Thoughts on the End of Civilization

As a market forecaster, as someone that attempts to connect the dots and create a picture out of the results, I don’t much like being wrong. But this time I desperately want to be wrong.

by James Corbett
The International Forecaster

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

– Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”

Horace’s carpe diem. Herrick’s “To the Virgins.” Service’s “It Is Later Than You Think.” There is no shortage of poetic reminders that time is fleeting and death is just around the corner.

But for my money Shelley’s “Ozymandias” has always been the most evocative. The contrast between Ramesses II’s words, inscribed in the pedestal for posterity, and his works themselves, lost forever to the sands of time, has captured my imagination ever since I first read the poem as a schoolboy. It is awesome (in the formal dictionary sense) to think of the wonders of a once-great civilization reduced to nothing but faded inscriptions on relics in the empty desert.

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