The Death of the Dream

by Aleigha, college student by day and radical dreamer by night

The Dream is dead now. Buried there, somewhere within the parameter of that white picket fence. They came the other day, wielding the news that our dream had grown too large and too fast. We didn’t have the funds to feed it and ourselves. It would have to be put down. We’d known the day was coming, had heard the rumbling in its gut and its hungry cries. We knew that soon, the beast that had taken over our lives would have to be put out of its misery. That doesn’t mean we’d been ready. We still wept when the men placed a gun between the eyes of our Dream and pulled the trigger on everything we had worked so hard for. The Dream was dead, but at least the men who came to kill it were kind enough to dispose of it for us. They even marked its grave for us. A red and white sign with a single word written on it. Foreclosure.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this,” a nation of middle-class parents say to their children, “it was supposed to be better for you. You were supposed to have it easier than we did. From the fields to the mines to the cubicles, all of it was for you. All so that one day, you might be live a life that your forefathers — and your foremothers — could only dream of. You were supposed to make it big. You were supposed to have it all. Just when it started to look like you might be able to score a home among the elite, the gas prices and the food prices and the tuition prices and the everything prices, began to outgrow us. We should have known better, but we trusted their sweet talk and we fell into their trap, and now it looks like you’ll spend your life like us.”

Now you start to get angry. They promised you that if you worked hard and did well, you could have anything you dreamed of. They promised you could have it all, just as long as you worked hard, but the day you were ready to clock in, they told you to go home. There are no jobs to be found here, no money to be made, no Dream to claim as your own. Oh yes, you’re angry. You ask them for help and they turn you away. You’re sick and you’re hungry and you haven’t got a dime to your name, and they turn you away. They say look a little harder, go a little farther, but your eyes are tired and your feet are sore. You’re angry, oh so angry. You’ve watched your neighborhood go from a kingdom of suburban glory to a graveyard of Dreams grown too large to feed. You know that there’s only one job for every five out there searching. You know the truth, and you’re angry. You end up wandering to their front porches and camping out. You curse them for what they’ve done and what they haven’t. You yell and you scream, and you make a big ol’ fuss, you get on TV for it. You start a movement and it spreads across the nation, it spreads across the world. It spreads so quickly that you start to believe that it might just change the way things are done around here, you start to think that the big guys might just listen. They say they hear you – and maybe they actually do — but there are donors to please and campaigns to fund, and they have to keep the money coming in. They can’t help you in the way you ask them to. You’re angry, but you’re tired. You go home.

You return to the graveyard that you once called home and began to count the tombstones. So many corpses, so many homes, so many families that used to welcome you as a member of their community, so many Dreams. All of them buried here, a civilization full of people whose ambitions simply outgrew their resources. The growth has stopped and you begin to wonder if it will ever begin again. You can’t take the hopelessness of it all, you can’t stand to accept that the Dreams of your nation will simply lay here in the ground, forgotten like a long dead family pet. You grab a shovel. You start digging.

You dig as long as you can and as hard as you can. Blisters grow on you palms and sweat trickles down your neck. Even now that the Dream is dead, it manages to occupy every inch of your mind. You are obsessed with the idea of resuscitating it, of bringing it back to life so that it may grow again. Maybe you can restore it to its former glory. Maybe if you work hard enough, you can even make it bigger.

You look into the hole you’ve dug and you realize something. It’s not nearly as large as the Dream your ancestors have created for you, but it’s more than large enough to bury yourself in. You ask yourself: “is it worth it to keep digging?” Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s time to bury this Dream for good, and start looking for a new one.

Comments 279

  • No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • RD And if a “simulation”, reality is entirely a phenomenon of consciousness, not the other way around. This has the implication that there is nothing “out there”. However, the “simulation” should be s addressed scientifically, not through pseudoscience or for that matter, superstition, the stowaway onboard religion.

    I agree, although I’m not suggesting that the simulation is a product of our consciousness, or consciousness as such. I also don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m trying to sneak God into the auditorium through some pseudoscientific ruse by bringing up the simulation argument. Imo, god-talk creates the false impression that we know who or what corresponds to the word “god”. We don’t. There may not exist any entity, process, etc that meets our puny metaphysical speculations about such ultimate beings.

    If the simulation argument as developed by Nick Bostrom is correct … and there are some enticing indications that our little universe might be a simulation … then we’re left with a lot of interesting and disturbing questions beginning with: (a) where’s the computer that’s running the simulation, and (b) who programmed it. Please note that I am not presupposing that the programmer(s) is Jehovah. Like Bostrom, I think that the programmers are probably a more technologically advanced civilization that has some reason for running these kinds of simulations. They might even be us in the future who have created a simulation of an alternative history in which we go extinct.

    You can read Bostrom’s paper on the simulation argument which he published in the journal Philosophical Quarterly in 2003 at this link:

    http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf

    There’s a sim argument faq:

    http://www.simulation-argument.com/faq.html

    And even a simulation wiki:

    http://simulism.org/Simulism_Home

    I apologize for going off the deep end on this blog, but since we are facing NTE the question of what it is that is actually ending (real life on earth, or just the Memorex version) is an interesting and valuable one. If the Hindus and the Gnostics were right and the universe is a digital illusion created by software running on a super computer somewhere, then extinction means the discontinuation of data on the Archons’ hyperdimensional hard drive.

    I hope these developments in physics and comp science motivate those who are positing a 19th Century version of materialism to rethink/question the concept of matter itself. I’ve noticed that the Dawkins thumping materialists tend to express themselves as though they are hard nosed purists who have cleansed their minds of silly fantasies. If we are trapped in a simulation, matter is just a digital construct that is no more solid, or foundational than the image on your screen. Ironically, matter might turn out to be phantasmagorical and spooky stuff, like information and mind, might be fundamental.

  • ulvfugl, You have nicely summarized the current state of the discussion regarding the nature of consciousness. David Chalmers, imo, has written the best defense for dualism. My view is that consciousness is a fundamental reality that is not reducible to physical processes (which might be just digital-informational processes), although it can interact with physical processes. I also agree that there are subtle energies like chi, or prana, etc, which traditional cultures were aware of, but are not yet detectable by our techno-gadgets (or may not be detectable in the way electricity is) and are thus rejected… more modern hubris.

  • I know about quantum physics, I know about the slit experiment, and I know dead is dead.

    Kathy, I love your hardcore, ass kicking, no bullshit realism. In my next incarnation, hopefully on a better planet, I’m going to ask you out for a drink. I’ll take you to a nice slinky dinner club and then maybe we can go dancing. At some point in the evening I’m going to point out that you really don’t know “dead is dead.” Just cause you can’t see the other side, it don’t mean it ain’t there.

  • Here is the key point to the link provided by BC Nurse:

    ….the ocean under newly formed ice (“first-year ice”) absorbs 50 percent more solar energy than the ocean beneath older ice (“multiyear ice”).

    If I remember correctly, we are only a few years away before there is nothing in the Arctic but first year ice!!!

  • @ depressive lucidity

    You stated:

    “….Just cause you can’t see the other side, it don’t mean it ain’t there.

    Are you suggesting you have seen the other side, and that you know “it” is there?

  • Thanks, depressive lucidity, it’s a big subject, I don’t really have command of it, e.g. I’m not up to date on latest neuroscience research, here’s a nice take, what it’s not, by Ray Tallis

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/what-consciousness-is-not

  • LUCIDITY? SAID: « In my next incarnation, hopefully on a better planet, I’m going to ask you out for a drink.»

    What was wrong with this planet?

  • i guess the Chinese in this one particular spot think the source will last forever at the rate they’re going:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256086/Shouldnt-fins-attached-shark-Horrific-images-TEN-THOUSAND-fins-dried-food-Hong-Kong.html

  • depressive lucidity, I don’t like fancy restaurants, I no longer drink, I am a failure at dancing, I hate fancy clothes, and I wouldn’t ever go out with anyone other than the best man in the world, my husband and even if he weren’t around the only way you would get to first base with me is to help shovel out the chicken manure so it can be composted.

  • Physics says there’s no matter
    No matter how much you may natter
    So no need to eat
    Just absorb the sun’s heat
    And see if you get any fatter

    Something may not be matter on a physics level, but be matter on a level that counts for human life. Your brain counts, which is why we have such thick skulls. If our brain and our heart weren’t so important to our existence we would not have evolved thick heads and rib cages.

    Whatever you might describe as consciousness on some quantum level is NOT the same thing as individual sense of self.

    New years promise. This is the last time I will discuss this with you. Argue with someone else.

  • Hahahaha. Okay, Kathy C., ignore physics, forget all about physics.

    Gravity, time, the solar system, all the calculations that engineers use to build bridges and nuclear power stations, and computers, and all the rest, the solar flares that you warn will knock out the electricity grid, it’s all physics….

    If you studied the subject, you’d find that it is rather interesting, imo, particularly, the strangeness of quantum mechanics, and the interaction between the observer and the particle/wave in the double slit dooda… which is mind boggling. You want to pretend that isn’t a challenge or a problem ? go ahead. Physicists find it interesting.

    If it wasn’t for consciousness, nobody would know that any self, or anything else, existed. That’s why it’s of primary concern and interest. The fact is, nobody understands it. It remains up for grabs. It probably requires an entirely new paradigm of reality, imo.

    Crikey, Kathy, I never asked you to argue with me about anything, it’s not my fault if you don’t understand physics, is it.

  • Anyone who has raised children knows that the best way to end a pattern of temper tantrums is to ignore the behavior. Any sort of attention at all only prolongs the foot stamping and screaming, and encourages more episodes.

  • .
    It’s fun to consider abstractions
    (More relaxing than physical actions!),
    But since time’s getting short,
    We might want to sort
    Out which ones are mostly distractions.
    ==

    The faith fights are making me think
    Even scientists, facing the brink,
    Need some kind of belief;
    As for me, I’ll be brief:
    I believe I’ll go have a drink.

  • ulvfugl; I think most of us are more interested in the physics that puts food on the table, that builds a house well and allows an instrument to make music. You know, the things that won’t drive us crazy.

  • The topic, Aleigha’s topic, the end, the death, of a dream, is not something new, is it, it’s been happening throughout history, when people have been forced to revise their concept of their situation in the light of some unwelcome new information.

    This is what happened to the Christians, in Britain, when Darwin returned from his voyage on the Beagle and published his theory. It was a shock. I mean, it was a shock for his wife, and for the poor captain of the Beagle, who committed suicide, a shock for the whole of soceity, pretty much. The whole British culture was built around biblical beliefs, even if many people didn’t take them very seriously and were not devout in any sense, nominally, the Origin Myth was the biblical one. Changing that was kinda radical, to say the least. Some people still can’t come to terms with it. And then it rippled out, and still ripples….

    The Genesis 6 day thing was, well, not exactly ‘a lie’, but it was mythos, a poetic truth.

    Einstein caused similar havoc to Newtonian physics. But the Einstein couldn’t believe where his own work lead, and wasted years and years trying to show that quantum physics was wrong, rather than adjust the story in his head.

    The notion that what is ‘out there’ is ‘solid stuff’ made of ‘solid atoms’ like billiard balls, as it was conceived to be in 19thC physics, is totally wrong. If you kick a rock, it feels solid, because the pressure sensors in the nerves in your foot tell your brain, and your brain creates a sensation which your brain interprets as ‘hard’ and as ‘pain’.

    However, when physicists zoom in on the structure of the rock, the atoms are mostly nothingness, just as the atoms in your body and brain are mostly nothingness.

    Of course, the ‘truth’ we need to know, at different scales, or different levels, differs. But I think once you start going down the avenue of scientific knowledge, you can’t say ‘Stop there ! I don’t want to know any more, it’d damage my worldview’. That’s the problem with opening Pandora’s Box. First you take out the secret of Fire, and before you know it, you’ve got nuclear power, and nuclear bombs.

    We’ve used our cunning and our knowledge and our inventiveness, and we created a Myth of Progress, and a Cornucopian Myth of Never-Ending Riches, and a Star trek Myth of Colonizing the Universe, and so on and on…

    Cultures teach their children the prevailing mythology, the story of the times, the stories of the times, and that’s how people find meaning and make sense of their lives. It’s hard to change those stories. None of them are necessarily ‘true’, in any ultimate sense, but they are workable, in a rather arbitrary, messy way.

    In our times, new information forces change. This happens all the time. Kuhn’s famous paradigm shift. But people’s egos get so attached to their world view, they’ll defend it, come what may, so we have usually have to wait for the old generation to physically die, before a new paradigm can be fully accepted, and nowadays, when everything moves so fast, paradigms soon become dated.

    That’s what Daniel noticed, on this blog. NTE is a new paradigm, a new story, which shatters the older story, which was that, if we all pull together, make a huge effort, build green, resilient, transitional, permacultural, small-footprint, eco-friendly communities, we can somehow ‘save the planet’, blablabla… That was still quite a fresh, new paradigm, for many. Plenty were still living with the older one, two or three cars, flying to Thailand for weekend breaks, etc, etc…

    Realising that that paradigm, worldview, story, is dead, hurts. I know it.

    Facing NTE hurts. I know it.

    So, where next ?

    It’s maybe easier for me, because zen practice is a practice that eats worldviews.

    It is the only teaching I know of that is designed to transcend itself, in that sense.

    The map can never be the territory.

    I think Donella Meadows hit it nicely :

    The highest leverage of all is to keep oneself unattached in the arena of paradigms, to realize that NO paradigm is “true,” that even the one that sweetly shapes one’s comfortable worldview is a tremendously limited understanding of an immense and amazing universe.

    It is to “get” at a gut level the paradigm that there are paradigms, and to see that that itself is a paradigm, and to regard that whole realization as devastatingly funny. It is to let go into Not Knowing.

    I don’t take that to mean being flippant and frivolous, I think the situation is deadly, deathly, serious. But still, amidst such awesome vastness, we are less than ants, to take ourselves too seriously is to be too vain and self-regarding…

  • Back to the article. . . the author IMO does a good job summing up the “reality” of not only her/his generation but of most Americans as well; entitled, privileged, pampered and somewhat pissy. They are so unprepared for what is coming at us.

    I currently work in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There due to the number of unwanted babies being thrown alive into the landfill outside of town that several NGO’s have set up surveillance operations. The situation was described to me as the “landfill is full of babies”. Brings to mind the quote I read somewhere to the effect of “the future has arrived, it just isn’t equitably distributed yet”.

    Unless you are one of the lucky ones living is tough and idealism does not show it’s face on the edges of the empire.

  • @ dairymandave

    Maybe so, but you can only send me that message because the guys who designed and built your computer understand quantum physics, and if it’s using electricity from a nuclear power station, because the guys who designed and built that understand quantum physics, and if the link goes via satellite, because the guys who do that stuff understand quantum physics, and if you use a mobile phone…. etc, etc.

  • “Divinity lies within.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • <i<If the Hindus and the Gnostics were right and the universe is a digital illusion

    An illusion is an illusion only from the reference of the source and sustenance of the illusion, as a dream is an illusion only in the context of the person dreaming: within the context of the dream it is real.

    If we are trapped in a simulation,

    The awareness of the simulation is not dependent on the simulation. The awareness of a dream is the awareness of the person dreaming, and is not created in the dream. The person dreaming may appear trapped in the dream.

    I don’t really have command of it,

    A spoon containing sugar, but a tongue tasties it.

    What was wrong with this planet?

    The story is told of a man of understanding who sat outside a town.

    A traveller stopped to ask what kind of people lived in the town. The man asked the traveller what the people were like where the traveller had come from. The traveller said that they were hateful, cruel, crooks, etc. the man of understanding said that the people in this town were the same.

    A second traveller came by and asked what kind of people were in the town. Again the man asked what the people were like where the traveller came from. The traveller said that they were loving, kind, honest, etc. the man of understanding said that the people in this town would be the same.

    “Divinity lies within.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    And without. Concealed by lies it lies.

  • The latest and from those I have heard, the greatest C-Realm podcast.

    The guest’s pointing to consciousness is consonant with the Kabbalistic, Buddhistic and Vedantic traditions:

    343: The Great G

    “KMO welcomes Lon Milo Duquette to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about magick, music, and the good so great and all-encompassing that it has no opposite. LMD is a stand-up occultist, a gnostic bishop, a singer/song-writer, and the author of 14 books on magick and esotericism. In spite of the content of the musical interlude on this week’s show, Lon wants the listeners all to know that he does not drink alcohol at all these days and certainly does not condone driving under the influence. Lon explains how Solomonic magicians raise demons and put them to work in the service of the Great G, how a demon, once transformed from a destructive and directionless force, can help the magician transform his or her consciousness. Magic is, when you get right down to it, all in your head. You just have no idea how big your head is.”

  • Tom mentioned something about the families who owned the Fed, and I said I had read it’s now owned by banks, which are themselves owned by other banks…
    The US housing bubble which burst and the suffering Aleigha and many others suffer as a result, was a scam, consciously designed by the bankers, who knew exactly what the result would be, because the same trick has been pulled many times before, over the last couple of centuries, ever since the Dutch Tulip Bubble. The sophisticated minds in the finance industry know how these tricks work. It’s only the mass of the general public, who don’t understand money and how it works, who get caught every time. It’s all a con trick. Try and read David Graeber’s Debt, The First 5000 Years. It’ll blow your mind. It’s amazing how easily people are fooled, because they are NICE, they tend to be trusting, they think other people must also be nice, and they believe what they are told. If you want power, to control, exploit and enslave people, money is far more effective than a gun. People are afraid of men with guns, but men with money to loan are much, much, more dangerous. Anyway, some of ‘the families’…

    http://deanhenderson.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/hsbc-skates/

  • Gail, YES

    Back to the topic. Ok Aleigha, here is one thing you can do. Don’t create any new children who will find their dream just to stay alive (that is built in) cut short in likely unpleasant ways. Rape is common in societies that a collapsing and birth control will go with everything else, so please consider a tubal so that you don’t have to see your child look at you and ask why they were born into a world with no dreams.

    Privileged if you have any other students who get it please tell them the same.

    The last thing we need is a generation that instead of saying “why didn’t you tell me” says “why did you conceive of me”

  • Anthony thanks for sharing, your comment about unwanted babies in landfills of course backs up my comment above. Infanticide is the birth control of the future as it was of the past. One may think they would never do that, but if you already can barely feed the ones you have, keeping the baby means death to all.

  • BtD – Exactly.

  • ulvfugl; We should have left all that in the box. I wouldn’t be sending this post but my grandchildren would have food on the table, a house, and a fine instrument to play.

  • Once, very long ago, I briefly worked for a disreputable rich businessman, selling a luxury item to people in their homes, on credit. I asked him, what to do, if it was obvious they were not going to be able to pay ? He said that didn’t matter, just get the signature on the contract, nothing else mattered. So I asked how that worked out. He explained. The credit company paid him. So he didn’t care if the customer paid or not. Then, credit company took out insurance, so if the customer didn’t pay them, the insurance company paid them. So they didn’t care if the customer paid. Then the insurance company divided the risk and took out insurance with other insurance companies.

    So, if the customer didn’t pay, those insurance companies paid. And again, those other insurance companies divided the risk, and passed it on to yet more insurance companies. So, everybody, made money, even if the customer didn’t pay at all… except, somebody, somewhere eventually lost. But that was going to be their problem, whenever they discovered it, and then they’d have to take legal action, which would make money for lawyers, and debt enforcers, and so forth… so most of the people in the chain were happy, just so long as I handed in a piece of paper with a signature on it… and for doing that, I got handed my lump of cash….

    If you can follow that, it’s basically what happened in the USA housing market. Selling houses to people who it was known were likely to default, on the promise that house prices would always rise forever, which everyone knew was impossible. And then the banks divided up the mortgages as ‘investments’ and sold them on, and bundled and divided them again, and again, and rinse and repeat, all around the world. All the while knowing that it was a bubble that would burst, a con trick, a fraud, a rip off. And the Rating Agencies were in on the fraud, giving AAA+++ grades to what they knew was crap. Because they got paid, so they turned a blind eye.

    And then the ‘foreclosure fraud’, which, if you are not familiar with it, has been investigated on Naked Capitalism for the last several years. The technicalities are different because the laws differ in each State, but as I understand it, the agent who wishes to repossess the property has to have the ‘note’ which states that they have legal ownership. Well, in most cases they do not have that ‘note’, because nobody knows where it is or where it went, because it was sold, as an investment, to someone, somewhere, and has vanished. Or, ownership is registered under MERS, electronically, which was a dodgy computer database, without established legal authority. And many other issues….

    Basically, the banks ripped off the naive public, the first time around, selling loans to buy houses. Then they rip them off again, the second time, foreclosing on the loans. At the same time, they work the top end, blackmailing Gvt., by getting massive amount of money, by threatening that if they collapse, then the whole economy collapses.

    But, if you study the matter, banks are unnecessary. They are parasites. All that people need is a form of currency, so they can trade and do business. If they need loans, these could be provided via credit unions, that were a not-for-profit service. The only reason there are banks at all, is because of history, very cunning greedy people have found out it is an incredibly easy to become incredibly wealthy and powerful, because you can create money from nothing, and the mass of the population does not even notice or understand. Once established, bankers have got so powerful that they control everything, including politics, military, every aspect. It is kind of insane, because money is actually less essential than bread, and people would think it was strange if bread bakers managed to get that sort of power over everything, but it would actually be more logical.

    As Henry Ford said : “It 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.”

  • @dairymandave

    We should have left all that in the box.

    Sure. But what you gonna do ? Re-run history ? We are where we are….

  • Hey Gail (and all), watch this (~12 min. vid):

    http://www.wimp.com/uniqueteacher/

  • Tom, loved the Freeway blogger!! Especially the one “When this (the arctic ocean)turns blue that means we’re done. Thanks

    Maybe if every country that has a nuclear reactor has a Fukushima type accident we will start reducing the world population. This probably helps
    Japan blog author claims medical workers said malformed babies are being declared as stillbirths or miscarriages — Not included in statistics
    http://enenews.com/japan-author-claims-medical-workers-malformed-babies-being-declared-stillbirth-miscarriage-included-statistics-video

    Still it won’t be enough population reduction to matter, but each baby not conceived is one more human that won’t have their dreams cut short.

  • I picked up a book called “Three Famines Starvation and Politics” by Thomas Keneally and can only read it in bite sized chunks since it is so sad and maddening. Bought it so that I might recognize what’s happening before the denial begins.

    It looks at the famines in Ireland, Bengal and Ethiopia. All were aided and abetted by the “government”.

    If you want to know what starvation looks like in unarmed countries, look no further than this book.

  • @ Kathy: Why humans and all forms of life will never stop making babies:
    1) It is way too easy to make babies (beleive me)
    2) We do not make babies for themselves but for ourselves. We need them to justify our lives and it takes an incredible (almost impossible force) to resist the very complicated multifaceted “call” to reproduce at an age when we are, among other things, wired to reproduce and forced by our peers to do so (all the young women around me who choose to stay without child are CONSTANTLY harassed by almost everybody and their justifications only make them more monstruous in the eyes of the others)
    3) Most humans will never “realize” what is happening globally on earth and babies will be born until the last minute
    4) Babies are the one fresh and wonderful source of life, joy, beauty that every adult, family, society can get apparently for “free”, without remorse and HOPING everything will be ok
    5) It is absolutely useless to invest energy in this direction

    Many NBLers (I know ulgvful, not you)forget all the time that we are very very few to know the facts, and the feedbacks. All the others are consuming (cars, dishwahers, trips, cell phones, movies, medecines) and HOPING, HOPING, HOPING. Some, Syria is just one example, have already crossed the line and will never come back to what the medias will call «normal», or «new normal» until the end.

    The environment is so fragmented and fragilized that there is no more time and capacity of recuperation between every storm, every nuclear accident, every anomaly. I think very soon we will experience “massive denudation”: no trees, no plancton, no vegetation and that will cause the whole living system to collapse (+ everything should be completely irradiated, of course) «The further 71% shift of d13C after the extinction has probably resulted from massive denudation of soil and sediment caused by the collapse of continental ecosystems as well as possible dissociation of methane hydrate at the end of the Permian (GVZ 5)»

    I had some old paint (who doesn’t?)in the shed. So I painted a waterfall on the wall and a meandering river on the floor. I can lie down in the river, let the water flow, and dream (that I am under the 45 degree sun in australia maybe?). My most cherished memories of this life are surely my contacts with rivers. Today, I am waiting in the river, in the comfort of a city apartment that is entirely relying on electricity.

    Lately, I also thought about eating less
    but since then, I eat more…
    wheighing too much
    for my flying carpet
    but hopping to catch up

  • Once upon a time, not all that long ago–three years to be precise–John Michael Greer was clearly out on the furthest reaches of the radical fringe. His theory of a slow long decline was arguably well researched….at least in a historical context.

    But that was three years ago. What’s interesting to watch, is how climate chaos, which is something he has paid very little attention to over the years, has slowly been eating away at his entire concept of collapse…….not unlike the rest of us. But what makes JMG so fascinating, aside from his cogent writing, is that he now finds himself trapped in the most peculiar way, between his own theory of “the long decline”, and the undeniable evidence of non-linear rates of climatic change. He has so actively demeaned those he accuses of living in apocalyptic fantasy by promoting a “fast crash”, that he has now, inadvertently relegated himself the status of the very false prophets he denigrates.

    Here is his latest attempt, to work in just a few of the factors that he can no longer avoid, but which also contradict his own theory:

    “I’d also encourage my readers to watch the climate. The tendency to focus on predicted apocalypses to come while ignoring the reality of ongoing collapse in the present is as evident here as in every other corner of contemporary culture; whether or not the planet gets fried to a crackly crunch by some more or less distant future date, it’s irrefutable that the cost of weather-related disasters across the world has been climbing year over year for decades, and this is placing an increasingly harsh burden on local and regional economies here in the US and elsewhere. It’s indicative that many coastal towns in Louisiana and Mississippi that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina have never been rebuilt, and it’s probably a safe bet that a similar fate waits for a fair number of the towns and poorer neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. As global warming pumps more heat into the heat engine we call Earth’s climate, the inevitable result is more extreme weather—drier droughts, fiercer storms, more serious floods, and so on down a litany that’s become uncomfortably familiar in recent years…”.

    “….whether or not the planet gets fried to a crackly crunch by some more or less distant future date….” This is a subtle way of admitting that his preoccupation with a gradual piecemeal decline, might just be yet another round of wishful thinking….all things considered.

    I have yet to come across any writing of his that seriously looks at climate change. As far as I can tell, he tacitly at best, mentions the latest climate science of the last three years, even though he now regularly mentions arctic methane. Not unlike Guy once hoped, he has long thought energy scarcity would ameliorate the dire effects of global warming.

    Point being, JMG’s story arc, in many ways mirrors our own. Very few of us are immune to the trappings of our vested interests, no matter where those interests lie. All of our perspectives are married in incalculable ways to the time invested in the spaces we currently inhabit, and these spaces are most likely, framing our individual concepts of NTE in ways still yet unknown to us.

    When even the most radical among us, can no longer stay out ahead of evidence, then NTE is if anything, the end of secular wisdom.

  • This short music clip comes from the movie Field of Dreams but is so ethereal that it conjures up something indescribably deep, mysterious, and wistful about life when i hear it. Please take 2 minutes out of your day and enjoy the sounds and let your mind wander (i usually end up with goosebumps and tears in my eyes by its conclusion – maybe it is all just a dream, and yet, and yet . . .):

    The Drive Home

  • @ Daniel

    Yes, I noticed that, re JMG as well. I think we all have our blind spots. Re Guy’s marathon metaphor, someone is out in front, then they drop way back. Ten years ago, Ran Prieur seemed radical and visionary to me. Now, if he’ll forgive me, he just seems tired and boring. His latest view of the future amounts to ‘more high tech computer toys for the rich’ plus ‘more industrial human dog food for the poor’. And ‘the bottleneck’. He still thinks in those terms and J. Diamond, whom, imo, is discredited.
    I mentioned bottleneck in DM. Since then I concluded it was a mistake. It’s a funnel, but there’s no hole at the other end. NTE. I think detailed predictions are pointless. It’ll arrive in its own way, own time.

  • @ michele/montreal

    ….forget all the time that we are very very few to know the facts…

    And look what we are up against, the most powerful, profitable, ruthless, unscrupulous, businesses that existed in all of history…

    Third is the Big Oil-transport-military complex, which has put the US on the trajectory of heavy oil-imports dependence and a deepening military trap in the Middle East, he says.
    ”Since the days of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Trust a century ago, Big Oil has loomed large in American politics and foreign policy. Big Oil teamed up with the automobile industry to steer America away from mass transit and towards gas-guzzling vehicles driving on a nationally financed highway system.”
    Big Oil has consistently and successfully fought the intrusion of competition from non-oil energy sources, including nuclear, wind and solar power.
    It has been at the side of the Pentagon in making sure that America defends the sea-lanes to the Persian Gulf, in effect ensuring a $US100 billion-plus annual subsidy for a fuel that is otherwise dangerous for national security, Sachs says.
    ”And Big Oil has played a notorious role in the fight to keep climate change off the US agenda. Exxon-Mobil, Koch Industries and others in the sector have underwritten a generation of anti-scientific propaganda to confuse the American people.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-four-business-gangs-that-run-the-us-20121230-2c1e2.html

  • JMG wrote a book in March of 2009 called “Art and Practice of Geomancy, The: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance”
    It is described thus where it is sold on Amazon
    Have you ever lost an important object? Are you taking on a new job? Looking for buried treasure? The Art and Practice of Geomancy teaches readers how to divine the answers to life’s everyday questions about health, luck, new jobs, and love, as well as those less mundane tasks such as finding buried treasure, predicting the weather, being released from prison, and identifying secret enemies. Greer delivers to readers an ancient system of divination in an easy-to-use form requiring little more than a pen and a piece of paper. Using a system of counting odd and even numbers–from a deck of cards, a roll of the dice, or even by hitting sand or dirt with a stick to generate patterns–readers learn how to cast their own geomantic chart. And for those who wish to delve further, he offers exercises for geomantic meditation and ritual magic. The Art and Practice of Geomancy will appeal to pagans, followers of the Western Mystery tradition, scholars of folk magic and divination, and anyone who wants to take their past, present, and future into their own hands.

    So someone needs to ask Mr. Greer why his geomancy didn’t tell him about climate change. In my opinion he sold snake oil before he started on Peak Oil and is still selling it. The scary thing is that some fool might have taken up this geomancy, identified someone they knew as their secret enemy and taken action against them.

  • Michele I know that 5) It is absolutely useless to invest energy in this direction. However the energy I invest is pretty small, just an occasional post because it is seldom well received. If my words however cause one person to make the plunge and get the damn things cut, I may well save at least one human from the future we all dread. I was so freed from pills and their dangers and other forms of birth control that do sometimes dampen spontaneity when I got mine cut.

    Hope you had a nice float in your river. My bathroom is covered with fish. Fun with paint. Maybe we should all get out our paints for pre extinction therapy. Finger paints, that would be fun…..

  • Kathy C., JMG understands magic and he understands physics. You’ll be in a position to criticise him when you have an equivalent understanding.

    The wisdom of grandmothers is in Dr Shiva’s words, “our capacity to love, unconditionally. In our society of competition, of insecurity and fear, that steadiness of love and compassion is brought to the next generation. Just because they are grandmothers, they have a long view. It’s called sustainability in today’s jargon. It’s really a thinking about future generations – not just of me, myself, today.”

    http://www.gandhiforchildren.org/vandana-shiva-knowledge-biodiversity-sustainable/

  • The difference between a universal problem and a global problem and why it means we won’t do anything about climate change:

    http://theautomaticearth.com/Earth/quote-of-the-year-and-the-next.html

  • I think it keeps on happening, Tom, not just USA, many parts of the world. Question is, whether it’s always been so, like natural weather effects, or some human activity that causes it.

    Was just thinking, another name in the marathon, J. Robb, who used to predict collapse and came up with the localised resilient community offering, but seems to have gone off at a mad tangent, to suit rich people with high tech business solutions, and this latest idea, for drone nets that can go and fetch your iPhone if you forgot it…. sigh…

    Stuff the ‘living in a computer simulation with effing drones everywhere instead of birds’… i’m too old for it, I want to go back to the Iron Age and live in a thatched hut with no aeroplanes in the sky and hear the birds singing…

    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2013/01/dronenet-the-next-big-thing.html

  • JMG is a pompous egomaniac who makes money off of promising people that if they just buy his books and hang breathlessly on his every blog post they will be saved, because in his infinite wisdom he will extract magical wisdom from his wizard hat and teach them how to survive the long slow crash. Before I knew that, I posted some comments on his site and was promptly banned for suggesting that the crash is going to be very fast indeed, because we are killing all the life we depend upon for our own with pollution – never mind climate change.

    He has marginalized himself. A more interesting writer is the blogger at 22 billion energy slaves but he has the same limitation, a vested interest in peak oil and a slow economic collapse.

    When I first began understanding how serious and imminent the issues of climate, peak oil, over-extraction, overpopulation and pollution are, I was shocked at the enormous gaps between the various groups who subscribed to one or another of those converging catastrophes. To me they are all part of the same problem, but it is rare to find people who make the connection. Ecology was destroyed as a discipline long ago and specialization has reigned supreme, deflecting any comprehension or action.

    …And then there are the professional greens who are using climate and saving endangered species and forests for personal gain or glory…plus there are those that the Unabomber despised as described here:

    http://bookhaven.stanford.edu/2010/02/unabombers-writings-raise-uneasy-ethical-questions/

    Kaczynski’s manifesto argues that the leftist liberals who present themselves as rebels are, in fact, obedient servants of the dominant society – a symptom of “oversocialization.” He singles out “university intellectuals” as prime examples.

    Apostolidès, who says he wouldn’t kill a fly, finds the criticism “absolutely appropriate.”

    ‘Our words have no power’

    “It’s the problem of scholars, even artists: Our words have no power. We think we are changing the world – particularly on the left,” he said, and paused. “You accept your symbolic castration – that your writing will take time to have a modest influence on your contemporaries.”

    Now I have stopped worrying about all the flailing and blather. All our words have made zero difference, the pillage of the earth continues unabated.

  • Gail, I agree about the nature of the “left” and have recently been reading Chris Hedges’ book, “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.” Hedges saves his worst criticism for the lefties and longs for the days of real revolutionaries who would lay down their lives for a cause. I can only read one of the dispatches at a time because it makes me so angry and so depressed I’m immobile for a few hours. I feel like I’ve wasted my life and now it’s too late.

  • As for climate change, I think JMG’s position is that on January 1 of each year, roll one 10-sided die. The number that turns up is the number of percent worse (1-10%) the climate will be that year vs. the year before.

    As for religion, JMG’s practice is fairly standard nature spirituality. Geomancy is pretty fundamental to it. I’m sure even the Nenets use some form of it.

  • BC Nurse Prof,

    How have you wasted your life?

  • Heh, I admire Chris Hedges tremendously – he is a brilliant writer and has risked his life and been through brutal hardships to bring the truth to life. (I met him around this time last year at an Occupy Princeton talk he gave which I filmed and put on youtube.)

    Perhaps most endearing is that he is as susceptible as any of us to delusional hope, as demonstrated (KathyC and Michele I think will both appreciate this) by the fact that he recently produced his fourth child and when asked why (given that he regularly predicts a horrendous future) he fell back on “faith”. Which has to be the most selfish thing ever…but he’s certainly not alone. You can add Naomi Klein to that list, she had a baby last summer.

    BILL MOYERS: In one of your earlier books, you wrote that, quote, “We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilization blink out, and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity.” Do you really think that’s ahead?
    CHRIS HEDGES: If there’s not a radical change in the way we relate to the ecosystem that sustains life, yes. And I see, if you ask me to put my money down, I see nothing that indicates that we’re preparing to make that change.
    BILL MOYERS: But here’s another paradox then, you present us with a lot of paradoxes. You just– you and your wife a year and a half ago had your fourth child. How can you introduce another life into so forlorn a future?
    CHRIS HEDGES: That’s not an easy question to answer. I look at my youngest son, and his favorite book is “Out of the Blue,” which are pictures of narwhales and porpoises and dolphins. And I think, “It is most probable that within your lifetime, every single one of those sea creatures will be dead.” And in so many ways, I feel that I have to fight for them.
    That even if I fail, they’ll say, “You know, at least my dad tried.” We’ve deeply betrayed this next generation on so many levels. And I can’t argue finally, you know, given the empirical facts in front of us that hope is rational. And I retreat, like so many people in my book, into faith. And a belief that resistance and fighting for life is meaningful even if all of the outward signs around us deny that possibility.
    BILL MOYERS: That faith in human beings?
    CHRIS HEDGES: Faith in that fighting for the sanctity of life is always worth it. Because you know, if we don’t fight, then we are finished. Then we signed our own death sentence. And Camus writes about this in “The Rebel,” that I think resistance becomes a kind of way of protecting our own worth as an individual, our own dignity, our own self-respect. And I think resistance does always leave open the possibility of change. And if we don’t resist, then we’ve essentially extinguished that hope.

  • Whilst I agree with all those points, Gail, what is even more ridiculous, is when people like you and Kathy C.. (who complain about personal attacks) make personal attacks upon one of the LEAST harmful people on the entire effing internet. Just seems like the most petty meanness and spite to me.

    I mean, how many JMGs are equivalent to the Koch Brothers, in terms of damage to the biosphere ?
    I think you need to reassess your sense of proportion. There’s zillions of totally evil rabid lying c**ts out there. If you’ve got vitriol to spare, why not throw it at some of them ?

    For all any of us know, JMGs and others slow crash scenario may turn out to be correct, there may be remnants of civilisation in 100 years time, just as remnants of the Maya survived the crash of their civilisation, and Rome staggered on for centuries. It all depends upon what happens, and there are too many variables to be certain.

    If the global human population crashes by a billion or three or four, say, this year or next, that means the CO2 emissions drop. That changes the future. That could happen. It could happen by way of a global pandemic, or by way of financial meltdown, or by way of a natural disaster, such as volcanic activity, or nuclear war. Etc.

    Anybody who says it definitely will, or it definitely won’t, is not to be taken seriously.

    If we just project forward current likely trends, BAU, then I think Guy’s scenario, NTE, over the next few decades, is highly likely. I can’t see how it can be avoided. It’s not inevitable. People could act decisively, to change the future.

    But it does not look as if they will, and with the alarming signs from the methane, etc, and so little time….

  • Can’t say I’m a fan of C. Hedges. He wrote for NYT, which is a nasty propaganda rag. Was in favour of Bush’s Iraq invasion. Did a lot of damage to the Occupy movement by his unwarranted accusations against them of violence. Yes, he’s got a great gift with words. I don’t trust him. I see him as a valve for middle class indignation, to stop any real change. Just my personal opinion.

  • ulvgugl,

    Didn’t somebody say to ignore temper tantrums?

    Oh well, here’s the thing. Don’t preach to me.

    1. I spend a LOT more energy and time fighting the real assholes, such as the Koch brothers, than I do posting comments about sloppy minds like JMG.

    see this: https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2011/03/koch-victims-vindicated-in-weekly.html

    and this

    http://www.cardboardroses.org/

    that’s me in there, going back to court Jan. 16 for the 5th time. oh, and then there’s this: https://grist.org/climate-energy/behind-the-scenes-at-a-big-mountaintop-mining-protest-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

    I’m not just talking the talk.

    2. We ARE going to have a fast crash, because in fact, we ARE IN a fast crash. It’s not only inevitable. It’s ALREADY HAPPENING! Very few people like to admit it, however.

    Which, I meant to mention last comment, is why I really appreciate our host, Guy McPherson. He is one of the very few that doesn’t dance around our prognosis which is sort of like the earthly equivalent of pancreatic cancer.

  • Gail, I don’t know if you saw that I did watch Sarah’s Key. The story of course is powerful, but it goes beyond the actual story to ask the question “who is responsible” over and over, just as The Grey Zone asks the question “what is moral”. Thanks for recommending it. A very thought provoking movie.

    One that should also be watched by Chris Hedges is perhaps Sophie’s Choice. What do you do when circumstances or Nazi guards make you choose to lose this child, or that child and if you don’t you lose both children? Note above Anthony’s comment earlier I currently work in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There due to the number of unwanted babies being thrown alive into the landfill outside of town that several NGO’s have set up surveillance operations. The situation was described to me as the “landfill is full of babies”. Brings to mind the quote I read somewhere to the effect of “the future has arrived, it just isn’t equitably distributed yet”.

  • @ Arthur Johnson …fairly standard nature spirituality…

    Yes, indeed. You walk out of your hut/tent/cottage in the morning, three geese, high in a clear sky, call out, something inside you resonates, and it’s good, good to be alive and in the world, a good day to set out…

    That’s magic, right brain, mythos. It has absolutely nothing to do with intellectual knowledge, reason, rationality, logic, left brain, logos, graphs, numbers, calculations, or any of that stuff, it’s of the heart, not of the head.

    All little children understand magic, it makes them smile. Only stuffy boring foolish adults despise it and think they know better. Magic is therapeutic, it brings left and right hemispheres together, so that we become wiser, better integrated. The lovely video that Tom posted, of the teacher, was a great example. Although I have to say, I cringed at the ‘saying grace at the meal table’ bit. I can do without that. But there we are. if that’s where the guy find his thing, that’s okay imo, so long as he doesn’t impose it upon anyone else.

  • Arthur, I suppose I feel guilt in larger measure than most, probably due to my mother, I don’t know. We’re all guilty of not stopping this when it could have been stopped. I was young then and smart and healthy and I could have done so much! But I was interested in boys and horses and having fun. I was thinking about this recently, and I thought that if I had had even ONE mentor, like Wade Davis had, a mentor who told me what was possible, and had faith in me, and told me that I could do something, I would have jumped at the chance. I think.

    Maybe I say this because I don’t want it to be my own fault that I didn’t take up a research career in biology early in my life. I had all the credentials and didn’t do it.

    Once I came home and excitedly told my mother that myself and one other student in 8th grade, a boy, were battling it out every week to outdo each other on the quizzes in algebra. I was so excited! I loved algebra and I loved competing with him for the highest mark. She looked horrified and said, “You don’t do that! You don’t get high marks! The boys won’t like you!” Well, I didn’t know what to say to that. I mean, it’s your mother, right? Is there something to this or not? It bothered me for a while, but eventually I went back to competing with him for marks. I don’t even remember if I got a better grade in the class or not, but I do remember the look on her face. Maybe stuff like this did something to me. As a child she used to dress me up in a one piece bathing suit and a home made sash across the front saying, “Miss Universe 1970”. I hated it. She took pictures. I went on to study philosophy. I bought a t-shirt that said, “Philosophy – I’m in it for the money.”

  • hm, my earlier comment is mired in moderation, maybe too many links so here i the first half:

    ulvgugl,

    Didn’t somebody say to ignore temper tantrums?

    Oh well, here’s the thing. Don’t preach to me.

    1. I spend a LOT more energy and time fighting the real assholes, such as the Koch brothers, than I do posting comments about sloppy minds like JMG.

    see this: https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2011/03/koch-victims-vindicated-in-weekly.html

  • 2nd part:

    and this

    http://www.cardboardroses.org/

    that’s me in there, going back to court Jan. 16 for the 5th time.

  • 3rd part:

    oh, and then there’s this: https://grist.org/climate-energy/behind-the-scenes-at-a-big-mountaintop-mining-protest-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

    I’m not just talking the talk.

    2. We ARE going to have a fast crash, because in fact, we ARE IN a fast crash. It’s not only inevitable. It’s ALREADY HAPPENING! Very few people like to admit it, however.

    Which, I meant to mention last comment, is why I really appreciate our host, Guy McPherson. He is one of the very few that doesn’t dance around our prognosis which is sort of like the earthly equivalent of pancreatic cancer.

  • KathyC, I did see that you watched that, and Sophie’s choice was always a tough one for me, since I have a daughter named Sophie.

    BC Nurse, don’t ever feel guilty. Michele/M is right – our genes dictate an overwhelming desire to multiply. My thought is that our fate was sealed when we discovered fire:

    https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2011/06/i-blame-prometheus.html

    or as Lady Gaga said, You Were Born This Way, Baby!

    https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2011/06/god-makes-no-mistakes-you-were-born.html

  • @ Ulvfugl

    I’m a fan of Chris Hedges writing, but he like everyone, has his faults (failure to question 9/11, having four children, being associated with Christianity, being too vocal against the black block, etc) but I don’t believe he ever supported the Iraq invasion, unless you’re confusing him with Hitchens. However, the very criticism you are leveling against Gail and Kathy C in regards to JMG, are you not in turn, committing towards one of the staunchest proponents against corporatism in the wider public domain? I would get down on my knees and pray, for the day that his indignation represented middle class values….at least in America. I think that Hedges is a bit of late bloomer in regards to collapse, but his writing continues to evolve, and while I don’t agree with everything he stands for, I do trust his moral compass…….as I do yours.

  • I know we are in the crash, Gail, I have said it many times, over and over again, for years and years. Fast or slow, depends upon how you define the words, and what you are pointing to at the time. The American economy ? The entire global economy ? Civilisation ? The human species ? The entire global ecosystem ?

    When I talk about the crash, the collapse, what I mean is the Earth systems that sustain life, in other words, the biosphere, Lovelock’s Gaia, the kind of world that we found when we evolved, before we began wrecking it.

  • @BC Nurse “I can only read one of the dispatches at a time because it makes me so angry and so depressed I’m immobile for a few hours. I feel like I’ve wasted my life and now it’s too late.”

    I posed this question before: is this kind of reaction not really “your own”, but rather a manifestation of 10s, 100s, maybe 1000s of previous generations of slaves/serfs/sheep that came before us? That with active & brutal “herd management” from the reigning state, traits such as submission & depression may have conferred certain competitive advantages that provided a higher degree of survival?

    Rather than become upset as I discovered the truth of how our world operates, I only wanted to learn more in order to master the con. In many ways, I typically have the same reaction as portrayed in the movie ‘Patton’: “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”

    This of course probably makes me an anomaly ie a sure target for the crown eager to perform a little hanging, drawing & quartering to show the rubes how it’s done when one questions state authority and isn’t exactly in the club. So how did this kind of trait survive such a ruthless winnowing? Who knows.

    However, it should seem obvious that the kind of resignation demonstrated here on a daily basis clearly plays into the hands of the elite. After all, it’s part & parcel of their training in the art of human governance begun early in their lives: wear down the serfs, and back up your acts with violence. (All backed by the law, ‘natch, as the state is sole arbiter with respect to the critical monopoly of force.)

    Lucid D gets what’s goin’ down. I’m just trying to probe a little bit to see if one can see beyond this age and see the pattern that has always existed.

  • @ Daniel

    Someone posted an article from him re support for Iraq invasion somewhere, couple of years ago, doesn’t matter, not important, who cares, it’s water under the bridge.

    Yes, good point, Hedges and Chomsky are seen as representing the Left, in USA, but that’s because the whole spectrum is so distorted to the Far Right, they’d be considered mild, tame, mainstream centre in Europe, in my estimation.

    As for Greer, people here have ‘accused’ me of being a fan, jeez, I see him as a rather sweet old hippy who enjoys reading history books, I don’t often read his blog, but when I do, he has good stuff to say, yes, he’s a bit stuffy and pompous, but he’s trying to be an Archdruid, ffs ;-) It’s basically fake. Like setting up as a magician as Alan Moore has done. I don’t see any harm in that. It’s no different to what George Carlin did or what Billy Connolly does, as a comedian. Subvert the standard social persona, invent a new one. Be whatever you effing want to be.

    Fwiw, the druids were invented in Wales, in the 19thc. Nobody knows what the REAL druids were into. They had to reinvent the whole thing. So what ? They make new stone circles and have poetry competitions and singing and dress up in fancy clothes and whatnot, and generally enjoy themselves. I don’t find anything objectionable or foolish about that.

    The REAL druids must have invented their rituals, originally, way back, same as all human religions and cultural traditions must have been invented by someone at sometime. I just think it’s pathetic for people here to rubbish those people at JMGs blog, who are trying to grow vegetables and live a moral life, when they could be rubbishing the bastards who attend Bohemian Grove, Bilderberg, Skull and Bones, and all the rest, who really ARE evil…. anyway, hardly worth discussing, is it.

  • Over on another blog I am arguing with Nate Hagens of The Oildrum fame. Some of Guy’s articles and lectures have been posted there. He thinks Guy and the AMEG are way off, telling me that he have friends who are climate scientists who submit stuff to IPCC and they think the AMEG analysis is just kooky. I have asked him several times how these scientists explain the sea ice loss this summer, the 1 km methane plumes, the Greenland melt and all the other facts on the ground that keep surprising climate scientists. Seems to me these prominent climate scientists as he calls them need to get back to work on their models and shut up unless they can prove these are anomalies not indications that climate change is going non-linear.

    If geomancy works at predicting things why would JMG who writes a whole book on it not have a better fix on how the future is going to unfold?

    Who is right about how dire things have become and the fact that we are heading into uncharted, unmodeled, unpredicted territory is presented by this chart http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b017744cf5360970d-pi

  • Not exactly sure what you are getting at, B9K9, but I’ve been reading the comments following Kingsnorth’s essay, where one Lara is giving it some vigorous stick…

    We’re trapped in this awful dilemma, wishy-washy green liberals, raised in the ideas of Ghandi, MLK, Mandela, violence breeds violence, as John Lennon said, ‘they’ want to goad you into violence, because that is ‘their’ speciality, that’s what ‘they’ are best at, the area where they know they can always win, because they have the best gear, the training, the resources, the laws, the prisons, everything, set up ready, all in their favour…. so it’s got to be a serious tactical error to go into battle, where the rules of the game make it inevitable that you will lose… which means you must select other circumstances, which give you the advantage…

    So what do you do ? Are we justified, legally, morally, in fighting, to save ourselves, our planet, in the face of imminent extinction ? If so, is there actually anything effective that we can do ? I know D. Jensen has raised the question, and then kinda copped out, saying he’s only a writer, and not very healthy. I can use the same excuse, I’m unhealthy, and much too old to fight on the barricades. Anyway, where the f**k are the barricades these days ? In the old days, people knew what to do and where to go. March to Moscow or to Paris. How to locate the heart of the beast ? and then, as has been mentioned, most people don’t even understand wtf this is all about anyway….

    Comment 36

    The Rendulic Rule set the legal precedent for the importance of the subjective test in determining a case of Military Necessity.

    In October 1944, Generaloberst Lothar Rendulic was Armed Forces Commander North, which included command of Nazi Forces in Norway. After World War II, he was prosecuted for, among other charges, issuing an order “for the complete destruction of all shelter and means of existence in, and the total evacuation of the entire civilian population of the northern Norwegian province of Finmark…” where entire villa villages were destroyed, bridges and highways bombed, and port installations wrecked, hundreds died from exposure or perished at sea, while still others were summarily shot for refusing to leave their homeland; which left some 61,000 men, women, and children homeless, starving and destitute. He plead to ‘Military Necessity’ at Nuremberg and was acquitted. He presented evidence that the Norwegian population would not voluntarily evacuate. (The Hostages Trial: Trial of Wilhelm List and Others; United States Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 8 July 1947 – 19 February 1948)

    International law has justified, acquitted or given lenient sentences to violent and non-violent actions of civil disobedience, which included murder, kidnapping, arson, etc:

    http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/discuss/7277/P32/

  • @ kathy C

    If you don’t mind, which blog are referring to, I would be interested in chiming in…….

  • Daniel http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/America2Point0/ You will have to subscribe and be accepted – the list is not always open for new members but is currently last I heard.

  • Completely off topic, re druids, this is the guy who started the revival, of whom, it must be said, JMG must always remain a somewhat dull, pale, although much more reputable and respectable, imitation.

    Edward Williams, Ned of Glamorgan or Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826) was the creator and father of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain…He was a stonemason by craft and travelled throughout Wales and to London. There, he came into contact with the Gwyneddigion Society and began to move in cultural and radical circles. Iolo Morganwg was a genius – one of the founder members of the Unitarian movement in Wales, a political radical who supported the French Revolution, a pacifist, an antiquarian, a hymn-writer and an able lyrical poet who called himself ‘The Bard of Liberty’. But he was also a dreamer and a forger. He was addicted to the drug laudanum and this probably affected his perception of the world. The creation of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain was part of his dream and vision for Wales and Glamorgan and he managed to convince the scholars of his own time that it was a totally authentic institution. But why did he go to such trouble? There are a number of possible reasons:…..

    When Iolo died in 1826 Wales had scarcely begun to fathom the full nature and extent of his invention and deceit.

    Hahaha, even today… I wonder if the readers of JMG’s blog appreciate the genealogy back to this rascal, who burned his dead son on a funeral pyre, and thus British law was changed to make cremation legal, amongst other extraordinary things….

    http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/884/

  • @ Kathy C

    Thanks for the link. I had lost track of Jay Hansen after his war socialism site, but then again, I haven’t really paid all that much attention to his writing sense around 2005, but I have been curious what he’s been up to. Thanks again.

  • @ Kathy C

    As to why your voice along with all the rest, are being drowned out….

    From David Spratt:

    “The problem is now so big and action required is so far outside business- and politics-as-usual that for most of the climate movement the only way to be “relevant” is to not describe the problem as it is, and not describe the scale and urgency of the solutions. We have achieved a collective cognitive dissonance where the real challenge we face is excluded from discourse. This is our Climate Policy Paradigm.

    Most eNGOs and activists consciously seek not to specifically engage about the scale of the problem and the urgency of the action required because it is not an immediately winnable goal or kosher inside the political beltway and in the daily news cycle. This Catch-22 means that what really needs to be done is rarely articulated. It’s pretty crazy when you know (on the present political and economic settings) that we are heading towards an apocalypse and the public discourse is so deluded that you are excluded or marginalised for saying so.”

    Sound familiar………?

  • Geomancy and such are foolish pursuits. Seeking them may bring some modicum of success in some instances, but such diversions – which they are – will distract one and lead one astray.

    Such abilities have been described very long ago:
    Srimad Bhagavatam
    Canto 11, Mahâmantra 2, Chapter 15: Mystical Perfection: the Siddhis

    (3) The Supreme Lord said: ‘The masters of yoga speak of eighteen mystic perfections [siddhis] and meditations [leading to them], with eight of them abiding primary in Me while ten manifest [as secondary] from the quality [of goodness]. (4-5) The ability to get, as for the form, into the smallest [animâ], the biggest [mahimâ] or the lightest [laghimâ relative to garimâ, the heaviest], to acquire whatever material object [prâpti], the ability to enjoy sensually whatever can be seen or heard [prâkâmya], to have the upperhand in employing the forces [îs’itâ or îs’itvâ], to be in control – unobstructed by the modes – by means of magic [vas’itvâ] and to answer to any desire that seeks [His] favor [kâmâvasâyitâ], are the eight mystical perfections, o gentle one. Know them as the ones that originally belong to Me. (6-7) In this body not to be plagued by hunger and thirst and such, to hear and see things far away, to be transported with the speed of mind, to assume any form at will, to enter into the bodies of others, to die at will, to witness the sporting [of the heavenly girls] with the gods, to be of perfect accomplishment as one likes, and to have one’s commands fulfilled unimpeded [are the ten secondary siddhis]. (8-9) To know the past, the present and the future, to be free from the dualities, to know the minds of others, to check the potency of fire, the sun, water, poison and so on and not to be conquered by others are the perfections that are described as the result of concentrating in yoga. Please learn now from Me by means of which type of meditation what perfection occurs.

  • Additional bolded section

    (3) The Supreme Lord said: ‘The masters of yoga speak of eighteen mystic perfections [siddhis] and meditations [leading to them], with eight of them abiding primary in Me while ten manifest [as secondary] from the quality [of goodness]. (4-5) The ability to get, as for the form, into the smallest [animâ], the biggest [mahimâ] or the lightest [laghimâ relative to garimâ, the heaviest], to acquire whatever material object [prâpti], the ability to enjoy sensually whatever can be seen or heard [prâkâmya], to have the upperhand in employing the forces [îs’itâ or îs’itvâ], to be in control – unobstructed by the modes – by means of magic [vas’itvâ] and to answer to any desire that seeks [His] favor [kâmâvasâyitâ], are the eight mystical perfections, o gentle one. Know them as the ones that originally belong to Me. (6-7) In this body not to be plagued by hunger and thirst and such, to hear and see things far away, to be transported with the speed of mind, to assume any form at will, to enter into the bodies of others, to die at will, to witness the sporting [of the heavenly girls] with the gods, to be of perfect accomplishment as one likes, and to have one’s commands fulfilled unimpeded [are the ten secondary siddhis]. (8-9) To know the past, the present and the future, to be free from the dualities, to know the minds of others, to check the potency of fire, the sun, water, poison and so on and not to be conquered by others are the perfections that are described as the result of concentrating in yoga. Please learn now from Me by means of which type of meditation what perfection occurs.

  • B9K9 Says: However, it should seem obvious that the kind of resignation demonstrated here on a daily basis clearly plays into the hands of the elite.

    Class war can take a back seat:
    With the heat, and nothing to eat,
    And the radiation,
    That’s not resignation—
    Extinction includes the elite.

  • surreally beautiful funny intelligent talented freethinker talks about how ‘dog’ is funny as in a bad joke:

  • Snip from KathyC post above:

    “telling me that he have friends who are climate scientists who submit stuff to IPCC”

    A: Fallacious reasoning as it is an appeal to authority.

    B: These are the same scientists being published in Nature etc. . . for the last 20 years whose climate predictions for at least 5 years now been shown to be consistently very much incorrect. The more they admit to being in error the more these so-called experts are seen as
    being the experts.

    C. Scientists such as Hansen, Wadhams and Wasdell whose predictions have been proven to be accurate and who publicly call for drastic change are still being labeled alarmist.

    D. Society and tptb won’t admit humans are going over the cliff until we hit bottom.

    @kathyC: Thanks for commenting on my comment. Best, Anthony

  • BtD…..Brilliant yet again

  • Daniel, thanks for the words from Spratt, yes that does sound familiar and sounds like exactly what is going on

    And yes, war is socialism wasn’t my bag either….things are better.

  • Things get interesting
    Mississippi River Could Close to Barge Traffic Within Days

    By Josh SanburnJan. 04, 2013

    Drought may cause traffic on the Mississippi River – which is used to transport everything from grain to petroleum to coal – to a halt as soon as this weekend. And the stoppage could last for months.

    The lack of precipitation throughout much of the country has brought about drought conditions that the National Climatic Data Center has called the worst since the 1950s. Water levels on the river are lowest in a 180-mile stretch between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., sometimes referred to as the Middle Mississippi. That’s where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging to maintain a 9-foot channel to allow barges and boats to pass. Most vessels can’t travel in waters any shallower.

    Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/01/04/mississippi-river-could-close-to-barge-traffic-within-days/#ixzz2H0LmIEB9

  • Post on Naked Capitalism on how the banks cover up their illegal behaviour on mortgage foreclosures with all sorts of technical trickery that make it impossible for the ordinary person to understand what’s really going on.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/occ-foreclosure-file-reviewer-independent-reviews-were-controlled-by-banks-which-suppressed-any-findings-of-harm-to-foreclosed-homeowner.html

  • Hahaha, for someone like myself, who takes an interest in the philosophy of consciousness, ontology, epistemology, and who suffers from CH, ( which has been described as the most painful condition it is possible for a human to have, not certain that is correct, not having endured them all :-) but wiki says it, so it must be true, eh )
    and having spent four months of constant attacks, often hourly, trying different drugs that didn’t help, and only now having had four weeks of relief… believe me, I know precisely what it is like to ‘be’ in a state where nothing whatsoever exists except pure pain which has obliterated all other knowing, including the experiencer of the pain…

    I cannot imagine how there could possibly be anything worse. Nothing could be more horrible. And after an hour, it stops, and then, after an hour or two of recovering, it starts again. So how does the ‘thing’ called an ‘I’, a ‘me’ cope with that ? I mean, the obvious is to attempt to avoid it by any means possible. But what means ? Suicide ?

    Hahahaha….

    ‘Killing’ ‘me’…. does not solve the problem, does it. Not if you really look into it closely. The pain obliterates ‘me’, and leaves only ‘pain’, as the final reality….

    What would happen, if I took an overdose, or cut my wrists, would that be a guarantee, that I would be released forever from suffering ? In Kathy C.’s simple reductionist materialist Universe, where she finds eternal peace in blissful annihilation, perhaps.

    Personally, I think that’s just another Faith, a belief.

    So I accept pain, as teacher, as being. No me, then nothing to be avoided.

    Anyway, this is really most fascinating…

    In his recently published book, Phi, Tononi narrates a literary tour of his theory of consciousness through a fictionalized protagonist: Galileo. In one of the last chapters, Galileo encounters a diabolical machine that surgically manipulates the brain to produce pure sensations of pain. Tononi calls it “the only real and eternal hell.” The creator of the machine asks: “What is the perfect pain? Can pain be made to last forever? Did pain exist, if it leaves no memory? And is there something worse than pain itself?”

    For George Wilson, a Scottish chemist who had his foot amputated in 1843, before the dissemination of anesthesia, pain gave way to something seemingly beyond physical sensation, something articulable only in spiritual, nearly existential terms. Wilson described his experience in a letter several years after his surgery:

    Of the agony it occasioned I will say nothing. Suffering so great as I underwent cannot be expressed in words, and fortunately cannot be recalled. The particular pangs are now forgotten, but the blank whirlwind of emotion, the horror of great darkness, and the sense of desertion by God and man, bordering close upon despair, which swept through my mind and overwhelmed my heart, I can never forget, however gladly I would do so.

    While subduing consciousness is the most urgent aspect of Tononi’s work, he is especially animated when discussing consciousness in its fullest, brightest state. In his office in Madison, he described a hypothetical device called a “qualiascope” that could visualize consciousness the same way telescopes visualize light waves, or thermal goggles visualize heat. The more integrated the information—that is, the more conscious the brain—the brighter the qualiascope would glow. Using the device in an operating room, you would watch a patient’s consciousness fade to a dull pulse. If he woke up mid-operation, you might see a flicker.

    But if you turned your gaze away from the operating room, you would gain an astonishing perspective on the universe. “The galaxy would look like dust,” Tononi told me. “Within this empty, dusty universe, there would be true stars. And guess what? These stars would be every living consciousness. It’s really true. It’s not just a poetic image. The big things, like the sun, would be nothing compared to what we have.”

    VISUALIZING CONSCIOUSNESS

    In an experiment on vegetative patients, researchers pulsed one subject’s brain with electro­magnetic waves on three different days as the subject emerged from a coma. The resulting EEG patterns reflected Giulio Tononi’s theory of consciousness: they became more complex and widespread as the patient became more conscious.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/awakening/309188/?single_page=true

  • I have to applaud Guy for his decision to walk away from Empire. Guy was one of their academic stars and a fine, upstanding citizen of the Empire before he went good.

    If this is the best the agents provocateur on this board can do then I choose to ignore them. You know who they are. Perhaps post limiting may help.

  • @ Robin

    Geomancy and such are foolish pursuits. Seeking them may bring some modicum of success in some instances, but such diversions – which they are – will distract one and lead one astray…. and then quotes, re siddhis, etc

    Don’t quite agree with that. All the ancient divination systems and traditions are really methods of tuning in to what, in more modern terminology, is called the Unconscious.

    When Freud and Jung ( okay, there were earlier versions ) came up with what, in their view, was the scientific division of the mind into the Conscious and the Unconscious, the Unconscious ( with all its mysterious compelling forces, dreams, intuitions, etc ) was merely a replacement term for what had earlier been conceived of as the realm of the gods and spirits and various intangible entities and influences that people have been aware of since the beginning of time.

    Everyone recognises that the Unconscious mind knows vastly more at any given moment that the Conscious. That’s so obvious it hardly needs saying. Conscious mind is a tiny bubble floating on something much greater. You try to remember someone’s name, and you can’t. Sometime later, it suddenly pops into consciousness. The Unconscious mind had worked on the problem and provides the answer for you.

    All the methods of divination and magic are methods of probing the Unconscious. They are, in fact, psychology, but framed in the language and imagery of earlier times, long before modern psychology was invented. That does not make them, necessarily, either obsolete or lacking in effectiveness. Nor is it a guarantee of their merit. Imo, they can be viewed as of considerable interest, rather as herbal medicine from archaic traditions can be viewed likewise.

    As for the siddhis, I think they prove that what I called above, the reductionist, materialist, view of consciousness is incorrect. But they come about as a result of long practice of meditation, which, modern neuroscience has shown, changes the structure and functioning of the brain. Also, they are investigated phenomenologically, by direct subjective experience.

    So, for the case to be made, in modern scientific terms, the siddhis have to be demonstrated, via logos, with evidence. I believe that, to some extent, they have been. The covert US and USSR agencies did masses of classified research in that area, Remote Viewing, Telepathy, and so forth, and there’s plenty of stuff in the public domain as well. But, as we have seen on this blog, it’s not really the evidence that’s the problem. People have massive prejudice and difficulty when it comes to moving their mental paradigms and worldviews. Evidence hardly comes into it at all.

    I find the insistence upon science, reason, logic, rationality, intellect, left brain, logos, as the only valid way of knowing, is incredibly BORING. It’s scientism. As tedious as biblical literalism. The best scientists recognise that fantasy, intuition, dreams, imagination, art, poetry, music, the mystical, mythos, right brain, the realm of the Unconscious where divination goes fishing, is important… not just for science, but for everyone, for completeness, as a human being…

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

  • @ ogardener

    You know who they are.

    Please clarify. Who are the ‘you’ and who are the ‘they’ ? Dark opaque hints don’t help.

  • Timothy Leary – How to Operate Your Brain

  • David Wasdell uses an Apollo-Gaia parable to explain how climate modelling can lead to results that are completely misleading.

    The Climate Cheetah – 5 1/2 minute allegory to explain why the IPCC keeps being so wrong.

  • @ulvfugl “Not exactly sure what you are getting at B9K9”

    My point is to allow yourself to be neither defeated nor goaded into action. As many have observed over the years, they have all the tools, expertise and resources at the ready to beat your ass till Tuesday.

    IMO, the key is to follow your own path and try and keep as low a profile as possible. Know the score and avoid playing the game. If you find yourself questioning your past, it’s most likely because you’re finally closing in on the truth.

    Academics are prime targets for this kind of introspection, because they are routed into ‘prestigious careers’ early on when first identified. It’s only later when they are firmly co-opted in the service of empire that many wake up only to realize what they are. Of course, by that time, they are too old to serve as any threat, so no one cares if they muddle along, contemplating the end.

    It’s the younger ones who are the threat. If they aren’t part of the club, aren’t big/brutal enough to be hired as thugs (cops/military), aren’t charismatic enough to play the important ecclesiastical rites, aren’t smart enough to be academics/(finance)ministers, or submissive enough to be incorporated as drones into the bureaucracy, watch out.

  • @ ogardener

    erm, non sequitur ?

  • Good quick read here:

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/

    artwork depicting our dilemma, poignant photo and talking about the Achilles heel of civilization – the electrical grid.

  • ‘We do not make babies for themselves but for ourselves. We need them to justify our lives and it takes an incredible (almost impossible force) to resist the very complicated multifaceted “call” to reproduce at an age when we are, among other things, wired to reproduce and forced by our peers to do so (all the young women around me who choose to stay without child are CONSTANTLY harassed by almost everybody and their justifications only make them more monstruous in the eyes of the others)’

  • B9K9,

    It’s only later when they [Academics] are firmly co-opted in the service of empire that many wake up only to realize what they are. Of course, by that time, they are too old to serve as any threat, so no one cares if they muddle along, contemplating the end.

    This is so true, but it’s not only academics (though they are prominent members of this “club”). It’s not uncommon to hear people (particularly men) in their 60’s and 70’s ardently “telling it like it really is” because they don’t have to be afraid anymore, since “there isn’t much TPTB can do to me now; they can’t take away my Social Security and Medicare benefits”.

    The problem is, because they remained silent until they’re old and all risk associated with speaking up disappears, nobody has any respect for them and so ignores them. The reason people often listen to, and respect, younger folks who do speak up is that it’s understood that they’re usually taking a risk, sometimes considerable risk, by doing so.

  • Kathy C Says: Mississippi River Could Close to Barge Traffic Within Days

    Ol’ Man River

    Something has gone very wrong
    Since so long ago in that song:
    He once could deliver,
    But now ol’ man river,
    He’s no longer rolling along.

  • TVT – the vid covers a whole lot of territory on the conception question. With NTE looming the question becomes even more important.

  • Sometime later, it suddenly pops into consciousness.

    It pops up to a certain level of the programming, into the mind. This information then modulates other aspects of the functioning of the mind in the meat robot. Consciousness illuminates minds with awareness. From the physical functioning of the meat robot one can deduce that its mind is functioning. Even the most complex of such functions do not imply that the meat robot has awareness. Neither telepathy, nor remote viewing nor predicting the future demonstrates that the meat robot has awareness. Any awareness that it has is only evident to the meat robot itself. Consciousness illuminates everything to the extent of the nature of the things, just as light illuminates a lump of dirt and an masterpiece of art.

    A hardware brain with the complexity of a wetware brain is no different from the wetware brain in this regard. Thomas Warren Campbell and Raymond Kurzweil recognise this, and Kurzweil has written a book about it, The Age of Spiritual Machines.

    Awareness is not characterisable and has no content, but by illuminating the programming structures in the mind – the concepts – is almost universally compellingly identified with the concepts and the process of their manipulation, the thought process. It cannot be observed or contemplated as an object, nor detected as an object: from the stance of an observer focusing on something outside oneself there is only a Void, the Sunyata, the Ein Sof. Even the idea that the meat robot has awareness is a concept. The observer has awareness of the concept, but does not experience the meat robot’s awareness. The ability to be aware of the difference between consciousness and its (apparent) content is one of the characteristics of the enlightened. It is not attained through intellection without first ditching the one’s baggage – including even every subtlest trace of baggage: reaching what in religious traditions call “purity of heart”.

  • Thanks for the lawsuit link, BC Nurse Prof, but it’s last May, couldn’t discover if it got anywhere, or what grounds of it got dismissed on, 2000+ comments, mostly idiotic, loading very slowly, so I never reached the end. I recall some children in Indonesia, I think, tried something similar. There must surely be some legal responsibility towards future generations, under national/international law ? But then enforcement is always another matter…

  • I came across this 2009 video http://ifyoulovethisplanet.org/?p=964. It brought back to my heart that after discovering Algalita and the Pacific garbage patch in 2008, I soon ended up taking anti-psychotic meds to sleep. I NEVER slept another night without meds after I started seeing the whales, the turtles and many many others entangled in tens of thousands of platic nets and all kinds of plastic (and metal, etc.) traps that are ending in the ocean. And after I saw all the mothers of so many species feeding their babies with toxic plastic debris. It was a STOP moment for this gal. I can go for days without sleeping. I think maybe some will die like that. They will stay awake until they fall. When our carbage overflows just a little bit more, we are in deep shit.

  • Hahahaha, Robin, you do come up with some convoluted nonsense, sometimes. But no wonder, if you take Kurzweil as an authority on the subject. I consider him to be a misguided crank.

    Look, whether you’re an enlightened buddha, or an effing meat robot, (or whether they are the same thing), the conscious individual knows it can’t remember the name that it is trying to remember, and it knows, when later, that name pops into its conscious awareness. Nothing very complicated or hard to understand. Happens all the time, to everybody, every day. Just the way our minds work. Merely an example of the conscious mind sitting on top of the unconscious mind.