The Money Valve III

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on June 8, 2014


Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

In Part I of the Money Valve, we examined the basic downhill flow of energy in the Waste Based economy of Industrialization, managed in it’s downhill flow by the Money Valve of Central Banking.


The basic flowchart turning resources into waste through the Money Valve of Central Banks from Part I is straightforward and easy to understand. However, it does not look at all the various Feedback Loops that are engineered into the system in order to keep it operating. Most notably what is not included in the diagram is how Goobermint and the Military are involved, or how taxation and interest serve to capture wealth out of the system for the Elite class of society.

So for the next 3 installments of the Money Valve series, I made a basic Web diagram to show the relationships of these portions of the economy, and from that define where the waste is produced at each level. Part II looked at the first 5 Nodes in the network, Part III here will go into deeper detail loking at the mechanisms and players that function to make this machine work.


6- Infrastructure

As mentioned, the building and maintenance of the enormous infrastructure necessary to run an Industrial Economy all falls onto the back of Goobermint, with the costs for it distributed out to the population through Taxation. In the building of the infrastructure, Da Goobermint floats Bonds (Debt) which the TBTF banks buy with freshly printed Toilet Paper from Da Fed. The Taxpayers also pay for that, since they have to cover the Interest charges on those loans, and so the TBTF Banks collect their Vigorish this way also.

The big problem with Infrastructure is that it doesn’t last without Maintenance and Replacement, and the more you build, the higher those costs get all the time. In many cases, before you ever paid off the original Bridge you built floating up Bonds and Rolling them over, you gotta replace it with a whole new one and float up still more debt for that. Roadways are a particularly nasty maintenance problem, yearly Freeze-Thaw cycles crack up roads and you have to send out crews to fill potholes and seal the cracks. In winter, you have to send out fleets of trucks to plow the roads covered with snow so everyone can keep Happy Motoring through the Winter. Once again, the auto industry doesn’t pay for these costs, even though without the roads to drive on they could sell no cars. The cost is borne by the end user of the automobile, and obviously said end user is increasingly unable to afford such costs, even spread out over everyone.

You think a Boutique Economy for the 1% could be run with just the Filthy Rich drving around Maseratis and Rolls-Royces? Not a chance. They wouldn’t be able to find open Convenience stores selling Gas, too few customers at any price. The roads will be full of Potholes, and drive past 10mph and you’ll lose the rear axle of your Jag in no time. Same problem with Airports big enough to lend a decent size Private Jet on. Talk about Money Sinks, Airports are a Sinkhole the size of the Grand Canyon. More Bond Issues, more debt the Taxpayer is supposed to finance so maybe the top 10% can fly on commercial jets to take Vacations in Hawaii.

Maybe the top .01% can keep flying around in Helicopters for a while, everybody else is SOL.

7- Interest Node 7 you find Interest, which is part of the recycling system that keeps a monetary system running for a while, but also is the Achilles Heel that brings it down in the end. As just about everyone knows, the Bible forbade the charging of interest, though that has been totally ignored in the modern era on the Christian side of the religious divide. However, even the Islamic banking system has ways of charging for the use of money without calling it interest, so there really is not money in use anywhere that doesn’t have an interest charge attached.

Basically the reason for this is that since the whole monetary system is based on Debt, if you could not collect Interest on a Loan, why would anyone Loan out money at all? The idea is that you are compensated for the “risk” in making a loan through the Interest you charge on it. Thing is here of course is that the folks making the Loans never had the money at all before the loan was originated. They CREATE the money on demand as people/biznesses/goobermints take out more loans. Banks don’t really make loans on their deposit base, the opposite is true, the loans create the deposits. If you have the kind of Monopoly on this Biz that the International Banking Cartel has, you can’t ever really “Go Broke” as long as there are resources to extract and folks willing to sign for loans, or Goobermints that sign for loans in the name of their populations. Great Biz to be in for the folks who originated and monopolize this Bizness in the modern era. In the words of Mayer Rothschild:

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”

So, all the Main Components of the economy besides the Military pays Interest on Money the Banking Cartel creates, Industry pays it, Conusmers pay it, Goobermint pays it. You could say even the Military pays it since they are an arm of Goobermint, but the Pentagon doesn’t have to worry about this in making expenditures, you do. Servicing the debt the Pentagon works up is supposed to be done by the Taxpayer, but when the Taxpayer is Tapped out, how do you service it? EZ, float up still MOAR Debt! LOL. This works until it doesn’t anymore.

8- Taxes everybody Loves to Hate, and memorialized in Ben Franklin’s cliche, “The only two things unavoidable in life are Death & Taxes”.

Just as Interest provides the Recycling Mechanism for Banks to operate, Taxes provide the recycling mechanism for Goobermint to operate. It’s often said that Money gets it’s Value from the its acceptance as a means to pay taxes. Going back to pre-Revolutionary War days here in the FSoA, although much Biz was done utilizing local scrip created by local Banksters like Sam Adam’s dad, the only money the Crown over in Jolly Old England would accept as payment was Gold & Silver, which in those days was in rather short supply in the North American colonies. The Aztecs down in Mejico had plenty for the Conquistadores to steal, but until the railroads got built and Gold was discovered in the Black Hills of SD, there just wasn’t much Gold around north of the Rio Grande. The Limeys though needed Gold, since they were constantly at war with the Frogs over in France, and over there at the time the only thing everybody would accept in payment was Gold for weapons and so forth. Anyhow, this problem became so onerous for the colonists over here that they eventually flipped the bird at the Crown, and War ensued. Did this free Amerikans from control by the Banking Cartel? Of course not. Just created a new Corporation, which over time outgrew its parent corp of the British Empire, due to more vast resources available to exploit.

Anyhow, IMHO it is only partially true that Taxes give Money it’s Value, the Interest Charges placed on it contribute at least equally if not in greater measure than taxes to making Money valuable. If you have a stock of it and can “grow” that stock merely by Loaning it out and not actually doing any work, this makes it inherently valuable. Better yet if you can create it out of thin air and then charge to use it. On the other hand, if you have none but have to pay a charge on it to use it, this also makes it valuable, from the other side.

Anyhow, Consumers pay Taxes, Industry pays Taxes, even the Money Creators themselves pay taxes, though they have means of cutting their Tax Liability to Zero, through numerous means like Off Balance Sheet transactions, foreign Tax havens, etc. Industry has a similar ability, though less so than the Banks. J6P of course has Zero such ability to hide from the Tax Man, so in the end its J6P that supports everything in the Industrial system it needs to operate but doesn’t want to pay the freight on. This is known as “Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses”, the fundamental principal of Capitalism.

9- Industry to place in the network, because Industry and Energy extraction are symbiotic, one does not exist without the other. In order to access the Oil, you needed drilling rigs made by Industry. In order to make the drilling rigs, you needed energy to smelt all the metal and make the drilling equipment. That of course was leveraged on the back of the energy supply that came before Oil, Coal. In the end though, work your way far enough back into pre-history, and it is the Energy that got accessed first, with the invention, or rather control over, fire. However, one supports the other, one does not exist in the absence of the other. The same folks who own the energy extraction bizness own the industries that consume the energy, the auto industry, the aviation industry, the electrical grid, the telecommunications network, etc. Get rid of all those industries, you have close to Zero need for fossil fuels. In fact it is Zero in the end, since Homo Sapiens existed for millenia before these sources of energy were accessed. Obviously though, the living standard was much more “primitive” than it is today, with a much lower population.

Anyhow, besides drawing the connection between Energy Extraction and Industry to show the relationship, I put it further to the right in the diagram because it is closer to the end of the stream of Waste production. Industry produces the products and services the consumers buy with the credit they get issued by the Money Valve folks. Industry produces its own waste stream along with the products the Consumers eventually turn into Waste.

Industrialists glorify what they do as being “Entrepreneurs”, and of course Ayn Rand glorified the iconographic John Galt as such a Rugged Individualist who adds value to a society, while everybody else is just a Leech on them. In fact of course precisely the opposite is true, what the Industrialist does is find a niche in the whole system to leech off of. The “Small Bizman” isn’t the core of Capitalism, the core is in the large Corporations and TBTF Banks established in many cases in the Colonial Era. The small Bizman inserts himself into the system at some point and captures part of the downhill flow of energy. Each one strives to “get rich”, but in reality can only do so by sieving off profit from the labor he hires to do the work of the biz. The justification for the higher standard of living he enjoys than the people he employs comes from the idea that if he did not organize and run the biz, these folks would not have jobs at all! Basically what this person does is serve as an enabler for the whole system of Industrialization to continue, as a Middle Manager in it. It is a disguised slavery system, with the Middle Manager Entrepreneurs serving as Overseers for the Masters at the top who run the whole show. They pat themselves on the back for their ingenuity, drive Jags and fly First Class and puff themselves up with their success. Then they complain their taxes are too high. Gimmee a break.

10- Maintenance

Detroit Packard Plant.  The largest abandoned factory plant in the World.
Detroit Packard Plant. The largest abandoned factory plant in the World.

Maintenance is a cost in the system that just about everyone at all levels either ignores or defers in some way. Goobermints defer costs on Infrastructure maintenance, Industry defers costs on plant maintenance, J6P defers costs on McMansion and SUV and Health Maintenance. Basically because in all cases, if you actually accurately account for maintenance issues, no level can afford the total cost of the system! Goobermint can’t afford the maintenance of the roads and bridges without taxing the population at higher levels than it can afford, Industry can’t afford the cost of Plant maintenance and still be competitive with somebody else producing the same stuff, J6P can’t afford his maintenance bills because then he can’t afford his mortgage and car payment, neither of which took into account the fact both things break down way more often than any calculation of affordability and buffer when the bank OKs him a loan.

So everybody works on the assumption nothing will break, or at least if it does it will be affordable to fix. Except it never really is, so the society as a whole keeps on taking out ever more debt to try to maintain the whole system. You can see this in every weather related Disaster from big ones like Katrina or Sandy to just local things like Tornadoes and Ice Storms. All the houses and the power lines get knocked down, FEMA steps in, the POTUS declares a Disaster Area, and LOANS are offered to everybody to rebuild what just got knocked down. How many cycles of that can you go through before you can’t even service the interest on these loans, much less pay off the principal? Can only be done long as there is copious and cheap energy to pitch out, which there really is not much of anymore.


To process all the energy extracted here, the end of the line is the Consumer. The consumer buys the products, flips on the lights, drives the car, surfs the internet, watches the Big Screen TV, texts on the Iphone, etc. So it is often said that this whole process is Consumer Driven, my friend Steve on Economic Undertow often refers to this as “Fashion”. People want these things just because they are “Fashionable” to have. Even Goobermints and the Military want Jets and Aircrasft Carriers because they are Fashionable. Is that really true though?

First of all, all along the way here the Consumer is bombarded with Advertisement, all controlled by the same folks who produce the stuff you are expected to want and buy. This goes back at least as far as the original Sears & Roebuck Catalogues first published their catalogue in the 1890s 1943 Sears News Graphic wrote that the Sears catalog, “serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living.” The roots of the Sears catalog are as old as the company. In 1888, Richard Sears first used a printed mailer to advertise watches and jewelry. Under the banner “The R.W. Sears Watch Co.” Sears promised his customers that, “we warrant every American watch sold by us, with fair usage, an accurate time keeper for six years – during which time, under our written guarantee we are compelled to keep it in perfect order free of charge.”

The time was right for mail order merchandise. Fueled by the Homestead Act of 1862, America’s westward expansion followed the growth of the railroads. The postal system aided the mail order business by permitting the classification of mail order publications as aids in the dissemination of knowledge entitling these catalogs the postage rate of one cent per pound. The advent of Rural Free Delivery in 1896 also made distribution of the catalog economical.

All this set the stage for the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog. A master at slogans and catchy phrases, Richard Sears illustrated the cover of his 1894 catalog declaring it the “Book of Bargains: A Money Saver for Everyone,” and the “Cheapest Supply House on Earth,” claiming that “Our trade reaches around the World.” Sears also knew the importance of keeping customers, boldly stating that “We Can’t Afford to Lose a Customer.” He proudly included testimonials from satisfied customers and made every effort to assure the reader that Sears had the lowest prices and best values. This catalog expanded from watches and jewelry, offering merchandise such as sewing machines, sporting goods, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, buggies, bicycles, baby carriages, and men’s and children’s clothing. The 1895 catalog added eyeglasses, including a self-test for “old sight, near sight and astigmatism.” At this time Sears wrote nearly every line appearing in the catalogs drawing upon his personal experience using language and expressions that appealed to his target customers.

“A Money Saver for Everyone”. Does this sound like Walmart “Low, Low Prices Every Day” or what? All dependent of course on the transportation system of the railroads, and all those folks out in rural Amerika had to be convinced they needed to buy the stuff the industrialists were producing and selling for the money that the TBTF Banks were creating to buy it. The language is all pure Bernay’s Propaganda, and face it most of the population gets easily sold by shit like this.

Obviously this did not stop with the Sears Catalogue, it got more and more sophisticated with the advent of Radio and Television. In my earliest years, I remember Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater”, slogan, “You Can Trust Your Car to the Man Who Wears the Star”.

So who is funding this whole biz? You guessed it, the Oil Companies who wanna sell more energy to more people so the folks who own this biz can make more money, because they got control of the Oil under the ground courtesy of the FSoA Military and Gen. Smedley Butler’s career as a “high class Gangster for Capitalism”, and not only that, THEY issue the money YOU gotta use! You wonder why Henry Ford said: is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

However, beyond the fact J6P is constantly subject to the high intensity Sales Pitch, as the system evolves it just becomes plain old NECESSARY to buy in to the culture because you can’t compete (read that survive) without buying in. If you are a Farmer, you can’t compete with the guy down the block using Tractors. As less Ag work is available because of the Tractors, more of you have to migrate to Big Cities where you can get Jobz in Factories. After you get the job, the only way to get to work is first using the early Public Transport systems of Trolleys and Subways, then eventually the Carz.

Then beyond that is the whole revving up of the Industrial War machine, necessary to take control over more territory that had more Oil under the ground. The Military, run at the behest of the Energy Extractors and Money Valve control folks becomes a HUGE employer of J6P as Cannon Fodder for a non-stop war that has been running since the fucking Civil War! Two HUGE outbreaks in WWI and WWII, but the bizness never stopped as Smedley Butler’s career demonstrates.

This is “Fashion” driven from the bottom up by J6P? No WAY, Jose. this is the Will to Power, driven from the top down by a few powerful people who gained control over the Energy Resources and Industrial Apparatus early on. The rest was a Sales Pitch all along the way that was designed to convince J6P he truly NEEDED all the products they had to sell. It wasn’t a hard sell of course, because who WOULDN’T want their own Car instead of having to wait for a Train which didn’t show up on schedule, and besides you hadda walk to the Train Station? Ever more convenience is GREAT, long as you believe it comes with No Consequences, which of course it does as we are seeing now.

Every Consumer in the whole damn world has been sold on the idea they can have a Free Lunch and enjoy the same kind of Happy Motoring J6P got here for the last 50 years. The Chinese want it, but except for a small percentage of Han Chinese Elite in that society, they ain’t gonna get it, because they got in a Day Late and a Yuan short to the Pahhty. The Keg is just about empty, and the Beer left is flat. You think Chen Rice Wine is gonna be happy about this? I hardly think so.

In the final installment of the Money Valve Series next Sunday, we will look at the final few nodes in the Waste Based economy, as well as a few parameters which did not make it onto the chart, and draw a few conclusions on where we may go from here.



Catch McPherson on the radio tonight, 20 June 2014. It’ll stream here.


McPherson was interviewed on the radio by Mort White for The Magic Garden on 14 June 2014. Link is here.


You can pre-order McPherson’s next book, co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Additional information about Extinction Dialogs is available here. It’s due for release by 1 October 2014.

If you’re looking for a reason to practice kindness, consider this: It’s been a year and a day since the Best Dog Ever died. Her obituary appeared in this space a year ago.

Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here


If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.


Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 32

  • From a comment on the preceding post:
    Radio New Zealand Natiomal Originally aired on Nine To Noon, Thursday 19 June 2014

    World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall

    Unfortunately the Brooklyn College Radio webpage for online streaming requires Adobe Flash.
    For those with IOS (which does not support Adobe Flash) and Android (which is no longer supported by Adobe Flash) the alternative is the TuneIn Radio site or the TuneIn Radio app:

    WBCR Brooklyn College Radio, Brooklyn, NY for the live stream online.

  • One of the National Socialist Party Program planks was to abolish interest:

    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

    Breaking the Bondage of Interest

  • Breaking news:

    Big Bang breakthrough team allows they may be wrong

    [couple quotes]

    In a summary, the team said their models “are not sufficiently constrained by external public data to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal,” as stated by other scientists who questioned their conclusion.

    He said the question will likely be settled in the coming months when another, competing group, working with the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope, publishes its results.

    [and concludes (you’re gonna love this)]

    “I think in retrospect, they should have been more careful about making a big announcement,” he said.

    laughing hysterically – i’ll be back after I clean up.

  • Thanks, RE. Wanted to comment before getting beyond maintenance, which interests me a lot.

    That Packard plant. If asked for my definition of heaven, it would be a place like that. It could create the greatest near term community imaginable. Roof gardens, cellars, bunkers, community industry, windows for lighting hydroponics, theatres, solar banks, schools (although I hate schools)…

    Ouch! You didn’t have to hit me so hard! But thanks anyway for jolting me out my reverie. Yes, yes, I know. The sensible people who know what’s best would never entertain such fantasies. On a point of order, they’ll demand that I be quiet while they legislate which bidder will get the demolition contract, and which public funds diverted to pay for the landfill fees, and the legal fees to indemnify the work, and all the serious stuff, and all the points of order, and all the documents, and all the other legal stuff…

    OK, I’m through now.

  • This kind of examination of the reality behind the US dollar reserve system was in vogue back in ’07-08. Mish, Denninger, Bageant, ZH, et al were essentially exploring new ground with the advent of the first cracks in the hologram.

    I guess it may be important to periodically cycle back and review the core essentials for others arriving later. However, there is also a market for those interested in where we’re going, and how this sh!tstorm is going to play out in real time once the party gets going.

  • @ apneaman

    Thanks so much for the link to J.A. Thomas Jr.’s 1 hr, 10 min presentation “The Neurophysiology of Religion and Spiritual Practice”( I think that he makes many important points. Related to this, I think that we probably have important psychological in-group/out-group mechanisms that tend to work against us on these blogs. To paraphrase Thomas Jr. We are biased to make in-group/out-group distinctions, and these distinctions help over-ride some of our inherent inhibitions about killing by dehumanizing the other. We turn on a mechanism in our brains originally designed for use in killing prey animals when we label out-group others.

    Of course, killing is not an issue here, but we function on an important VIOLENCE CONTINUUM. This comes closer to quoting him more exactly: “These religious rituals enhance BOTH cooperation AND in-group bias. We are biased to make in-group/out-group distinctions. And they help over-ride some of our inherent inhibitions about killing by dehumanizing the other. We turn on a mechanism in our brains originally designed for prey animals when we label the out-group others.” A related exact quote: “One of the social functions of religion was to commit men to war.”

    My point? If we want to communicate effectively with each other, we need to remain aware of this bias and use great care in what we write and say to each other, and how we write and say it.

  • “This kind of examination of the reality behind the US dollar reserve system was in vogue back in ’07-08. Mish, Denninger, Bageant, ZH, et al were essentially exploring new ground with the advent of the first cracks in the hologram.”-B9K9

    Denninger & Mish both think Capitalism is PRODUCTIVE. They never refer to the Waste Based nature of the economy. Besides that, neither one to my knowledge ever looked at the thermodynamic aspect of money controlling the dissipation of energy. If you have a link to an article from either of them on this topic please drop it down here. Joe Bageant certainly never looked at this, and the Tyler Durdens STILL think Gold would solve all problems.

    On other topics, great discussion with Gail Tverberg of Our Finite World and Ugo Bardi of Resource Limits at the Collapse Cafe. We discuss NTHE in the second half of the Vidcast.


  • Ya, financial overshoot is not a good sign, not good at all. That’s like providing a tumor with lots of growth hormone while cutting back on its glucose. Growth was good, but now we fight for the remaining glucose and become necrotic, poisoning the body even further. The fact that cells and organisms eat each other seems to indicate a lack of cooperation within the ecosystem body, but this is just a moral artifact of the human mind. We eat each other, we shape each other over time, we’re co-dependent. And then here comes man, going to make the great escape from all that death and “shaping” by using technology to destroy, enslave, and consume the agents that birthed him. And now we’re reaching the end of the cell line and we didn’t live forever and we didn’t grow forever. What a downer. But it always ends this way for a fast malignancy, doesn’t it? Honestly, the bankers and politicians did a superb job of promoting our growth and now they don’t know what the f%*k to do as the ecosystem falls apart and the tumors begin their fight for the last remaining glucose. Nothing left to do now but double down on your holdings of General Dynamics, Northrop-Grumman, Jiffy popcorn, pay your cable bill and watch the sh!t fly.

  • Some folks like to look back in time to compare what is happening with events of the past. Let’s not forget that over the past 4,500 million years of life on earth, there never once was an industrial civilization until now. The dinosaurs lasted 200 million years. We lasted about 200. They were good at eating each other but they didn’t destroy their environment. They didn’t burn stuff.

    With this overview in mind, extinction is certainly more reasonable than not.

  • “The dinosaurs lasted 200 million years. We lasted about 200.”

    200: Industrial civilisation
    200,000: Homo sapiens sapiens
    400,000: Homo sapiens neanderthalis
    2,000,000: Homo (genus)

    “They were good at eating each other”

    We are not too shabby either, if we consider bushmeat, that includes primates, the same order as us. Dinosauria are deemed a superorder, with two orders, the Saurischia and the Ornithischia. Generally, Ornithischians were lunch for the Saurischians. And now lunch for us is KFC, from a Saurischian lineage (in spite of the Ornith- prefix for the other group).

    And in fact we might be one better than the dinosaurs.

  • Happy (or sad) summer solstice to all. I find it sad myself, but am VERY aware of it. :-)

  • QUESTION: Does anyone think that a dog’s kidney knows that it is a dog’s kidney, or, is it just doing what kidneys do?
    I’m guessing we are like the dog’s kidney. We have no idea what the fuck we are here for. We just do what we do.
    Yeah, you might say we are “smarter” than that organ. Are we?
    Are we “smarter” than a bug?
    Before the bug—WE DIE.

  • Mt

    My question of always is, the purpose issue, mainly regarding humans, as the other creatures have clearly a purpose. In essence, to keep the system running.
    In a piece of machinery, the parts do not need to know that they do something. Not even to know that they are part of something else.
    Most creatures on earth are like a part of a big machine. The biosphere. They are very special pieces as they repair themselves, and they can reproduce by themselves. A fully automatic system. With another great quality, they can perfectly run on solar energy, as that is all the system needs to run.
    But humans are different.
    We can think.
    We can understand that we have a role. If we want to, if we try.
    The point there is that most of us is not trying.
    It can be clearly seen that most humans have chosen for the easy way, just to abuse of our power above the other creatures, and mostly just live to “enjoy”.
    It is easier to say that a bug may be “smarter”, and use it as an excuse to keep on being as we are today, instead of the effort of understanding that we are in reality “smarter”, but that implies a task and knowing that we cannot do just what we want, and abandon the concept of living to just enjoy. And destroy. In the end the damage will be charged to the next generation.
    Most people today live a life with absolutely no purpose at all.
    As RE says, just to produce waste, something that nature does not.
    But we can change, we have the power. We, contrary to most creatures, can play a role that we can choose. It can be a bad role, or a good one.
    Evil, destruction is always the easy way.
    We all know that the easy way never leads to a good thing.
    If we compare the human learning process on how to handle our power properly, with our personal development along our life, we are still in the 15-20 years range. As kids of that age can do everything an adult can do, but they are immature, and totally focused on themselves, there is no such thing as “others”, but just to serve themselves.
    Even the enlightenment is an intermediate stage, because it does not serve a purpose on itself. It is a state that mainly allow us to understand our power, and somehow handle it with care, to avoid the abuse. Once reached that state, comes the time to understand the purpose issue. Why we are here. Why we were created. What for.
    It is my belief that our purpose is to create things, things that enrich the system. We have the capacity, we have the power, but the learning process may take a long time, longer that we would like it to be.
    We are smarter, the smartest creature on earth, but as any gift, we have to learn how to use the gift, to avoid the abuse and take advantage of the gift.

  • @ Bud Nye, Apneaman

    Thanks so much for the link to J.A. Thomas Jr.’s 1 hr, 10 min presentation…etc

    Are you conscious of how that way of viewing ourselves deprives us of our humanity and objectifies us, in much the same way as Datta’s ‘meat robots’ does ?

    and then we get Godofredo Aravena, same thing, it’s all a big machine, we’re cogs, we need to be smarter cogs, blahblah.

    That’s what got us into this mess. Cartesian mechanistic thinking.

    Damming rivers to make dynamos to light up city streets with flashing neon signs telling oirsleves how smart we are ‘enriching the fucking system’.

  • @ulvfugl

    The problem I see with the Cartesian/Baconian/Newtonian thinking that you emphasize so well does not so much involve its “mechanistic” characteristics as much as its way over-simplified, closed system, linear, reductionist, presumably reversible mechanistic assumptions, along with the related thinking and valuing. Meanwhile, both the “living” and “non-living” world (a distracting, false dichotomy, in my view) work based on vastly more complex, irreversible, open system mechanisms. To say this in different words, I think that the problems come not from the general concept or model of “mechanisms”, but from the relative validity of the mechanisms, the models, that people assume operate. A relevant question, I think, looks like this: To what extent does the mechanism modeled overlap with or accurately represent the reality outside of our heads, especially regarding LIFE? As you point out, the Cartesian model obviously does work well enough for many sharply limited/defined and simple situations, even many complicated situations (such as safely sending a person to the moon and back). But as Schrodinger, Prigogine, Lotka, and many others have made clear, that Cartesian/Newtonian level of mechanism most certainly does NOT work well for describing the COMPLEX open, biosphere, life, and climate. Yes, “it is all ‘just physics'”. But it is NOT all Newtonian, closed system, reversible, linear, predictable physics! (Related to this, no natural process is reversible. We know of no exception to the second law of thermodynamics, which describes the principle that energy always dissipates to a point that does not allow for work.) Yet again in still fewer words: The problem lies not with “mechanism”, but the KIND and nature of mechanism we assume. We have created our self-annihilation trap out of ignorance of the complex mechanisms. Or so it seems to me.

  • @ Bud Nye

    Thanks. Yes, I understand all that. But my point is slightly different one. That we are – or, imo, should be – human beings first. That’s before any type of analytic, intellectual thought.

    Because what happens is, that we immediately get reduced and devalued, by the language.

    Humans do this to animals. I’m sure you’re familiar with examples where corporations see forests as ‘assets’ which can be ‘liquidated’.

    Science, since Bacon, Descarte, Newton, has had this project based on the observer and the observed, where all subjective emotional human response is meant to be excluded, with a view to gaining something called objectivity.

    But then we, in the name of something called ‘reason’, ‘rationality’, turn that spotlight around and focus it on ourselves, and de-humanize ourselves and claim this is somehow virtuous and an advance and to be admired.

    For me, it’s a disaster, it’s grotesque and awful.

  • @ulvfugl

    I agree completely and enthusiastically, and I see those as issues different from the use of the term “mechanism”. IF we assumed COMPLEX, unpredictable, irreversible mechanisms, I maintain that we would not think and value in the ways that you describe so well here.

  • A purpose for human existence was postulated by George Carlin; the Earth wanted plastic but was unable to generate it directly; the Earth was able to generate humans via the process of evolution, and humans have generated plastic. Now that the Earth has all the plastic it can cope with our job is done and it’s time for us to leave.

  • fine essay, RE. as usual, u must have put a lot of work/care into the composition.

    seeing’s how it’s the 6th anniversary of the great carlin’s demise, how about a doubleheader:

  • Thanks TVT.

    This one took a while, between figuring out the diagrams then writing the text to go with them, and the really time consuming part, adding all the Graphics, Media and appropriate quotations I like to add to an article to spruce it up.

    I’m probably not going to submit Part IV to Guy for NBL publication, but it is up on the Diner and on TBP. I have another one The Emperor is Naked up now which I will submit here. Guy has a pretty long queue for publication, so sometimes you gotta drop out things because they are dated.


  • garden looks good
    good night

  • Ulvfugl

    Science, Bacon, Descartes and Newton are part of the learning curve of our species. But they are a preliminary stage.
    About the human response, that is what we know “so far”.
    The failures in our language are because we are still in some way too primitive. But we can learn, as we have done in many respects so far, who says that this is the end of the road?.
    I mean that today we give to many concepts the quality of a dogma. Just because of our lack of knowledge and understanding.
    We are up to the moment cogs, because we have been unable to leave that state. But we can become not cogs, but the architects of the system. We were created in the image of God, that means that we can become God in a certain way. We are God in a very-very preliminary stage. It is just that we haven´t understood our power yet.
    As long as we think that we are meant to be cogs, we will keep on being them. As simple as that.
    Climate Change is also part of our learning curve. So the need for some people to survive. The need.
    We in general are at a very low level of knowledge, specially about us, and our capacities.
    We have to stop pretending that one human life is enough, because, we die, and take most of our valuable individual experiences to the grave. And nothing, or little, is kept to be used by the next generations.
    This is the reason why I defend so much the reason to have children. Independent of the population bomb, because, the problem we created by our ignorance, is not a reason to avoid acting in a logical way in some moment, even being late. With a long term purpose.

    Most people live a life with no useful purpose for the “enlightenment” of our species. Just thinking in themselves, for themselves. A clear shot of how far we are from being wise yet.
    Because, “wise” means a lot more than what it seems at first sight. It has a quite ample width.


    I like George Carlin, his words are a lot more profound than what they seem at first sight. About our purpose, taken in a long and constructive way, there is a lot to be said yet, specially thinking in a long term scale. We have to question everything, even God and Darwin, and the rest…. Hopefully along the way, we will be able to understand our reason to be here, and our limits.

  • Guy your’re a Cantankerous old Fuck you know that!!!

  • Godofredo.

    I used to think there was some purpose to it all and that correct actions would ultimately lead to improvements in understanding and a better world in general.

    I now understand that humanity has staggered from one crisis to the next and replaced one misconception with another on a more-or-less continuous basis, especially since homo sapiens out-competed Neanderthals between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago.

    Don’t you just love the idea of everything being made up of four elements, the Earth being at the centre of everything, being able to turn base metals into gold, mermaids and sea monsters, ‘dragons be here’, phlogiston, miasma, reincarnation etc.

    Nowadays the cult ideas are centred around infinite growth on a finite planet, debts and deficits don’t matter, possession maketh the man, greed is good (still in vogue, I believe), watching sport on a screen is a valid method of displaying patriotism (especially if accompanied by the consumption of brand-name alcohol), technology can solve every problem technology creates -and if it doesn’t, the magic man in the sky will fix everything anyway (but only after we have thoroughly trashed everything). Other equally absurd notions centred on ‘freedom is slavery’, ‘ignorance is strength’ and ‘war is peace’ etc. continue to hold sway.

    The country I live in has a self-serving, compulsive liar who orchestrates looting and polluting of the commons as ‘leader’. The mayor of the district is now known as ‘Judas’ or ‘The Smiling Assassin for NP’ because he has back-tracked on everything he said before being elected (9 months ago) and now busies himself destroying his own children’s future, as well as everyone else’s, and lies more or less continually.

    A while ago the government established a program called ‘Enviroschools’. I was shocked to see the cover of the 2012-2013 progress report. Would you like to guess the colour? Green, with lots of brightly-coloured butterflies? Blue, with dolphins leaping out the water? No, black. Black all over, with a tiny bit of coloured text and a minuscule rainbow. 98% black for our children. That’s how sick NZ society has been made by the psychotic sociopaths at the top. (John Key is pushing for a change in NZ’s flag to black, and will probably get his way, since he represents the interests of the international psychotic sociopaths who run the world.

    What we do not have yet is fighting in the streets and literal assassination squads. Presumably Shonkey and company have plans for such things since they fully support Obomber’s destabilisation of Ukraine and Iraq-Syria and will support Obomber whatever Obomber suggests. Secret deals to internationalise all financial systems and place them under the control of corporations: “I’m comfortable with that,” says John Key. Drone attacks on civilians? “I’m comfortable with that.” says John Key. Nuclear war? “I’m comfortable with that,” says John Key.

  • Tweet-tweet
    I am
    I was
    A bird, a Bee
    Knows not it’s spreading pollen
    It does

  • I’ve posted a guest essay by Robin Datta. It’s here, and please note the links at the bottom of the page.

  • Very long. But it DOES deal with the purpose of life. :-)

    (I’m not sure why the numbers are so scrambled. I cut and pasted this from an email.)

    30 Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes For Your Next Existential Crisis

    By Alison Nastasi on Jun 21, 2014 11:17am

    Hated, revered, and sending people into an existential tizzy since 1940-something, Jean-Paul Sartre’s work remains crucial. Today would have been his 109th birthday. Intent on provoking us to “challenge every idea and every person,” Sartre’s assertions demanded we accept responsibility for our choices and our world, while embracing the inconceivable unknown. His devastating philosophies about being and nothingness continue to plunge people and their angst-ridden egos into the depths of an existential crisis. Mull these 30 quotes over the next time you’re contemplating the meaninglessness of it all, your place in this alien universe, and feeling trapped within the deeper recesses of your own psyche. After all, misery loves company.


    “I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in… but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted.”

    “Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”

    “Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.”

    “Hell is other people.”

    “We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are — that is the fact.”


    “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

    “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”

    “We must act out passion before we can feel it.”

    “Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have.”

    “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

    sartre (1)

    “One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one’s death, one dies one’s life.”

    “God is absence. God is the solitude of man.”

    “Man is a useless passion.”

    “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

    “Nothingness haunts being.”


    “Life begins on the other side of despair.”

    “All human activities are equivalent… and… all are on principle doomed to failure.”

    “It is certain that we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish.”

    “I know. I know that I shall never again meet anything or anybody who will inspire me with passion. You know, it’s quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don’t do it. I know I’ll never jump again.”

    “Words are loaded pistols.”

    “I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul.”

    “One always dies too soon — or too late. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life.”

    “Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind.”

    “Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.”

    “Ah! How I hate the crimes of the new generation: they are dry and sterile as darnel.”


    “Time is too large, it can’t be filled up. Everything you plunge into it is stretched and disintegrates.”

    “To eat is to appropriate by destruction.”

    “Nothingness lies coiled at the heart of being like a worm.”

    “Don’t you feel the same way? When I cannot see myself, even though I touch myself, I wonder if I really exist.”

    “I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”

  • Kevin

    Most of the time, being able to see beyond the rest does, is a heavy load to carry.
    Many times, I have wished to be a “normal” guy, just worried about sports, my job, and thinking in the next gadget to buy, just because there is a “new” one. To be just a cog, as Ulv says..
    But, it is impossible to un-see what you already have seen, and what it means.
    We as species, have lost the North. We are clearly going nowhere. We do not have a self control mechanism like for other creatures there is instinct coupled to other mechanisms that operate in nature, to correct the overpopulation, the most typical failure of equilibrium we find on nature.
    This crisis, climate change, peak oil, radioactive fallout, debt crisis, and of course over population will be solved, in a way up to the level of the danger of the cause. Almost a full clean up will be required, there is no other way. Everything can be re-made certainly.
    But, we as the origin of the crisis, should learn of it. We have to learn. The price will be so high, that not learning would be an enormous and stupid waste of energy, time, and experiences.
    My life has mainly one purpose now, to do whatever is within my range, to help to save some people. And keeping as many lessons as possible about our experiences available for any one that may survive. It does not matter if everybody is saying that there will be no survivors, instead of just waiting for the reaper, I prefer to do something, not for me, for somebody else that may survive.
    It is time for a new ethos, something that is relevant to me, and I am working on that, because the root for what we see today is the current ethos.

    I share with you the sadness (and rage) of seeing how this beautiful place is destroyed, and there is nothing we can do as individuals, but just watch, and suffer.
    Although, there is some hope, the next generations, the younger ones, less contaminated. Just a few individuals are needed.
    Not everything is lost, although most of our civilization is, but from another point of view, there is nothing that well worth to be kept, but the lessons on how to fuck up things at a planetary level. The lessons about how things should not be.


    I guess the way we see things are related to our time, and our experiences, and the cumulative experience of the society at the time you live.
    Sartre´s view, has to be seen, in that context. I disagree very much with his view, but I respect him, at his time, there were no other views to explain, or at least to provide a different way of seeing things. Today there are some ways to give answers to the questions of Sartre, that are so recent, that it can be understood that he did not have them at hand. Would this new concepts of life available at the time he wrote his words, he probably would have seen things in a radically different way.
    We cannot expect to solve everything in one life, not even having the genius of Sartre, several generations are going to be required. For example, I am part of a new generation, that is in position of providing a new perception of things, reasons, and purpose. And provide answers and different views to what Sartre was unable to do, but just to see everything dark.
    We have to question everything, is the only way to learn.
    We are prepared for that, we have the capacity.


  • @ Godolfredo,

    I would have some confidence in that new thing if it was humorous, especially if it could make (have made) Sartre smile. :-)

  • @Godolfredo

    I think I would agree that there is something called a whole that comprises smaller parts. What we tend to do in the West is to ignore the whole and focus on discreet parts. The way we deal with collapse is symptomatic of that. What I call the whole may be what you call the system. And family is baked into the cake of this wholeness. So is community. So is place. These are unifiers. But there may be vast numbers of unifiers beside them, and they all need to be used to bring people together in whatever way possible. All of this would be labeled under “impossible tasks.” Those who are happiest dealing with impossible things will have a field day now. The others, not so much.

    I believe some of my ancestors were ship people too, and I was born right by the sea. If you were a good stone thrower, you could probably hit the water from where I was born. I used to watch the ships go by along the horizon.

    There’s lot’s we should talk about. Is there a way we can communicate by email?