Edge of Extinction: Questioning the Dominant Paradigm

Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, Guy McPherson
Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, Guy McPherson, photograph by Peter Melton

The video embedded below represents a parting shot from my tour in New York. It’s from an un-birthday party in New York City.

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I’m traveling, and will be less available than usual. Please display patience when waiting for comments to be posted.
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Please visit the DONATIONS tab. I’m open to non-monetary donations, subject only to your creativity. For example, I would appreciate your generosity with respect to frequent-flyer miles.
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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.

Earlier this week, McPherson and some-time guest host Pauline Schneider interviewed Frank Coughlin. Catch the conversation in the archive here.
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Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?

4-16 March, Northern California Tour organized by Peter Melton: 530-680-5550,
Peter.Melton3@gmail.com. Additional venues may be added.

11-12 March 2015, Veterans Hall, 415 North Pine Street, Nevada City, California, presentation and workshop titled, “Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?” Follow on Facebook here.

11 March: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. presentation and public discussion
11 March: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. workshop part I
12 March: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. workshop part II

13-14 March 2015, Chico, California, presentation and workshop titled, “Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?” Follow on Facebook here.

13 March 13: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. presentation and public discussion, Chico CARD Center, 545 Valambrosa Avenue, Chico, California
13 March: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. workshop part I
14 March: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. workshop part II, Chico Peace and Justice Center, 526 Broadway

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22 March – 3 April Boston, Massachusetts. Details to follow.

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6-30 April 2015, western Europe (additional details forthcoming, and follow the tour at guymcpherson.net and also on Facebook)

25 April 2015, 6:00 p.m., Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, “Climate Awareness Seminar”

European tour spring 2015

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

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Tech note, courtesy of mo flow: Random issues have been appearing with posting comments. Sometimes a “Submit Comment” click will return a 404 Page Not Found, or another error, for no apparent reason. To ensure you don’t lose a longer comment, you can right-click select all, and right-click copy, in the comment box before clicking “Submit.” If that hasn’t been done, the comment text will likely still be in the comment box when clicking the back button, or the forward button — depending on the error — on your browser.

Comments 70

  • I have now read 1/3 of Raymond C. Kelly’s book, Warless Societies and the Origin of War, recommended by red fox and earlier by others, if I recall correctly. I definitely will finish reading this book and I will probably comment further on it, but I think I now understand enough of it so as to comment in a reasonably knowledgeable way about it. Thus the following comments.

    First, Kelly does NOT suggest, as a number of people who have commented here clearly believe he does, that most or all early human groups lived in warless ways as suggested by the Romantic myths of Rousseau and others. Indeed, Kelly often stresses exactly the opposite (and, as I previously noted, he praises the work of Lawrence Keely in his book, War Before Civilization). He frequently stresses the violence that so often occurred in early human groups with statements like this “Likewise, the same societies that eschew war may evidence homicide rates that are quite high—or even extraordinarily high—by comparative standards.” This brief quote from page 43, among many other similar, often much longer quotes, nicely summarizes his thinking about this:

    “We have seen from Ember’s (1978) cross-cultural study that frequent warfare is evident among 64 percent of a worldwide sample of 31 hunter-gatherers, while warfare is rare or nonexistent in only 10 to 12 percent of those cases (as noted in the introductory chapter). This prompts the question: what differentiates warless from warlike hunter-gatherers? The potential differentiating features range from child socialization patterns, to conflict management practices, and the structural violence hierarchy to population pressure, resource competition, and sedentarism. However, the results of the inquiry conducted in the preceding chapter suggest that the key differentiating features are essentially organizational. Thus we now need to determine the extent to which specifiable organizational attributes covary with the frequency of warfare among a representative sample of hunter-gatherers with little or no reliance on agriculture.”

    This paragraph nicely summarizes the point of much of Kelly’s research and this book: to discriminate between the greatest percentage of warlike hunter-gatherer and the much smaller percentage warless ones in hopes of determining the variable, or variables, that would account for the differences between them.

    This paragraph, also from page 43, begins to specify that difference:

    “These findings very strongly suggest that the origin of war—in the sense of the initiation of warfare in a sociocultural context where it did not previously exist—entails a transition from one form of collective violence to another, rather than a transition from peaceful nonviolence to lethal armed conflict. The main contours of this postulated transition are also indicated by the reappraisal of interpersonal violence in Fabbro’s selected sample of [7] Peaceful Societies carried out in chapter 1. [All of these so-called ‘peaceful’ societies incorporated much violence, but they did not meet the carefully defined, five-of-seven standards for warfare. For classification as “peaceful”, Fabbro could use only five of the seven standards, otherwise none of these societies would have qualified for the label ‘peaceful’.] The transition entails a shift from: (1) individual homicide followed by the execution of the killer, carried out by the homicide victim’s aggrieved next of kin and the latter’s supporters, to (2) war (including feud) in which an ‘unsuspecting relative’ or coresident of the perpetrator of an initial homicide is killed in blood vengeance by the homicide victim’s aggrieved next of kin and the latter’s supporters or coresidents, triggering a like desire for vengeance and thus underwriting reciprocating episodes of lethal armed conflict between two social groups or collectivities. The critical change from individual to group responsibility overrides the intrinsic self-limiting features of violence in warless societies.”

    Note the first sentence here: “…the origin of war…entails a transition from one form of collective violence to another, rather than a transition from peaceful nonviolence to lethal armed conflict.” The following paragraph from page 44 pretty clearly, and importantly, states what Kelly’s research suggests serves as the primary causal variable that discriminates warlike from warless hunter-gatherer groups:

    “There are no human societies in which social groups are absent so that there is no potentiality that warlessness simply covaries with grouplessness. However, there is a range of variation in the extent to which group concepts are elaborated and in the delineation of some but not other social situations as group concerns, including various situations of conflict. Moreover, there is variation in application of the much more precise concept of social substitution whereby one individual takes the place of another in certain specifiable social situations (e.g., one brother succeeds to aspects of the social position of another upon the latter’s death). Social substitution establishes an identity between a pair of individuals (or the comembers of a set of individuals) both from the external standpoint of other persons and in terms of the way in which they view themselves and view each other. This contains the kernel of an operational collective identity, that is, of a group identity capable of being realized in social action, as well as the kernel of a sense of interests or projects in common that transcend the individual level. In contrast, a group identity based on a shared similarity (such as a common language) [or HUMAN vs. white, black, Indian, oriental, Jew, Catholic, Christian, Islamic, British, German, male, female, or whatever] does not intrinsically contain any basis for collective action, nor does a shared similarity necessarily entail a common interest. While no societies are groupless, there is thus very substantial variation with respect to the development of group concepts. A general appreciation of this ethnographic range of variation informs the delineation of a type of society characterized by the minimum degree of elaboration of social groups. This type may conveniently be labeled by the rubric UNSEGMENTED SOCIETIES.”

    One should read this paragraph carefully in order to construct and appreciate the critical concept of “social substitution”. Note that the term “unsegmented society” refers to MINIMAL in-group/out-group social classification.

    To state all of this in perhaps the briefest possible terms, Kelly’s research suggests that socially constructed and accepted ideas of in-groups vs. out-groups (wherein other people can substitute for perpetrators within that out-group) for the most part causes warfare in hunter-gatherer societies. Given that this social organization variable served as perhaps the fundamental causal variable for warfare in early human societies, it makes logical sense to assume that it ALSO probably serves the fundamental causal variable for warfare today.

    Consider the implications of this regarding those who emphasize, encourage, and reinforce in-group/out-group thinking, as many often do here at NBL: these people—ironically, for the most part the same people who mistakenly insist on the peaceful nature of early humans—encourage and support the very social process that most strongly predicts warfare. If this social in-group/out-group thinking with its subsequent social organization caused warfare in the past, as Kelly’s research indicates, it probably also contributes strongly to warfare today. Given all of this, it seems to me that those who so strongly, loudly, and repetitively advocate, emphasize, and pound their “we’re the good people in-group and you, or they, are the bad people out-group” drum beat might wish to reconsider, because with this drumbeat they introduce, reinforce, and encourage the fundamental social process that leads ultimately to warfare.

  • @Bud: Consider the implications of this regarding those who emphasize, encourage, and reinforce in-group/out-group thinking, as many often do here at NBL: these people—ironically, for the most part the same people who mistakenly insist on the peaceful nature of early humans—encourage and support the very social process that most strongly predicts warfare. If this social in-group/out-group thinking with its subsequent social organization caused warfare in the past, as Kelly’s research indicates, it probably also contributes strongly to warfare today. Given all of this, it seems to me that those who so strongly, loudly, and repetitively advocate, emphasize, and pound their “we’re the good people in-group and you, or they, are the bad people out-group” drum beat might wish to reconsider, because with this drumbeat they introduce, reinforce, and encourage the fundamental social process that leads ultimately to warfare.

    >>>

    This is true, for sure. That’s why I cringe inside when I hear Guy talk about wanting to go travelling so he can visit his “tribe”.

    We’re over the cliff, in free fall, and the big SPLAT is certain. Thinking about tribes, or in vs out groups, or my people vs other people, is exactly the sort of thinking that got us here. It is the sort of thinking that is at the root of EMPIRE, to use a favorite NBL word once again.

    When we finally eat our shadow, we come to see that there really is no “us vs them”. In Buddha’s language, this is simply a delusion…a deep and persistent delusion.

    “Passionately pursuing a life of excellence” means that we make a commitment – for its own sake – not to walk around with eyes wide shut any more. It means we respond to the inner call to face our delusions squarely, call them what they are, and stop putting lipstick on that pig.

    There is nothing brave, heroic or wise about adopting a “tribal” perspective – perhaps not ever, but certainly not now.

    Will eating our shadow in this way stop NTE from happening? Of course not. Will it guarantee that we’ll find a vast pool of other doomers to have a cuddle party with, as the lights go dim? Of course not.

    But it will give us the ability to face our future without fear and loathing and despair – whether we are alone or with others of like mind. Because once we realize that there’s no “us vs them” in reality, we can truly meet anybody, anywhere, at anytime.

    Rumi: ‘Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

  • ed, you’re clearly clueless about tribalism. Unfortunately, civilization encourages us to arrogantly disparage any other way of living.

  • python eats shadow.
    shadow not satisfying.
    squeezing so hard,

    eyeballs pop right out
    of one’s fucking head,
    python eats human.

    python satisfied,
    at last.

  • ed,

    I agree with Guy’s comment, and I would point to the first sentence of the longest of the Kelly paragraphs that I quoted: “There are no human societies in which social groups are absent so that there is no potentiality that warlessness simply covaries with grouplessness.” In your comment, you suggest that humans living in various kinds of groups, including tribes, necessarily involves in-group/out-group thinking and social processes. Nothing I wrote here about Kelly’s work suggests any such thing. Furthermore, our universal “tribal” living arrangements point directly at our biological, social, and psychological attachments to each other. Contrary to a good bit of religious and philosophical thinking, these universal levels and forms of social, tribal living do not suggest that we will have much, if any, success in pretending that such attachments do not, or presumably should not, occur, nor that such attachments suggest some kind of pathology that we would supposedly best grow out of. Indeed, they strongly suggest the opposite: that we ignore our social attachments to each other, to other species, and to Earth at our detriment.

  • The chilly weather on the US East Coast is apparently freezing waves over. Is this bizarre or what? A photographic trick? If it’s not a trick, the chill must have set in rather abruptly for a wave in motion to freeze over quickly enough to retain its shape. The physics of it confounds me. The water making up the wave must have been very very cold already.

    And how nice that we can buy High Res photos documenting the end of the world online! Civilization and Technology are awesome!

  • Satish, to me the waves look more like the consistency of a Slushy, sure sign of global brain freeze!

    BUD, I think I know why some people automatically flip out and get hot under the collar if their basic beliefs or assumptions are questioned: Such questioning threatens their fundamental sense of who they think they are, provoking anxiety. This discomfort often triggers an automatic (unconscious) response in defense of the self. This is often manifested as anger thus closing down communication on a personal or societal level.

    Many people are trapped, or frozen in persona with little chance to advance as an enlightened individual because they refuse to let go of beliefs that formed their sense of who they are when they were quite young. Society is very good at trapping the young in completely insane ways to think and be. Later, if those beliefs are questioned, most people will respond forcefully to protect the ideals they believe are superior because, though they may be thoroughly evil, they are socially acceptable. Now, in their later years, not so young anymore, but holding the same beliefs, they stand in the way of those needing to question and grow.

  • As IC chugs forward I continually read or hear this parade of learned folks spouting about wind, sun, waves or soil sequestration of co2 and I can only scratch my head. I’m no genius, but WTF?

  • The Karma This Time

    Doom will give haters who lurk
    An excuse to go wholly berserk;
    But not balm for despair
    In a world that’s unfair,
    This time the karma will work.

  • Old Growth Forrest-

    Just read your comment. STOP right now attributing commentary to me that I NEVER said. This makes you quite simply a fucking liar and it really angers me.

    I read that oldgrowthforest enjoys fondling children or “something along those lines”.

  • old growth LIAR-

    YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY. Otherwise SHOW ME and everyone else reading this blog that I said the holocaust was “an unfortunate incident or something along those lines.”

    There is NOTHING WORSE than a LIAR.

  • Satish – Amazing frozen waves. Most pics are real but some yahoo cheated and posted SPFX from “Day After Tomorrow”.

    Will the end of the world stream on my i-phone live? Can I watch it high speed? Emergency backup generators on the nuclear reactors last exactly how long?

    On a serious note, Google the news pics of how LIGHT has been photographed acting as both a wave and particle at once. The duality has been captured! Cern is going to attempt to do a higher power particle collision than ever before this summer. Talk about a heat engine. Big bang singularity. 0o0 Test discharge = 1 HOT electro mag impulse “aftershock” that must be absorbed. For the future of Energy exploration the CERN conductor is technically “Fracking” Earths force field.

  • Mr Nye wrot: “First, Kelly does NOT suggest, as a number of people who have commented here clearly believe he does, that most or all early human groups lived in warless ways as suggested by the Romantic myths of Rousseau and others.”

    No one on here has suggested what you accuse them of. You are projecting yet again. You are setting up another straw man. The whole point of the previous discussion was to highlight the fact that NOT ALL HUMANS were warlike or made war or genocide. Your position, unless I have totally misread you is that ever since whenever, the human species is predisposed to war and genocide. The evidence just does not support an innate human nature based on your position. I recollect various links regarding this. To be part of human nature (whatever that is), all people at all time would be subject to same the traits and actions. Quite obviously they have not been re: this subject.

    If only 1 human group (for the sake of argument), ever, didnt indulge in warfare/genocide that would negate the whole “human nature” theory. Like I said before, there is an alternative and evidence points to it.

    Stop trying to imply a false linkage between “the Romantic myths of Rousseau and others” to people who comment here please. You are well aware that no one adopts that position of opposites as was highlighted by both Mo Flow and myself previously.

    It seems that whatever one reads or hears we take from it that which confirms our beliefs. I will be interested to hear what you think of Kelly’s position once you have completed the whole book.

  • Finally old growth forest-

    Your commentary about Native North Americans has ABSOLUTELY NO RELATION to my observations in Colombia, South America. Obviously you are angered by my reporting. In your fanaticism to discredit me you only managed to make yourself appear as a certified LUNATIC.

    I will continue to demand an apology until you are man/woman enough to admit your gross libel.

    Just awhile back I went through this same bullshit with a writer on NBL from Australia whose name escapes me, although he was good enough to apologize to me.

    Friends, I am sorry for going over the two post rule; however, I trust you will appreciate my anger over this affront to my character.

    Why are incidents like this all too common on NBL? On several occasions now I have encountered other commentators like Old Growth Forest fabricating commentary in a desperate attempt to disparage my character.

  • Friedrich – was your father the infamous s. lee kling from carter days ?

    I followed his political career for years.

  • Kirk,

    “Such questioning threatens their fundamental sense of who they think they are, provoking anxiety. This discomfort often triggers an automatic (unconscious) response in defense of the self. This is often manifested as anger thus closing down communication on a personal or societal level.”

    Well said. We all do it to some extent. It’s as if we’re made up of layers and layers of stories that build upon each other. It’s the stories that we believe in and defend that make up our identity and we’d go far to preserve our sense of identity and defend the self. Sometimes, the stories do break up and a new set of stories take their place. The self help industry is based on helping people replace some of their stories with others. I have written a story of stories here that explores this topic.

    Bud,

    There were tens of thousands of tribes all over the world. Perhaps hundreds of thousands. The odds are that tribes became cancerous here and there occasionally. Just like there’s a background rate of species extinction that’s natural (it’s 4 species per year according to one source), tribes lost balance and harmony with their land and went extinct once in a while for various reasons such as a sudden natural catastrophe that decimates their food base. Or they went extinct gradually over generations as they (intentionally or inadvertently) left their old time-tested ways and tried new things. Or they simply failed to adapt to changing conditions because they stopped listening. It’s not hard to imagine that tribes became cancerous and warlike before going extinct. We’re headed there ourselves. Our civilization started with one or more tribes losing their way. Every civilization must have started this way. How else did agriculture start? How else did cities start? One or more tribes tried new things. We know not all tribes tried new dangerous risky things. There are still uncontacted tribes in the Amazon who want to be left alone by us. We were all hunter gatherers at one point. No exceptions. Just like we were all primates at one point. So did war exist in pre-history? Yes. Did some tribes become warlike? Yes. Is being warlike something innate to the human species? No. Mostly, tribes survived and thrived by maintaining peaceful relationships and marrying into and trading with other tribes. Some tribes were nomadic and other tribes would let them stay on their land seasonally. The nomadic tribe would enrich the land in some way, returning the favor. There was plenty of symbiosis. There was competition but there was plenty of cooperation. As long as these remained in balance, things worked out. But when the balance was upset, tribes warred with each other and inevitably some became warlike over generations. Typically tribes that become warlike go extinct quickly. Our “global tribe” that represents 99% of humanity is a case in point.

    Ouse,

    “Too bad it seems industrial civilization seems to be a natural process driven by intelligence. And the final and complete demise of intelligence seems also to be inevitable.”

    I’ve been thinking about what “intelligence” really means. Like “progress”, “development” and “technology”, this word has a positive connotation to it. But upon closer inspection, it turns out to be a bit hollow. At least the way it’s used colloquially. The almighty Internet defines it as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills” and “the collection of information of military or political value”. Neither of these definitions even provide a hint of how “intelligence” works in nature, where it’s slow paced, harmonious, sensitive and where all participants are skilled at listening to other participants and adapt and change over long time periods. Intelligence in nature is about sensitive self-expression (sensitive to the expression of other beings). If intelligence is a continuum, grafting one plant onto another to produce a hybrid is more intelligent than genetic engineering where they shoot a foreign gene into a host with a gene gun and hope it will stick. The former is more slow paced, more harmonious, more sensitive to the needs of the participants allowing them to take their own sweet time as they evolve. Sometimes it takes hundreds of years to get the desired result but the participants and the habitat have plenty of time to adapt to this new variety. The latter is forceful, impetuous, irresponsible in terms of risk and rather insensitive to participants (including the consumers of GE foods). What kind of intelligence is our modern intelligence?

    You’re right on: the final and complete demise of intelligence seems also to be inevitable.

    Lidia,

    “I find the idea of trying to ‘attain’ something (sainthood, enlightenment, a place in heaven) unseemly. I just don’t understand that sort of aspiration and never did… it truly puzzles me. And the dizzying sets of numbered rules and supernatural accounting systems I just find silly. I’m always amazed at how religious schemes maintain their grip on the human mind.”

    I hesitate to throw the baby out of the bathwater. There’s plenty that is going on that we don’t see and that our instruments can’t measure. Organized religion doesn’t usually go there, at least these days, when it can barely withstand the onslaught of the Scientific mind. I was trained as an engineer and was taught to discount ancient ways as outdated superstition. But the tables have turned and the latest Science (funny how we always say “the latest Science”) is discovering all sorts of non-physical phenomena. Consciousness is non-local?

    “They know that they are prey to agribiz and marketers and “scientists” who are telling them one minute that margarine is good for them, now it’s bad for them, GMOs are okay, Roundup is ok to eat.”

    Yeah, what’s up with that? It’s as if we don’t even know what to eat! The food pyramid is updated a half dozen times in one’s lifetime! From NIH web site:

    “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1991 withdrawal of its Eating Right Pyramid food guide in response to pressure from meat and dairy producers was only the latest in a long series of industry attempts to influence federal dietary recommendations. Such attempts began when diet-related health problems in the United States shifted in prevalence from nutrient deficiencies to chronic diseases, and dietary advice shifted from “eat more” to “eat less.” The Pyramid controversy focuses attention on the conflict between federal protection of the rights of food lobbyists to act in their own self-interest, and federal responsibility to promote the nutritional health of the public. Since 1977, for example, under pressure from meat producers, federal dietary advice has evolved from “decrease consumption of meat” to “have two or three (daily) servings.” Thus, this recent incident also highlights the inherent conflict of interest in the Department of Agriculture’s dual mandates to promote U.S. agricultural products and to advise the public about healthy food choices.”

    FriedrichKling,

    “While this may be true for some tribes, there are plenty of other tribal groups whose definition of heaven is a Toyota pick-up, shotgun, and 24″ chain saw. The groups I have personally witnessed are just as vested in the luxuries of modernity as anybody else. Further, I am amazed by their complete lack of concern for the natural world. The reservation sites I have visited are denuded of trees and every square inch is dedicated to modern agriculture; however, when rich Western hippies appear or the pols from Bogota appear bearing gifts of land and cash, the traditional clothing is quickly donned and on goes the dog and pony show replete with tribal dances and shamans. This observation demonstrates that the construct of “good guys” and “bad guys” is complete BS.”

    Tribes that assimilate into civilization do it over time, usually over a few generations. During such transition, it’s as if they have a dual identity. They are caught between stories and it’s usually a period of great confusion. Hundreds of books have been written and thousands of scholarly works have been produced by “Anthropologists” and “Social Scientists” that deal with just such a transition phase. Usually, they talk about the inevitability of “modernization” and the ways to speed it up, and less frequently about what’s being lost. So, yeah, during such a transition, tribal people sure want modern conveniences even as they try to hang on to their old time-tested ways. Your observations speak to that. An excellent description of just how contact with civilization unfolds is presented by Helena Norberg-Hodge in “Ancient Futures”.

    Perhaps the fact that you were able to visit these tribes and make these observations has something to do with the fact that they want pick-up trucks? I don’t mean to say they want those trucks because of you. But that they were partially assimilated prior to you visiting them. In fact, partial assimilation is a pre-requisite for a visit like yours. You’re observing a disturbed tribe. The tribe is no longer in balance with its land. Post-contact with civilization, all bets are off. You’re no longer able to tell how exactly the tribe lived pre-contact. This very issue has been a point of debate in Anthropology (Sahlins vs Chagnon, etc.) Chagnon who studied the highly distressed and destabilized tribal culture of the Yanomame called them warlike.

    I will go so far as to say that the revered primatologist, Jane Goodall, committed the same mistake (perhaps unwittingly) when she came up with the sensational stories about chimpanzees ripping each other into shreds. The “survival of the fittest” gang picked this up and ran with it and put it in our textbooks. Goodall was observing a disturbed population of primates, not a wild one. The book “Sex at Dawn” explores this. We don’t need to invoke Quantum Physics to realize that the act of observation changes both the observer and the observed. This is where Empiricism begins to break down. Perhaps Chagnon didn’t really distribute machetes among the Yanomame before documenting them and perhaps Goodall didn’t distribute bananas to the chimpanzees she was studying in Gombe, but they were both observing disturbed populations. All bets are off.

  • According to Market Watch the U.S. economy is now number 2 in the world.

    The warmongering imperialism is taking its toll.

    That economic weakness is likely to damage the efforts to do something about green house gases.

    “It costs jobs to stop using fossil fuels” and other propaganda are sure to follow.

    There is also the prospect of war with the number 1 economy (Economic War Of The Pacific – 5).

    Love and Peace.

  • “You never hear religion questioned, you never hear capitalism questioned, you never hear our foreign policy questioned.” – Dr. Ehrlich. These are all dopamine conduits and the subconscious blocks any criticism of them. In other words, delivery of “feel good”, the one thing the subconscious really understands, cannot be overcome by rational objection. Enjoy the good ole apple pie while it lasts because the final serving will be human mincemeat. Once you understand that this technological organism is not a rational construct, then you can also realize that it will not be rationally deconstructed.

  • Mr. Kling:

    I’m a liar? I think you are, or something else.

    This is your comment January 29. And you did call it a “regretful incident,” not “unfortunate,” but I see little difference between them. It was not any kind of incident.

    A. Pike-

    “I am sorry, but you fail to understand the meaning of my post.
    You are not proud to be an American and I respect your prerogative.
    I am exceedingly proud of being German. I am grateful to the United States of America. Germans have a long and proud history of innovation and accomplishment, which will not be dominated by a regretful incident 70 years ago.”

    I’m no liar, so fuck off, liar.

  • So, you demand an apology, Fred. You’re the liar, the worst thing in the world.

    You owe me am apology, by your own standards.

    I don’t want one. I don’t care about an apology from you. What histrionic, drama king bullshit. Maybe you will be “man enough” to admit your errors. I doubt it. Anyone who can make a comment like yours is not likely to become more sensitive anytime soon.

  • No one has to disparage your character, Fred. You did that all on your own, and you’ve made yourself look a greater fool by going all outraged false pride now that I have done as you asked and posted a quote of your own words.

    The Holocaust in Germany or the US was not a “regretful incident.” It was a monstrous horror.

  • Amen, “questioning ANY dominant paradigm” can get you into real boiling water.

    … ANY dominant paradigm.

    Truth exists & we must constantly seek it because others are committed to deceiving us & throwing pepper in our eyes.

    What has happened to mankind’s’ two most important questions; “Is it true?” & “How do you know this?”

  • old growth scum bag-

    So you were employed by Fox News. You remove two words out of context to convey a meaning other than was intended. If you quote a person, quote the entire statement, douche bag.

    You are not only a liar, but a scoundrel.

  • old moldy growth-

    Lovely. Firstly, you quote two words incorrectly. Then you quote A. Pike rather than my entire statement in a desperate attempt at subterfuge. You employ the same tactics as the Republican right-wing smear machine.

    Here is the same tactic used by old moldy growth.

    “Suppose I wrote the following in an article:

    The most charitable reconstruction of Adolf Hitler’s argument for killing Jews goes, more or less, like this. Jews are equivalent to infected people in all of those zombie virus apocalypse movies. In such unfortunate emergency circumstances, the best thing one can do is kill the infected people, however sad and gruesome that may be. If Jews are going to destroy the world the way I Am Legend’s zombies threaten to destroy the world, it might be justifiable to kill them.

    Now, suppose after writing this, the right-wing smear machine posted a series of articles quoting me as follows:

    Jason Brennan said, “Jews are equivalent to infected people in all of those zombie apocalypse movies. The best thing one can do is kill the infected people, however sad and gruesome that may be. If Jews are going to destroy the world, it might be justifiable to kill them.”

    Notice how quoting me out of context changes things. It makes it seem as though I endorse a view I did not actually endorse. If people quoted me out of context and then reacted with outrage, that would show a rather significant intellectual and moral failing on their part. If people demanded that I apologize, well, I can’t say here what my response would be.”

    Gee, you must really be proud of yourself. Instead you have proven yourself to be a fabricator.

    Here’s some advice: Shut your pie hole.

  • Kirk Hamilton,

    Your very well stated possible reason for why so many people get so angry when others question, challenge, or disagree with their favorite beliefs makes darned good sense to me. In reflecting on this a little just now, when I think of the times people have challenged my beliefs and I felt anxious about it, I think I have yet another possible motivation: if I sense a real, serious challenge (vs. an obvious error or some technical misunderstanding) I sometimes experience a sense of cognitive dissonance, a clash between my prior belief and the new, apparently valid contradictory evidence. When this happens I find that I need to make a decision: do I rationalize and self-justify my old belief? Or do I incorporate the new evidence and change my beliefs as needed? Especially if the situation involves some kind of public forum where others might see me as “wrong”, embarrassment might make things even more difficult for me wherein I may need to acknowledge my error or ignorance not only to myself but to others as well, or apologize for something. I like to think that much more often than not I bite the bullet, acknowledge my failure(s), and make the needed changes in my thinking or apology, but I do wonder what actual percentage of the time I do a good job of that. Anyway, thanks for your thought provoking possible reason. I think you got it spot on, making a total present list of three motivations.

    red fox,

    First, to everyone who reads and comments here (not just to you, red), a little mini-lecture, as I often gave to my often frustrated high school students: we communicate only with great difficulty and with many errors in transmitting and receiving, NOT with ease and accuracy as most people usually seem to assume! Indeed, communication occurs with SO much difficulty, SO much room for misunderstandings, both in transmitting and receiving, especially given the huge amount of information, its complexity, and its subtlety, that I feel surprised that we manage it at all. So, given this unfortunate reality, might I suggest some patience with ourselves and with each other? (Lecture over.)

    Red fox, over many months, and I think from a review of archived comments over years, I have understood that a number of people who have commented here DO clearly believe that most or all early human groups lived in essentially warless ways as suggested by the Romantic myths of Rousseau and others. Some have defended Rousseau’s and other’s Romanticism, which, though I disagree with it, seems fine with me because we all remain entitled to our values and opinions. If you do not think in this way and I misattributed such thinking to you, then I apologize for my misunderstanding of some of your points. Again, accurately transmitting and receiving occur with great difficulty, not ease, and THIS indicates precisely why we need to paraphrase our understandings of what others have written and ask for confirmation and clarification, especially when misunderstandings may have occurred. (Unfortunately, far more often than not, when I have done this here others have ignored my paraphrasing and/or clarifying questions, sometimes even attacking me for asking them.)

    No, I have not set up any straw men, certainly not knowingly, and you have badly misunderstood me if you think I have believed or suggested either that humans often behave with warfare because of genetic determination or that all humans participated in warfare and/or genocide whether “because of innate human nature” or not. I have never thought either of these things, and I don’t think I have ever written either of these things. (Of course, others may have misunderstood me to have thought or written such things, as you have.) And THIS points to why, when misunderstandings or confusion may have occurred, we need to directly quote others, state our present understanding, and then ASK FOR CLARIFICATION, and NOT proceed as though we presumably “know the truth” about the other person’s values, thinking, feeling, and so on—and MOST certainly NOT try to tell the other person what they supposedly “really” think and feel! Yes, a sometimes slow, frustrating process.

    You wrote “It seems that whatever one reads or hears we take from it that which confirms our beliefs.” Yes, we have very strong tendencies to do this (see Kahneman’s “affect heuristic”, for example), as well as to formulate beliefs that conform with those of our local peer group (see the excellent 5-min video I posted a few days ago). Much psychological research supports these principles, and in my opinion this strongly emphasizes the need for open natural scientific evidence and reasoning, vs. a strong or exclusive focus on religious or philosophical reasoning, which remains relatively closed by comparison (and largely for that reason, they may “withstand the test of time”, which does not seem necessarily a positive attribute, in my opinion).

    I will comment further on Kelly’s book, if not before then after I have finished it. Meanwhile, I have started reading Fry’s War, Peace, and Human Nature.

  • I was absolutely correct about you. Can I sue Fred for libel?

    No, there is no “out of context,” the comments were about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and someone even posted a documentary, I think by Hitchcock on it.

    Now, you have proved you are a liar to everyone here. And all you can do is lie more and call names.

  • Thanks, Satish. Superb understanding.

  • oldgrowthforest and FriedrichKling,

    It seems to me that your recent, highly emotional exchange rests not on an accurate understanding of each other’s thinking and values, but on misunderstandings, and it appears to me that these misunderstandings have occurred due to your human fallibilities in accurately writing and reading—fallibilities that we all have, certainly including me. I would like to propose a repair: After taking a break for a day might you BOTH consider apologizing to each other for your human failures to write and read accurately, for your all too human inabilities to communicate perfectly? I do not presume to know for sure, but I strongly sense that you both actually agree with each other about the holocaust. (Of course, due to the nature of the situation, if you make this repair attempt one of you will have to take the risk of going first.)

  • Mr Nye,
    Thank you for clarifying your position with regards to human nature/warfare etc. I’m glad that you dont see things in such black and white terms as some of your comments seem to suggest (to me that is!).

    Ultimately, it’s my opinion that whatever certain human groups got up to before 10,000 years ago, is going to remain unknowable and certainly open to conjecture. It is ok to joust about different theories and views however. I will await with interest your thoughts on the Kelly book and the Fry anthology.

  • old moldy growth-

    Did anyone ever tell you that when you find yourself in a hole stop digging- obviously not.

    Since you did not like my reporting of the facts from Colombia, you foolishly attempted to invalidate the information by quoting two words I had written, incorrectly I might add, out of context to insinuate that I was dismissive of the holicoust. If you were an honest person, you would quote my entire statement, but honesty is not your trademark. Since you did not like my message, you attempted to attack the messenger- a well worn tactic of the right-wing smear machine.

    Old moldy growth indeed.

  • Mr. Kling,

    Lovely. Firstly, you quote two words incorrectly. Then you quote A. Pike rather than my entire statement in a desperate attempt at subterfuge.

    I just re-read the back and forth between you and Amy Pike from 1/29/15.
    Amy Pike did not re-quote your text. The only place it appears in the archives is under your name, not hers. So ogf is quoting you, not Amy Pike. And, getting empirical and all…only one of your words, “unfortunate” instead of “regretful” was quoted incorrectly. Not quite the level of subterfuge and fabrication that you seem to think.

    Absent a note from your doctor documenting a memory-deficit condition that might possibly have prevented you from remembering what you wrote back in January, you may want to try persuading us that you meant the phrase “regretful incident” to mean something other than what 99.9%+ of us careful readers with modest (or better) historical knowledge would take it to mean…or try persuading us how what you said should be understood in some new context (low odds on this, but you could give it a shot).

    Barring any of the above, maybe it’s time to “own your words”.
    Of course, you could always pick the shovel up again and continue digging.

    Podría ser difícil para que usted pueda vals su manera de salir de esto..*

    *Google Translate’s version of “It may be difficult for you to waltz your way out of this one.” [German version is left to the reader.]

  • So 2015 is off to a rousing start…record low Arctic sea ice extent; blistering global temperature anomalies; frightening methane emission peaks and blow holes appearing in Siberia; desperate droughts and flooding across the globe; anticipation of historic wild fires in the North American west this spring and summer due to minimal snow pack recharge; confirmation of AGW as a threat and violence multiplier (Syria); and a formally declared El Nino sure to bring mind blowing heat later this year. However, rather than discussing these events and addressing the care and feeding of our community and loved ones, many folks here at NLB continue to huff and puff about misquoting and name-calling and other childish, second grade behavior. How totally and truly pathetic.

    As a father of three young children, who comes to this site in search of 1) information, 2) support, and 3) solace, I wish that the vocal minority of assailants would shift over to the Batter’s Up forum for their daily bitching about other members. You could call it, “I know you are, but what am I”, or “I am rubber you are glue”. But either way, have the decency to refrain from making the blog a dumping ground for your one on one sparring sessions.

  • 1. It’s Guy’s blog, not yours.

    2. Let’s not get into a value judgment about your definition of “decency.” I am decent, thank you.

    3. Your rationalizing and justification for your own attacks are poopalah. There is a higher truth that is always at work, and it doesn’t matter what your motives are: your opinions about the other people are none of their business. YOU have no ethical right to dump that on anyone, and it doesn’t matter what you want or why you come here. You don’t like the post, you’ve expressed that opinion. We all know.

    4. People in Europe consider Holocaust denial a crime punishable by imprisonment. Normally I don’t spar with people as I have here. The last of the open genocide against Native Americans was not that long ago. Technically, the end of the “Indian Wars” (genocide) occurred in 1890 at Wounded Knee, but in fact in California people were still shooting Native Americans on sight with impunity into the first decade or two of the 20th Century. However, it was only 1972 when Indian Child Welfare Act was passed to prevent a more subtle genocide, that of stealing babies and children illegally from their American Indian parents. It was rampant in the US until that time.

    I will say what I please regarding genocide, in particular the American Holocaust against the indigenous people, and if you want to take me on, go right ahead. I never pick up a gauntlet like this one unless I mean it, and I can follow through. I don’t run around “bitching” like you did, casually insulting people and judging them in second-hand, entirely unoriginal sound-bites, justifying myself and rationalizing my own behavior. If I make a statement like I made about Kling’s comment, which I have every right to do, and it was a truthful statement, you better believe I mean it, and I can back it up, and I will finish it.

    I’m more selective and more careful with my venom than that which you display in your bitching. And I’m not responsible for making you happy, either, so if my posts don’t make you happy, then either discuss the exact issue, or deal with your inner needs on your own. It’s what adults do. And that’s a higher truth, too, than your judgments and whining.

  • Thanks Satish and Bud for the feedback. Also Satish, for the interesting link. I’ve saved it and will try to get to it over the weekend.

  • Mighty El Niño is back – here’s what you need to know
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27098-mighty-el-nino-is-back–heres-what-you-need-to-know.html#.VPoZ8J3F-tM

    “After months and months of teasing forecasters, El Niño has officially arrived, and it’s set to boost global warming to new record levels.”

    Hold on folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  • Mr. Kling,

    It just occurred to me that perhaps the closest word in German that can be translated to “regretful” carries more emotional weight than “regretful” currently carries. A contemporary classic non-apology (sometimes it is even an anti-apology) in English might be phrased, “Oh, you were offended by what I said ? Well, I regret that you were offended.” Maybe in German it’s different. If it is, please enlighten me.

    A quick trip to Google’s multi-lingual inter-translation module provides
    bedauernd: regretful, apologetic, apologetical. Reference material on English usage of “regretful” will still probably always yield “apologetic” as a synonym. But the rhetorical gimmick of using “regret” to try to put the blame back on the offended person/group is widespread these days, especially from the smear machines policing both [irrelevant] poles of USA politics.

    So, now you have your shovel and a ladder…I hope you climb, but in case you don’t, I’ll say it now…not gonna pass up my first chance at English/German wordplay just because the end of the world is coming…”I’ll be darned (I’m bedauernd), he kept on digging.”

    Row, row, row your boat.

    Homeland Security on the Beach of Doom?

  • OGF, your posts do not affect my happiness in any way whatsoever. I was not expressing an opinion about any particular individual post. I was suggesting that it is inconsiderate of anyone to use a topical, public blog for a series of personal attacks between individuals when another mechanism exists, on this same site, for any topic one wishes to discuss – which is why I said taking it to forum would be decent (considerate, respectful, appropriate).

    Also, if you believe that “adults” should ‘deal with inner needs on their own’, then why do you participate in a GROUP who’s owner espouses grief counseling and love being the only thing that remains?

  • Mr Kling and Sabine,

    I have a question for you! Do you agree with anything in the following word for word quote.

    Gerald Spezio Says:
    March 5th, 2015 at 11:06 am

    ogf, I am a proud German.

    I have no hesitation to be proud of my German heritage & the true history of Germany.

    I am proud of be a part of true German history, the German Volk, Gottfreid Herder, Max Planck, Adolph Hitler, National Socialism, & Germanic culture.

    I refuse to knell before the fraudulent propaganda of the Zionist engineered & orchestrated Holocaust Religion, especially the Holocaust gas chambers/ovens hoax.

    Proud German Sylvia Stolz has recently been sentenced to jail AGAIN by a Munich court for so-called Holocaust “denial.”

    Sylvia Stloz has been jailed for telling the truth about the Holocaust Hoax masquerading as history.quote :”

  • I’m up to six and Guy may throw me out of the joint.

    Joe, I do NOT have to justify anything I do on this blog or anywhere else to you. Your question is presumptuous, and yet another shining example of your confused ethics and boundaries. You believe that coming up with some kind of judgment concerning what is polite, etc., justifies your impertinence toward me, but it does not. Your judgments are your opinions, formed in your mind, and they aren’t any of my business, not even if they are about me.

    Maybe you should make a point of understanding the argument before you weigh in thinking you are competent to judge the situation, to decide that it’s just “bitching” or anything else. Slander and defamation in writing is libel. Libel isn’t bitching, for your information.

    I have my own reasons for everything I do, and if I thought I needed to consult with you prior to acting on those reasons, I would have contacted you before doing anything.

    Finally, I do not need, nor am I asking for your permission or approval on anything I do. But if you want to go there, today I will. You can get all of my disapproval and judgments regarding your own comments, which, so far I’m not that impressed with. I would start with your confusion about your own happiness, which absolutely is at the core of your comments.

    Take responsibility for your own happiness and desires. You justify your wants by you being a father of small children. OMG, the whole world better just make it easier for you, huh? I don’t think I was there nor am I responsible for your situation that makes you needy in this way. And if all you want is info, no one is stopping you. Go right ahead and read the info like we all do, sifting through the food fights. Not one person in this entire world is preventing you from doing that.

    I will take the consequences, if any, of egregious over-posts. I deserve it. It was worth it!

  • mo moderator here… wearing my most neutral colors.

    Mr. Kling – for clarity’s sake, here is the link to the comment in question from Jan 29:

    Edge of Extinction Episode #5

    obviously this blog is a diverse place. we have the freedom to run our own corner of anarchy on NBL. for the most part, I personally think it works out awesomely. I think it is very important what Bud points out above about the reality of communication – it is a wonder it can work at all, and it takes *time,* and real commitment, to make it work in the best possible way. this is an evolving process.

    I have one fundamental rule that I personally follow, to the best of my ability. every Being here on NBL, and on Earth – no exceptions – is truly “the same as God” in my mind, and they deserve the most fundamental level of respect based on that ultimate Reality. I think this attitude is actually the closest possible one to the Truth, and the hardest to come to terms with and act on. the reality of this goes the other direction – inwards. this means I myself must be as connected to my own integrity as possible, if I want to do justice, and honor, to my fellow Beings, as they Truly are.

    we are One, and there can be no other.

  • Hey, Mr. Joe D. I just want you to know that you’re welcome here, as are all. Everyone has their preferences as to what to read and take seriously and you’ll have to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff like many of us do. I love this place! If you keep coming back, soon you’ll have so many interesting things saved to study up on that you’ll have trouble getting to it all.

    When I first started here, a couple of years ago now, it was a lot worse. You could get ripped a new one for saying just about anything! In fact, I was called the worst thing I’ve ever seen anyone called, right here on NBL. I have to admit that I kind of got caught up in rebuking folks for some things they said but it wasn’t any fun so I gave it up. I mean…what difference does it make, anyway, unless one needs to protect their ego, which is kind of backwards in the grand scheme of things, when you come right down to it.

    If you have kids, you’re lucky to find any spare time at all. Believe me, I know! But I think that, if you wear a thick skin, you’ll soon learn to drop in on the relevant data here and not waste your time. I do want to warn you about mentioning your kids…every once in a while there is a complete lapse in compassion here and you could get your teeth kicked in for ‘breeding’. LOL! So, have fun here and don’t forget the 6th Stage of the Grieving Process, gallows humor!

    When things start to get more extincter
    Will I be able to control my sphincter?
    I think that I’ll find,
    someone following behind,
    saying, “what’s that big brown spot on your BEHINKTER!?!”

    Joe, if you ever need to talk about having kids, and with extinction coming, you can email me anytime. You can get my email from, mo flo.

    Sincerely, K

  • and anyone can reach me at: moflow at outlook dot com

    (don’t forget the dubya!)

  • He is the unseen Seer, the unheard Hearer, the unthought Thinker, the ununderstood Understander. Other than He there is no seer. Other than He there is no hearer. Other than he there is no thinker. Other than He there is no understander.

    (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.7.23)

    Lloyd deMause’s ‘The Origins of War in Child Abuse’ – from Freedomain Radio

  • Dredd,

    “There is also the prospect of war with the number 1 economy (Economic War Of The Pacific – 5).”

    Good one – I like how you pulled in all those pieces of information and connected them in your blog post.

    It seems there’s a currency war going on. An economic war too. The power elites are scrambling for the last few remaining resources on the planet.

  • infantyrrone-

    You are another idiot. I stated that Old Growth Forest quoted A. Pike rather than myself. Look at his post.

    What a bunch of fools.

  • Shep-

    Do you agree with this:

    You love to add fuel to the fire in a sick desire to exact revenge on others due to your own miserable personal failures. Your life has been nothing but failure, which explains your twisted desire to see the end of life. If your life is a disaster due to your inability to interact with others (i.e. business), than it must be the fault of others so screw em all.

  • infantydrone-

    For your education, this is what he wrote:

    A. Pike-

    “I am sorry, but you fail to understand the meaning of my post.
    You are not proud to be an American and I respect your prerogative.
    I am exceedingly proud of being German. I am grateful to the United States of America. Germans have a long and proud history of innovation and accomplishment, which will not be dominated by a regretful incident 70 years ago.”

    Now why would he write A. Pike’s name above my comments?

    Let me summarize my feelings once more:

    I am proud to be German.
    Germans have a long history of achievement and innovation that have contributed greatly to the world’s standard of living.
    I am grateful to the United States of America.
    You hate the United States. What makes the United States a great country is freedom of expression.

  • Hey Cling to ur mommy:

    Ur a money bully. Eat sh*t..

  • btw klingus the clown:

    s. lee kling was an complete and utter failure and so was CARTER.

  • New Climate Change Study Just 400 Pages Of Scientists Telling Americans To Read Previous Climate Change Studies

    ———————————————-

    WASHINGTON—Co-authored by several dozen of the nation’s top climatologists, a new climate change study released Wednesday by the U.S. Global Change Research Program reportedly consists of 400 pages in which scientists just tell Americans to read previous climate change studies. “Not sure if you saw this one from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from 2012 about how rising sea levels are putting billions of people in coastal cities at risk, or L.G. Thompson’s 2009 paper on the loss of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers, but really, you should check them out,” read the study in part, which is titled “The Global Climate At Risk: A Broad Survey Of Climate Change Reports That We’ve Been Publishing For Decades And That You Should Actually, Seriously Read.” “Look, there are hundreds of studies on Greenland’s rapidly melting ice sheet alone. If you could just skim the abstract of one of those—just one, that’s it—that would be great. They’re all online, and our JSTOR password is USGCRP90, so you can go and check one out right now.” The report is said to conclude with a single exasperated 28-page run-on sentence urging people to “just come on and look at these damn things, for the love of God—what more do you want from us—Jesus, this is ridiculous.”

    http://onion.com/1yjLwfk

  • China takes Under the Dome anti-pollution film offline

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-31778115

  • mo flo,

    As essentially a life-long pantheist, I agree with your March 6th, 2015 at 4:22 pm comment. In my opinion, like it or not what we do to others we really do also do to ourselves because we all exist as reciprocally interconnected and interdependent parts of the same universe, or, much closer to home, the same planet. Even so, we come onto the scene as highly emotional, irrational, self- and other-destructive animals, so our frequent, often severe relationship problems—best evidence suggesting universal among all cultures throughout all of human history!—remain for the most part impervious to rational, cognitive repair attempts.

    All,

    This 2-min, 15-sec description of attachment by the main originator of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, Susan Johnson, which I saw last night, blew me away with what seems to me its profound relevance and significance to the NBL theme and ESGs: http://eft.ca/index.php/training-dvds/an-externship-in-emotionally-focused-couples-therapy-detail . (John Gottman highly recommends Susan Johnson’s work.) “An attachment moment is when one human being reaches out to another and says ‘Are you there? Do I matter to you? Do you value me? Do you respond to me if I need you?’ If the answer is no, we are absolutely jumbled because we are wired by evolution to respond with alarm. Isolation is inherently traumatizing. That’s why we call isolation in our criminal system cruel and unusual punishment. Yes? Okay, I’m going to give you an example from the trauma book. For example, the Celtic people had a very dark view of life. They saw life as the fact that in life you stand in a dark, narrow passageway with your back against the wall while a dragon comes for you. There is no way out, and you will lose the fight. That’s given. We all die. So what is the point then? The point is how well you fight. Attachment theory says there is another piece. The piece is, do you stand alone in the dark while the dragon comes for you, or is there someone standing beside you? If there is someone standing beside you, that makes ALL the difference in the world! You can deal with the darkness better, the fight is worth fighting, and the dragon doesn’t look so big.”

    In general for those who have an interest:

    How do we best assure that we have someone standing beside us as the dragon comes for us in the dark passageway as Susan Johnson described? What I write below describes the results of John Gottman’s response to this question. It parallels and supports Susan Johnson’s emotion-focused work with relationships. It may seem simplistic, glib, or trivial to some readers. I want to assure you that none of those labels approach anything near accuracy. Here, I summarize in very few words many decades of research by a number of highly competent researchers, mainly in the United States. These points do NOT summarize anyone’s allegedly “authoritative” opinion, but instead detailed, high quality, long-term observational and experimental scientific research results with hundreds of couples. I want to emphasize, as I have before, that I have taken the liberty of assuming, possibly in error, that these principles apply to relationships in general, not just to married couples, and I have made that translation in my brief summary below. The following comes from near the end of The Mathematics of Marriage, Dynamic Nonlinear Models by John Gottman et al:

    Lasting effects in creating positive relationships occur when efforts accomplish at least three things: (1) they increase everyday positive emotions during non-conflict contexts, (2) they reduce negative emotions during conflict management work, and (3) they increase positive emotions during conflict. Negative emotions, in particular criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling, a pattern that John Gottman called “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, predicts a high probability of an early relationship ending. Meanwhile, if the relationship only lacks positive emotions this predicts a high probability of a later ending.

    To create a lasting, positive relationship, three things need to occur. The first involves an overall level of positivity in the relationship while the other two aspects involve the way the people regulate conflict—by increasing positivity and decreasing negativity during conflict. For a continuing, positive relationship, a CONTINUING CYCLE needs to occur among: (1) friendship, to (2) creating positive sentiment override, to (3) regulating conflict, to (4) creating shared symbolic meaning, back to (1), and so on.

    Friendship serves as the foundation of a happy relationship, and three things need to happen in order to create and maintain a friendship: (1) knowing the other person (or people), (2) having a sense of fondness and admiration for the other person (or people), and (3) having an “emotional bank account”; this means that the people involved turn toward each other, rather than away, in many small ways during the day.

    What does “positive sentiment override” refer to? Positive sentiment override occurs when a person interprets another person’s negative emotions in a positive way. Negative sentiment override occurs when a person interprets another person’s positive or neutral emotions in a negative way. Negative sentiment override looks like a person has “a chip on their shoulder”—they have a hypervigilance toward receiving a slight or hurt. The nature of the sentiment override that occurs discriminates happy from unhappy relationships.

    Regulation of most conflicts, not avoiding or “resolving” them, predicts long-term outcomes in relationships. Sixty-nine percent of the time, people experience unresolvable perpetual problems that stem from personality differences, and 31% of the time they experience solvable problems. What matters most involves NOT the avoidance or resolution of perpetual issues, but THE EMOTIONS AROUND WHICH THEY DID NOT RESOLVE THE PROBLEM(S). The presence of positive emotions within the conflict management process, even perpetual conflicts, matters. With this positive emotion missing, the Four Horsemen ride and emotional disengagement occurs: gridlocked conflict on perpetual issues and eventual separation.

    How can people move from gridlock to positive dialog? This involves exploring the symbolic meaning of each person’s position in the conflict. How does the conflict relate to and affect each person’s dreams? The people need to identify the core perpetual gridlocked issues, and then build safety, which will allow exploration of the symbolic meaning of each person’s position. PHYSIOLOGICAL SOOTHING of strong emotions serves as the major ingredient for making the relationship feel safer. Subsequently constructing SHARED MEANINGS will then unlock the gridlocked relationship conflict.

    I challenge readers here to consider some of the implications of all of this for a situation like this comment site here at NBL. Besides getting certain information, most people probably most often continue to comment here in order to experience some kind of positive relationship with others, even if only in an anonymous way and from an electronic, on-line distance. Review the points above while thinking about the comments you and others make here, and the effects of those comments on the relationships you create, maintain, and end. Does what you write generally create about a 20 to 1 ratio of positive to negative emotions—and a five to one ratio of positive to negative DURING CONFLICT? (Long-term, happy relationships demonstrate these ratios.) Do you most often use positive or negative sentiment override? Do you physiologically soothe yourself before responding to others? (Waiting a day usually helps greatly to soothe anger; one should wait AT LEAST 20 minutes while doing calming activities, not planning various kinds of attacks.) Do you find yourself criticizing, defending, expressing contempt, and stonewalling?

  • Bud, thank you for your comments, and also thank you for your recent posts. I appreciate the openness you have shown to others’ feelings and responses.

    I am not someone who jumps on people because they have children. That was not my point. My point was, every child deserves more from her father than to be used to get his petty way and to dump his stuff. Every child, no matter how long they may live. Children are worth more than that.

  • Mr Nye,
    Why did you have to come out with this statement?

    You wrote: “Even so, we come onto the scene as highly emotional, irrational, self- and other-destructive animals, so our frequent, often severe relationship problems—BEST EVIDENCE SUGGESTING UNIVERSAL AMONG ALL CULTURES THROUGHOUT ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY!—remain for the most part impervious to rational, cognitive repair attempts”
    NB my capitals.

    It is just NOT true; so called best evidence does NOT exist for ALL CULTURES and certainly not “all history” (unless you actually mean the historical period and NOT the pre-historic period?).

    You just cannot come out with a satement like that positing it as a universal truth when there is no way of knowing. Yet again it is opinion and theory maskes as fact.

    PS I was somewhat taken aback to read that you have been a lifelong Pantheist! Cool 🙂

  • I should edit before I post. Should read “statement” and “masked”!

  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/02/why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-about-those-mysterious-siberian-craters/

    “The Arctic is changing very rapidly indeed, and there is every reason to expect that as permafrost melts, we will see more carbon dioxide and more methane vent into the atmosphere. And that is not a good thing. However, that doesn’t mean that a methane catastrophe is coming anytime soon”

  • Mr. Kling,

    You are another idiot. I stated that Old Growth Forest quoted A. Pike rather than myself. Look at his post.

    You appear to be operating under the impression that the archives for this site are not available to the public or to the interested reader. Or else you are hopelessly mixed-up with regard to interpreting what you wrote a short five weeks or so ago.

    I’ll do this in discrete steps so you can be sure to follow it without error:

    1) Go to NBL’s home page,
    2) Go to bottom of page,
    3) Click on Older Entries,
    4) Repeat steps 2 & 3,
    5) Scroll down to “Edge of Extinction #5”
    6) Click on “100 Comments”
    7) Scroll down to your post dated “January 29th, 2015 at 11:54 am”,
    8) Read what you wrote addressed to A. Pike,
    9) This is what oldgrowthforest quoted in her post above dated “March 6th, 2015 at 8:55 am”.

    Let’s try that without all those pesky sequential numbers.

    You addressed Amy Pike on 29 January.
    ogf copied & pasted your words into her post addressed to you on 6 March.
    You have repeatedly referred to this as ogf quoting A. Pike.

    Since we’re quoting people now, here’s one attributed to your homey, Wolfgang Pauli (The Quantum Chef?)…”Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!”

    Bottom line/takeaway is that you’re so mixed-up, heated-up, or just plain lacking in reading comprehension that you are “not even wrong”.

    Your question a few posts above confirms (at least to me) that either you aren’t decoding simple text correctly or else you are engaged in your own sort of subterfuge to try to distract some people here from what you wrote (or at least from the fact that you, not A. Pike, wrote it).
    Auf die eine oder andere … Ausfall…

    No connection with any of the preceding intended by this choice of song.

    Well, at least some humans evolved from Monkees.

  • I’ve posted a guest essay, courtesy of Alton C. Thompson. Catch it, and much other information, here.

  • In Frederich Perls’ Gestalt therapy he devised a scale for meaningless conversation. Day-to-day niceties that are insincere are “chicken shit.” Justifying and rationalizing one’s behavior is “bull shit.” And theorizing and philosophizing about things of which you have no personal experience is “elephant shit.”

    We make so many presumptions with our value judgments. Joe stating that anyone could be more “decent,” is a great example. From my perspective, it’s not particularly “decent” summarize other people’s comments as “bitching.” It isn’t “decent” to make demands you have no right whatsoever to make, including justifications from others, especially if it isn’t your house.

    But most of all, it’s not “decent” to objectify and use your own young children as justification and rationalization for your own choices that you make with other adults. Who else gets used in your life to meet your wants and to help you get your way with other people, to assist you in regurgitating all the mainstream judgmental way of being, sloppy intellect and ethical mediocrity?

    To paraphrase Mae West, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I was already a veteran of dealing with manipulative men like Joe, likely before he was born.

    My former spouse lived in the Bush in a Native Community for a few years. The first year he was there, several people “invited” him to go hunting for moose in the fall. He declined, repeatedly. Finally, an elder woman told him, albeit more politely, to stop being a selfish asshole and get out there and work like a man to feed the people.

    I come from the same place when I say it’s not really “decent” to objectify and use one’s own children to justify our own choices and/or to manipulate others. If his children are lucky, Joe will learn something from this. For their sake, I hope he does.

  • Attachment is manifest in attraction and aversion. Niether of these extremes, nor bouncing between them like a shuttlecock between battledores approaches non-attachment. Non-attachment does not preclude preferences, which would continue to be held and exercised as the occasions arise. However, an unfulfilled preference has little or no effect, in contrast to thwarted attachments.

    The Vedic tradition describes five defIlements, any of which in even the sligtest trace will not allow realisation: unawareness of the real vs. the apparent; a sense of “I”; attraction (to anything constrained by time & space); aversion (to anything constrained by time and space); and fear of the annihilation of one’s individuality. Promotion of seeking attraction and avoiding of aversion indicates a rank ignorance of attachment, and a diversion that leads away from realisation.

    “If there is someone standing beside you, that makes ALL the difference in the world! You can deal with the darkness better, the fight is worth fighting, and the dragon doesn’t look so big.”

    One arrives alone and departs alone. Averting one’s attention from this fact detracts from the interval experience.

    “detailed, high quality, long-term observational and experimental scientific research”

    Observation cannot reveal the subject – the observer. It invalidates all the findings as they may apply to the subject:

    “He is the unseen Seer, the unheard Hearer, the unthought Thinker, the ununderstood Understander. Other than He there is no seer. Other than He there is no hearer. Other than he there is no thinker. Other than He there is no understander. – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.7.23

    “most people probably most often continue to comment here in order to experience some kind of positive relationship with others,”

    Relationships are constrained by time & space; realisation is not. Where statements may detour one from realisation, a clarifying response could be de rigueur.

  • Oldgrowthforest, I want to humbly beg YOUR forgiveness for not posting sooner. It may indeed “take two to argue” as my mom used to say, but my mom is an IDIOT. I will say it point blank, you were unfairly and viciously attacked, albeit “only” with words, and in defending yourself, was accused of stooping to his level, something you did NOT do.

    That was the EMOTIONAL response to what I have just read, that’s what one looks like, Bud, just so you know. I didn’t call names, but I did call it like I saw it. I do believe infanttryrone has cleared up once and for all that the quote was me being “ADDRESSED” not me “speaking”.

    also, I am VERY curious to see if ANYONE will respond to this, but I know that any respect or regard I had for this poster has dissolved and will no longer really be considered seriously, since this kind of garbage is something I personally find too ignorant for words:

    ” shep Says:
    March 6th, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Mr Kling and Sabine,

    I have a question for you! Do you agree with anything in the following word for word quote.

    Gerald Spezio Says:
    March 5th, 2015 at 11:06 am

    ogf, I am a proud German.

    I have no hesitation to be proud of my German heritage & the true history of Germany.

    I am proud of be a part of true German history, the German Volk, Gottfreid Herder, Max Planck, Adolph Hitler, National Socialism, & Germanic culture.

    I refuse to knell before the fraudulent propaganda of the Zionist engineered & orchestrated Holocaust Religion, especially the Holocaust gas chambers/ovens hoax.

    Proud German Sylvia Stolz has recently been sentenced to jail AGAIN by a Munich court for so-called Holocaust “denial.”

    Sylvia Stloz has been jailed for telling the truth about the Holocaust Hoax masquerading as history.quote :”

    I too would like to know the answer to that I find it interesting also that the FIRST thing Mr. Kling did was to go for the jugular in attacking someone else, instead of even trying to “correct” Spezio..that is, if you think he is wrong, Mr Kling? If you want to ‘defend your honor’ I can’t think of a better place to start than by clearing up his delusion by denying it’s validity and pointing out reality to him yourself. 😉

    and I know I am probably going to want to regret the tone in this post, but if I do, it won’t be for quite a while.

  • infantyrone,

    I’m a bit late catching up on all these exchanges but here’s a translation of “regretful” into German from German native and professional (human, biological intelligence) translator, brought up and educated in Germany in the 50s and 60s, and all the horrendous, historical baggage that entails:)

    It could be “kummervoll” (sorrowful) or

    “reuevoll” (penitent, remorseful) or the one you picked

    “bedauernd” (something less emotional like “sorry” in English when you don’t really mean it)

    Maybe Friedrich remembers the nuances expressed in this word. Which one would be appropriate,I wonder? Only he will know.

  • Shep,

    Your question on being “proud to be German”.

    I’ve never been “proud to be German” or indeed anything. I built up all my self-confidence without that. Doing this gave me resilience and strength. I recommend it.

    I’m a good cook and gardener, but I’m not proud of that either. However, I’d rather be defined by that.
    Now I’m British, should I be proud of that? No! But I love this little island.

    I suspect that only very insecure people need to hide behind their national identity, wear the flag, swear allegiance and all that sh.. .

    When people see me, I am to them what I look like: a small, fair, slim, Caucasian, 66 year old woman with relatively good skin and hardly any grey hair, who still walks like somebody half her age.

    When people get to know me, they usually like me, mainly because I like all life and want to connect, and people sense that.

    But German? No, but I’m not ashamed either. I was once, but that emotion is very damaging in the long run. So I’ve given that up for the sake of my health.

  • Sabine,

    Thanks for the vocabulary assistance. Google Translate had plenty of English synonyms for “regret” and “regretful”, but I don’t recall Google offering a single synonym for “bedauernd”. It would be wonderful if Mr. Kling would just tell us that what he meant by “regretful incident” was something more along the lines of “shameful episode” or some other English formulation that carries a more negative-feeling sense than his original phrase. I’d take him at his word if he posts something to that effect. But my guess is that he is embarrassed at his whole mix-up of Amy Pike being quoted rather than addressed and we might not see him for a while. But that’s his choice to make.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Amy Pike,

    FYI, here’s Kling on Spezio from a couple days ago…

    FriedrichKling Says:
    March 6th, 2015 at 12:50 am
    Hi Mo Flow & Old Growth Forest-

    Gerald Spazio is not serious except that he desires to insult me so pay no attention to his stupid commentary. Instead he insults himself.

    I’m pretty sure Spezio is the poster with whom Kling has had a number of very unfriendly exchanges regarding their respective military service. Pretty good chance that if Spezio said the sky was blue and the sun was yellow, Kling would find himself quoting “Scarlet Begonias” (listen below, unless YT is ‘on the fritz’ this morning). He at least calls Spezio’s post “stupid” (and I’m guessing that his calling Spezio “Spazio” was not a lucky accident of humorous side-swiping), but if you want a clear indication of his position on Holocaust denial, national pride, or anything like that, you’ll probably have to put the specific questions to him directly.

    Skip this tune if you have an astronomy exam tomorrow.

    Ich denke, wir sind alle Berliner auf diesem Bus.

  • Amy, no forgiveness required, but thank you for posting your thoughts.

    Obviously, I am capable of taking to the “war path” on this subject, that of the dominant culture judging Native Americans in the way that was done. It’s just more of the same kind of psychotic cultural superiority shown by Europeans since they/we got off the boats.

    I do believe, however, that my own perspective is a pretty good indicator of the values Native Americans hold, values that have sustained us for thousands of years. They don’t change with every new thought or clever word. It says something that after 400 years in this country, they still maintain their distance from the main culture as they do, retaining the reservations rather than assimilating. My family assimilated due to the Dawes Act, which dissolved tribal lands held in community.

    All of it, of course, was tactical and all about land theft, all justified by the white man’s supposed cultural superiority. Europeans got the land, but our strength is not material. It’s spiritual, and Native cultural values have stood the test of time. It’s why old American Indian women like me, who live in abject poverty, can still have a strength that money cannot buy. It’s why old women were shooting back at Wounded Knee II, and it’s why elder women lead in indigenous communities. A true relationship with the Earth gave and gives us that, as it does me now.

  • Sabine:

    I owe u an apology, I mis-understood your words, once, when you responded to Kling.

    That is why I included you with kling.

    I was very surprised because I had read many comments on Batters Up & wondered what was going on. Since I thought u were seconding what kling was saying about being proud of Germany, I included you in the question.

    My apologies sweet lady.

    Shep

  • I previously posted this link. Since the premise for Near Term Extinction (2035 or so) *MUST* include mass methane release, you’d think people would want to debate the science of it here? No? It doesn’t mean humans won’t go extinct from climate change, but it certainly sets the date back.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/02/why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-about-those-mysterious-siberian-craters/

    No one wants to discuss SCIENCE, however (and I note Guy has no response to the article himself). It’s just people sniping about irrelevant matters and expressing admiration for hitler (!). What a wasted opportunity this is. I must conclude people here are simply not serious about the topic as science, and just operate on belief/faith of whatever stripe.