Yet More NTHE Questions

Apart from NTE, is there any significant philosophical issue at the present time?

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Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?

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McPherson delivered a presentation on the campus of California State University in Chico on 30 September 2014. Find it here.
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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

This week’s show, during which McPherson goes solo and interviews Cory Morningstar, is here.

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here

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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 60

  • Apart from NTE, is there any significant philosophical issue at the present time?

    Really? Most philosophical questions are still alive and well, which is what makes philosophy so much fun. Figuring out What The Fuck Does All This Mean? is at the heart of most, if not all. I’m under the impression that life is absurd. It all might be meaningless, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

    **

    Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?

    “You can like the life your living
    you can live the life you like…”

    It depends on how one defines “excellence.” The older I get, the more important it is seems to connect to people (real people, not you horrible online creatures) and that even something as simple as saying ‘hello’ to a stranger might make a difference in both your lives. It’s trite but true: be kind.

  • The triumph of fascism over democracy.

    The triumph of deceit over truth.

    The triumph of religion over spirituality.

    The triumph of irrationality over logic.

    The triumph of ‘the machine’ over humanity.

  • No significant philosophical issues:

    18.80
    
No heaven, no hell,

    no liberation for the living.

    In short, Consciousness is Void.
    What more can be said?

    Nothing redeeming, as there is nothing to redeem:

    18.69

    What remains for One

    who is Consciousness itself,
    who sees the non-existence

    of a phenomenal world
    created by the mere thought of a name?

    – Astavamra Gita

  • The triumph of disgrace over honor

    The triumph of military over warrior.

    The triumph of money over life.

    The triumph of aggression over intelligence

    The triumph of psychopathy over compassion.

  • My first sense was that this is a question with my name on it. I decided to look for the definition of philosophical to be sure I understood the question and to be sure to answer it properly. I found it defined two-fold as follows: 1. related or devoted to the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence; and, 2. having or showing a calm attitude toward disappointments or difficulties, “he was philosophical about losing the contract.” This definition does help me to understand my sense that I do have an answer to the question of whether, apart from NTE, there is any significant philosophical question at the present time.

    In relation to the first part of the definition of “philosophical”, concerning the fundamental nature of reality, etc., I believe a significant question at the present time, apart from NTE, to be “what are we, if anything, besides our material bodies?” While this presents as a question for and of all ages and times, and not just the present, in my experience in this lifetime, at age 51 at present, something has and is compelling me to tackle this question on a level not much different from breathing, in that I feel it as almost involitional, critical to my existence, leading me forward on a journey. That it does dove tail incredibly with NTE; I cannot consider a coincidence, although this spiritual inquiry/journey began for me well before the subject of NTE came into my view. In the course of this compelled journey, I’ve come across many others expressing a similar sense of compulsion, whether or not also expressing awares of the environmental challenges we face, and so I conclude that it is a separate but obviously related philosophical question of significance at the present time.

    Many have also noted the seeming convergence of all the “stories” told in religious and spiritual contexts, also having an historical and present day nexus to our planetary woes. And, while I have taken quite a thumping for my interest in crop circles as discussed on the forum section of this site, I see the resounding message throughout the circles as being about some sort of “marriage” of science and spirit which perhaps we have missed or forgotten and need to be reminded of or informed of by the circle makers (whoever or whatever they might be and for me that remains a question; whereas, I understand that for many there is no question: they are manmade. For me, who or what made them is peripheral to what they inspire and the sense of meaning they imbue, the flower of life being the most frequently portrayed of symbols within them – certainly they are a call to examine the mystery and beauty of life which is all that ultimately “holds” any of us).

    With regard to the second part of the definition of “philosophical”, i.e. having or showing a calm attitude toward disappointments or difficulties, I find significance in the calm I experience while examining the condition of the human race, again relative to NTE, although not necessarily. I consider whether it is a privilege to live at this point in time when the run of the human species might be at an end and one can calmly consider how that might not be a bad thing, being as it’s out of our own, individual, hands. Through what is unfolding, rapidly now, in our lifetimes, we have an exquisite lense through which to view human achievement, or the lack thereof, as we are humbled, irrespective of our belief in “God” or not, enough to get beyond the collective ego of our species, in a valid manner.

    As the above likely suggests, to me, the redeeming aspect of the path that led us here and what a life of excellence is at this point, is pretty simple – detach from the material as much as possible, examine consciousness, consider that we are more than our bodies and let that aspect of yourself roll! There is no better time, than now, for this activity and all systems are “go” for the seeker – you barely have to do anything, simply “let go!”, let go of your attachment to the material world, all of the human constructs for all of that and see where the winds that blow take you. It’s an amazing journey!

  • There is a reason why the mythical figure head of the dying god tradition was made to point out that we should not fear what can kill the body but that which can kill the soul. The other NTE, that of the soul of matter, is not only the other important philosophical question, but the only way to answer all problems and questions as well. Not that this will prevent the other NTE but oh to have a soul again, to connect in that way again, what a gift. The only gift that has a snowballs chance in hell of changing anything.

  • Guy, who goes out every week nearly and tilts at the windmills of ignorance in our culture knows that there certainly is some value (usefullness, utility – use whatever worn economic meme for it you wish) in Truth.

    One of the other questions that is begged by the question is “What is ‘Value’?”
    And in the face of what you know to be true how should you readjust your values?

    And then of course the ultimate ethical humanist’s question: “What should you do?”

    And the transcendental question: What will persist after we are gone?

    ALl of which form a rich conversation to have with one another as we sit around our campfire and watch the rest of humanity chase growth, money and power.

  • Dear Kirk, and a triumph that will last a mere 10,000 years. Not much of a triumph in the ecological scale of thing eh? A total failure really if that is the last triumph we witness before NTE comes bowling over our heads. Our blink of failure in love, and truth that will destroy countless beautiful, perfectly wrought systems and the lives sustained therein that developed over billions of years on the only planet we know of to have expressed this as it is.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #101

    Liquid amber flash
    lilts and soars on black dashes-
    monarch butterfly.

    @U: Thanks for the shout out, bro. This one’s for you.

  • A chilly wind blows through my feet
    As autumn does come near
    The wind it doth taste bittersweet,
    Like jasper wine and sugar…
    I bet it’s blown through others toes
    Like those of….

    …Casper Weinberger.

    Opus the penguin.

  • literacy let us know just enough to be dangerous
    instant knowledge let us be dangerous just enough to know
    life the universe just wants to organize at higher levels to spite entropy
    it is the safety in numbers that rules the universe to spite gamma ray bursts
    new evidence says life and water came from space,
    will life outwit entropy? stay tuned!
    it seems easy to imagine it already has somewhere somehow
    we can’t imagine what we will see, or not
    if there are endless universes in the same space,
    the odds of immortal lives may be so yet not be enough.
    so see the bright light flare snuffed out so quickly ungently
    see those with you go with you,
    see inside be without those who go with you

  • be without with those who go with you

  • will the first immortals be a self replicating artificial intelligence charged with looking after genetic property as it disappears before its eyes? will it then seek out new genetic material one hop before and after universal life and entropy.
    while vertebrate life dies off, the age of self 3D printed intelligence takes hold and the only thing that survives life on earth is a motherless AI “life” and a record of all our posts and tweets unseen for maybe billions of years

  • the last robot’s rusty tear
    in a far off distant land
    for we who slaved for it
    dead by our own hand

  • the last robot died teaching aliens how to live within their limits

  • As to the first question, I suppose how one answers depends on the extent they have “accepted” NTE. 

    If one chooses to compartmentalize the unprecedented phenomena now before us, as just ‘add it to the list’ along with all the other dire news of the day, where they take a wait and see approach, then yes, all the same philosophical dilemmas, which humanity has pondered for millennia, remain as relevant as they ever were…….more or less, given the passage of time. 

    However, if one has accepted the likelihood that most of life on earth will not survive our current extinction event much beyond one human generation, then at least for that individual, a great number of those age old philosophical dilemmas no longer possess the relevancy they once did. 

    Much like a woman who is concerned about her blood pressure going in for a check up, only to discover she has inoperable stage four cancer. Whatever concerns she may have had earlier that morning while still in bed, are going to be greatly diminished as she later sits shellshocked in the doctors office.

    So, at least for me, someone who has accepted the likelihood of NTE (the rate of change) there are virtually no philosophical quandaries worth contemplating completely outside of it anymore. Or at least, we’ve just added a significant twist to the grand narrative of life itself, which is nearly impossible to avoid. Mainly, because NTE, IMO, now supersedes all pervious philosophical dilemmas combined. Not much point in continuing to contemplate the true nature of our species within any sense of agency, after one has accepted our species will soon cease to exist. 

    But by no means, does that mean, we’re going to stop with the parlor games of should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, until The Big One washes the last of us off the beach of doom. 

    I’m someone who considers the validity of a philosophical dilemma by the weight of the truth it bears, or at least the fallacy it impugns. And lets be honest, just the question of NTE is the greatest philosophical dilemma humanity has ever been tasked with, not alone having to accept it. 

    NTE represents the end of the entire concept of “long term”. NTE represents the entire fruition of the human experience. It is the accumulation of all human endeavor. It is the culmination of all thought. It is, in itself, the end of every story ever told.

    But of coarse, it is none of these things, if one has not accepted it, which is why “acceptance of NTE” is the end all be all, where it concerns the locus of every question we’re going to ask at NBL from here on out. 

  • @ Crazy_Inventor

    You failed to notice and integrate a critical point in what I wrote about “alternative” energy under the “Facing Truth” conversation: “…to the extent that….” TO THE EXTENT THAT we extract energy from ecosystems, to that extent we harm or kill them. Of COURSE we can extract some energy from ecosystems without doing significant damage. The closely related Neanderthals lived for 100,000 years in Europe extracting energy from ecosystems without doing significant damage.

    Different ecosystems have different degrees of resiliency and ability to recover DEPENDING ON THE SCALE OF EXTRACTION. I did not write that we cannot extract any energy without killing ecosystems, as you implied that I wrote. I pointed out that extracting energy from ecosystems through hydro, wind, solar, tidal, wave, and similar allegedly “alternative” methods, tends to harm the ecosystems involved just as burning fossil fuels also harms them. I pointed out that at large scale great harm occurs EITHER WAY. Meanwhile, in discussing the alleged “alternatives” most people naively believe that they can supposedly serve as an alternative for our burning fossil fuels while not damaging Earth’s biosphere, a badly mistaken belief. It seems to me that one must either remain quite ignorant, or use liberal amounts of wishful thinking, to deny these energetic realities.

    To make this point crystal clear, consider the micro-hydro situation you described. Do you mean to suggest that because this man succeeded in doing what he did, 100 or 1000 MORE people can ALSO do the same thing on that same property without damaging the local ecosystem? (Of course, the resiliency depends on the size of the property, the nature of the stream flow, and many other variables.) Do you also mean to suggest that seven billion people can supposedly install micro-hydro systems (or any of the other so-called “alternatives” on a micro scale), each continuously extracting several thousand Watts of energy, without in the process damaging Earth’s biosphere? Do you not recognize that most of the energy we extract via these alleged “alternatives” becomes unavailable to other animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and so on? Do you mean to suggest that hydroelectric dams DO damage ecosystems, but that micro-hydro, or other micro-systems (magically) do not? In making these arguments you reason along the lines that “while thousands of pounds matter, one or two pounds do not and don’t add to each other with effect”. You also commit the fallacy of composition, reasoning that what works for one or two people will supposedly work for everyone, everywhere. Sorry. If you mean these things I don’t follow your reasoning and I don’t agree. But perhaps I have completely misunderstood your question and your points.

  • Philosophical topic for the day:

    ‘Car dealers report their strongest September sales month on record, looking for an all-time annual record of vehicle sales

    Posted in News October 3, 2014 – 09:35am, David Chaston

    The car dealers of New Zealand are expecting 2014 to deliver record vehicle sales.

    Data released today shows that 11,840 new vehicles were registered in September, the highest September level on record.

    Unlike the real estate agents, car dealers are not using the election period as an excuse for soft demand.

    Of these, 8,382 were new passenger cars and 3,458 were new commercial vehicles.

    New car sales are now +10.3% above year-to-date levels from a year ago, and commercial vehicles are +21.5% higher on the same basis.

    Registration data for used imports are not yet available.

    Toyota was the overall market leader for the month of September with 20% market share (2,321 units) with Holden second on 11% (1,349 units) and Ford third with 10% (1,151 units).

    The Toyota Corolla was the top selling new vehicle model in September with 629 new registrations, followed by the Ford Ranger with 595, the Toyota Hilux in 3rd with 526 registrations.

    The sale of sports utility vehicles continues to be the strongest selling segment with 28% of all vehicles sales in September, followed by pick-ups/chassis-cabs with 19% and small passenger cars at 16%.

    It is clear now that purchases of new vehicles were unimpeded by the election during September.

    “Healthy economic confidence combined with competitive pricing is fueling strong demand for new vehicles. If sales keep at this level it could over 124,000 new registrations for 2014, exceeding the previous best year of 123,247 new registrations in 1984,” said David Crawford of the Motor Industry Association.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/72273/car-dealers-report-their-strongest-september-sales-month-record-looking-all-time-annual-r

    (By the way, the NZ dollar has crashed 10 cents versus US, and the dairy pay-out is now projected at $4.85 for 2014-15, versus $8.31 for 2013-14. And presumably the big drop in international oil prices clobbers local oil revenues and fracking viability. But hey, the election is over and the fascists have more power than ever.

    More roads; more cars to fill the roads; more roads to accommodate the more cars; more cars to fill the more roads. That’s the plan.)

  • There is knowledge based on inputs from the senses, recollection of stored memories, or both. That knowledge is “indirect knowledge”.

    There is also knowledge that is NOT based on sensory inputs and/or memory. This type of knowledge is “direct knowledge”. One of its more obvious manifestations is the mirage of the “I-sense”, formed at the interaction of conscious awareness with the spacetime-causation through the portal of the body-mind complex. Another is the deeply grokked sense of one’s beginninglessness.

    While the former can be deconstructed through progressive stripping of temporospatial artifacts of identity, the latter is not subject to analytical disposition. Nor does it refer to a body, mind, or a soul. Once one groks that which it refers to, one has realised what it was, is, and will be; realised that there is no enlightenment nor darkness, no bondage nor freedom. The Thusness of everything.

  • Daniel,

    Wouldn’t you call NTE a theory? Like gravity or evolution? (Asks the unscientific one.) So could one accept the theory of NTE (as opposed to “accepting NTE”) and come to the same philosophical position as you?

  • @kevin moore re:Philosophical topic of the day

    How about this one:

    Elon Musk, aka Mr. Tesla Motors, Mr. Pay Pal and CEO of SpaceX stated on RT that he wants to send a million people to Mars to ensure humanity’s survival. LOL
    To quote him from the article he says, “Fuck earth! Who cares about earth?”

    I guess that might be (is) the philosophy of a billionaire. Perhaps he thinks that instead of NTE, he imagines NTHEOEBNM (near term human extinction on earth but not Mars)

    @Daniel
    Spot on analysis as usual. Thank you for your clarity.

  • “what works for one or two people will supposedly work for everyone, everywhere.”

    It will indeed, once dieback en route to dieoff has progressed far enough from the seven+ billion to the point where the “everyone, everywhere” is “one or two people”.

    (From the Wikipedia article on Colonization of Mars):

    While there are some extremophile organisms that survive in hostile conditions on Earth, including simulations that approximate Mars, plants and animals generally cannot survive the ambient conditions present on the surface of Mars.

    I don’t know, but I’ve been told: Martian climate’s mighty cold!
    (−87 °C, -124.6 °F and −5 °C, 23 °F)

    No magnetosphere (and very little atmosphere), so more forceful cosmic irradiation.

    Mars has ~1% of the atmospheric pressure on earth; moreover it is mostly CO2:
    Martian air has a partial pressure of CO2 of 0.71 kPa, compared to 0.031 kPa on Earth. CO2 poisoning (hypercapnia) in humans begins at about 0.10 kPa. Even for plants, CO2 much above 0.15 kPa is toxic. This means Martian air is completely toxic to both plants and animals even at the reduced total pressure.

    And let us not forget the system services here on Earth from the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Even the International Space Station is maintained through (extremely profligate) use of those resources.

    And to date there has been no successful maintenance of a sealed, separate biosphere containing humans and powered by sunlight, even here on earth. The first requirement for an extraterrestrial colony is to demonstrate survivability long term (two or more generations) for humans in a sealed biosphere here on earth.

  • From bad boy T.R. McKenzie’s FB:

    Words are very important we need to stop using words like “Climate Crisis”, “Climate Change”, “Climate Disasters”, we need to speak in terms of “Climate Genocide” and “Climate Ecocide”. The bodies are already piling up and have been piling up. Even if you don’t feel its effects from your climate controlled middle class suburban American lifestyle. Words can change ideas, and ideas can change strategy, tactics, and action.

  • .
    rubbish.
    .
    Nothing changes. The train keeps a runnin’.
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    .
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • Just watched a Stalingrad documentary, amazing look into life on the edge (6000 German soldiers come back out of the 600,000 sacrificed for the Leader’s ego), where death rules and soldiers become cannibals.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-LZKo74VGg

    Just the few shreds of ethics remaining, among comrades, among parents and children, but the rest, sheer terror. Think humans can’t repeat this, or worse? (I look to study past cases of mass starvations, thinking that’s our likely big-die-off scenario.)

    Or, as Brando delivered it, “The horror…the horror.”

    And then there’s Ebola — the first US case brings curiosity, alarm buzzes dimly awaken the sleeping. The second? — brings Panic?

    And yet, it’s the least of our worries (only kills 505), and the best of our “solutions”. Boy, that would shut down the airports fast, wouldn’t it? Highway blockades, not to let infected people through. Everything becomes very local, very fast. “Social distancing” becomes the routine of life. IndCiv, bye-bye.

    =======

    How ’bout another question for us? I was on an airport shuttle bus yesterday, with people having friendly chats, about any and everything. An hour to enjoy, and they were. Friendly, friendly my neighbors are. Good folks… and yet, would they discuss?…well. you know what.

    What if it was put to them, or to people filing by each other in so many other settings — airports, buses, café lines?

    Question: Would YOU wear a (branded, of course) NBL t-shirt or sweatshirt in public, to invite conversations on Climate Chaos and our potential demise?

    Maybe lots of others have it already on their minds, but no one to open up to?

    (Also, remember, I’m of two minds about this, this waking up the sleeping, for when the herd starts to move, it may trample all in its path, including me.)

  • What I will miss during and after NTHE

    1. The SUV and trailer, I love jumping in the SUV regardless of the weather. Drive anywhere, anytime, just drive with my thoughts and no radio to distract me. Haul most anything in the trailer.

    2. The motorcycle on a bright sunny day, 100 mpg, speed, wind, and centripetal force. Need I say more!?! Cannot drive (they call it ‘ride’ for some reason) with your thoughts however, or you are just a water-balloon sitting on chair going 60mph. (Sorry for the overly complex sentence structure, but this is a ethanol-related post.) (Also FWIW, I believe there will be lots of oil left, but severe societal pressure not to use it.)

    3. Grid-tied electricity. Damn. $0.11kw/hr gone forever. Hello $10kw/hr.

  • NTE excluded?

    Do we want to discuss something else now?

    Well what about the issues Aldus Huxley brought up in 1962?

    Weapons of oppression?

    ‘Aldous Huxley Control Humans’

    So my question arising from this, very pertinent today, as in many periods before, is:

    What is Human Freedom?

    What is it in a person’s life experience that inclines them to pursue freedom, rather than any of the alternatives, but I pose the concept of following the crowd as a catch all for the opposite, even though slavery is an obvious antonym.

    I have a few of my own responses to my question(s), but some may just shout me down for some derivative spiritualist drivel. I would be interested in finding out how others see freedom playing out in real lives.

    Perhaps having a real life is a kind of life of freedom?

    😉

  • The calculus is this: China “has lifted more people out of poverty faster than any other country in history.” Fine. At what expense? China has been turned into a toxic wasteland. Not to mention other countries, like Australia, and several African areas that have been plundered “to lift people out of poverty.” In fact, the situation is so bad that all life on earth is now in dire jeopardy. So, now after some consideration, it seems like the calculus is that if all these Chinese are going to be saved from poverty, that the planet is going to have to be flushed down the sewer, and take all the unimpoverished Chinese down with it.

    And so, if the price of taking more people out of poverty is the death of all life on earth, then I will stay in poverty. Thank you very much.

    I’m fine with that.

  • Bud you’re engaging in black & white thinking plus splitting hairs

    I said the real problem is population.

    Using your argument parameters one could claim any/all people harmed the biosphere all throughout history.

    But you forget we’re part of the biosphere.

    – it’s not a question of doing ‘absolutely no’ damage to satisfy some argument, it’s a question of living in balance with nature and only doing as little damage as possible..

    @ paul marcotte

    “Fuck earth! Who cares about earth?”

    exactly my point (about the problem of people not doing as little damage as possible and respecting nature – guess what rocket fuel does to the environment), and these stupid fuckers don’t even realize the radiation levels make it impossible to even get to mars without fatal radiation poisoning, much less live there..

    I hope they do go, they deserve their fate 😉

    @ MMM
    “Hello $10kw/hr.”

    you do realize that wind is now at parity with coal (2.6 cents per kwh, coal 2.83 cents per kwh) and solar just above that (~ 3 cents per kwh)

  • I just had an epiphany: Guy McPherson is almost a dead ringer for the Fuhrer! Shorten that mustache, trim the neck, get a sharper uniform and most importantly, lose the depressive demeanor and CATCH ON FIRE! Do this, and I’m telling you, THE WORLD IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING! What are you waiting for? Life is short! Hail!

  • @ Brother Nuhil

    If you’re that boring when you’re having epiphanies, Lord protect is from your rancid maggot-brain when it’s in it’s normal mode. No doubt you fantasise about being the next George Carlin. Good luck with your first gig.

  • http://www.dailyimpact.net/2014/10/01/shale-oil-boom-breaking-down/

    Shale Oil Boom Breaking Down

    Recent research suggests that fracking causes earthquakes; they have no doubt of that at the fourth largest trading and investment company in Japan — Sumitomo Corporation — which has just experienced a Magnitude 10. The profit Sumitomo expected to make this year, a hefty $2.27 billion, has been all but wiped out. News of the disaster atomized 13 per cent of its stock value in one day. Its credit rating went to “negative.” And almost all of this was caused by hideous losses incurred in fracking for tight oil in Texas.

    Sumitomo samurai rolled into Texas just two years ago (seems like only yesterday) with a $2 billion dollar investment in the Permian shale-oil play, in partnership with Devon Energy of Oklahoma. So here we have Japan’s fourth-largest trading company, along with one of the largest US fracking companies, going into the (potentially, according to the oil interests) richest tight-oil basin in the United States in the midst of a tight oil boom. What could possibly go wrong?

    Sumitomo has no idea. They have appointed a committee to try to figure it out. “It is difficult,” said a dazed-sounding statement from the top, “to extract the oil and gas efficiently.” They could not, as it turned out, expect enough production “to recover the investment.” Wow. Not much of a business plan there.

    What Sumitomo missed, as its investigating committee may or may not figure out, is that fracked wells are not at all like normal oil wells: they are twice as expensive to set up, many times more expensive to operate, and run out 10-20 times faster. The simple fact is that the wells are not paying for themselves. They look like they are going to, in their first year, but by the third or fourth year it’s clear that they are not going to. (For a devastating explanation of this point by the former head of research for a London money broker, see “Shale Gas: The Dotcom Bubble of Our Times.”)

    Sumitomo is not alone in its mystification. Itochu Corporation, Japan’s third largest trading company, has written off 80 percent of a nearly $80 million investment in a US fracking company. And then there is Shell, which took a $2 billion hit last August as punishment for its shale-oil and -gas enthusiasm, and this year bailed out of a business in which it had been one of the largest players.

    Every Ponzi scheme and bubble is based on the Greater Fool hypothesis of investing, which is that the real value of the assets you’re buying don’t matter as long as you can find a greater fool, someone who knows even less about the assets than you do, who will buy them from you. When you run out of fools, the market crashes.

    With Sumitomo bailing now — that is, selling its leases — the search for the next greater fools is becoming really intense. They are going to experience peak fools very soon. And then there is going to be an earthquake we will all feel.

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/10/as-peru-relaxes-environmental.html

    As Peru relaxes environmental safeguards, a Peruvian ecologist explains why he resigned from his government post – ‘You fight until you fall dead’

    COCHA CASHU BIOLOGICAL STATION, Peru (National Geographic News) – Ernesto Ráez-Luna, a prominent Peruvian ecologist and environmentalist, has spent his career fighting for the Amazon rain forest. In 2011, he was appointed as an adviser to Peru’s Ministry of the Environment. In this role, Ráez-Luna was involved in organizing the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change-the world’s most important climate meeting; Peru is hosting the COP20 in December.

    But in July, Ráez-Luna resigned over the administration’s support of a law that, to the horror of environmental groups around the world, rolled back many green policies established in Peru during the past decade. The Ministry of the Environment, which was created in 2008, lost its authority to establish nature reserves protected from mining and oil development. On September 20, protesters marched on the environment ministry’s headquarters in Lima, demanding green reforms before the UN Climate Summit in New York City.
    [please read the rest]

  • The poster asks: “Apart from NTE, is there any significant philosophical issue at the present time?

    **

    Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?

    There are some interesting journals that deal specifically with philosophy and the nature of “knowledge.”

    For example: “The list of things I believe, though I have no evidence for the truth of them, is, if not infinite, virtually endless. And I am finite. Though I can readily imagine what I would have to do to obtain the evidence that would support any one of my beliefs, I cannot imagine being able to do this for all of my beliefs. I believe too much; there is too much relevant evidence (much of it available only after extensive, specialized training); intellect is too small and life too short.

    What are we as epistemologists to say about all these beliefs? If I, without the available evidence, nevertheless believe a proposition, are my belief and I in that belief necessarily irrational or non-rational? Is my belief then mere belief (Plato’s right opinion)? If not, why not? Are there other good reasons for believing propositions, reasons which do not reduce to having evidence for the truth of those propositions? What would these reasons look like?

    (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

  • “Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?”

    I can’t think of much with redeeming value. I believe the most valuable stuff was always inner life experiences, the ways that led to peace and satisfaction with ourselves and others. I’d say that one of the inner things we’ve learned that could help you live a life of excellence is the understanding that the ego is nothing more than a social construct, no more you than what you hear on mainstream media.

    Lots of the outer stuff, material things, were good to have. Things that healed or comforted in simple ways we’re the best. Most of the stuff we made was pure shit that we fumbled into existence because we could make a buck off it. Even the rare good things we made weren’t any good for living a life of excellence if we didn’t have the inner goodness to go with it.

    @TIAA, yeah, 10,000 years is way too long for a race of shit-eaters like us to exist. For the Universe, having us around is like pounding on it’s thumb with a hammer. It will feel so good when we’re gone. 10,000 years, it doesn’t seem like much until you remember all the unnecessary suffering we have crowded into those years, the countless times we have made mere minutes seem like eternities through intense terror and pain. All of it unnecessary, stupid and cruel, yet wanton and exalted.

    Mankind: Cause Of Death: Failure To Thrive

  • @ Dredd Says:
    October 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am

    If I, without the available evidence, nevertheless believe a proposition, are my belief and I in that belief necessarily irrational or non-rational?

    YES, absolutely and exclusively!! Too goddamned many people (in the USA, at least) believe that the/their “economic problems” are due to the 1) Chinese, 2) Japanese, 3) African-Americans (aka, ni**ers), 4) illegal aliens (aka “brown” people from south of the Rio Grande or any “Islamic country”), 5) too many “lazy, obese” “‘muricans”, etc., etc.!! Too goddamned many people, everywhere, believe some ancient fucking words, considered “holy” and mostly nonsensical, written by men solely to control the minds of the masses (which, in total, numbered well less than 1 billion at the time those words were written) and which have absolutely ZERO relevance today. If YOU, whoever “you” are, believe ANYTHING that can not be substantiated by at least a modicum of known facts or a veritable cornucopia of observations and/or is not demonstrable or repeatable, “you” are less than useless.

  • suitably shitfaced to comment on Naomi Klein McKibben et al
    Tom Cranberry posted her flight schedule on Common Dreams,
    but what’s really scary is just smart enough to means end.
    She’s the Lisa Simpson of apocal-optimists everywhere,
    but this is why i prefer a 100% private world carbon e-dividends currency.
    Klein says to all the tweenies that we got 15 years to
    a green energy worker’s paradise without telling the truth
    about cascading collapse. Klein is the problem.
    Hope holds us back.
    Bad news motivates more than debilitates.
    You can’t manage denial let alone reality.

  • suitably shitfaced to comment on Naomi Klein McKibben et al
    Tom Cranberry posted her flight schedule on Common Dreams,
    but what’s really scary is she’s just smart enough to means end.
    She’s the Lisa Simpson of apocal-optimists everywhere,
    but this is why i prefer a 100% private world carbon e-dividends currency.
    Klein says to all the tweenies that we got 15 years to
    a green energy worker’s paradise without telling the truth
    about cascading collapse. Klein is the problem.
    Hope holds us back.
    Bad news motivates more than debilitates.
    You can’t manage denial let alone reality.

  • The poster asks: “Apart from NTE, is there any significant philosophical issue at the present time?

    **

    Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?”

    Personally, the only significant ‘philosophical’ issue I’ve ever had is whether there is life after death. I’m here, I exist and perceive, as do other people who I assume exist inside their own skulls just as I do. I don’t really have any issues with the nature of existence here on earth, most of the philosophical dilemmas are lost on me, I just don’t get it. What will be of wonder to me until my death is what comes after, if anything. The only philosophical issue I can’t let go of, and it has to be the one I can’t know. Aii. I hope there isn’t a huge backlog. 😉

    I don’t think most people can stand far enough outside the box to imagine what social life was like 10000 years ago. We’ve made terrible, terminal mistakes, but we’ve also come a long, long way. The concepts of non-violence, equality, tolerance, cooperation, and even our modern day definition of love are advancements in how we perceive an ideal human existence. (I’m not saying we’re good at these things as a species, but at least we’ve come up with the concepts.) If we can take these things unto the breach, dear friends, we may live out our lives with dignity and even joy.

  • “I don’t think most people can stand far enough outside the box to imagine what social life was like 10000 years ago.”

    Never confuse technological advancements with changes in people. At the Art Institute here in Chicago there are clay pots that are over 6000 years old. There are various designs upon them. This is because people like pretty things. There’s no grand mystery at work. As primates there are some basic truths:

    1) having friends is beneficial.
    2) having sex is fun.
    3) playing with kids is fun even when you’re old.
    4) eating is better than not eating.

    That things didn’t work out for us when we decided to devouring everything in our path, including the very planet that keeps us alive, but that’s a different matter. Greed turned out to be fatal. We always suspected that was the case, now we know for sure. Better luck next time.

  • @ Dredd

    “If I, without the available evidence, nevertheless believe a proposition, are my belief and I in that belief necessarily irrational or non-rational?”

    Um, yes. That is the definition of irrational, i.e. without reasoning. You’re not necessarily wrong, that’s a different thing altogether, but if you’re right it’s because you’re lucky.

    “Are there other good reasons for believing propositions, reasons which do not reduce to having evidence for the truth of those propositions? What would these reasons look like?”

    They would look like fear, superstition, and wishful thinking.

  • @ Grant Schreiber

    I was addressing the question asked about the benefit of 10000 years of experience / history when faced with living a life of excellence in the face of the end.

    We’re screwed and it’s our baser nature that has got us to this point, no doubt about it. The point is, we’ve also managed to evolve some “higher” concepts of how to live, emotionally speaking. Or at least some of us have. Ironically, these concepts are a direct benefit of the technological advancement that gave us the luxury of time to think.

    I believe that in the face of doom, holding onto the newer, higher concepts – tolerance, non violence, intellect, equality, love etc. – is the way to go. Frankly, I’m going to live that way even if climate genocide turns out to be the urban myth of the century.

  • Conscious awareness has aspects that are not subject to intellection, verbal descriptors or rationality; moreover it cannot be shared with others: if it could, a realised person such as a buddha could, by sharing that conscious awareness and realisation, make all and sundry realised in short order.

    Those aspects of conscious awareness are not a matter of belief, nor are they knowledge in the ordinary sense of knower-knowing-known. For many, those aspects simply do not exist, akin to a fish not knowing “wetness”.

    Vociferous criticism and condemnation can, does and will emanate from those quarters. Yet there is no point in throwing such fish a towel.

  • thanks you, karneishere, the question of what happens after death, the great question of spiritual nature/matter..the question as to whether there is an eternal consciousness..

    that is what is taking up a great deal, the vast majority of my thoughts these days myself. To me, with the certainty of NTE, it is the only question..the only thing to ponder and search for if not answers..at least hints or clues, well it’s the only one really worth having.

    Everything else is just stuff we talk about until we die and then find the anser to THE question.

    Now for some people, to simply live in the now..to look at this world and say that this is it..to look at all the stars and galaxies and say we are alone in being sentient in it..

    that may be an apporach for some to take, but for me, I don’t look on this as all there is, I look on everything as All There Is. I cannot see that the now is all that matters when There Is So Much More. When I look at nature I don’t just see biologicial life..I see spirits…I see that everything has a spirit.

    If we are all indeed going extinct, and we are, I prefer to think of all this as just boot camp..just the primer for the next big great adventure. And no, I don’t think there is only One..I think there is All.

    For me personally, I prefer to embrace meaning over meaningless, but that’s just me.

  • and please forgive the hideous typos and spelling errors. bleh.

  • I can’t participate much these days. Apologies to Sabine for the delayed thank you.

    Despite a hard life, I must continue to work 40+ hours a week even in my old age and decline — or I wouldn’t have access to a square inch of land to pirouette upon. Indeed, I was born fully disenfranchised from Mother Earth, like most of ‘civilized’ humanity for the last 10,000 years. No Indians around to murder and steal the good stuff from, nor did I have rich thieving (great-grand) parents to inherit any from. Not paid enough to buy any. And – thanks to the bullies – no societal agreements to share it. So according to some, I’m just another worthless eater – because I don’t ‘own’ my ‘own’ land (or any slaves or employees). Some of the smug asshats around here surely aught to personally experience the intense pleasures of homelessness and destitution until they show signs of emergent compassion. I’d force them to try it, if I could. Surely it’s earned karma. At the moment, they’re deviant greedy monsters espousing their sleazy, irrational, and unacceptable blame-the-victim mentality. Which victimizes… and perpetuates the problem. Eh, whatever, extinction will get those fools too. Can’t buy your way out of a coffin – even a gilded coffin (the gods are not impressed). Meanwhile their hateful attitude indicates a life of severe internal misery. I am not envious. I’m disgusted.

    Anyway, here’s what I really came here to say:

    The world will never sound the same again. Listen. I hear it burning. Every time a car or truck or motorcycle is driven by. Every weedwhacker, leafblower and jackhammer on two legs. I can hear the cut when an operator jammed inside a flying machine rips and roars the sky dome to the horizon. Much nastier than a fly in the house… or a hoot owl hooting in the lull, in the tainted silence between constantly approaching and receding contraptions. Bad as a chainsaw lubricated on blood.

    Never a clean silence anymore. The constant din of machinery provides a gut wrenching sound track subwoofer-ing this filthy reality movie/snuff film wherein life is frivolously blasted away. The demeaning roar of excruciating destruction invades my ears and inflames my soul. Every rude vibration grumbling the same insane story, each moan sounding over, blending into the last one, monotonously. Car, truck, van. Doppler-ing the landscape with discordant whines, dreary low tunes fit only for the funeral marching of the oblivious and doomed.

    Between drivers the hoot owl’s haunting harvest call reminds me – life is ephemeral. Life is ephemeral. Its insistent demanding soft tone envelops me. Instinctive chills roll down my spine and throughout the forest. I’m conscious of an ancient serenade that is succinctly elucidating the morphing kaleidoscope of life and death… as we have known it.

    But the circle has been broken. Smashed. A driven truck louder than all the world’s thunder rumbles by and shakes my solemn revery. Listen. The world sounds different. The artificial background noise has been deciphered – its message is absolute. Deadly glow-in-the-dark fuel rods soaking in blue lagoons on rooftops join the fury with inconsiderate hisses and pops. Every smokestack and cooling tower, every hot exhaust pipe blares its swan song solo in the noisy cacophony of annihilation. The ordinary insidious hum will never sound the same again. Stop for a moment, listen to the growl of the apocalypse.

  • “the great question of spiritual nature/matter..the question as to whether there is an eternal consciousness..”

    Descriptors such as eternal do not apply to consciousness because consciousness is not constrained by time or space. It is similar to asking questions such as “does a pound have length?” or “does a minute have weight?”.

    “I look on everything as All There Is”

    The opening of the Purusha Sukta, a hymn to the Divine in the Rig Veda:

    “The Purusha (the Supreme Being) has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. He has enveloped this world from all sides and has (even) transcended it by ten finger breadths.”

    The reference to numerous heads, etc. implies perceiving and acting through all bodies; the ten finger breadths indicates extension beyond the known and knowable.

    An analogy is to sunlight: it assumes the form of a tree, a rock, a stream, etc. when it illuminates each of these, although it has no such form on its own. Likewise consciousness, illuminating all thoughts, takes their forms, while itself being without form. Unconstrained by time and space, everywhere & every when, manifesting differently in different situations. Hence the differences between inanimate and animate, plant and animal.

    “I see that everything has a spirit.”

    Nothing has a spirit, as nothing “has” sunlight: consciousness illuminates everything and animates one’s awareness. Others’ awareness is a presumption, not a perception.

  • @ Grant Schreiber

    “I don’t think most people can stand far enough outside the box to imagine what social life was like 10000 years ago.”

    Never confuse technological advancements with changes in people. At the Art Institute here in Chicago there are clay pots that are over 6000 years old. There are various designs upon them. This is because people like pretty things. There’s no grand mystery at work. As primates there are some basic truths:

    What utter tosh you do talk. Life of the people at Catal Huyuk and Gobekli Tepe, for just two examples, is unfathomably strange and incomprehensible, completely impenetrable to the modern mind.

    Your silly, shallow, simplistic, superficial projection of your own crass vision and crude vanities back into the past is completely unjustifiable and without any credible foundation whatsoever.

  • Never confuse technological advancements with changes in people. At the Art Institute here in Chicago there are clay pots that are over 6000 years old.

    This remark is so utterly ignorant and moronic.

    The people have changed, all the time, just as the technology has changed, both culturally and genetically, the people who spread into Europe had a genetic change that allowed them to digest milk and milk products, into adult hood.

    They might as well be regarded as a new species, for all intents and purposes, because they co-evolved with the animals they domesticated, the sheep, goats, cattle, to use the milk, butter, cheese, which let them have a protein diet, to store through the winter, instead of hunting and gathering, in addition to the meat of the animals, that they fed from hay the made from the meadows they cleared in the forests.

    The whole package was like a newly evolved social insect that finds a new niche to occupy.

    The earlier hunter gatherers, and to this day, many people on the planet, cannot digest cows milk, they are allergic to it.

    There are other examples I could cite.

    The technology of agriculture, the cultural changes, the genetic changes, the diseases and resistance to those diseases, everything, came as a package that was wrapped together.

  • “Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?”

    Maybe the ability of the weak and unskilled to survive? I’ve seen videos where weak and vulnerable animals are protected by their peers, so I don’t know what’s different about civilization except that a very large number of us survive through the use of “technologies,” including behavioral ones. If this is remotely accurate, then civilization has made us unusual within the animal kingdom.

  • “Is there anything redeeming about the path that got us to this point (the last oh, 10,000 years or so) in regards to now figuring out how one can start living a life of excellence?”

    Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

  • Bravo, logspirit, and amen! Couldn’t agree with you more on your sentiments about some of the “haves”. To me it seems that there is a refusal to acknowledge that material things are unfulfilling, but a bloodlust that springs from out that truth, despite their denial. To admit that they were wrong about the value of the rewards or their position is just too awful, the guilt and the abyss that they would then have to face, too horrifying. The only option left is to lash out from out their pain against the “have nots” trying to extract the “juice” their material wealth never gave them. All they succeed in, then, is creating a hateful and a hate-filled world. But, you are correct, they are doomed right alongside the rest of us and that adds some sweetness to the bitterness, anyway.

    Also loved reading your description of the sounds of the apocalypse! I’ve noticed in the county I’ve lived in practically all my life that virtually no residence within it now can escape the noise of the traffic. I wonder if anyone else here has ever heard any of the “strange sounds” heard throughout the world starting around 2011. I’ve heard the one that sounds like a wet finger run round the rim of a wine glass a couple of times. I think it’s the biosphere screaming.

  • “[some] people.. ..had a genetic change that allowed them to digest milk and milk products, into adult hood.”

    no it’s that if you continue to consume lactose into adulthood you never stop producing lactase – the genetic predisposition of continuing to produce lactase, even if you don’t consume lactose, is secondary to this factor..

    – in other words it’s primarily a cultural thing – cultures where dairy products are not consumed by adults, have a higher proportion of lactose intolerant persons than cultures that do.

    but there are exceptions in both, which means it’s not a genetic change per say, but an adaptation to environment

    if it were just genetic, there would be certain races of people who can never produce lactase and others who always can (even as infants), but since we’re all born with the ability, whether some people lose it or not is determined by whether it’s needed or not – whether you continue to consume lactose. If not, the ability atrophies from non-use (the body tends to not produce enzymes that aren’t needed, because it takes energy to do so, and this energy is conserved for other bio-chemical processes)

    what little genetic variation there is, is whether the body keeps producing lactase anyway, even if you don’t keep consuming lactose, which technically is a mal-adaptation.

    You can ‘coax’ or ‘train’ yourself into producing lactase again by slowly introducing lactose back into your diet (with rare exceptions – genetic)

    just as people who are allergic can de-sensitise themselves by doing so, because it’s an adaptation, or mal-adaptation

  • [quote]
    be without with those who go with you
    [/quote]

    I almost feel sorry sorry quoting above from a promiscuous poster, but googling (er duckducking) shows that “one set” of words to be rather unique.

    It feels somewhat Catholic Worker’ish. For someone who sheltered and lived with the homeless and railed against nuclear weapons for nigh a decade in extreme voluntary poverty and then continued a strong voluntary poverty living with the mentally challenged – well that phrase is going to roll around in my cortexes that cognate for a couple of days.

    I am still the odd one out, the oldest in the day program I work at. I possess all sorts of quirks and not just from 20 years of learning how to “be with” the mentally challenged and other wounded individuals. Not that I am the only chemist, or that my supervisor used to be my equal years ago after I stepped down from living in and managing houses; to just living with the mentally challenged.

    No, everyone has a secret, and mine is NTHE. And another secret, Shin Buddhism. The two nest together quite well. Peace,

    again,

    be without with those who go with you

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Jack Adam Weber. It’s here.

  • KArenishere Got the message . Mere survival is subsidiary . At the level of evolution the human being operates . The trouble is that the masses didn’t get the message and they are still stuck at that low level of physical survival mode .Power and Amplify the surviwal mode with fossil fuels technology etc That mode is incompatible with the biosphere etc and it leads to inevitable destruction . No problem If you realize that this is noy it all . Jesus said .
    “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25″For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26″For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?…
    without being religius but he got the idea also

  • “Life of the people at Catal Huyuk and Gobekli Tepe, for just two examples, is unfathomably strange and incomprehensible, completely impenetrable to the modern mind. ”

    Sunglasses at night? Mixing plaids with stripes? Playing cricket?

    And yet for all that, they still love their children, enjoy each others company and have ceremonies involving food and drink.

    The mind reels!! How unlike they are from us! Oh my! It is impossible to see any connections anywhere! Impossible!!

    I wonder if they drink water, sleep and go to the bathroom. I wonder if they have a sense of humor. Or if they are humorless little nobodies who live in a fantasy world roughly five feet by six because anything bigger would be too much for them.