(1) The Latest Video from Reese Jones and (2) Ownership: Nations and Boundaries, Passports and Empire

Dr. Guy McPherson – The Man Behind the Message

By Reese Jones

In this video, Dr. McPherson gets personal.

Why did we ask these questions amongst other personal questions that will be coming forth in the next videos?

When someone is as ardent, outspoken, and public with a lone message as ominous as that which Dr. McPherson shares with us, people are interested in knowing what makes him tick, whether he’s believable, whether he’s plain crazy or just perhaps, weirdly eccentric. They want to know who he is, the Man Behind the Message.

They may wish to judge his every word, appraise his character, and perhaps know WHY a man would do as he does, say as he says.

Most of all, they may wish to find reason to disbelieve him; to gratefully find cause to repudiate the legitimacy of his frightening proclamations.

In my humble opinion, Dr. McPherson continues to pass with flying colors; his t’s are crossed, his i’s dotted, his o’s neatly and appropriately closed. If he is crazy, then crazy will require redefinition.

I still quite fail to fully understand his courage … but he’s an Idaho boy as stalwart and robust in spirit as the pioneer stock that preceded him, willing to sacrifice almost everything he holds dear in order to be true to himself, and his word. These days, such men’s men seem to be a rare breed. Many men have appeared to have lost the verve and resilience to believe in themselves, to choose right over convenience, profit, comfort.

I’m not of course, referring to any men in this forum.

It was important to me that Dr. McPherson be a man of honor, a man of his word, this purveyor of such gloom and doom. Had he been a womanizer, an alcoholic, a liar, cheat, or thief, I might have breathed a sigh of relief.

Perhaps unfortunately for him, he’s perfect for this message, as if he was born to carry the burden, to share the grim tidings of the oncoming, onslaught of collapse with a resistant world.

It accelerates … and we may need the strength, passion and resilience of this man of fine measure, Dr. Guy McPherson, more than ever.


Stay tuned for our news update with Dr. McPherson, which is coming soon.

This clip is based on an interview conducted 25 July 2014. All video clips from interviews with Reese are linked here.


Ownership: Nations and Boundaries, Passports and Empire

by Pauline Schneider

Anyone who has not been in a cave or under a rock these past few months (or years) has, at the very least, been peripherally following the horrific events taking place in the Middle East region currently known as Israel. It was formerly known as Palestine (to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite pop stars, the artist formerly and currently known as Prince).

The conflict raging there is fearsome, horrific, tragic, and apparently without end because neither side is able to make any compromise. The situation there has rendered all discourse on the topic intolerable. If you support Palestinians you are anti-Semitic. If you support the security of Israelis to live in safety, you are a Zionist fascist. This either-or, black-white, us-them thinking renders all discussion impossible. And that is a conundrum for those few who wish to see peace come without bloodshed or depravity.

There are reasons for this conundrum, the main one being our attachment to the ideas of Empire and nations, borders and citizenship. The idea of Empire and nations stems from a foundational, ideological fallacy that humans adopted when they decided to civilize themselves and abandon their former lifestyle. The fallacy is that of ownership, that is, that land can be owned. Native Americans seemed not to have fallen into the fallacy, perhaps because of their matriarchal/matrilineal cultures: “Native Americans believe they are closely linked with the land and everything that grows on the land or lives on the land. Because of this belief, the idea of “owning” land did not exist among the Native Americans. They lived off the land, but did not consider that they owned it.”

If your first reaction to this statement is a knee-jerk, “I own my own damn land/property and no one else can take it from me,” then you aren’t alone. I confess to have been similarly conditioned by the global civilized culture in this way. However, in the interest of personal growth and gaining introspection, perspective, and perhaps empathy for the plight of many, let me suggest a thought experiment. More simply, I suggest a parallel to owning land or property.

Not long ago it was considered not only normal, indeed, vital to own one or more human slaves. The fallacy of this condition, for the owner, was that to own the other human(s) the “owner” had to pay a serious price; the price of caring for the “owned” human(s) and the price of his/her own humanity, which was depleted through the necessary actions needed to insure that the “owned” human(s) did not escape. Those actions often included violence and degradation of the “owned” human(s), which in turn caused violence and degradation to the “owner’s” soul/being.

Unfortunately the fallacy of ownership has not been eradicated with the ending of state-sponsored slavery. (Slavery continues unabated in many forms around the world, including in the USA).

The ideological fallacy of ownership is championed daily by every nation that draws a line in the sand to identify its borders and boundaries. A country draws up its borders or, more typically, has them drawn up for them by a more powerful Empire. Historically this act was conducted by the British or the French, although the USA is now playing the game. The country then demands a tariff to enter or leave and a form of identification to keep track of the money going in and out.

When you fill out that declarations form upon entering or leaving a country, it’s not about protecting you or your fellow citizens, it’s about protecting the Empire’s “ownership” of the land and its resources. It’s about protecting the Empire’s money, not your money. It’s about the fallacy of “ownership” which must be championed, defended, and protected every day, every moment, and at great cost to the Empire and the people it says it serves. Consider that the greatest bulk of your federal tax dollars go to fund wars and the manufacturing of weapons that tear children apart, acts that follow directly from the notion of “owning” land or property. There is nothing else to do but to fight to the end defending that property or gaining more.

Most people alive today cannot remember a time when we did not need a passport to travel, a time when anyone could travel anywhere without a Visa or permission or having a guard molest you when leaving your own country. Charlie Chaplin created a fantastic short video about this issue, which helps explain why he was blacklisted and exiled from the USA.

Passports and Visas are a relatively new idea. In fact, one of the most onerous and sinister memories Jews have of Nazi Germany is being asked for their “papers,” a form of identification or “passport” that “permits” a person to remain in territory “owned” by a particular Empire. If those “papers” or “passports” were not in “order,” the person would be punished in any of a number of ways, the most extreme of which included imprisonment and/or “disappearance.” The most common way of dealing with someone without “papers” is exile.

Today Empires have other ways of dealing with people or nations whose “papers” or philosophies are not “in order.” They use economic sanctions to punish and arms sales to reward. If these methods fail, a coup is arranged to remove the offending leader who does not serve the larger, more powerful Empire.

As a child I lived in Greece and I remember when the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency arranged a coup of my country’s democratically elected government, in very much the same way the USA just did recently for the Ukraine. We lived in terror for weeks wondering if war would break out as tanks and helicopters circled the city. College students stood up against the military coup and they were quickly silenced and imprisoned. Martial law was imposed. My beloved guitar teacher was so worried he left the country and moved to Canada, as did many others. Thanks, Empire of the USA.

The Empire of the USA spends a great deal in weapons manufacturing and sales to reward those who honor the fallacy of “ownership.” The land currently known as Israel receives the largest of any nation in terms of financial support and military support from the Empire of the USA. This support goes to prop up the fallacy of land ownership or, as the leaders of Israel actually call it, occupation! They, like the slave owners a century before them, have to engage in necessary actions to maintain control of the “owned” land so that it does not “escape” them, and these actions are often violent in nature and cause harm to themselves as well as to those who also claim “ownership” of the land (parallels to slavery are apparent). The fallacy of “ownership” has left these humans in this region in a violent conundrum: neither wishes to relinquish “ownership.” However, the tragic truth is that neither “owns” the land any more than the slave owners owned slaves, and as long as humans embrace and engage in the fallacy of ownership, we will see human beings tearing each other’s hearts out for a scrap of soil already soaked in blood from centuries of civilized humans claiming the same fallacy that “This land is mine, god gave this land to me.”

So I ask: How do we move away from this “ownership” thinking? Does it start with challenging the use of passports? Declining to pay our war taxes? Educating people we meet who are willing to hear? Embracing Native American culture? All of the above? What do you think?


Catch a radio interview with Mark Thoma about his film, 22-After. Click here, go to the 8/10/2014 edition, and start listening at 1:38:30.

Comments 90

  • Pauline:

    Great comments and video.

  • “So I ask: How do we move away from this “ownership” thinking? Does it start with challenging the use of passports? Declining to pay our war taxes? Educating people we meet who are willing to hear? Embracing Native American culture? All of the above? What do you think?”

    Maybe it’s because I wasn’t born into owning property, and that I didn’t take on that mantle until I was well into adulthood, that it has always been obvious to me that at best we’re merely stewards, and at worst we’re rapists, of ground that will endure long after we’ve returned to it. Even trees have more ownership rights than we do. We’re short-timers.

    In answer to your questions, I think it’s very clear where we need to start. We need to, first, free ourselves of slavery to the entities we call “nations”.

    This is done largely by making them irrelevant to our daily lives, insomuch as we are able. Primarily this means learning to live with little or no money. So that we can starve the beast that lives off the life blood of working people and turns their labor into the stuff of bombs and war.

    If this sounds really hard, it’s because it it is. Simple, but not easy. But people, like Ray Jason, and many others, are doing it. It requires a great deal of courage,and amounts to “working without a net”, financially speaking. Most of us are slaves to a system that keeps us on a treadmill of working to get money to buy things we mostly don’t need. There are many bad things that result from this, but the worst one is that it provides a never-ending source of revenue for sociopaths in power to keep on keeping on until there is literally nothing left at all.

    The acts of disobedience you mentioned (like challenging the use of passports), are not likely to help. Because the world has become a very crowded place with more laws and rules than anyone would have imagined in my grandfather’s day, and enforcement has become rigorous and punishment excessive.

    I would say follow the lead of the refugees in the world. Crawl under the fence. Be anonymous. Be flexible and mobile. The powers that be are easily overwhelmed when they have to deal with large numbers of people engaged in passive disobedience. Don’t confront, just ignore if you can, and run if you can’t.

    In general, these problems will get better, but only after it gets much worse first, in terms of collapse. The institutions are monolithic and not particularly easy to change. They are going to go away though, as we spin down on the energy merry-go-round.

  • .
    please don’t have children.

  • ulvfugl touched upon the following critical truth, “If you want others to do things, perhaps you have to be more specific as to what they could do.” Thank you for the excellent question and thoughtful words of support!!!!

    First, a brief statement summarizing the objectives of Conservation Colombia:

    Ⅰ. Buy and protect in perpetuity as much habitat as possible with priority given to
    threatened ecosystems.

    Ⅱ. Sustainable agriculture (permaculture) and aquaponics at each reserve location to:

    1. Serve as a viable alternative for local farmers to emulate.
    2. Generate revenue to make each reserve sustainable.

    Ⅲ. Ecotourism:

    1. Generate revenue for reserve expansion.

    Ⅳ. Social Welfare/Public Outreach/Education:

    At each and every reserve location, the general population, government officials, and business interests remain unified in their enthusiastic support of our conservation efforts. We work hard to earn the trust and support of the various municipalities surrounding the properties. As an example, we provide clean drinking water gratis, and we only hire native residents to serve as forest guards.

    Ⅴ. Lobby local, state,and federal elected officials.

    VI. Serve as a lifetime refuge and source of employment for like-minded individuals and

    Further to your question, I encourage those interested to please contact Guy for my email address. YOU will be the instrument of change necessary to save life on Earth.

    Finally a quote from my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut: “The good Earth-we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy.”

  • Loved the interview, Reese.
    Had never seen that clip, Pauline-thanks.
    Xtreme Radio, I’ll get back on that-haven’t listened and I’ve not seen the movie.

  • I paraphrase:
    “All the women would be in trouble.”
    This itchy guy backed away from that quickly—WHATA DOUCHE

  • ,
    Please don’t have any children!

  • Ah, but the Jews have copies of an ancient book that says the land in the vicinity of Jerusalem is theirs and that they can own slaves because God wanted it that way.

    Maybe the Palestinians lost the book they had that said the same. Or maybe their ancestors we not smart enough to write their claims on scrolls.

    Anyway, it’s good to know the world is being policed by a state that was founded on land theft, slavery and the importation of malcontents, and in which all men were equal unless they were indigenous, brown, black, Chinese or Japanese etc. and in which corporation now have more rights than humans.

  • Ignore/resist where possible…
    carefully locate others who are sane…
    try to have a sense of humor about the others…
    Probably leaving some important ones out, but
    for social criticism, my list looks like this:
    Bruce, Carlin, Pryor, Hicks, and this guy…
    Somebody have another one or more, please post ’em.

  • Molecular biological systems maintain themselves by a separation from the environment, through the use of cell membranes that bring in useful/needed molecules and hold them in, leting/taking out unneeded/problematic molecules and keeping them out.

    The next big thing was modifying the local environment to gain survival advantage, by messenger molecules involved in quorum sensing and antibiotics to fend off threats. Multicellularity brought more control of cellular environment. Control of the external environment in multicellular animals through nest-building and external storage of resources (acorns & nuts) was helped along by sociality (honey and pollen). Control of environment to generate more product is seen biologically in ecosystems such as those that enrich the soil, but is culturally evolved and transmitted in humans, often with ecosystem disruption as in agriculture.

    When community (horizontal interactions) is usurped by society (vertical transactions) control of the human livestock becomes increasingly important. Each farm manages its livestock with different entitlements, and has to be careful about livestock wandering in from adjacent farms and claiming those entitlements.

    Eliminating traffic control would entail a concomitant elimination of entitlements: after crossing borders, animals do not line up for agricultural employment or at welfare offices or soup kitchens.

  • It’s The Overshoot

    Overshoot needs no conflation
    With problems of civilization;
    Humans aren’t distinct:
    Species all go extinct
    Whatever their organization.

  • Typical dishonesty from RE.

    The guy was depressed and took his own life. What has that got to do with pat and his advice or this blog ? No connection at all. You just want to smear this blog because most people here find you and your attitude repugnant.

    Just as you did on the last thread when you said that people here ‘bash men’. I don’t think anyone here ‘bashes men’, what they do is bash ignorant uneducated idiots, like yourself, do not understand what anarchy is, and what patriarchy is. A critique of patriarchy is not ‘bashing men’.

  • Pauline,

    Thanks for emphasizing Native American respect for land. If the land is the basis of our every breath, I can understand a people’s emphasis on land. I don’t know whether you could say that they put land before people?

  • @FriedrichKling

    There is no such thing as ‘ecotourism’.

    What is described as ‘ecotourism’ is actually a significant contributor to meltdown of the planet, since it involves use of internal combustion engines to move people from one place to another.

    We have had the Orwellian ‘eco-tourism’ nonsense rammed down our throats for well over a decade, and a few years ago the idiotic NZ Green Party went as far as promoting tourism as a ‘sustainable component of the New Zealand economy’.

  • @RE

    “Robin Williams just…”

    Wow. It really is that empty for you?

  • artleads: native folks don’t distinguish between themselves and the land – they are intertwined and interdependent, not hierarchically arranged. All things live, and have a right to live, including the wingeds, the four-leggeds, the two-leggeds, the crawling ones, the finned ones, the growing-from-the-earth ones… people no more ‘own’ the others or the land than they ‘own’ their own breath. Children are taught to give away, not some bought throw-away, but their most prized possessions, and knowing that the gifts they receive are someone else’s most prized possessions. Thus abundance is shared, given with heart. Interdependent in a world of abundance isn’t such a bad place, eh?

  • Somewhere along the line, some ancestor of all humankind (Homo erectus perhaps?) noticed that seeds that had fallen to the ground germinated and produced new plants. Someone intentionally strewed seeds and harvested plants: if someone else tried to harvest them, there was a problem with a sense of ownership of the plants. Ownership of the products of one’s labour and efforts, such as tools and weapons and hunted animal meat and skins would not be difficult in principle. Extending this to plants that one had planted is not that much of a stretch. Ownership of the land on which the plants grew is a big step, but a necessary one if the planting is to continue over many seasons, as in wheat fields in Syria and rice fields in China that have been under continuous cultivation for more than 5,000 years. Fixed buildings further enforce the concept of ownership of the land.

    To eradicate the sense of individual ownership of the land, communal effort at raising plants is needed along with the elimination of all fixed residential buildings. To eliminate community ownership of the land, would be a taller order, but would also involve elimination of all fixed buildings.

    Most of us are too far bred for “civilisation” to return to those primal ways.

  • Robin: Most of us are too far bred for “civilisation” to return to those primal ways.


  • Concerning borders, all vertebrates have territory that they will defend with their lives. Even indigenous people will defend a Territory from outsiders.

    To live within a boundary is natural as is defending it from outsiders. If we don’t defend our territories, we would be overrun & pushed out of that territory if others desire it which is what we see now at our borders.

    The same with states, the difference is with governments who use the peoples wealth to control who is allowed to enter or leave & not with the peoples interest in mind but with the profits of corporations who desire cheap or slave labor to maximize their profits at the expense of the citizens who live in that country.

    Our drug wars have fed brutal drug lords in those other countries who’s people are now fleeing in hopes of finding a “better life” here. People trafficker told them that the US would admit them if they could reach the border of the US.
    Some died trying to reach the border, abandoned by the trafficker in the desert who kept the money intended to take them to the border.

    But our “territory” already has too many people within but because of the power of greedy, rich corporations over our corrupt government, illegal immigrants are allowed to remain because they will accept a lower standard of living than those already here legally.

    With the decline of Oil & climate change, we will all end up in the same race down to extreme poverty & extinction, both the rich & greedy corporations as well as the poor we exploit.

    If any humans survive this 6th great extinction event, we will again be living in tribes & defending a territory just like almost every other vertebrate.
    Never again will a large civilization arise because the resources needed to support such a civilization have been exhausted.

  • Anarchist thinking – Proudhoun, What is Property, 1848 i.e. Property is theft. See Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Erico Malatesta, Luigi Galleani, Durutti, Godwin, Michael Bakunin, Percy and Mary Shelly, Wiliam Blake, Sans Coulettes etc… Stop buying the idiotic line that Anarchy = chaos. Don’t be a tool or a fool. There is a long line of Anarchist philosophy that emerges from and fits perfectly well with the western and US mindset. Stop asking me to do your homework. And the North American indigenous do not have a monopoly on indigeneity. Stop making others do your home work. Class dismissed.

  • @Paul Chefurka

    Regarding your remark to RE, please put that limbic thing away, it’s so disgusting. I wonder if Robin Williams had naturally low dopamine levels as laughter (comedy) actually works on the limbic system to release dopamine. Perhaps all of his life in comedy was a self-administration of dopamine and the rest of us were there to enjoy the show. Too bad it wasn’t enough for him, or the effect wore off. If he were a hierarchy, tycoon type, he could have gotten great reward by counting his money, but he wasn’t that type. He provided a lot of natural relief for the average man/woman enduring their incarceration in this technological nirvana we inhabit. Ever wonder why it’s socially important to be able to tell a good joke? Free dopamine, people are naturally drawn to it and often will pay for it.

  • @James

    Robin was bipolar. He struggled for years with that demon, and in the end he lost the fight. Success, money, fame, friends and love are as nothing in the face of such unimaginable inner agony. For someone to use that depth of pain to try and score a cheap personal point on a blog is utterly revolting, and serves to confirm much that I have come to suspect about RE in recent months.

    My comment stands as written.

  • @ James

    I second Paul Chefurka’s response to RE. What the HELL has a celebrity suicide got to do with pat or this thread or this blog ? It’s part of RE’s ongoing crude, absurd, obscene, offensive smear tactic to try and denigrate Guy Mcpherson by portraying him as leader of a death cult akin to Jim Jones, and deserves to be smacked down in the strongest terms.

    @ Wester

    You missed one of the best, Petr Kropotkin.


    However, Sheila Chambers has excellent points. All biological creatures require space to be, otherwise they cannot exist. There is competition, and so there is strife and fighting. This is inherent in the natural biological system at all scales.

    When there’s plenty of space and the living is easy, nobody bothers much about boundaries, but with greater population density and diminishing resources fighting will intensify, and boundaries become rigid and strictly enforced.

    I lived in a city, the lawyers and surveyors will measure the boundary lines between adjoining properties down to the half inch. Now I live in this wild country, nobody does that, the fences and hedge banks are much more approximate and roughly defined. And there’s common land here that is shared by many who have a right to use it and have to meet and agree on how they manage it.

  • Grant, Kirk and of course Friedrich – thanks.

    I think we all want the same things: healthy minds, bodies and ecosystems. Peace and security, a future humanity can look forward to. We want justice – at least see the crimes against life cease and be mitigated. I think we want reparations for the victims. Yet I think we also know that if horses were wishes we’d all be riders — and that the odds of these things happening universally make lottery tickets look like superb investment instruments. Those with open eyes and minds know that circumstances are dire and that we may have already sealed our fate. Which upon shallow observation might seem to ‘justify’ anger.

    If you know the story of my life, you know that I could easily ‘rationalize’ being angry. Extremely angry. But I know how counter productive that would be. Anger does not catalyze willing cooperation and generosity or improve relationships. When you’re destitute and powerless you need help, and anger doesn’t attract it. Anger isn’t pleasant to hang around with. It is repugnant and boring. It frightens and repels. It’s ugly. It stinks. I couldn’t sell it. No one really wanted it. Anger is a toxic effluent of the Death Culture. So I had to learn how to quell and defuse my anger to survive. To hold back the scream. Anger is an unsatisfying pastime which I cannot afford. So I dropped it. Strangely, after a while, I began to notice some interesting and positive side effects. Like how much lighter and better I felt when I stopped carrying all that anger deep in my gut. My suspicion was verified, anger is just another name for pain. Glints of joy began to penetrate my darkness. (a lot of the guilt and anger and depression I carried in my gut in my early years was from eating meat… but that’s another topic)

    I can’t imagine any alternative to peace that I’d find appealing. It seems that aggression always induces… more aggression. Hate inspires hate and destruction and devastation and misery. So, it seems to me that the only reason we’re still here at all, is the mostly unnoticed and usually unadmitted power of love. Love doesn’t threaten and strut like a blood thirsty obnoxious monster high on testosterone, but quietly heals, nurtures, sustains, inspires. Yet… somehow, being a pumped up angry freak has been sold by Mad-Avenue as refreshing fun… like diabetes inducing cola. I guess it isn’t difficult to dupe and hook the masses subliminally. History repeats. War after war, after war.

    But love is at the core of our will to live. Without love, I think we’d already be a smoking crater of radioactive dust. Despite all its bullying bluster and military-corporate promotion, despite being force fed the lie that love is weakness… anger hasn’t won… yet. The power of peace and love have generally prevailed — so far. Otherwise we’d be dead. Love is life. But we are very sick now, and getting sicker, and in our fevered derangement we have allowed love to be ridiculed and endangered – by the brutally ill. Anger -chest thumping militarism- might ‘win’ in the end. The door prize of this psychotic (profitable!) blood orgy? Extinction.

    I think that even suicidal people don’t really want to die – they want to live well, but can’t find their way in a world that is darkened and dying as compassion dies. Heartbroken romantics. A tearful salute to Robin Williams. R.I.P. bro. You turned your suffering inside out and gave us joy. May we all find the strength to wage peace and love in your memory.

  • “My comment stands as written”.

    Now that’s a vertebrate (one with a backbone). Thanks for the comment, and now for the absence of pusillanimity.

  • http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/not-yet/?utm_content=buffer3a6ea&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Not Yet?
    Paul R. Ehrlich and John Harte

    The summer 2014 issue of CALIFORNIA, the magazine of the University of California Alumni Association, was touted as the “Apocalypse Issue.” It contained articles, mostly excellent, on a series of potential California and global problems: asteroid collision, epidemics, extinction, climate disruption and earthquake. In stark contrast, though, was a summary article, “Apocalypse Later” by Brendan Buhler, interim Science Editor for the issue.

    Buhler’s essay hinges around two assertions about the future. On the one hand he asserts that apocalypse is something that is at worst far off in the future. It is “not yet”; there is time. Time for what? For the technological solutions that he asserts are just around the corner. To advise a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to confronting severe threats to us and our descendants, and a thoughtless confidence when it comes to future breakthroughs in technology, is a lethal combination; it is not the advice we and many of our scientist colleagues offer up in the classroom.

    Sadly, the drift toward apocalypse is propelled by four horsemen: ignorance, denial, faith, and greed. Education can cure ignorance, and most of the essays in this issue of CALIFORNIA are a useful step in that direction. But denial, blind faith, and greed are pervasive and recalcitrant, as Buhler demonstrates. Greed, long recognized as the basis of modern economic systems, is illustrated by Buhler’s assertions about salvation via new supplies of oil made available by melting ice caps. Those who would exploit these resources do so out of greed, not out of concern about the collapse of civilization, and in fact the exploitation of those resources will hasten collapse. Buhler expresses faith that farm yields will begin to rise again, faith in a second coming of the Green Revolution. And his assertion that biofuels could well be the path to sustainable energy denies a growing body of scientific literature demonstrating the many ways that reliance on biofuel technology will leave the planet in even worse shape than it currently is: more vulnerable to energy supply disruption because of energy dependence on a capricious climate, more depauperate of biodiversity, and shorter of food as critical resources such as water, nutrients, and land become even more depleted.

    To see denial in operation, consider the rant that frames the entire article: Buhler’s dismissal of the concerns about population size found in both Malthus and The Population Bomb. As is true of so many critics of Malthus and the “Bomb”, Buhler appears to have not understood the content of either. A widely cited passage from the latter stated “In the 1970s the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate, although many lives could be saved through dramatic programs to ‘stretch’ the carrying capacity of the earth by increasing food production. But these programs will only provide a stay of execution unless they are accompanied by determined and successful efforts at population control.”
    [read the rest if interested]

  • The cultivation of crops and the building of barns to keep animals is not the problem. It’s deciding that some deity is in charge of crops and animals and that some priest has a direct link to the gods is when all the trouble starts.

    And, gee whiz, RE. You’ve managed to lower my opinion of you and I didn’t that it could get any lower. Kudos to you for being the biggest creep around.

  • living in tribes & defending a territory just like almost every other vertebrate.

  • back in I-R
    back in I-R
    back in I-R-A-Q

  • .
    I’m pretty sure Robin Williams was not sacrificing himself to alleviate overpopulation…

    Civilization is the death cult. And, IC is the max death cult. Anyone with a car, a job, a house, an electric socket, is part of the death cult – yes, it’s also a suicide cult but worse – killing ourselves as well as every living thing on Earth.

    Plant no crops, build no cities.

    Please do not have any children!

  • Well, at least RE is consistent in demonstrating his complete lack of human emotions like empathy. I concur with Paul’s response as well.

    “So I ask: How do we move away from this “ownership” thinking? Does it start with challenging the use of passports? Declining to pay our war taxes? Educating people we meet who are willing to hear? Embracing Native American culture? All of the above? What do you think?”

    The root of ownership thinking is monocrop annual agriculture, specifically grains, which led to civilization. Immediately at the beginning this created hierarchy, those in possession of the surplus food “own” a resource in the form of readily available surplus energy needed by people to survive through times of less abundance (short term: ex. winters , long term: ex. droughts). This ownership gives perceived power and control to the rulers. Another outcome of increased energy availability in the form of food, is population growth. Humans are animals and more food, especially surplus food, means more humans. This leads inevitably to expansion of territory, grain agriculture requires large tracts of land cleared of all other species and habitat, and as you grow more grain you grow more people which means you need more land and so on.

    Ownership thinking further permeates the culture because in order to expand you must subjugate others to your will and way of life. As one of the ruling class you must convince yourself that it is your preordained right to do with the world as you will. That you “own” any land necessary to keep your power which in a growing population means conquering and thus becoming an owner of ever more lands and resources. This includes subjugating (owning) or killing all human and non-human life that require that same habitat for their own continuation.

    Extend this over time, add in industrialization, and you have large empires fighting horrific mechanized wars across the entire planet, ostensibly for fossil fuels or religion but at its root is the dominant paradigm of civilization which is violent and expansionist due to an ever expanding population and local denudation of resources, aka cities.

    I saw this quote in a DGR video the other day someone posted here from a Penan elder (indigenous) in Malaysia:

    “The land is sacred; it belongs to the countless numbers who are dead, the few who are living, and the multitudes of those yet to be born”

    The occupy movement was successful in promotion of the idea of the 1%, the ownership class in industrial civilization. All civilized humans living today represent an infinitesimal fraction of 1% of all life that has ever existed or will exist(?) on this planet. Yet the vast majority in that dominant culture believe in their absolute ownership of land, the right to do what they want where they want to whom they want without repercussion. Of course most of us here know that this is complete insanity.

    The idea of ownership is inherent to civilization so any answer taking civilization as a given will not be effective. War is also inherent to civilization, if you need land or other “resources” elsewhere in cities, trade will never be sufficiently reliable so the only alternative in that culture is to take what you need by force.

    I understand you likely meant embrace “land based cultures” or “indigenous cultures” rather than necessarily specifically “Native American culture”. Shifting our thinking to a belief in the Earth, life, land as sacred is certainly critical to ending “ownership” thinking. The problem is this means those in civilization must give up the perceived power over life and death the culture seems to afford them via agriculture. We all know now what the end result is when continuing this at all costs, global destruction and NTE. However, trying to get insane people to give up insane actions, including “ownership” thinking, which are causing this seems impossible. It’s why so many of us here believe that NTE is assured right?

    It doesn’t mean we give up but if the goal is to stop the destruction, due to belief in things like ownership, it must be rooted in change at a base level. The very premises of the dominant culture must be destroyed and replaced with beliefs that foster a culture that benefits, not kills, natural communities.

  • Hunting and gathering was and is the most successful life style in human history, it has sustained us and our precursor human species for over two million years. Meanwhile, agriculture is a 10,000 year experiment that has undoubtedly gone horribly wrong, both for us and most of the other living creatures that share this world with us. The only real certainty is that the results will not be pretty, in fact they will be horrible for us, but more importantly for our children, grandchildren and the rest of life on earth.

    Plant no crops, build no cities.

    Please do not have any children.

  • @goavs

    I agree – the concept of ownership, or private property, appeared at the same time as agriculture, and may have co-evolved with it in a feedback loop. (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/22/8830.full) Personal ownership of a surplus of an essential commodity like food automatically gives rise to a power hierarchy.

    One thing I would gently disagree with is your last paragraph. Replacing beliefs almost never works to change a society’s relationship to its resource infrastructure. The influence goes the other way: changes in the resource infrastructure reliably generate changes in a society’s beliefs.

    That is the premise of American anthropologist Marvin Harris’ framework called “Cultural Materialism”, particularly what he called the principle of “Probabilistic Infrastructural Determinism” (check “Cultural Materialism” on Wikipedia). That principle makes perfect sense to me based on my observations of cultural behavior over the last few decades. It also agrees with both ecologist H.T. Odum’s “Maximum Power Principle” and what I know about evolutionary psychology.

    The concept rubs activists the wrong way, because it implies that you can’t fix a problem with resource usage by changing peoples’ beliefs – which is what environmental activism is all about. It also rubs humanists the wrong way because it diminishes the significance of free will in large scale problem solving. Instead, it implies that some part (perhaps a lot) of human collective behavior is shaped or constrained by our evolutionary heritage, and perhaps also by the thermodynamic principles that underpin life itself.

    Following a line of thought similar to Marvin Harris, the Chilean biologist and complex systems theorist Humberto Maturana (who helped develop the concept of autopoeisis) independently developed a concept called “structural determinism”. This idea says that the future states of a complex system are determined by its current structure and the environmental influences acting on it. If neither the current state of the system nor its environment support a particular change, that change cannot happen.

    These ideas seem to explain much of the reason that degrowth (or even deceleration) can get no traction on a global scale, and why the abolition of the belief in private property won’t happen – and probably wouldn’t achieve the desired ends even if it did.

  • Here’s a superb piece on infrastructural determinism and environmental activism, penned by Richard Heinberg: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-06-16/want-to-change-the-world-read-this-first

  • Is there another apt metaphor that might describe what some of us are attempting to do here at NBL? Because whatever “it” may be, it clearly isn’t being attempted anywhere else. And while I’m fond of the ‘beach of doom’ moniker, I think we’re in need of something that better describes intent.

    Enter ‘the philosophic garden of near term extinction’ (or ‘the garden’ for short). It might be able to paint a picture or two, given mother nature has just planted a few seeds in the minds of the human race, which we’ve never seen before, nor will we ever again.

    And as far as I know, NBL is the only place that’s curious in watching them grow.

    The image of the garden is apropos for a couple of other reasons, namely for the likes of pests and weeds.

    So, what do we have emerging out of the ground in the philosophic garden of NTE?

    Well, on this side of acceptance, it looks to be the end of every story the human race has ever told. Hmm….you don’t say? And over here we have….everyone you know will probably starve to death if they don’t die an untimely death first. And this……the absence of human agency. And this one reads something like…..the ethics of suicide. And here we have hospice. Then there’s the redefining of the six questions of Socrates in light of NTE. And the ethics of hedonism vs. service. The ethics of killing others to survive. Exit strategies. Resignation vs. surrender. Resistance vs. surrender. Oh shit wait! I think I’m stepping on something, let me see………oh yes of course, it’s the greatest philosophical period in human history.

    For if the last twenty to forty years of our specie’s existence isn’t the greatest philosophical period in our history, then I must have had a terribly inept history professor.

    Now, as for the pests. In this metaphor, the pests are essentially those who unconsciously represent every vested interest that runs contrary to the acceptance of NTE, which happens to be most every vested interest we human possess. It’s not the greatest cognitive break of all time, because it doesn’t fundamentally either piss off or disquiet most everyone.

    But not all pests are created equal. There are the RE’s of the world, who practically require a deer fence to keep them out, and then there are those like Artleads who refuse to accept NTE, but still hang around to suck the essence out of existence for some unknown reason.

    Some pests require drastic measures, while others easily lose their heads to a few resident lady bugs.

    But it’s the weeds on the other hand that are far more difficult to discern, because they are philosophic seeds as well, and there have always been weeds in the garden.

    Weeds are dead and dying ideas, usually of heirloom variety. They are EVERY STORY that has ever been told. In other words, weeds are for bargaining. They are our most cherished ideals, which we hold onto for as long as possible. They are more or less, every idea we currently have. And they are still very much rooted in past paradigmatic thought and behavior, which the above essay from Pauline illustrates, in all due respect.

    Sorry to point fingers, but this essay is an example of regressing back to asking questions that NTE clearly has made superfluous. Orders of magnitude come with consequences.

    Here we have the same basic questions which hundreds of years of leftist studies has been asking to no avail. The ‘question of property’ is one of the cornerstone of Marxist theory alone, and that experiment failed with one hell of a whimper. But more importantly, it’s not useful to retreat back to questions based on concepts of human agency that simply don’t exist, especially at this late stage. And in my opinion, that is a small act of duplicity, but one we are all prone to make from time to time. Lord knows I do.

    It is intellectually disingenuous to one day accept NTE to be highly probable, and then turn around and query a scenario which requires an even longer time frame. We can’t have it both ways if we want to be honest with ourselves. It’s the weeds that make acceptance of NTE so incredibly profound, as well as unbelievably challenging to remove.

    Weeds can manifest in anyone, and most of the time we don’t even know they have, or that they’re completely overgrown and dead. Weeds are both our vacillating emotional states and our intellectual consternation over the unprecedence now before us.

    It’s the act of pulling the weeds, which is the unearthing of dead ideas, antiquated concepts, past ideals and old identities that has become the philosophical discourse in the garden of near term extinction.

    That which is unprecedented, supersedes all that has come before. We are in the process of learning a new modality in our wake.

    Put another way….

    In the philosophic garden of near term extinction.

    Our dear mother just planted a seed
    Irrefutable evidence for us to read
    like all gardens, it’s not without pests
    Constantly putting the gardeners to test
    As what to let flower and what to weed

  • First, thank you, Pauline, for that excerpt from “A King in New York.” I had not seen that before and am trying to track down the full movie. However, I think the following is a “better” (at least “fuller”) excerpt (and doesn’t include the annoying Auto-tune effect).

    Next, that led me to find the following clip that I think some (many?) of you will enjoy, if you haven’t already.

    Anarchy – AWESOME Speech

    Finally, does anyone else find it “odd” (and disheartening) how often some form of the term “belief” appears in articles and comments across all media, from all sources, even in the threads here on NBL? Does anyone else find that usage objectionable? Is it not [past] time to cast aside such foolishness and strive toward understanding? There are no “known unknowns” or “unknown unknowns.” There is only the “known” and the “unknown,” all the rest is in the realm of probability. Would not life, for individuals and in general, be “better” with the perspective of Feynman?

    My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose – J.B.S. Haldane

  • In 2011 [The Easy Way] postulated that the concept of ownership is derived from the making of stone tools and other implements and carrying those tools from one location to another: “That’s my knife/meat-scraper/axe/spear/head-basher. I selected the stone/stick and spent a lot of time making it.”

    Also: “This is our cave, the best in the district, really comfortable and warm, and we are not going to let another group occupy it.”

    Also: “This is the best water-hole anywhere near here. We must stay close and make sure no other group takes it.”

    Whilst it is true that many groups of ancient ancestors were nomadic (and some extant groups of humans are), human evolution and much cultural development seem to have been strongly influenced by ‘fixed-abode living’, as evidenced by cave paintings and piles of ancient refuse.

  • @Paul Chefurka

    Well stated and thanks for the links. I’ve read several books by Heinberg but had not yet seen that piece, it is excellent. He even mentions non-linear climate change and self-reinforcing feedbacks leading to a mass extinction.

    In regards to my last paragraph and your comments, you are correct.

    These beliefs will never change without alteration of the underlying system itself, in this case the resource infrastructure as you’ve stated. I did not clearly express that, probably because I felt it was already a long post and stopped before I clarified my thoughts. I agree with your assessment and Richard’s excellent essay.


    Very well crafted post. Your metaphor of ‘the philosophic garden of near term extinction’ is intriguing. If only we could rid ourselves of our garden pests here as easily as burying a few jars full of beer in the ground…

  • If our most cherished ideals are weeds, I guess industrial civilization is like big jug of “Round Up” we have been pulling the trigger on for for a couple of centuries…..jugs almost empty.

  • http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2014/08/200-kilometers-of-canadian-pacific.html

    200 Kilometers Of Canadian Pacific Coast Line Dead Zone Devoid of 99% Of All Life; Almost All Tidal Zone Species Missing Entirely

    [Listen to the video then scroll down and read – there’s a ton of information here including this: 2014 – List of 45+ Negative Global Tipping Points; and much on radiation.]

  • My response to the Depression issue WRT Robin Williams on the Diner:

    Quote from: JRM on Today at 01:05:39 PM

    Gawd I’m tired of that tired old phrase! “had been batting [insert disease or disorder here]”.

    It’s a Great Catch-All Explainer.

    “Ah, he was Depressed. That explains the Suicide. Now we can move on.”

    WHY was he depressed? WHY was it an ongoing problem through his life? WHY are SO MANY people Depressed? (Read Josh Ellis). WHY is Depression Systemic though the society? WHY do we attempt to resolve systemic Depression by Pharmaceuticals?

    The issue is of course that the society itself is sick, and individuals react to that. The more perceptive you are, the more depressing the whole situation is. Blot out your perceptions with drugs, booze etc, you are less depressed, but the situation has not improved.

    Pharmaceuticals treat the symptoms of depression, not the cause of it. The issue is we CAN’T treat the cause because no individual can fix the problems of the society as it evolved.

    I would make the guess that few H-Gs were ever “depressed”. Maybe over the loss of a loved one or something like that, but not systemic depression through the society. This is mostly an artifact of Industrialization I think.


  • Two weeks or so before the end of winter and my part of the world is finally getting some winter weather. Autumn and winter were both much milder than usual, Timaru the nearest small city to me had a record warm July, 7.6c above normal and only bettered by the 7.7c above average of 1988. Two days in July they hit just short of 22c, this in the middle of winter.
    Nicky Hager [ “a screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist” according to our PM ] today releases a book on NZ and the Five Eyes Spy Network, you might to read the reviews at least. Today as well our commissioner of police goes into Tuhoe country to “say sorry” for a police raid carried out there about 7 years ago. The Urewera forest, which is close to where I did my deer culling back in ’69, is where I once saw the most free and independent man I have ever seen in this country.
    In a wide river valley with bush covered hills, there came a Maori man riding on a stocky horse, rifle slung across his back, young spiker stag slung across the horse and dogs trailing behind. I doubt he paid either rates or taxes and this was in the mid 1990’s. It was an inspiring sight.
    I am pleased to see land “ownership being discussed here, it’s very important. Does anyone think that the Industrial Revolution would have happened if every British peasant had had ten or twenty acres meeting his every need?
    Personally I doubt it.

  • Robin Williams struggled with addiction for much of his life too. There seems to be a subset of people (Just Worlders) who cannot stand the idea that there are many reasons beyond ones control for human behavior and mental health. I think it has to do with control and superiority complexes. Their argument is almost always based on cherry picking of the lucky minority that grew up in alcoholic families and/or were abused and traumatized, yet did not end up struggling with addictions and other mental health problems. RE, you like gadgets right? They have one called a MRI and when you scan a severely depressed persons brain it shows it has shrunk. Some experts say parts of it are dying. Anti-depressants are not a panacea, but many depressed persons brains have regrown after taking them. From there, one can work on the root causes and hopefully avoid another episode or suicide. Sorry the evidence does not fit your world view and you cannot take credit or start moralizing for not being depressed.

  • @ RE:

    You wrote: “The issue is of course that the society itself is sick, and individuals react to that. The more perceptive you are, the more depressing the whole situation is. Blot out your perceptions with drugs, booze etc, you are less depressed, but the situation has not improved. Pharmaceuticals treat the symptoms of depression, not the cause of it. The issue is we CAN’T treat the cause because no individual can fix the problems of the society as it evolved. I would make the guess that few H-Gs were ever “depressed”. Maybe over the loss of a loved one or something like that, but not systemic depression through the society. This is mostly an artifact of Industrialization I think.”

    The issue is “…of course…”? I don’t think so. I strongly disagree. You clearly made these statements based on the extremely popular, strongly encouraged idea or “model” taught to us by our very psychologically sophisticated, multi-billion-dollar propaganda (AKA “advertising”) industry, that the things that happen to us “make us” feel as we do. (They want us to believe this myth so that we will buy more cars, houses, clothing, security systems, and so on and on.) More specifically, using only slightly different words you insisted that our sick society “makes” people depressed. Does divorce “make” people depressed? How do you account for some people feeling quite happy to get divorced? Does loss of a body part make people depressed? How do you account for many people not getting depressed after losing a body part?

    Related to this, do anti-depressants “…treat the symptoms of depression, not the cause of it” as you claim? Actually, this remains a complex and difficult question to answer. But, for sure, a large percentage of the time antidepressants DO give people a greatly increased opportunity to “fix” some or all of the causes of their depression, which includes two main possibilities: physical and psychological “causes” or “mechanisms”. In distinct contrast with your assumed model, and at risk of oversimplifying the research a little, two main kinds of mechanisms appear to produce depression: physical and psychological. Between these two mechanisms, the psychological mechanisms occur most commonly, by a long shot. Note that neither of these mechanisms equate with “the things that happen to us”, as our society has taught us and as you insisted.

    For the most part, by far, we upset ourSELVES with the stories we tell ourselves ABOUT the things that have happened to us, our BELIEFS ABOUT the things that have happened. If we strongly wish to and then forcefully and persistently work at it, we can: (1) DISCOVER our non-conscious thinking habits that we upset ourselves with (usually various kinds of nutty DEMANDS, “musts”, and “should” that we make on ourselves, of others, and/or of the world), (2) CHALLENGE that thinking, those stories and beliefs, and then (3) REPLACE them with new, more healthy, more adaptive stories and beliefs such that we do not push ourselves into “emotional overdrive”, instead keeping ourselves performing high on the performance/emotion arousal curve (see the Yerkes-Dodson law), not hurting ourselves and others with debilitating anger, anxiety, and depression.

    For a specific, relevant example related directly to near-term human extinction, we can stop our habitual, grandiose, narcissistic, human-supremacist, God-like thinking that NTHE presumably “…CANnot, SHOULD not, and/or MUST not happen!” We can replace that grandiose, nutty idea with something to the effect of “I would strongly prefer that NTHE not occur, and I might even work my butt off to prevent it, but no law of the universe says that it cannot or will not happen, and I can accept its extremely high probability without greatly upsetting myself about it.”

    “Few hunter-gatherers ever depressed”? You probably have this correct, and probably because of the thinking habits and values that they learned and habitually used within their cultures, not because their relatively healthy cultures “made them” less depressed.

  • And then we have the ever-so-popular, thoroughly nutty idea, so often so relevant for so many of us who comment here at NBL (and Fractal Planet) that “What you wrote made me angry!” Ah, no. I don’t think so. I upset MYSELF with the stories I told myself ABOUT what you wrote here at NBL.

  • How corporations “help the poor”


    Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor

    VAISHALI, India (AP) — The executives mingled over tea and sugar cookies, and the chatter was upbeat. Their industry, they said at a conference in the Indian capital, saves lives and brings roofs, walls and pipes to some of the world’s poorest people.

    Their product? Asbestos. Outlawed in much of the developed world, it is still going strong in the developing one. In India alone, the world’s biggest asbestos importer, it’s a $2 billion industry providing 300,000 jobs.

    The International Labor Organization, World Health Organization, medical researchers and more than 50 countries say the mineral should be banned; asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs and cause disease. The ILO estimates 100,000 people die from workplace exposure every year.

    But the industry executives at the asbestos conference, held in a luxury New Delhi hotel, said the risks are overblown.

    Instead, they described their business as a form of social welfare for hundreds of thousands of impoverished Indians still living in flimsy, mud-and-thatch huts.

    “We’re here not only to run our businesses, but to also serve the nation,” said Abhaya Shankar, a director of India’s Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association.

    [there’s more]

  • @ tom

    Thanks for the video on the Canadian coast…….damn.
    It’s a little late, but I’m sorry to hear about the surprised death of your dog.

  • Paul C,

    Thanks for the Harris-related link that was so easy to read. At times, it seemed to be minimizing the crisis, and then it would recover somewhat.

    I kept looking for concepts of visual infrastructure, but infrastructure was being used in a different sense.

    I liked the mention of looking to Permaculture, Ecovillages, etc. for more environmentally and socially sane ways to live. One thing we can do is at least to bring up these and/or other desirable alternatives whenever land-use decisions are made. Nobody has to listen, but we can at least bring up the subject. That should be our responsibility. Whether or not TPTB listen to us is their responsibility.

    I just came from my third public hearing on a massive development threat to the county. All I had to do was attend, thus helping with the show of numbers among the opposition to the development. People kept asking me what I thought would result from the commission voting. I said I had no idea, and was not particularly worried. I just try to show up.


    Thanks for that beautiful account. I know what you say is basically true, but I get stuck on he fact that society favors people stuff over land stuff to such an overwhelming degree. It’s as if we should provide Affirmative Action for the land. Just to say people and land should be indistinguishable from each other feels too mild, given the dramatic imbalance an obliviousness to it we have now. Maybe integration can be portrayed in more dramatic and compelling terms. I don’t know.

  • Pat: Please don’t have any children!

    Your message needs better spin. For example:

    Have Sex, not kids!

    Fucking for Fun!

    How Do You Like Your Eggs? Unfertilized.

    You could be pregnant for nine months, a mother forever or you could just give him a blow job instead.

    Hey guys, keep your sword sheathed!

    DINK: Double Income No Kids. It’s not exclusively gay. Fuck for fun!

  • Data confirms these three factors:

    Antarctica is warming
    Antarctic sea ice extent is increasing
    Antarctic land Ice mass is decreasing

    A warmer world seems to translate to more snow but faster loss of that snow in the spring/summer months.

    Antarctica is melting, not growing.

  • artleads: I believe the ‘affirmative action’ you speak of is here –

  • Some times it’s fun to pretend that there is cosmic justice

    Texas anti-gay leader Jonathan Saenz’s ex-wife left him for another woman


  • “I would make the guess that few H-Gs were ever “depressed”. ”

    Indeed, you are guessing. The main cause of depression is a combination of genetics & intrauterine chemical events. Anyone denying this is being as unscientific as the climate change deniers.

    I also recommend this book as a counterweight to the romanticism present in some of the comments:

    Sick Societies: Challenging the Myth of Primitive Harmony
    by Robert B. Edgerton

  • And now … FrankenGenes from the laboratory that will spread like wildfire through a population. FUBAR.

  • Daniel: thanks for your kind thought.

    It’s probably “new post” day here on the beach (or in the garden, as you prefer) so i’ll wait til the new thread emerges before commenting.

  • “But, for sure, a large percentage of the time antidepressants DO give people a greatly increased opportunity to “fix” some or all of the causes of their depression, which includes two main possibilities: physical and psychological “causes” or “mechanisms”.”-BN

    Ah, OK, sign me up for some Citalopram! I’m sure everything will be OK after I take some.


    Selecting one that’s right for you

    Confused by the choice in antidepressants? With persistence, you and your doctor should find one that works so that you can enjoy life more fully again. By Mayo Clinic Staff
    Managing Depression

    Subscribe to our Managing Depression e-newsletter to stay up to date on depression topics.
    Sign up now

    Antidepressants are a popular treatment choice for those with moderate or severe depression. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can reduce your symptoms. The first antidepressant you try may work fine. But if it doesn’t relieve your symptoms, or it causes side effects that bother you, you may need to try another.

    But don’t give up. A number of antidepressants are available, and chances are you’ll be able to find one that works well for you.

    Nice to see Pat has changed his Tagline now. Progress.


  • Reduce the suffering for others. Off yourself!

  • Now sit right back and you’ll here a tale
    A tale of a fateful clock
    That started on a violent shore
    Aboard this tiny rock

    Evolution sometimes took a chance
    All life is simply peers
    Bacteria grew arms and legs
    in 4 billion years
    in 4 billion years

    The weather started getting rough
    the tiny rock was tossed
    Then periods of trying times
    most life would be lost
    most life would be lost

    The rock’s is ruined, polluted and
    The end is right in place
    With Fol-lo-wers
    The fat elite
    Filthy greed and jealousy
    the narcissists
    Science and fairy-tales
    All soaring through dark space

    So this is the tale of the Homo Sapiens
    They were here for a very short time
    They fucked things up
    And killed most life
    They seldom learned, “Be kind”

    Evolution and the fat elite
    Industry and Ag
    Society and technology
    All are in the bag

    No phone, no lights, no motor car
    Not a single luxury
    No food stored up-starvation
    It’s as primitive as can be

    So kiss your ass goodbye my friends
    You’re finished and it’s a lock
    Seven-billion dieing peers of mine
    Are running out the clock

    I like the beach and the garden. Only thing is, The Garden of Philosophy might scare some away.

  • Another (perhaps more humane?) view of the issue du jour.

    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

    In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

    What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé. These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

  • @Paul, really? Mental illness caused by spirits?

    Suppose I said – “climate change was caused by spirits, and thus the solution is to exorcise those spirits. Only hidebound materialist reductionists could think it was actually due to CO2!”

    Posting stuff like this doesn’t really help the credibility of this website.

  • I’ve posted the latest tidbits, including an interview with Reese Jones, two questions to ponder, and a link to last night’s radio show. Catch it here.

  • @ Bud Nye

    I very much agree with you reply to RE on the causes of depression.
    So well analysed. Thanks!

  • http://news.yahoo.com/snowden–nsa-has-secret–monstermind–program-that-operates-without-human-intervention-022706070.html

    Snowden: NSA has secret ‘MonsterMind’ program that operates without human intervention


    In his latest revelation, Snowden tells WIRED magazine that the NSA has a secret, autonomous program called “Monstermind” that can respond to cyberattacks from other countries without human intervention.

    And beyond domestic privacy concerns, Snowden warns, the program could cause an international diplomacy nightmare for the U.S. as well, because the cyberattacks launched by MonsterMind are often routed through third-party computers housed in foreign countries.

    “These attacks can be spoofed,” Snowden said. “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

    There’s also a giant (like 7 page) article on Snowden over at Wired.

  • Thanks so much, Dorothy! I don’t know what next regarding this declaration. If there were local meetings on the issue, I would attend and try to make practical sense of it. I’m behind this in spirit, that’s for sure.

    “artleads: I believe the ‘affirmative action’ you speak of is here –


    “Paul Chefurka Says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    Here’s a superb piece on infrastructural determinism and environmental activism, penned by Richard Heinberg: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-06-16/want-to-change-the-world-read-this-first

  • .
    @ Daniel:
    I’m curious, how does one “suck the essence out of existence?” I’d like to give it a try.
    @ Grant:
    You forgot this (from The Church of Euthanasia):
    The Four Pillars:
    suicide · abortion
    cannibalism · sodomy
    Antihumanism is a relatively new philosophy, which emerged along with critique of industrialism in the modern era, particularly after WWI. Antihumanism gathered strength from the nihilism of post-1960s counterculture and is now evolving rapidly, so there’s already a wide spectrum. At the moderate end are mainstream novelists such as Kurt Vonnegut (“Breakfast of Champions”), Margaret Atwood (“Oryx and Crake”), and Paul Theroux (“O-Zone”). All of these books contain antihuman concepts and observations, though their authors probably wouldn’t use the word. At the extreme end are actual organizations such as The Church of Euthanasia, VHEMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement), and GLF (Gaia Liberation Front).

    In the sciences antihumanism is usually expressed by paleontologists and biologists, and increasingly by climate scientists. Some current examples are Jeremy Jackson and Kevin Anderson. Edward O. Wilson is best known for his work on biological diversity, but he was also the first biologist to seriously propose that intelligence snuffs itself out, and that this solves Fermi’s paradox: we don’t receive messages from the stars because by the time an alien life form has enough power to transmit that far, it’s already on the threshold of annihilating itself, and the odds of its brief blaze of glory lining up with ours are infinitesimal. This is closely related to the view that life (particularly human life) creates short-term order at the cost of accelerating the entropy of its environment, in stark contrast to the idealistic Gaia theory. For example paleontologist Peter Ward’s Medea Hypothesis demolishes the notion that life is self-regulating, and compares life to a drunk stumbling around in a darkened room.

    Antihumanism can be usefully contrasted with humanism. Humanism derives from the ancient Greek notion that man is the measure of all things, and that without human existence nothing would have value. Concealed within this is the assumption that only humans experience value. This assumption has no basis in biology, but is nonetheless one of the pillars of modern civilization, because it provides justification for extermination of other species. The denial of intrinsic value to nonhuman life is the essence of speciesism, and is closely related to the dogma of dominion, i.e. that it’s man’s destiny to subjugate all other living things (a concept that Edward O. Wilson attacked in his “Consilience”).

    Beyond humanism is transhumanism, sometimes known as futurism or extropianism. This is the belief that not only is man the measure of all things, but the only part of him that matters is his mind, and the sooner his mind is freed from the limitations of biology the better. The moderate form is life extension and cryogenics, while the extreme form is downloading human intelligence into robots and conquering outer space, like the Daleks on Dr. Who. Famous transhumanists include Ray Kurzweil, and Stephen Hawking who recently stated that humanity’s only hope is to escape to other planets before we destroy this one. Antihumanists regard transhumanists as archenemies, due to their flagrant unconcern for nonhumans. From the antihuman point of view, transhumanism bears a striking resemblance to Christianity. Both are escapist, characterized by unshakable belief that humans belong somewhere else, i.e. Heaven/Outer Space. Both express contempt for biology, e.g. Catholic repression of sexuality, and transhumanist use of derogatory terms such as meatspace. Both are motivated by fear of death, and presumably of life too, since one engenders the other (literally via natural selection). Both reject the limits of existence on earth, and promulgate a fantasy that justifies exceeding those limits. The danger isn’t that the fantasy will be realized, but that deluded people will make earth unsuitable for life far sooner than would have otherwise been the case.

    Unlike mere misanthropy, antihumanism is distinguished by reverence for nonhuman life. Biological diversity is considered an axiomatic value, and contrasted with the ugliness and sterility of human monoculture. Earth is described as a “wrecked planet” (Kurt Vonnegut), and various measures are called for to prevent further damage, the most obvious being drastic reduction or elimination of the human population. The pre-human fecundity of earth is idolized, and provides a reference for demonstrating impoverishment of ecosystems. This relates to the shifting baseline syndrome posited by Jeremy Jackson and others, in which each successive generation wrongly assumes the degree of biological diversity they observe was also seen in previous generations.

    The central paradox of antihumanism is that humans evolved, and are therefore no more or less natural than any other living thing. Stephen Jay Gould argued convincingly that evolution doesn’t converge on anything except fitness for conditions: there are no good or bad organisms, just ones that survive, and mostly ones that don’t. Richard Dawkins went even further and described organisms as mere transport for genes, in which case the DNA we share with all other eukaryotes is the winner, regardless of what humans do. One proposed resolution is that humans are malignant life, as argued by A. Kent MacDougall in Humans As Cancer. This sidesteps the problem however, because cancer is also natural, and closely related to viruses. The higher-order question is ethical: why is malignancy bad, and from what point of view is its badness determined?

    The paradox of human naturalness could possibly be resolved by arguing that sentience is not intelligence but the ability to feel pain and pleasure. What distinguishes humans from other primates is the existential suffering that results from self-knowledge, particularly fear of death. Since humans have such capacity for suffering, we should have equally developed empathy, but instead we succumb to corruption, creating hellish conditions for humans and nonhumans alike. Thus despite our naturalness, humans can and should be blamed for wrecking the planet, precisely because we’re capable of feeling remorse for having done so. If we’re unable to reform ourselves, as seems increasingly to be the case, we should have the decency to step aside and give other organisms a chance. Apes might re-evolve back into us, but they might not, and either way it won’t be our fault.

  • @Pat

    That was breathtakingly good. Thank you!

  • .
    here’s more:
    people with a good grasp of reality tend to have less impact precisely because they see the tremendous power of irrational, magical thinking in human society, and become overwhelmed, defeatist, and resigned to their fate; they tend to spend too much energy fighting to maintain their convictions against the shit-tide of nonsense from the legions of zombies

    on the other hand the zombies get plenty of positive reinforcement and find strength in numbers

    “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”

  • @ Absent

    Posting stuff like this doesn’t really help the credibility of this website.

    You need to broaden your own insight, understanding and credibility before you concern yourself with the credibility of others.


  • bravo pat! Your last two comments were amazing and inspirational in some odd way (to me) . . .

    Guy: thanks for the link to your show last evening. I was at a lymphoma fundraiser and couldn’t find the show this morning on their site.

    dorothy: thanks for the link

    Paul: interesting stuff; I enjoy reading Heinberg

  • “Paul, really? Mental illness caused by spirits?

    Suppose I said – “climate change was caused by spirits, and thus the solution is to exorcise those spirits. Only hidebound materialist reductionists could think it was actually due to CO2!”

    Posting stuff like this doesn’t really help the credibility of this website.”


    Providing a link to how other cultures dealt is not the same as promoting a position.

    Who cares about the credibility of this website? Does it matter? Are we looking for approval from society? From the corrupt academic community? Corporate sponsorship? Impress the ladies? Status seeking is one of the main drivers that got us here.

    Isn’t loss of status or not having much a major factor in depression?

  • @ Pat

    Very well written, truly thought provoking!

    As for sucking the essence out of existence…just a play on words from Satre: existence precedes essence, but you would have to be an aphid to pull it off.

  • @ulvfugl

    I’m uninterested in claims made without evidence. I don’t consider accepting them as “broadening” one’s insight, but engaging in unchecked wish fulfillment and imaginative fancies.

    I note that the link you provided features a quote by RD Laing, a theorist who is quite relevant to the discussion regarding mental illness. He claimed that schizophrenia was caused by inter-familial dynamics, and he caused incalculable suffering to the family members of schizophrenics. Can you imagine the guilt some of them felt? Of course, he was completely wrong, and scanning the brains of schizophrenics proved it.

    So, no, schizophrenia is not ultimately caused by spirits or Laing’s double-binds, but GENETICS. This is not speculation. The largest genome study (of some 37,000 sufferers) recently confirmed this. There are environmental factors too, of course, but the genes come first, and people without the genetic predisposition won’t be schizophrenic, whatever imaginary spooky spirits are floating around.

    It’s also rather insulting to tell people who are suffering horribly that they are simply on the way to a “shamanic” awakening (I could also note that calling people in Africa “shamans” is slightly odd as well, as shamans reside in Siberia).

    The largest group denying climate change prefer their religious fantasies to the science (right wing christians). It is hypocritical to invoke science to point out climate change and then turn around and deny that science has anything relevant to say regarding how our brains actually function.

    So, yes, it definitely erodes the credibility of this website, sorry.

  • @ Absent

    I’m uninterested in claims made without evidence. I don’t consider accepting them as “broadening” one’s insight, but engaging in unchecked wish fulfillment and imaginative fancies.

    Yes, it’s already clear that you are a left-brain person with the typical narrow minded view that insists that only ‘rational’ and ‘objective’ evidence counts as having any signficance, and one’s own personal direct experience is irrelevant and meaningless.

    Well, I don’t accept that position. If I hear voices, I hear voices, and I’m damned if I’m going to allow some fucking theoretician deny me my own personal experience, and pathologise it, just because their fucking text books ‘say it is so’, and they are unlucky enough not to hear voices themselves.

    As far as I am concerned, it’s you that’s living in the Dark Age of outdated mumbo jumbo reductionist scientism.

    I never even hinted that schizophrenia is not caused by genetic factors, the point is what do you do with someone who experiences the experiences ?

    The CAUSE is neither here nor there, really. As with any illness or affliction, there can be multiple causes, and it may never be clear in a particular case.

    So what do you do with the individual ?
    Do you heal them, or do you make them worse ? In this soceity, the current medical paradigm without any doubt at all, makes them worse, adds suffering to suffering, misery to misery, and damage to damage.

    (I could also note that calling people in Africa “shamans” is slightly odd as well, as shamans reside in Siberia).

    That’s just plain ignorance on your part. Of course the WORD comes from a specific local Siberian ethnic group, but the social role is global and dates back hundreds of thousands of years, and so the term has come to be used by anthropologists to cover that general phenomenon.

    The largest group denying climate change prefer their religious fantasies to the science (right wing christians). It is hypocritical to invoke science to point out climate change and then turn around and deny that science has anything relevant to say regarding how our brains actually function.

    But nobody SAID that, that’s a strawman that you brought here, because you assumed that we are dumb and you know better.

    Neither Paul Chefurka nor myself ‘deny that science has anything relevant to say regarding how our brains actually function’.

  • I don’t have much to add to ulvfugl’s excellent comment. Just this one point about credibility:

    The credibility of this blog, like any other, rests with its owner. All blogs attract readers and commenters with a wide variety of views. It’s is to Guy’s credit that he has created a largely unmoderated forum for the expression of those views – some of which may only be tangentially related to the science that he brings as its foundation. That degree of freedom of expression is what gives it the vitality and human interest that makes it such a fascinating corner of the internet.

    I make no apology for having interests beyond pure materialism, nor for bringing them to this conversation from time to time. On the other end of that spectrum, I have also used these threads as a forum for developing my view that human behavior – especially as related to our devouring and destruction of the biosphere – is shaped and constrained by a combination of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, evolutionary adaptations both physical and psychological, and the science of complexity. The whiff of determinism that accompanies those views is about as far from the spirit world as one can get.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with both ends of my spectrum of views. In fact ulvfugl and I have had “frank exchanges of views” in the past over the determinism and reductionism of my thermodynamic views. So your vehemence neither surprises nor concerns me. NBL is all the richer for accommodating these debates.

  • .
    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.

    Voltaire, Essay on Tolerance

  • @ Paul Chefurka

    Thankyou for the compliment.


    Facts about nuclear weapons


  • .

    Even though human consciousness is more elaborate than our predecessors possessed, our brains still retain the same kind of thinking that underlies all animal thinking.


    Scientists have gathered substantial data to show that the average human being is incapable of making higher-order judgments because of an apparent hole in their brains. Further evidence of humans choosing to solve problems that end up causing even greater negative consequences has been gathered.

    “This could explain why we humans decided to develop industrial machines running on fossil fuels to exploit natural resources more rapidly even when the fact that such fuels were finite in scope and the burning of carbon produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Brothers. “I’ve often wondered how humans could believe that economic and population growth could go on for infinity when all of the science we know tells us not,” added Dr. Swansong. “Now I think we know,” she added, “Most people seem to have this ‘black hole’ in their brains where good judgments simply disappear through the event horizon.”

    – when confronted with the evil I have wrought, I can say I have a hole in my head!

  • pat: if I may, let me add this to your comment to show the complete lack of intelligence humans actually have (because we believe in myths like “economics” and “religion” that supposedly give us “comfort”)

    Humans Need Not Apply

  • “For the continued survival of Earth’s plant, animal, and, indeed, human life, that kind of runaway ignorance is a frightening prospect and one that we can no longer afford to discount.”

  • this thread will not die

  • driving down the road a sign caught my eye:

    Susan Does Doggie Styles (oh, it’s pet grooming!)

  • Absent said:
    “He claimed that schizophrenia was caused by inter-familial dynamics, and he caused incalculable suffering to the family members of schizophrenics. Can you imagine the guilt some of them felt? Of course, he was completely wrong, and scanning the brains of schizophrenics proved it.
    So, no, schizophrenia is not ultimately caused by spirits or Laing’s double-binds, but GENETICS. This is not speculation. The largest genome study (of some 37,000 sufferers) recently confirmed this. There are environmental factors too, of course, but the genes come first, and people without the genetic predisposition won’t be schizophrenic, whatever imaginary spooky spirits are floating around.”

    I suspect Absent will be ‘uninterested’ in the following:

    Psychiatry is a method of social control, and it’s diagnostic labels- schizophrenia, depression and the rest, really mean nothing more than: “This mode of perception/behaviour is forbidden”. Much of the ‘horrible suffering’ associated with these bogus conditions stems from the persecution/dehumanisation a ‘labelled’ person can expect from society.

    Scanning the brains of ‘schizophrenics’ proves what? That ‘schizophrenic’ brains are different than so-called ‘normal’ brains? By nature, nurture, or iatrogenically? Isn’t it the case that these brain scans were conducted on people who had already endured years of psychiatric/pharmaceutical/ECT intervention, which is itself likely to have affected their brain structure/chemistry?

    It’s hardly surprising that if you pathologise perception/behaviour because it contravenes an arbitrary norm, and then, either with their consent or often by incarceration and coercion, mess with the brain-chemistry of the people who exhibit that perception/behaviour, often for years, and then scan their brains, you might find that their brains have indeed become ‘different’ from those which never had to endure such interventions.

    Even if people labelled ‘schizophrenic’ are proven to share a common gene, so what? You could just as easily choose to pathologise the people who lack this gene as those who possess it. If you accept the premise of this blog, it’s obvious that ‘normal’ perception/behaviour might actually be insane, if you define sanity as being a state tending to produce perception/behaviour enhancing the possibility of continuation of life on this planet. The nuclear family is the primal socialisation scene in which such ‘normalcy’ is inculcated.

    In as much as any behaviour can be said to be ‘adaptive’ to looming NTE, I would argue that, say, staring at a wall for days or weeks in a continuous state of existential terror is just as adaptive, if not more so, than anything else anyone is likely to do.

  • @ 18000days

    Thanks for that. Yes, Absent got off far too lightly, but I am busy elsewhere.

    The ‘ways of being’ that are permitted are being legislated and policed by a whole bunch of pernicious and obnoxious social forces, the profits of Big Pharma probably being the most outrageous, where they seek to make every human state some sort of ‘condition’ that is suspect and requiring some kind of medical intervention using their products.

    ‘Well adjusted’ folk are the ones who meekly comply with the requirements of The Machine and accept the brutality, horror and injustice as ‘normal’.

    Anybody who ‘Can’t take it anymore’ must be suffering from some sort of neuropathology, and is stigmatized and in line with the standard mechanistic, materialist paradigm, Datta’s meat robotics, given a pill, or a pile of pills to swallow.

    So now there are children in the USA as young as THREE who get medicated for being, well, whatever…. and the whole population, all the way up to the geriatrics, who don’t know who they are, or where they are, get stuffed with all kinds of pharmaceuticals, so they are all zonked out of their minds most of the time.

    Laing spoke from the heart, with love and compassion, because he cared about human beings. Absent talks about human beings as machines, meat robots. That’s the difference.

    And all this goes back, originally, to Thales, Plato, et al, but mostly to Descartes.

    So we have this insane ‘divide and rule’ culture in the USA, where people like Absent immediately assume, that if someone mentions ‘spirits’ they must be ‘anti-science’ and ‘pro-biblical fundamentalist christianity’.

    But this is nonsensical. The Spiritual v. Material split that emanates from the birth of modern science with Descartes, Newton, did not come about because of some rational, reasoned, logical, process, as so many believe and maintain. That’s lies, propaganda, a myth.

    It came about as a matter of political expediency, it was all about POWER, the Church realised it was losing the battle, as the printing press spread news about scientific discoveries, and it lost control over information, so it conceded the Material Domain, and said ‘Okay, you guys can have all the visible solid stuff that can be measured and we’ll keep all the invisible immaterial spiritual stuff that cannot be measured’.

    It was NOT a rational SCIENTIFIC choice based on evidence AT ALL, it was made on the battlefield and people were being burned alive.

    Descartes got his inspiration FROM THE SPIRITUAL DOMAIN, from an Angel, and of Newton’s papers, something like 98% were deemed unpublishable because they were full of alchemy and astrology and God and demons and all kinds of stuff that completely contradicted the narrative that the scientists want the public to believe, i.e. that the history of science is all reason and rationality and logic – and LOGIC, btw, came from Parmenides, who was given it by a Goddess !

    So the whole divide between the spiritual and the material is bullshit in the first place, and it’s part of SCIENTISM, as opposed to SCIENCE, and is a ridiculous dogma, a creed, that many schools and universities teach, as a sort of article of faith, akin to belief in the Virgin Birth. Anybody who questions it, gets attacked as a heretic.

    What’s even worse, these guys, the ones who insist that they are ‘rational’, the scientists and materialists who reject and deride all possibility of anything ‘spiritual’, are at the root of the trashing of the planet, because they worship technology and progress, which is one of the major destructive forces.

  • @ ulvfugl & Paul Cherfuka,
    I hope I get to meet you both someday.
    If I found myself stuck in the bottleneck with you both, I would find it an honor, indeed a joy! If only for the few short hours we had left.
    Whereas, if I ended up with certain others who post here (who shall remain nameless but we know who they are), I’d have to demure myself from this existence post haste and bash my brains on the nearest rock.

    A couple things more:
    Collin: thank you for that great Anarchist speech video. Shared it!

    Pat: anti-humanist. Yes! Don’t procreate. Yes!
    But I agree with Grant, sex is awesome, having babies is horrible (first hand experience although the nursing part is a pretty spectacular experience). Fuck like bunnies and use condoms, don’t be afraid of abortions. There is no God.

    Oh dear, is that too crass? Does it harm the credibility of this page? Let me first check with @Absent, the self imposed critic and sensor of NBL, I hope he’s okay with that! I’d feel awful if he disapproved! (lol, Not!)

    Finally, if anyone would like to screen the Going Dark documentary to offer feedback, please message me through Guy and I’ll give you the password on Vimeo.

  • .
    The essence of human beings is that they are social i.e. a set of social relations. If you divorce a human being from all social interaction (deprive him or her of any socialization) will you end up with a human being? No. You can’t sit, eat, defecate, walk, not even crawl, without socialization. The contradiction of this system is that we are socialized to be anti social, and so the anti-social individualistic self (appearance) parades as a human essence in capitalist society. This is a point Hegel (at least with respect to the human being as a social animal) and Marx emphasize in their works. (talk) 23:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

    One work that critiques these sort of beliefs is Foucault’s anti-humanist Madness and Civilization. It highlights that in the 18th century, because it was believed that the capacity to reason was what distinguished a human being from an animal, insane people could be treated as animals, as they had renounced reason. Hanshans23 (talk) 03:20, 18 October 2008 (UTC)