It’s Movie Season

With thanks to filmmaker Pauline Schneider, I’ve embedded below a 1-minute trailer and slightly outdated 43-minute film. Please tease your friends with the trailer and then organize a viewing of the longer film. I’ll be available for Q&A via Skype after you watch the film. Please email me with dates and times:

Trailer for Guy McPherson’s Climate Chaos Presentation from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.

Guy’s Climate Chaos Presentation from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.


Nature Bats Last merits a brief mention at the end of the dinner-theater radio episode “Dinner With Andrea.” Catch it at Wycked Fell Radio Theatre.

Comments 67

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #87

    Perched on a mirror,
    roadrunner stares at me through
    the open window.

  • I keep getting a Page Not Found notice when I try to click on the latest post (above this one) Reflections On a Visit to Auschwitz.

  • “A stone’s throw out on either hand from that well ordered road we tread,
    and all the world is wild and strange…”
    Rudyard Kipling

    ~my poem~
    The Lost Map Home

    The momentum of time pushes
    us forward
    into nothingness.

    The weight of the past pulls
    us backward
    into memory.

    Hurtling forward,
    Thinking back,
    Wondering why.

    The adder lisps
    against the breast,
    The cup falls.

    Like glass this fragile earth
    swells and shatters in
    the high soprano cries of lost songbirds.

    The moon grieves … saltwater pools
    reflect her foreign face
    breathing stone into sand.

    This brief life: the topography of sleep,
    fragments of something lost,
    an old wolf’s dream.

    Trace your path home backwards now-
    Disappearing wake,
    Breadcrumbs long gone.

    The forest remains sweet
    in our memories
    but vanishes forever when imagination fades.


  • amerikkka’s mafia: the cia. besides gathering ‘intelligence’, they specialize in dirty tricks, spreading lies, and last but not least, coup d’etats and political assassinations. just like illicit criminal gangs, the cia deals in death. unlike illicit criminal gangs, the cia has vast power within and over governments. maybe a better term for them is capitalism’s mafia.

    that’s what i’ve learned, among many other things, looking into the jfk hit. that’s exactly what it was, a bald faced public execution with crowds of sheeple witnessing it first hand. captured on amateur film. several well documented cases have been made pointing to a vast plot to not only kill the president, but to frame a young man who worked for your agency for the crime, have him conveniently killed quickly, have a government commission set up to ‘investigate’ the hit that’s on your side and that puts out a fictitious report (much like the 9/11 commission) that concludes oswald was a lone killer, and have the lamestream corporate media (project mockingbird) in your pocket as well, so that the lamestream public will go on believing, or indifferently accepting, lies masquerading as truth.

    if u’re interested enough to read a/another somewhat big (not too big) conspiracy book on the coup d’etat that occurred 50 years ago in amerikkka, and haven’t yet read , i highly recommend u do so. i’ve just read the first chapter and was en/grossed/chanted. fascinating stuff.

  • @Wren – What a beautiful poem! Give us more, more, more….

  • @the virgin terry – Our whole government is a vast mafia, the CIA are just a few of their hit men.

  • I watched the presentation. It’s such a hard pill to swallow but the numbers don’t lie. Thanks, Guy, for getting the word out. It will help us prepare. Those of us who have worked through some of the initial shocks will be better prepared to assist our families and others.

    Thank you again for all your hard work.

  • Perhaps someone could make a list, I hope someone is compiling a list, (just for the historical record, of course) of who these people are.

    I think it would be nice to know exactly who is getting the money for selling us all down the river, so to speak.

    People blame capitalism, or The System, or The Empire, or whatever but if you zoom in on the detail, it’s actually certain names isn’t it.

    People who wake up and eat food and make decisions and so forth.

    Who are they ? Who pays them. I’d like to know.

    They make money. Where does it go. I’d like to know.

  • I would like to hear a logical explanation of why economic collapse necessarily will/would result in all nuclear power plants losing cooling and going critical. Collapse can occur through a variety of scenarios; that one may be the worst case but perhaps not inevitable. Of course, Fukushima may prove that to be a moot point.

    Also, there appears to be a contradiction in the statement that the southern hemisphere is “buffered” by water mass relative to the northern hemisphere, considering recent data show accelerated heating in the oceans while surface temps have increased much less. By far the largest ice mass is in the Antarctic so there may be potential for a shift in the heating trend toward the Antarctic and away from the Arctic.

    Our demonstrated inability to predict that recent trend suggests our lack of understanding of and inability to predict other geothermal forces that may come to bear, either mitigating or exacerbating the destruction of habitat. I think it is already apparent that the equatorial regions of Africa and Asia are the most vulnerable, as that is where the most devastating storms originate, compounded by rising seas.

  • Because, wherever that money goes (perhaps someone can argue that it is essential ? that it goes to a very good cause ? I don’t know) what it gets for the rest of us is this :

    Global emissions continue to be within the highest scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), she said.

    “This is a five-degree C trajectory. It’s absolutely tragic for humanity to be on this pathway,” Le Quéré said.

    This year’s 36 billion tonnes of CO2 will raise the planet’s temperature about 0.04 degrees C for thousands of years. Every tonne emitted adds more warming, she said. (If one tonne of CO2 was a second, 36 billion seconds equals about 1,200 years.)

    CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen about 40 percent in the last century. The oceans have absorbed 97 percent of the additional heat from those emissions, which is the only reason global temperatures have not risen much faster. However, the oceans will not continue to soak up all the extra heat forever.

    So, we are on the 5 deg C trajectory.

    Because we can’t stop, because of those corporations and their power to prevent any effective action.

    Amongst other things. They are not the only problem, of course. There are plenty of others.

    But we are on the 5 deg C trajectory. So where does that take us ?

    Lynas description of the five degree world is as stark as it is brief: “largely unrecognizable.”

    Expansion of the atmospheric circulation pattern known as the “Hadley Cells”–by 2007, expansion by more than two degrees of latitude, or nearly two hundred miles had been observed–is projected to create “two globe-girdling belts of perennial drought.” Elsewhere, more frequent extreme precipitation events make flooding the perennial risk.

    Also, “Inland areas see temperatures 10 degrees or more higher than now.” (It is frequently forgotten or overlooked in discussions of global mean temperature that temperatures over land rise much more than temperatures over ocean–and ocean, of course, occupies roughly 70% of the world’s surface. This drags down the global average quite a bit in comparison with the continental mean.)

    As to human impacts, “Humans are herded into shrinking ‘zones of habitability’.” (No doubt, as discussed in the previous chapter, the possession and governance of such zones would be hotly contested.) The Russian and Canadian north would become increasingly attractive real estate, bringing the boreal forest under great deforestation pressure, possibly invoking more carbon feedbacks and yet more warming.

    While such a vision is deeply unsettling, the conditions described are not without precedent. The potential 5 C world has long been compared to a paleoclimate analogue 55 million years deep into the past: the “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.”

    During the PETM, global temperatures were roughly 5 C warmer than pre-Industrial. But the most striking aspect was the Arctic amplification that apparently existed then. Alligator remains from that era have been found on Canada’s Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic, and as Lynas puts it, “sea temperatures close to the North Pole rose as high as 23 C, warmer than much of the Mediterranean is today.” With such elevated sea surface temperatures it is perhaps unsurprising that fossil evidence in ocean sediments indicates a mass extinction event during the PETM: the seas would have become thermally stratified, cutting off the oxygen supply to deep waters and killing everything reliant upon it. It’s a grim scenario that recurs in Six Degrees under the bland label of ‘ocean anoxia.’

    Lynas quotes Daniel Higgins and Jonathan Schrag as writing in 2006 that “The PETM represents one of the best natural analogues in the geologic record to the current rise in CO2 due to burning of fossil fuel.” In large part that reflects the fact that the warming then–unlike the case for the Eemian interglacial, or for the Pliocene–was driven entirely by rapid releases of greenhouse gases.

    But there are complications in interpreting this analogue. It seems that the greenhouse gas releases back then–either in the form of carbon dioxide from huge coal beds burnt by intruding magma, or of methane released from submarine deposits of ‘clathrates’ of the sort now being investigated for possible fuel use–were larger than those of the present day.

    On the other hand, release rates are about 30 times faster today. Whereas the whole PETM transition took roughly 10,000 years, today we are considering changes taking place over decades, or at most a few centuries. Unfortunately, it is hard to know how these differences make things will play out from the standpoint of human survival.

    Lynas has no doubt, however, that survival challenges would be very great. Food production would be severely affected, and some parts of the globe would likely reach occasional temperatures that would make unsheltered survival for more than a few hours impossible. To be caught without shelter would be to die.

    The possible locations of climate ‘refuges’–areas remaining relatively friendly to human survival–are considered. (See the summary table in the Hub “The Five Degree World” for locations.) So are the dual survival strategies of ‘isolationist survivalism’–possible in, say, the mountains of Wyoming, but few today possess the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue it successfully–and ‘stockpiling’–the main alternative in non-wilderness areas.

    On balance, Lynas both strategies unlikely to succeed, except in infrequent instances.

    Now some people want to argue about whether this all amounts to ‘Near Term Extinction’ or not.

    It seems that if they can somehow ‘prove’ that there will still be ‘pockets of survivors’ somewhere, at some date in the far future, then that ‘disproves’ the NTE claim and therefore Guy McPherson must be a phony and and a fraud.

    But, you see, even if Guy is a phony and a fraud, and his thesis is all wrong, if we are STILL on the trajectory for 5 deg C – and seems all reputable climate scientists will agree to THAT – then the future we get is roughly as described above.

    So that’s is what is coming. That is the science. That’s mainstream.

    The only difference between Guy and others – as far as I can see – is that Guy thinks it’s very soon, and others think some techno-magic which hasn’t been invented or discovered, or some other miracle, will appear and somehow ‘save’ us.

    That review adds :

    Complete human extinction strikes Lynas as unlikely due to humanity’s:

    …unique combination of intelligence and a strong survival instinct. I myself have crawled down an Andean mountain in a state of delirious semiconsciousness when the easiest thing by far would have been to lie back and let go, but the survival instinct was too strong… Even given the most dramatic rates of warming imaginable, somewhere, surely, it will be still be possible to raise crops… And yet, somehow, that is scarce consolation given the torments that may lie in store.

    Which makes me wonder if Lynas has ever tried to grow anything. I very much doubt it. Seems like hopium and hubris to me.

    Having witnessed the 9 billion die, in the most appalling and traumatic circumstances imaginable, and the collapse or everything that we now know, the ‘pockets of survivors’ are going to be growing WHAT crops ?
    Where ? From what seeds ? In what sort of weather ?

    Because the climate does not become stable. It does not settle into anything predictable ever again in any time meaningful to humans. Temperatures and sea levels keep rising for centuries, and the dead oceans keep emitting toxic gases and the whole planet is irradiated by the nuclear power plants that are left melting down.

    This idea of clustering up in the far north where it is cool, to grow stuff is ludicrous. It is DARK half the year. Crops need sunshine.

    But so what ? If there are a few thousand humans still surviving somewhere in a century or two ? Nobody will know about it either way, and the odds that any of YOUR relatives are going to be among them must be miniscule.

    So what does it matter. And we will have ruined the whole planet… so a few people can make money for a few more months screwing everything up for everybody…

    Because we just do not know how to stop doing what we have been doing ? We have to keep doing this, even though everybody knows it is insane ? Why ?

  • The inner regions of Australia are already showing signs of setting unbelievably high (and long lasting) temperature records. The Aussie weather service recently had to actually add another color to their weather temperature topo maps to indicate temps above 50ºC (122ºF) to 54ºC (130ºF)

    Well ladies and gentlemen, they have added that new color because they think those kind of horrendously high temperatures will be around for awhile in the near future.

    Those are death temperatures, to flora and fauna and humans.

    My money is on the Southern Hemisphere to register unprecedented heat records before the northern hemisphere precisely because of higher amount of water surface area in the south. All the land masses in the Southern Hemisphere are surround by over heated ocean, lots and lots of over heated ocean.

    As to nuclear plant melt downs because of economic collapse, well all the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men can’t put Fukishima back together again.

    And that is before economic collapse.

    After financial collapse the only hope to keep the nukes running will NOT be governments, they will collapse with their banking rackets. No, the regular old ethnic mafias might want to keep the nukes going as the only source of electric power left in a country after the oil trade/transfers collapse because of non payment in worthless fiat printed toilet paper ‘money’. Controlling the only non-oil electric generation facilities will be a juicy toll booth/easy-money-shake-down business (monopoly)

  • okay, never mind

    In this movie, the indigenous tribe gets kicked out of the only place they’ve lived so that some giant energy company can come in and frack the place! This makes so much sense. The ones living with the earth the way it is in their area get booted from their land (by the goon squad of course) so that industrial civilization, which is killing the planet, can continue along its merry way, destroying the habitat in a (soon to be former) wildlife preserve. What could possibly go wrong?

    Oh, it’s not a movie – it’s Botswana right now.

    Botswana Secretly Fracks World’s Second-Largest Wildlife Preserve After Kicking Out The San People

    Botswana has been getting fracked for years without the public knowing, even in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, ancestral home of the San people and second-largest wildlife reserve in the world.

    The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)’s film, The High Cost Of Cheap Gas, contains footage of fracking equipment and energy company employees describing their work as “fracking”. A news release on Kalahari Energy’s website talks about hydraulic fracturing operations in Botswana that began as early as 2009 to extract coal bed methane. And a 2005 post on the site found by the Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis talks about the construction of water evaporation ponds “for hydraulic fracturing of the wells.”

    A government map of oil and gas concessions indicate the coal bed methane concessions exist in the Cental Kalahari Game Reserve, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and the Chobe National Park, home to the world’s largest herd of elephants.

    Keikabile Mogodu, a San rights advocate, told The Guardian that nobody had heard anything from companies or the government about fracking on San land. “We are in the dark,” he said. “If fracking is done in the areas where people are consultations should be done.” Botswana President Ian Khama’s government has been fighting in court to keep San people from returning to their land, and it seems this may be why.

    (read the rest)

  • Oh, what, radiation pollution isn’t doing the job of killing the Pacific Ocean fast enough? Well, hell, let’s drop some oil on that bad boy an’ light ‘er up!

    Oil Pipeline Explodes In China, Killing 35 And Setting The Ocean On Fire

    An oil pipeline exploded in Qingdao in China on Friday, killing 35 people and injuring 166 by the latest count.

    The explosion spilled oil into the ocean, and temporarily shut down one of China’s largest crude import terminals.

    The pipeline is owned by Sinopec Corp, China’s largest oil refiner, and connects Huangdao to Weifang in the northeastern province of Shandong. It began leaking oil into Qingdao’s streets and port early Friday morning. The pipeline was shut off about 15 minutes after the leak began, and workers began repairs. Then, around 10:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. Thursday EST) the oil caught fire and exploded in two locations.

    The underground pipeline’s explosion opened a hole in the road that swallowed at least one truck, according to Reuters, and oil seeped into utility pipes under Qingdao. Gas and oil exploded and caught fire over the sea, according to the Qingdao Environmental Protection Bureau, and barriers were set up to keep it from spreading further than the 32,000 square feet already contaminated.

    (read the rest)

  • I would like to hear a logical explanation of why economic collapse necessarily will/would result in all nuclear power plants losing cooling and going critical.

    Repeated numerous times by the NBL commentariate in prior posts many moons ago. Wade through it to get what you need. It’s all there. No need for another repetition.

    The San of the Kalahari: believed to be the closest to the rootstock of ALL modern humans, prior to the first diaspora of 50,000 years ago. Their DNA indicates that all other humans were derived from their lineage.

  • for ulvfugl: I know what you mean, brother

    Wren: thanks, that was lovely and sad.

    Robin: right? like this is ridiculously ironic in a perverse industrial way, perfectly mirroring what we’re doing, yet the story will die like all the others, on to the next thing while we all stay comfortably numb . . .

    I used sinkholes before somewhere in an analogy to the reality on the ground economically, environmentally and socially – people out at the crumbling edge and falling in aren’t heard by the rest of us staying busy and distracted (trying to stay sane in an insane situation).

    The disaster continues toward us (out in the periphery) but we don’t see it coming until, too late to react, it consumes us too! All this “stuff” happening will directly effect us too. It just takes time for the chaotic “sinkhole” of reality to react to forces unfelt by us (in fact we unleash the forces – in our case, chemical in nature, and now, new and improved WITH RADIATION!) and approach further and to whatever extent the conditions allow.

    Roger: man, I hear that. Ya gotta remember though, our southwest is just emerging from a long drought, where many of the states lost most of there trees and the rest are on their way out. They couldn’t grow anything, livestock wasn’t do-able (unless you were a giant corporation) and there was a lot of death to flora and fauna. I agree that the actual top temperatures where you are currently exceed those we saw here, but there were weeks on top of weeks here of over 100 degrees F, previously “unprecedented.” In fact, the new problem here IS the wild gyration of temperature, humidity, precipitation (or lack thereof), winds, storms, and anything reliable to count on when trying to figure out what to plant, where to put beef cattle, hogs, sheep, and when to start. Climate change on top of the dying pollinators, radiation sprinkling down on us and a totally clueless (or psychotic – your call) “leadership” we’re in a rudderless speedboat heading toward the falls.

    tvt: agreed, this is all being “engineered” by certain smug ‘vested interest groups’ who laugh it up at the club. The CIA has been a rogue agency from its inception. Great recommendation on the book (I read it too). They’re the reason politics works – they make it happen or make the problem disappear.

  • As Elvis Costello once sang:

    “Oh I used to be disgusted
    and now I try to be amused.”

    Planetary suicide appears to be greatest prank
    ever pulled by anyone. Kick back and enjoy the ride.

  • Thanks Guy, and everyone who has been posting, for the continuous reality check. It is very difficult for me to understand how everyone around me, seemingly very intelligent, people, are for the most part ignoring this. But it is impossible to know who knows what, because we’re all just trying to get through our days with as much equanimity as possible. I just know that whenever I begin to gently introduce the topic, very, very few take me up on pursuing it; some accuse me of being negative, some just ignore my words and change the subject, some actually laugh it off. And no one ever brings it up to me.


    I read your post in the previous thread about your son. I have been wanting to say something to acknowledge the pain and difficulty of this, but feeling inadequate to find the right words. If you would like to have a private conversation please feel free to contact me anytime. If you want I can offer you my knowledge of the body, and if that is of no use I can at least offer you my heart’s ear.

  • @Robin Datta
    Re: assured multiple nuclear meltdowns resulting from collapse:

    “Repeated numerous times by the NBL commentariate in prior posts many moons ago. Wade through it to get what you need. It’s all there. No need for another repetition.”

    If this is such a foregone conclusion (i.e. “we, the cognoscenti here, all know this for a fact”), then it shouldn’t be hard for you to offer a link instead of inviting me to “wade” through posts for hours. In fact, I’m surprised Guy hasn’t put one up as part of his primer.

  • According to Paolo Scampa, we’re already dead from Fukushima Dai-ichi’s ionizing radiation. I’m not certain, and I look forward to seeing what Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott have to say about Fukushima Dai-ichi and all the other nuclear power plants in the world melting down catastrophically.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #88

    I’m freezing! These monks
    are fresh air freaks…Later, I
    open my window.

  • G.Mc,

    The Fukushima ionizing radiation link was more fun than a new ride at an amusement Guess I need to sign this as,Dead Man Talking.


    Hope everyone got a present,called “Today”. I’m happy with mine.

  • @ Wren

    @ All
    Sincere thanks to the host and earnest people here. As family and friends fade and human annihilation looms, you have proven that there are a few out there who still care.


    To those, like Lynas (referenced in this comment by ulvfugl), who imagine that they can find a refuge in the ‘wilderness’ of ‘the mountains of Wyoming’:

    From a report by the National Wildlife Federation Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World

    “Even the largest species on the landscape—our nation’s treasured big game wildlife—are being directly exposed to changing climate…

    Populations and habitats have already been affected, and landscapes are changing. Increasingly severe drought, rising temperatures and greater weather extremes will leave no big game species untouched. …affecting the health, habitat, and food and water supply of every big game species.”

    As a vegan, I hesitate to quote an organization that fosters hunting and fishing. However, while outdated (although just published) and naive in many ways, the report offers insights into current and projected severe impacts of climate change on wildlife (with a 2C rise through the end of the century). The notion that increasing forest cover will ‘sequester’ carbon is patently fallacious, if ‘sequester’ is meant to imply a permanent lock down. Their other ‘solutions’ would be laughable, if this wasn’t so tragic. Clearly even watered down reports like this are upsetting to a lot of their supporting hunt’n and fish’n members with mental addresses in the District of Cornucopia, Land’o Fantasy.

  • I do not minimize the potential danger or detriment to all life from Fukushima’s ionizing radiation releases or a potential catastrophic criticality event. Nor do I discount the postulation that collapse would precipitate multiple meltdowns. Nevertheless, I think it is non-productive to assume the latter and to sound the alarm about the former. I applaud Arnie Gunderson’s clear call to action but also his restraint of rhetoric.

    We are not the only ones with access to this information, nor are our government representatives and the responsible industrialists immune from these threats to their own families. So, I suggest we not jump to conclusions based on inconclusive evidence. To imply “we are already dead” is hyperbole unbecoming a scientist which compromises the veracity of the overall message.

    I want to see international oversight and control, but who is running the show internationally? …the same ones that shield themselves from accountability and who seek to further gain from maintaining this criminal regime. The fact that psychopathic criminals have taken over ruling the world is enough of a catastrophe in itself, but it is compounded by the complicity of the masses.

    I think this is not “sudden death” but rather “slow torture” that is unfolding.

  • Shakhova has spent the past decade compiling data on the East Siberia Arctic Shelf through research cruises and flyovers of the region. She published initial results in 2010, which showed that methane has been escaping at hot spots where vents have formed from a combination of geothermal heat as well as warmer river water flowing into the region. Those results showed that 7 teragrams of methane is bubbling to the surface annually. That’s roughly the equivalent of 10 percent of the methane emissions from U.S. oil and natural gas production and transmission in 2012.

    The new research refined those results, showing the amount of methane reaching the surface is more than double those previous estimates. In all, Shakhova and her colleagues estimate that 17 teragrams are escaping each year, though the new study says the estimates are likely on the conservative end. Shakhova said those totals are on par with emissions from the Arctic tundra.

    One of the reasons for the revised estimates was more rigorous measurements using an unmanned underwater vehicle with advanced sonar technology. It provided a clearer image of the seafloor and the amount of methane escaping from vents.

    Shakhova’s research also shows that annual bottom water temperatures have increased 0.9°F over the past 14 years while summer temperatures have increased 1.8°F over the same period. That’s due in large part to increased runoff from rivers, which generally have warmer water than the Siberian Sea. Other research has pegged that increase at 7 percent from 1936 to 1999.

  • shouldn’t be hard for you to offer a link instead of inviting me to “wade” through posts for hours.

    No desire to wade through the posts myself. Such research requires motivation. In academia they get remunerated for it. Others have a personal interest in it. Maybe wolf-bird might help you in that regard (if you ask him nicely, he probably will): that’s his forte.

  • “People blame capitalism, or The System, or The Empire, or whatever but if you zoom in on the detail, it’s actually certain names isn’t it.

    People who wake up and eat food and make decisions and so forth.

    Who are they ? Who pays them. I’d like to know.

    They make money. Where does it go. I’d like to know.”

    Me too. That would at least be constructive. The alternative to that–and maybe that’s what we’re stuck with–is simply spinning wheels.

  • Blame it on people who wake up and eat food, period. Corporations are driven to make a profit because investors want to earn something without working, so they can maximize their personal EROEI. All living things must maximize their EROEI or they will die rather soon. There never, until the fossil fuel age, has been enough energy for everything born/hatched. Only the ones best at maximizing their EROEI make it. That means you must get more energy than you spend trying to get it. If you can’t hunt/gather, you grow it, steal it, or find a neat way to get someone else to get it for you, any way they can.

    Note that humans are the only species on the planet that don’t practice the food cycle. That in itself leads to major dieoff. We are also the only species that has excluded ourselves from natural population control. That in itself leads to dieoff. But like yeast in a dish, we can’t live in our excrement. That leads to extinction. And like yeast, we can’t stop. Just nature doing what nature does.

  • @ dmd

    If you can’t hunt/gather, you grow it, steal it, or find a neat way to get someone else to get it for you, any way they can.

  • DMD

    Excrement is good for compost. I know you meant it in a general sense. That works too, perhaps.

  • Civilization as we’ve come to know it, is a toll road to human existence. You must pay, in the medium of exchange du jour, to live and that says nothing about the quality of that life. It’s a usurper. It’s self-proscribed authority. It’s seemingly intractable once let out of the bottle. It’s unnecessary yet relentless. At one time, it may have been convenient, but the long-term trade-off for short-term convenience wasn’t worth it for the majority of not just humans but all life on Earth. It could evolve humans if given enough time. Will there be enough time? Only time will tell. Things are quickening. It’s fun to watch. Weird, bizarre shit heretofore described as anomalous is becoming more frequent and commonplace yet without adequate perceptual models to describe it. The Singularity is upon us. Don’t bother to lock in and hold on tight. The former metaphorical laws of physics no longer apply. We’re about to find out just how wrong we are, and were, about everything and how little to nothing we know and knew. I welcome it all with open arms. To resist is futility. You can’t resist. You can only pretend to and for some, maybe that’s enough, but it’s only an illusion to help hold onto another illusion called sanity.

  • A new guest essay hit the top of the page this morning. It’s here.

  • @Artleads; What we should give back to the earth, we don’t. We flush it. Then we invent all sorts of garbage and throw that back on the earth. We could call spent nuclear fuel part of our excrement. That and CO2. We do everything wrong and call it good. Then we call ourselves intelligent.

  • @Christy Thank you so much for your concern and offers of advice! As soon as I get a chance I am going to take you up on the that. Do you have a preference for e-mail or Facebook? Guy is welcome to share my e-mail address with anyone here, minus the sad, sad impersonators.

    Your piece on ‘the wall’ was amazing. True artist are you! Thank you for sharing.

    I wanted to let you know that I did get the vegan advice you gave me some time back. It is valuable info that can be incorporated, at least in parts, into our ‘routine’. Sadly, I used to do many of those things, but at present, half of the food items on your list cannot come into the home, due to my son’s food allergies. When they are all a little older, if allowed the luxury of further life, we will be able to have some things separate, for those not allergic, but for now, I don’t want to alienate him further by trying to serve separate meals, so we share one meal as a family.
    If I cook seven meals in a week, one is vegan, three vegetarian, and three wild game/fish. I actually used to be vegetarian, and prefer it, but after I had my son, I became very ill and lost all of the pregnancy weight plus fifteen more pounds in only a couple months. I now eat some wild game, and it seems to be a better balance for me. I am very interested, for myself, what the benefits of doing hemp sprouts might be? Is it even legal in the US to buy hemp seeds? I will look further…again, thank you so much, logspirit! (Please don’t read further as I am going to discuss the hunting/fishing situation here in SD! I have immense respect for you and don’t wish to offend!!!)

    From your article above: “Even the largest species on the landscape—our nation’s treasured big game wildlife—are being directly exposed to changing climate…

    Well, duh, they live out of doors! They breathe the same vile air we do, eat food that grows from the same polluted soil as us, drink the water, too.
    I know many here frown upon the eating of flesh, but this is our food, we only take what will feed the family, not happily, but respectfully and with reverence for the circle of life. Last year, we had bounty. One year later, after my partner has been on three hunts by the White River, nothing. The deer are not there. There are a few which have moved into the town’s shelter-belts, which is highly unusual, but you can’t hunt in town.
    The pheasants have vanished- and this is the pheasant-hunting capital of the world. You used to drive down the road after exiting the interstate, and during a 45 minute drive south, you would see thousands, just along one stretch of road. All gone. Last year, on this same drive, we saw an unusually large number of birds-of-prey- hawks, falcons, golden eagles, bald eagles. Just stunning to witness. No more of that, though.

    So, with the lake where we normally catch our fish being drained and dredged, and no deer, no game birds, no veggies from the hail battered/destroyed ‘garden’, well…we won’t go hungry this winter, because we still have a few of those green pieces of paper to exchange for groceries and commodities, but for those who think civilization is going to collapse, sending them on their way to live off the land, well, you may want to reconsider this likely unviable option as a bug-out plan. Just being realistic here.

    @Me We’re about to find out just how wrong we are, and were, about everything and how little to nothing we know and knew.
    Yup. Thanks for the excellent offering.

  • Since this is an open thread, I’m going to offer this from Last Real Indians, which was posted to their FB page last summer, re: change and action:

    Be aware of that force in ourselves that asks why are we engaging activism, or other change action, why this sort of activism? Why are we not directing our energy here or there? Who is leading this? What will be gained? Be wary of our critical selves which can transform skepticism into a detracting force.
    Realize that we cannot always know in advance what the outcome will be; that is the most powerful part of seeking change. There are no leaders; we are all co-creators of our personal and collective realities. Those who are moved to seek change in whatever form are being driven by their developing consciousness, including sometimes raw emotion, which is potentially dangerous but should not receive immediate condemnation. If we fundamentally agree on a vision (ie the upliftment of our people, the salvation of humans thru spiritual evolution, a clean environment, etc) we should accept each others roles and differences so long as that acceptance does not permanently detract from our forward movement in that vision. Let those so moved to act for change do their part; let it run it’s course. Rather than trying to stop or change an efforts course to its detriment instead figure a way you can assist in the growth of that effort/vision with the skills and perceptions available to you… Or just go join those crazy bastards.

  • DMD,

    I hear you. I heard a radio interview about storing nuclear waste so that people thousands of years hence–we should be so lucky!–who didn’t even understand our languages or have technology could maneuver around it (or over it) safely. Imaginative in its way. Devilish business.

    I know it’s all too little too late for most caring people, but it’s time to stop making new things all together. Including new people, new non-profits, new anything. Dealing with the stuff we have already…well, just imagining here. Your point stands.

  • @Badlands

    You can email me, or even better call. Guy has my phone number. We could skype, too. Whatever works best for you.

  • @ Badlands
    Thanks for the thanks.

    Meanwhile, you asked: “I am very interested, for myself, what the benefits of doing hemp sprouts might be? Is it even legal in the US to buy hemp seeds?” No. While hemp and cannabis is now legal for medical and recreational use under some state laws, according to Federal law… ordinary citizens are legally allowed to possess in the glory and freedom of the United States of America only DEAD -typically irradiated- hemp seeds. Period. (Did someone say “Death Culture”?)

    But hemp isn’t the only seed worth sprouting. Lentils and Chick Peas are easy and inexpensive – and are currently still legal to grow and eat. (But you can’t sell their sprouts without special licenses, permits, inspections etc. and about $15K to invest in legal fees and so forth. Oddly ‘micro-greens’ don’t have the same restrictions, but they are extremely perishable compared to sprouts so they don’t present an economic threat to the packaged food industry – typical Dept. of Agriculture/FDA insanity, controlled by the animal ‘husbandry’, big food, and pharmaceutical industries.) Clover is excellent for sprouting. Broccoli is probably the best sprout of them all – requires cooler growing conditions – and is known to contain high levels of cancer slowing compounds. (Everyone on this planet has cancer cells in their bodies – what determines death by cancer or something else is the speed of cancer growth.) There are many other seeds that make excellent sprouts and micro-greens. Available online from many sources. Just be sure that they are seeds for sprouting, which have not been coated with poisonous fungicides, pesticides, etc. You know, the typical seeds used to grow ‘crops’ for the American marketplace and feedlot.

    As far as the foods your son is allergic to – please outline. Often people have difficulty with particular foods simply because their bodies are lacking in sufficient enzymes to deal with those foods – and sprouts are an excellent source of enzymes. Another factor worth looking into is how the toxic build up from meat and dairy consumption affects the metabolism and creates an acidic imbalance which causes inflammation and dis-ease. Fruits and vegetables, in general, provide a healthy body pH and flush out reactive toxins. And remember – cooked meat essentially only has fat and protein, it is low in vitamins, and has no fiber or enzymes. A human being can get all the fat and protein and all other necessary vital nutrients and enzymes she/he needs from a plant based diet – without the pain and the toxins.

    Now it is true that people can have sensitivities to tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, dairy and other substances… but when I hear that someone “can’t” eat greens because of some dam pharmaceutical drug that they have been hooked on… and the drug is there to scab the job that the greens would do… then follow the money.

  • on government – make sure you follow at the end to his linked “Big Picture” where, at the end of another great article, Dredd links to a Bill Maher comment video called The House of Lards – it’s hilarious.

    enjoy what you can, where you can, for as long as you can . . .

  • Carried over from what I said on the previous thread, because it is relevant.

    What Collapse Feels Like, Part 5: Hijacking Joy: The Civilized Cerebesphere And New Age Nausea

    This means that there is constant war for control of everyone’s mind. It means that the battle is over what idea you believe and what idea you reject.

    There’s been a lot of trolling over recent threads, attempting to smear Guy, Tom, myself, F. Kling, Sabine, others, faking identities, generally trying to wreck this blog.

    Standard psyops and dirty tricks is character assassination, where you try to portray someone as disreputable in some way. Lawyers do this in courts all the time.

    For example, a common defence put forward to the judge by a counsel would be that offender was a person of previous good character who had lapsed on this occasion because of some special circumstances.

    Or, if it can be demonstrated that someone had lied and stolen on many previous occasions, then it might be assumed that they would also have lied and stolen in this instance.

    So, it’s a battle for the minds of the jurors.

    Same thing happens in wars and politics. Then you want to swing the minds of millions, one way or the other, to support a cause. To hate the enemy.

    So the British told lies about the Germans and the Germans told lies about the British, and so it goes.

    You may recall, during the first Gulf War, a story was widely publicised that Iraqi soldiers had pulled the plugs out on babies in incubators in a hospital in Kuwait. It did the trick, and public opinion was duly outraged. Turned out it was a totally fabricated lie deigned to turn the Western public in favour of the military action.

    Now, I can’t speak for Guy, or Tom, or anyone else, only myself. Trolls trying to harm my character, to smear me to diminish support, to try and make out that I’m hypocritical or morally dubious or whatever. This is really, really FUNNY.

    Because I DO NOT CARE. I am not here because I want a faithful following, or because I am trying to build political capital. I’m not even trying to get a message across. I don’t see this as a propaganda war, with a good side and a bad side. Perhaps I am the most evil, nastiest, most corrupt, hypocritical man in the whole country.
    So what ?

    I’m not putting myself forward as a fucking role model. I’m not putting myself forward as an example for children to look up to. I’m not trying to convince people to change their lives and live differently. I DO NOT CARE. It doesn’t matter WHAT you DO, or WHAT YOU THINK OF ME.

    You are on the brink of a mass extinction event. It does not matter whether I tell you about it. It makes no difference whether you know about it or not. It will happen anyway.

    So, when some person calling themselves Lierre Keith says I’m an alcoholic that was thrown out of Dark Mountain, or this loon says I made a racist remark, these things irritate me, because I’d prefer to discuss something interesting. But other than that, it’s like six year old kindergarten children hurling cheeky insults from across the road.

    Sure, lots of people hate me. It goes with the territory. I’m very abrasive. I’ve been fighting to change the world all my life, I’ve been through all kinds of radical movements, and received all kinds of very nasty responses. But all that is over. Because this thing that is happening is, in my estimation, now unstoppable. I did my very best to prevent it.

    The worst thing that could possibly happen is happening.

    F. Kling posted the video of Ventura investigating the Ozark bunker thing.
    That’s a joke too. They think they’ll stay down there for centuries and come out to a habitable planet ? I think they’ll die like rats in there.

    Personally, I know exactly what I think and exactly where I stand.

    As far as the rest of you are concerned, it is up to you to realise that this battle is going on inside YOUR MINDS, as to what you believe is really happening, and YOU have to come to your own understanding.

    Just like members of a jury. Do you believe what the governments or the media are telling you ? Do you believe what your friends, family, colleagues believe ? Do you believe what the paranoid crazies believe ? Do you believe what the psyops propaganda trolls tell you ? Do you trust anybody ? If so, whom ? Do you have a plan ? Any intention to act ?

    I don’t care. I can’t ‘save’ anybody. I try to tell the truth as I see it and to explain stuff, and I like to try and understand how we got here and what’s happening.

    Btw, I have not drunk alcohol for thirty years. I think alcohol is a disgusting chemical. If I want to change my consciousness I can do that in much more interesting ways.

    Does this person writing here sound to you like an alcoholic ?
    I can sit on a zafu for eight hours straight.
    Who else here can do that ?

  • @ ulvfugl

    But some would say that you protest too much, that you are bothered by the trolls. And it could be because of your declared impatience with stupidity.

    I’ve been thinking about what you said about Gail, and I looked back at the September and October posts to locate the point at which Gail left off participating here. You said Gail proved resistant to what you had to say about woodmanship. I find this baffling.

    About the time she left, you wrote a long comment arguing that it is culture rather than human nature that has brought us to the brink, and that Gail can’t see this because she is too immersed in the culture, able to see its destructiveness, but apparently unable to view human history through any lens other than the one handed to her by her culture. You say, no, where we are now was not inevitable. Our nature didn’t programme us to march to the abyss. We made poor choices.

    Are we hard-wired to believe our own bullshit and disregard objective facts, or have we been trained to be this way? Because it appears that people are seldom persuaded by facts.

    I would have thought it is far from settled how much belongs to our genetic make-up and how much is shaped by our experience as social animals.

  • @ Martin

    Some will say all sorts of things, whatever I say or do. I only wish I had been a lot less patient with stupidity years ago. It turned out I have been extremely foolish, because I had always assumed that, at some point, people would begin to comprehend that it was in their interests, and especially the interests of their children, to care about what this world would be like in the future.

    I always assumed that there were people somewhere, in power and authority, either in academia, or business, or in the bureaucracies, or in politics, or in the military, somewhere, who were interested in sort of steering the ship, so to speak, keeping things on course, keeping an eye on the horizon, in everybody’s best interest, sort of thing.

    Turns out, I was completely mistaken. If I had been more confident and less inhibited by trying to be ‘polite and considerate’ possibly I could have made more of a difference, who knows. Too late now.

    My point about Gail not listening re my work at this forest had no connection to her apparent departure recently. It was a very long time ago, probably when she first came on my blog and first came on this blog, if I remember, discussing trees and firewood and so forth.

    The point re genetic determinism v. cultural determinism is really a different one. Gail favours Dawkins, whom I’ve come to detest over the years, although I started out as a fan. I support Robert Sapolsky. He states very clearly, that when it comes to human behaviour, forget about genes. We share most of our genes with fruit flies, and none of our behaviour. It’s all down to culture, which he has shown, rather conclusively, with his work, and which has all kinds of support from direct observation from the animal world and anthropology.

    Dawkins, and his predecessors whose work he followed, have none of that. They worked out a preconceived theory based on numbers, and then wanted THAT to match the reality, which is not how science should work.

    It’s a lot like neo-classical economics which is based on a theoretical idealised human who always has perfect information of market conditions and always acts rationally and selfishly to maximise self-interest and personal individual financial advantage. ‘No such thing as soceity’.

    Nobody in real life, walking around in the streets, is anything like that. Nobody spends all morning going around all the supermarkets, checking all the prices, then all afternoon going around again, buying the cheapest items. People often don’t expect to get repaid by friends, even sometimes by total strangers, for ‘work’ that they do. People give stuff away for free. Etc, etc.

    Dawkins begins with a conceptual model, derived from his version of Darwin (neo-Darwinism) and then tries to make it match. But it doesn’t.
    His supporters don’t understand this, or refuse to accept it, because it suits their right wing ideological agenda. Which is basically fascistic, elitist, and fits quite well onto the previous travesty of Darwin, social Darwinism, inflicted upon America by Herbert Spencer, which was popularised by the industrial magnates of the early 20th C, because it justified their exploitation of the workers. Dawkins suits that neoliberal agenda.

    I’m not attacking Gail. She’s doing what she sees to be the right thing over there in USA, talking to people she understands far better than I do.

    My point about her not listening was specifically re the TREES, and her broad sweeping generalised statements which infuriate me, from time to time, because they are WRONG, and she represents just one of the hundreds and hundreds I have come across where this exact same problem arises. People who THINK they are pushing a good cause, who overlook some extremely important detail that changes the whole picture.

    Have there ever been sustainable or nearly sustainable human cultures ?

    Yes or no ? If yes, what were they like, what were they doing, etc.

    The fact is that, in the Eastern Baltic, there were/are manmade artificial farming systems which had the HIGHEST BIODIVERSITY OF ANYWHERE ON EARTH. (numbers of species per area)

    Now, how is that possible ? If people always, everywhere, wreck their environment and kill everything ? Those people have lived there for thousands of years.

    Yes, nobody, or few people, appear to be persuaded by ‘facts’. Bernays reckoned it was about appealing to the subconscious irrational stuff and that’s what the advertisers and marketing people do, and that’s why they win and Al Gore loses.

    But it seems to me, we have a much bigger problem, in UK, anyway. People are not educated, they are indoctrinated, they are taught to conform, and they rebel against that, and either way, it’s hopeless. Almost everybody is clueless. I despair. I don’t know what can be done about that. The whole culture is rubbish, imo.

  • @ Martin

    Just musing now, because I’m very tired and not serious anymore…

    What could be done ? The Wasteland, the Fisher King, the country mourns..

    Go back. Robert Graves wrote something I read long ago, I’ve forgotten it, there once was Merry England, when everyone prospered and everyone was equal and everyone was happy…

    But then those wretched Spaniards sent an Armada, and John Dee, the wizard said he would conjure a storm, by magic, to save the country…

    And, so it came to pass, that, indeed, the Great Armada, was blown away by Dee’s power over the weather.

    So, the Queen called for Dee and asked him for more advice. And he had a plan. He said that King Arthur had once Ruled the World, and so she had the right to restore that realm and to reconquer what was rightfully England’s…

    And that’s what ruined everything. Because that First Elizabeth agreed to The Plan, so wicked greedy men sat in London and plotted and schemed, and then set forth and made an Empire with Colonies and Corporations… then Capitalism and Industry…

    And thus Merry England was lost…

  • “…In Dee’s most Hermetic work, the Monas Hieroglyphica, (One Hieroglyph), published in Antwerp in 1564, Dee believed he had found a ‘hieroglyph’, a hitherto hidden ‘symbol’ which contained in its form the very unifying principle of reality. It is a kind of micro-chip which contains within it all the most elementary principles of the universe. It is to be contemplated upon and fixed in memory as an archetype applicable to all studies. But what is it? If one can imagine a great ocean of prima materia which we may call in this context ‘spirit’, a pure unformed, undirected, unmoving, unmoved homogenous world, then we see the beginning of the universe. If a hand were to, as it were, drop the Monas Hieroglyphica into that ocean of potentials, the materia prima would immediately start forming itself into the universe we imagine we know.”
    – Tobias Churton, The Gnostics

    ‘The one with him the longest was Edward Kelley, a classic Renaissance scoundrel, Kelley was an erstwhile lawyer who had already had his ears cropped for counterfeiting before he met Dee. He also stood accused of necromancy – the practice of using dead bodies for divination.”

    “Gazing into the glass, he [Kelly] reported to Dee that ‘in the middle of the stone seemeth to stand a little round thing like a spark of fire, and it increaseth, and it seemeth to be as a glove of twenty inches diameter, or there about.’ In this glowing central sphere, Kelley claimed to raise a host of spiritual beings who attempted, among other things, to teach Dee ‘Enochian’, the language spoken by angels and the inhabitants of the Garden of Eden. In fact Dee’s alleged Enochian records are elaborate enough to have convinced some credulous readers that they represented a genuine pre-Hebraic language. But as least one researcher has suggested that Enochian was a code Dee used to transmit messages from overseas to Queen Elizabeth in his alleged capacity as a founding member of the English secret service.”

    “Over the centuries many scholars of the occult puzzled over John Dee’s handiwork; perhaps the most notorious of these was Adam Weishaupt, who as a young man was fascinated by the mysterious ‘illuminated manuscript’. Emperor Rudolf ll’s collection was broken up with the passage of time, with his collection of rare manuscripts making its way to the venerable Jorge’s famous library in Italy. It survived the fire that destroyed Jorge’s abbey and took his life, and along with the other remaining fragments of Jorge’s collection was stored at a Jesuit college for many years.”

  • What is less known is that Dee was obsessed with the apocalypse, and believed he had opened a supernatural gateway leading to a powerful and disgruntled spirit world. But this came later. During the early part of his career Dee had little interest in the supernatural. He was a devoutly religious man and deeply ambitious. From the 1550s until the 1570s, he honed his skills as a writer, as well as a navigator with unique technical expertise. Few recall that he coined the phrase, ‘British Empire’, and that he helped shape the emerging ideology of the nation.

    Dee became frustrated with his perceived inability to uncover more occult secrets than he already had obtained, and so began his fascination with the supernatural. During the 1580s he focused his attention on contacting angels in the spirit realm in order to obtain greater wisdom. Initially, Dee tried his hand at using a ‘scrying’ mirror or crystal ball, each of which can be found in the British Museum.

    Dee struggled to achieve the results he was hoping for and thus reached out to someone who professed to have expertise in these matters.

    Enter the occultist and spirit medium Edward Kelley, who stumbled upon a ration of magical red powder, which he had received from an innkeeper in Glastonbury, who had acquired the powder from tomb robbers. In a different version of the story, Elias Ashmole, who wrote the first account of Kelley’s discovery, recounts how Kelley found a book containing the curious powder in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. Regardless, Kelley’s desire to learn as much as possible about the magical substance, which he believed could turn base metals into gold, led him to Dee, whose library attracted many such seekers.

    Like Dee, Kelley was a fascinating man; a seer whose ritual expertise in the black art of necromancy, combined with his passion for alchemy, and his quest for the Philosopher’s Stone in particular so impressed Dee that the two soon became inseparable. Together they embarked on a journey that would transform their lives and quite possibly ours too.

  • There are two main schools of thought among scholars as to the motivation for the creation of ogham. Scholars such as Carney and MacNeill have suggested that ogham was first created as a cryptic alphabet, designed by the Irish so as not to be understood by those with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet.[10] With this school of thought, it is asserted that the alphabet was created by Irish scholars or druids for political, military or religious reasons to provide a secret means of communication in opposition to the authorities of Roman Britain.[citation needed] The Roman Empire, which then ruled over neighbouring southern Britain, represented a very real threat of invasion to Ireland, which may have acted as a spur to the creation of the alphabet.[citation needed] Alternatively, in later centuries when the threat of invasion had receded and the Irish were themselves invading the western parts of Britain, the desire to keep communications secret from Romans or Romanised Britons would still have provided an incentive.[citation needed]. With bilingual ogham and Latin inscriptions in Wales, however, one would suppose that the ogham could easily be decoded by anyone in the Post-Roman world.

    A variation is that the alphabet was first invented, for whatever reason, in 4th-century Irish settlements in west Wales after contact and intermarriage with Romanized Britons with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet.[citation needed] In fact, several ogham stones in Wales are bilingual, containing both Irish and British Latin, testifying to the Celtic contact that led to the existence of some of these stones

    According to the 11th-century Lebor Gabála Érenn, the 14th-century Auraicept na n-Éces, and other Medieval Irish folklore, ogham was first invented soon after the fall of the Tower of Babel, along with the Gaelic language, by the legendary Scythian king, Fenius Farsa. According to the Auraicept, Fenius journeyed from Scythia together with Goídel mac Ethéoir, Íar mac Nema and a retinue of 72 scholars. They came to the plain of Shinar to study the confused languages at Nimrod’s tower (the Tower of Babel). Finding that they had already been dispersed, Fenius sent his scholars to study them, staying at the tower, co-ordinating the effort. After ten years, the investigations were complete, and Fenius created in Bérla tóbaide “the selected language”, taking the best of each of the confused tongues, which he called Goídelc, Goidelic, after Goídel mac Ethéoir. He also created extensions of Goídelc, called Bérla Féne, after himself, Íarmberla, after Íar mac Nema, and others, and the Beithe-luis-nuin (the ogham) as a perfected writing system for his languages. The names he gave to the letters were those of his 25 best scholars.

    Alternatively, the Ogam Tract credits Ogma mac Elathan (Ogmios) with the script’s invention. Ogma was skilled in speech and poetry, and created the system for the learned, to the exclusion of rustics and fools. The first message written in Ogam were seven b’s on a birch, sent as a warning to Lug mac Elathan, meaning: “your wife will be carried away seven times to the otherworld unless the birch protects her”. For this reason, the letter b is said to be named after the birch, and In Lebor Ogaim goes on to tell the tradition that all letters were named after trees, a claim also referred to by the Auraicept as an alternative to the naming after Fenius’ disciples.

    The letter names are interpreted as names of trees or shrubs in manuscript tradition, both in Auraicept na n-Éces (‘The Scholars’ Primer’) and In Lebor Ogaim (‘The Ogam Tract’). They were first discussed in modern times by Roderic O’Flaherty (1685), who took them at face value. The Auraicept itself is aware that not all names are known tree names, saying “Now all these are wood names such as are found in the Ogham Book of Woods, and are not derived from men”, admitting that “some of these trees are not known today”. The Auraicept gives a short phrase or kenning for each letter, known as a Bríatharogam, that traditionally accompanied each letter name, and a further gloss explaining their meanings and identifying the tree or plant linked to each letter. Only five of the twenty primary letters have tree names that the Auraicept considers comprehensible without further glosses, namely beith “birch”, fearn “alder”, saille “willow”, duir “oak” and coll “hazel”. All the other names have to be glossed or “translated” with a plant name.

    According to the leading modern ogham scholar, Damian McManus the “Tree Alphabet” idea dates to the Old Irish period (say, 10th century), but it post-dates the Primitive Irish period, or at least the time when the letters were originally named. Its origin is probably due to the letters themselves being called feda “trees”, or nin “forking branches” due to their shape. Since a few of the letters were, in fact, named after trees, the interpretation arose that they were called feda because of that. Some of the other letter names had fallen out of use as independent words, and were thus free to be claimed as “Old Gaelic” tree names, while others (such as ruis, úath or gort) were more or less forcefully re-interpreted as epitheta of trees by the medieval glossators.

    McManus (1991, §3.15) discusses possible etymologies of all the letter names, and as well as the five mentioned above, he adds one other definite tree name: onn “ash” (the Auraicept wrongly has furze). McManus (1988, p. 164) also believes that the name Idad is probably an artificial form of Iubhar or yew, as the kennings support that meaning, and concedes that Ailm may possibly mean “pine tree” as it appears to be used to mean that in an 8th-century poem.[20] Thus out of twenty letter names, only eight at most are the names of trees. The other names have a variety of meanings, which are set out in the list below.

  • @ Ulvugl

    Dee tried his hand at using a ‘scrying’ mirror or crystal ball, each of which can be found in the British Museum.

    I have seen the scrying mirror in the British Museum. It is a flat, circular piece of polished black stone, probably obsidian. Another artefact on display is, again, a stone disc, on which are inscribed numerous devices familiar in the Western magical tradition, and dominated by a large, I think, if I remember correctly, a septagram (which would have found favour with Crowley if he had seen it).

    I looked intently at the obsidian mirror, but nothing happened. It is as they say about books: when a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out.

    Just to (belatedly) add a note or two to your excellent comments: I have three Sapolsky books, but I’ve read only Junk Food Monkeys. “Circling the Blanket for God” remains a favourite. When I read these essays I did not scan them for confirmation of any sort of determinism. Now it remains for me to read Monkeyluv and, possibly, A Primate’s Memoir, with a view to assessing his case for the primacy of culture in shaping human behaviour.

    So Weishaupt read Dee. Well, Weishaupt did have access to a splendid library, and that, I think we can say, was his undoing.

    I have tried many times to explain to people that the Illuminati was a short-lived Enlightenment project that was undone by hubris and infighting, but naturally I’m wasting my time.

  • I meant to say: a book is a mirror — if a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out.

  • @ Martin

    Thank you so much for those remarks.

    So, you have Sapolsky books ? How amazing. I have only watched youtube lectures.

    I have never seen the scrying mirror for real, but I gather it came from the S. American indians, and I wonder how it came and what they had used it for. Perhaps it’s efficacy depends upon the time and place for the looking ?

    Certainly, it is a potent symbol, spins off, as you suggest, to Crowley, who spins off threads in many directions, but whom I find boring. Yes, those Illuminati. But now we have these other Illuminati, to suit the times.

    Christopher Marlowe ? Shakespeare ? Well, we have all of mainstream British history, which is again, too boring, especially the Churchillian version.. but I began with Graves’ Merry England, which, I assume, with sorrow, probably existed only as his imagined myth, but then, we need to cling to something better than the paranoia of people getting knifed in filthy taverns for being double agents, all that disease and squalor, I want my maidens with long tresses leaning from balconies, my serenading troubadours with dreamy romances of something better…

    I ache for some poetic vision, like Blake’s Jerusalem, that would carry my imagination to something NICE, but every damn time, because I have a smattering of education, I hit up against too many facts and counter-facts, my Atlantis always crumbles before I can even begin to draw its outline…

    Hahaha, well, according to certain zen, tao, teachings, the mind is the mirror… so, who or what is it, who looks in, and looks out, and what do they see ? :-) which jumps me forward and back, the next thread and H. Arendt, and her remarkable thoughts re conscience…

    The difficulty is that the right to have rights, as well as the rights of man, had never been “philosophically established.” Here too the Eichmann trial, in particular the question of conscience, pointed the direction for the most challenging part of Arendt’s late work. In a sense she deconstructed the phenomenon of conscience into something like the rules of a changing game or, better, the changing rules of the same game. She was not satisfied with that, however, and wanted to find out what we mean when we talk about moral phenomena insofar as they are not rules, customs, or habits. She found that what had traditionally been considered the voice of conscience was in fact the actualization of consciousness in the activity of thinking. Thus the relation of thoughtlessness to evil became concrete. What is most elusive and difficult to grasp is that Arendt meant literally the activity of thinking and not its results, not things thought, from which at best new rules might be derived which would either dissolve in further thinking or become unthought customs and habits.

    What Arendt meant by the actualization of consciousness was not consciousness in the psychological sense but a knowing-with-oneself (con-scientia) that imposes limits when it is experienced. The crucial point is that the activity of thinking provides an intense and ineluctable experience of plurality. While thinking, i.e., while experiencing the silent dialogue of thought, the ego splits in two, disclosing an inner difference within an apparent identity. At lightning speed these “two-in-one,” as Arendt called them, converse as long as the activity of thinking lasts. She found that these thinking “partners” have to be on good terms, essentially in agreement, because they cannot go on or resume thinking if they contradict one another. Arendt grounded, existentially, the logical law of non-contradiction in the congeniality of the two-in-one. By the same token it is in the activity of thinking that the explicitly human relationship between a plurality, though it be only of two, is first established. Again, it is not an “idea” but the experience of sheer activity that makes the one not only respect and relish but refuse to abrogate at any cost the right of the other to freely exercise the right to think.

    Socrates, who never wrote anything, preferred to die rather than live apart from his thinking “partner” and in Arendt’s many references to him stands forth as the diametric opposite of Eichmann. Eichmann’s contradictions indicated not that he had lost consciousness but that he had no experience of inner plurality, no contact with himself, and that therefore he could be relied upon to do anything, anything at all, that his “conscience” assured him was his duty.

  • @ Martin

    American readers raised on the internet, and an earlier generation raised on tv, probably find it slightly bewildering to view history from a British perspective that begins long before ‘America’ was invented… with roots in all kinds of weirdness.. and it does all get totally mind boggling I have to admit. And so much of it is lies.

    But there are direct connections from John Dee through all this occult bullshit, to Jack Parsons and the Space Project. It is CRAZY.

    This is not an implausible suggestion. Dee was a passionate collector of books, and owned one of the largest libraries in Europe. He was familiar with ciphers and travelled widely on the continent of Europe, to the extent that at least one biographer has suggested he was a 16th. century James Bond acting on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I and her ministers. It is known that one of the foremost works on occultism and encipherment of the period, the Steganographia of the Abbot Trithemius, was copied by Dee in longhand over a period of days in an intense burst of activity. An engraved portrait of Edward Kelly, Dee’s partner and scryer in the angelic revelations, is shown holding a open volume with the name “Trithemius” on the page. The Liber Logaeth does exist (Sloane 3189????), and is a combination of an incomprehensible angelic language (which Kelly understood only while in trance) and a series of letters composed into a series of 49 by 49 squares.

    As if this was not enough, another mysterious cipher manuscript has also been connected with Dee, the baffling Voynich manuscript. Despite many attempts to decipher this manuscript, it still remains unbroken. This enigmatic text has also been linked with Lovecraft’s Necronomicon. On the basis of its diagrams all we know is that it might be a herbal. It could be a cipher manuscript that Dee records as having purchased in Prague. All else is conjecture.

    The claim that Lovecraft’s relatives were Masonic initiates is not substantiated by what we know of his family. An alternative explanation (promoted by the author in an extended moment of wickedness), that Lovecraft’s wife Sonia Greene associated with the notorious occultist and poet Aleister Crowley during his residence in New York in 1918 is completely plausible and consistent with both their characters, but entirely untrue.

    One of the participants in the Langford-Turner spoof (Colin Wilson) has admitted in print that it is a spoof. It is a good spoof however. The best spoofs work because they are founded on truth, and the untruths are so deeply embedded one needs be an expert to winkle them out. It was a technique H. P. Lovecraft understood well, and he used it extensively to add versimilitude to his fiction. Dr. John Dee is a pivotal figure in renaissance theurgical magic, and the system he developed not only survives to this day, it is one of the most active areas of modern magic. Using Dee as a link in the history of the Necronomicon was an inspired move by Lovecraft.

    There is a second connection between Dee and Lovecraft’s mythos, and it is much more subtle – and in some ways more bizarre – than any spoof. This second link between Dee and the Necronomicon has grown out of a 20th. century, quasi-gnostic myth surrounding the entity Chrononzon (using Aleister Crowley’s spelling). Choronzon is a demonic entity that occurs in the transcript of a lost book that John Dee received through the mediumship of a scryer called Edward Kelley, from non-human entities who claimed to be angels. Fragments from this book, The Book of Enoch, are scattered throughout his angelic conversations and recorded in Dee’s diaries of the angelic communications.

  • We also have former libertarians who, in despair at the failure of the tin idol of the free market, conclude that the Enlightenment was all some sort of horrible mistake and the only solution is to roll back the clock. Today, we are all—except for the aforementioned Neo-reactionaries—children of the Jacobin society: even modern Conservativism has its roots in the philosophy of Edmund Burke, who formulated a radical refutation of and opposition to the French Revolution—thereby basing his political theories on the axioms of his foe. As Trotsky observed, “Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one’s enemies.” Despair is a common reaction to defeat, as is Stockholm syndrome: with the impending death of neoliberalism becoming clearer to the many libertarians who assumed it would bring about the small government/small world goals of the paleolibertarians—as it becomes clear that the fruits of neoliberalism are instability and corporate parasitism rather than liberty and justice for all—is it unreasonable of them to look to an earlier, superficially simpler settlement?

    This we come full-circle. The Trotskyites of old have donned the Armani suits of libertarian and neoliberal think-tank mavens. And the libertarians have begun to search for a purer pre-modern framework with which to defend themselves against the searing vision of the radiant future. Welcome to the century of the Trotskyite monarchists, the revolutionary reactionaries, and the fringe politics of the paradoxical!

  • I’ll tell you what’s crazy. After I had finished looking at Dee’s artefacts I walked down Museum Road into the Atlantis bookshop, and bought Strange Angel, about Jack Parsons. So Dee thought he had created a portal? Parsons and Hubbard also though they had, and Crowley is reputed to have done so at Montauk, Long Island. These ruptures have allowed all manner of entities to pour into the atmosphere …

    Amusingly, legend has it that when Crowley summoned Choronzon in the North African desert the demon evinced contempt for Crowley and his “blasphemies.” For a good laugh, go and see how the Temple of Set tries to recruit new members. I’m sure you’re impervious to flattery, so you’re safe.

    Terence McKenna wrote an interesting essay about the Voynich Manuscript. More recent findings suggest that the manuscript has no hidden meaning. It’s imaginative nonsense sprinkled with alchemical illustrations. I have no idea.

    Hannah Arendt’s insight on conscience is incredible.

  • I keep forgetting to mention that I don’t recall Graves mentioning Dee. Graves has a bit of a rant about the general drift of the world at the close of The White Goddess, and there is an essay in Difficult Questions, Easy Answers, “What Has Gone Wrong?” wherein Graves muses on the war between Poetry and Techne and the triumph of Mammon. Do you think you can remember where you read Graves on Dee?

  • @ Martin

    Hahaha, yes, totally impervious to flattery and Crowleyania…

    Yes, I think Arendt’s analysis is a lot more interesting.

    But the inner conversation, with the ‘thinking partner’. I’d take this to be, the ego and the super-ego, in Freudian terms. Or the Id and the super-ego. The super-ego being the socially-conditioned aspect that tells us what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, typically instilled by parents and schools, etc. by approval and punishment in early childhood.

    So, Eichman’s version was so crude, that if he was being obedient, then it must be ‘right’.

    Whereas, for most healthy, thoughtful adults, they don’t just follow the simple rules they learned in childhood, but their adult ego mulls over the actual circumstances, reflects, comes to appropriate workable moral choices.

    Obviously, I’m oversimplifying. And perhaps have not understood Arendts properly.

    My personal position, having been through, many different approaches, including Jung, etc.

    I do not trust that super-ego. It’s not any ultimate guide to ultimate ‘right’, it merely informs what is socially acceptable for a particular culture at a particular time.

    As a child I was indoctrinated by Quakers to ‘trust the voice of God’ as my ‘conscience’, not the rules, laws, values, whatever, of men.

    But that was a load of crap too, because, they could help me find or know or distinguish that ‘voice of God’, nor did those particular individuals exhibit any exemplary wisdom.

    I actually think that the Id is pretty honest. Trouble is, it’s sort of basic ‘animal’. It sees a sexy girl, and just like some cockerels I’ve had when they see a hen, it has the impulse to run up and jump on her.

    Well, obviously, that will not do. The raw biological instinct has to be moderated, by something else. The learned super-ego / conscience. But should it be crushed and repressed, like Freud suggested, or released like Reich suggested, or what ? Every soceity and culture has dealt with this in different ways.

    That’s perhaps, where Sapolsky comes in, with his work on the baboons.

  • @ Martin

    Sorry, I don’t remember. I was fanatical about Graves for a few years, but have forgotten it all but a quick google, shows he translated
    Monas Hieroglyphica so he must have known a lot.

  • I misread that, he owned the translation.

  • @ Martin

    It seems like quite another lifetime, but I was obsessed by Robert Graves for some years, and read everything I could find that he had written. In my teens, my Grand Tour of Europe, in Brussels or somewhere, I met a couple of young hippy travellers, who told me a tale of a mad poet they had met who had let them stay in his house for free on a Mediterranean Isle and let them read his books and smoke dope and listen to his amazing music collection, and he told them stories of all kinds of crazy stuff, some of which they told me, incomparable weirdness, and his name was Graves… and many years later I made the connection… and delved deeply into his life, and he took me into the mud of the trenches, to witness the death and horror… I have his collected poems, although I don’t really like any of his poems, but how dense, how intense, he can make his sentences, and he makes superb evocative motifs that stay with me, as moods… but that connection to Dee. I looked.

    Dee, is Welsh, Du. So he was really Black John. The whole British Empire thing was really all down to him, although I suppose if it had not been him, someone else would have come along with the idea. From his wiki page :

    Dee posited a formal claim to North America on the back of a map drawn in 1577–80;he noted Circa 1494 Mr Robert Thorn his father, and Mr Eliot of Bristow, discovered Newfound Land. In his Title Royal of 1580, he invented the claim that Madog ab Owain Gwynedd had discovered America, with the intention of ensuring that England’s claim to the New World was stronger than that of Spain. He further asserted that Brutus of Britain and King Arthur as well as Madog had conquered lands in the Americas and therefore their heir Elizabeth I of England had a priority claim there.

    Some people always want adventures and to be doing ambitious stuff that only cause lots of trouble forever after. That Dee had a friend in the locality he was from, called Twm Siôn Cati. Wales has never been short of wizards and rascals and trouble makers. This one

    Twm was active in west Wales, with forays into England, in the late sixteenth century. Stories centre on his tricks, with which he outwitted law-abiding people and criminals alike.

    Of course, if you’re a serious professional scoundrel, it helps to muddy the water, and never leave behind a clear identity or a trail that can be followed.

    The original character is often said to have been based on one Thomas Jones (c. 1530-1609) who, according to the Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales, was pardoned for unspecified offences in 1559, wrote poetry, was a steward who “often had recourse to the law”, and married the widow of Thomas Rhys Williams of Ystrad-ffin. It seems unlikely, however, that all the tales told of Twm Siôn Cati in later times can be attributed to this one man. The Oxford Companion further asserts “he has been confused with others of the same name who were raiders and highwaymen in the district of Tregaron” and lists another eleven Thomas Joneses in the field of literature alone.

    Anyway, this Twm goes around the countryside robbing and thieving, in between writing poems, which caused a lot less trouble, in the long run, than plotting to colonise America.

    Twm waylaid a rich squire, who was accompanied by his daughter, Twm was so smitten with her that he returned her jewellery to her and attempted to woo her, against her father’s opposition and, initially, her own. One full moon shortly after the robbery, he crept to her window, roused her from sleep, caught her hand at the window and kissed it, refusing to let her go until she promised to marry him. She wouldn’t promise so Twm drew his dagger, drew blood on her wrist and threatened to sever her hand unless she assented to marriage forthwith. She agreed to marry him and she kept her hand. Their marriage followed soon after, despite her father’s views and the directness of Twm’s courtship methods. The girl was supposedly the widow of the sheriff of Carmarthen. Through this marriage Twm is supposed to have gained respectability, eventually becoming a justice of the peace, sitting in judgement on others, a position he held until his death aged 79.

    See what I mean, about the Id and the super-ego ? He fancies her, so goes and grabs her, and if she’s not willing, she’s going to get her hand cut off ? And he ends up being a judge ?

  • @ Martin

    I do have, still have, that ache. Graves seeks the roebuck in the thicket, in his White Goddess, which is probably by far his best known book, which he said, in later life, he wished he’d never written, and which is regarded by scholars as fanciful junk, as is Fraser’s Golden Bough. But people need, want, their myths, to hell with literal truth, they want the poetic truth that satisfies the craving, the ache.
    All little children know this. The stories have to have the right endings, otherwise they are no good. The bedtime stories that get asked for over and over again are the ones that satisfy the need, not the ones that match the facts.

    I think John Dee is a sort of Jungian archetype, something resonates, like the imagery from the Tarot, Twm Shon Cati, the poet outlaw, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Robin Hood, all this stuff from the margins of legality and convention…there is only the here and now, but something happened before, the dreamscape of what has gone…

    What really fired the imagination of England was the idea of a free spirit in the woods – ‘Robin was in merry Sherwood/ As light as leaf on linde’ or (if Yorkshire is the side you support) ’My dwelling is in the wood,’ says Robin ‘By thee I set right nought;/ My name is Robin Hood of Barnsdale’. His men wear green, like trees. They shoot with the bow, which is part of a tree. They meet, or tryst, at a special tree – ‘Then Robin took them both by the hand/ And danced round about the oak tree’; ‘Robin he walks in the green forest/ Under his trusty tree’ [19]. The roots of the Major Oak run deep.
    The mise-en-scène of the Robin Hood ballads is pure romance. Living off the land may have been an option for an earlier generation: Hereward the Wake and his followers are certainly said to have resisted the forces of nine shires from the forest of Bruneswald, but even in the eleventh century this corner of Huntingdonshire can hardly have been a pathless wilderness, and it is more likely that the legend of his resistance shows how an ideal connection of wilderness and liberty was already firing the imagination [20]. Afterwards real bandits took to dramatising themselves in the language of the ballads. In 1336 Lionel, King of the Rout of Robbers (a Yorkshireman who also answered to the name of Adam of Ravensworth) was threatening the north with a later dated from ‘our castle of the wind in the Greenwood Tower in the first year of our reign’ [21]. He uses the same imagery of the geomantic tree-as-castle and of the free greenwood; we need not enquire into the squalid reality, except to suggest that Adam probably spent more of his time indoors than he cared to admit. Mediaeval England was not covered with vast tracts of wildwood into which outlaws could disappear without trace; the tree cover in Sherwood was about 25 square miles, scattered in discontinuous coppices [22] and cannot have afforded much of a hideout.

  • @ Ulvfugl

    I am not surprised to learn that The White Goddess is fanciful junk, and perhaps a little relieved too. Graves’s thesis of a universal goddess is dubious, and his claim that the people of these islands need a goddess to worship more dubious still.

    But there is something, isn’t there? I can hear it in Steeleye Span’s Long Lankin and in The Incredible String Band’s lyrics, though I realise the danger of projecting our desires backwards onto a dreamscape of invented Celtic Twilight, some of which is abominable kitsch.

    You might like these lyrics. Incredible String Band’s The Circle is Unbroken.

    Seasons they change while cold blood is raining
    I have been waiting beyond the years
    Now over the skyline I see you’re travelling
    Brothers from all time gathering here
    Come let us build the ship of the future
    In an ancient pattern that journeys far
    Come let us sail for the always islands
    Through seas of leaving to the summer stars

    Seasons they change but with gaze unchanging
    O deep eyed sisters is it you I see?
    Seeds of beauty ye bear within you
    Of unborn children glad and free
    Within your fingers the fates are spinning
    The sacred binding of the yellow grain
    Scattered we were when the long night was breaking
    But in bright morning converse again.

  • @ Martin

    Thank you so much.

    Yes, those lyrics are good, and a fabulous tune.

    Do you know the CD, Ghosts, by English Acoustic Collective ?

    As the musicians play, standing behind them is the ghost of the person they learnt the music from. Standing behind the ghost is the ghost of the player they learnt from, and so on, back to the beginning of music.

    The mighty Chris Wood

    Yes, there is something. Graves’ White Goddess is full of magic. It doesn’t matter what the scholars say. Not very much. It’s the logos / mythos, left brain /right brain, thing again, the head and the heart.
    Would you rather be stuck in a lift for 24 hours with fucking George Osborne telling you about his life, or Chris Wood, telling you about his ?

    You see, if a person sits to do zazen, there is only this, now. This moment. Even the moment that you began sitting has vanished forever.

    So where is history, the past ? What is here now is the result of what occurred before, going back and back through time. But all we have are traces and echoes and whispers and shadows.

    There are the stories, the documents, the artefacts, the mounds in the fields, overgrown ruins, buried and erased, the bones and the flints and the standing stones.

    From all that we make stories. Everybody has their version, and the scholars and academics are supposed to be the specialists with the definitive version.

    Just as the Oxford Dictionary is supposed to settle the meanings of words.

    But the past is not there to be found, only the scholar in his or her office or study with the bookshelves. And all they have to offer is a map, full of holes, with lots of smudges and blotches and blank areas that they fill in with their own preferred fantasy.

    Because, if you think about it, these islands, so called British Isles, Ireland, Eire, Albion, whatever, where does one begin ?

    Doggerland when it was still adjoined to the European mainland ? and then we have some 12000 years of people and events, and it is all too much for any one mind to contain and hold in a sensible coherent detailed account, because there have been millions of lifetimes and millions and millions of intertwined events, zillions of stories.

    So people pick out the spectacular stuff, over and over again, Henry 8th and Stonehenge, and it’s really fucking boring. Because that’s NOT IT.

    There is something, there’s something that the Earth Mysteries people know about, that some of the Dark Mountain people talked about, that many poets have always been on about, that’s in some of the old folk music, that’s really hard to find any more, but it’s outdoors in the land, some sort of vibe that you can pick up every now and then that links to the deep past and the spirits of the ancestors or something, where you just feel moved and connected and touched. I wouldn’t call it romantic or sentimental. I don’t know what it is, or what words to use for it.

    ‘I have this dread that afflicts me . . . it is that, somehow, we have lost the power to generate new mythologies for a technological age. We are withdrawing into another age’s mythotypes, an age when the issues were so much simpler, clearly defined, and could be solved with one stroke of a sword called something like Durththane. We have created a comfortable, sanitised, pseudo feudal world of trolls and orcs and mages and swords and sorcery, big-breasted women in scanty armour and dungeonmasters; a world where evil is a host of angry goblins threatening to take over Hobbitland and not starvation in the Horn of Africa, child slavery in Filipino sweatshops, Columbian drug squirarchs, unbridled free market forces, secret police, the destruction of the ozone layer, child pornography, snuff videos, the death of the whales, and the desecration of the rain forests. Where is the mythic archetype who will save us from ecological catastrophe, or credit card debit? Where are the Sagas and Eddas of the Great Cities? Where are out Cuchulains and Rolands and Arthurs? Why do we turn back to these simplistic heroes of simplistic days, when black was black and white biological washing-powder white? Where are the Translators who can shape our dreams and dreads, our hopes and fears, into the heroes and villains of the Oil Age?’
    Ian MacDonald King of morning, Queen of day, Bantam Spectra Books, 1991 p295

  • I can see this place from my home.

    There’s a whole cluster of dolmens in this area of different styles, maybe indicating different cultures arrived around the same time. They were farmers. There were bears, beaver, eagles, wolves here then. Where did those people come from, what language did they speak ? Nobody really knows.

    I suppose they brought cattle, sheep, pigs. I suppose they were part of the culture that moved up the Atlantic fringe of Europe, putting up stone monuments over several thousand years. Seems in the early period of Stonehenge, they rallied their annually from all points of Britain, even from the north of Scotland, sort of Glastonbury Festival event for a few thousands.

    There have been people here ever since, and there were people here long before that, who were not farmers, who were hunting and gathering. Earliest dated Mesolithic site in Wales is The Nab Head, St Brides Bay, at around 10,500 years ago. This whole area is littered with prehistoric relics.

    We had the Romans here for longer than the USA has existed. People think they are speaking ‘Celtic Welsh’. I think they are not. I think they are speaking a sort of bastard Romano-British, a sort of latinized creole left over from the fall of Rome, that was pushed into the mountains when the invading Europeans took all the good flat agricultural land by force of arms, and called it England, so named after the Angles and the Saxons, whom the Welsh call Sais and the Scots call Sassenachs.

    But was that Merry England ? It was the Dark Ages, wasn’t it ? The Danes and the Vikings kept moving in, and then the Normans took over the whole place.
    It’s arguable that the Norman Conquest set the global agenda that we have today, where an elite of bankers and wealthy landowners rule over a despised and exploited and mistreated lower class. Not sure that I buy that. The Spartan model works just as well, as do several others, such as the Hindu caste system. Although, fast forward the Domesday Book a thousand years, and we have, NSA and GCHQ’s global electronic version.

    I used to muse about the idea of everyone being implanted with a chip at birth, and tracked by satellite all their lives. That was twenty years ago, sharing dark fantasies about the future with a woman, and we wondered whether the people would be sufficiently supine to accept the imposition of being ‘converted’ in this way. We both thought that it would take a lot of pressure and persuasion, even coercion.

    How foolish we were. The people welcomed it. All that needed to happen was to wrap it up in the form of a sparkly toy. So now, everyone carries their own device, which spies on everything they say and do and tracks every move, and records every penny they spend. And if bitcoin, or something like it, becomes the new currency, then perhaps you will not be able to buy anything, or pay for any service anywhere, unless you do it with your handy little electronic spy, which will tell the authorities where the money came from and where it went.

    I mean, they can make it illegal to own any other brand of phone except an iphone, can’t they, or only accept payments from that brand, and then everyone is entrapped within the electronic cobweb for their lifetime. Because if you’re not in it, you don’t officially exist…
    Maybe I’ll become an electronic virtual street beggar and sit beside my hat and hope an occasional passing stranger throws in an bitcoin in return for a tune…

  • Aah, so now someone has given this dystopian monstrosity a name..

    The Iron Cage.

    Everyone flooded into it, of their own free will, voluntarily. Remember that, folks. You CHOSE this option.

    And I just read that the prospects for iPhones in future years are looking bleak, because the experts in marketing have discovered that the consumers, although they love their sparkly toys, really prefer something that they can wear, rather than have to clutch as a separate item.

    So we move once step closer toward that old vision of an implanted chip, because what the marketing experts foresee are a new range of gadgets, rather like wrist watches, but they’ll learn your speech patterns so you will not need to type in text, just talk to the fuckers, tell ’em want to do, and they’ll call your mom and you’ll see her face on the mini screen and hear her voice… and you’ll never know that every word is being lapped up by the databases back in Utah or wherever… anyway, yeah, the Invisible Panopticon, The Iron Cage…

    “The amount of information gathered from users,” explain Facebook programmers Justin Voskuhl and Ramesh Vyaghrapuri in their patent application, “is staggering — information describing recent moves to a new city, graduations, births, engagements, marriages, and the like.” Facebook and other so-called tech companies have been warehousing all of this information since their respective inceptions. In Facebook’s case, its data vault includes information posted as early as 2004, when the site first went live. Now in a single month the amount of information forever recorded by Facebook —dinner plans, vacation destinations, emotional states, sexual activity, political views, etc.— far surpasses what was recorded during the company’s first several years of operation. And while no one outside of the company knows for certain, it is believed that Facebook has amassed one of the widest and deepest databases in history. Facebook has over 1,189,000,000 “monthly active users” around the world as of October 2013, providing considerable width of data. And Facebook has stored away trillions and trillions of missives and images, and logged other data about the lives of this billion plus statistical sample of humanity. Adjusting for bogus or duplicate accounts it all adds up to about 1/7th of humanity from which some kind of data has been recorded.