Primary Emotions, Reactive Emotions, and Defenses

by Bud Nye

People often express great frustration and incredulity regarding our society’s general tendency not just to fail to notice the massive, compelling evidence of global heating with its abrupt climate change, ecological, economic, peak oil, and nuclear collapse issues, but actively and aggressively to avoid them and to deny their validity. People involved in various kinds of extinction support groups (ESGs) commonly spend much time and energy expressing their frustration regarding this ever-so-common, unfortunate dynamic. Based on psychological and neuroscience research over about the past 20 years, in this essay I discuss some important emotional principles concerning these unfortunate processes. I also make an effort to explain how and why these self-destructive processes have occurred thus producing our near term human extinction (NTHE) self-annihilation trap.

In this essay I further develop some concepts and vocabulary that seem important to me for emotion focused ESG (EF ESG) participants. I first introduced these ideas in my long essay titled “Facilitating Emotional Change in ESGs” published here. The concepts I develop in this present essay come mainly from two books, both highly recommended by emotion focused therapy researcher Susan Johnson: Diana Fosha’s The Transforming Power of Affect, A Model For Accelerated Change (2000), and David Martin’s Counseling & Therapy Skills, 3rd Ed., (2011).

Three emotion categories: primary, reactive, and defensive

At every moment we experience a tug-of-war between taking risks seeking what we yearn for while also listening to our fears and playing it safe, an approach-avoidance conflict (we want to approach one thing while avoiding another related thing). A person’s moment-to-moment emotional experience reflects this tug-of-war with its balance of expression and defense, and their associated hope and dread. Based on the functions they serve and the motivations they reflect, we have three main categories of moment-to-moment emotional experience: primary emotion, secondary reactive (or signal) emotion, and defense:

  • Primary emotions serve a profound expressive function for us, both within and between people, and they have tremendous transformational potential within us and between us. The universal primary emotions include sadness, fear, anger, joy, shame, excitement, and surprise, with each having its own physiological basis and associated facial expressions.
  • Painful secondary, reactive, signal emotions, such as anxiety, shame, fear, humiliation, and helplessness, work as warnings and conveyors of information to ourselves and to others about the nature of the emotional environment. We also experience and express positive signal emotions such as hope, anticipation of pleasurable consequences, curiosity, excitement, trust, and self-confidence.
  • Defensive emotions exist so that we need not confront more troublesome and scary feelings. For example, we might defensively use anger at our society for causing ecological collapse so as not to experience grief and sadness related to the massive loss of life and species extinctions as well as fear about what it all means for us, our children and grandchildren. This kind of reactive, defensive avoidance of primary emotion can have survival value in particular situations in the short term, but not so much more generally or in the longer term.

All of this has great relevance and importance for EF ESG functioning. Because of how we evolved, and therefore how we find our nervous systems “wired”, relief follows our fully experiencing and expressing our primary emotions, regardless of how painful they may feel at first. Importantly, primary emotions also occur in a self-limited way; they change when experienced and expressed, and they transform us as we experience them. An EF ESG composed of empathic participants can provide a badly needed, safe venue for experiencing and expressing our primary emotions related to collapse issues thus transforming us in adaptive ways.

On the other hand, painful signal emotions, and secondary, reactive, defensive emotions, lack these features; they do not give relief, change when experienced, nor transform us in adaptive ways. When primary grief wanes, regressive crying can go on and on. Similarly, shame and humiliation do not occur in a finite way, nor does experiencing them satisfy a person in any way. Anger can work as a core, primary emotion or it can serve as a defense against grief, fear, or vulnerability. While as a primary emotion expressing anger acts as a major and direct opportunity for positive change, as a reactive, defensive emotion experiencing and expressing anger will not likely produce positive change.

In EF ESGs expressing defensive emotions will have importance mainly as a waystation on the road to the underlying primary feelings that they mask. Defensive expression alone will not lead to helpful results of lasting value. On the other hand, having those defensive emotions empathically understood and affirmed by others in EF ESG groups can paradoxically allow an EF ESG participant to give up, at least temporarily, and possibly for the long term, relying on the defense and to take the risk of facing the deeper, hidden, primary emotional experiences with their transforming power.

A person’s experientially knowing the difference between these states plays a major role in healing processes. How so? Becoming aware of and attuned to these different emotional states serves as the first step in reclaiming mastery of one’s emotional experience within oneself and with others. The following important functional differences occur among these three categories of emotion:

  • Communication with access to primary emotional experience occurs in a crystal clear way.
  • Communication involving defensive responses along with positive signal emotions feels essentially meaningful, but with static on the line. The static involves anxiety related to the defenses, and no matter how soft and manageable they may seem, they still muffle and dampen the helpful impact that primary emotional experience can have.
  • Defensive communication, with little or no access to primary emotional experience, has the sense of boredom and futility; it does not go anywhere; it does not spontaneously change nor have transformational effects when experienced and expressed as happens when experiencing and expressing primary emotions.

Having contact with and expressing primary emotional experience might feel like “speaking from the place where breathing comes from”. Not only does communication flow clearly and easily, but one may have a physical experience of inner spaciousness and strength. When speaking through defensive static one will probably have no such sense. A clear sense of self may accompany the spaciousness. One might feel like a full person who knows exactly what they think and feel, with no ambivalence. Clarity and true self-awareness flow from a center of primary emotion, not from secondary reactive or defensive emotions.

Defensive responses vs. expressive responses

When hidden emotional processes within us do not flow (they either get stuck or go around in circles) we find ourselves in a pattern of defensive responses. In this situation our defenses seem rigidly entrenched and we find our primary, unconscious, physiological emotional experiences largely inaccessible. Within our defenses we resist feeling deeply and relating openly with others. With defensive response patterns active, high-risk emotional situations—such as considering the high probability of NTHE and talking with others about it(!)—only intensify people’s defensive efforts in a self-reinforcing feedback loop. This in turn derails processes of empathic resonance and coordination between people.

In contrast, when hidden emotional processes within us flow relatively easily and the people involved need only some acknowledgment of their fears before proceeding to new emotional depths, we find ourselves in an expressive response mode. In this case defenses occur in a “soft” way and anxiety remains relatively manageable. Expression occurs more spontaneously, suffused with various emotions more from the gut, physiologically, than with ideas from the head. Importantly, while positive emotions like peace or hope may win the day, negative emotions like anxiety, fear, shame, or pain may remain, but balanced by somewhat stronger positive emotions so that the negative ones do not trigger rigid defenses.

This serves as an illustration of emotional competence in action: painful emotions do not automatically trigger defenses. A person can, for example, experience some shame connected with having spent a lifetime, largely unknowingly, supporting an economic system that kills other humans, other species, and ultimately Earth itself, yet this shame does not shut them down. A sense that pushing through the painful emotions, and that expressing true, primary feelings will likely lead to the reduction if not outright dissolution of shameful feelings, exists. This over-balances the urge to shut down. The essence of having confident expectations for emotional repair lies here: many positive, empathic experiences in ESGs, as well as among family and friends and with therapists of various kinds, teach participants that fully conscious expression of primary emotions works best to overcome fear and shame, while defense and inhibiting expression only intensify and prolong fear and shame and other secondary, reactive emotions. Relief follows our experiencing and expressing our primary emotions, regardless of how painful they may feel at first. These primary emotions occur in a self-limited way; they change and transform us when experienced and expressed. Only going through our primary emotional experiences transform us in adaptive ways, not denying, avoiding, and defending against them—and empathy from others most reliably helps us face and go through these often painful experiences.

What biological, psychological processes drive our defenses and denial?

Occam’s Razor, or the “law of parsimony”, devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian, serves as a basic principle in natural scientific reasoning. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us, when faced with two hypotheses that explain the evidence equally well, to choose the simpler and/or more likely one, and the one with the fewest assumptions. Other, more complicated models may ultimately provide better explanations and predictions, but in the absence of differences in predictive ability the fewer assumptions made, the better.

Over numerous millennia humans have invented many philosophical and religious stories that purport to explain various aspects of human thinking, feeling, and behavior. Similarly, natural science has developed a number of different prominent models of human functioning. Using Occam’s Razor, learning theory provides perhaps the simplest, most fundamental, most likely explanation with the fewest assumptions and (by far) the most scientific research evidence supporting it, for understanding our ancient, general human tendency for self- and other-destructive avoidance and denial—including, more recently and specifically, the mass denial of evidence related to global heating with its abrupt climate change, ecological, economic, peak oil, and nuclear collapses, all now irreversibly well in progress. Here I describe only a broad perspective regarding these defense and denial issues; I describe and emphasize only a few key points. For much more, well-described, highly understandable detail, as well as many research references, an interested reader would do well to see chapters 16, “The Nature of Emotional Problems”, and 17, “A theoretical Understanding of Therapy” in David Martin’s book Counseling & Therapy Skills.

At the most fundamental level we learn painful emotions through association with physical discomfort. However, this simple principle can account directly for only the most obviously acquired fears, and most adult painful emotions, anxiety, guilt and depression do not easily fit a model of directly conditioned fear as a result of painful experiences. Even so, we do learn all painful emotion and, therefore, in principle we can unlearn them. Regarding this unlearning, a well-established principle in the learning literature involves the fact that the only way to weaken a learned emotional response involves experiencing the response in the absence of an emotional “pay-off” for it. We know this technically as “extinguishing” the response through extinction.

Extinction involves three necessary components: (1) facing the thing one fears, (2) feeling the fear, and (3) nothing bad happening. (This sequence usually must happen many times for complete extinction to occur.) So a person must feel a fear, at some level, in order to get rid of it. One must face a painful emotion and experience painful experiences to change it. For this to happen most effectively, it should occur in steps small enough that the painful response aroused does not have enough strength to produce secondary fear of the new situation or to cause the person to escape the situation before extinction can begin. We use the term graduated extinction to describe this small-step process. We can also use a related but different counterconditioning process. Though often valuable, counterconditioning does not actually extinguish the fear. Either way, emotional change requires experiencing the emotions one wishes to change.

At least four factors make painful emotions last so long: (1) Painful emotions simply extinguish more slowly than other learned responses. This probably occurs because slow extinction of emotional pain had survival value in our past as a species. (2) We humans quite understandably avoid the things that we fear—including threatening thoughts and painful emotions, as well as situations in our physical and social environments—and this prevents extinction from occurring because we need some exposure for extinction to occur. (Consider the implications of this related to the high probability of the many horrific processes involved with unfolding NTHE!) (3) Our avoidance behavior becomes extremely strong because every time we avoid a feared thought, feeling, or situation, we immediately feel better. And (4) the experiences that cause painful emotions usually occur in unpredictable ways, thus our immediately feeling better occurs in ways very resistant to extinction (via a random “reinforcement schedule”).

An important principle related to all of this in understanding anxiety involves knowing that our own acts can become cues for painful emotion. Any internal process, such as a feeling or thought, can become frightening, given the right learning experiences. With anxiety a person fears their own internal processes—thoughts, feelings, memories, and desires. But if we only fear particular thoughts and feelings, we have no problem, because we can simply avoid thinking and feeling in those particular ways—just as most people do concerning abrupt climate change, ecological, economic, peak oil, and nuclear collapse issues. (We can classify such issues as various kinds of “hoax”, or merely political or economic “manipulations” and thus completely avoid their horrific biological implications.) A problem arises, though, when one has a motivation toward the thoughts and feelings. Then we have an approach/avoidance conflict within ourselves: we want to avoid potential pain related to the thing feared while we also want the thing feared. For example, we strongly want the powerful benefits of using fossil fuels while also wanting to avoid the many negative consequences of using them. As long as we can avoid knowledge of negative consequences, we have no emotional problem and no conflict. But when we begin recognizing the consequences for ourselves, our children, and Earth, we find ourselves in a major, life-changing approach/avoidance conflict!

When in conflict, we constantly and painfully vacillate. We must think and feel the thoughts and feelings that motivate us, and we must avoid them. With such conflicts, which, besides approach/avoidance conflicts also include approach/approach conflicts (wanting, but not having the ability to have two desired things), and avoidance/avoidance conflicts (not wanting two painful things that we must choose between), we suffer.

In all of these processes, we often cannot name or describe what bothers us; we just feel horrible. We have simple principles at work here while the actual experiences occur in powerfully painful and complex ways. These powerful experiences underlie one of the most important principles for understanding our self-defeating avoidance and denial behavior: Just like using crack cocaine, anxiety reduction works as an extremely powerful and immediate reinforcer. When we avoid or deny a painful thought or emotion, within our nervous system we immediately get powerfully reinforced for doing so. This principle helps us greatly to understand behaviors in ourselves and others that otherwise would make no sense. It goes a very long way to explaining our often “irrational”, self- and other-destructive thoughts, feelings, and actions. It helps us to understand much religious and philosophical thinking, feeling and action. The irrational now begins to make a good bit of rational sense.

Relevance for EF ESG work

A huge amount of research literature demonstrates that much non-conscious experiential knowing occurs within us, and with much importance for us. Meanwhile, we want to think of ourselves as in charge of our lives and we tend to find the idea of unconscious influences unsettling. But, as Guy emphasizes so often, we end up with more control of our behavior and our problems if we accurately understand them (in this case human functioning). Despite its unsettling nature for many people, a huge amount of evidence supports the idea that much critical emotional processing occurs completely separate and different from conscious, symbolic, intellectual or cognitive learning. People can learn and “know” life-changing new things without having any ability to put these things into words. In Malcom Gladwell’s words, “thinking without thinking”.

Contrary to some popular beliefs, none of us perceives the world directly or accurately. In fact, the term perception refers to interpreting the chemo-electric signals produced by our sense organs. In these interpreting processes we develop organized expectations of our world—and to some extent we perceive what we expect to perceive: that which fits our previously constructed “templates” of “reality”. We develop “schemes” to facilitate processing new information. Previously organized sets of information help us organize and select new information more effectively than if we always had to start from scratch in making sense of each new situation. In addition to this useful function, however, our schemes can prevent our accurately processing new experiences that do not fit our expectations. We can, and often do, encounter a situation, quickly fit it to a familiar scheme, and stop processing novel information prematurely, badly distorting the experience.

On one hand, habit can stop our thinking processes too early without anxiety acting as an important factor. On the other hand, anxiety can also inhibit unpleasant thoughts from needed more accurate thinking. Indeed, information that violates our schemes can threaten us just because we do not expect it, and we might therefore inhibit it. Painful emotions simply make people unwise. One goal of emotion focused ESGs involves reducing these distortions, helping participants experience more accurately in two ways: by reducing anxiety about particular issues, and by becoming more independent thinkers who tend to consider issues more completely. We accomplish these goals largely by reinforcing each other’s approaches toward our feared thoughts and emotions through teaching each other about and subsequently using empathy with each other. Thus I expect that my next essay will focus exclusively on empathy.

Directly related recommended reading

Bright-Sided, How Positive Thinking Is UNDERMINING America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2009).

Counseling & Therapy Skills, 3rd Ed. by David Martin (2011).

Flim-Flam, Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and other Delusions by magician and co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, James Randy (1982).

Mistakes Were Made (but not by ME), Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (2007).

The Transforming Power of Affect, A Model For Accelerated Change by Diana Fosha (2000).

Why People Believe Weird Things, by historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, Michael Shermer (2002).

Willful Blindness, Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan (2011).

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To support my forthcoming tour in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and also southwestern Canada, click the donate button below. Alternatively, click here.



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12-26 June 2015, Pacific Northwest, tentatively including the following:

12 June 2015, 7:40 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. radio interview, The Early Edition, CBC Radio One Vancouver, Vancouver, British, Columbia: 88.1 FM, 690 AM

12 June 2015, 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. Runaway Climate Change: Can We Stop It? A Discussion with Guy McPherson. Room 2270, SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver, BC.

12 June 2015, 6:30 p.m. presentation and discussion, Heartwood Cafe, 317 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC

14 June 2015, 1:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Island Savings Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan, BC

15 June 2015, presentation and discussion at a time to be determined, Start Now Gardens, 1134 Bloomington Avenue, Bremerton, Washington

17 June 2015, 5:30 p.m. presentation and discussion, The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, Washington (dinner at 5:00 p.m., reservations encouraged)

18 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Public Library, 1270 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island, Washington

19 June 2015, 6:30 p.m. presentation and discussion, King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, Washington

22 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Traditions Cafe, 300 Fifth Avenue SW, Olympia, Washington

24 June 2015, 3:00 p.m. book-reading and -signing, Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, Oregon

24 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1685 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon

25 June 2015, 6:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Community Library, 901 C Street 98660, Vancouver, Washington

26 June 2015, presentation and discussion at a time to be arranged, Portland City Club, 901 SW Washington Street, Portland, Oregon

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To catch us live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 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 we interviewed Daniel Dancer. Find out more about him 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. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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 59

  • Lord Jesus Motherfucking Christ I hate those fucking deniers!
    Works for me!

    http://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/comments/37ir9x/why_naomi_klein_and_bill_mcfibben_are_kiddin/

  • My wife says I haven’t mastered empathy, apparently having no sugar in my coffee “just isn’t the same” as being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    Everyone says I lack empathy but I could give a fuck.

  • cue for discussion of could verses couldnt

  • (@Bud: A response?)

    I server no legion to a region
    There is gloom in the doom
    Sudden hurt
    Or
    A long cruel pain
    Death follows
    Gloom in doom

    Fight and flail
    Fight and fail
    Sink
    Fall
    Stop
    Gloom in doom

    For now I’m comfortable with sadness
    Secure with doom
    Blankets of gloom
    Pillowed

    Awakened by lies
    Truth
    More lies
    Truth
    Death

    (being optimistic here thinking we get a glimpse of truth before death-fucking hopium)

    (now with “hot sauce” in my coffee. NEW but UNIMPROVED)

    Pre-Sorry
    It does not get better

  • The emotions of psychopaths need to be dealt with (When You Are Governed By Psychopaths, 2, 3, 4)

  • The citizens are victims of government and business (The Psychology of the Notion of Collective Guilt).

  • Bud,
    In your essay, you asked: “What biological, psychological processes drive our defenses and denial?” If I may simplify an answer, it can be expressed in one word.., i.e., Survival. If survival ain’t there, nothing else matters.

    One particular emotion arises in me when faced with the possibility of the extinction of our species is that although we can find a few million articles every day about the effects of human activity on the planet, there are very few articles which address how to get around that fate. In other words, how do we change the perspective of our impending extinction to one of survival. What would it take for us to keep on going as a species?…. providing of course that we have not yet crossed a one-way bridge to nowhere….

  • Anxiety, therapy, therapists in-the-know, & some recent instructive history.

    Not long ago in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, every city of any size in North Korea, Hanoi, & Baghdad …

    In dark basements, cellars, & holes-in-the-ground terrified Mums huddled & embraced their shaking & crying children as other humans made from very same meat dropped giant deadly bombs on them causing fear & “anxiety” known only to those quivering Mums & children fearful of impending doom.

    Many were ultimately bashed or boiled to death.

    Hiroshima & Nagasaki were a kind of exception because death was super quick; so fearful “anxiety” was a non-problem for those who were humanely vaporized.

    Exceptions awaited those unlucky survivors who cooked to death slowly enough to know the excruciating “anxiety” of agonizing slow baking to death.

    If clearly evidenced near term mass extinction; including yourself & all laughing innocent children as well as most all mammals causes you distress, bewilderment, “anxiety,” & supreme agony; don’t be shocked or surprised.

    This not new – what is new is that it is total & very democratic.

    True Democracy on earth in our time – everybody will get their lethal dose w/o exception.

    “Because our day is of time, of hours – and the clock-hand turns,
    closes the circle upon us: and black timeless night
    sucks us in like quicksand, receives us totally—
    without a rain check or a parachute, a key to heaven or the last long look.”

  • On May 28th, 2015 at 7:55 am an orbiting mind control laser caused Jean Turcot to write:

    “One particular emotion arises in me when faced with the possibility of the extinction of our species is that although we can find a few million articles every day about the effects of human activity on the planet, there are very few articles which address how to get around that fate. In other words, how do we change the perspective of our impending extinction to one of survival. What would it take for us to keep on going as a species?…. providing of course that we have not yet crossed a one-way bridge to nowhere….”

    Apparently Turcot never got the Erlich memo.

  • My eyes were tearing & I couldn’t think clearly – a defense probably?

    … and the captive defenseless Palestinians in the Gaza Concentration Camp.

  • Dredd,

    You wrote “The emotions of psychopaths need to be dealt with”. This works as a self-contradictory oxymoron because people with psychopathy or sociopathy (old, obsolete terms now subsumed under the heading “Antisocial Personality Disorder”) have severely blunted, or no, emotional responses. This LACK of emotional response in them, the presence of which has strong effects within most of us in modifying our behaviors when interacting with others, appears largely to account for their antisocial behavior. Robert Hare’s book Without Conscience (see here https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_18?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=without+conscience&sprefix=without+conscience%2Caps%2C355) serves as an excellent resource regarding this. This antisocial disorder may have a genetically predisposed basis, but we now know that early childhood attachment theory failures also appear to play a strong causal role as well as having promise for more effective treatments.

  • dear ogardener, You wrote: “am an orbiting mind control laser caused Jean Turcot to write:” what I wrote of course. But then since you admire my thoughts so much let me try to explain it a little further.. Hope it pleases your rhetorical palette.

    Now let me see…. MMMmmm.. What I tried to relay to your “orbiting laser guided mind” was that we humans talk about the disasters that are happening all over the place, but we don’t talk about what makes us do the things we do, or act in ways that are destructive. Now I know that may be confusing if your orbit is always in the dark, but in essence it was just a passing thought, and no great apparition of enlightened superiority message from Paul Ehrlich, or is it Erlich.

    If you meant Ehrlich, I did read two of his books, something about Population Bombs and about Overpopulation, about 30 years back, both of which impressed me at the time, but no longer do so. Call it progress, or “an orbiting mind” if you prefer. If you care to however, you could always write what YOU think, and not use someone else’s idea (Ehrlich) to skip or forego presenting YOUR thoughts. Since you have an ability to think, albeit in orbiting mode (hopefully on the bright side of whatever planetary system you do your orbiting) you could always state what YOU think, not what Ehrlich thinks. Try it! It sometimes works, even if you are in deep space.

  • Jean Turcot: You have posed the idea that “modern technology” and “alternative energy sources” can rescue us if only we had the will and the smarts to act. Do you really think you can keep getting away with this assertion and not have to back it up with FACTS?

    And today, you write “One particular emotion arises in me when faced with the possibility of the extinction of our species is that although we can find a few million articles every day about the effects of human activity on the planet, there are very few articles which address how to get around that fate. In other words, how do we change the perspective of our impending extinction to one of survival.” Right, as if we just need a different way of looking at things. You are basically just pleading for straws to grasp at.

  • It is not accurate to say that psychopaths or sociopaths do not have emotions. Nonsense. They have plenty of emotions, but they aren’t the nice ones, like empathy. They are frequently extremely ambitious and have powerful drives to control, dominate, and take. The have a strong sense of entitlement, but lack empathy. They lack fear and anxiety and that causes them to engage n risky behavior, but they can be and often are thrill seekers. They very much enjoy manipulating others.

    They have emotions. But you have to know the subject matter to know how it falls out.

  • .
    Jean Turcot asks: “how do we change the perspective of our impending extinction to one of survival”?

    Well, one could try make believe. Or the usual one: Denial. Both of these are proving quite useful to most of our species when it comes to “the perspective of our impending extinction.”

    I don’t know about Jean, but “perspective” means: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view

    So, he’s not asking for a solution. And if he meant to, for the umpteenth time, there isn’t one (or set of ones) to be had by our species clever wits within our presently arranged predicament.

    However, if one is of a religious bent, one can always keep praying for intervention by a supreme being. Who knows, maybe such a being will show up, clean up the mess we’ve made, and give some of us a second chance. I for one am not counting on this happening; but should such a being materialize I have a few things to tell the mother-fucker!

    Anyway, when it comes to changing my perspective of this threat to one of survival, it boils down to acceptance of this impending extinction threat as being real and unavoidable, while practicing non-attachment to all the ignorant members of my species who can’t handle this, and continuing on with my life of “survival” with as much grace, humor, and love as I can muster until the ghost arrives.

    That’s my survival perspective. Your mileage may vary depending upon your level of acceptance and non-attachment.

  • http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/cia-ends-information-sharing-with-scientists-on-climate-and-earth-changes/

    CIA ends information sharing with scientists on climate and earth changes

    [ends with]

    The CIA didn’t state why it shuttered MEDEA, saying in a statement: “Under the Medea program to examine the implications of climate change, CIA participated in various projects. These projects have been completed and CIA will employ these research results and engage external experts as it continues to evaluate the national security implications of climate change.”

    In general, Republicans have long been opposed to federal efforts to study climate change. Attacking U.S. intelligence agencies for its national security studies on the environment, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) generated a calculated sound bite in 2010, saying they “should be focused on monitoring terrorists in caves, not polar bears on icebergs.” And just last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) called Obama’s recent call for action “a severe disconnect from reality.”

    The U.S. Defense Department doesn’t see it that way. In a 2014 report (pdf), it called climate change a “threat multiplier” that it predicts will have the effect of worsening global conflicts. (House Republicans thumbed their collective nose at the Pentagon by passing an amendment last year that would prevent it from spending money on matters related to climate change, or using funds on alternative sources of energy.)

    Columbia University political scientist Marc Levy, who has worked with U.S. intelligence agencies on climate change issues since the 1990s, agrees with the Pentagon assessment and suggests that the CIA’s closing of MEDEA is a step in the wrong direction. “The climate problems are getting worse in a way that our data systems are not equipped to handle,” he told Mother Jones. “There’s a growing gap between what we can currently get our hands on, and what we need to respond better. So that’s inconsistent with the idea that MEDEA has run out of useful things to do.”

    The CIA began the program in 1992 under President George H. W. Bush, whose son George W. Bush, as president, shut down MEDEA. In 2010, President Barack Obama revived the program along with establishing a new CIA office, Center for Climate Change and National Security. That office was shut down without explanation in 2012.

    [my comment]

    It’s not like the CIA protects us from anything. The CIA collects the scientific data from the various spy satellites and military hardware (like subs) but wouldn’t know what to do with it without scientists (including mathematicians). It’s the scientists who should stop sharing the information with THEM. After all HAARP and all the other hi-tech crap we paid for isn’t used to do US any good.

    When their whole little stupid tricycle of “homeland security” has the wheels come off: when climate change, SLR, volcanic activity, earthquakes and super storms destroy the infrastructure at so fast a rate that they can’t keep up and we get catastrophic failure of the electrical grid combined with frozen supply chains, everyone will see how completely useless and wasteful it is even having these well paid hi-tech thugs because they CAN’T protect us from this stuff – the real threats! All the while this program was up and running, what did they “PREVENT” or even WARN about – NOTHING. Houston is flooded, Austin is flooded, CA is PARCHED (as is most of the southwest) – where’s the CIA/homeland insecurity with their efforts to help? Nowhere to be found.

    They don’t even get it and have a completely different worldview than the citizenry (who mostly just want to live in peace and harmony, caring and sharing, having fun together and enjoying life; but of course, there are sad cases with the population too). There’s no arguing with the powers that be because they’re warped and don’t operate like normal people.

    Nobody even knows where to start to dismantle this mess of a government – but it looks like climate change is going to do that for them too (make them irrelevant and ineffective).

  • “The funny thing is you get to keep your home even if you use drugs.”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/santa-clara-homelessness-study-2015-5

  • ““how do we change the perspective of our impending extinction to one of survival”?”

    Continue doing as Wile E. Coyote, Esq., Genius first does when he runs off cliffs: feel around with your toes searching for solid ground. And most importantly, don’t look down.

    Jaak Panksepp has charted seven networks of emotion in the brain: SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF, and PLAY. These are located in the basal ganglia and the hypothalamus, and in the brainstem, particularly the ventral periaqueductal grey.

    “one can always keep praying for intervention by a supreme being”

    That is only applicable to the theistic religions. There ain’t any supreme being out there in the non-theistic religions.

    The survival advantage of psychopathy is manifest in hierarchical systems, and is severely maladaptive in anarchical systems.

    The shamanic traditions have effectively dealt whth emotion for millennia. Modern outlines include Martin Prechtel’s Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, and Carlos Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan.

  • I get it! Finally! A troll is someone that paddles by with a line in the water and sits back and laughs as ‘fish’, large and small, rise to the bait.

    No wonder the human race is stuck on stupid! Hoards of ‘petite psychopaths’, unable to disrupt the world in big ways, have to settle for obtrusive intellectual sparring to get their kicks. Feigning sincerity, they gleefully unbalance the intellectual thrust of almost every well meaning inquiry.

  • Kirk Hamilton, I too have been trying to wrap my head around the notion of trolls. Your insight is a good one, but I think in a lot of cases the troll behavior is not that deliberate, just a result of stupidity. A third-rate intellect proudly flings open the door to the small dark closet of his/her mind and invites all and sundry to look at the little brown objects within, convinced of their relevance to the conversation.

  • ‘Everyone says I lack empathy but I could give a fuck.’

    lol! u have some good one liners, callaghan.

  • Seems the heat is building in India.

    ‘Why are so many people dying in the Indian heatwave?’

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/29/why-are-so-many-people-dying-indian-heatwave

    Nepal is not doing so well with eathquake aftershocks.

    ‘A month after quake, Nepal struggles to return to normal’

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/05/28/month-after-nepal-earthquake/28057427/

    Some of the huge 1% profit should go to disaster relief, if not all.
    Hope people are doing ok.

    😉

  • Nice discussion over at Dave Pollard’s “how to save the world” under Links of the Quarter: May 28, 2015 about the myriad issues now besetting us.

  • Requiem for a Dying Planet

    Foragers, hunters, …shepherds,…gardeners,…farmers:
    food sought, found, butchered, gathered, harvested
    – we grew, we loved, we ate.

    We took fire from the burning tree
    to illuminate the night of our dread fear
    – and starry wonder.

    We told stories, re-enacted hunts,
    laughed and cajoled, ate our fill, and slept.

    Babies born, elders buried: ochre, blood, hide & bone;
    with stone tools, spear & atlatl we triumphed
    & fed our sons & daughters, wives & husbands,
    & the meat was sweet & made us strong.

    Labour, exploration, achievement: murder, consumption,
    evacuation, fornication, birth & death,
    – populate, annihilate, recreate, expire.

    & in our strength grew seeds of hubris,
    the blood flowing slaked our thirst & our hunger
    – but our thirst grew, leading us forward, ever on,
    into new territory, to new conquests.
    Our campfire stories of hunting prowess,
    of mammoths brought down, the warm flesh feeding tribes entire.

    Our fear lessened; champions were we,
    moving over the earth, spreading our seed.

    Hunters hunted; hunting hunters.

    We increased, and in our increasing
    lay the seeds of our demise.

    Labour, exploration, achievement: murder, consumption,
    evacuation, fornication, birth & death,
    – populate, annihilate, recreate, expire.

    War: tribe against tribe, walled cities, nations rose,
    crops planted & nurtured; husbandry, accountancy,
    marriage, patrimony, ancestor worship, subjugation, property.

    Leaders & followers, following each other, wave after wave of warriors
    -and the woebegone, following each other into an abyss
    from which there seems
    to be
    no returning.

    Walls & towers, siege & starvation, roads & livestock,
    satellites & flechettes, missiles & cell phones,
    cancer & radiation: longevity & decrepitude.

    Labour, exploration, achievement: murder, consumption,
    evacuation, fornication, birth & death,
    – populate, annihilate, recreate, expire.

  • Bud Nye Says:
    May 28th, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Dredd,

    You wrote “The emotions of psychopaths need to be dealt with”. This works as a self-contradictory oxymoron because people with psychopathy or sociopathy (old, obsolete terms now subsumed under the heading “Antisocial Personality Disorder”) have severely blunted, or no, emotional responses …
    =====================================================
    Wrong.

    The purpose for diagnosis and treatment is not to turn them into angels, it is to limit their impact on society.

    Psychopathology exists, psychopaths exist, and they are in high places:

    The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

    The report is the first to examine the association’s role in the interrogation program. It contends, using newly disclosed emails, that the group’s actions to keep psychologists involved in the interrogation program coincided closely with efforts by senior Bush administration officials to salvage the program after the public disclosure in 2004 of graphic photos of prisoner abuse by American military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.” (The “Genes” of Culture In Civilizations).
    Like viruses, they insert themselves into mainstreams of culture, such as government, so as to change the epigenetics of culture.

    Psychopaths in high places led the way into Eugenics for example.

    So, they have been in high places for a long time:
    Even what were once considered elite scientific journals [in psychology] have turned out to have been utter long-winded bullshit.”
    (discussing inter alia The Eugenics Review Vols. 1 to 60; 1909 to 1968). Like 60 years of frontal labotomy, that journal is perplexing historical evidence of what goes wrong when psychologists go way wrong.

    Those who are the most sick (psychopaths) need the primary treatment, but since one trance of our culture is to ignore the cause and try to solve problems by treating the effect (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3, 4).

    Freud saw the problem as a failure to evolve as a society to develop diagnosis and treatment for groups:

    I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.

    The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities
    .”

    (Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations – 3). We suffer because academics drive using the rear view mirror rather than the windshield.

    It takes psychopaths in high places in order to destroy a nation or civilization.

    If you do not think they exist you won’t consider treatment for them … the ones who need the most help.

    Offering condolences to victims is not valid treatment if the perps are not also considered, and considered first.

  • NSIDC Interactive Chartic sea ice graph for May 27th shows the tip of the 2015 curve clearly & completely beyond two standard deviations.

    Sea ice coverage is 11.973 million km2.

    Creative modelers had better get this ominous hard empirical data into their models pronto.

    May I suggest that we are observing the dramatic unfolding of a rather rudimentary & predicted “natural” progression, & the increasingly probable heat death for humans from abrupt methane release.

    Studiously avoiding the mentalistic term psycho, I would predict that all manner of violent “pathologies” both individual & broadly social will surely ensue as the unbearable heat, mega droughts, mega floods, & mega storms increase in both number & intensity.

    The horrors of Katrina & New Orleans are portent.

    It’s much later than you think.

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

  • The latest research performed in Montreal at McGill University reported that if depression is not treated then it could lead to dementia or insanity. It means that your loved one can pass the disease to you.”

    (Some Dementia Is Contagious, 2009). Watching government is Washington D.C. is a case in point.

    Accord:

    All caregiving is stressful. We help caregivers reduce the stress of caring for loved ones with dementia, but we can’t eliminate it. The two most common results of caregiver stress are increased illness (reduced resistance to disease) and depression.

    A recent study done at McGill University in Montreal found that untreated depression can lead to dementia. In other words, in some situations you can catch dementia from your loved one.

    Depression in caregivers is more common and long-lasting than in all other caregiver situations.

    Scientists speculate that this is because, on average, dementia caregivers provide care for a much longer period of time than do any other caregivers.

    (Is Dementia Contagious?).

    Leave the oil in the ground.

    Prosecute Oil-Qaeda.

    Stop fiddle-fucking around.

  • Dredd,

    May 29th, 2015 at 4:19 am you wrote “Wrong. The purpose for diagnosis and treatment is not to turn them into angels, it is to limit their impact on society.”

    Of COURSE Antisocial Personality Disorder exists! In the general population it occurs with the quite high incidence of about one in 100. Among business and military leaders it occurs with an incidence of about one in 20. More exactly, to quote the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published 2013:

    “Twelve-month prevalence rates of antisocial personality disorder, using criteria from previous DSMs, are between 0.2% and 3.3%. The highest prevalence of antisocial personality disorder (greater than 70%) is among most severe samples of males with alcohol use disorder and from substance abuse clinics, prisons, or other forensic settings. Prevalence is higher in samples affected by adverse socioeconomic (i.e. poverty) or sociocultural (i.e., migration) factors.”

    And, OF COURSE we want to limit their negative impacts on society! Nothing I have written suggests otherwise, and nothing I have written suggests “turning them into angels”, which you suggested that I implied. I made the point, which you obviously completely missed, that people who have Antisocial Personality Disorder behave in their socially destructive ways precisely because they have strongly blunted or no emotional responses, unlike most people. I did not state this as my opinion, but as a well-accepted “fact”. (If anyone wishes to question this, I would refer them to an expert, such as Robert Hare, and his very readable, fascinating book Without Conscience, among others.) Thus emotions do not control their behaviors in the ways they do most of us. Thus, also, it does not make much sense to say that “The emotions of psychopaths need to be dealt with” as you wrote, because the LACK OF emotional response serves as an important defining characteristic of and causal variable in Antisocial Personality Disorder. I simply tried to point out that you would have made a much more accurate statement had you written that “We need to deal with the behaviors of our many citizens who have Antisocial Personality Disorder.” Furthermore, attachment theory appears to offer some promising treatment and prevention alternatives in “dealing with” this disorder.

  • Humankind lives on a basis of lying. We are all liars. Our cultures and institutions are all false, untrue, fake – total fabrications of lies. What is more, we believe in our lies and will fight tooth and nail to hang on to them. The most important truths that we need to live from are completely obvious and simple. War is wrong and should not be supported. Sharing our wealth equally with others is just and desirable. Avoiding unrestrained reproductive sex is needful in order to limit our impact on the planet’s limited resources and to protect the lives of all beings on our small planet.

    All the basics for a good life are so simple, one has to puzzle out how it is that we think and act on such opposite principles. We were suckled on lies when we were born into the human culture, and it is only with great difficulty and a lot of luck that we can succeed in waking up to that unfortunate reality and begin discerning the truth buried under all this culturally accepted falsehood. To do so one must endure the enmity and persecution of the vast majority who will do everything they can to deny and derail your drive to find the simple truth.

    We simply do not wish to face the truth. That avoidance is the crux of all our problems. If we want to hold on to our lies at all costs, then we will be destroyed by them. The only therapy that can heal us is truth therapy.

  • Greetings to everyone here at NBL—— one of the few places to go where the walls of denial are not erected but broken down, where truth is revealed, digested, pondered over, argued over while—— I guess —– we still search for ways to cope with this unprecedented predicament that humans are faced with. Although “predicament” seems like too soft of a word as grief tears a whole in my heart . . . . . damn this consciousness!

    Things are rapidly coming apart, ramping up, global chaos is escalating exponentially. Wonder how others that lurk/write here are feeling of late. Wonder if it’s easier for Robert C. whose wife says he hasn’t mastered empathy and thinks all this feeling stuff is bullshit (or am I putting words in your mouth R.C.?)
    Can you send a little of that my way? Maybe it would make it easier.

    I feel the demise of most life on the planet in my heart/ gut/bones——bones that are currently aching from pulling garlic mustard. Isn’t that ridiculous? That I’m still trying to “save” trilliums, soloman’s seal, jack in the pulpits?

    Last week I was blessed with the nightly song of the Veery against the backdrop of a variety of frogs in Northern Wisconsin forests (dying forests) and their gorgeous, miraculous song made me weep. Haven’t cried in a while because I’ve been in shock over the rapidity/severity of climate chaos. The shock is shocking because it feels like I’ve been aware of this since birth ——- so much for thinking I was prepared. I’m scared, shocked, sad, angry after thinking I was farther along . . . . . kind of like getting older (not for the faint of heart?)

    The air feels thick and ominous. And my neighbors are killing everything with Skeeter Beater spraying. Stupid, stupid species we are.

    And we’ve seen it all coming . . . since humans developed the ability to create and express emotion/beauty/love——– the alarms have been sounded. Reverence for nonhuman life has been expressed and what is at stake if we murder it has been articulated for decades, centuries. All the poignant, beautiful words have been spoken, beautiful music sung/played, art created——not heeded. What the hell more can we say? But we still try as if it would help. Perhaps I’m just speaking for me. Sorry.

    @OGF: thanks for pointing out the emotions of psychopaths. Really appreciate your posts

    @Haydukes: what’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

    @ Bud Nye: the Barbara Ehrenreich book you mention at end of article is EXCELLENT!! Highly recommended.

    Caroline

    p.s. x-ray Mike’s latest piece is worth a read as are most of the comments. Yet, more of the same. Stuff we already new or suspected but need to continue reading so that perhaps it finally sinks in and we can prepare/cope/accept——-but can we, really?

  • Gotta love Karl Wallinger (especially his brief song God Said—-which says it all!!).
    This song below not beautiful, certainly not poetic but speaks the truth(from 20+ years ago)—- he’s touring the country now, may have to go see him and escape in good music . . .

    I imagine this song has been posted before given the frequent Titanic references here:

  • Confronted with glaringly conflicting claims about near term extinction, how are we to proceed?

    Gavin Schmidt & David Archer make dramatically different predictions from Wadhams & Semiletov/Shakhova about the probability of abrupt methane release fro Arctic stores.

    Need I emphasize that there is no greater question to be answered?

    It frustrates & grieves me that so much energy & brainpower is routinely squandered on narcissistic unscientific psychological flapdoodle.

    This blog is no exception.

    I suggest the following rudimentary scientific procedure because I unabashedly claim that it is the most sound & proven way to proceed about the greatest question confronting every one of us.

    Moreover, it is not at all difficult or convoluted with double talk.

    It is the very best of what our truth seeking scientific culture has given us after centuries of hard work by good people committed to trying decipher truth from falsehood.

    It is humankind’s most honest, unique, direct, & least fallible method of resolving conflicting claims about the world.

    Science tries to make the most probable predictions about the future based on the empirical & experimental evidence about the past & the present.

    Science is the only method that continually & unwaveringly questions its own assumptions & conclusions – no other system has such a magnanimous objective pedigree.

    Science, as an ideal, always tries to tell the truth.

    from Wiki;

    Bayesian probability is one interpretation of the concept of probability. The Bayesian interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of propositional logic that enables reasoning with hypotheses, i.e., the propositions whose truth or falsity is uncertain.

    Bayesian probability belongs to the category of evidential probabilities; to evaluate the probability of a hypothesis, the Bayesian probabilist specifies some prior probability, which is then updated in the light of new, relevant data (evidence).[1]

    The Bayesian interpretation provides a standard set of procedures and formulae to perform this calculation.

    In contrast to interpreting probability as the “frequency” or “propensity” of some phenomenon, Bayesian probability is a quantity that we assign for the purpose of representing a state of knowledge,[2] or a state of belief.[3]

    ———-

    Because we are trying to unravel the “really big posterior probability” of near term extinction, these simple words are the best we have.

    Premier mathematician John Allen Poulos commenting on Bayesian probabilities for “a unique event or one that as yet never occurred.”

    A brief excerpt from Poulos’s 2011 review of a book by statistician Sharon Bertsch McGraune; “The Mathematics of Changing your mind.”

    “The nub of the differences between them (Frequentists versus Bayesians) is that for Bayesians the prior can be a subjective expression of the degree of belief in a hypothesis, even one about a unique event or one that has as yet never occurred.

    For frequentists the prior must have a more objective foundation; ideally that is the relative frequency of events in repeatable, well-defined experiments.

    McGrayne’s statisticians exhibit many differences, and she cites the quip that you can nevertheless always tell them apart by their posteriors, a good word on which to end.”

    The Theory That Would Not Die – By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne – Book Review

  • Those who insist on believing, and encouraging others to believe, that people with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not have any significant emotional experience deficits (old, obsolete terms “psychopaths” and “sociopaths”) will probably have a strong interest in joining this group: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/cms/.

  • Thanks Caroline ,your posts say it all so well, The World Party song “save me from tomorrow, don’t want to stay with this ship of fools, I want to run and hide” And what you say in right on so, don’t be sorry. Thank you, and everyone here at NBL

  • My heart bleeds – the scale of it is terrifying. The video embedded in the middle of the web page (above the title Tar Sands) gives only a glimpse from the air but it is enough.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/may/28/carbon-bomb-canada-tar-sands-fort-mckay-town-sold-itself

  • Yes Caroline, I feel it too. All the factors combining, reaching critical mass, coming together to create the perfect storm. (I keep hearing September of this year.)
    To know, and to see this coming is both a blessing and a curse. It makes each moment all the more precious, and more heart breaking.

    A snippet of my life from just yesterday:

    I found a field that has not been treated with selective herbicides, as the majority of idiots around here like to do. It was full of native grasses, milkweed, butterfly bush, ironweed, black eyed susans, fire weed, and others I could not identify. And lots of butterflies of varous species!

    Down another lane, a secluded outpost had dozens of barrels evenly spaced with a fighting cock chained to each one. Deeper into this dangerous tresspass I found 2 ponies so neglected that their hooves are curling upward like elf shoes, making even walking a painfull task. Now I have to research how to report the situation to SPCA anon without getting my place burnt down.

    Meanwhile the idiots with opposable thumbs spray yet more roundup on their once lush and vibrant fencerows, killing the last remaining habitat for cardinals, wrens, thrashers, and robins. This is the obcessive compulsive thrust of the protestant head space ethic at work: fear of diversity, fear of nature, fear of the feminine … along with the need for control, the need to obliterate all they do not Know or Understand.
    These testosterone laden locals who were raised on grand theft auto and corn syrup will go out of their way to run over any creature who has the misfortune of trying to cross a road, be it possum, snake or turtle. Or me, if they thought they could get away with it. Only love remains, I know, and I feel it for you and our fellow travelers on NBL, but loving these toxic morons is much harder than loving the evil and invasive fire ant.

    But in the meantime, I manage to find moments of bliss – the air is heavy with the fragrance of honeysuckle, and fire flies spakle in the upper canopy starting at dusk.
    Last night there was a whip-poor- will calling not more than 20 feet away from my bedroll on the back deck. I cupped my ears and heard the amazing bass tones and complex harmonics of the repeating call – over 50 times. But sadly, no answer, not the one he was seeking anyway.

  • Bud Nye Says:
    May 29th, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Dredd,

    May 29th, 2015 at 4:19 am you wrote “Wrong. The purpose for diagnosis and treatment is not to turn them into angels, it is to limit their impact on society.”

    Of COURSE Antisocial Personality Disorder exists! In the general population it occurs with the quite high incidence of about one in 100. Among business and military leaders it occurs with an incidence of about one in 20.

    =============================
    Which is meaningless.

    What is meaningful is that the 1 out of 20 impact billions of people on the global stage.

    What is further meaningful is that the 1 in 100 effect near zero on the global stage.

    The psychopaths who wrote the manual you fondle do not want the word “psychopath” to continue, prefering to hide themselves among the sociopaths.

    Here is an apt description of them, the murder-suicide psychopaths, by one of their own:

    THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

    Our invisible governors
    are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.


    They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.

    It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.

    (Propaganda, by Edward L. Bernays, American father of propaganda).

    Those few psychopaths, who have fashioned your life and mine, need some help.

    You can soothe the billions and it will have less of an impact than putting the few psychopaths who govern us in “custodial care.”

    Majoring in the minors is a fools errand.

  • Mr Nye, with much trepidation may I suggest that your emotional defensiveness about your rigid beliefs concerning a very unresolved & mostly linguistic conflict makes you out as possibly suffering from a childish & authoritarian “disorder.”

    “How dare you disagree with me?”

    You routinely demonstrate vehement intellectual arrogance based on all manner of psychologizing unscientific woo.

    It is very rational & reasonable to counter claim that people with so-called APD suffer from too much selfish, narcissistic, & emotional response.

    “It’s all about me, & I can prove it!”

    I think that Lidia expressed such a reasonable countering position.

    Hence APD-ers lack of empathy may very well stem from their self centered emotional narcissism.

    Does Israeli PM Netanyahu demonstrate APD when he butchers & murders corralled & defenseless women & children in the Gaza Concentration Camp?

    If so, how did Netanyahu develop such bloodthirsty APD & lack of empathy?

    Is Netanyahu lying when he labels the murdering as a purely defensive action.

    Moreover, how could the majority of Israelis support such clearly evidenced APD?

    Does the Israeli national character suffer from APD & lack of empathy?

    We could ask the same question about the U.S. paid politicos still supporting & justifying the vicious destruction of Iraqi culture & the Iraqi people by outright lying & fraud from the top of the U.S. political pyramid.

    If the murder of one million innocent Iraqis is NOT antisocial horror & outright murder, then there is no such thing as antisocial behavior or outright murder.

  • Gerald Spezio

    Well said!

    There have been numerous statements made by Bud that have been highly questionable, to say the least. But I decided I could not be bothered to question them, as I had better things to do. So good on you.

    I am always most concerned with the local scene: The New Plymouth district is iron the grip of a psychotic sociopath, Barbara McKerrow. Upon being appointed 8 years ago she was interviewed and commented: “What is important is how we feel.”

    Well of course she feels fine on her $300,000 a year salary, and is some kind of Marie Antionette figure, while the bulk of the community feels thoroughly sick of her and her manipulative, destructive behaviour, which, over her 8-year ‘reign of terror’ has brought the district ever closer to catastrophe.

    The western world is riddled with corruption and lies, as the latest Fifa revelations remind us: ‘Untouchable? Despite the greatest scandal to hit sport, Sepp Blatter celebrates a victory as he is re-elected president of Fifa for four more years’ -Independent headline.

  • Yes, kevin moore, isn’t the outrage over the FIFA stuff hilarious? And the USGov snatched some of them out of Switzerland!
    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/fifa-officials-arrested-federal-corruption-investigation/story?id=31326400

    But somehow they can’t get ahold of Jon Corzine… 🙁

  • Death-by-a-thousand-cuts #151:

    Fonterra, NZ’s biggest milk product exporter, ’caused some surprise by lowering this years prediction downward to $4.40/kg ms.’ (ms = milk solids. Last year $8.30)

    http://www.interest.co.nz/rural-news/75714/weekly-dairy-report-westland-hold-firm-prices-fonterra-drops-again

  • For those who think psychopaths have no emotions.

    “We are all liars.”

    One of the occult powers described is that of everything one says coming to pass. To acquire that power one has to abstain from speaking, suggesting or indicating any untruth for seven uninterrupted years.

    “Gavin Schmidt & David Archer make dramatically different predictions from Wadhams & Semiletov/Shakhova about the probability of abrupt methane release fro Arctic stores.”

    How long has each spent in the Arctic making direct observations?

    “I suggest the following rudimentary scientific procedure”

    That would exclude the quasisciences, preeminent amongst which are psychology and economics.

    “It is humankind’s most honest, unique, direct, & least fallible method of resolving conflicting claims about the world.”

    Science provides the engine, transmission, drivetrain and the steering mechanism. It deos not tell us where to go. That comes from the reptilian brain.

    “kevin moore Says:
    May 29th, 2015 at 12:49 pm
    Gerald Spezio
    Well said!”

    Concur.

  • spezazzio way to goeo

    Why I Sold My Soul
    i have emotions one good one bad
    if it cant be said in plain english
    it aint real

    i dint name my boy sue
    but hesa puppeteer troll too
    he dont wanna be no preacher
    and he dont wanna work no mo

  • I’ve always thought that all drugs should be legal. Sure, they can screw up your life, or kill you, but all in all they do have the effect of slowing down ‘progress’, and that’s good! They can also illuminate, enlighten, and expand our worlds. So now this:

    Silk Road Creator Sentenced to Life in Prison:

    “On Friday Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in creating and running Silk Road’s billion-dollar, anonymous black market for drugs. Judge Katherine Forrest gave Ulbricht the most severe sentence possible, beyond what even the prosecution had explicitly requested. The minimum Ulbricht could have served was 20 years….”
    http://www.wired.com/2015/05/silk-road-creator-ross-ulbricht-sentenced-life-prison/

  • A short time before all this big media hoopla about FIFA corruption & videos of dramatic arrests was the NON-news of Palestinian football officials asking for a vote by FIFA to expel Israel from International football.

    Supposedly, the necessary votes for Palestine were ready & waiting.

    But just in time comes a big dose of Israeli LAWFARE.

    Twisting the LAWFARE screws against Swiss FIFA was top dog Merican lawyerfish – Her Honorable Holiness, Loretta Lynch.

    Lawyerfish Lynch Baby, of course, is on the public payroll while she openly whores for Israel.

    Israelis know their Lawfare & Israeli Lawfare means thwarting any attempt to hold racist Israel accountable for anything – even football racism & football Apartheid.

    CBS tv news had a long segment w/o even mentioning the Palestinian request for a FIFA vote against Israel.

    Much print media went on & on about FIFA corruption w/o mentioning the serious earlier Palestinian accusations against Israel.

    Evidence plenty of nefarious Israeli control of the U.S. government.

    When have you seen or heard anything about past president Jimmy Carter?

  • I’ve been doing some thinkin’: uh oh!

    #1. Could it be that religion was, once, very useful and sane. Maybe, just maybe, religion started as an aide to us fucked-up humans. (the American Indigenous seemed to make it work for them). But then someone came along and took advantage of the concept for nefarious, ingenius, political purposes?

    #2. The other day I heard this comment. Politicians in Congress ALL ran as anti-Washington but they all ended up there.

    #3. The reason there are so many individuals running for office, esp. the top job, is the money. DUH!

    Sam Nunn the adorated and pedestaled senator from Georgia, I think I remember, authored, and of course it passed, a bill that allowed for candidates to keep their campaign contributions. Prior to then the funds had to be returned if they were not spent. Well, Mr Nunn retired very soon after that (I think two weeks later) and kept about 3 million buckaroos. That was a long time ago. SO, everyone rails against Washington, brings in the coin and then keeps the shit. It is the bestest scheme of all time.

    Oh, I wish I was GOD. I would make them eat every cent.

  • “A short time before all this big media hoopla about FIFA corruption & videos of dramatic arrests was the NON-news of Palestinian football officials asking for a vote by FIFA to expel Israel from International football.”

    I didn’t know about this, but wondered why so much attention to a sport that nobody in America gives a fig about. The above might help to explain it.

    One of Israels’problems (and there are more than I can fathom) is that it identifies itself as white and European. I said this to somebody during the 1960’s, and haven’t changed my mind.

  • Israel was created by a Zionist movement which came out of Europe and identified with European imperialism, at first acting as a surrogate for German and French wealthy interests. later British ones, and later yet (after the formal independence) American.

  • To Wren, thanks for the Lux Interna link – interesting band – good groove. That stag in the video has seven points (seven tines) – a magical beast, especially in Celtic lore – see The Song of Amergin.

  • In the book We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy–And the World’s Getting Worse, by Hillman and Ventura, they point out similarities to cancer:

    HILLMAN: There is a decline in political sense. No sensitivity to real issues. Why are the intelligent people – at least among the white middle class – so passive now? Why? Because the sensitive, intelligent people are in therapy! They’ve been in therapy in the United States for thirty, forty years, and during that time there’s been a tremendous political decline in this country.

    VENTURA: How do you think that works?

    HILLMAN: You think people undertake therapy to grow?

    VENTURA: Isn’t growth a huge part of the project of therapy? Everybody uses the word, therapists and clients alike.

    HILLMAN: But the very word grow is a word appropriate to children. After a certain age you do not grow: You don’t grow teeth, you don’t grow muscles. If you start growing after that age, its cancer.”

    The little people are not the problem, it is the 1% controlling government and business.

  • I’ve posted anew. Catch the latest here.

  • “Israel was created by a Zionist movement which came out of Europe and identified with European imperialism, at first acting as a surrogate for German and French wealthy interests. later British ones, and later yet (after the formal independence) American.”

    Thanks. The “German interests” part is slightly puzzling (but some knowledge of history would resolve that, I’m sure). France and Britain are notoriously imperialist countries. Germany less so?

  • Germany less so? You do need to study history. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Germany’s government was pursuing very aggressive rapacious imperialist policies, including the creation of German colonies which became today’s nations of Tanzania and Namibia, as well as Togo. It was also pursuing investment and the like in what was then the late Ottoman empire, with an eyre towards establishing a railroad from Europe to Baghdad (then under Ottoman control), oil on the mind, so support for Zionist colonial efforts seemed like a good investment.

  • Thanks Hayduke,

    This sums it up for me too:

    “Anyway, when it comes to changing my perspective of this threat to one of survival, it boils down to acceptance of this impending extinction threat as being real and unavoidable, while practicing non-attachment to all the ignorant members of my species who can’t handle this, and continuing on with my life of “survival” with as much grace, humor, and love as I can muster until the ghost arrives.”

    The only thing I’d change is putting a “u” into humor. But that’s living in England for you 🙂

    Jeff S.

    You’re absolutely about German colonial history.

    The only thing I would add is that the imperial family’s connection to the Queen Victoria most likely facilitated this colonial “ambition”, made it more easy, smoothed the way. The British were big players, and Kaiser Wilhelm II was Victoria’s grandson. He worshipped everything about English aristocracy and history and would have preferred to have been one of her English grandsons.
    Letting little Billy have a bit of the pie and join the game seemed right to the British at the time and not upset the balance of power which the British were (are) always interested in. Even now, in the EU, that’s the game they always play.
    Just my two cents.

  • Thanks for your explanation, Jeff, and for your kinder one Sabine.

    ——————————-
    For those of you who have visited Nigeria, this might be of interest. See the the blissful (or is maniacal and ecocidal) future at 4:40 minutes. The Chinese are funding a Dubai-style obscenity to take the place of the 200-year-old Makoko fishing community. The governor who is behind the proceeding demolitions of Makoko says that Makoko wasn’t designed for…what? Growth is mentioned. I’m listening hard to what he’s saying, but his reasoning escapes me. Although Makoko has been going for 200 years, it apparently erred by not having the prescience to know that it was supposed to conform to a kind of land use brought on by the excesses of the oil economy. Never mind that it is sustainable and elegant and that its residents look healthy, or that the oil economy it precedes is very stressed. I’m sure the wise rulers of Lagos know exactly what they’re doing. (Sarcasm intended.)

  • Forgot to post the link: