June 3

The Energy Question: Episode 103 – Jerry Greenwich, First Invisible, Then Obvious



The Energy Question: Episode 103 – Jerry Greenwich, First Invisible, Then Obvious

When the transcript becomes available, we will include it here. -Thank you!

David Blackmon [00:00:00] Well, here we are on the energy question today. With me today is Jerry Greenwich. He’s an engineer, financial industry specialist, but author of a great new book that I can’t recommend highly enough to everyone. It’s titled First Invisible, then Obvious. It’s a new book about the hidden science of ideas, and it is one of the most, friendly reads, I’ve had in quite a while. And Jerry, thank you so much for joining me today.

Jerry Greenwich [00:00:39] Well, I’m really pleased. Thank you very much.

David Blackmon [00:00:42] Listen, before we go into the Q&A and we’re going to talk about the book, we’re going to talk about the concepts in the book, and relate some of those concepts, to what’s going on in energy. And, and also Jerry has some pretty strong views about what’s happening in the world of energy related finance with this energy transition that we’re going to talk about as well. But before we get started on that, Jerry, take a few minutes to talk about your background, and the the events and other factors that led you to want to write this wonderful book.

Jerry Greenwich [00:01:16] Thank you very much. So, I’m based in, in London in the UK. So it’s, 4:00 over. Here at the moment. I studied. Engineering and. Management at the British. University back in the, in the. Late 80s. Can you believe it? And I worked. For. A few. Years in an. Industry, as I was just. Telling David, this is when I went. To the. US and I went to the US. I went to. To upstate New York, to Buffalo there. In fact, between. Buffalo to to a place called. Tonawanda, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. And, and I was. I was there for several. Months and it. Was it was a. Great time. And it gave me, a really good insight into, you know, the, the normal. Coastal parts of. Of America, if you want. So, I, that’s always been, you know, part of my understanding of how things are. Yeah, but any of my.

David Blackmon [00:02:10] Part of the world, too.

Jerry Greenwich [00:02:11] Yeah, yeah, the Finger Lakes, you know, you got, I remember. I was.Skiing on the Niagara. Rivers with a river, with my, with my colleagues. One of the colleagues had a boat. And, and, but anyway, so. So after that, I. Went, into, into finance in the, in, after engineering, I went to into the financial center in London. And for the. Past. Two and a. Half decades, if you. Want. I’ve been working, on capital market platforms, you know, so the trading and finance environment. Where I could apply certain. Skills and problem solving. Abilities. And I saw a whole bunch of things and. And, and I. Also. Worked quite a while for the. Past ten years, I’ve been working on a. Startup, but that’s that’s a little. Bit hit and miss. Still, I still. Think it’s a it’s a wonderful idea. But but I would say that, I. Mean, you know. You have to have the faith. But it’s, I personally believe it still is groundbreaking. But anyway. So I wrote this book. Recently, and probably. The best way of. Introducing is to. Say that it’s the it’s it’s a book. I would have liked. Someone to hit me on the head. With. You know. 30 years ago when I. Was, when I was a teenager. This is the stuff I. Needed to know. And, I’ll. I’ll show you the book for for the sake of, yes, please do a plug and. Okay. So it’s called. First invisible, then obvious. And it’s called The. Secret Science of Ideas or the Hidden Science of Ideas. I call it the Secret Science. But really, it’s not secret. It’s just it’s just hidden. And probably the best way of introducing it is to, to to. Explain how I got into it. And it was, it was back in the 90s, and I was in a, in a hotel in, in the north of England and so out in the countryside. And I was, waiting for the. Sales manager at. Breakfast. Before going to see a pharmaceutical client. And I was reading an article in a, in a, in an economic journal, and. And the sales guy. Arrives and ask me, oh, what are you reading? And I couldn’t explain to him. You know, I understood the article. I was interested in it. You know, I understood most of it. But I just couldn’t really verbalize. It and all that. So there probably was. A bit of an awkward silence. And then, you know, we went, you. Know, it’s nice guys. It’s great. Great guy. Very, you know, one of my favorite people. And so we went on with our day and then. The client was a. Pharmaceutical companies and what we were selling these machines we were building in Tonawanda. With his great big, very complicated. Pharmaceutical machines. And then on one side. You’ve got all. The sensors, you know. Only the temperature, pressure. Vacuum, heat, you know, position, valve position. And that’s coming in on one side. And then on the other side, there’s another panel. With the all the output, the actuators. You know, motors. Valves. You know, whatever, you know. Right. Heaters, motors. Compressors, you name it. These are quite complicated machines. And and I went, why. You know, why. Couldn’t I explain things? You know, why. Why did I get stuck? And I went, well, but potentially it’s because the way we are. Set up in our mind, is, you know. Is is a little bit like that machine is that. You know, the the stuff coming in, this stuff going out, and, and. I could. Understand things, but. I could not really relate. Them, you know, explain them and, and do very much with them. And, and because I did a lot of. Sports when I was a kid, and, you know, when you’re young. Your, your, you’ve got this kind of like brute. Thinking. That you just go. So I simply went like, I’m rubbish at that, but. I’m going to work on it. So I. Thought, you know, if. You’re weak at. Something and you come from a sports in the sports environment, then you train on it. It’s as simple as that. You just train on it. So. So I started. To train on that and that’s and then I. Started to get slightly different results. And then went up in the, in finance in the city and the rest of it. And so I’m skipping a few things. Here, but, but. Essentially then at one point a couple of things happened which, which are noteworthy. The first one is I realized when I was writing documents, the, you know, the. Specs project. Things and whatever. I realized that, well, when you’re. Writing things down, because I. Was always. Doing this transfer thing, you know, making sure. I. Did not only understand. Things, but I was able. To do something with them. And, and and then I realized. That, well, hold on a second, because. When you when you. Start. Writing these documents, you get. New ideas. Coming in. You start to see the. Implications. You start to see the stuff that, you know, if you just if you just think about it, if you just peruse it, you don’t. So when like, hold. On a second, this. Is this, this is. Generating stuff. You know, this. Is like like the the loaves of bread and the fish of. Jesus, you know, it’s, you know, in a, in a far more. Practical. You know, benign way. But, but but there’s this generational. Thing going on there. So, so. I went I. Had full blast to exploit that. And then the other thing that happened is that, someone said, oh, you know, go and speak to Jerry. You know. He’s the expert. And then I remember that one. Because. I’d never be called an expert at anything in my. Life before. Yeah, yeah.

David Blackmon [00:07:40] That’s always a revolutionary moment in your life, isn’t it?

Jerry Greenwich [00:07:44] Exactly. Yeah. So I just. Went. Well, something. Is changing here. Okay. And. So. So what I did, I mean, I can’t really. Remember the entire. Sequence of everything, but but essentially, I called I. Gave a name to to. This duality and this separation. I called one backplane and the other one for the plane. Okay. And that’s why. The book has got this. Little thing of fourth plane and generation. And. It’s not the. Best name in the. World, but it’s relatively. Snappy and it’s got the merit. Of when you’ve got the two words, you. Know. Instinctively which of the two is which. So, so, so it’s two out. Of three on this one. Okay. And and. So, so. That’s the introduction of the book. And essentially the whole book is about what. Happens with this. Back. Plane. So. Interrupt me, David, by the way, if you want to, to, to to.

David Blackmon [00:08:42] No, no, no. You’re doing great. You’re doing great.

Jerry Greenwich [00:08:45] But so you. Can see. So it is something is a bit like UV light okay. It’s not. Something that. We see okay. The, the, the you will never really see forward plane. No more than you will see. You realize it. It’s just not something that’s in our, in the spectrum. We we readily observe. But you. See it in things. Like. A multiple. Choice. Question. So instead of having an open question. You give a choice. So that’s that’s a backplane thing. You see it. In in. Karaoke. For instance. You know, when people know. A song, but you still have. To give them the words. Now, you can also have a situations where people actually know the words because. You know, so. So you’ve got the two, you’ve got it. In the. Thesaurus. And you’ve got numerous circumstances. Where you see these two. Things now, you know, so. Far, so good. So. There is. This thing. But what where it gets a little bit. Interesting and even more powerful. And I think relevance. For people. Is essentially. This. Creation of. This. Forward plane. Type. Thing. Okay. So first of all, it’s not really an invention. It’s not even a discovery. It’s just an observation. You know what? What I’ve. Been doing here is just an observation and. Classification. And saying, okay, you know, this. Is what we observe. Okay? And it’s always been there. And there’s there’s nothing new there. And, but I believe that. Writing and sketching and drawing and things like. That. Have got a. Fundamentally different and beneficial and empowering action on forward playing. Yeah. And this. This. Anyone has written things. David, you write a lot. You know that. You know for you know.

David Blackmon [00:10:41] This this this is the experience in my own life, actually, and it certainly applies to my writing every day is, you know, I can sit and think about something and think about what I want to write. And, you know, I know a lot of writers sit and do an outline and, you know, do 3 or 4 different drafts. What I do is I sit down and start writing about a topic. Yeah, I’ve read about it. I’ve done some study on it. Or maybe it’s a topic I just know due to life experience. But once I start writing is when my real ideas about it all come out and I will. My best. My best pieces that I write are the ones that I sit down and whip out in about 45 minutes, okay? And don’t do a rewrite because the process of writing itself. Stimulates my thinking and allows me to engage in more complex thought processes on the subject I’m writing about. And, and, and the other thing that you’ve talked about is the is this, is the process of writing helps to do that? Right. I mean, you even talk about that early in the book.

Jerry Greenwich [00:11:55] Oh, well it’s essential. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

David Blackmon [00:11:57] And that was how I got through college. It was so coming out of high school, one of the and something I’ve talked about many times throughout my life when I was taking the standardized tests, I didn’t study in the way I normally studied back then, which was to sit, sit down the night before a test and write everything down. If I wrote it out, I would remember it. I didn’t do that in advance of the SAT test and didn’t score well on it. I did that in advance of the A.C.T. test and had the high score in my class. And it’s the same thing with the CPA exam and other major events in my life where I had to remember, learn, truly learn and remember a lot of subject matter was I would sit there the day before, night before, and just write everything out. And, that that’s just one of a hundred different examples in this book that, that, you know, you read it and you think about it and it applies directly to your life and exactly.

Jerry Greenwich [00:12:58] And, and and. The so, so by. Now in our discussion that, you know. This discussion here we are. About, you know, quarter. Into the book if you want. So, so, so we’ve established that there’s. Something and then, you know. For the sake. Of having a name to pin on it. Now someone else might. Publish. Some better name somewhere. And then that’s when it gets. Adopted or. Whatever. And that’s, that’s completely fine. But let’s. Assume these are the names. But the second thing. Which is also not very. Visible, is the forward. Plane, building activity. So it’s like building a muscle. It’s like building machinery. And that’s. That’s. Also not on the radar. And there are also. Specific. Techniques. To do it. And these techniques can differ depending on what you’re trying to address. For instance, once I. Had to do a. A, story. Storyboard. For, for doing some advertising sequence, and I. Use a specific. Techniques of using. Colored self. Pens and. Cards because. Because then you can rearrange the order of things, and then you can rename things and swap things in and out. So personally. In my way of thinking, I. Like a. Non. Structured, I like prose. Prose is good. But. For my. Crazy. Engineering. Process ideas I. I tend to. Favor. Non. Non structured. Representation. Okay. And one of. The, just, just to, to to tail off a little bit on this topic. One of the things. That I always suggest, if you. Want in, in the, in the book. Is that. Representation. Precedes. Comprehension. So if you want. Presenting again representation in the etymological. Word. Of a aspect. Of the word, it precedes. Comprehension. First you represent. And then you will understand. Okay, which is which is not at all the way we are taught. So some people. Land on it. By. Chance, by happenstance, by temperament, and others don’t. And I think it’s a great shame in our society. A lot of people are probably. Underperforming and, and, and doing much. Less. With their lives than they could. Because, because. Because some, you know. Unlucky. Land on the spot. You know, David. It sounds like you did it to some degree. Slanted. Halfway. But then I recovered and, you know, it’s. Just like. One foot on the line. But the referee gave me a second chance. And, but but. Maybe, there’s others, don’t you see, so that that’s that’s quite important. Yeah. But, so I explain a fair amount about the. Various. Kind of. So, so, so. Having said the same thing, we’ve. Got these two classifications which are arbitrary, which are artificial, which. You know, you know. They’re just useful. At one point in time, you know, like, like during an x. Ray. But the second part is that we’ve. Got this engine, we’ve. Got this. This, you know. Capability of, of, of. Changing that forward plane. But then when it. Gets really quite. Interesting is when you. Start talking about speed. For instance. So, so. Anything generational. This speeds. Are for instance, TV. Producers or. Or you know, stand up comedians or some. Leaders, salespeople, some, some people are very quick, okay. And that quickness. Is a. Ford plane type quickness and. So and I think again, those, you know. It’s one of. The situations where, as always, you know, the. Hungry. Don’t get. Fed, you know. So the people who are good at it will say, well. You know, just. Like the, you know, it’s obvious, but the others go like, well. I don’t see it and I don’t, I don’t see it and I don’t know what. Else to do or whatever. So I’ve got, I’ve got a little bit. Of a section on speed, and I’ve got a. Section on problem solving. But the. Two sections I want to. Address here are, or perhaps. The most significant. And as as an aside, you know, I’m not, you know, I mean, if. People buy the book and the. Rest of it, you know, I’d be very. Happy, but it’s not. I, I really want to promote the. Ideas and engage with people and, and and and. Hopefully I’ve got it roughly right. You know, there might be 1 or 2, you know, pinching points. Fine. I’ll live with it. And and, you know, I’ll rewrite it.

David Blackmon [00:17:28] But you can always do a sequel.

Jerry Greenwich [00:17:30] Yeah. No. No, definitely. But when it comes to creativity and innovation, okay. By definition. Okay. This is this. Is the analyst in me coming in. Yeah. By definition. The creativity. The generation of new. Ideas is. Forward plan. Okay. This is this is a bit nuts. It’s a little bit abstract. It’s a little bit theoretical. It’s a bit. Arcane. Fine. By definition. Creativity for a new idea to come into play, either. You generate it. Or it comes. From the. Outside. You know, it’s it’s, it’s either or a blend. But, but but generally. This, this is the polarization. Of this. Process. So by. Focusing on the engines. Of Ford. Plane. People like. Archimedes and Isaac Newton and anyone who’s. If you look. At anyone who’s invented something substantial. It has been done because. Those guys were. Working with the fourth plane on this plane by the fourth plane. Okay. And even if it’s abstract and that’s why I’ll be a little bit, provocative. But when you look at things like, the. Typical. Hackneyed in my mind. It’s got, it’s got it. Works in sometimes. But, you know, when people. Do a. Brainstorming session, the brainstorming session is a. It’s a quick fire. Back plane, food plane, kind of ping pong whatever. I’m not aware of any substantial invention. Ever. Coming out of a brainstorming session. You know. It’s it’s a nice way of shaking. Shaking down a. Problem. And getting everybody on board. Finding processes. And. Yeah, we know better. Yeah. Anything substantial? A substantial project plan, a substantial. Scientific discovery, a. Substantial mathematical. Discovery. A substantial. Physics discovery. Financial instruments. It ain’t going to come from from from those. Those those superficial. Backplane driven activity. It’s got to. Come from the outside, the inside. And that’s. Why I want people. To understand that there is this engine. And then bear in mind that the. The creative is void. Playing is. Not the creativity, it’s. Just the instruments. There’s something else that comes into play. Okay. There’s another. Two. Components. Which which I. Describe in the. Book. I’m not it’s it’s a little bit to. Technical to to put across. In a in a podcast or you know in but. But if people will need to tell them to go. Through it you know drop me an email. Well.

David Blackmon [00:20:09] Let me in the on screen. I’d like to before you go on. I want to talk about this, this concept of creativity and innovation and forward plane and relate that to what’s going on in the energy space these days. Because I as I was reading that part, I thought about, well, you know, we hear and read an awful lot, and I’ve written about it as well, that there’s all this real creative and innovative thinking happening in the energy space right now. But then when I sat back and thought about that, the the alternatives were being presented now and spending trillions of dollars trying to subsidize and up to scale our electric vehicles, which were first introduced on the market in 1886, 140 years ago, solar solar power, which you know, is simply capturing heat from the sun and converting that to energy, which mankind has been doing for for eons. And wind power, you know, which is, 500 year old to a thousand year old technology that, you know, work began to be captured in the Middle Ages. So are we really engaged in the energy space right now as a part of this transition in what is truly innovative in in just the other thing I wanted to point out is we talk about all the progress that’s being made in, in storage, back up for wind and solar, the batteries. But what you see happening in that space is not really, step scale, improvements in technology, but rather refinements in existing technology that are lithium ion batteries, solid state batteries that have existed forever for a long time, you know, getting getting, marginally better. It’s more like a brainstorming outcome than it is real innovation, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t that part of the problem we’re having here?

Jerry Greenwich [00:22:12] Well, I find it difficult. To feel sorry for you. Guys in the. US because you’re so much better off. Than we are in the. UK. Yeah. I’m. Thinking Crimea. River, but. I. Think you’re you’re you’re. Right. And I think. I’ve, I’ve got a few. Points to make about. About this whole. You know, unholy mess. I mean, the, the. The, the, the. First one is that. There’s, there’s, there’s a lot of moral very. Often the proponents. Of, of. Things like. Let’s call it for what it is, the. Climate climate alarmism or climate scam or whatever. A lot of it is. Born out of a sense of moral. Superiority. Okay. So so there are people who who. You know. The, the, the gateway drugs to that is virtue signaling. And then and then it ramps up after that. Yeah. So, so, it’s not really trying to argue or discuss. Things, you know, debate these points with, with. People who are. Essentially. Irrational. Trying to. Be rational with the rational. People is a. And that’s. A little bit the. One thing I. Would. The only criticism I would. Say to, to I’ve listened, I’ve. Listened to a. Few of your, which a few of your, of. Your, YouTube videos and articles and the rest of it. And, and the point is. You’re trying to be rational with people. Who are not. And, and, and that’s perhaps, you know. The, the, the, the, so, so. Rather than striking at. The, the, the leaves of the problem. You know, the evil and then, you know, the striking of. The root of. The evil and homing straight in, on, on, on the. Moral superiority. Well, try to be polite. Yeah, yeah. So, I’m a water polo player. So I’m I’m, you know, you push me enough, and then you get a push back, you know, that’s. That’s, that’s how it goes. Next water. Polo player, should I say, but. The, the one thing I would say is that, you see complex processes. So the thing. I wanted to mention. With, with Forward. Plane is. That we said. Innovation. Creativity. Is essentially. A. Forward plane process. It cannot. Be otherwise. Well, likewise, once you start to get. Dynamic. Processes. When we look at information and. Knowledge, we get confused between data, what I call. Dumb. Data, because I like to be proactive. And dynamic. Processes. And, and, dumb data. You can. Acquire it through the. Back plane, you know, like you learn a poem and then you recite it and all that. But. When it comes to more dynamic. Stuff like. Engineering, complex engineering, complex finance, complex science, complex. Legal stuff. For all I know, I’m not an expert, but as soon as anything starts to become a little bit dynamic again. You get boxed into. These things that the backplane just just won’t. Cut it. So it’s always been known. So that’s why lawyers have got to go through all this training. And engineers you know, they get for years. And then mathematicians likewise. You know the. Studies are. Quite lengthy and finance guys and statisticians and all that. So any process which is. Dynamic and a lot of. This. You know. The. Thermodynamics to get involved in, in the, in the climate scenarios. Or whatever is, is quite complicated. You know, water. Vapor is a very. And and very. Tricky. You know, concept to understand. You know. Very few people. Know in their bones what happens at -50 degrees and, you know, and one, one tenth of. Atmosphere with water vapor, it doesn’t talk to. Them. Very few people. Know. That for for a molecule of water to go. From, you know. Liquid to gaseous is about. Like, you know, four times the amount. Of power it takes to. Of energy, it takes. To, to, to get it. From, you know, 0 to 100 and then to go from 1 to. 0, it’s plus. Zero is another 80%. You know, it’s, it’s I mean for me, I know it’s in my bones. Because like, because I. Didn’t have thermodynamics. So but for most people, they so the. You know, it doesn’t mean anything. So you get into this post-truth. Thing that. They post-truth. Means. It’s. Misnomers. I don’t like misnomers. But this one I carry. And it’s. It’s when the truth. Is not. The truth, but the truth is what the powerful people say. Okay. And then and. That’s what. I make it to be anyway.

David Blackmon [00:26:47] It’s like when the lady, the the lady at the WEF in January said, what did she say? She said, we own the science. We own the science. Right? I mean, it’s it’s that kind of thinking. And the people who don’t understand any of this to whom it’s the these concepts are simply not people.

Jerry Greenwich [00:27:09] To people mindset people. Unless I said that you were really. Good at maths and science at. School.

David Blackmon [00:27:15] Yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Jerry Greenwich [00:27:16] Because I’d love to see her. Great. I’d love to see her. Great. Yeah.

David Blackmon [00:27:20] Yeah, I would too.

Jerry Greenwich [00:27:21] Frankly.

David Blackmon [00:27:23] But the point is that the people who understand the least about all this and are least capable of thinking at this level about these issues are the people making the decision?

Jerry Greenwich [00:27:32] Yes. The problem? Yeah. So? So you cannot. You cannot do real creativity. You can you can do what. Claudine. Guy did, which is to plagiarize. You can, you can. You can outsource. If you if you. Want. It’s a great shame because if. She if she if I. Could, we could send her a book, a full plane and go back in time. You know, she could read it. She. And instead she wouldn’t have to to do plagiarizing. It’d be far more fun. Instead of. Copying other people’s work to actually. You know, run your own experiment. You’ve got. A Harvard. You know, like, and. Tied. Chain resources behind you. You can, you can you can have. A field. Day. You can do something, you can do something unique. But of course, if you. If you don’t know how. Creativity works, you know, somebody. And, you know, land on the spot. With a bit of luck. And others don’t. And the ones who don’t, well. Well, this is this is what. We we can, you know, can be provided to them. But let let’s go. Back in time a little bit. Because I want to talk about papyrus. If I may.

David Blackmon [00:28:28] Right.

Jerry Greenwich [00:28:29] Yes. But we’re going to start with. Papyrus and then we’re going to we’re going to come back to energy. But but it’s better to do it that way. So, so as we said earlier on, this part of the food. Plain building machinery, then writing and sketching has always been is essential. Okay. And when you look back in time, you. Go back to. Writing was invented, presumably by the Sumerians. About. 3500 years. Ago. You know, I thousand 300 years ago, I can’t remember exactly. But but armed with this clay tablets and this little. Cuneiform. This little. Stab stick. Type marks. They. They they managed to run an empire. That lasted. By the. Thousands, you know, several more than one millennium. Yeah. And, and then in all evidence, the Egyptians. Copied this. Stuff, you know, copied. The idea of having. Writing when one died. And it’s really interesting because. They developed the hieroglyphics. And. The hieroglyphics. Came on the scene so suddenly. That’s some people, some historians. Believe. That, you know, it might have been created by one guy. Okay. So the Egyptians created a somewhat better writing system. But the. Other thing is that the Egyptians had the. Papyrus. Okay. And, and and for me, it’s evident that the Egyptians. Had a more complex. Scientifically and artistic. Society. Than than the Sumerians. You know. The, the. You know, they they. Had better architecture, better technology. You know, there. Was a. Credible engineering. Yeah. Yeah. And and then. The, hieroglyphics were, when onboarded by. The, Phoenician, some. Workers who simplified. It. Then it went on to the. Greeks who added the vowels. And, presumably, you know, it was all in the Mediterranean basins and they. Had papyrus. Parchment or whatever. And the Greeks, you know, did an amazing work. And the philosophical, mathematical, you know, the developing they managed to. Pull off was, was is astounding. I mean, you. You know, we still resonate to it to this day. And, meanwhile, in the second. Century, paper. Manufacturing was invented in China, which came. To, to the Middle East. In the seventh century and to Western Europe in, in the eighth century. And, the scene.

David Blackmon [00:30:58] Eighth century A.D..

Jerry Greenwich [00:31:00] Right? Yeah. Yeah yeah, yeah. Yeah. So current era. Yeah. And, and and you see. Papyrus. Didn’t. Grow, but. You know, in the cold and wet Western Europe. Papyrus was. Was no. Use. But once you had the once you had the. Writing system and the writing medium. You see. Then Western. Europe took off. Now, you know, this is correlation, not causality. Yes, but. But let’s. Continue with. This. Okay. And then later on, the printing press was invented. So then you could, you could, you could, you could. Store information, recording information, disseminate knowledge much. More rapidly, in much bigger quantities. Than the rest. Of it, because you. You need that information, that knowledge and all that. But books are. Backplane. Yeah. So so what’s going on. And you know. Presumably we hit we hit the buffers. And the answer is no. Because whilst you had books, the elites. When they were communicating were still writing. You had to. Write. The communication was always writing. So we. Had this. Forward plane building. Activity. You had the, the, the the writing language and language to write a technique. You know, recording technique. And you had the medium and where. This gets us, this is where. We joined back in, in the, in the 21st century. And, and the problem with. We were talking about with. With, climate change and energy and the rest of it. Is that for 4 or. 5 centuries. We had, we had. The way of storing. And disseminating knowledge. But the. Elites and a. Lot of people were still using for. It plain. But now, in the digital age. Because that. Food plain is hidden and it’s no longer a. Necessity. Yeah, because. You can communicate. By. Voice mail or. Text or whatever. Then the, you know, you get people who think. Like kids can learn through a nap. And this is, this is suicidal because because, yes, we’ve got the. Writing techniques. Yes, we’ve. Got the medium. But we. Are letting go. Of the. Hidden side. Which was. So important. To get our society the, the, the, the leaders of the society, they all had to write. And and I. Don’t want to be. Disparaging of anybody, but I’m sure you know. Anybody. You know, I’m we’ve got some level of awareness to some of the people who are in the. US. Congress and some of them. I. You know. It’s it’s. Not evident to me that. That they are. Learned people. Yeah, yeah. And, and unfortunately, those.

David Blackmon [00:33:45] Are the ones that are always on television.

Jerry Greenwich [00:33:47] Yeah, yeah, on all sides. And the point. Is, is that so, so so the point is, is, back to the, the. The initial premise. Of. Dynamic dynamic, principle dynamic. Processes take a. Long time. And it’s a forward plane thing. You know, you. Can’t. Learn thermodynamics. You can’t learn electronics through back plane. I tried it it doesn’t work. Before, and I. Tried because I wanted to. Do an electronics project and it was a. Complete it was a complete crash. So. So when you look at historically, one. Of the things that’s besetting our. Societies is that the, the. Advent of. The digital age. Means. That. We were. Able to remove the practical necessity of engaging in forward plane building. Of of. Writing, sketching, learning things from the. Inside. You know, I don’t like the word internalizing, but, you know, if. For shorthand, it’ll do. And and unless. We do. That, then. We are going to lose our heritage. We are going to lose our philosophical. Scientific, even sometimes moral. Heritage. Because, because, because these. Complex matters cannot. Be. Apprehended. You can. You know, you can. Get a pixelated. Version of it in that plane if you. Want, but but. Not not a not. A lossless version. Yeah. And that’s that’s. The you know, in summary, the final chapter. Of the I call. It. Sequence anchoring because because you need. In your mind. You know, as I said, electronics, mask, law, whatever. I mean. Not everybody can do everything, you know, but. But you. Need this thing. And I think that. That’s. Fundamentally essential. I mean. That is a. Social message. So that’s well.

David Blackmon [00:35:39] And speaking of social message, this brings up just a I mean, I hadn’t thought about this until now, but I’ve been hearing you talk about this, of course, everything in the news now and, and we’re getting ready to spend trillions of dollars doubling generation capacity on the grid to account for AI’s needs. Is AI capable of operating in the forward planning?

Jerry Greenwich [00:36:04] Okay, I.

David Blackmon [00:36:05] Don’t think it is currently. I mean, that’s the backplane, right? As it currently exists.

Jerry Greenwich [00:36:12] The way it works. At the moment, it’s, it tends to be a bunch of if statement, but it’s got some generational capacity. So and so it’s probably able to do. Some stuff, understand what can be done with machine learning more than the current large language models. I’ll be I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll let go of a little bit. More information here. Okay. This back. Thing, Ford plane. Body of observations. And. Techniques, if you want, is the cognitive. Side of things. Okay. And it’s. Very suitable for projects. Science, academe, academic work, you know, writing documents, creating, creating, you know, financial models. PowerPoint presentation really. Is very powerful. That’ll speed people up in that. In that. Respect. It’s a cognitive. Side of things. And imagine imagine a tennis ball. Okay. Then you’ve got. Another. Side to this which which I call the the. Animus. Side. Of things. So the. The emotional side of things, but in the sense of emotion, you know, emotion means, you know, in the, in the etymological sense of. The word. Is, is emotion. So. So I think if we really. Want to harness intelligence, then we’ve. Got to put together these two. Models. But we’ve got there, we’ve got to be very good, you know. Well, careful. Yeah. Yeah. So the current large language models, I believe they’ll have some impact. They may, if we’re not careful, they might. Push people to be even. More backplane oriented than, than we already. Are. Which which potentially could be, could be problematic. Yeah. So, so. You know, because. Because your. Students, instead of writing their essays, you know, might go. To ChatGPT. And then check. That out. Yeah. Yeah. In terms of making good. Decisions. I think the large language models. Because they tend to have. This. As far as I understand, they tend to. The tend to, to aim for, for, for, for for the belly of the, of the. Of the answers. Yes. So, so you know, when, when Google came up with Gemini and then, and then you have these, you know, black Nazis and whatever, you know, all this nonsense, whatever. Yeah. Because they knew that if you, if you asked, a standard language model, which is like, give me a, a typical family, it will go. Dead center to the middle of a stereotype. And every time you’re going to have an. You know, your. Aryan, you know. Your archetypal. Family. Of of the ads of the 60s. And the rest. Of it. Fine. So that so. Google went what we’re going to do is we’re going to put a negative sign on that. And then because, because otherwise the more these language models work, because they, they recycle, as. Far as I understand, you know. This is. The best of my understanding, but it’s. Not a. An assertion. But the they, they tend to. Essentially they’re meant to. Have some kind of rate of decay because, because they, they eat their. Own. Output. To use it, non-biological term. And so, so, it’s a little. Bit like, Matt Damon in the Martians, you know, when he’s, when he’s trying to. Grow potatoes and he’s got to to. You know, organize this recycling process. So, so whether the I think has productivity tools. They’ll. Probably. Have an impact. The, the power. Generation is. Is this is crazy. I think I think the the decisions. The decisions making. Whatever. But but this, this I think what will. Happen is. It does a. Couple of things. First of all is because we’ve. Had low interest. Rates for about. A generation, a couple. Of decades. Yeah. Low interest rates. Have meant that. The the civil. Servants, this. Is what we. Call them in. UK. Have been able. To borrow. Like, like drunken sailors. Yeah. So, so. Because when you, when. New when. Borrowing, it’s. Free. You know, I mean. Private equity. Did the same in the rest of it. But you you. Can. You can just go ahead. I mean, you know, Macron, France, you know, went to spend €700 billion on windmills and, and mosques and things like that. I mean, I’m made maybe I’m not scrubbing the. But but essentially. Just I mean this is. Crazy. Amount. I mean, you know, they used to be a time where 700 billion was. Was, was. You know, was. Was. Real money. Yeah. So we that we the low interest rates. So in the sense in that. Respect I favor. Higher interest. Rates because it will, it will it will introduce the political cost to the, to the, to the. You know, the. Potentially the. The, you know, the. The, the, the. The I was going to say demented, you know, unhinged, disconnected. Decisions that these guys are making. But the. The other thing is that. The destruction. Of capital is going to be insane. And and. This is a bit I wanted to. Mention. Is that. I don’t think. The, the, the. Central banks keep getting, you know, certainly got. Called for a while. They might have caught up. I don’t I don’t really know what model they use. But they assume that a certain. Amount of investment leads to a certain amount. Of. Economic growth. But it used to be that that. Banks and. Credit. Creation. Was predicated. On having a. Inverted. Economic business model. So you invest in, in refineries and harbors in, in, in, in, you know. Stocks in warehouses. And whatever and buildings and, and, and advertising campaigns if. Needs be. But you, you, you, you. Want to make damn sure that you’re going to get a return. And, but now because. Certainly. In the UK, you know, the, you know, the windmills and magic mirrors. Are subsidized. Then then. They’ve. Introduced. This kind of like Hyperloop jump between what should. Be an economic investment and what’s what’s spending by the government. Yeah. And, but make no mistake then they’re not going to get the money back. I mean, you know, in the UK. We are. Already spending. The amount. Of subsidies to the. Renewable energy, energy. Is, is is roughly it’s probably over half the budget. Of the armed forces. Yeah. So and just see what I mean. It’s, I mean, it’s.

David Blackmon [00:42:51] Yeah. Ours is is, is double our spending on the armed forces. So. Yeah. It’s crazy.

Jerry Greenwich [00:42:58] So so the capital, the the. You know. The. So, of course, you know. When you spend money like a drunken. Sailor, the first, you know. It’s like Hemingway said, you know, how did you go bankrupt, you know. Slowly at first. And then and then suddenly. So I. This this. You know, again, this is the only criticism I would make. To your to your, to your to your, to your efforts. And that. Of your, of your other guests is that people are trying to address politely. Far more diplomatically than, than than I. Do. And, and, and rationally, decisions and and statements which. Which are. Fundamentally disconnected. From, from. Reality and rationality and, and and as I said, and the first. Step I would take is, is to, to address the issue of this, this. Endemic moral. Superiority that these guys. Walk around with, starting with that, you know, young, young. Swedish lady, Greta and. And, you know. Who’s. The poster. Child? Yeah. You know, I mean. She was a child. And she’s. She’s still a very young. Very young. Person. So it’s it’s. Difficult, you know, youth. But, yeah. No, I, I think, I think, I think in terms of energy. I think in the US, you. Guys are. Somewhat. Protected. I view with great glee the fact that the, the. The the calamitous. Offshore. Wind, wind farms, I mean, you know, in the UK, we, I mean. They, they. They made. The. Prediction. And it’s. So also intellectually. Dishonest because. They talk. About, you know. Nameplate, capacity. So, so they just go. With, you know,.

David Blackmon [00:44:46] 18% efficiency factor.

Jerry Greenwich [00:44:49] It’s like it’s like if you’re. Like, you know, and and it’s, so, I, you know.

David Blackmon [00:44:58] We we You and I have traded a lot of, messages on LinkedIn and emails and this morning. You sent me a note. I think that was on LinkedIn. That you feel like the Overton window is starting to shift. The energy transition is concerned, and I’d like to I’d like to just get you to expand on your thought process there, because I, I have the same feeling. And I’ve talked to several other smart folks, who agree, I think. So I wonder what you know how I mean, what you’re seeing that leads you to to believe that.

Jerry Greenwich [00:45:35] It’s, so, so just to explain to people what the. Overton Window is. Unfortunately, Mr. Overton was a tremendously bright person. Yes. Who who died. In. A very. Young age in a in a in a plane. Small private. Plane crash or something. But he came up with this. Idea that, for. Policymakers, you know. There is too early. When people are not ready and, and the message is going to be. Rejected. And then and then and then at one point, the window opens. And after that, well, you know, it’s a bit. Late or whatever. So so he came up with this. Concept and it’s, it’s. It’s really it’s, it’s really quite. Quite, powerful. So, so, so. The notion is. At what stage will the pushback against the then the, the. You know, will it be general acceptance that the current, you know, renewable. Policies, are incorrect? The answer is. I don’t fundamentally know. But I get a little bit of a. Sense from the discussions with. People, that. You know. It’s it’s a there’s a little bit less fervor. So I don’t really. I don’t really know how. I, I’ve. Not had time. To study it. It’s a great one. And maybe I’ll, you know, how long does it take for people to become. Disabused. With a, with a, with a. Load of nonsense and go, okay, you know, we’ve. We’ve heard that story for. Long enough. You know, we need to move on or it’s not. It’s not interesting anymore. I. Think when it starts. To bite a little bit, like, like EV. Cars, for instance. Now you can see. That, some people who bought the early. Ones and, Porsches and all that, and then they go. Like, well. You know. I bought this car. For 150,000 and it’s two. Years old. And the. Dealer is. Telling me. It’s worth 50, but the dealer. Is also telling me they don’t want them because it’s a new model and they don’t. Want to put in an old model, a two year old model for 50 or 60. Because they’re trying to sell a new one for 450. And. So, so this. This guy in the, in the UK. He’s got this in the channel. And he is. Absolutely. Spitting. Chips, about. That. And this is something that. Which, which. Would not have happened, you know, a couple of. Years ago because he was. Just buying the damn car.

David Blackmon [00:47:55] Right. Exactly. That’s that’s what I’m saying, too. I mean, I, I see it, in the fact that I’m able to write about topics today a lot more bluntly that I could two years ago, express my views more pointedly than I could. And, editors don’t go crazy at me.

Jerry Greenwich [00:48:12] And, you. Know, well, picking a tough arena to. Fight because. You know, you’re. You’re you’re. Good on LinkedIn and, and, and LinkedIn is, is. Microsoft. So there’s, there’s a. Fair amount of. Bill gates or. You know, you know. In. In, in the shadows. There, I presume.

David Blackmon [00:48:32] Oh, yeah. The algorithm hates me, of course. And, so I don’t know if there’s any actual people censoring me, but, you can tell I. So I’ll post something on LinkedIn and it’ll get an incredible response for like two hours. And then you can just see the anchor go out.

Jerry Greenwich [00:48:49] Oh wow. That’s great.

David Blackmon [00:48:49] Boxes. And it’s just stop. I mean, it’s it’s like clockwork every day, but you know, what are you going to do? There’s no way to fight that particular city.

Jerry Greenwich [00:49:01] I think maybe the, the armed. Forces, when they, when they. Start to, to realize that, you know, it’s a. Complete nonsense. You know, that doesn’t work. I mean, you, you know. We you know, they do want better batteries for their walkie talkies.

David Blackmon [00:49:14] That’s good. Yeah. You need those? Yeah.

Jerry Greenwich [00:49:17] But but the. Rest, you know, I mean, you. Know, if, if. If nature. Took. I mean, I. I. Tend to think I don’t even call, hydrocarbons. Fossil. Fuel anyway, because I tend to. Believe that the abiotic story of oil. Is. More. Makes more sense than

David Blackmon [00:49:40]  It’s coming. That’s becoming increasingly accepted thought now. Yeah.

Jerry Greenwich [00:49:43] I mean. The idea that you put, you put a leg. Of chicken in the, in the fridge and you leave. It to rot. For long enough, and at the end, you’re going to have a drop. Of oil. Is. Is. Thermodynamic nonsense because normally energy. Doesn’t concentrate to dissipate. So. So. But you know. There’s obviously. Some, some. So, so, so. And then that would explain why Saudi. Arabia. Seems to have more oil reserves now than they had in the 70s. And, you know, and then every. Every rock you. Turn, you. Find people. Find oil. Doomberg, by the way, was a great guest of yours. guy.

David Blackmon [00:50:22] Fantastic, I’ll talk to him any time. I don’t know his real identity, but, the big green cartoon character I shouldn’t use.

Jerry Greenwich [00:50:29] I shouldn’t use the. The analogy of putting a chicken in the in the fridge and let it. Let it arrive, because that’s not going to talk to me.

David Blackmon [00:50:37] I told him when we interviewed him at May and we had to do it. We were at a conference and we had to do it remotely because he’s a cartoon character. And we jokingly said, look, next year we’re going to buy your mascot suit. So you walk in here and do these interviews into this show. But anyway, yeah. So

Jerry Greenwich [00:50:55]  why does he hide his identity? Is it.

David Blackmon [00:50:59] You know, I don’t know for certain. I know there’s actually more than one person involved, and, and, and managing that site, and it’s possibly. I just have to assume it has something to do with employment. Professional considerations. Doesn’t want, his or their entered, I would realize, which is used to be reveal.

Jerry Greenwich [00:51:21] Which is. Astounding if. You think about. It, because the amount. Of repression. I mean, you know. That’s

David Blackmon [00:51:28] Just pitiful. It’s pitiful. I mean, this is one of the most brilliant economic minds we have today. Yes. And he feels the need to hide his identity because what he’s saying is controversial. And I guess he’s worried about being canceled, which is insane. Literally.

Jerry Greenwich [00:51:44] I don’t know.

David Blackmon [00:51:46] Listen, we we’ve gone a long time here. I know, I just, this is such an interesting subject to me. We’re going to have to do this again. I hope you.

Jerry Greenwich [00:51:58] Guys would be very happy. To come and talk again. So in terms of, in terms of. The the ideas in the book, so, you know, it’s called. First invisible, then obvious, I thought, you know, someone was going to say. I wrote. The first invisible. Book. And.

David Blackmon [00:52:13] Well, I hope it I hope it gains a big audience because I think it’s important. I think this is, so it can be really beneficial to people.

Jerry Greenwich [00:52:22] I think so, and I think so. It was published about. A week and a half know about ten days ago. So if people wanted to review it and I’d much appreciated. Likewise, if people. Have got some organization where they want some, even free consultancy, if they want some, some. Free advice, some. You know, I mean, I’ve. Worked for a lot of, you know, very, very. Large companies, you know, including JP Morgan, Bank of America. You know, Judas, BNP Paribas. You know, I know. The corporate world fairly well and. Have things, rocking the. BP, oil. Trading, very interesting company. So, so if people. Have questions about the. Book or. Something about, you know, that can be done with the ideas, then then drop me a line, get get the email.

David Blackmon [00:53:09] Where can they contact you?

Jerry Greenwich [00:53:11] Perhaps you can give them my email, because speaking of cancellation, I’m not. I’ve not published the, the the the book. On my real name. Right. And it won’t. Be like that forever, but, I, I, I thought I’d start with that. Yeah. Just.

David Blackmon [00:53:25] Well, we’ll put that, I’ll put your LinkedIn address.

Jerry Greenwich [00:53:29] Yes, yes.

David Blackmon [00:53:30] Into the show notes. And, and of course, I found the book on Amazon. Is there any other place you prefer people to go with? You know.

Jerry Greenwich [00:53:39] Amazon is fine. You can you can get it in print or in, or in, Kindle. I think print is. More suitable because you. Can take your own notes and you can, you can, and it might be an if we, you know, it. Might be valuable if you get one of the early, early. Numbers.

David Blackmon [00:53:57] Right. Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Jerry Greenwich [00:53:58] But, it’s it’s more, it’s a book to, to, to to help people to. To fundamentally, I mean, it’s, you know, it’s. It’s it’s a small. Section of. Life. I don’t, I don’t default plan, you know, from, from dawn to dusk, you know, it’s just occasionally when I need it, then, you know, when I need to document a solution, you know, some things. Project. And then then I. Then I roll out the big guns.

David Blackmon [00:54:21] Yeah, yeah. If you try to do it every waking hour, you’d be exhausted by noon. I I’ll probably do it for two hours a day. Maybe you’re my age, but. Anyway. Thank Jerry. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Jerry Greenwich [00:54:33] Thank you. Very interesting. And again, have a good day, everybody. Thank you for the opportunity.

David Blackmon [00:54:38] Hey, thank you. And thank you. Thanks to everyone who watched today to our extraordinary producer, Erick Parel, Sandstone Group, for hosting the podcast. I’m David Blackmon. That’s all for now.

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