The muzzling

by Kian Mokhtari

Two and half thousand years ago, the known world was almost identical in its affairs to the world we know today. The main difference was that the Persian Empire ruled over most of the known world. Highly advanced in its workings, administrative model and social management, it was a wonder the likes of which the ancient world had never seen.

On the Western edges of the Empire, dotted along the northern and eastern Mediterranean, existed a number of city states that unhappily and reluctantly paid tributes to the Persian Empire. The Mediterranean-rim city states that contemporary Western historians have bunched together as “Ancient Greece” gave rise to writers, philosophers, scientists, and so on, whose works have become the foundation and the pillars of modern Western culture.

Many of the fine gentlemen in fine white robes took up the mightiest weapon against the Persian Empire: the pen. In their attempts to vent frustration at what they considered an imposition by a foreign power, they began to portray Persia’s world empire as despotic, barbaric, uncivilized, emotional and childlike. In fact, all that was looked down upon in the Athenian social etiquette was relentlessly related to the Persians.
Eventually even the Persian Empire’s Imperial guard, The Immortals, did not prove so immortal in the invasion of Alexander of Macedon. Iran’s first empire was destroyed to the extent that precious few pieces of evidence survive to tell of the Persian take on the affairs of their world.

The greatest blow to the Persians to this day remains the near-total theft of their culture and destruction of their account of history. Precious little to answer the Greek history’s account: other than the Cyrus Cylinder, a universal declaration of human rights which according to the so-called Greek account of things was put together by a “despotic, barbaric empire”!?

The other discrepancy in the Greek journals of history is the role of women in society. The learned gentlemen of Greece almost uniformly represent women as breeding capsules bereft of social standing that seem to exude all kinds of poisonous liquids and grow snakes or some other kind of nastiness from their bodies. This, at a time when the “despotic Persian Empire” exercised equal rights for men and women and indeed bred governesses, priests, warriors and intellectuals from the ranks of its female citizenry.

Ancient Greece had also no qualms about slavery and slave trade, a practice outlawed throughout the Persian Empire that carried severe penalties. The price for a female slave in ancient Greece ranged between 140 to 220 drachmas.

But the point here is not to rekindle ancient rivalries, rather to highlight the arguments that deal with contradictory accounts of history.

The common men and women worldwide were seldom educated enough to leave behind their own views of the world, nor were they financially empowered to the point of hiring their own scribes to chronicle social history. So, whatever we know about history comes from the writings of scribes sponsored by biased third parties in positions of power, their cronies or indeed beneficiaries.

What we know of social history is through architectural studies into urban design and make up of past centers of social interaction. But this has proven a very speculative affair with countless arguments raging over various explanations.

The accounts of history being fed to our children at schools worldwide are primarily the accounts of military, religious or political feats of the elite. Such accounts encourage doctrines of racial, political and military supremacy and serve to steadily provide the rulers with more brainwashed foot soldiers for future adventures in brutal and biased intolerance toward human family’s true aspirations.

Enter journalism in its original form and with its original intent to provide humanity with a reliable source of information about world events. Journalism proved so effective in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries that massive popular revolutions were born from its ability to awaken the masses to their plight at the hands of generations of despotic rulers. Issues that the poorly educated so-called working class had not been aware of were pushed to the forefront of collective social consciousness via efforts of determined journalists and chroniclers eager to shake off the one-sided accounts of history shoved in their faces by undemocratic religious, political or military rulers.

The multi-pronged assault on mumbo jumbo took on the perceived beliefs to defeat superstition, ignorance and bias forced on the human family for thousands of years by the rulers, their lackeys and shamans. Darwinism blew apart the brutally enforced beliefs of Abrahmic religions on the origins of humanity and life on earth. In fact, scientific journals did more to peel away the outer layers of deceit and superstition that had held humanity in bondage than any political chronicles floated to challenge the status quo.

However, the journals of fresh arguments against the despotic political and religious rule also did much to shake the foundations of a decaying world of kings and queens, theocratic overlords and masters to open the way for new systems of governance based on popular consent in the latter parts of the 19th and early 20th century.

This runaway awakening in social consciousness touched almost every community in each and every part of the world. With local populations rising to claim their rights and colonial possessions shrinking, an argument developed over the colonial loot that we have come to know as World War I: Essentially a fight over power among two branches of one European royal household that saw to the back of all advances in social awakening. Free journalism was pigeonholed into war sloganism in the fear of being tagged unpatriotic.

The unchecked rise of the military industrial complex, huge banking corporates and war profiteers out of the ashes of the Great War set the course for where we stand to this very day. The latter culprits’ by now traditions of relentless assaults on free journalism, mass campaigns of misinformation and finally the takeover of media altogether have ensured the artificially induced differences among the human societies that guarantee the rulers’ profits will continue.

The rise of corporate controlled media has meant that the very journalists who would otherwise lend their pens to the causes of environment, society and people, must behave as mercenary scribes of the rulers if only to be able to feed themselves and their families. Some might argue that the internet and social media sites can in time remedy this dire situation but this conclusion is flawed because humanity seeks accuracy, lack of bias and comprehensive accounts in social records of contemporary world affairs that can be accessed within an information bank very much in the popular domain.

To bring about such eventuality free journalism and media must be encouraged to return to the popular domain as experience has clearly demonstrated that information controlled by the ruling elite will exclusively be used to advance their agendas and interests.

In the 21st Century, humanity is yet to wise up to these facts and move to finance its own bank of information to protect the future of its children, the environment and indeed our planet. The implementation of such proposition is long overdue. Humanity’s world view, free of induced prejudices, will be very different to what we are witnessing today. A world constructed with foresight and clarity of vision will be a far cry from the blood-drenched, chemical and biological nightmare that we are about to hand over to the next generation as “our legacy.”

____________________

Kian Nader Mokhtari, managing director of Blazing Kat Productions. Director, producer and writer of OWS Week, and currently producing a documentary in the U.S., Mr. Mokhtari is an independent journalist with 15 years of experience in the field. He is a foreign policy specialist, columnist and political commentator. He has worked as a lecturer in journalism at a number of universities.

____________________

McPherson wrote an essay on request for Blazing Kat last week. It’s here.

McPherson was interviewed by KMO for the C-REALM podcast. The result, which is accessible only to subscribers (even I’ve not heard this one), is here.

Comments 361

  • @CCC,
    The reverse could be applied, in that a decline in energy would bring about a tension towards a lack of civility; however, the social, political, and cultural terrain would factor in to an extent.

    True, but note in there that the decline in energy must happen first (which is built into the equation). While we are seeing a decline in energy, we are seeing a huge increase in technology towards maximizing what little there is left. Also, because of the energy density of fossil fuels, solar will never be a suitable replacement for the level of civilization we currently experience (not to mention the other resources from fossil fuels – namely, FERTILIZER to feed the billions.

  • “we invented culture”

    That’s an interesting proposition!
    I guess much depends on the definition of “culture”.

    The first instruction that Socrates always gave to a new student was, “if you would speak with me – you must define your terms”.

    So, sock it to me!

  • @ulvfugl

    Can I just agree with everyone, even if they seem to have opposing views, LOL!

    Nobody has the complete story, but you both have valid arguments, though I don’t take them as absolutes.

    The truth is that I do MANY things which are selfless, and MANY things which are selfish, that have NOTHING to do with my personal reproductive fitness.

    These “selfless” acts are selfish to the extent that I act in accordance with my conscience, and therefore feel better for doing so; HOWEVER, truly selfless acts do occur within myself and others. These are instinctual, and help for group survival.

    So then we’re dealing with selfishness as a group, or species, rather than at an individual level. At some point these terms must be properly qualified, else we’re arguing semantics.

  • @ Hamlet J.

    It’s not easy. The word, as used by the general public, meaning painting, theatre, the arts, is not at all the meaning intended.

    I mean, as defined by biologists. It’s the one distinction between humans and all other species, although some other species do have it, no other species has it to such a highly developed degree.

    It’s the ability to pass on ideas and knowledge across generations, other than by genetic transmission. In other words, one generation learns how to make stone tools, and teaches their children, and they pass on the knowledge, and so this is what has produced what we have today, the end result of that process.

    This discussion began with Gail’s statement that ‘we invented culture’, which is the opposite of the truth. Culture invented us. Culture began with pre-hominids, and their behaviour and evolution, which produced us, was the result of their culture.

  • …humans are the only animals to pass down cumulative cultural knowledge to their offspring. While chimpanzees can learn to use tools by watching other chimps around them, but humans are able to pool their cognitive resources to create increasingly more complex solutions to problems and more complex ways of interacting with their environments.

    The diversity of cultures points to the idea that humans are shaped by their environments, and also interact with environments to shape them as well. Cultural diversity arises from different human adaptations to different environmental factors, which in turn shapes the environment, which in turn again shapes human behavior. This cycle results in diverse cultural representations that ultimately add to the survival of the human species.

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

  • @ Commander

    That’s because you are a human being ;-)

  • @ulvfugl

    Exactly!

    This is what I meant by “culture”. I see the world as a giant petri dish. We are all cultured as a mad experiment by forces which choose to remain hidden. Basically the ruling class. No one individual. They die out, rise, and fall.

    Still, what I see is people taking culture as a virtue in and of itself, regardless of the content, or context of the current day. As in, whatever seemed to work well for us in the past, may no longer be so, yet we continue on assuming that it must be so, because it has got us where we are, and oh look… smartphones, sex toys, we’re all good! LOL!

    So you have this tendency within people to be…. dull minded, and manipulative. To go with the flow of current ideas, and shun the most novel ones which may actually be best.

    Those in best position to continue with, else introduce new cultural memes, are the ruling class and their minions.

  • * manipulative = manipulated

  • Ah, the invective, “genetic determinism”. Dawkins doesn’t support that straw-man. I expect you espouse some variation of “The Blank Slate” (the politics, not the book by Pinker). If one were to read Pinker’s book of the same name, it thoroughly disproves Blank-slate-ism. Blank-Slate proponents have now been discredited, just as climate deniers are buried under a mountain of data and science proving anthropomorphic climate change.

    When I first encountered it, I was bewildered by the term “genetic determinism.” Later, I discovered it was an insult. Again, I first thought it was cast out of fear, and rejection, of the available science. Now, I understand it is the opening of a political attack.
    If anybody wants to really understand the politics of the Blank-Slate assholes, and how they fucked-up evolutionary science for 50 years, please read Steven Pinkers, The Blank Slate.

    Although today Dawkins is showing evidence of senility, his past works are a great introduction into the subject. I stand by my recommendation. E.O. Wilson is also a giant, as is Steven Pinker.

    The most important point I want to make is this: animals (homo included) are a product of genes + environment. I define culture as information/custom that is passed from one to another, or generation to generation. Culture in this example is just another environmental influence. There are feed-backs between DNA and environment. It is a complex organization, and in reality, it is the Blank-Slate proponents that want to simplify the discussion into child-like terms so they can maximize their agendas by re-writing the science to favor their politics.

    Hey, reproductive fitness again! It’s insidious, it’s deceptive, it’s plant, it’s animal, and it’s HUMAN.

    ===

    Beg to differ. Selfish Gene is mostly bullshit.

    Genetically we have scarcely changed for millennia, other than minor things, it’s all been cultural. Dawkins genetic determinism lasted about a decade, along with all the nonsense about ‘junk DNA’.

  • I need to qualify some of that. ‘Culture invented us’ is an exaggeration, to balance Gails use of words, we are biological animals, mostly made of water and a lot of bacteria, and the genetic component is very significant, along with epigenetics, so it’s a big complicated mixture, but culture, imo is the major factor, and we’ve domesticated ourselves, so we have, like our dogs and farmed animals a strange mix of remnants of a wild population, distorted by the demands of captivity. And although I’ve quoted from that website, and think there is much of value in the work done by the ethologists, I don’t fully endorse evolutionary psychology and sociobiology in the way that some people do.

  • TED TV: Steven Pinker: Human nature and the blank slate

    http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate.html

    Enjoying!

  • Emotions (feeling BETTER) are programed by our genes to modify our behavior in ways that, in the past paleo history, tended to increase our reproductive fitness. That’s it! It’s that simple.

    BTW, this list deserves better. I know there is a NTE forum, but the geniuses on this here ‘comments page’ have yet to migrate…

    Great sharing idea’s with ya all today. I have to be getting busy with chores, so, see you around soon!

    ===

    “These “selfless” acts are selfish to the extent that I act in accordance with my conscience, and therefore feel better for doing so”

  • @ Hamlet J.

    No, don’t support blank slate, it’s obvious nonsense. Don’t support Pinker either, can’t stand him. Read his book.
    Dawkins’ neo-darwinism is dead as far as I’m concerned. A gene for this and a gene for that, it just isn’t like that.
    I’m a fan of Wilson. Sociobiology, not so much

    The most important point I want to make is this: animals (homo included) are a product of genes + environment. I define culture as information/custom that is passed from one to another, or generation to generation. Culture in this example is just another environmental influence. There are feed-backs between DNA and environment. It is a complex organization, and in reality, it is the Blank-Slate proponents that want to simplify the discussion into child-like terms so they can maximize their agendas by re-writing the science to favor their politics.

    Yes, well, to my mind, that simply doesn’t work. You have to explain how we went from sitting in the sand under the stars around a campfire with stone tools, 200,000 years later, today’s mass urban streams of traffic and satellites and nuclear power plants, etc, when the DNA hasn’t changed. So what changed ?

    Elephants are the same, lions, iguanas, dolphins, all the rest, they all much the same, they all rely upon genetic evolution to drive change. We are quite different. We are driven by cultural evolution. Blank slate has nothing to do with it. Afaik, nobody serious ever even said or believed we were a blank slate, Pinker’s whole thing was a straw man, but he has to churn out a book every year or two to keep his face in the public arena.

  • @ Hamlet Jones

    Emotions (feeling BETTER) are programed by our genes to modify our behavior in ways that, in the past paleo history, tended to increase our reproductive fitness. That’s it! It’s that simple.

    Except its not. You can’t explain Shakespeare or Martin Luther King or Ghandi or Bach or Vincent Van Gogh by this shabby low brow third rate Monsanto-esque pseudo-science.

  • U:

    may I suggest changing:

    “Except its not. You can’t explain Shakespeare or Martin Luther King or Ghandi or Bach or Vincent Van Gogh by this shabby low brow third rate Monsanto-esque pseudo-science.”

    to:

    “Except, with all due respect, I don’t think so. How then do you explain Shakespeare or Martin Luther King or Ghandi or Bach or Vincent Van Gogh?”

    simple, respectful, and non-provoking.

  • @ pat

    Yesterday you were playing amateur psychiatrist, today you want to be my mother teaching me manners ?

    Why don’t you stick to the topic and try and explain human behaviour, yours, mine, CommanderCraCra’s, everybody’s, the crazy behaviour of the human species, that is threatening us all with NTE, as to whether it is genetically determined, culturally determined, or… possibly, something else entirely ?

    Or you think my manners matters more ?

  • @ulvfugl

    @ Hamlet Jones

    Emotions (feeling BETTER) are programed by our genes to modify our behavior in ways that, in the past paleo history, tended to increase our reproductive fitness. That’s it! It’s that simple.

    Except its not. You can’t explain Shakespeare or Martin Luther King or Ghandi or Bach or Vincent Van Gogh by this shabby low brow third rate Monsanto-esque

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Okay, so ulvfugl wins the debate as far as I’m concerned. There are too many exceptions which don’t fall in line with the notion that we’re all acting, and emoting, for the best chances to procreate and survive as individuals.

    I once reasoned the through the origins of the concept of “god”, and how it once helped our species. Two groups of people, relatively same environment, different locations. One has a few “shamans” , schizo’s, or what have you that introduce the notion of “god”. The other is without these funky mutations within their gene pool.

    So along comes some sort of apocalypse. Let’s just stick with a collapse of resources in general. Each group is equally effected, yet differently affected. Why? The belief in “god” and an “afterlife”. We know that stress is good for us up to a point, in the long run, but once a threshold is breached, it leads to accelerated aging, and untimely death.

    So everything else being equal, the ability to calm your group more than the next, because of these funky perceptions/experiences, which ultimately lead to these beliefs, would lead these people into a position of influence, considering the circumstances at hand. It would mean the group with these beliefs has a better chance to survive. Rinse and repeat over several millenia, and more than a few comparable events/circumstances, and you would get a lasting gene-pool, and culture, that sees value, and holds onto, these general beliefs.

    I think the same type of reasoning can be applied to the Ghandis of the world. There is likely a genetic component, that is best expressed in particular environments/circumstances, that leads to an overall fitness of the group, which then can be seen as fitness of individuals within the group.

    So it’s kinda both, but you are more correct.

    Does that make any sense?

  • I’m just sayin’, it’s easier to catch bees with honey…

  • @ulvfugl

    “…the crazy behaviour of the human species, that is threatening us all with NTE, as to whether it is genetically determined, culturally determined, or… possibly, something else entirely ?

    You have genetic propensities interacting with environmental circumstances. That’s the easiest way to interpret it.

    The culture and environment create the foundation for the gene pool to become more “crazy” over time. It is the rise of “patriarchy”, originally necessitated by the environmental extremities of that age, which lead the way for what may be called in recent times “psychopaths” to become rulers, and change the evolutionary path of our species.

    While we may not have changed much genetically, on the whole, the quality, or rather, quantity, of individuals with genes which lead to the propensity for what most deem “good” traits, seems to have declined.

    The times changed, yet the culture “patriarchy” stayed the same. What once seemed necessary, is now done because of laziness of mind. Then you have this culture, adapting to the industrial revolution, and all the excess of energy that came with it.

    So I think that this excess in energy afforded people to be more selfish than in previous generations. We didn’t have to band together in a community, simply obey the rule of law. We also didn’t need to be as clever as in previous generations, hence a dysgenic force was introduced.

    I could be wrong on pretty much all of these thoughts, but do enjoy discussing them, if you’d like.

  • yeah, we’re fuckin’ great:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1067266/seal-abuse-causes-beach-shutdown-cctv

    Seal Abuse Causes Beach Shutdown: CCTV

    The CCTV system was set up to allow the public to monitor mothers and their pups.

    However at least two women were filmed kicking, punching and sitting on top of the animals.

    The 24-hour “seal-cam” was introduced in January and equipped with night vision so researchers could watch the seals give birth during the pupping season.

    Wildlife campaigner Andrea Hahn told the KFMB news station that the seal abuse has been a problem for years.

    “We’ve had reports of poaching. We’ve had shootings here at night. We’ve had seal mutilations at night,” she said.

  • Regarding culture, read Derrick Jensen: The Culture of Make Believe, please.

    Steven Pinker thinks feminists have rape all wrong. He’s a moron. A shill for the dominant culture.

    There is a difference between society and culture.

    Tom, now I’ve got those images in my brain. Kicking seals. Jesuschristonthecross, there is no end to the fucking insanity!

  • @ wildwoman

    Steven Pinker thinks feminists have rape all wrong. He’s a moron. A shill for the dominant culture.

    Something we agree about at last !

    I heard that Dawkins compared the way OWS treated the banks, to the way the Nazis treated the jews, so that shows where he stands, another shill for the 1%

    And E. O. Wilson has stated publicly that Dawkins is ‘Not a scientist’.

    @ Commander

    ….but do enjoy discussing them, if you’d like.

    Thanks, I’m sure we could have a good conversation, but people here get pissed off because I post too many comments ;-)

  • Just got home, spent the day driving to White Plains New York to protest at a TD bank for their investments in the tar sands with some students from SUNY and Earth First.

    Personally, I think it’s all stupid and pointless because we can’t possibly change anything – but then again, sitting around and just letting the earth be destroyed for the sake of cheap electronic toys and fast travel bothers me so much that I get an itch to at least make a little noise about it.

    I’m just trying to get caught up on all the comments and I have to say, I wonder about the readers of NBL as I do about the activists I spent the day with – why the fuck is everyone so worked up about arctic ice, polar bears, tar sands extraction in Canada, and tropical rainforests in Madagascar, when RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU cars are burning fuel and coal plants for electricity are releasing poisonous gases, and:

    everything is dying? Monarch butterflies, bees, birds, trees, wildflowers, even the goddam lawns in suburbia are turning brown! I wrote:

    “Paul C., you don’t need to go to the Arctic to watch disintegration (although it’s quite riveting, I agree). You can just go to your nearest park, suburban yard, or woodland, and do an inventory of broken branches, splitting, peeling, oozing bark, holes and cankers to watch ecosytem collapse in real time.”

    And unless I missed something (forgive me if I did, I just am catching up)

    WHAT THE FUCK??

  • well then we should take our discussion off this board.

    i have an idea that you may be into (that may help out a lot!) .

    please e^mail me.

  • Hahahaha

    Well, once upon a time, many a long year gone by, I read Richard Dawkins, and was very depressed, because if human behaviour was genetically determined, then there was no chance of fixing the mess, because we were all just meat robots following an algorithm in our selfish genes.

    But then, I learned, it just ain’t so, and began smiling again, because if it’s mostly cultural, culture can be changed, indeed, culture changes all the time, so maybe we could fix the mess, so I worked away at that…

    Except everybody else wanted to change culture in the wrong, bad, direction, so, in the end, last year, NTE was obvious, so I was gloomy again…

    And then, this year I discovered LMEP. Which is even more determined determinism than anybody ever thought possible…

    Ain’t life just full of ups and downs…

  • C-Realm with KMO: that was good, if good is an appropriate word for tidings so drear. Thank you, again if thanks can here be considered appropriate

    March 20th, 2013 C-Realm Podcast #354:

    Rapid, Unpredictable & Non-linear Responses

    (The C-Realm podcast is open to all; the C-Realm Vault podcast is for subscribers-only.)

  • I’m awaiting confirmation from the staff of that site, but already contacted my $100 millionaire philanthropist buddy from the local bar. Will know if he is on board, tomorrow. It will likely take some convincing from a mind greater than my own.

  • whoops! that was me. at a different location, and a different set of info was auto loaded.

  • Gail, you are absolutely right. The destruction is all around us and we are all part of the problem (I know that some don’t agree with that portion of my statement, so hopefully my acknowledgement of that now will nip the disagreement in the bud and we can skip the dissenting comments.)

    Every day as I drive my gas guzzling pickup truck to the clinic I am stunned by the trash on the sides of the road. Arkansas is supposedly “the natural state” but you can’t tell it by looking at how we treat our environment. In the six miles to my office through the rural countryside, there is a piece of trash of some sort about every 25 feet on both sides of the road. Many of the ditches look like trash cans. When there’s a “gully-washer” some of the ditches will be 3-4 feet deep in trash. It’s absolutely amazing.

    Even when I’m walking on our private 1/2 mile long road, with only 6 families living on it, I find discarded soda cans, plastic shopping bags, styrofoam drink cups, and more. Pretty much every walk I take I come home with more than a couple pieces of trash.

    It’s as if everyone’s filter for protecting the environment has been switched off.

  • On the other hand, the past two evenings when I’ve come home from work there have been two young deer feeding at the base of my driveway. They are so graceful and beautiful that I want to just sit and watch them for hours. Unfortunately, they dart off into the woods not long after seeing me. Scenes such as those are the balm for the destruction I witness the rest of the time.

  • @Gail why the fuck is everyone so worked up about arctic ice, polar bears, tar sands extraction in Canada, and tropical rainforests in Madagascar, when RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU cars are burning fuel and coal plants for electricity are releasing poisonous gases, and: everything is dying? Monarch butterflies, bees, birds, trees, wildflowers, even the goddam lawns in suburbia are turning brown! I wrote: “Paul C., you don’t need to go to the Arctic to watch disintegration (although it’s quite riveting, I agree). You can just go to your nearest park, suburban yard, or woodland, and do an inventory of broken branches, splitting, peeling, oozing bark, holes and cankers to watch ecosytem collapse in real time.”

    I only have to look out my window to see the writing on the wall. World climate events are riveting and disturbing, but I find I am far more disturbed when I take the kids out to play in our own back yard. All those things you mention are evidenced there, if you can get past the dust. I’ve seen more than one person mention New Zealand as an ideal place to retreat to once things go bad in the US. All you have to do is check the weather to see the entire north island of NZ is having the worst drought they have seen in 30 years. (I would totally choose NZ, too, but really, I don’t think there’s anywhere to escape to.) Now, I don’t know a lot about drought having lived most of my life in Alaska, but here in SD we are still in exceptional (!) drought, since last summer.
    What does that look like? It looks like death. It looks dirty. I think about dust nearly every waking moment, due to my son’s asthma, my own asthma, and the racking coughs the two younger girls have. We all suffer from allergies now. You mention grass and suburban lawns. I say, “What grass!? Ours is gone. (The positive side: summer 2012 we only had to mow the lawn once, just to even out the weeds. Summer 2011, we had to mow twice a week. Remember all the rain and flooding from 2011? That was the summer they opened the dams on the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers.) We only worry about the grass because we rent a house & though we could spend $500 to re-do the lawn, that’s money down the drain if we are facing another dry summer.
    I have lived here about 7 years, in 3 different parts of the state, so I’m not sure what’s normal, but this is the place of the Children’s Blizzard, 1888, which killed 235 people, mainly children walking home from school. (Makes me very appreciative of those storm warnings from the weather channel.) I’ve been in some impressive blizzards here, but this winter has been dry and dusty, with only a dusting of snow once in a great while. Traveling through the high plains in winter drought, one discovers endless shades of gray and tan. It’s stark and beautiful, but haunting.
    Spring is here now, it’s 30 degrees colder than a week ago, and I am trying to be enthusiastic about planting veggies and flowers with the kids in the near future, because that’s what they want to do. It’s very unlikely we will get much to grow, but we can experiment with things like amaranth, which a local gardener had good luck with in the drought last summer, even though most other plants didn’t make it. We’ll just have to make our best guess and throw caution to the wind. My 3 year old thinks there is a flower doctor (a potted flower she picked out for me just died), so I’m sure we will be calling on him/her eventually.
    Anyway, I’m rambling. Time to go out and look at the stars. Wherever I am, I like to pick out the Big Dipper if the sky allows it. Makes me feel tiny and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things…

  • One more reply while I have a moment.

    @CommanderCraCra If we be doomed, so be it. Until that existence is realized, we have a moral imperative to dream a way out.

    Keep the ideas coming. And don’t censor them. You may find fertile ground in collaboration with others, and I don’t mean the usual suspects. Look for creative types. There is so much human brilliance out there that it seems wasteful to leave the problem solving to the experts, because I think what’s going on now, and what’s to come, well, there are no experts any more. Go find a theoretical physicist and drag him/her out of theory and go for a nature walk after reading a few posts at Wit’s End.
    Information and ideas are moving so fast now that many people are unbalanced by the errant energies, but I believe younger people that are coming of age now have an advantage, as long as they can keep the balance. I refuse to give up and mourn for the future suffering of my children, at least in totality, because I don’t know their futures, their paths, their gifts, or what their world will be. From here it looks pretty shitty, but that’s within the paradigm of my own functioning. For all the horribleness, there is completely life-altering awe and wonder to be witnessed and experienced.
    Even here in SD, they have converted the old Homestake gold mine into the Sanford Underground Research Facility, a deep underground neutrino and dark matter laboratory. When I read about these projects, I wish some of the brilliance dedicated to them could magically shape-shift into real-world solutions for the colossal mess we’re in. But then I remind myself, “What do I know? Who knows where that path leads. Life is a series of surprises, as long as ‘I’ get out of the way.” I just hope there is enough time.

  • I knew a guy years ago who was into dream interpretation, (the only guy I met who admitted he also had freak out dreams with real world correlates in future time and space), and he was reading ‘The Lord of The Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkein.

    This guy knew the book(s) pretty well, but he was re-reading it/them again from an ‘Ecology’ POV. He felt that there was enough there in the book(s) to assert that Tolkein was writing about human destruction of the natural world.

    I took that on advisement, and thought about it over the intervening years.

    Even though it is a piece of pure fiction, a few things in it come to mind when looking at human character, how we got here and collapse.

    If you haven’t seen or read the ending, sorry for what I say next…

    The last scenes at Mount Doom, where Frodo, the last ring bearer, tries to throw the ring into the lava pit, that will finally destroy it, are a nice piece of dramatic irony. How to resolve the thing. Frodo just can’t do it, he can’t deliberately let the ring of power go.

    It only goes by way of Golem, trying to snatch it back.

    So Tolkein is saying it is well nigh impossible to give up power when we have it.

    I think that is so if you think it is so. Dramatically it works well, kinda proves we are seduced by all that comes from our privelaged life, and we would not give it up even if we wanted to.

    So if I follow that, it is inevitable we will cut down all the trees etc, and that is when we may stop.

    The other interesting point is that Golem was a Hobbit named Smaegle, who killed his brother to get the ring. This begun his endless neurotic relationship with the ring, and as others have pointed out, Golem
    becomes a kind of symbol of the collective shadow, not as Sauron is in the alpha dimentions, but as a small scale nobody given over to the persuit of the ‘precious’. The twisted and deformed figure Golemn has become, almost unrecognisable as a hobbit, is testament to his transformation into all that is dark, schitziod and also childish.

    This is to me what we are becoming, Golems.
    So deformed by the regulations of commerce, and laws that take as much of our hearts that we don’t even feel we need.

    There will come a time soon where we will lose the town square to either cockroach riod squads, dromes, new brownshirts, or armoured vehicles, and we will be done. The town centre, and the people power that once commanded it will be extinguished, and because of the digital revolution, it will only take one decisive victory of a populace to demonstrate to all the consequences of fighting for the commons- the right of people to determine their fate in the time and place they presently live in.

    I also think we here use the term TPTB as if they have some responsibility for this mess. TPTB have such a long history of getting it in writing so that it is all blame free, ‘just a bisiness transaction’. Their consciences are clear, because it is all done with reference to some law or other.

    The last tree, that is what it will come to.

    I’m betting on some satelite skullduggery will begin the flashpoint and then we are done from above. The missiles will fly. Not hoping for it mind you.

    Collapse? ….. probably be a grinding!

  • This won’t be popular, but here goes my latest assessment..

    “You cannot fix a problem via a fix from the species that brought about the problem.”

  • humanity is yet to wise up to these facts and move to finance its own bank of information to protect the future of its children

    One helluva job to protect anything from Near Term Extinction.

    reflexive investment strategies designed directly to capitalize off the pain, suffering and hysteria, in the wake of those events

    Nature tends towards avoiding waste, recycling everything. One organism’s waste is another organism’s feast. The “Good Lord” even “created” dung beetles.

    CommanderCraCra: You should follow Dmitry Orlov’s advice to you.

  • Warning to all & sundry:

    CommanderCraCra’s site

    http://quirkets@gmail.com/

    Is tagged by AppleMail as a possible phishing site.

  • For those harbouring hopes of harnessing heavy hydrogen (3H) from the moon, a wisp of reality:

    Do the Math blog—by Tom Murphy:

    Nuclear Fusion

  • @ robin

    Lol!

    Context!!

  • @Robin Datta

    BTW, one source does not an intellectual make. . . billions of minds out there, might want to enlighten yourself a bit more. it’s not only possible, but will be done.

  • KathyC:
    – that remark was to remind you that you have a history of falling into really nasty name calling.

    That is a manifestation of an unbalanced practice. Exercising some of one’s faculties through meditation, while neglecting other aspects will lead to a supercharged set of characteristics, at times manifesting in glints of great insight, but sadly contrasting with its background. That is why Mr. J. Christ said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Note that he did not say “Blessed are the meditative ….”. Likewise, of the eightfold path prescribed by Mr. S. Gautama, meditation is the last item on the menu, although all too many serve it as the first course.

  • what is NTE?

    Indeed!

    The madness comes from not wanting to believe we’ve already crossed the point of no return.

    There is no return. Dissolution is inherent in creation: one is free to choose the narrative in which it is told. The story of the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe is one, and then there are umpteen variations to the stories of Cosmic Cycle in the Vedic & Buddhist tradition. And then again there is the option to make a remix or write one’s own.

    Hearing the “I can’t do anything about this”, instead of something more like, “together WE can overcome this”.

    There ain’t nuthin’ to “overcome”. As Abraham Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.”

    Incidentally, Dmitry Orlov’s advice was to the Sean mentioned by KathyC, at a book review site reviewing one of Dmitry’s books: as the conversation evolved, Dmitry suggested that Sean should have kinky sex with chickens on alfalfa roofs for gold bullion. That advice transfers only to Sean’s alter egos.

  • @ Robin D.

    This is to remind you that I am neither a Christian nor a classical Buddhist. You are like a backseat passenger in a car who cannot drive, telling the driver how he ought to be doing his job.

  • The final line says it all really…

    A couple of decades ago, any one one of the items on, say, Desdemona Despair, or the other enviro news feeds, would have been worldwide media headline. Now there are so many, and so frequent, it’s impossible to keep up with the relentless deluge, and the corporate MSM suppresses most of it, and spins the rest as if it was ‘normal’.

    The Tohoku Shinkansen or bullet train that links Tokyo with Northern Honsu has been found to collect dust that is well above the already extremely lax industrial limit of 8,000 Bq/Kg (before the catastrophe it was 100Bq/kg), so it cannot be disposed by regular means, reports Fukushima Diary.

    The train collects this dust most likely as it goes through Fukushima prefecture (map at right), which should be off limits to all normal human activities, in my not-so-humble opinion (following Chernobyl and most basic common-sense criteria).

    We live in times of absolute madness. And Japanese even more so.

    http://forwhatwearetheywillbe.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/token-example-of-how-radioactive-is.html

  • resistance feels good

    That is not any reason for action.

    BG 11.34: Droṇa, Bhīṣma, Jayadratha, Karṇa and the other great warriors have already been destroyed by Me. Therefore, kill them and do not be disturbed.

    Action rationally should be guided by anticipated results. But when motivated by expectations, with anticipation conflated with expectation, it can become the monkey trap. A monkey trap in not just a gross sense, but “hand” that is “caught” may be the subtlest of the subtle.

    Because energy + technology = economy.

    Technology = techniques to expedite the use of energy.

    Energy Consumption
    Resources======>Product=========>Trash
    Primary economy Secondary economy

    $$$$$Tertiary$$$$$$$Economy$$$$$$

    Bullshit. ALL behavior is/was at the service of reproductive fitness, however complex. Abstractions, such as concepts of “morality” are excellent examples of the complex adaptations of apes, some monkeys, dolphins, etc.

    Amen. They are all meat robots, each and every one of them: inanimate automatons. There is no way in which they can show me even the faintest trace of any awareness on their parts. “I” am and can be aware only of my awareness.

    What they label emotion is just another programmed response in a very complex programming.

  • This is to remind you that I am neither a Christian nor a classical Buddhist. You are like a backseat passenger in a car who cannot drive, telling the driver how he ought to be doing his job

    It is not for me to pontificate to others on what they should or should not do, nor on how they should or should not drive. Nor do I do so by my response to KathyC.

  • Everything we do, must contribute to the ever increasing demands of the 1%. No higher societal priority, or even ANY other societal priority can be allowed to exist. This is the cultural information, the prime directive, that all the 1%’s organs of propaganda instill in you and in your children, from the moment you are born. Getting you to believe that your genes are telling you that the entire planet should be given over to the 1%, is a big part of that propaganda. They need people to come out of elite corporately owned universities and tell those who are still permitted to think, that ceo’s are the pinnacle of evolution, so that you and your children will want to become one of them and keep the system going. We have all been taught to believe that if we don’t continue to feed an ever increasing amount of wealth to the 1%, our world will come to an end, just as the Aztecs believed that the sun wouldn’t come up unless an ever increasing number of human hearts were cut out and sacrificed to their God. You may think you are acting to fulfill your own personal agenda, and to some extent you are, but you are only allowed to do so if you contribute and do not interfere with the continuous flow of resources spiraling towards the 1% like a black-hole. Nukes, wars, plastics, Arctic ice melt, genetic engineering, old growth forest destruction, species extinction, etc., all contribute to help the wealth of the 1% grow, that’s what makes all those things GOOD things, not bad things. These are the things that CREATED the 1%, these thing ARE the 1%. By opposing these things you ARE opposing the 1% whether you admit it or not. This will also help you to understand why your opposition has no effect.
    Financial crises are just as much a part of the system that made the 1% wealthy as the so called boom times. They are only the fart or burp of the 1% trying to digest the enormous profits they took in too fast, they are not a sign of collapse or even distress. You can try to read the tea leaves of the system and see collapse if you want, but as long as the idea persists that everything we do must contribute to the ever increasing demands of the 1%, the system is safe. The current system is just an idea, one very simple and incredibly stupid and incredibly destructive idea, unlike the Aztec system though, its scale is planetary. It’s culture. An idea is put into your head, and you are told from birth that the idea comes from God or your genes. But if you pay close attention you notice there’s always some guy there pushing the idea on you, a guy with an agenda, wearing an impressive headdress or an Armani suit, isn’t there? That’s culture, it’s an idea in your head, if people stop believing the idea, the culture dies. We always come back to the same thing in the end, don’t we?

  • @ Robin D.

    It is not for me to pontificate to others on what they should or should not do, nor on how they should or should not drive.

    Sure. As you insist, you’re just a meat robot following an algorithm.

  • Rip,

    That is a great rant. A lot there.

    Resistance is fertile.

    I believe we can do better than this miserable example of human culture encapsulated in the words “conform, consume, die”.

  • @ Ripley, Anthony

    Yes, indeed, excellent rant.

    When the first wave if environmental concerns built up, the industry bosses were troubled, and considered how to defuse the pressure. So the CEOs put their heads together and came up with the brilliant strategy, transfer the burden of guilt onto the consumers ! So, it wouldn’t be the fault of the corporations and the factories dumping the pollution into the rivers and air, it would be the fault of the people buying the products. All the customers fault !

    Next thing, everybody starts taking their bottles to bottle banks and recycling their old washing machines, which doesn’t make the slightest difference to the pollution, but eases the feelings of guilt, and does no harm to corporate profit margins, because, in effect, they are working for the corporations for free.

  • good morning:

    prawns, anyone?

  • @Ripley

    Fuck the 1%

    If you want to strategically place gravel into where the gears of the machine mesh then do it anonymously and individually.

  • @Ripley

    You are the 1%, are you not? I sure as hell am. As I said not too long ago, in a galaxy not so far away:

    I’m not dismissing greed as a phenomenon. It exists and it’s generally unpleasant. But let me ask you – do you consider yourself greedy, to the extent that you would participate in murdering your own species for personal gain? If you don’t, that’s why I don’t want to use the concept of “greed” in any kind of explanatory context – it always seems to be a quality that is exhibited by others, not oneself. Because you are, in fact, greedy in just the way I described. So am I. Maybe we can own that, but most people disown it. It’s not a helpful explanatory concept because of that.

    The whole concept of the 1% is bullshit – it’s just projection and disowning.

  • The title of this post is called The Muzzling. Who is doing this “muzzling?” Who is it that makes sure there is no debate, no questioning of their idea that they must have ever more wealth at any cost? To them, infinite wealth on a finite planet is not up for debate. Hence we have “the muzzling” of one of the most important ideas–that the 1% and the machine are the same thing. The 1% is a wealth extraction machine. You must make sure you hit the main gear or your strategy will fail.

    Paul, you just described yourself as a major psychopath. I don’t really know what to say to that.

  • @RD
    Warning to all & sundry: CommanderCraCra’s site

    Exactly. Multi millionaire friends who ‘believe in me’

  • @Ripley,

    Does your label really say anything about me, or does it speak to the way we’ve learned to see the world: as “us” and “them”, “psychopathic” and “sane”? Any speculation on whether such a worldview might be part of the problem? I’m actually trying to make a serious point here. Can you can do better than just recoiling in pain at words on a screen?

  • anyone notice that there are people on here that post throughout the day and through the night, as if they never sleep?

  • @ Ripley,

    Regarding who is doing this muzzling – I would argue that We Are. Us, its supposed victims. Poor Us, beset and bedevilled by the nefarious Them.

    Nobody wants to be poor and powerless. Ironically, that’s why we allow – even encourage – strong people to lead us . To lead us into prosperity, technology, mastery, comfort, the bright and shining future. We are quite willing to pay the price. At first. Then we realize it would be more fun to be one of Them, and we rail against the fact that their clubhouse door is closed for an executive meeting.

    ‘Scuse me for saying, but we need to grow the fuck up.

  • I have a few chill pills here, take one if you need to.

    Now that’s better.

    Now what were we saying?

  • thank you OzMan!

    Not sure what we were saying – the comments are all over the place!

  • What do you see as un-chill, OzMan?

  • What do polar ice caps, guinea worm disease and wildfires have in common? All are being modeled with cutting-edge mathematics. Mathematical societies and institutes around the world are participating in “Mathematics of Planet Earth,” or MPE, this year. They aim to study the math that underpins geologic and biological processes on our planet as well as encourage more math researchers to tackle these problems. Events are planned for the year 2013, but the organizers hope that the initiative will have lasting effects.

  • Speaking of math, why does Tom Murphy from “Do The Math” not get NTE? Is it ego?

  • what exactly is “cutting-edge” math?

  • The mathematics used to model Occam’s Razor…

  • Three items to address, and then I’m out of here, as a single word to the wise should be sufficient:

    I’m only concerned with INFORMED debate. Anything else is politics.

    “Okay, so ulvfugl wins the debate as far as I’m concerned.”
    ==

    Feminists do have rape all wrong, and their arguments stem from POLITICS, not informed by science. Rape IS a reproductive strategy.
    Feminists are doing their fellow sisters a great dis-service by couching the motivations for rape as purely violence motivated act.
    With rape, violence is the proximate tactic, reproduction is the ultimate driver. Beta males chose rape as a reproductive tactic because socially acceptable avenues for reproduction have been closed for them.

    “Steven Pinker thinks feminists have rape all wrong. He’s a moron. A shill for the dominant culture,”
    ==

    Well, we ARE meat robots. Individuals can change their programming, but it is rare that it is done in the service of truth. That is why there are so few philosophers. We’re an aberration, and thus, fail to get many genes into the next generation. If one choses to avoid the science because it makes you depressed, this is again another example of the genes guiding your behavior thru the manipulation of your emotions. Those suffering depression make for a lousy date.

    “Well, once upon a time, many a long year gone by, I read Richard Dawkins, and was very depressed, because if human behaviour was genetically determined, then there was no chance of fixing the mess, because we were all just meat robots following an algorithm in our selfish genes. But then, I learned, it just ain’t so, and began smiling again,”

  • @ Hamlet J.

    That’s not INFORMED. It’s ideological posturing pretending to be backed by science.

    YOU (and Robin Datta and Dawkins) may well prefer being meat robots. I am not, I am a human being. I choose to view other people as human beings.

    I love genuine good science. I hate it when people use junk science to support their personal prejudices and rather nasty ideological viewpoints, which is what you appear to be doing.

  • Pinker is a scientist, but much of his writing is for laypersons, a synthesis of latest from scientific journals.

    You need to read Thornhill & Thornhill, A Natural History of Rape.
    This should be mandatory for every college student.

    “Steven Pinker thinks feminists have rape all wrong. He’s a moron. A shill for the dominant culture,”

  • Again, another example of political debate. By asserting that your argument is the truth, then by default, I must be a non-human?

    I DO NOT prefer being a meat-robot, but it’s what it is.

    I can accept that your dopamine/serotonin profile disqualifies you from seeking truth. However, do not despair, I think you are exceptionally optimized for politics!
    ==
    “YOU (and Robin Datta and Dawkins) may well prefer being meat robots. I am not, I am a human being. I choose to view other people as human beings.”

  • Pinker is a shill and his book on violence is one of the worst books I’ve ever read.

    If anyone is seriously interested, here’s 14 voices, at least as well qualified as Dawkins, several I’d consider considerably more so. As E. O. Wilson said Dawkins is not a scientist, he’s an author of popular books.

    Does Evolution Explain Human Nature ?

    http://www.templeton.org/evolution/

  • Fuck you Hamlet Jones.

  • @ Hamlet J.

    I think it is YOU who are asserting that YOU have the truth, second hand, via R. Dawkins and S. Pinker.

    Do you actually have anything of your own to say, or are you just a mouthpiece for their propaganda ?

  • An example of Pinker’s work :

    Questionable claims about long-term and recent trends have been made by a number of U.S. academics, including Steven Pinker in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. Pinker minimizes the death and destruction of OIL in order to boost his contention that war is almost gone from the earth. He does so as part of an approach that views war as something done by nations other than the United States, and something supposedly done more by “uncivilized” tribes.

    Perhaps Pinker is still rebelling against Noam Chomsky, whose linguistic Platonism he debunked in his earlier book The Language Instinct. For whatever reason, Pinker avoids any serious criticism of the one country that now spends roughly as much on war as the rest of the world combined. Pinker repeatedly examines statistics on the history of large numbers of nations, ignoring the existence of our own very exceptional state. Democratic, free-trading nations with membership in international bodies are unlikely war makers, Pinker finds — only by ignoring that one particular nation that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously called the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

    Poor nations and Muslim nations are more likely locations for wars, Pinker notes without indicating any awareness that wealthy nations sometimes attack them and other times arm and fund their dictators. Also likely countries to make war are those with ideologies, Pinker tells us. (As everyone knows, the United States has no ideology.) “The three deadliest postwar conflicts,” Pinker writes, “were fueled by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese communist regimes that had a fanatical dedication to outlasting their opponents.” Pinker goes on to blame the high death rate in Vietnam on the willingness of the Vietnamese to die in large numbers rather than surrender.

    The current U.S. war on Iraq ended, in Pinker’s view, when President George W. Bush declared “mission accomplished,” since which point it has been a civil war, and therefore the causes of that civil war can be analyzed in terms of the shortcomings of Iraqi society. “[I]t is so hard,” Pinker complains, “to impose liberal democracy on countries in the developing world that have not outgrown their superstitions, warlords, and feuding tribes.” Indeed it may be, but where is the evidence that the United States government has been attempting it? Or the evidence that the United States has such democracy itself?

    Early in the book, Pinker presents a pair of charts aimed at showing that, proportionate to population, wars have killed more prehistoric and hunter-gatherer people than people in modern states. None of the prehistoric tribes listed go back earlier than 14,000 BCE, meaning that the vast majority of human existence is left out. And these charts list individual tribes and states, not pairs or groups of them that fought in wars. The absence of war through most of human history is left out of the equation,[l] dubious statistics are cited for earlier wars,[li] those statistics are compared to the global population rather than the population of the tribes involved, and the deaths counted from recent U.S. wars are only U.S. deaths.

    See more, if you can bear it without puking.

    http://warisacrime.org/iraq

  • The last time a woman said this to me was when I expressed to a native american lady that indigenous peoples are not necessarily imbued with a sustainable gene. As an example, I pointed out that when given a chainsaw, natives were cutting down the triple-canopy. It was a this point that she dropped the f-bomb and hung up.

    In my experience, the seeking truth can be a painful exorcise, but the alternative of self-deception is worse.
    ==

    “Fuck you Hamlet Jones.”

  • I’m not 100% in tune with John Gray, but fwiw, here’s his take on Pinker

    The irony is compounded when we recall that Pinker achieved notoriety through his attempt to reinstate the idea that the human mind is fixed and limited. His bestseller The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002), an assault on the idea that human behaviour is indefinitely malleable, was controversial for several reasons—not least for its attack on the belief that pre-agricultural cultures were inherently peaceable. The book provoked a storm of criticism from liberal humanists who sensed—rightly—that this emphasis on the constancy of human nature limited the scope of future human advance. Pinker seems to have come to share this anxiety, and the present volume is the result. The decline of violence posited in The Better Angels of Our Nature is a progressive transformation of precisely the kind his earlier book seemed to preclude. But the contradiction in which Pinker is stuck is not his alone. It afflicts anyone who tries to combine rigorous Darwinism with a belief in moral progress. Darwinism is unlikely to be the last word on evolution and, rather than identifying universal laws of natural selection, it may only apply in our corner of the universe. But if Darwin’s theory is even approximately right, there can be no rational basis for expecting any revolution in human behaviour.

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/john-gray-steven-pinker-violence-review/

  • @ Hamlet J.

    You claim to have some idea what you are talking about here ?

    …not necessarily imbued with a sustainable gene.

    Wtf is that supposed to mean ?

  • I think he means they didn’t have a gene that made them live in a sustainable manner…

  • Most scientists would agree that Darwin is APPROXIMATELY RIGHT. Thus, we’re screwed. Doesn’t stop me from trying (because it feels good, not because I am “morally” superior in any way) However, I ain’t fooling myself that such resistance will make one whiff of difference in the face of the overwhelming majority of naked-ape meat robots practicing reproductive-politics.

    It’s all right there in the last line! No RATIONAL BASIS for expecting a different outcome than environmental collapse and WWIII.
    ==
    “But if Darwin’s theory is even approximately right, there can be no rational basis for expecting any revolution in human behaviour.”

  • Right. The idea of a “sustainable” gene sprouts from politics, not science, zero evidence. There has never been a sustainable people/culture/society. If there were, where are they today?? Evolution does not allow it. Maximum Power Principle only. Dumb breeding violent neighboring tribes, reproducing with zeel, ran out of local resources, and made war on their smart, sustainable hippy neighbors, killed them all, and stole their resources.

    ==
    “I think he means they didn’t have a gene that made them live in a sustainable manner…”

  • Hey ulvfugi, you were instructed to take the invective to an alternative blog site, so do it. Many of us are tired of your wise-guy, cock-sure attitude. Too bad you never served in the military; otherwise, these prickly problems of yours would have been quickly exorcised by means of an old fashioned ass whooping.

  • @ Hamlet J., pat

    The idea that ‘there is a gene for….’ anything, is nonsense. No reputable scientist today would make any such statement. The way that genes influence our bodies and behaviour is far more complicated than ‘a gene for..’

    You are quoting John Gray. If you want to argue that point, argue it with him, that’s not MY view.

    APPROXIMATELY RIGHT ? The devil is in the detail.

  • Yes, F. Kling, I agree! Ulvfugl seems to have worn out his welcome (does he ever sleep?).

  • @ Friedrich K., pat,

    Why don’t you two bring something constructive to the discussion ?

  • Ulvfugl:

    whatever constructive input you bring is ignored by most because of your delivery. Why can’t you see that? You seem to be a fairly intelligent person, but you are not very good at getting along with others.

    I know, for me, the reason I come to NBL is because of the fellowship of like-minded folks. I can’t have these discussions in my “real life.”

    It’s disturbing to read your comments. And, I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. It would be so simple for you to take a few teeth out of your comments and the fact that you won’t seems to indicate that it is your intention to be disturbing.

  • @ pat

    Is telling me what you think is wrong with me ( once again ) bringing something constructive to the discussion ?

  • @ Ulvfugl

    yes, it is, because if you listen to the advice and implement the suggestion, then the discussion will have a better chance of including everyone and lessen the tension and that would be constructive. Do you not agree?

  • Here’s something constructive: Friedrich K. and pat, I look forward to your comments.

    And Thanks, U, for chasing away KathyC and BCNurseProf. You sure showed them what’s what, eh!? The comment threads will thus have much more pissing room for piss-fests among little-boys. You can regain your previous quota of 75 % of the comments on a given NBL thread. The future is indeed looking bright!

  • @ pat

    Lessen the tension ?

    This blog is about the imminent end of life on Earth.

  • @ Ulvfugl

    forget it, you obviously are not interested in getting along.

  • Local TV station CYBC reports that police in the Cyprus’ capital are scuffling with protesters (including employees of Cyprus Popular Bank) outside the nation’s parliament:

    *CYPRUS POLICE CLASH WITH BANK EMPLOYEES OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
    *CYPRUS SCUFFLES BROADCAST LIVE ON STATE-RUN CYBC
    CYBC says more protesters gathering at Parliament House

  • @Lidia,
    “The comment threads will thus have much more pissing room for piss-fests among little-boys.”

    LOL, there is actually some pretty interesting discussion taking place there. Come on over, as I promise there is no urine anywhere.

    Seriously though folks, I have been involved in internet forums for a long time and was even an admin for a popular forum. It is an absolute circus of human nature and conflict.

    On an unmoderated discussion, you really have to learn to be thick skinned, stick to the topic, and not react to folks that you experience as caustic or abrasive (you are not going to make them understand).

  • Bailey, I know, I know. It’s just frustrating to see bullies take over the playground and chase away the other kids. At Kunstler’s joint, not only is it a testosterone fest, but a couple of Stormfront types pee in that punchbowl so often you need galoshes just to walk in the door, and I expect some of it is intentional sabotage. It really is a pity.

  • Nine Acres!

    A collapsing salt mine has caused a nine-acre sinkhole in Louisiana, one that is threatening an entire neighborhood. Residents are being evacuated, and the company that owns the mine, Texas Brine, is paying them $875 a week for temporary housing costs. The Lord of the Sinkholes appeared Aug. 3 and is still growing. Scientists monitoring it say a second cavern may be collapsing. “They caused this damage, and certainly we’ll be aggressive in making sure that they pay their bills,” Gov. Bobby Jindal says of Texas Brine.

  • Another article debunking Pinker: “Steven Pinker and the Depoliticization of Rape”.

    http://dgrnewsservice.org/2013/03/19/owen-lloyd-steven-pinker-and-the-depoliticization-of-rape/

  • Meet the love child of the thermo LMEP God..

    Calvin Beisner, Evangelical Christian, Claims Environmentalism Great Threat To Civilization
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/calvin-beisner-environmentalism-greatest-threat-civilization_n_2919756.html