Mystery of The Magnificent Seven

It was my last night in Malaysia, on the way back from dinner. I stopped to get some fruit and a fresh coconut across the street from the hotel. While waiting for the salesman to harvest it for me, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast. To my left was a narrow street with trash piled up next a rundown three-story apartment building, where 20 or 30 rats were squeaking and scouring around a dumpster full of waste. To my right was a chic bar and the luxurious ParkRoyal Serviced Suites where I was staying in Kuala Lumpur.

This got me thinking about the juxtaposition of things and how important this vantage point is for grasping reality. Contrast is what makes characters, relationships, and art interesting and fun. It’s what makes life worth the time and energy. I realized that I had already been thinking about contrast when I started painting on a beach in Malaysia, with a watercolor set that I had bought at a DIY store. My goal was to use up all the colors in the kit to make something beautiful. Colors painted contrary to each other have a tendency to shock the eye, but not in nature’s context. In nature, contrast is the most gorgeous depiction of art.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s some striking contrast in the world now called The Magnificent Seven. It refers to a group of 7 mega-cap tech stocks, including Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta Platforms, Tesla, and Nvidia. The Magnificent Seven combined are worth more than the entire GDP of China, the world’s second largest economy. They accounted for more than 45% of the S&P 500’s return in January 2024. Nvidia, alone, is worth more now than the entire energy sector, at 4.5x the market cap of ExxonMobil. This is odd, since without a cheap ever-increasing supply of energy, the materials of The Magnificent Seven cannot be mined and their products and services cannot be manufactured, transported, or powered.

Nvidia, with its 1.79T dollar market cap, is king of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) craze. According to, AI will be the cause of Doomsday, along with the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas War. Does this mean that people are investing in their own demise? I think it’s clear that nowadays most investing is passive. Investment managers are beholden to returns, not values and morals. People don’t care where fund managers put their money, as long as it grows and multiplies. Essentially, investing is a self-destructive process—coddling a parasitic monetary system that eats away at the flesh of humanity and destroys energy at an ever-increasing rate. Popular defense stocks are an example of investing in one’s own demise, or companies that make bioweapons. Investors love these stocks, especially during war.

The Magnificent Seven is more like a new nation state, or one-world government, than individual corporations. Collectively, they control the politicians and politics of globalism with a power that no single nation commands, through captured media and money. As much as I dislike the hubris and entitlement The Magnificent Seven conglomerate radiates, I’m encouraged by the “conundrum” of the number seven, especially given the outrageous bloat these stocks have taken in the global financial system. As I mentioned earlier, The Magnificent Seven and its energy-blind investors are not seeing straight. There is no such thing as AI or AI dominance without an unlimited supply of cheap energy. And there is no such thing as an unlimited supply of cheap energy with ever-increasing debt.

I read a little book while I was in Malaysia called Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail by William Ophuls. While energy is not created or destroyed, entropy increases when it changes form. Entropy is a measure of chaos, randomness, and disorder that travels in one direction only. With every transformation of energy from one form to another, some of its usefulness is lost. Example, burning wood makes smoke, ash, and heat, but we only need the heat. The concentrated condensed energy we get from fossil fuels is fast becoming expanded and less useful in its newer forms. Not only is the source of concentrated condensed energy being depleted, but its transformation (when we use it) is continually incurring a loss in useful quality.

All civilizations have three inputs—matter, energy, and morale—subject to the law of entropy. Ophuls explained another concept also that he called moral entropy, which appears to be in its exponential phase now. According to Sir John Glubb and his research in The Fate of Empires, it takes about ten generations for morality to move from its highest concentrated form to decadence. In the beginning, morality is strong. Like matter and energy, it then dissipates over time. Technology doesn’t liberate us from nature and it doesn’t allow us to do more with less—it complicates our system, uses more energy, and makes more waste.

I mentioned the conundrum of the number 7.  According to a 26-page essay by Distinguished Professor Thomas Saaty, seven is the magic number in nature

…there is a limit to the number of elements that can work together interdependently without breakdown in their cooperative effort. Every system, including the human body, consists of a hierarchy of parts, subparts, and still smaller parts. It should always be possible to identify a part when it becomes inconsistent with the workings of the other parts. As the system ages, some of its parts weaken more than the other parts, and if it is very large, the system would have difficulty identifying the defective parts. It has been demonstrated that 7 or 8 is a limit on the number of interdependent elements working together in a module of a system.

There are 7 colors in a rainbow, 7 days in a week, and 7 Wonders of the World, not to mention Snow White and the seven dwarfs. In numerology, 7 is a symbol of mystery, knowledge and intuition. In astrology, 7 represents the sun and gold. Yes, gold! It also holds meaning in sacred texts such as the Bible, the Torah and the Kabbalah. According to the Bible, 7 represents completion of a cycle, since God finished creating the world in 7 days. There are 7 capital sins and 7 catholic sacraments. To leprechauns, 7 is a lucky number. In Hinduism, there are 7 chakras, a learning cycle that progresses to spiritual maturity. Oh, and let’s not forget the 7 seas and the 7 continents!

From the Bible, there’s also the seven-headed beast from the Book of Revelation. This beast is often interpreted as the demonic and powerful authority of the state. In service to The Magnificent Seven, the state has become a pseudo-technocracy built on the illusion that under the wings of exponentially growing debt, and ever-shrinking resources, these 7 magnificent stocks will take us on a one-way path to techno-nirvana where human labor becomes an antiquated practice of the past, where our lives are made easier by machines that magically make and power themselves to serve us. Who needs treasury bonds when you’ve got AI? People have never been so disillusioned as they are now.

And if you haven’t heard, inflation is back, eating up the value of your hard-earned money. The Fed can’t raise interest rates anymore unto the massive debt, and if the Fed lowers interest rates, the dollar will tank. And the government needs to keep selling more and more treasury bonds to fund its massively sick spending. It seems to me that the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth) of The Magnificent Seven and its posse are ripe for rotting. Not only is the reality of debt and energy bearing down on the world, the 7-headed beast of the technostate is subject to the laws of energy and nature. The beast may appear magnificent, but he’s on his way to that Lake of Fire to burn. When? I suspect soon. Banks are wobbling. Things are breaking. The signs are all here.



  1. Just a note to say, very much enjoying your essays. The synthesis of ideas and insights lights up a few neurons in this old noggin. Thanks much.
    P.S. Yes, the signs are all here. Not sure of what though. Time will reveal.

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