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2021 Is Already Optimized for Failure

Summary:
One sure way to identify a system “optimized for failure” is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is “optimized for my success”. I often discuss optimization here because it offers an insightful window into how systems become fragile and break down. When we optimize something, we’re aiming to get the most bang for our buck: maximize our efficiency, profit, productivity, etc., while minimizing our costs. To maximize our goal, whatever it is–profits, power, whatever– we strip away redundancy and buffers because these add costs and don’t boost our desired output. They create resilience, i.e. the ability to survive disruptions, but the logic of optimization is relentless: get rid of all extraneous costs, because

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One sure way to identify a system “optimized for failure” is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is “optimized for my success”.

I often discuss optimization here because it offers an insightful window into how systems become fragile and break down. When we optimize something, we’re aiming to get the most bang for our buck: maximize our efficiency, profit, productivity, etc., while minimizing our costs.

To maximize our goal, whatever it is–profits, power, whatever– we strip away redundancy and buffers because these add costs and don’t boost our desired output. They create resilience, i.e. the ability to survive disruptions, but the logic of optimization is relentless: get rid of all extraneous costs, because resilience doesn’t boost the bottom line.

This trade-off–trading resilience for optimization–looks brilliant when everything goes according to plan. But when events veer outside the narrow parameters of the optimized system, the system breaks down: supply chains break, safety procedures fail, and so on.

Even more consequentially, optimization strips away anti-fragility, Nassim Taleb’s term for the ability to not just survive disruptions but emerge stronger and more adaptable.

What happens when inflexible, sclerotic systems optimized to benefit self-serving insiders encounter chaotic turbulence or conditions outside the expected parameters? They collapse because the system is optimized for failure. Put another way: when a system is optimized to benefit insiders at the expense of resilience and anti-fragility, it is effectively optimized to fail because life is not programmable to a steady-state, predictable stability.

2021 is already optimized for failure in key ways:

1. The mRNA vaccines have not been properly tested to answer essential questions such as: can a vaccinated individual retain enough of the virus to infect an unvaccinated individual?

As I explained before, the only way to really test a viral vaccine is to put the vaccinated volunteers in a controlled setting saturated with the virus for many hours. If none of the volunteers have any virus in their post-exposure serological tests, then the vaccine works. If the volunteers still have the virus but didn’t become severely ill, this doesn’t mean they can’t infect others.

One of the problems is the goal of the Covid vaccine trials wasn’t to determine if the virus was eliminated by the volunteers’ immune system; the goal of the trials was to determine whether the vaccinated individuals became severely ill with Covid or not–with “severely ill” being conveniently left undefined.

Individuals who’d already had Covid and who took the vaccine were not tested separately for safety and after-effects, so this remains an unknown.

The unanswered questions about the vaccines’ real-world results will be answered in due time, but not in the lab; they’ll be answered in a public-health “experiment” without precedent.

If you wanted to design a testing process that was optimized for failure, you’d end up with this haphazard, hurried process careening toward approval. The trials and testing of the Covid vaccines are not equivalent to those applied to previous generations of vaccines.

The bigger the claims and the harder the sell, the greater the number of red flags raised. If a product works as wonderfully as advertised, it will sell itself. If “consumers” have to be coerced into buying the product, that speaks volumes–whether we’re free to discuss it or not.

2. The fiscal-monetary “solution” being readied for 2021–print/borrow as many trillions as needed to prop up zombie corporations and obsolete institutions–is optimized for failure. The unstated goal here is to save everything that’s been rigged to benefit self-serving insiders and never mind the consequences: we’ve “proven” we can print infinite trillions with no ill effects.

This appears to be true until diminishing returns hit the wall and linear dynamics suddenly spin into non-linear semi-chaos. At that point, all the levers that we reckoned were god-like in their stability and power–the Treasury selling bonds which the Federal Reserve then buys, and all the other financial tricks and manipulations–no longer work as expected.

Charles Hugh Smith
Charles Hugh Smith is an American writer and blogger. He is the chief writer for the site "Of Two Minds". Started in 2005, this site has been listed No. 7 in CNBC's top alternative financial sites. His commentary is featured on a number of sites including: Zerohedge.com., The American Conservative and Peak Prosperity. He graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Honolulu. Charles Hugh Smith currently resides in Berkeley, California and Hilo, Hawaii.

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