The factory in complex adaptive system two (CAS II) is equivalent to the cell in (CAS I) the ecosystem. Both of these functioning productive units produce tools and other exportable commodities or effect some other beneficial behavior. Cellular inputs, like glucose and amino acids, are derived from the circulatory system while factories receive various materials, natural gas, electricity from several independent distribution systems. Both entities possess a set of plans or DNA for specifying product. Cells employ a ribosomal production unit, a complex of RNA and proteins while the factory usually employs a complex of humans and metallic machines.

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Human RNA working on factory floor with machines

Humans may design factory processes using some combination of an enclosure (building), machines (ribosomal proteins) and humans (RNA) to work with machines in the production process. Resources to start a factory may be obtained through retained earnings of the parent company or may be borrowed or obtained through issuance of stock. Cells can fission once retained earnings or accumulated building blocks have reached a certain threshold. Cells within a mature organism  will usually only fission if adjacent cells need replacing or when red blood cell volume is too low and in similar circumstances, but will not grow without constraint unless malignant.

The goal of the organic cell is to provide some function or product to the society of cells. A neuron will conduct signals, a muscle cell will contract when needed, an adipose cell will store energy and so forth. These cells do not have the impulse to grow exponentially unless they are cancerous. The technological factory cell need not conform to any overall societal structural goal like the cells in an organism. This provides the freedom to pursue unlimited factory/cellular growth, limited only by the amount of product that can be sold into society. In the establishment of businesses there is no goal to create a robust and resilient society that can endure many generations, but rather there exists the goal to grow and use resources as quickly as possible so as to make a profit with each and every unit of production. Malignant growth is the goal of the technological system since more profits are the goal of those owning businesses. The technological cancer facilitates commerce with dopamine tickets like the one pictured below.

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United States of America Dopamine Ticket (more is better, or so they say).

If this growth dynamic continues, there will develop shortages of resource and energy inputs that will be addressed through lowering of wages for human RNA or replacement by automation. Just today it was announced that many in the oil business will be facing salary cuts.  These actions will reduce or eliminate essential and disposable incomes and result in a stalling of the industrial economy. The pull provided by spent income will slow, thereby slowing the entire process of commodity and energy extraction and refinement, cellular metabolism and finished product production. If essential commodities cannot be produced at a cost less than or equal to a workers ability to pay, the metabolism eventually grinds to halt. In a situation where incomes cannot be maintained at a level high enough to make debt-service payments and provide the income for the purchase of essential and non-essential goods, the velocity of money and the worldwide technological metabolism is likely to stall and then perhaps spiral into bankruptcy. If extra money were provided to the RNA to spend, it is likely that demand for commodities of limited supply would go up in price (oil) thereby offsetting the increase in RNA worker income. Debt forgiveness would likewise increase the demand for limited resources causing an inflation in their prices and would eventually negate the debt forgiveness, like providing unlimited blood flow and glucose to a cell that is oxygen starved, it doesn’t matter how much glucose you give them, their metabolism isn’t going to increase.

It seems we are in an unsavory position. If not already, growth will eventually cease and contraction will begin. Many millions of previously occupied human RNA workers will be sidelined with minimal sustaining food and perhaps a housing voucher. The contrast between those that have grown fat on the malignant growth and those that are stuck in cells doing drone-like RNA work for little compensation will likely accelerate the decline of the system as revolutionary acts level or destroy the playing field.

To believe that the technological system could sort things out by itself in an arena of technological competition and become sustainable and cyclical is wishful thinking. The technological system cannot be allowed to sort things out as occurs in the organic world, because the competition at the national technological scale has and continues to produce weaponry and wastes that will not result in survival of the fittest, but rather destruction of all.

The continued exponential growth and competitive evolution of the technological system is a dead-end arrived at by any of several paths. It seems that most people would rather create and deploy new technologies against the ecosystem and each other in this short-term, profitable, competitive race, than use their creative thoughts in limiting the rampant, malignant growth.

What will the Kings of Fiat and their retinue of Keynesian court jesters do next? Can they avoid the final act or will their systemic poison ease our way towards the promised land? Did anyone read the script beforehand? People do have a tendency to be caught off-guard.

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Skulls from the Cambodian killing fields.