some implausible plot twist which will never happen?

Relax... You're soaking in it.

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