Dormitory days

Like many people, I served time in a college dormitory. Two years in college were preceded by eight weeks in high school as part of a National Science Foundation physics session for smartasses “smart” kids. I have a few memories from those times long ago. In an act of self-indulgence, the likes of which have become infamous in this space, I’m sharing them.

I grew up in a backwoods, redneck logging town in northern Idaho in the 1960s and 1970s. My educationally inclined parents steered me away from dangerous jobs working in the woods and, ultimately, toward the academic life. Ergo the opportunity to spend a summer beyond sight of my racist, misogynist contemporaries at the age of 17.

Hot to hotter

From a region filled with white people, characterized by male white privilege, and dominated by fear of “others,” I flew to Greenville, North Carolina. There, I spent the summer of 1977 on the campus of East Carolina University surrounded by people who looked different from me. I shared a dorm room with an African American student as tall and skinny as I was. He hailed from Washington, D.C.

We studied physics, pursued the young women in the program, pulled ridiculous pranks on our peers, and played basketball all summer. Despite our obvious differences, we had a lot to talk about. After we parted ways, I never heard from or about Michael again. But, without trying, he changed my life for the better.

From campus we proceeded into downtown Greenville via the sidewalk along a primary street one sultry afternoon. Maria from the Philippines accompanied me, while clinging to Michael’s arm was Emily, a blonde, blue-eyed, Caucasian woman. We weren’t a block from campus when racial epithets came from a passing muscle car.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Hate wasn’t restricted to northern Idaho. Three of us were horrified. Michael, familiar with the experience, acted as if it hadn’t happened.

Awareness isn’t nirvana. It’s hell.

College bound

Driving as far as I could from my hometown while still availing myself of a generous scholarship from the state of Idaho, I pulled into Pocatello in late summer 1978. I’d been looking forward to maximizing the distance between me and Hicksburg. Yet I couldn’t fight the tears of fear and loneliness as I drove into the city and approached the campus of Idaho State University.

I was assigned a room with three seniors who’d roomed together for years. I was as welcome as Deep Throat to Richard Nixon Bradley Manning to Barack Obama. I was sent packing before I unpacked.

A week and three dorm rooms later, I was frazzled down to my last, raw nerve. Trying to “fit in” while finding my way was posing quite the challenge. Nobody was particularly impressed that I’d been valedictorian of my high school graduating class (N = 37). Or that I’d been quarterback of the unknown football team, shooting guard on the obscure basketball team, shortstop of the pathetic baseball team, and member of the National Honor Society. Out of the kiddie pool, into the reservoir.

Not much later, the fun arrived. I spent most of the subsequent two years majoring in basketball and Women’s Studies: shooting hoops as a walk-on for the major-college basketball team and studying women. I didn’t exactly fail at either endeavor, although I received quite the up-bringing in humility. I was more intramural wannabe than Michael Jordan, more Don Quixote than Don Juan. And my extracurricular pursuits nearly cost me the aforementioned scholarship, too.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only major-college basketball listed on the official program smaller than my actual height. I was 6’3″ tall, but I was listed at 6’1″ because I played so much shorter than suggested by my height.

In a futile attempt to overcome my lack of talent, which included legs with no springs and the sluggish feet you might expect on somebody a foot taller than the shortest player on the team, I ate well and tried to sleep a lot. However, my sleep was often interrupted by a wayward cat that took advantage of the window often propped open by one of my roommates. Tired of the cat’s frequent attraction to my face on Pocatello winter nights, finally I grabbed him by the belly, took him into the hall, drew back my throwing arm, and started to fling him down the hall. Naturally, he latched onto my forearm with all four clawed feet as I released him. He landed a mere six inches from me, on his feet, as blood sprung from a dozen deep scratches on my right forearm. Adding insult to literal injury, he even dodged my swift kick. Add cat-throwing to basketball and women on my long list of mediocre pursuits.

I had something of a fan club at one point in a long-lost basketball season. When the game would get out of hand — as it often did — my drunken brother and his drinking buddies would begin chanting on my behalf. I did play a few minutes, and even earned a spot on the travel squad by the midpoint of the season. My total statistics for the single season I participated: 50% from the field (one basket in two attempts) and 50% from the free-throw line (ditto).

Missing 42 consecutive days of every class presented something of a drag on my grade point average. The fact that my dorm room was the campus hot-spot for partying probably didn’t help. Every weekend was a haze of blue haze. I had the opposite of the Bill Clinton experience: I didn’t smoke marijuana, but I inhaled.

From an academic perspective, the rare days I spent in class with my eyes open were disappointing on many levels. Having earned a solid F, I nonetheless received the only C of my collegiate career in my introductory macroeconomics course. At semester’s end, I attempted to negotiate a higher grade from the instructor I was seeing for the fifth time: I showed up for all three in-class exams after I picked up the syllabus during the first class meeting. I thought I deserved at least a B. She wondered who I was, and kept smiling as she shook her head. Despite rarely making an appearance in her classroom, the class contributed to my contemporary definition of waste: a busload of economists goes over a cliff with an empty seat.

_______________

Paul Handover reviewed Walking Away from Empire. The link is here. The full set of reviews from my latest book is here.

Comments 239

  • Guy, thanks for sharing more of your life with us. Your college days sound very similar to mine – although I had to make several runs at it before it finally took – and I both smoked and inhaled. 🙂

    I suspect we were among the last few classes for whom college education was actually a bargain. My first semester at Arkansas State University (Fall 1978) cost a whopping $300 for full-time tuition. A single one-hour course credit at the same institution comes close to that now. Gotta pay for that multi-million dollar sports program after all.

  • Well…, let us all hope that you engage in much more “self-indulgence” here Guy. It certainly brightened an otherwise dreary day here in The Rain Forest…, right on partner…, write on.

  • Guy,
    some interesting experiences there.
    I am a little confused on a few points.

    What is a walk on part of a basketball game? Is it a sub who gets a few full games and a lot of subtime, or is it a star player who ‘walks on’ to the team and sort of gets a free ride into top spot?

    Also you have reported elsewhere you played quarterback as a second string, and got your shot when the chosen quarterback got injured, is that right?

    Also on another topic you write:

    “Awareness isn’t nirvana. It’s hell.”

    This reminds me of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who gained his ‘awareness’, by freely killing anyone he liked, which was such a horror.

    ‘The Horror.AVI’

    Full awareness includes the freedom to ‘do’ anything, but IMO has little motivation to enact the ‘horror’ or ‘hell’ scenarios. The desire or tendency is just not there, and although always an option, violence and brutality and aggression are weaker pathways to existence, IMO.

  • OzMan, a walk-on is an unrecruited, non-scholarship player.

    I was back-up QB as a sophomore in high school, but I started as a junior and senior.

  • Guy “Awareness isn’t nirvana. It’s hell.”

    It is but so is non-awareness is not nirvana either. AT least to me. I would never trade the pain of awareness for opium or hopium.

    For example one time my sister told me that war wasn’t bad – in WWII those farm boys got to see gay Paree, and look at how much fun those folks in N. Korea had as depicted on MASH. I guess she just zoned out on the scenes of “incoming wounded”.

    I suppose most of the time denial works for those who use it, but pretty soon denial is going to become hell. Of course pretty soon it will be hell for everyone, but at least some of us will be expecting it……

  • FWIW, the Paul Handover review link gives me a web-threat warning.

  • I went to UCLA… dropped out, hitched and hopped freight trains around the country and then went back to UC Santa Cruz which was a hell of a lot better fit. In other words:
    “Location. Location. Location.” (which, not coincidentally, is one of the better entries to my slogans-to-go-with-earth-posters contest:

    http://www.freewayblogger.blogspot.com/2013/01/second-annual-slogan-contest.html

    Winner gets a thousand dollars and a couple hundred thousand viewers.

  • Hey Guy
    Super weird ! I just posted that song/ video on my facebook show?!
    Oh yeah i really enjoy your writing. (Sort of!!)

  • Oh I almost forgot, in my head I say your name Gee because I grew up with frenchmen in
    Quebec!!

  • Kathy C

    You wrote:

    “….look at how much fun those folks in N. Korea had as depicted on MASH. I guess she just zoned out on the scenes of “incoming wounded”.

    I suppose most of the time denial works for those who use it, but pretty soon denial is going to become hell. Of course pretty soon it will be hell for everyone, but at least some of us will be expecting it……”

    I watched a fair bit of MASH for a number of seasons, and the (Great) original movie. I was not so aware of the relevence of this show to bringing the unsavoury aspects of the Korean War to the mostly American public. After the two great wars ware smeared all over TV screens, and movie theatres for 3 decades, it took the absurd ‘catch 22’ style in the film to grab American audiences, and bring up the violence, corruption, and pathos involved in modern war.
    The strident anti-authority and anti-military heirarchy was a central theme embedded in the opposed viewpoints of Hawkeye Pearce, and Frank Burns, along with their willing accomplices on each side.
    The earlier commander of the 4077th in the TV series had to be someone on both sides or none, to make the show work. So they made him humanly incompetent, a kind of dreamer with administrative backup in Radar O’Reily keeping the form signing and skullduggery under the table enough to get things moving.
    After several seasons the characters are well understood, and the slapstick is the device to get the audience to relax, then the producers would have to stay true to their origins, (The Movie) and the far left anti war supporters, of which there were many, and hit ‘you’ between the eyes with a death or some more carnage, or theloss of a young soldier.

    When I look back now, and I saw a few episodes recently, I can only feel it was all voyurism, and no matter how much reality of war was shovelled to living rooms throughout the Anex-1 nations, the humour, like the adds between seem like the hook to keep you coming back. Or better stated, the fact that there will be some humour soon, to assuage the deep feelings of unease brought up by the violence and carnage, is what keeps audiences coming back.

    When life has become voluntary slavery and servitude, extreme violence and carnage, in small timeslots delivered to your living room would seem to be the balancing tonic for mmany.

    I rather think that your sister, and many others, was sucked into the draw of living without the usual hard edges of survival braying at the edges of daily life. Not that I single her out, I fell for it too, once upon a time.

    Many people in NorthAmerica have written how this show woke them up to the manipulation that gets these wars to happen, and hiding of the brutal evidence and aftermath.

    But did this ‘waking up’ actually stop this imperial hegemony from still rolling on?

    No, and now we have DU babies and all the SHTF in Iraq etc etc, as you well know.

    So does seeing the closer to real situation on tv stop it…? No.
    Then it only adds to it by serving in some way or other, and if in no other way by distraction and desentisation.

    I knew I watched too much TV as a kid, but fortunately I played in the wild bush a lot at a young age as well.

    (Nothing personal about your sister, just sayin…)

  • This fellow argues that some will survive the “end”. He admits that his views have changed many times and I will add that maybe his view needs to change again. He seems to still have some “non-awareness”.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.org/blog/2013/03/10/are-we-evolving-as-the-end-nears/

  • Now that I think about it, I don’t think their was ever a show on US TV that was ever critical of the US military in any way until MASH–and there aren’t any such shows today, as you would expect. But the show did go on way too long and lost its edge, I couldn’t stomach it the later years. Watch the early years when Maj Burns was still there, and any episode with the CIA Col Flagg character, he was amazing.

  • OZman, You don’t have to say anything personal about my sis – I’ve said plenty in my mind. We had a high school teacher who was imprisoned in a concentration camp in Germany during the war. When he would do the history section about the war he would put a map of Germany on the floor and throw erasers at the places we bombed. I guess the significance of his anger passed her by too. We studied world history in High School. (NY State requirement) While of course skewed and not truthful it did cover WWII and how could she have missed our invasion of Normandy and the huge losses of life…

    Ah well we had a suggested reading list for HS English – I don’t know what she chose, but I read from that list The Jungle, 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Good Earth among others. I presume she didn’t read them, or if she did it flew right over her head. She learned denial well and has put it to use in many other ways 🙂 I don’t think it makes her happier.

    You know those warnings on programs or web sites that some may find the pictures shown disturbing. You could call me morbid I suppose but I always look. I want to know. I feel the injured and dead deserve to at the very least be seen, not relegated to disturbing facts you don’t really want to know.

    Warning – disturbing images at this link – right up front, so don’t click on it if you don’t want to see http://www.chris-floyd.com/fallujah/gallery/images/

    Any rate after sending her a few links and the numbers of Americans who died or were injured in WWII and Korea I got no response. We don’t talk anymore.

  • MASH was propaganda. ALL tv is propaganda, but MASH especially so. Never knew war could be so hilarious until I watched MASH. “War may be intolerable, but if you approach it with a sense of humour, it makes it SO much easier to bear!”

  • dmd: did you once post a video of the damaging effects of feeding GM silage (sp?) to dairy cattle? If you could repost it, i’d appreciate it (i can’t find it and could use it now to make a point).

    Guy: good anecdotal stuff there – thanks! i was at a community awareness organizing meeting last evening and no one there (basically young college students) has the faintest idea of what’s coming and, though i feel bad for them, i won’t say anything until the opportunity arises. They’re still talking about “renewable” this and “sustainable” that and are still all bubbly and vivacious putting energy into getting the larger community to concentrate on stopping the fracking in the state (PA) and blocking the pipelines which are scheduled to come right through our community – which i support wholeheartedly. Apparently the gas extraction people got approval for this a year or two ago from “our” state legislators, so we’re playing catch-up ball for sure.

    Scarlet P: love your work! Consider using some of Benjamin The Donkey’s limericks on your signs. They’re amazing and get right to the point in a pithy way. Examples abound on previous posts on this site and he has his own blog with way more.

    Remember Fukushima? It’s been 2 years already and we STILL have debris washing up in the Pacific:
    http://news.yahoo.com/2-years-japan-tsunami-debris-still-washing-ashore-104512436.html

  • i have one college experience i won’t forget. This was during the Viet Nam war and concerns the lottery that was drawn to conscript college kids as canon fodder. On the night of the drawing most of the college was out on the quad with a few tv’s from the dorms wheeled out for viewing. i sat next to a guy who was in a class with me (but i didn’t know his name or have any interaction with him). Most of us were drinking beer in silence waiting for our numbers (birthday) to be called. The guy next to me heard his number early on, put down his beer and walked off – never to be seen or heard from again (he wasn’t in any of the rest of the term’s classes and nobody knew what happened to him). i hoped he escaped to Canada, but he may have just gone to report for duty or threw himself in front of a train for all anyone knew. My number was so high it was statistically unlikely that i’d be called to the war effort. It was one of the most tense nights i’d ever experienced. i spent the rest of my college years resisting the war with the growing support of the masses and was overjoyed when we actually got them to stop. Protests don’t have much effect now, since they’re largely ignored.

  • This might be cause for some concern:

    http://beforeitsnews.com/earthquakes/2013/03/a-volcano-buried-in-se-louisiana-door-point-a-buried-volcano-in-southeast-louisiana-2452096.html

    A Volcano Buried In SE Louisiana? “Door Point: A Buried Volcano In Southeast Louisiana”

    This one is straight out of the sit back and hold on to your hat category; according to a paper written in 1976, there is a buried volcano in Southeast Louisiana. This CANNOT BE the SAME part of Louisiana that is now being impacted by the dreaded Louisiana Sinkhole in Assumption Parish could it? You won’t believe this! From a 1976 paper done for the Gulf Coast Association Of Geological Societies, Volume XXVI, 1976 by Jules Braunstein and Claude E. McMichael we get “Door Point: A Buried Volcano In Southeast Louisiana.” Is THIS why BP is so concerned about Volcanoes all of a sudden? Check out the map below of what the Earth and America looked like during the Late Cretaceous Age when this buried volcano was last active. For all those who doubt this report, the original source can be found here.

    An exploratory well, the Shell Oil Company, State Lease 3956 No. 1, Offshore St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, was completed in 1963 at a total depth of 8538 feet. The last 1300 feet of hole was cored and drilled through volcanic material of Late Cretaceous Age. Pre-drilling seismic data had revealed the presence on this prospect of intrusive material with a density slightly higher than that of the surrounding sediments. Gravity data defined a weak maximum here, and no salt was believed to be present.

    The igneous material consisted of angular fragments of altered porphyritic basic rock. In cores it proved to be evenly bedded and cemented by sparry calcite. Radioactivity age dating fixed a minimum age of crystallization of this rock at 82 m.y. + 8, or middle Late Cretaceous (Austin). Bulk density of the igneous rock ranged from 2.02 gm/cc near the top of its occurrence to 2.53 gm/cc near the bottom of the well.

    Three gas accumulations, with an aggregate thickness of 38 feet, were encountered in the Miocene section between 5092 and 6219 feet in the Shell well. Gas-bearing sands were not present in two other wells drilled later on the same structure (Fig. 2).
    Although evidence of Late Cretaceous volcanic activity is widespread in northern Louisiana, as well as in Mississippi, and southeast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, the Door Point prospect lies within an area that had been previously designated as being free of volcanism.

    (more at the link)

  • Too cheap to meter?
    http://fairewinds.com/content/follow-money
    This week’s show is all about money. We look at how some utility owned U.S. nuclear power plants continue to drain the public’s pocketbook, sometimes to the tune of fifty million dollars a month, without generating a single watt of electricity.

  • Sadie, yes Mash was propaganda, still pretty much each session had “incoming wounded” with blood all over the operating theater. Thus that anyone such as my sister could think that it was all fun in Korea is ridiculous. We watched the same show and she saw medics and surgeons making jokes. I saw medics and surgeons making jokes in order to deal with the horror.

  • Thanks for that update on the LA sinkhole Tom. Speaking of Volcanoes – Fukushima diary posted this this AM..
    http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/03/the-water-level-of-kawaguchi-lake-is-rapidly-decreasing-beside-mt-fuji-there-is-no-natural-outlet/
    Maps and charts at the link

    The water level of Kawaguchi lake is rapidly decreasing beside Mt. Fuji, “There is no natural outlet”
    Posted by Mochizuki on March 10th, 2013

    The water level of Kawaguchi lake is rapidly decreasing for some reason. Local newspaper comments it’s due to the shortage of rain, but because the lake has no natural outlet, it is hard to explain this rapid decrease of water only by evaporation.

    Kawaguchi lake is located beside Mt. Fuji. Some experts suggets the possibility of the eruption of Mt. Fuji and Hakone.

    (cf, Potential eruption of Hakone would trigger the eruption of Mt. Fuji [URL])

    About Kawaguchi lake From wikipedia..

    Lake Kawaguchi is the one of the Fuji Five Lakes and located in Fujikawaguchiko, southern Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, Japan. It is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of surface area, and is located at the lowest elevation. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 800 metres, which accounts for its relatively cool summers and frequently icy winters. It also has the longest shoreline of any of the Fuji Five Lakes.[1]

    The lake is within the borders of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.[2]
    The lake has no natural outlet, and flooding of settlements on its shores was a problem until the construction of a canal, completed in 1914, to connect it to a tributary of the Sagami River.

    It is reported that the water level decreased by 6m from 3/1 to 3/4/2013. However, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stopped updating the real time monitoring data for some reason

  • Scarlet P. says: slogans
    Thanks, Tom!

    Slogans

    We’re all dead. Give it up. Say goodbye.
    Don’t even bother to try.
    It’s all over, my friend.
    This is the end.
    It’s too late. We’re all going to die.

  • I”m just sittin’ here watching the wheels go ’round and ’round…

  • Watching The Wheels

    My mind is lost, run aground,
    Snagged by doom, a subject profound;
    It’s just evolution,
    There is no solution—
    I’m watching the wheels go round.

  • “Experts estimate closing the damaged Fukushima reactors down will cost around US$15 billion and will take about 30 to 40 years.”

    High cost of cheap energy: Fukushima tragedy 2 years on

    30 to 40 years to remediate because the technology hasn’t been invented yet to clean up the corium.

    @Tom

    I had a very similar experience concerning the Vietnam Draft lottery. My roommate and I were in our dorm room at college the day of the lottery. We had the radio turned on and were listening to the dates being called. My roommate’s birthday drew a number 5 slot so he was definitely bound for some branch of the military. I drew slot number 148. The military were taking slots one through fifty that year. When my roommate heard his number so early in the lottery he told me he was going to Canada. The next day he left college and I never saw or heard from him again.

  • Btd capturing doom
    As he watches the horror loom
    A limerick or two
    Beats being blue
    As the temperatures continue to zoom

    As always thanks Btd for your limericks. They provide some poetic relief from links to disaster 🙂

  • Not Watching the Wheels

    We’re painting the roses red,
    The way that the boss man said;
    It won’t do any good
    But then, nothing would:
    What’s the difference, when we’re all dead?

  • @Sadie

    Yes, all TV is propaganda. One part of MASH has stuck with me all these years, though.

    It was at the very end of the series when Hawkeye cracked up psychologically. He worked with a psychologist character named Sydney Friedman. In the show Hawkeye retrieved the repressed memory of being in an evac bus that was in danger of discovery by the NK army. A civilian woman on the bus had her baby with her, and the baby started to cry. In order to avoid discovery and keep the others safe the mother voluntarily strangled her own child.

    Nowadays the memory of that show speaks to issues like acceptance by Hunter gatherer cultures of the necessity of infanticide for the sake of the tribe’s survival. More generally it addresses the issue of lifeboat ethics, something that is not often tackled by mass media.

  • .
    Working Class Hero

    Survival means jungle law still,
    But we’re cultured, and smile as we kill;
    More dough in the bank
    Means an increase in rank,
    If you want to live on the hill.

  • .
    The Dream is Over (from “God” in the same album)

    Once doom’s something you comprehend,
    You no longer have to pretend;
    Catton’s overextend
    Means this is the end:
    The dream’s really over, my friend.

  • Btd: Awesome! Readin’ your rhymes is like watchin’ Kobe or James play ball, just so smooth and makin’ it look easy.

    If anyone can help me with that article about GM feed making dairy cattle sick and passing the crappy milk on to us – i’d appreciate it.
    Still no luck finding it (i should have saved it when i read it.)

  • Tom, it’s really weird, but sometimes it happens (unexpectedly).

    MASH

    The show was a monster smash;
    We’ll soon need triage care like MASH,
    Where freakouts from doom
    Get first aid for their gloom
    When they find out what’s up with the crash.

  • Tom – this article says A Testbiotech survey released in August 2010 shows that DNA fragments from transgenic plants are increasingly found in animal tissue such as milk, inner organs and muscles. In April 2010, scientists from Italy reported DNA sequences stemming from genetically engineered soy in milk from goats. These DNA fragments are presumably, entering the blood stream from the gut and then from there reaching the udder and the milk. Traces of specific DNA were also identified in kids fed with the goat’s milk. These findings are not the first to be reported after DNA fragments have been found in the tissue of animals fed with transgenic plants. A few years ago, DNA from genetically engineered maize was found in samples from pigs. More recently, research found traces from transgenic plants in the organs of fish, namely rainbow trout and tilapia. In fish, the gene sequences were found in nearly all inner organs.

    http://www.bangmfood.org/stealth-gmos
    Is that what you were looking for.

    Google these words “gmo dna fragments found in milk” for more such articles

  • Tom, I remember reading about this. The ag argument is that all feed intake is broken down into basic amino acids and from there the body builds its own proteins, so it doesn’t matter. Problem is some nutrients get through without being broken down. GMO is everywhere, we plant GMO, we buy GMO feeds, we buy GMO groceries, and our farm is full of Aluminum. We all must die from something…I don’t want to reach a point in my life where I envy the dead. My mother is 96 and she wishes she was dead.

  • One of First Iraq Veterans to Publicly Oppose War Will Die for Our Sins
    Monday, 11 March 2013 09:44
    By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed
    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15045-one-of-the-first-iraq-veterans-to-publicly-oppose-war-will-die-for-our-sins

  • I remember listening to an NPR show one time about extending lives. They took calls and a Dr. called in. He said he had elderly patients that would say to him “why am I still here?” So the NPR host asks, what kind of Dr. are you – he was most surprised when the Dr. said he was a podiatrist. But heck if your feet hurt all the time, it limits what you can do, and when you can’t do much, well what’s the point. The article above is an extreme example of that.

  • Kathy – great article by Hedges. The link to the GM article is close enough, thanks for that too. i don’t know why i didn’t think to list dna in the search (i thought the GM was the important part).

    dmd: You’re correct of course, i was merely looking for some evidence that the GM stuff isn’t helping. In the original article, the scientists spoke of the diseases of the udder that the cows would suffer and that pus would develop (among other nasty stuff) as a result and it transferred into the milk product (yech). i’m sorry to hear that your farm got bombed by the chem-trail people (sorry, “cloud seeding entrepreneurs”). One of the few pleasures that the collapse is going to bring me is that the ultra-rich (“powers that be”) will lose everything in the process – their money won’t buy anything, nothing will have any value and their entire world-view will become the biggest sick joke on the planet. i hope they choke on it all, the rat bastards. (Oh, do i sound bitter and vindictive?)

    more on Fuk (8 min vid):

    If it’s gonna take somewhere around 40 years to decommission the damaged plant (and i don’t think we have 40 years before it’s all over), what will be done with all the others that we aren’t even thinking about decommissioning now? Gyad Kathy, your Fuk x 400 is looking more and more plausible as time goes on. Just listen to the mess the poor victims of the radiation face. It’s terrible!

  • In Japan and China large sandstorms have closed airports and, combined with high winds, have damaged roofs, caused fires and forced people to wear masks (if they dare to go out at all). The common people say it’s an omen that the leader or ruler should realize his mistakes and correct them.

    Here’s the vid of China:

  • This should have us all spooked:

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/

    Wake-up call or omen? Three ‘near’ misses in one weekend

    March 11, 2013 – SPACE – Discovered just six days ago, the 140m Asteroid 2013 ET passed about 966,000 km from Earth on Saturday. That is about 2.5 times as far as the moon, fairly close on a cosmic yardstick. “The scary part of this one is that it is something we didn’t even know about,” Patrick Paolucci, president of Slooh Space Camera, said during a webcast featuring live images of the asteroid from a telescope in the Canary Islands. Moving at a speed of about 41,843 km/h, the asteroid could have wiped out a large city if it had hit Earth, added Slooh telescope engineer Paul Cox. Asteroid 2013 ET is nearly eight times larger than the bus-sized asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia last month, injuring 1500 people. The force of the explosion, equivalent to about 440 kilotons of dynamite, created a shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings. Later that day, a small asteroid, known as DA14, passed about 27,680 km from Earth, closer than the orbiting networks of communications and weather satellites. “One of the reasons we’re finding more of these objects is that there are more people looking,” Cox said. Two other small asteroids, both about the size of the Russian meteor, were in Earth’s neighborhood at the weekend. Asteroid 2013 EC 20 passed just 48,28 km away on Saturday, said Cox. Yesterday, Asteroid 2013 EN 20 flew about 449,007 km away from Earth. “We know the solar system is a busy place,” said Cox. “We’re not sitting here on our pale-blue dot on our own in nice safety. This should be a wake-up call to governments.” The US Congress has asked NASA to find and track all near-Earth objects of 1km or larger in diameter. NASA estimates about 95% have been identified. But only about 10% of smaller asteroids have been discovered, it says. The effort is intended to give scientists and engineers as much time as possible to learn if an asteroid or comet is on a collision course with Earth, in hopes of sending up a spacecraft or taking other measures to avert catastrophe. About 100 tons of material from space hits Earth every day. Astronomers expect an object about the size of the Russian meteor to strike about every 100 years. -Time Live

  • Of course this is much more of a wake-up call, if anyone were paying attention:

    https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/11/1700581/a-dry-spring-drought-expands-in-texas-and-florida-pounding-state-economies/

    A Dry Spring: Drought Expands In Texas And Florida, Pounding State Economies

    According to the latest report from U.S. Drought Monitor, drought conditions expanded in Florida and West Texas last week.

    While storms and heavy precipitation rolled into much of the eastern United States, several weeks of low rainfall have pushed Florida’s peninsula into “abnormally” — and in some areas “moderate” or “severe” — dry conditions. And much of Texas remains blanketed by “moderate” to “severe” drought, with significant areas sliding all the way into “extreme” and “exceptional.” The state’s climatologist has warned that if the drought persists through the summer, only the record cumulative dry spell Texas suffered in the 1950s would be worse.

    The latest outlook shows drought conditions persisting in both states through the spring, and possibly expanding in California and Oregon as well. And the massive drought conditions that’ve been pummeling the midwest remain as brutal as ever, as Climate Central reported late last week:

    Although this is the climatological dry season for Florida, the current level of dryness is more intense than in normal years. Since Nov. 1, 2012, Daytona Beach has received just a little more than 40 percent of its normal rainfall, making it the 7th driest period in 80 years.

    The past several weeks saw the drought in Texas intensify as well, which is a troubling sign moving into spring. Texas typically receives little widespread, steady precipitation during the spring and summer months and relies on the rains from the fall and winter to carry it through the year. Most of Texas has been under drought conditions since the summer of 2011, and that prolonged aridity has left reservoir levels across the state at record low levels, leaving the state vulnerable to water shortages and restrictions if conditions do not improve. […]

    According to the latest drought outlook, also released on Thursday, drought is forecast to develop and persist in both Texas and Florida this spring, but also may expand in the West and intensify in California and southern Oregon. The normal wet season in California begins to wind down in March, and precipitation is usually scarce by May. Parts of the West have already had well below normal amounts of precipitation for the winter season, and if that trend continues through spring, the drought could intensify significantly.

  • Kathy C. It is reported that the water level [in Lake Kawaguchi] decreased by 6m from 3/1 to 3/4/2013. However, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stopped updating the real time monitoring data for some reason

    Just for kicks, I calculated the amount of water being talked about here; it is roughly 9.7 million gallons! And it evaporated in 3 days?? No wonder the government stopped updating the real time monitoring – if that data is accurate, then it certainly seems like a very high rate of evaporation. There are lots of factors which can affect evaporation rate including surface area, temperature of the water, temperature and humidity of the surrounding air, air pressure, altitude, wind, sun exposure, rain, etc. The lake isn’t really that large, less than 3 square miles of surface area, but as it’s winter the sun and temperature are likely not increasing evaporation significantly. Perhaps those of you with more physics training than I have can provide a more educated response.

    My guess is that this doesn’t bode well for the people of Japan, and based on the status of Fukushima, probably not for us either (in the U.S.).

  • Tom; We have less udder trouble in our herd now than during any other time in my 60 years of farming. I don’t know why. Back when BST was introduced, we were excited to use it and it did work OK. Most of the stuff that was written condeming it was not true. What you are hearing about GM isn’t true either. After 10 years, we quit using BST because I didn’t want to go down that road any longer. We made just as much or more money without it. If I don’t use GM corn, I will need to use more sprays. Which is worse? My wife and I drank BST milk and now we drink GM milk. We are both very healthy and neither take any pills. Guess we are just lucky.

  • I did some research on Aluminum levels in New York State.

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/remediation_hudson_pdf/appendixde.pdf

    Seems that we do not have an Al problem in NY. I only wish I could say that NTE isn’t true either. I’m still working on it.

  • The latest from the Arctic News:

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/

  • Dmd – I read that Arctic news post some days back – sounds like they are getting it that we are in deep deep shit, and desperate to find a geo-engineering solution. In fact they are beginning to sound panicked. But it seems time to stop solving ourselves into whatever unknowns the geo-engineering might bring. Sometimes I start thinking the economy is shaky enough that maybe we might get collapse deep enough to stop the CO2 and maybe soon enough to ward off disaster. And then I remember the 439 nuclear power plants and go read one of Benjamin’s poems.

  • ‘I was 6’3″ tall, but I was listed at 6’1″ because I played so much shorter than suggested by my height.’ white men can’t jump! lol

    made me laugh several times, guy. i like your ‘self indulgent’ writing. u know how to tell a good story and keep it blessedly brief. quality over quantity. thanks as always.

  • Conference organized by Helen Caldicott, in New York, re the second anniversary of Fukushima, http://www.nuclearfreeplanet.org/symposium.html
    You can get live streaming. Arnie Gunderson was one of the speakers today, he was broadcast on KPFA, see http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/89660 Gunderson is first up.
    The same show will also broadcast conference events tomorrow.

  • I did a long interview for American Freedom Radio today via Skype, via Vince Eastwood, and gave Nature Bats Last some promotion, along with Albert Bartlett, M King Hubbert, power-down and permaculture. I introduced the term NTE, and pointed out we are on track for a largely uninhabitable planet by 2040 to 2080 -nobody knows exactly – as a direct consequence of fossil fuel emissions.

    How many listeners there are and whether they are at all receptive to reality I cannot say. We do our best.

    In the meantime NZ is suffering from a ‘historic; drought which is in the process of bringing NZ’s biggest industry -dairy farming- to its knees. Who knows when the next rain will arrive: not for 5 days at the earliest, which will be too late for many regions.

    Here in Taranaki the grass is still green (just) but the situation will become dire if no significant rain comes by April.

    Sadly, environmental catastrophe or economic catastrophe seem to be the only things that will shake people out of their state of industrial trance.

  • @Paul C

    Yes I remember that episode. I must have seen the whole MASH series 3 or 4 or 5 times over, growing up.

    Funny, I was just googling infanticide this week. Looks like we may soon have to reacquaint ourselves with the issues pre-historic humans dealt with on a daily basis.

    But I think that’s far too kind a reading of what this MASH episode was dealing with. Looking at it as propaganda, the super-sensitive super-humans, Hawkeye and Dr Friedman, are grappling with an issue not of their own making. They’re in Korea* only to do good, but Hawkeye is thrust into a barbaric situation which overwhelms his psyche. The North Koreans* are feared to such an extent that a mother will kill her own child to avoid an encounter with them, and the mother does kill her baby, right there in front of Hawkeye.

    That poor woman, with her dead baby. And poor sensitive Hawkeye, who only wants to do good. How can such evil exist in the world? Whatever its origins, we mustn’t be so weak that we would run from the obligation to fight it when it confronts us!

    *Korea/Vietnam. Most viewers couldn’t tell the difference and many assumed MASH was set in Vietnam.

  • We may be doomed, but you can be certain once the GW deniers realize it’s a problem that must be dealt with immediately, in no time at all it’s going to be Planet Frankenstein via all sorts of geoengineering programs. Beginning with a magic bullet cure, and then moving on to a string of stop-gap fixes to minimise the unintended consequences of the initial intervention.

    Cloud brightening sounds okay, but the way the deniers think, they’ll never accept a big problem can be solved with something as simple as water.

  • Yeah, war on tv is such fun.

    American major slapping his troops around the head for having shot dead the wrong guys.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/03/2013311113555455539.html

  • Kathy C

    And don’t forgetfed and play with the chickens, rake their poo and leaves and straw, and take in a few eggs, ‘n’ such.

    Stress-busters ?

    Chickens ‘r’ us!

  • Sadie Cloud brightening sounds okay, but the way the deniers think, they’ll never accept a big problem can be solved with something as simple as water.

    Cloud brightening sounds OK and certainly better than putting more chemicals in our air BUT when you mess with something as big as the climate you really don’t know what will happen and if you do it on a large scale you can’t take it back. It has been shown that global dimming by industrial pollution did cut back some warming, it also changed climate patterns causing a massive drought in the Sahel with all the attendant starvation.

    NARRATOR: The 1984 Ethiopian famine shocked the world. It was partly caused by a decade’s long drought right across sub-Saharan Africa – a region known as the Sahel. For year after year the summer rains failed. At the time some scientists blamed overgrazing and poor land management. But now there’s evidence that the real culprit was Global Dimming. The Sahel’s lifeblood has always been a seasonal monsoon. For most of the year it is completely dry. But every summer, the heat of the sun warms the oceans north of the equator. This draws the rain belt that forms over the equator northwards, bringing rain to the Sahel. But for twenty years in the 1970s and 80s the tropical rain belt consistently failed to shift northwards – and the African monsoon failed. For climate scientists like Leon Rotstayn the disappearance of the rains had long been a puzzle. He could see that pollution from Europe and North America blew right across the Atlantic, but all the climate models suggested it should have little effect on the monsoon. But then Rotstayn decided to find out what would happen if he took the Maldive findings into account.

    DR LEON ROTSTAYN (CSIRO Atmospheric Research): What we found in our model was that when we allowed the pollution from Europe and North America to affect the properties of the clouds in the northern hemisphere the clouds reflected more sunlight back to space and this cooled the oceans of the northern hemisphere. And to our surprise the result of this was that the tropical rain bands moved southwards tracking away from the more polluted northern hemisphere towards the southern hemisphere.

    NARRATOR: Polluted clouds stopped the heat of the sun getting through. That heat was needed to draw the tropical rains northwards. So the life giving rain belt never made it to the Sahel.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_trans.shtml

    I fear that even large usage of solar, wind or tidal power would have similar unknown unknowns, effects that we are unable to predict until we try the global experiment. Sunlight, wind, tidal energy are not sitting around doing nothing, they are doing something, and should we expropriate large amounts for our energy uses we would get to find out what might happen – too late. It sure looked like coal and oil were doing nothing but sitting under the ground. We discovered too late (although some warned early) that they were sequestering Carbon from the atmosphere.

    We get one chance to do any global experiment…..

  • Reading David Graeber’s eye openner book, ‘Debt – the first 5,000 years’ at the moment.

    It looks at exchanges, communities, civilizations, (the major ones) and concepts of Debt, credit, slavery and of course money and war.

    As I did not read much history early in my education, specifically I did not trust the victors, I am always surprised as an adult to wade in and pick up infomation, and key concepts I perhaps missed earlier in life than otherwise may havebeen.
    I am glad I get to use a reasonably mature mental aparatus to look into things now.
    So getting to think, or rethink that thing called ‘collapse’ at present.
    I am siing on humans being pretty resilliant in how they network, at least in some locations. But I suppose the dependent ones on any setting are going to be easiest to lead by the asses out there, and maybe that will mean plenty of willing workers, in the short term.
    however, I am thinking like an older work colleague Peter B use to chime in at odd moments. He would round off with, “I’m convinced the barstards will not stop until it is all cut down, all dried up and all choking filthy, full stop”

    Machines don’t know when to stop.

    Growing some corn to make biodiesel to run machines when the oil is too expensive or gone will ust keep it going.

    I’ve also got a side bet each way that Fuk Kathy C’s odds of 439 nuclear power plants all hatching within a few weeks of eachother too.

    I try to look on the bright side of NTE…..

    We have only ever had today…. and we still have it, at least last time I looked.

    I really recommend highly ‘Debt – the first 5,000 years’. The last few chapters are lengthy, but by then one is deeply needing some real answers to WTF is going on with the debt slavery, work slavery epidemic emerging everywhere.

  • Speaking of drone warfare…

    If you end up fighting a drone worrior, for your family, your land or your ‘right’to seem free, does it matter if it is autonomous, or is directed at a distance by a wage slave in a neocon office in an Anex-1 nation ?

    Either way perhaps TERMINATOR here we come.

    We will still be figting machines for freedom…..or the semblence of it.

    Best of luck to all the ‘Connors’ out there….( and don’t count on using one of ‘them’ in your fight against the Machines. Once a cockroach, always a cockroach, unless they want to re-human-ise.)

  • Worth posting from the recent link to Arctic News….

    “…In winter the ex tundras will dry out. Releasing yet more NO2 and CO2.

    Global Warming will spike through the roof.

    And…

    The by now over 20 degrees Celsius temperatures of the upper layer of the polar ocean will be sending a massive thermal pulse down through the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) and other shallow submarine permafrosts in the arctic. This pulse propagating fast through liquid water in cracks and methane eruption vents. The hydrate layers containing over 1000 billion tons C of methane at the bottoms of these permafrosts will destabilise fast, bottom up, when that thermal pulse hits them. Quite possible the pressure building up under these shelves, most particularly the ESAS will shatter them and release most of the hydrate methane, free methane, and undecomposed organic carbon, they are holding very fast indeed. Best estimate around 2750 billion tons C total in shallow submarine arctic permafrosts.

    Kinda like a warm well shook champagne bottle when you pop the cork.

    Lots of this methane will hit the atmosphere.

    With even more water vapour, more methane, more NO2, more ozone being produced by the methane, less SO2 forming clouds because methane destroys it….

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Hmr7YjheK5w/UT7qTHJVhMI/AAAAAAAAJdo/seHoP4Ruhcw/s640/26485604364956.jpg

    ….We’ll have a greenhouse effect like the earth has not seen before in its 4.5 billion years of existence.

    What REALLY concerns me looking at this chart is how much it would take going from this point to the Tipping Point for the Venus syndrome.

    The situation in this chart would lead to a lot more stratospheric water vapour feedback. That could start to run away until the equatorial oceans boil, and there’s no stopping things from there.

    Lots of methane will get sucked down the Arctic plughole into the new anoxic intermediate ocean layer.

    Archer 2007 states that 1000 billion tons C of methane (and/or other dissolved organic carbon) is sufficient to remove all oxygen from the worlds oceans. That won’t take long….”

    The link is a graph in the middle of the article and referred to in the quote above.

    What is rather more alarming than the whole import of the article is the fact the guy thinks there is still time to do anything of significance to stop the whole thing going ‘Bonanza Sunday’.

    Wasted your beer if you drunk it before reading this whole article, IMHO.

  • So the latest thing for the “money people” is to PROFIT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE! [what did you expect?]

    Woo-hoo! The party continues!

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/meet-the-companies-looking-to-profit-from-climate-change/14398

    Meet the companies looking to profit from climate change

    For some investors, the time for spending huge sums of money to stop climate change has passed. It’s happening. Now, working under the assumption that significant change is inevitable, some firms are investing in businesses that stand to profit as the climate warms. Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

    Companies such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have purchased stakes in alternative energy projects including wind farms and tidal energy plants; they also set up carbon-trading desks. But now that efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions in a major way have largely faltered, the appeal of investing in cleantech firms and carbon offset schemes has dimmed.

    The costs of adapting to climate change may reach $130 billion a year by 2030 — bad news for many of us, but good news for investors who foresee opportunities. Here are some companies looking to capitalize on the planet’s warming trend.

    Drought and abnormal weather can help spur business.

    •Water Asset Management buys water rights and makes investments in water treatment companies. “Not enough people are thinking long term of [water] as an asset that is worthy of ownership,” says Chief Operating Officer Marc Robert. The New York hedge fund has about $400 million under management.
    •Switzerland-based Land Commodities advises individuals and funds on purchases of Australian farmland, which could become more valuable as arable land becomes more scarce. According to the firm’s pitch, inland cropland Down Under is far from rising seas yet close to Asia’s hungry customers. The Switzerland-based company worked on more than $80 million in transactions last year.
    •New York-based investment firm KKR bought a 25 percent stake in Nephila Capital, an $8 billion Bermuda hedge fund that trades in weather derivatives. “More volatile weather creates more risk and more appetite to protect against that risk,” says Barney Schauble at Nephila Advisors.
    •Arcadis is a Dutch engineering firm that offers flood-protection services. Their revenue was up 26 percent last year to $3.25 billion thanks in part to superstorm Sandy. The company has contracts with New York’s Nassau County and New York City to bring water treatment facilities back online. Arcadis recently bought ETEP, a Brazilian water engineering and consulting firm.
    With glaciers disappearing, there’s suddenly access to a lot of ground that no one has ever seen.

    •NunaMinerals, a mining company in Greenland, spent last summer prospecting for gold in the southern part of the island. Mining companies spent $91.5 million on mineral exploration in the Danish territory in 2010.
    •Additionally, Anglo-American and Danish mining startup Avannaa Resources have committed more than $15 million on a joint venture to explore for copper in the eastern part of Greenland.
    Hotter temperatures and increased humidity are leading to outbreaks of the mosquito-borne disease dengue. There were 66 cases in the Florida Keys in 2011.

    •‘Eco-entrepreneur’ Jason Drew is one of the investors who has bet about $30 million on Oxitec, a startup in England that has engineered a mosquito that can’t reproduce. When their transgenic mosquito mates with a wild female, their offspring don’t survive into adulthood.

    fuckin’ lunatics

  • speakin’ of makin’ hay while the sun shines:

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/private-prisons-the-more-americans-they-put-behind-bars-the-more-money-they-make/#QppJHWE51FItrvKy.99

    Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make

    How would you describe an industry that wants to put more Americans in prison and keep them there longer so that it can make more money? In America today, approximately 130,000 people are locked up in private prisons that are being run by for-profit companies, and that number is growing very rapidly. Overall, the U.S. has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has 5 percent of the total global population. The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire globe by far, and no nation in the history of the world has ever locked up more of its own citizens than we have. Are we really such a cesspool of filth and decay that we need to lock up so many of our own people? Or are there some other factors at work? Could part of the problem be that we have allowed companies to lock up men and women in cages for profit? The two largest private prison companies combined to bring in close to $3,000,000,000 in revenue in 2010, and the largest private prison companies have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade. Putting Americans behind bars has become very big business, and those companies have been given a perverse incentive to push for even more Americans to be locked up. It is a system that is absolutely teeming with corruption, and it is going to get a lot worse unless someone does something about it.

  • Can’t resist this because it has a reference to “Adjunct Professors” being underpaid…..

    ‘Managed expectations in the post-employment economy

    – In a post-employment economy, many are working simply to earn the prospect of making money.’

    Sarah Kendzior

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/201331116423560886.html

    Practicaly all of it:

    “On March 4, Olga Khazan, the new editor of the Global section of the Atlantic, sent an email to Nate Thayer, a veteran journalist covering Asian political affairs. Khazan had seen an article Thayer had written about North Korea and liked it. She wanted to know if he could “repurpose” it for the Atlantic website.

    “We unfortunately can’t pay you for it,” she wrote Thayer. “But we do reach 13 million readers a month.”

    Thayer was appalled. He explained that he was a professional journalist “not in the habit of giving my services for free to for-profit media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children”.

    Khazan apologised and explained that the Atlantic was out of money. She told him the most they paid for an original story was $100, but they did not have $100 at the moment. All they could offer Thayer was “exposure” to benefit his “professional goals”. Thayer’s professional goal was to pay his bills. Outraged, he posted the exchange on his blog. It went viral within hours.

    Who pays?

    The news that the Atlantic – one of the oldest and most venerated publications in America – paid its writers little or nothing came as a shock to many, but not to journalists struggling to make a living in the post-employment economy. Freelance rates have plunged over the past decade, a decline tracked on the crowd-sourced website Who Pays Writers? (the answer: hardly anyone).

    Some journalists say this is not a big deal. Unpaid labour should be expected, even treasured. In an article called “People Writing for Free on the Internet Is an Enormous Boon to Society”, salaried Slate columnist Matthew Yglesias arguedthat if people demanded money for their labour, the world would be deprived of important works. “This Nine Inch Nails/Carly Rae Jepsen mashup is amazing, for example,” he wrote.

    “The problem in journalism is not that people are writing for free. It is that people are writing for free for companies that are making a profit.”

    Atlantic employees say they feel the freelancers’ pain, but there is nothing they can do. Editor James Bennett apologised for offending Thayer and added that “when we publish original, reported work by freelancers, we pay them”. This claim was dismissed by Atlantic contributors who were paid nothing for their original, reported contributions. In a lengthy defence of the Atlantic’s publishing practices, Technology editor Alexis Madrigal argued that while the game of journalism “sucks”, it was too late to change the rules: “You still have limited funds. You still can’t pay freelancers a living wage.”

    But then where is all the money going? “The Atlantic is two things every legacy publishing company would like to be: profitable and more reliant on digital advertising revenues than on print,” writes Forbes magazine. 2012 brought the Atlantic a record profit, beating out the record profit of 2011, with 59 percent of earnings coming from digital revenues. Not every writer at the Atlantic is suffering for their craft. When the Atlantic recruited staff writer Jeffrey Goldberg, they sent his daughter ponies and offered him a lavish six-figure salary. Thayer had once been offered $125,000 by the magazine to write six articles.

    The problem in journalism is not that people are writing for free. It is that people are writing for free for companies that are making a profit. It is that people are doing the same work and getting paid radically disparate wages. It is that corporations making record earnings will not allocate their budgets to provide menial compensation to the workers who make them a success.

    The post-employment economy

    The Atlantic is far from the only publication to withhold wages, nor is journalism the only field. In academia, adjunct professors live in poverty doing the same work as the average professor paid $73,207 per year. In many industries – including policy, entertainment, and business – interns do the same jobs as salaried employees and are paid nothing or next to nothing. “We need to hire a 22-22-22,” said one new media manager quoted in the New York Times, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year.

    Shortly before the Atlantic story broke, a video depicting income inequality in the United States went viral. Based on data from a 2011 study, the video showed that most Americans seek a more equitable distribution of wealth than what they believe exists – but that the reality of income inequality is far worse than they had imagined. When income was graphed, the middle class was barely distinguishable from the poor. 80 percent of Americans have 7 percent of the nation’s wealth, while 1 percent of Americans have 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.

    The video noted that 92 percent of Americans think this is wrong. So why does it continue? The answer lies in a combination of fear and myth-making that has characterised public perception of the economy since the 2008 collapse. Americans are taught to believe the economy is in a permanent crisis – a position seemingly validated by their own experience.

    But has the permanent crisis become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Economic analyst Eric Garland notes that since 2008, executive compensation has steadily risen, but the myth of hard times is peddled to both frighten and lure a permanent supply of unpaid, precarious labour.

    “You’re only 28. Or 33,” he writes, mocking the corporate pitch. “You have a long career ahead of you. You can get paid later! After all, we don’t have budget for interns this year. We used that money to increase executive pay at a rate five times greater than the cost of living. Because the economy is terrible right now! And we’re at all-time record highs of corporate cash reserves and profits. But it’s terrible!”

    The economic crisis is a crisis of managed expectations. Americans are being conditioned to accept their own exploitation as normal. Ridden with debt from the minute they graduate college, they compete for the privilege of working without pay. They no longer earn money – they earn the prospect of making money. They are paid in “connections” and “exposure”. But they should insist on more.

    I understand why they do not. When the Atlantic story broke, many journalists were tempted to write about their own mistreatment. Some did, but others held back. They did not want to seem angry or ungrateful. They did not want to risk losing what little they had. They were told to pay their dues, and now they are paying for it with their dignity.

    In the post-employment economy, is self-respect something we can afford? Or is it another devalued commodity we are expected to give away?”

    Yes, it would explain the new trend of massive profits being gobbled since the GFC in 2008-9 and the rising debt, and lowering wages, and the vast working poor.

    Methnks a change of government is coming here soon (Sept 14) in Australia …. so … back to the Reagan-Thatcher-Howard era, and its all over red rover, as slavery will be endemic, one way or the other.

    If so I may be living in the bush, (forest).

    I vote for Kevin Rudd !

  • http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/

    “Your Ignorance Makes Me Ill and Angry”

    enjoy

  • Cannabis is an old-world native, and Cannabis indica is literally a weed in the Indian subcontinent. It has a corresponding social status. Smoking it instead of tobacco (bidis, cigarettes, hookah, etc.) marked one as being at the bottom of the social pecking order when and where I grew up. Sort of like having dog food for dinner here.

    My father had a story from his medical school days when a classmate’s father came to visit in the hostel (dorm) and found his son smoking cigarettes. The father forbade his son to smoke cigarettes, and promptly bought his son a hookah instead.

    Much of that area will go underwater, too fast for humans to evolve into fully aquatic apes.

    he was most surprised when the Dr. said he was a podiatrist.

    One who helps people cope with the agony of de feet.

    Gyad Kathy, your Fuk x 400 is looking more and more plausible as time goes on.

    A massive clusterFuke?

    When I was stationed there, a different problem was so prevalent among the troops that some referred to the place as Korrhea.

  • ” …they compete for the privilege of working without pay. They no longer earn money – they earn the prospect of making money. They are paid in “connections” and “exposure”…”

    This quote from my previous comment, (itself a quote), reminds me of a recent public education moment.

    A minister for Education honcho and some high school teachers and parents and kids were all cheering because a state high school(public) had just opened an auditorium for performing arts and dance.

    I don’t recall how much it cost, but my heart sank,( as a poorly trained educator), becuse all I could imagine was the equivalent support in real educational terms as giving a child a instant scratch lottery ticket for their birthday.

    (That’s what I got from a Motherfu… in Law two days ago for my 50yth birthday, can you believe it…?)

    I mean who the Fuck is going to get a decent job from performing Arts. Some will, yes, of course, the ones with some talent, who were probably going to anyway, (pushy parent should never be underestimated). And it has its rightful place in a culture, but in out region all we see is hospitality, (code for hotel gaming bar licences and/or waitering while still young and pretty) or performing arts halls( perhaps code for well constructed disaster rally centres for civilian population relief, soon to be tested).

    So I ask, would not the money be better spent on some upskilling in other core education areas, more aligned with needed skills to survive this time and place ?

    I don’t think the next gens are all going to be ‘dancing with the stars’, or ‘the voice’ or some giltzy childrens dreamy thing, more like buskers and tumblers for a meal and somewhere to sleep that’s dry for a night….

    “Hey mister, can I milk your goats today for the night’s rest in your barn frr me and the family?”

    “Sure, but if I ketch yer (spit) drinkin any of them there’s milk, you’ll be next weeks supper, ya hear, wanderer ?”

    “loud and clear old timer, and thankin you kind sir”

    ” Them manners just got you the chore of cleanin out the pig pen tomorrow mornin, and then you’ll all have a sachel of grits to tide yer over on yur next travels. (aside) Ya see Mable, I told yer there still some peacable polite folk out there abots, keepin to the good ‘ol ways.”

    Either way it is selling out the generations to spend what little money there is left in Public Education, on the 1-in-1000-ratio-of-performing-dance-aholics-sing-along-with-the-tv-show-dreamy-kids-and-alults-too- wanabees to those who make it, or creatively get some livlihood from it.( yes, yes… or stay indigent and drunk, but leave great art behind, less an ear perhaps)

    I’d definitly go for the Clown option, IIHMTA.

    ( Angry, irate climate change clown…? )

    Maybe here:

    protest_clown_2

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_khuG39LG1dw/TCu26gShfXI/AAAAAAAAACg/22M6yhRLEzo/s1600/zombie-clown-2.jpg

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7190/6956632533_b21ec0f8fe_z.jpg

    http://www.ahajokes.com/cartoon/clown2.jpg

    or this…

    http://guycodeblog.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/clutch/2012/06/clown14.gif

    Some one’s education payed off.!

  • ulvfugl, Paul, BCNP, (anyone else that enjoys physics and math, biology):

    Geoffrey West on COMPLEXITY

    Everything lives at the same rate.

  • https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/

    The worst-case and – unfortunately – looking almost certain to happen scenario

    (regarding the consequences of the loss of Arctic sea ice)

  • Humanity appears to be in the grip of a planet-wide thermodynamic delusion – the delusion that our thermodynamic impact is somehow “manageable”. The diametric opposite of that statement comes much closer to the truth.

    What some people call “problem behavior” – growing human numbers, consumption, complexity and environmental impact – is in fact natural behavior that follows a natural law, much like falling follows the law of gravity. What we are doing to ourselves and the planet is a consequence of following this law. Our situation is not the product of some genetic, moral, educational or narrative failure that is somehow forcing us to violate a natural law.

    There is no more a solution to our overshoot than there is a “solution” to having fallen off a cliff. As activists we can scream and flail our arms on the way down, but the irresistible force of gravity ensures that we will fall until we strike an immovable object.

    Point finale, as they say in Québec.

  • @ Paul C.

    The 64 trillion dollar question is, “How close are we to the point where the earth’s systems can no longer cope, and finally force us to cease and desist?”

    I think it must be possible to calculate this mathematically then, as a theoretical limit beyond which it is impossible go ? Even though we could never reach that limit because all the life support systems would have broken long before.

    http://www.paulchefurka.ca/TF.html

  • Oz Man – you are so right, chickens are a great stress buster. And gardening.

    However, last year we got warm (70’s) in March and it just stayed that way. This year we are up and down like a yo yo. After some 70’s tomorrow is supposed to be 58 with 30 at night, but a high of 80 6 days from now. Had the same yo yo a month ago, blueberries bloomed early and now appear to have been decimated by frost – looks like 2/3 of more of the blossoms are gone.

    So gardening is getting stressful in the planning, while still stress busting when I just get out and get my hands in dirt.

    Meanwhile young roos are feeling spring and doing what young males do – fight, fight, fight. So far looks like all the bloodied combs haven’t really changed the whole scheme of which hens hang with which roos….our own little soap opera.

  • I’m wondering if this is another feedback loop, as the climate warms, trees and shrubs move north onto what was frozen tundra, which, I think makes the Earth surface darker, changing the albedo so it will absorb more sun’s warmth…

    http://www.countercurrents.org/cc120313A.htm

  • The Arctic Methane Emergency Group http://www.AMEG.me are very right to name this War….We must fight it tooth and claw, but in this war our teeth are our knowledge and our claws are our technology.
    —The Greatest War Ever
    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-greatest-war-ever.html

    You can war against lands large or small,
    Against evil or drugs—it’s your call;
    But with doom, who’s the foe?
    The way things will go
    Is war of all against all.

  • .
    The denier (what a maroon!)…
    Your future looks inopportune…
    When your nerves start to fray,
    Just remember to say:
    “This shit will be all over soon.”

  • Think of all the soldiers, police, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security, Rent a Cops, Wannabes and Baby Fascists and all their wives, girlfriends and significant others who will fight to the death AMEG, you, me and anyone else who wants to save life on earth. Kinda funny really.

  • -Wester

    I hear you, we cannot win against B-1 bombers, tanks, nuclear subs, etc.

    That’s why we only have one chance: catastrophic collapse asap!

    It could be pandemic, meteors, or volcanos. But something has to happen to basically ruin 90% of the infrastructure of industrical civilization and kill a lot of people…

    even if everyone woke up tomorrow and said “you’re right, we cannot live like this anymore!” then what? I would love to see how that would play out.

  • Wester, Paul, ulvfugl:

    i’m interested in trying to calculate the upper limit (as well as the lower, if only slightly better than “any day now”)
    to when the big step down happens. For example, Wester says that the whole security apparatus will stay intact all the way down. i don’t think it’s going to procede that way.

    See, but it depends on so many interacting factors (differential equations anyone?) that are all getting worse at differing rates and impacting others. Add to these the fact that here in the US we’ve by-and-large neglected our infrastructure for between 1 and 5 decades (or more in some cases) so that own contribution to the entropy production is significant:

    old gas and water mains fail, roads are ignored and bridges collapse, the electrical grid is held together with bailing wire and thumbtacks, fires happen more often, and nobody’s improving the nuke plants. There are many more areas here, but i’m just listing parameters. We’d probably have to take into effect the asteroids buzzing us, solar flairs and EMP events too.

    A mental back of the napkin calculation (guess) for me was within 20 years of 2007 when i extrapolated [after adjusting the ol’ IPCC (cupcake) scenario they presented so as not to panic the public].

    We’re just shy of the 1/2 way mark and it’s gotten significantly worse each year since then so that we’re just coming off the bottom part of the exponential curve now – where the changes per unit time are becoming more noticeable.

    Going forward i may be inclined to move the date UP, much as i try to resist (life bias?), to maybe 2023-25 for the real problems to become overwhelming (heat, drought, ridiculous storms) and from which there will be no “recovery”: financial collapse, food shortages, no muni water or sewage, etc. And i think HERE is where the police, military etc will see the futility of keeping up the charade for the powers that be once we get to Guy’s “light’s out” phase (when the “fun” begins).

    Anybody want to try their hand at prognostication? How do you think it’s gonna “go down”?

  • @ Tom, others,

    The way I was seeing it, following Paul’s analogy of gravity, and the TF and entropy, etc, so if we are in freefall, then someone could calculate the velocity and the distance to the ground, sort of thing. Yes, we all die long before impact, because the air conditioning fails so we can’t breath, the G forces tear our limbs off, etc, but that figure would be a maximum.
    A minimum would be much more difficult because of all the variables, I think it’s impossible. You can tell a plausible story, like the guy on the link you provided, re the loss of Arctic sea ice, but there again, there’s so much uncertainty… one way or another, looks like we’ll find out…

  • Is this going to be a NBL wager? Are we all going to chip into a kitty and whoever guesses the closest gets the pot?

  • Paul, I’m glad that you mentioned the topic of “life boat ethics.” If any humans are going to survive the collapse, egalitarian values (which have been the product of Christian ethics and unprecedented prosperity in the industrialized West … i.e., since the pie became so huge, sharing didn’t hurt) must be abandoned. Ancient societies were based on blood, they were bellicose, they practiced infanticide, they were patriarchal, hierarchical and would have been appalled by modern utopian dreams of global human fraternity.

    So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat. To be generous, let us assume it has room for 10 more, making a total capacity of 60. Suppose the 50 of us in the lifeboat see 100 others swimming in the water outside, begging for admission to our boat or for handouts. We have several options: we may be tempted to try to live by the Christian ideal of being “our brother’s keeper,” or by the Marxist ideal of “to each according to his needs.” Since the needs of all in the water are the same, and since they can all be seen as “our brothers,” we could take them all into our boat, making a total of 150 in a boat designed for 60. The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe.

    http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/articles/art_lifeboat_ethics_case_against_helping_poor.html

  • Kathy C

    You wrote:
    “Meanwhile young roos are feeling spring and doing what young males do – fight, fight, fight.”

    Whoo!For a minute there I thought you were talking about Kanga-roos, I was just trying to figure how they hopped all that way… Ha!

    And yes, my sentiments exactly on the private soap opera. Who needs TV?

  • pat: hahaaahaahahahhahah-haaaaa! That’s GREAT! We could each chip in a proverbian MILLION BUCK$ since by the time we agreed it was the end, the internet would be down, it would be total mayhem everywhere and there’d be nothing to buy! I’M IN!! But let me sharpen my pencil a bit and try to come up with a (what do you want to say?) 5 year range of dates between which it’s LIGHT’S OUT – no electricity, no food, total collapse of government, chaos abounds.

    Anyone else who wants in just come up with two dates between which it all goes to shit and state it here on NBL. Closest range wins, in case of tie – you split the pot.

    Come on people, give it a whirl. Waddiya got to lose? HAAA-HAAAAAH!!!

  • pat – we also have to have a cut-off date for entries (like May or June?) Remember things are going to continue to degrade while we’re waiting, so we should make it before the 1/2 year mark (summer solstice?). Waddiya say?

  • It was July 2010, the first west coast meetup of Romm’n’Legions when we went around the dinner table with the questions, first:

    When and why did you first realize we’re f*cked?

    and second:

    how much longer have we got till (loosely defined) the SHTF?

    It’s a great parlor game Tom!

    https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2010/07/diva-of-doom.html

  • depressive lucidity

    You wrote:

    “Ancient societies were based on blood, they were bellicose, they practiced infanticide, they were patriarchal, hierarchical and would have been appalled by modern utopian dreams of global human fraternity.”

    Look I don’t agree with the truth of these assertions. Some or most older civilisations were heirarchical and patriarchal, yes, and they led to us, even as they failed, or morphed.
    But clear;y pre aggricultural groupings were overwhelmingly matriarchal, or matrilinial. Australian Aborigines still are. I had to ask permision from a local female elder to walk in a sacred manner on her ancestral land(on which I presently live).

    Dare I also draw a long bow and say from my own research, looking at others too, the ancient hunter gatherers in the Mediterainian and the(now so called) Middle East changed significantly from tribal groupings to city state entities in a direct cause and effect manner to patriarchy by the application of stories about deities.
    The city of Ugarit:

    “…Though the site is thought to have been inhabited earlier, Neolithic Ugarit was already important enough to be fortified with a wall early on, perhaps by 6000 BC. Ugarit was important perhaps because it was both a port and at the entrance of the inland trade route to the Euphrates and Tigris lands….

    The polity was at its height from ca. 1450 BC until 1200 BC.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugarit

    …was sacked at a certain time and never reoccupied, and thus when excavated in recent times gives a credible account of what occurred.
    A good friend and middle eastern ancient languages scholar has related to me that there was a change in the stories recounted about the deities. In earlier origin stories the mature female Deities were well respected and looked after the rains the weather and the good hearth, and in return the cults of veneration to them were strong. As time passed there were younger male gods from northern regions coming into their lands and wreaking havoc, destroying all the landscape and muddying the water, so to speak, and most significant of all showing hitherto unseen disrespect for the female deities. Soon the younger male gods had cults of their ownand these led to a struggle for stewardship or power, and the older female dieties receeded, replaced by the emerging patriarchy. The salient thing is the scholars were able to deterine that the stories preceeded the actual cultural changes by upward of 5-10 generations, or between 3-4 hundred years.
    So the short of it is:

    1. the stories do inflence the outcome of culture(not something you asserted I agree), but also
    2. a stable interaction with the biosphere was always relativly in sight with Matriarchal and Matrilinial kinship groups. We really only get to here through those worrior gods, which came into most cultures, in deffering ways, pushing aside the female deities of Earth and cyclic nature.
    3. we are paying the price of sour story-telling ow and form now, IMO.

  • OKAY TOM!

    but, you make it too complicated with the “no electricity, no food, total collapse of government, chaos abounds.” so, let me suggest to define the “winning condition” as no electricity for more than 25% of the mainland USA population on a continuous basis for more than one week. That, IMO, should start the wheels turning towards inevitable collapse, however, other suggestions are welcome!

    and, “a five year window?” really, let’s get more specific, I suggest we have to guess one date, and whoever is closest (absolute value of days) wins.

    To: Everyone

    if you want to join the pool, please preface with “My Doomer Entry.”

    here’s My Doomer Entry: August 31, 2014
    here’s why: late summer, everyone is going crazy, it’s hot, everyone is using their air conditioners around the clock, inflation out of control, empty shelves at grocery, drought, urban riots, stock market crash, gold at $5,000 an ounce, wars raging in Africa, Turkey, Middle East, India, China, Korea, and Japan.

    If you are still in the US by then, good luck.

  • OzMan, some words of wisdom from Survival Acres:

    http://survivalacres.com/blog/the-cannibal-cabal/#more-4560

    The “secret” to why this happens, over and over again, throughout history, is that we are not suited to living in large groups and never will be.

    We can only exist, within our environment and with each other, peacefully and without vying for an endless quest for power, in (very) small groups, where we can directly maintain control over each other and the “leaders” in out midst.

    Once we abandon this societal approach, we open up ourselves to unchecked corruption, with the most corrupt striving for leadership of the common band of criminals, who eventually discover they can do almost nothing but control / manipulate almost everything, easily “violating” any and all laws and restriction once put into place to try and control this.

    In truth, there never was any need for any laws (and never was there any laws, or taxes). They do not work as a means to “control men” and never will.

    The more distant we became from all this, the more corruption was tolerated and permitted. Now, our leaders are untouchable (allegedly, it’s not true) in “free speech zones” and protected enclaves.

    This failed group dynamic has led to everything else. Real freedom, individual liberty has only existed when this group dynamic didn’t.

    This is at the root of every city, state, political party, corporate power — all which by design promote from their own ranks the most corrupt as a means of survival and advancement for the group. Psychologist know this, but I forget what it’s called.

    We’re not capable and never will be, to live this way. Humans will try to control (govern) other humans, piling on top of them all sorts of demands, decrees and enforcing this with others who will use violence to get their way, including offering a “better quality of life” in exchange for complicity and “cooperation”.

    This works — until it doesn’t, which always happens, because this group dynamic is unsuitable at its core for how humans evolved.

    We’ve tried many countless attempts to “evolve” ourselves and make this work, but it never does. Always the more corrupt vie for position and power and make their demands known.

  • A permanent URL for today’s Arctic News item by Aaron Franklin that the worst-case scenario is looking almost certain, posted earlier with a generic URL for the site.
    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-worst-case-and-unfortunately-looking-almost-certain-to-happen-scenario.html

  • pat: Oh, i see you want to do the beginning of the fall. One big power outage isn’t enough though – we did that a ways back (because of a falling tree branch and cascading failure, you remember around 1965 or something) and it didn’t bode the collapse of civilization. We need something significant or some really bad combination of things that clearly shows we “ain’t gettin’ aroun’ this!” Also it has to be GLOBAL (although if we in the US are going under i can’t imagine the rest of the world being too far behind). i like your time selection though and your reasons may actually occur. Lemme think about this a little more tonight. Anybody else want to chime in, please feel free.

    OzMan: to your educational comment further up the thread – i agree, the Arts are so dissed in public education, and yet that’s the only good part of our civilization if you ask me – art, dance and music. All the rest of the subjects have been turned into awful drudgery with no purpose (“Hey Mrs. Crabtree, why do we have to read Shakespeare when i can’t even fill out a job application?”) and as far as jobs goes – it doesn’t matter WHAT you study or what it says on your degree unless you know somebody that can employ you. The year i graduated from college, well before 2000, we had more PhD’s driving pizza delivery vehicles than ever before in the US. i can’t imagine how bad it is now and will get in the future.

    Jeff: yeah i saw that. The scary part about it is it’s just a matter of time – and we don’t know how much (but it isn’t going to be even 20 years the way it looks)!

  • In World First, Japan Extracts Gas from ‘Fire Ice’ Deposits Off Coast

    “As the planet heats up and the exploitation of harder-to-get-at fuels continues, Japan announced on Tuesday that it had achieved a world first by extracting natural gas from methane hydrate, known as “fire ice,” from the seabed off its coast….

    “… Brad Plumer points out in the Washington Post that exploiting methane hydrates brings climate worries. Even figuring a lower estimate of 2,500 gigatons of carbon-dioxide in gas hydrates, ‘it could prove impossible to keep global warming below the goal of 2°C if a significant fraction of this natural gas gets burned.’

    “Also, if drillers allow methane to leak, they release a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.”

    More at http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/12-8

  • Some thoughts on 450ppm CO2 by Tad Patzek, Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin.

    Climate Change: It’s Too Late For The Truth

    He has a great new coined phrase: Lethal Distractions

    Hey, it’s what keeps the public from dealing with Reality

    .

  • For me the horror begins precisely here:

    “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

    Humans are not Gods, despite their ceaseless desire to be so.
    And they do not have nor deserve dominion over any of it.

    Pity and a shame that this particular ethic, worldview and delusion infested so much of the ultra-conquering portion of humanity, and then rubbed off on all the copycats and wannabes.

    “Decay, and decay for a period whose end I cannot fix – is our lot…
    I shall witness the evil only, I shall die in the midst of the darkness.”

    – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

  • Wester: i always wondered about the plural when “god” speaks (to whom?) in your first quoted sentence – “what do you mean ‘our’ there, god? ‘r youse guys a buncha UFO-ridin’ innerplanetary yahoos spreadin’ yer seed all over the dang universe ‘r sumpim’?”

    Speak Softly: good one, thanks!

    bluebird: yep, here we go with the “opportunity” people makin’ money off what’s going to end up killin’ us off in short order . . . and what could go wrong . . .?

  • @Gail,

    The interesting question for me is, “Why does the small-group dynamic fail so consistently?” As we develop social groupings much above Dunbar’s Number there seems to be a consistent emergence of hierarchy. As they get significantly larger, patriarchy seems to emerge spontaneously.

    The research I’v been doing recently suggests that both phenomena are points on a curve of increasing social complexity, that happens as a consequence of rising energy availability within society. The greater the amount of energy that a society has at its disposal (i.e. that needs to be transformed efficiently into work) the more order appears to facilitate that process. The most order, energy-transformation efficiency and energy-transformation capability appears in a tree-structured social hierarchy. The more the amount of energy involved increases, the more the distance between the top and the bottom of the hierarchic pyramid increases in response.

    In this interpretation, patriarchy emerges because hierarchies depend on consistent power to become established and maintain cohesion. Men supply the power in the early non-technological days because they are physically stronger, and they supply the consistency because they don’t need to take time out of their managerial/enforcement duties to bear children.

    This explains the consistent appearance of hierarchy and patriarchy in advancing human societies. It also explains other things like the appearance of cities, nation-states and trans-national empires. It’s all in the interest of transforming as much available energy into work as possible.

    I’ve become convinced that most of the social effects we normally see as causative are actually consequential, and are rooted in the thermodynamic imperative of transforming as much available energy as possible into work and waste heat (aka increasing entropy). This is why the pernicious social effects are so hard to mitigate.

  • “As we develop social groupings much above Dunbar’s Number there seems to be a consistent emergence of hierarchy. As they get significantly larger, patriarchy seems to emerge spontaneously.”

    My hunch is that one reason Neanderthals died out, as a species, is because their brains had an even lower Dunbar number hard wired into them than H s. sapian. Hell, they co-existed with H s. sapian for 15,000+ years in Really Old Europe and never figured out the ‘magic’ of a bow and arrow.

    “I’ve become convinced that most of the social effects we normally see as causative are actually consequential, and are rooted in the thermodynamic imperative of transforming as much available energy as possible into work and waste heat (aka increasing entropy). This is why the pernicious social effects are so hard to mitigate.”

    I pretty much agree with that up to the point where you have ironically demonstrated ‘self-awareness’ of this very phenomenon and hence can claim no ‘plausible deniablity’, as a modern human, that you can’t help doing it, you’re hard wired for it!

    To most Sheeple People, in their own minds, their very cultivated ‘unawareness’ morally then ‘let’s them off the hook’to correct it! Hurrah!

    Look, the willfully ‘ignorance is bliss’ crowd that comprises the vast majority of ‘Duhmericka’ think they have an air tight excuse for in-action and self imposed stupidity on changing their behavior, as long as they don’t reflect on the truth of our collective dilemma.

    Think of the Three Monkeys, hear no evil……..think no evil?

    You have just laid out the whole human mechanism for climate denial yet that self awareness is it’s self an Answer that humans can in fact ‘rise above it’.

    Are you some different species of human like h s sapian was above the hapless h neanderthalensis?

    H sustainablus?

    Are there more of your ‘kind’? Can this be learned or is it something you just ‘have’ as part of your genome?

    Could you have taught this message to h neanderthalensis so they could have competed with those evil little No-limits, to Infinity and Beyond twirps of the homo sapian sapian variety?

    Are h s sapians doomed by their Dunbar number the way h neanderthalensis were doomed by their much lower Dunbar number?

    Please expand on this

  • OZ “Arts are so dissed in public education, and yet that’s the only good part of our civilization if you ask me – art, dance and music. All the rest of the subjects have been turned into awful drudgery with no purpose”

    Art and dance and music IMO have been co-opted by the system as well. Rather than enjoying the ordinary art that humans are capable, the music of a human singing or humming, or the spontaneous dance of a child, we create forms of proper art, music and dance. Ballet dancers go bulimic to stay the appropriate size. Young males were castrated for the perfect tenor in the past. Grants from Dukes and Kings supported artists in the past – made from the taxes on peasants. Grants funded by taxes now support the arts.

    Art and dance and music are vital, but we can live without Bach and Beethoven, given that until their time people did live without them. I love them, but I don’t need them. But can we live without the music of crickets, the sound of the wind, the exuberance of our own free form dances, the beauty of a flower etc.

  • Kathy: good point on the arts and nature. i guess it’s all used in service to the dominant hegemony.

    Gail: re parlor game – did you or your friends/family come up with a date when things would begin to go irrevocably ‘south’? Just curious.

    pat: i’m thinking it’s probably closer to 2019/2020 when all is said and done, but of course i don’t know. Lemme posit: Dec. 17, 2019 as the end of the line for civilization on the globe. i think the chance of either of us being correct is miniscule and it could happen much quicker if the Arctic methane bomb goes off beforehand.

  • @SpeakSoftly
    I pretty much agree with that up to the point where you have ironically demonstrated ‘self-awareness’ of this very phenomenon and hence can claim no ‘plausible deniablity’, as a modern human, that you can’t help doing it, you’re hard wired for it!

    Yeah, we may be the first case of the universe looking squarely at itself and going, WTF!!! Maybe the sudden awareness of millions can send depth charges into the ‘ground of being’ (to what end I don’t know).

  • If humans are at the mercy of the universal thermodynamic imperatives of energy, mere straws in the wind, how come they don’t fuck in the middle of the road?

    The vast majority of modern human cultures highly discourage fucking in the middle of the road.

    John Lennon proposed the opposite in a song once, but the normal is to not ‘do it’ in the road.

    OMG humans have rules! Even though dogs and horses and birds do it in the road, humans decided that was too much.

    Over populating however is OK if done in private. Another conscious Choice! OMG, these humans are amazing in their mental gymnastics!

    Conscious unconsciousness. Learning to keep it in their pants under one set of circumstances, but not in another.

    Brilliant.

    Selective memory, selective hearing, selective awareness. Clever those naked apes.

    Go forth and multiply …until you destroy the very basis of your existence. Holy words or thermodynamic imperatives, you be the judge.

    Forgive them, they know not what they do…anyone expressing such a lame disingenuous non excuse for inexcusable lack of responsibility deserves to be crucified, don’t ya think?

    The time for cheap shallow rationalizations, enabling behavior and hubris as to why humans are so ‘gifted’, and ‘resourceful’, and ‘adaptive’, and drum roll, ‘inventive’ are thankfully coming to an End.

    Geo-engineer has been going on in the wings for quite awhile. The Owners and their lackeys, the MIC Maggots, have known the message since the 70’s, and yes, they actually did read Hubbert and understand it. But like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they will cocked it up, human style, until it fails miserably, and then bleat; it was fate (i.e. thermodynamics) that ‘made’ us do it (in the road?)

    Why Don’t We Do It in the Road

    NOT to be confused with Why Don’t We Do It in The Road

  • “My Doomer Entry” Update:

    Pat 08/31/14
    Tom 12/17/19

    As yet, there are no agreed upon parameters to determine the “winner.”

    It seems to me there are several major themes being addressed here on NBL:

    First and Foremost: Collapse. It seems the majority of posters here agree that collapse is happening and there is no way to stop it. Most of the posts are providing links to third party data corroborating same and a small subset of links to idiots saying “all is well.”

    After that, the posts are either about “prepping” (as if anyone is going to survive), or waxing poetically about how things could have been different (not to mention the philosophical discussions on the nature of being, the meaning and the fate of the universe, etc).

    When I became collapse aware, around 2006, I became a prepper. Now I’m mostly looking to escape the US somehow. Leave my guns, ammo, water purifiers and freeze-dried food behind… and all my attachments to “The Machine” that has doomed us all. I don’t want to be in the US when the riots start. I don’t want to face the very difficult choice of eating my cat or eating my neighbor (before he eats me). I don’t want to live in a FEMA camp.

    So, the question is, where to go and how to get there and Then What?