Welcome to the age of diminishing returns

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cassandra changes name



In almost five years on the Web, "Cassandra's legacy" had a reasonable success, reaching an average of some 30,000 page views per month and a total of about 850,000 page views. But, as you see from the figure, in the past year or so, the number of contacts has been declining. Cassandra has peaked.

Many things have been changing in the world and it is time to take notice. We are seeing is a "leopard spot" pattern of peaking. Some countries are still growing, others have peaked and are declining. It depends on the availability of natural resources, on the structure of the economy, and other parameters. Countries which are importing most of their mineral commodities - such as Italy - are the most affected; others are doing better, so far. In any case, nothing ever remains the same. This blog, too, must change.

I have already changed the name of Cassandra's Italian sister - the blog named, today, "Effetto Risorse" (resource effect). I was sorry to discard the beloved Cassandra name but, with the new title, the Italian blog experienced a real boom in attention. Apparently, "Cassandra" has a negative ring to it. It is not Cassandra's fault, of course; after all, she had been always right in her predictions. But we need to take into account how most people feel, so a new name is in order also for the English version.

Accordingly, I renamed the blog from the title of my new book which will be available next month "Extracted". The name says it all, I think: we have extracted our way to prosperity but now we are entering an age of diminishing returns from extraction. We will have to learn how to live with less. This blog will explore this transition.

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Note added after the publication of this note. I received a few comments from people who think that the name "Extracted" doesn't really sound right. Which may well be the case: not being a native English speaker, I have troubles in getting the exact "feeling" of this or that word in English. So, the title of the blog can be changed (although not any more that of the book!). If you have ideas or suggestions, please let me know in the comments or write to me at ugo.bardi@unifi.it





27 comments:

  1. Looks like Cassandra has gone over the Seneca cliff ;-)

    Just out of curiosity: what are the two sharp peaks in the readership graph?

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  2. Oh.... well, the Seneca cliff is our destiny anyway! About the two peak, the first one is about a colossal blunder about neutrinos made by the Italian ministry of scientific research. The second one must be the one about the Easter Egg hunt analyzed by the Hubbert model

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    1. BTW, the "cliff" in the graph is an artifact of the system which counts by months. But it is true that the number of contacts has been declining during the past six months or so

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  3. Ugo, name it what u will I do not care .I visit your blog daily just not to go insane

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  4. Nice photo! I look forward to the book and remain as well a loyal reader under any name.

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  5. The new name is OK; but I like the Italian name better. Problem: I do not know the Italian language, I have to fudge from Spanish (I am English-Spanish bilingual). But what matters is the blog, which I like very much and check daily.

    David F Collins

    I am glad to see the Cassandra name go. It is too negative on the credibility issue.

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  6. Ugo-
    Choice of words is all important because it is from our words that others extract their internal understandings.

    With that said, I suggest that at least for the American side of the English-speaking pond, the word "extracted" may not be the most appropriate word. It can have the connotation of, don't worry --there is plenty more of where that was drawn out from.

    For example, consider this sentence spoken by you medical doctor: "I have extracted some blood from your vein by using this small needle. Do not worry. Your body has plenty more of this blood stuff and will soon replenish what little I have extracted."

    Moreover, the word "extracted" has the connotation of referring only to that which cannot be readily seen. One does not "extract" trees from the forest or fish from the sea or clean water from the rivers.

    Perhaps a catchy name (if not already taken) like "Depleted Planet" may be more revealing of the message you wish to convey to your English speaking readers.

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  7. I really liked the Cassandra picture, but there you go. Perhaps because my (real) name is so similar to Cassandra. But I realise you need to expand the readership beyond people like me!

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  8. As an English speaker, I'm afraid that 'Extracted' doesn't have quite the right connotations.

    Frankly, it just makes me think of teeth as a mental image!

    Whereas Cassandra was spot on. But one can see the perceived need for change.

    Whatever you call it, I shan't stop reading and thank you very much for the excellent information you provide.

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  9. Hi Ugo:

    Having been involved with lots of naming projects (both companies and products) during my career, I agree with Step Back, that "Extracted" is not a great rename of your BlogSite. Depleting Plant is better. Here are some other suggestions: Net Energy Rewind, Kilocalorie Kliff (a takeoff of your Seneca Cliff headline). I will let you know if I think of others, meanwhile stay with Cassandra.

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    1. Was thinking of "The Resource Question". How does it sound to a native speaker's ear?

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    2. I think you need to get punchier.

      "Embalming Energy"

      Or you could rip off Jason

      "22 Billion Energy Zombies"

      Or maybe Dmitry

      "Club Bardi"

      Or you could give it an Italian Flavor

      "Oil Antipasto', "Industrial Scallopini", "Out of Pasta Fazool" or "The Shrinking Pizza"

      Shall I go on? LOL.

      RE

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    3. I GOT IT!

      Limits to Pesto Sauce!

      RE

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    4. It is a well kept Italian secret that Pesto is the primeval soup - just a bit reworked and spiced.

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    5. I don't think the name changes that much, as it's all about Ugo, but I thought about a short name: Re-Source.

      The word 'resource' already has some interesting connotations besides the meaning it is most known for, such as:

      capability, ingenuity, and initiative; quick-wittedness: a man of resource

      By adding the hyphen you get the noun 'source' involved, and the implication that we have to make a new attempt...

      to seek information about or consider possible options

      In short finding a new source. Re-source...

      Sorry, I love thinking up names, but it's annoying.

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    6. Thanks for this suggestion, Neven. It is a nice name, but I must confess that, right now, I'm confused. Don't know any more what name to give to the blog, if it should have a different name, or what????? Still thinking about that.....

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    7. Everyone - first of all, thanks for the suggestions. Then, how would see a radical simplification "Ugo Bardi's Blog"? (echoes one of Roger's suggestions)

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    8. Leave out the Ugo, and you have a nice alliteration going there. :-)

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  10. You need to do more Multi-Media, dude. We are up to 50K page hits/mo on the Diner now, and I don't even have a fucking Ph.D. or a published book! LOL.

    Also, it doesn't hurt to go Plugging Yourself on as many websites as you can. Amazing what some self-promotion can accomplish in a short time! :)

    Don't miss the latest Daily Doom Rant on the Doomstead Diner, or the latest in Doom on the Collapse Cafe!

    Plug the living shit out of yourself! It WORKS! LOL.

    RE
    http://doomsteaddiner.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah.... I know..... I am working at this cloning machine. As soon as I've fixed it, you'll see!!!

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  11. I note that in my link to your blog it still says Cassandra's legacy. Is there some meta data you should change or do I have to delete the link and make a new, to make Blogger understand you have a new name?

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    1. For the time being, the link to this blog remains the same. Maybe in the future I'll try to make a more sophisticated site, but for the time being - ouch - too much work.

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  12. You've probably seen the article in the Guardian about the NASA study on crisis and collapse of civilizations, but on the odd chance you haven't, here is the URL:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

    Simple common sense, I would say, at least as far as what one can read in this newspaper article.

    Greetings from a fellow (adoptive) Florentine, with a few shared friends...

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    1. Yes, Miguel, I know about it. It can be seen as a new version of the "Limits to Growth" - but I am studying it. And, of course, I read your blog!

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  13. Greetings. I just linked up from over at Orlovs and wondered if, since you work in Italy, you might know something about the Veneto attempt (or reality) at separatism. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. So far, nothing worth reporting about. But the fragmentation of the Italian state is unavoidable in the future.

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Who

Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet" (Chelsea Green 2014)