Beyond Credentials

Born into a family of educators, I was wise enough to choose my parents and country of birth in a way that resulted in a life of relative luxury. When I was a child, my parents looked forward to their combined annual income reaching $6,000. At that point, they knew they’d have it made.

I was born at the latter end of the era of expansion. Of course I didn’t know it then, but summers spent fishing and autumns spent hunting with his parents and siblings helped prepare me for my later life as a homesteader.

I am a teacher, first and foremost. At the age of six, after attending first grade for a few days, I was teaching my younger sister to read. Frustrated when she called the dog a dog, I sputtered, “It’s Sp … Sp … Sp, Spot!” Rinse and repeat for Puff, whom she ridiculously called a cat. She was four years and a few months old.

There’s a difference between teaching and learning. A few years in the ivory tower, surrounded by poor teachers who cared little about facilitating learning, illustrated the point to me.

I witnessed the last of the great log drives down the Clearwater River, a sure sign of manifest destiny run amok. The Nez Perce tribe and their abundant salmon fed Lewis and Clark along this river, thereby allowing the starving Corps of Discovery to finish the trip to the Pacific Ocean. Later in my youth, at the height of the cold war, I saw U.S. battleships on the Clearwater River until completion of another sign of manifest destiny, the Dworshak Dam. I graduated from high school on the Nez Perce Reservation, a small patch of consolation from the destroyers to the conquered.

One of the disadvantages associated with my life of privilege was my naivete. For far too long, cultural programming convinced me that planetary destruction represented human progress, and that human progress required the “collateral damage” of human suffering and death.

As attentive readers know, I developed a homestead and wrote about the task, which nearly overwhelmed me. I then wrote and spoke about the homestead as an anchor for my life as a post-academic social critic. I came to agree with my critics in viewing the homestead as a failure, for several reasons I’ll not mention here. Nonetheless, the homestead conveyed credibility I otherwise lacked, and it allows me to speak widely about the horrors I see. Unshackled from the corporate university that previously paid my bills, I could describe evidence without harm to my long-lost, much-beloved career. Along the way, I’ve been able to interact with wonderful people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

In the midst of creating the homestead, my body suffered from the mistakes I made. As I’ve been known to say: “I’ve heard you learn from your mistakes. I make all of mine repeatedly, just to make sure I absorb the knowledge.” I was a young, vibrant man when I started the homestead. I was old beyond my years only a few years later, my body and mind racked with pain.

Although I view my efforts at homesteading as a failure, I take heart from the words of Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra:

The higher its type, the more rarely a thing succeeds. You higher men here, have you not all failed?

Be of good cheer, what does it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves as one must laugh!

Is it any wonder that you failed and only half succeeded, being half broken? Is not something thronging and pushing in you — man’s future? Man’s greatest distance and depth and what in him is lofty to the stars, his tremendous strength — are not all these frothing against each other in your pot? Is it any wonder that many a pot breaks? Learn to laugh at yourselves as one must laugh! You higher men, how much is still possible!

And verily, how much has already succeeded! How rich is the earth in little good perfect things, in what has turned out well!

Place little good perfect things around you, O higher men! Their golden ripeness heals the heart. What is perfect teaches hope.

Now, of course, I’m hope-free. As a result, Nietzsche’s final line does not appeal to me.

I’ve pasted the initial essay for this blog below, verbatim. With it, I re-welcome readers into this space, and briefly explain my perspective. The latter has changed, as you can see.

Welcome to the show. My initial foray into the blogosphere lets you know where I’ll be going, and invites you along for the ride.

Why another blog? Why me?

A quick search on Google Blog indicates I’ve been the subject of a few postings, primarily based on my recent entry into the world of social criticism. But this blog represents my initial attempt at posting a blog of my own. I would like to expand my efforts in social criticism, and I’d like to have a forum in which my errors can be revealed to me. Ergo, this blog. As the name suggests, I will explore the fertile ground at the largely unplowed intersection of conservation biology and philosophy. I’ll also spend some time in the realms of art, literature, C.P. Snow’s eponymous Two Cultures, and academia. I’d like to think that, like Walt Whitman, I am large; I contain multitudes. But I’ll let you be the judge.

I call myself a conservation biologist, yet I did not discover the enterprise of conservation biology, much less become a conservation biologist, until long after my formal education was complete. My undergraduate curriculum in forestry and my graduate programs in range science were tilted heavily toward extraction of natural resources. This focus on extraction was not the only obstacle between me and the pursuit of conservation biology. The greater challenge was that the field of conservation biology, as exemplified by publication of the first issue of Conservation Biology, emerged the same year I was granted a Ph.D. Thus, there were no formal university courses in conservation biology until my days on the student side of the classroom were behind me. My own laser-like focus on applied ecology prevented me noticing the field for a full decade after it appeared on the American scene, although I now call myself a conservation biologist. You can read all about those credentials at my website.

In contrast to my claim to be a conservation biologist, I make no claim to being a philosopher. Through high school and nine years of higher education culminating in a doctoral degree, I did not complete a single course in philosophy. I was exposed briefly, superficially, and vicariously to a dab of Karl Popper and perhaps another philosopher or two who subsequently escaped my long-term memory. And yet I earned a Doctor of Philosophy in that least philosophical of majors, range science (in my days as a graduate student the field centered largely on production of red meat; apparently it continues to do so, without admitting as much). I discovered Socrates relatively late in an unexamined life. In my defense, I have been working hard in recent years to fill the philosophical void (not to mention the existential one).

Future posts will address various topics, including philosophy from ancient Greece to the present, conservation of natural resources, the end of American Empire (it’s probably closer than you think), the extinction of humanity (ditto), sustainability, economics, and just about anything else that grabs my attention. Much of my recent work falls into the category of social criticism, and I’ll continue that work here. Fair warning: I’m an equal-opportunity offender. And, since I’m airing the laundry: I’ll be borrowing numerous ideas from other writings, occasionally losing track of the source. If it’s you, and I fail to acknowledge you, please let me know so I can fix it.

I look forward to comments from rational human beings. I especially welcome solutions to the planetary crises we face.


Upon request for Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network, I provided an explanation for those looking to introduce abrupt climate change. It’s below.

We are in the midst of abrupt climate change, which will soon obliterate habitat on this planet for our species. This event has precedence in Earth’s history, and it’s irreversible at time frames that matter for humans. Civilization is a heat engine, and the planet is about to overheat. Our species, like all others, will go extinct. It’s later than you think. I’m not suggesting we “give up” in the face of certain death. I am, however, indicating that birth is a sexually transmitted disease that is lethal in every case. We all die. What matters now is how we choose to live. That’s always been the case, although we often lose track of the urgency.

Comments 137

  • Nice to learn that you are interested in philosophy from ancient Greece. I am a fan of Diogenes of Sinope who made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large jar. He carried a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He criticized and embarrassed Plato,disputed his interpretation of Socrates and sabotaged his lectures, and publicly mocked Alexander the Great. His philosophy was Cynicism. Here we have an early example of intelligent misfit, the opposite of “yes man”. Diogenes viewed Antisthenes as the true heir to Socrates, and shared his love of virtue and indifference to wealth,together with a disdain for general opinion.

    “I especially welcome solutions to the planetary crises we face.”

    My current solution is determinism. What must happen will happen. Given the initial conditions, the world as it is, we cannot act differently. It’s explained below. “As a neuroscientist, you’ve got to be a determinist. There are physical laws, which the electrical and chemical events in the brain obey. Under identical circumstances, you couldn’t have done otherwise”.

  • Wait a minute, I’m confused. Late in August, you posted “I’ll be posting infrequently in this space. Not only have I lost critical support, but there is little for me to add.”

    So does today’s post mean you’ve changed your mind? Or was today’s post written by someone other than Guy? (Guest authors have been known to be featured in this space, so it seems a reasonable question).

    Anyway, if this is Guy’s piece, and you are indeed back, welcome! I look forward to reading your stuff.

  • I am posting less frequently, David. My contributions have no byline.

  • I’ve heard it said (by retired generals) that an active duty private is more important than a retired general, and that’s true for any hierarchy: One’s value in any hierarchy (and society is hierarchy writ large) depends on where one is ensconced in the hierarchy and how well one facilitates the flow of – whatever it’s called – down, and wealth up the hierarchy.

    With voluntary hierarchies as in the Scandinavian countries, there is ethnic homogeneity and all members of the hierarchy are answerable for their actions: not the case in ‘mericuh.

    It has been pointed out that the most successful individuals in hierarchies are the ones who bend the rules, find workarounds and game the system while maintaining a façade of strict conformity. Generals are masters at this. Through such manipulation some have even brought about disruptive change.

  • The mistakes you made? There is no such thing as mistake. There are only decisions made at the big bang, a future decided at the big bang. Mark Twain wrote a great story about this.

    Neuroscientist Haynes had a big vision (Nature, vol.477,25) about the whole deterministic universe, himself, his place in it and all these different points where we believe we’re making decisions just reflecting some causal flow.

    He explains on his site that “Decisions don’t come from nowhere but they emerge from prior brain activity. Where else should they come from? In theory it might be possible to trace the causal pathway of a decision all the way back to the big bang. Our research shows that we can trace it back 10 seconds.”

  • Hey Kirk,

    Maybe u can help with this?

    Any real musicians in the house??

    I need the chords (Tab) to White Buffalo’s song “Modern Times”

    I have searched far and wide and have come up mt.


  • Guy, it’s good to know some of the history behind your personal evolution.
    I guess it’s all in your archives, but everything is spiraling out so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, much less try to follow the path backwards to its source. Range science, ‘public’ lands given over to private interests…. Enlightenment goes hand in hand with disillusionment. Dave Foreman had a similar trajectory. Oh what shallow primates we are.
    Thanks for all you’ve done… you’ve taken a brave and noble path, and it is much appreciated.

    Meanwhile, the MSM here in the states is focused on the pope’s visit at the moment, and how progressive and ‘radical’ he is. He seems like a good person, yet while he admits climate change, he ignores the core issue of overpopulation and is against birth control and abortion.

    I was never catholic, thank god :) , so I don’t know the history of their opposition to reproductive choice, though I suspect it had everything to do with their tithing principle, 10% of their meager wages going to the vatican. So the more the merrier$$! Another example of ‘follow the money’.

    But having grown up in the american south, I did get to see the evolution of the protestant religious right’s anti choice rhetoric. The roots of it were grounded in 2 issues – one was racism – the fear that mostly whites were having abortions, and, in their heads, the other races reproducing more rapidly would lead to a white minority- their greatest fear!

    The other issue was a deep fear and hatred of the Feminine, and their need to control that power. Forcing women to bring pregnancies to term was a form of punishment for having unsanctioned sex.

    Throughout history abortion was a long-standing, widely practiced and widely accepted means by which women controlled their reproductive lives, and which encountered a significant campaign to restrict it only in relatively recent history.
    Native americans, and other cultures too, used herbs for birth control and for abortion.
    And do not forget the catholic church’s campaign to exterminate native religions and herbal practitioners who gathered, held, and passed on this knowledge.
    Interestingly, there was also an herb that brought on birth before the baby’s head grew too large to pass the birth canal. This was before cesarian sections, when those babies with extra large heads, along with their mothers, were tossed out of the gene pool.

    What a genius move on the part of the catholic church and the religious right, to realize that if they could control female sexuality and take away freedom of reproductive choice, that their power would be even more complete.

  • From previous post- Woodwose – Thank you! :)
    I so enjoy your posts too!

    Shep – try A minor, D, G, C, and so on…

  • @shep

    G C D Am

    Real musicians? You mean like drake, or the bieber?

    I get confused these days about what people mean by ‘musician.’

    Good luck. Also, with those four chords, you can play almost any pop song ever written.

  • LWA & Wren:

    dang. that was fast. thanks. i’m gonna have a ball tonight when I pull out my dreadnaught. I used to be able to match chords with songs but that has passed me by. Too bad.

    Wren: Raised in the South???? Where?? I’ve never had the chance to escape.

  • LWA: ooops, forgot. musicians are anyone who plays Dire Straits, Leonard Cohen, Murphy Dropkicks, bluegrass and gospel songs, remember I’m Atheist.

  • Phew, I have been paying close attention to you for 4 years because you are a wonderful & great man.

    Our few intellectual disagreements are piddling compared to what you have already achieved.

    It kills me to hear this; “I was a young, vibrant man when I started the homestead. I was old beyond my years only a few years later, my body and mind racked with pain.”

    If you have inadvertently sacrificed you health in your valiant attempts to help your fellows, is it possible now to correct your physical despair by changing your sacrificial unselfish life style & train yourself back to vibrant health?

    It can be done, if you want it. You deserve it.

    I have been joking lately that I want to be healthy when I take the final gas.

    I went to your cv page today & noticed the Edward Said quote; “There is no point to intellectual and political work if one were a pessimist. Intellectual and political work require, nay, demand optimism.”

    At one time you believed it as gospel. I did too.

    Camus warned us in the “Myth of Sisyphus;” “Is it possible to live without hope or appeal?

    I am trying to do it, & as usual, there aren’t any guarantees.

    I am living in hospice, but I am a healthy, strong & tough fellow.

    I am 76 yrs old & not even ugly yet.

    My brain has never been better. I’ve been filling it with the best of human wisdom for a lifetime, & I am very satisfied with what I have done.

    Looking back at what I did with my life carries me along – even with the debris.

  • So, not to go off topic but I’ve been thinking that when the massive economic slowdown hits, the military will take over. Any thoughts?

  • @shep
    I like how you define musician. ;)


    Thanks for mentioning the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church calling out for us to become more environmentally conscious and to live more in harmony and with more respect for nature. Maybe they shouldn’t have taken an active role in finishing the genocide against the very people who understood how to do this already in the first place.

    If you look at Canada’s residential schooling of native children last century, it’s sickening to see how the abuses have been blamed on just a few bad men acting in their own interest. In fact, it was a plan for completing the genocide of natives, and was executed with full and complete knowledge of what the outcome would be. It broke their families and broke them psychologically on a generational level.

    We can see the identical, and I mean identical, policy being enacted by the Chinese against the Tibetans at this very moment. They forcibly take children away from their parents, put them into residential schools, forbid them to speak their language or to practice their cultures and traditions, and it has the effect (on purpose) of destroying their cohesion as a people for generations to come. Throw in some physical and sexual abuse of these children, and you will have rendered them dysfunctional for many generations into the future; with after affects such as alcoholism, broken homes, failed marriages, repeated cycles of abuse, etc, etc. All quite on purpose.

    This was no accident by the RC church. They knew full well what they were doing, and used tactics the church understood well, social tactics that probably come from as far back as he Roman times. That’s why the Chinese are finding it such an effective weapon for use against the native Tibetans at this very moment, and are using the exact same policies, literally exactly the same; residential schooling as a weapon to disrupt the cohesion of the next generation of Tibetans. And it goes right over people’s heads, because they claim to only be trying to ‘civilize’ them, and blame any bad effects on individual scapegoats. It’s a pretty sneaky policy for extermination.

    To hear the Church now pining away for the knowledge and attitudes of a people that they themselves helped to purposefully exterminate in the first place is, to mingle in a pun, more than a little bit ‘rich.’ Those residential schools were no accident; it was craftily hidden and absolutely intentional genocidal policy, implemented after it had become unpopular to just walk up and shoot the natives on the spot.

    “Attention good ladies and refined gentlemen …
    … introducing …
    … the residential school program.”

    And now they pine for the lost knowledge and lost attitudes of these peoples? What a farce. Infallible my ass. Enjoy your CO2 Mr. poop, I think you rather you deserve it.

    I guess that will be my rant for the day. Maybe. :(

  • Here’s the thing about the pope that is driving me nuts. He says we need to do something about global warming, but we all know that over population is the biggest problem. And, he is the guy that says people should have as many children as possible. Then he lectures about financial inequality knowing full well that the Vatican is one of the wealthiest entities on the planet. His posturing and ego centric rock star mind set is disturbing to say the least. And yet, the msm lap it up. What’s up with that?

  • Guy Mc Pherson Sept 26 2007: “My folks were the first in their families to attend college, and I spent my childhood in a small, redneck town filled with hard-working manual laborers — it was a logging town, complete with a lumber mill and filled with white, lower middle class folks. The only real dangers were barroom fights and bad driving. I was too young to drink in public, and very lucky to avoid dying in a car crash.

    It’s been quite a ride, but the party’s about over. We rush headlong off the world oil-supply cliff next year, and the subsequent series of recessions and runaway inflation will spell the end of the Empire. Not to mention safety, security, and civilization.
    I’m going to miss green corn tamales. They are so very sweet, and so very difficult to make from scratch. I’ll miss visiting family and friends, too. And traveling the country, and the world, with great convenience. I’ll miss health care. And eyeglasses, since I’m nearly blind without them. It’ll be a little embarrassing, and hugely undignified and quite possibly damned painful, to die from something as easily treated as a burst appendix or an infected scratch.”

    Great to read all of NBL. So many brilliant comments and personal stuff about Guy if you go back in time. Worth reading.

    I was with the crowds at the capitol yesterday. No matter what we think about the Pope the public is having a moment of environmental & social awareness – then all line up this morning for the new I phone.

    Amazing insights from so many here this past month about the mysteries of the universe. Duality. Multi-dimensional. Mo Flow in a singularity. So much to explore. Technically Earth is “undetectable” in the vastness of space – and – the smallness of quantum physics. We only see fractions of the enery. Entropy. Always evolving beyond fixed equations.

    Possibly we will live to experience the wave function in co- development with CERN, Fermi Labs & DARPA “brain” project. Think way outside Pandora’s box. Billions spent for decades world wide for a technology that will get triggered even if all goes to hell in a nuclear war next week or next Sept. A massive applied molecular evolution will most likely happen as collective human energy & developments insure their impact after extinction. Bi0-engineered species have a good chance of release no matter what happens next with staged speeches and planned events.

    I miss SABINE and think of her daily as we genetically enhance fungi & plants will digest massive radiation. A sort of chemo cure to eliminate all humans from Earth? A Supermoon shines on the doomsday clock – hands frozen a moment before midnight in the garden of good & evil. 675 N. Randolph St. Arlington VA. 22203

  • Thanks for the re-posting of you original essay. It is interesting to read how your thinking has changed.
    I was going to comment to Paul Chefurka about what he wrote on the last post but I will comment here instead and hope that you might also share how your fuck it stage has changed how you live.

    Paul Chefurka wrote –

    “I hit fuck it about a year ago. Now I’m trying to devote the rest of my life to doing whatever I personally find interesting and enjoyable.”

    I have a couple of question about “fuck it” I was hoping you might be willing to answer.

    Do you think going through all of the stages of understanding,exploration and grief that is required to get to fuck it leaves you right back where you started? Most people I encounter already want to devote their lives to doing whatever is personally interesting and satisfying – no hard emotional journey required.

    I ask this,not as a criticism at all, but rather so that I can have the wisdom of your experience.

    I am standing right in front of my own personal “fuck it” but I am not sure if I want it. I have several people that I became friends with over the years around the impending DOOMS -peak oil,climate,economic collapse,etc. People changed behaviors,their bank accounts,started permaculturing/gardening,etc.

    As time moved along,fracking moved in and the economic collapse “recovered”, most of the people got bored with doom and moved on.
    Some,however learned some realities about what we are doing to the rest of life and have permanently change the way they live.

    2 friends in particular come to mind. One took up gardening,homesteading,seriously reduced fossil fuel use,native pollinator planting and surfing the web for all manners of doom.

    The other took up all of the above and blogged about Prepping.

    Then they both eventually reached their own Fuck it moment.

    Their responses to fuck it could not have been more different.The first person continues to do exactly what she had been doing except that she stopped searching for doom on the net.

    The second person,stopped gardening and booked a trip for her family of four, to Disney Land.

    When I came to understand how we are so callously causing the extinction of so many species I was subsumed by grief. It could hit me at any moment and I would be immobilized with the pain of it. Looking at any naturally beautiful thing could bring on long bout of dispair.
    I seem to have move past that stage but it does not feel like I have moved beyond grief, but rather slowly built a container around it so that I can carry it with me.

    How is your life different now that you have said fuck it?

  • stormcrow asks: How is your life different now that you have said fuck it?

    For myself, I’d say I used to be a “fixer”. I’d try to fix everything I possibly could in my immediate surroundings (even things I was terrible at, like relationships….) I would send money to every worthy cause, etc etc.

    Saying “fuck it” was simultaneous with discovering what I was actually GOOD at, and could actually DO something about. Lo and behold, it was what I’d always known the most about — building, engineering, teaching science to kids.

    So now that’s all I bother with….. oh and taking care of birds (who’da thought ?)

  • A new mandatory piece from Arctic News about abrupt Arctic methane release & how stratified warmer ocean currents are adding to the Arctic ocean sea floor heating.

    There is an error in the text where Sam states that the green circle purporting to be Svalbard is actually in the Bering Straits.

  • Infanttyrone,

    Regarding your September 23rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm question, the dualist model refers to the old idea of a “mind/body” split, or duality, based on insisting that a “mere” physical, biological body supposedly cannot, and does not, produce our “mind” experiences, consciousness, and self-awareness. No particular thread prompted my question and request. I have just noticed that, just as occurs in our society in general many people here at NBL think in those dualist terms regarding “mind”, consciousness, and self-awareness, and I wonder why. I have commented on this in a couple of my essays over the past year. I wonder what attracts people to this kind of reasoning? What appeal does it have? And how do they resolve the problem of the ghost in the machine without invoking magical processes? (Which a huge percentage of people seem to have no qualms at all about doing.) Today, people often invoke this magic by pointing to several modern physics principles, referring to scientific processes and content when these in some way appear to support their favorite beliefs, for example quantum physics. Meanwhile, these same people also denying the relevance of science when it does not support their beliefs. Some also insist that presumably “We cannot use scientific processes validly to study humans, especially the human mind, consciousness, and self-awareness” as so many commenters so often have done here. I find this kind of reasoning with its frequent inherent contradictions—often blatantly self-contradictory—fascinating. We presumably cannot use science validly to study humans, but we can invoke quantum mechanics and other modern physics principles in order to account for consciousness, ESP, and any other phenomena we might find convenient to throw into this magic-filled pot?

    Regarding “ESP and related phenomena”, much compelling evidence demonstrates that these phenomena exist in people’s heads only as their subjective feelings and abstract beliefs. If interested in some of that evidence (and I doubt that many people here have much interest in it) I would refer you to magician James Randi’s book, Flim-Flam, Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and other Delusions by magician and co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, James Randy (1982). Randi debunks many popular beliefs such as astrology, biorhythms, dowsing, transcendental meditation, UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, ESP, and psychic surgery, all quite simply, nonsense. In 1964, he offered $10,000 to anyone who could demonstrate a paranormal power under satisfactory observational conditions. As of the 1982 publication date, over 650 people had tried for the reward, none successfully. He describes some of the attempts in this book. Funny how psychics who have “demonstrated” the ability to bend metal rods by will power cannot do it anymore when they no longer can wander out of the room with the rods during the experiment. Also see 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) as well as the work of The Skeptics Society and The Skeptic magazine. I wrote “I doubt that many people here have much interest in it” because as Randi points out, and as Tavris and Aronson emphasize in their wonderful book, Mistakes Were Made (but not by ME), Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (2007), True Believers believe whatever they wish to believe despite any evidence to the contrary. For example, people shown in detail how a psychic surgeon pulls off their fraud often believe even more strongly in the alleged healing powers of psychic surgery. Given people’s strong tendencies to believe many weird, non-sensical things despite strong evidence to the contrary, it comes as no surprise at all to me that so many of us believe infinite human population and consumption growth can and will occur on a finite planet, that we can burn all of the fossil fuels that we wish without adverse consequences, that humans can survive global warming with abrupt climate change, and many other related grandiose, magical, human supremacist ideas. Same psychological, emotional processes; different content.


    Regarding your September 23rd, 2015 at 2:40 pm comment, within in the first minute of the Terrence McKenna talk, he states an unknown, and unknowable, premise as a taken for granted, assumed, unquestioned, and presumably unquestionable “fact” or “truth”. I do not see this kind of reasoning, claiming as a taken-for-granted premise that these alleged spirits and forces exist, as very strong. It neither answers my question nor does it respond to my request. What attracts you to and keeps you attached to this kind of reasoning? Please explain how an alleged non-physical “spirit” can in any way interact with a physical, matter/energy process and how we, as physical, biological organisms, could ever conceivably know about or experience these alleged, non-physical forces or entities.


    Regarding your September 23rd, 2015 at 7:09 pm comment to Etyerepetyere that you didn’t hear anything that made it easier to understand what I referred to with my phrase “dualist model of consciousness” nor did you hear anything relating to the much simpler, more direct, and verifiable’ models that I consider much stronger, neither did I.

    Paul Chefurka,

    Regarding your September 24th, 2015 at 5:40 am comment, will you describe the nature ot the alleged non-physical consciousness that you refer to? What makes on circumstance “appropriate” for a physical model and another more appropriate for the other model? Will you describe the nature of your “mistake”? How do you define the alleged non-physical “reality” that you refer to? How does “non-physical reality” this not amount to a self-contradictory oxymoron? What personal value, and practical survival value in living in our biological world, do you see with this kind of reasoning in which one begins their reasoning based on an untested premise, indeed, often an untestable premise, regarding an alleged non-physical consciousness, that they assume must have validity because they sincerely believe it true?

  • For me, the “fuck it” stage has resulted mostly in switching my entire focus to the animal kingdom (sans humans, that is). I used to be very interested/involved in politics, social issues, anti-war stuff, etc. I believed at the time that the key to solving the environmental crisis was first working toward human beings taking care of each other and spiritually evolving to a point where we saw (for instance) a child in Iraq as no different or less important than our own children. After all, how would we get anyone to care about other species going extinct if we didn’t even care about our own species? Basically, naive liberalism at its worst. Now that I know that humanity is a lost cause, my entire responsibility lies with trying to minimize our impact on other life forms. Having said that, I don’t even really know what it means because as long as we’re around, they’re all screwed. While at the beach a few years ago, I watched a seagull ingest an entire piece of greasy tissue paper from a french fry container, thinking it was food because of its taste. I distinctly remember feeling horrified, and feeling like I was personally responsible. I’m on board with the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement but that doesn’t entail action in any real form. I only know that while I used to care very deeply about things like the Mecca stampede, now I have almost no emotional reaction. That doesn’t feel good, mind you. It doesn’t feel like anything at all. I truly wish that I could still care.

  • Hi Guy. I read your blog sometimes and again I feel a little frustrated with your comments. It’s the way you feel and no one can change that except yourself. I only know a smidgen about you based on imagining your life and how you live it. When I hear you comment on your homestead and the fact that you started out a vibrant young man and now you are old and sick, what caused you to “fail”? Is there anything you can do now to make it better on the homestead? There’s a thing called “woofing” that’s worldwide. It’s inviting people who are interested in tending to the garden, caring for animals, the house, etc. for free room and board. Would something like this be possible? Maybe you need some help? Thinks of all the great conversations that you could have inviting different intellectuals to the homestead, intellectuals with skills to keep the homestead going. I don’t know, there has to be a way to use your brain full of info combined with your passion for living off of the land, no? I am sure, instead of travelling all over and worry about who will put you up, maybe the time has come to invite those who can connect to you, into your arena.

  • LWA- yes, so sad, hard to express just how sad in words on a screen. But thanks for sharing.

    44 South- It was more curiosity than anything. A door was opened, and a piece of a great puzzle was revealed… The meaning of it all continues to unfold. And you? ☀

    Shep- south mississippi, east tennessee, memphis, new orleans. Long story, as long as my life so far. I am so steeped in southern literature, music, flora, and fauna, that it has all permeated my very being on a cellular level, and perhaps even deeper.
    John Lee Hooker, Roy Rogers, Taj Mahal, Miles Davis:

    er Teresa… you seem so young and innocent. Did you wander in here by mistake?

  • Shep, dude, I hope this helps. I think Wren or Caroline or somebody other than me posted this first.

    Wanting to see your cover posted here soon!

  • Can someone refresh my memory regarding who came up with 2C being an acceptable increase in global temps? Thanks in advance.

  • It’s funny, Guy, but just the other night I was admiring your choice to leave academia. You see, my grandson was spending the night here recently. At dinner I got a run-down on his first few weeks as a 9th grader. God love him and me, but if I had a hammer I’d bring that building down! Seeing such a precious soul imprisoned during these times weighs heavily on my heart of hearts.

    Hey, I never had any philosophy in school either, unless you want to consider mindless fuckism a philosophy.

    Shit, I’m so much smarter than the average conservative that, with my philosophical background and if groking could be forced on people, I’d be able to grok those khaki klad krumbums up trees, make them cower like whipped dogs before the slam dunkieness my groks or even make them jump through hoops of real far!

    Grocking feels good, it’s addicting. I think some forms of grocking are actually spiritual revelation. Better known as Grokamundo Maximo Grandies experiences. I used to live for how that feeling caused me to “ah ha” in a very human way. Actually, that became a problem because I wanted to share the experience. Screw that! The last thing most people want is to feel good!

  • Guy,
    I hope you continue teaching. You’ve taught me much about conservation biology as it relates to climate change and the fragility of my habitat. I’ve been reading your blog posts and listening to your various presentations over the years while I’ve been with my parents as they each die a slow lingering death. Your sharing how you’ve come to grips with the intense grief on understanding how near humanity’s end is has help me find meaning in the grief I’ve felt and will experience. You are obviously a man of principle and I deeply respect you.

    That said, I can tell if only from your internet persona that you can be rough, gruff and insist on being right. Let go or be dragged. Those I love sometimes irritate me and have been known to disappoint me. But they have a dragon. They are safe. It’s not my job to test them or to grade their tests. When I’m tired, I have only to ask myself what I’ve given, what I can still give.

    Remember that individuals do not usually discard deeply held beliefs or truths when presented with a valid argument. Even if they realize the validity of what they hear, it can take years, if at all. Do not judge yourself by the immediate effects you see on people in the crowd. You are being heard, and your memes reverberate to millions, helping in at least some small way many, many folks you will never meet.

    We are about the same age. While you were living a life of excellence by grabbing a PhD, I was a drug addict. At about the same time the student became the teacher, I got clean. So I listen with deference and respect as you teach me about how the scientific evidence is charting our species’ self-destruction. But crawling back from hell taught me a couple things, too. I need to warn you that the “Fuckits” are fatal. It’s not a seventh stage. It’s depression. And while you certainly have the right to be depressed, not many consider wallowing in it to be a life of excellence. On a practical level, your body is not your slave, it’s your partner. The longer you intend to inhabit it, the more humble respect and attention you will need to give it. You may find that the ailments and pain subside, if not completely. You may find that the vicious circle of the physical component of depression will stop plaguing you. If you had a precious friend going through what you are now, what would you do for him or her? Well, that friend is you. Don’t be bashful.

    Your lecture isn’t over and your dance isn’t finished. Please continue.

  • @Mark Austin

    “In 1824, the House of Rothschild was appointed sole fiscal agent for the entire Vatican empire.”

    Quote from author: “Rape of Justice”

  • Wren, uhmmm no I didn’t just wander in here… thanks for the compliment re being young and innocent, you just made my day, my decade, my millennium, for all the trials and tribulations that I have been through, even walking through the proverbial Valley of the Shadow of Death, it actually warms me big time to have someone say that!…I guess misery loves company. You know I’ve come to realize that no matter if we do something or not, the ball is in motion re whatever catastrophes will befall us. The only thing that the human species can do is change their minds, their thinking and that’s the only way true change will happen. If and when the human species expires, at least the life you have lived won’t have been in vain, because academics don’t matter, money doesn’t matter, being right doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you can do to make your space on this planet a positive influence that spreads out to other humans and other species. Why not start with yourself and in your own families.

  • @ Anthony

    In 1975 economist William Nordhaus speculated that anything above 2 degrees would take the climate beyond the threshold of return, this was later reiterated by James Hansen in 1988 then later by the Stockholm Environmental Institute in 1990 and subsequently at the Rio Earth Conference in 1992 and the European Council of Environmental ministers in 1996

  • I first read this about a decade ago, but I keep forgetting its essential messages.

    Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

    Gregory W. Lester

    Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.6, November / December 2000

    Because beliefs are designed to enhance our ability to survive, they are biologically designed to be strongly resistant to change. To change beliefs, skeptics must address the brain’s “survival” issues of meanings and implications in addition to discussing their data.

    Because a basic tenet of both skeptical thinking and scientific inquiry is that beliefs can be wrong, it is often confusing and irritating to scientists and skeptics that so many people’s beliefs do not change in the face of disconfirming evidence. How, we wonder, are people able to hold beliefs that contradict the data?

    This puzzlement can produce an unfortunate tendency on the part of skeptical thinkers to demean and belittle people whose beliefs don’t change in response to evidence. They can be seen as inferior, stupid, or crazy. This attitude is born of skeptics’ failure to understand the biological purpose of beliefs and the neurological necessity for them to be resilient and stubbornly resistant to change. The truth is that for all their rigorous thinking, many skeptics do not have a clear or rational understanding of what beliefs are and why even faulty ones don’t die easily. Understanding the biological purpose of beliefs can help skeptics to be far more effective in challenging irrational beliefs and communicating scientific conclusions.

    Biology and Survival
    Our brain’s primary purpose is to keep us alive. It certainly does more than that, but survival is always its fundamental purpose and always comes first. If we are injured to the point where our bodies only have enough energy to support consciousness or a heartbeat but not both, the brain has no problem choosing-it puts us into a coma (survival before consciousness), rather than an alert death-spiral (consciousness before survival).

    Because every brain activity serves a fundamental survival purpose, the only way to accurately understand any brain function is to examine its value as a tool for survival. Even the difficulty of successfully treating such behavioral disorders as obesity and addiction can only be understood by examining their relationship to survival. Any reduction in caloric intake or in the availability of a substance to which an individual is addicted is always perceived by the brain as a threat to survival. As a result the brain powerfully defends the overeating or the substance abuse, producing the familiar lying, sneaking, denying, rationalizing, and justifying commonly exhibited by individuals suffering from such disorders.

    Senses and Beliefs

    One of the brain’s primary tools for ensuring survival is our senses. Obviously, we must be able to accurately perceive danger in order to take action designed to keep us safe. In order to survive we need to be able to see the lion charging us as we emerge from our cave or hear the intruder breaking into our house in the middle of the night.

    Senses alone, however, are inadequate as effective detectors of danger because they are severely limited in both range and scope. We can have direct sensory contact with only a small portion of the world at any one time. The brain considers this to be a significant problem because even normal, everyday living requires that we constantly move in and out of the range of our perceptions of the world as it is right now. Entering into territory we have not previously seen or heard puts us in the dangerous position of having no advance warning of potential dangers. If I walk into an unfamiliar building in a dangerous part of town my survival probabilities diminish because I have no way of knowing whether the roof is ready to collapse or a gunman is standing inside the doorway.

    Enter beliefs. “Belief” is the name we give to the survival tool of the brain that is designed to augment and enhance the danger-identification function of our senses. Beliefs extend the range of our senses so that we can better detect danger and thus improve our chances of survival as we move into and out of unfamiliar territory. Beliefs, in essence, serve as our brain’s “long-range danger detectors.”

    Functionally, our brains treat beliefs as internal “maps” of those parts of the world with which we do not have immediate sensory contact. As I sit in my living room I cannot see my car. Although I parked it in my driveway some time ago, using only immediate sensory data I do not know if it is still there. As a result, at this moment sensory data is of very little use to me regarding my car. In order to find my car with any degree of efficiency my brain must ignore the current sensory data (which, if relied on in a strictly literal sense, not only fails to help me in locating my car but actually indicates that it no longer exists) and turn instead to its internal map of the location of my car. This is my belief that my car is still in my driveway where I left it. By referring to my belief rather than to sensory data, my brain can “know” something about the world with which I have no immediate sensory contact. This “extends” my brain’s knowledge of and contact with the world.

    The ability of belief to extend contact with the world beyond the range of our immediate senses substantially improves our ability to survive. A caveman has a much greater ability to stay alive if he is able to maintain a belief that dangers exist in the jungle even when his sensory data indicate no immediate threat. A police officer will be substantially more safe if he or she can continue to believe that someone stopped for a traffic violation could be an armed psychopath with an impulse to kill even though they present a seemingly innocuous appearance.

    Beyond the Sensory
    Because beliefs do not require immediate sensory data to be able to feed valuable survival information to the brain, they have the additional survival function of providing information about the realm of life that does not deal directly with sensory entities. This is the area of abstractions and principles that involves such things as “reasons,” “causes,” and “meanings.” I cannot hear or see the “reason” called a “low pressure zone” that makes a thunderstorm rain on my parade, so my ability to believe that low pressure is the reason assists me. If I were to rely strictly on my senses to determine the cause of the storm I could not tell why it occurred. For all I know it was dragged in by invisible flying gremlins that I need to shoot with my shotgun if I want to clear away the clouds. Therefore my brain’s reliance on my “belief” in the reason called “low pressure,” rather than on sensory data (or, as in the case of my car, my lack of it) assists in my survival: I avoid an experience of incarceration with myriad dangerous characters following my arrest for shooting into the air at those pesky little gremlins.

    The Resilience of Beliefs
    Because senses and beliefs are both tools for survival and have evolved to augment one another, our brain considers them to be separate but equally important purveyors of survival information. The loss of either one endangers us. Without our senses we could not know about the world within our perceptual realm. Without our beliefs we could not know about the world outside our senses or about meanings, reasons, or causes.

    This means that beliefs are designed to operate independent of sensory data. In fact, the whole survival value of beliefs is based on their ability to persist in the face of contradictory evidence. Beliefs are not supposed to change easily or simply in response to disconfirming evidence. If they did, they would be virtually useless as tools for survival. Our caveman would not last long if his belief in potential dangers in the jungle evaporated every time his sensory information told him there was no immediate threat. A police officer unable to believe in the possibility of a killer lurking behind a harmless appearance could easily get hurt or killed.

    As far as our brain is concerned, there is absolutely no need for data and belief to agree. They have each evolved to augment and supplement one another by contacting different sections of the world. They are designed to be able to disagree. This is why scientists can believe in God and people who are generally quite reasonable and rational can believe in things for which there is no credible data such as flying saucers, telepathy, and psychokinesis.

    When data and belief come into conflict, the brain does not automatically give preference to data. This is why beliefs-even bad beliefs, irrational beliefs, silly beliefs, or crazy beliefs-often don’t die in the face of contradictory evidence. The brain doesn’t care whether or not the belief matches the data. It cares whether the belief is helpful for survival. Period. So while the scientific, rational part of our brains may think that data should supercede contradictory beliefs, on a more fundamental level of importance our brain has no such bias. It is extremely reticent to jettison its beliefs. Like an old soldier with an old gun who does not quite trust that the war is really over, the brain often refuses to surrender its weapon even though the data say it should.

    “Inconsequential” Beliefs
    Even beliefs that do not seem clearly or directly connected to survival (such as our caveman’s ability to believe in potential dangers) are still closely connected to survival. This is because beliefs do not occur individually or in a vacuum. They are related to one another in a tightly interlocking system that creates the brain’s fundamental view of the nature of the world. It is this system that the brain relies on in order to experience consistency, control, cohesion, and safety in the world. It must maintain this system intact in order to feel that survival is being successfully accomplished.

    This means that even seemingly small, inconsequential beliefs can be as integral to the brain’s experience of survival as are beliefs that are “obviously” connected to survival. Thus, trying to change any belief, no matter how small or silly it may seem, can produce ripple effects through the entire system and ultimately threaten the brain’s experience of survival. This is why people are so often driven to defend even seemingly small or tangential beliefs. A creationist cannot tolerate believing in the accuracy of data indicating the reality of evolution not because of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the data itself, but because changing even one belief related to matters of the Bible and the nature of creation will crack an entire system of belief, a fundamental worldview and, ultimately, their brain’s experience of survival.

    Implications for Skeptics
    Skeptical thinkers must realize that because of the survival value of beliefs, disconfirming evidence will rarely, if ever, be sufficient to change beliefs, even in “otherwise intelligent” people. In order to effectively change beliefs skeptics must attend to their survival value, not just their data-accuracy value. This involves several elements.

    First, skeptics must not expect beliefs to change simply as the result of data or assuming that people are stupid because their beliefs don’t change. They must avoid becoming critical or demeaning in response to the resilience of beliefs. People are not necessarily idiots just because their beliefs don’t yield to new information. Data is always necessary, but it is rarely sufficient.

    Second, skeptics must learn to always discuss not just the specific topic addressed by the data, but also the implications that changing the related beliefs will have for the fundamental worldview and belief system of the affected individuals. Unfortunately, addressing belief systems is a much more complicated and daunting task than simply presenting contradictory evidence. Skeptics must discuss the meaning of their data in the face of the brain’s need to maintain its belief system in order to maintain a sense of wholeness, consistency, and control in life. Skeptics must become adept at discussing issues of fundamental philosophies and the existential anxiety that is stirred up any time beliefs are challenged. The task is every bit as much philosophical and psychological as it is scientific and data-based.

    Third, and perhaps most important, skeptics must always appreciate how hard it is for people to have their beliefs challenged. It is, quite literally, a threat to their brain’s sense of survival. It is entirely normal for people to be defensive in such situations. The brain feels it is fighting for its life. It is unfortunate that this can produce behavior that is provocative, hostile, and even vicious, but it is understandable as well.

    The lesson for skeptics is to understand that people are generally not intending to be mean, contrary, harsh, or stupid when they are challenged. It’s a fight for survival. The only effective way to deal with this type of defensiveness is to de-escalate the fighting rather than inflame it. Becoming sarcastic or demeaning simply gives the other person’s defenses a foothold to engage in a tit-for-tat exchange that justifies their feelings of being threatened (“Of course we fight the skeptics-look what uncaring, hostile jerks they are!”) rather than a continued focus on the truth.

    Skeptics will only win the war for rational beliefs by continuing, even in the face of defensive responses from others, to use behavior that is unfailingly dignified and tactful and that communicates respect and wisdom. For the data to speak loudly, skeptics must always refrain from screaming.

    Finally, it should be comforting to all skeptics to remember that the truly amazing part of all of this is not that so few beliefs change or that people can be so irrational, but that anyone’s beliefs ever change at all. Skeptics’ ability to alter their own beliefs in response to data is a true gift; a unique, powerful, and precious ability. It is genuinely a “higher brain function” in that it goes against some of the most natural and fundamental biological urges. Skeptics must appreciate the power and, truly, the dangerousness that this ability bestows upon them. They have in their possession a skill that can be frightening, life-changing, and capable of inducing pain. In turning this ability on others it should be used carefully and wisely. Challenging beliefs must always be done with care and compassion.

    Skeptics must remember to always keep their eye on the goal. They must see the long view. They must attempt to win the war for rational beliefs, not to engage in a fight to the death over any one particular battle with any one particular individual or any one particular belief. Not only must skeptics’ methods and data be clean, direct, and unbiased, their demeanor and behavior must be as well.

  • Bud…a couple of questions for you. What’s your point? And have you ever ingested a psychedelic of any sort?
    We all know the world is full of psychic fakerey. So what? All the gurus want to dip their wicks. So what?
    Why do you want a description? The description is not the described.
    Roll up some sticky bud, Bud. Stop asking so many damn polite questions!

    Wren…I’m one of those people who despite years of being a seeker, nothing ever “clicked” until I had THC in my brain,at the late age of 29.
    Lying on the floor of a house full of “druggies, listening to “the captain’s journey” Lee Retinour. Suddenly I was merely there, simply present. Profoundly changed but just the same.
    It is a paradoxical affair. All the really weird stuff came later, the “mind melds” etc. I keep a few San Pedros growing for the terminal time,but no,I crave that intensity of being any more.
    That’s a young mans game.

  • Where the fuck did “don’t” go?
    God I hate these touch screens.

  • @ Tim Bloom

    Now that’s an interesting take: Is “fuck it” the sixth/seventh stage, or is it just the fourth stage of depression rearing it’s ever shapeshifting dismal head in its constant battle with the act of bargaining?

    Hmmmm…well in my opinion, some of best insight in this space has come from those who are quite familiar with depression, and since Guy has admitted he doesn’t suffer from it, but is only a carrier–which is something I find rather odd–I think you might be onto something there.

    If the mantra “action is the only antidote for despair” isn’t an act of bargaining in the stark light of NTE, then pray tell, what is?

    Very few people are willing to openly discuss “depression”, especially while under the cold influence of its shroud. I personally consider depression to be a prerequisite in being able to fully emotionally internalize the gravity of NTE….but then again, maybe I’m only projecting my pale light.

    Well regardless, the word ‘depression’ is almost passé at this point. I’ve been depressed for most of my life, and I don’t know how someone honestly couldn’t be if they’ve been even remotely cognizant of our ecological dilemma over the last sixty years. All I know is I would give almost anything to return to that bygone degree of sadness.

    No, we’re dealing with something entirely new at this stage of departure, though it still remains unnamed. We have neither the precedence nor the consequent lexicon to describe the awareness now set upon us.

    We are both the light and the abyss. The tool and the weapon equally set upon each other and ourselves to the bitter end. The only sense that remains is that end, and all we have left to decide, is how we’re going to live with absolutely nothing but the illusions we create till that end comes.

  • kevin moore,

    Excellent September 25th, 2015 at 10:38 pm article, in my opinion. Certainly, with a publication date of November, 2000, it is badly dated with respect to the emotional issues not even mentioned, much less meaningfully discussed. The article, if written today and including some of what we now know about how the emotional parts of our brains work, would be MUCH stronger and far less cognitively biased if it included an emphasis on emotional schemes. These two sentences: “Skeptical thinkers must realize that because of the survival value of beliefs, disconfirming evidence will rarely, if ever, be sufficient to change beliefs, even in “otherwise intelligent” people. In order to effectively change beliefs skeptics must attend to their survival value, not just their data-accuracy value.”, and a number of other points made in the article, point to the critical importance of Physics Education Research (PER)—VERY psychological in nature, which has gone a long way toward revolutionizing teaching chemistry, physics, biology, and the sciences in general in many powerfully positive ways, at least here in the United States. For example, see the outstanding Modeling Physics teacher training program at the University of Arizona, Phoenix.

    44 south,

    Regarding your September 25th, 2015 at 10:48 pm comment: no, I have never ingested any psychedelic drug. I would like answers to my questions and responses to my request because I would like to read people’s reasoning related to the questions and the request. Please help me understand why you wish me to stop asking polite questions. Does Guy have some rule here at NBL, which I don’t know about, to the effect that people should not ask polite questions? Asking me to stop asking polite questions strikes me as equivalent with asking me to stop asking people to think about what they think (metacognition), stop asking people to think about what they believe, and stop asking people about what motivates them to believe what they believe. Again, what motivates you to ask me to stop asking questions about these extremely important issues?

  • Kevin, here is another one from the CSI. Funny you should link to them as they are highly “skeptical” of all your favorites “theories”.

    The Conspiracy Meme

  • Aneaman

    I know the melting point of steel is about 1000oC above the combustion temperature of aviation fuel burning in the absence of sufficient oxygen, and that titanium alloy aircraft engines don’t evaporate upon impact with grass.

    Well, actually, I only know such things when I am looking at them, and when such things happen beyond my range of vision -especially in America- completely different laws of chemistry and physics might apply.

    I believe the CIA invented the term conspiracy theory in order to discredit truth-tellers. I also believe the CIA operates one of the biggest drug-running organisation in the world, but am willing to change my beliefs on the basis of evidence.

  • Philosophy is the love of debate over reality. Irrelevant.

    Fuck It is the resignation of belief over reality. The last defence.

    Sustainability is as mythic as hard work. Technotopia.

    Sustainability is belief based unreality. A 4-letter word, w-o-r-k.

    Typing words is not real. Words do not dig garden beds. Work does.

    Belief is prediction based and not very adaptable. A rear-view mirror.

    Science is evidentiary supported belief. The least bad option.

    Spirituality is belief-based ego survival. Vanity.

    The Pope’s sustainability agenda is misplaced belief in spirituality.

    Humans are wonderful when their basic needs are met.

    The Grapes Of Wrath are long forgotten by The Me Generation.

    We had our chance in the 1970s. We blew it it’s over. Period.

    If Guy did have kids, would he be as much of an extinction denialist as Alex Smith of Radio Eco-Shlock?

    If humanity stopped wasting food, stopped eating meat and everyone “worked” at growing organic food and producing carbon sequestered soil, then we would have a small chance of mitigating the worst effects. But I still believe I have a better chance of seeing a snowball’s chance in hell.

  • There are 2 types of people, those who work, and those who talk.

  • Tim Bloom,
    Your comments were most refreshing, and endearing. We sometimes try to be each other’s mirror, but the reflections aren’t always pretty sights. Yours were truer than most.

  • Kirk,

    THE White Buffalo is in Atlanta on 10-22 2015 I am thinking it is. Only $12.00 a pop. Trouble is that it is a 300 peoples stand up venue with a very small stage. Probably wud lose your hearing. Warning: There are NO refunds (not mentioned except in the small print after you hit the charge button and then try to reverse the deal)

    My wife and I were going until we figured out a conflict so getting the charge back resulted in a great wonderful shouting match with the ‘box office manager’ (love money mongers). Fortunately he did refund the money. I had invited you up but you apparently missed it.

    Funny thing. He asked me a reason, I gave him a good one, and he simply said that wasn’t a good one, so I gave him another and he said that’s still not a good one.

  • Shep I’m sorry but I didn’t see where you invited me to Atlanta. The idea that you did that is very gratifying to me, as if I actually went. Thanks!

    Remember, as a kid, finding a band you really liked and listening to their album over and over? Doesn’t happen much anymore. The last time it did, I got to see the band live in a tiny space. Seems like the best music with the deepest message draws the smallest crowds.

  • Basic bassline/chord chart/song structure for Shep. Hope it’s comprehensible, and that I haven’t spoiled anyone’s fun by being OCD!
    ‘A’ chords are minor, as per Wren/LWA.
    As we’re in G Major, I guess the ‘D’ chords can take a seven on top (‘C’) if you feel like it.
    *=half a bar, the way I’m counting.

    /A / /D / /G / /C / /A / /D / /GC/GC/GC/GC/
    /A /A /D /D /G /G /C /C /A /A /D /D /GC/GC/GC/GC/
    /A /A /D /D /G /G /C /C /A /A /D /D /G /G /C /C /
    /DA /DA /DA /D /GC/GC/G /G /
    /G /G /C /C /D /D /G BC/D /G /G /C /C /D /D /G AB/C /
    /D /D /D /D /GC/GC/GC/GC/GC/GC/GC/GC/

  • Early on after making friends with Dewey in our rather large middle school library I realized I could attain or even exceed the level of knowledge of my own instructors.

    This fact was tested and persisted throughout my formal education and then along came Mr bolean …and WoW!

    With the understanding that I could potentially acquire PHD level knowledge on any subject I choose I also began to understand that selecting what knowledge to acquire and how to be discerning with the knowledge available was just as critical if not more so.

    This was me wanting and seeking knowledge and there were many mentors along the way who were instrumental in the process. I also quickly became aware that the vast majority of “students” simply wanted knowledge to be injected into them… “hey, I payed my money, wheres my edumacation?”

  • I meant Boolean.

  • I read here often, and attended one of Guy McPherson’s presentations a couple years ago. I know of the frustrations of trying to get the message to others, with nary anyone listening. Yet I continue to read and gain knowledge and information from the Internets. If we really wanted to ‘fuck it all’, why stay connected to our electronic devices?

  • Guy, I can easily & sincerely speak for myself here, but I unabashedly claim that what I say applies to you as well. It is the whole ball of wax, & it’s rather simple.

    We came to the same conclusions independently, two scientists seeking objective reality – albeit a gruesome & fatal objective reality.

    YOUR selection of the all encompassing Said quote on your cv page speaks for itself.

    “There is no point to intellectual and political work if one were a pessimist. Intellectual and political work require, nay, demand optimism.” (Edward Said)

    Guy, some/much/all of your pain must be the result of realizing that Said’s fundamental axiom has been totally negated.

    Whether we were consciously aware of it or not, we both functioned with Said’s premise as foundational (what else?), but NTE takes our entire foundation (every bit of it) to the woodshed, chops its head off, & leaves us with fireball earth, zero optimism, zero hope, no future – nothing, nein, rein de rein, nada.

    As usual, Kiwi Kevin directs us to a wise piece, as far as it goes, on OUR “existential despair.”

    It’s all about SURVIVAL.

    BUT, BUT – SURVIVAL IS IMPOSSIBLE! The entire human species dies out completely. Can’t you see the evidence?

    some excerpts; “Our brain’s primary purpose is to keep us alive. It certainly does more than that, but survival is always its fundamental purpose and always comes first.”

    “Because every brain activity serves a fundamental survival purpose, the only way to accurately understand any brain function is to examine its value as a tool for survival.”

    You have been trying with all your life’s energy & scientific awareness with its love of truth to literally thwart this so-called survival function.

    You have tried to teach us that it would be wisest to get with the evidence about NTE & make the most of our time left.

    “Ain’t no way out of this one, Jackson.”

    No easy task selling abject doom.

    Depression & despondency is paying the piper for deducing ugly truth from painful facts – the ULTIMATE ought from an is.

    Existential despair for real.

    We are the experiment of learning to live w/o hope or appeal.

    We are all casualties – no prisoners & no survivors.

    It is playing out on a daily basis – an observable empirical experience for those who dare to look.

  • Kirk,

    Will indulge today on the Gandalf Murphy stuff. Sounds great. I’ll bet the lyrics are the best too. Music is my God. There is no end to the good stuff.

    Speaking of small crowds, we went to Smith’s Old Bar in A’lanta to see the best harmony, melodic, tell a tale, bluegrass band in the business, THE GIBSON BROTHERS: here is one on homelessness.

    Last lines: “And yes sir this thing is loaded and I have the hammer back
    If I were you, that’s what i’d doo oo oo
    If I were you, that’s what I’d do

    We walked in and, lo and behold, there were 5 of us. The curtain drew back and the band laughed their butts off. Played two full sets. Best time I’ve ever had at a bar. It was heaven, we had them all to ourselves. Wish I could return.

    Thanks to all for the chords and hints etc.

    Also wanted to add that we just had a precious little black goat die and we do not know why. I put her on my funeral pyre this morning and she is disappearing in the smoke as I write. I have become so emotional in old age. Maybe this is the affliction that Guy has come up on?

    This very sad song speaks to my pain. The words are horrifying but we humans make so damn many mistakes. “When a man don’t use good judgement, it’s the innocent who pay.”

    James King: The Bluegrass Storyteller. Echo Mountain: see all the lyrics and see if u ain’t tech’d. (I wonder why animals mean more to our kind than our own kind?)

  • A couple posters said things I had been thinking myself.


    “The only thing that the human species can do is change their minds, their thinking and that’s the only way true change will happen.”

    To which I would suggest that it’s thoughts and not actions that determine the state of the world. The actions happen by themselves, following the thoughts.

    Tim Bloom

    “Do not judge yourself by the immediate effects you see on people in the crowd. You are being heard, and your memes reverberate to millions, helping in at least some small way many, many folks you will never meet.”

    This is not meant to suck up to Guy (although I’m not immune to sucking up behavior), but Guy might well not realize how far reaching and profound is his influence. When he states an interest in “solutions,” he might also not realize how essential an aspect of solutions is his work. As James Baldwin said, (I paraphrase)”Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced.” Absent the message of NBL, nothing can be changed. Guy is pointing to a catastrophic death process, which nearly everyone else else fails to observe. But is it only a death process, or is it also one of birth? If it is one of birth as well, the general unawareness about it is likely to produce a dead fetus. Guy seems to be gesticulating wildly that something monumental is taking place. The death cannot be averted, and that which is being born cannot return to the womb. And while I may also be in danger of sucking up to Robert C, I agree entirely that this is a time for work…even if the work is thinking.

    “On a practical level, your body is not your slave, it’s your partner. The longer you intend to inhabit it, the more humble respect and attention you will need to give it. You may find that the ailments and pain subside, if not completely.”

    This is a lovely, gentle way to think about it.

  • “The actions happen by themselves, following the thoughts.” Really?

    Neuroscientists say that thoughts are the consequence and never the cause of material brain processes. The brain obeys the four interactions of physics, which are the rulers of the universe. Out thoughts are inevitable consequences of immediately preceding brain states and this causal chain leads all the way to the Big Bang.

  • @thestormcrow,

    I said “fuck it” to three things. One was to any further further active investigation or analysis of the clusterfuck; another was to trying to wake people up to it; and the third was to caring what other people think of my response.

    Aside from the fact that I no longer publish breathless analytical polemics on my web site, where I am now looks from the outside a whole lot like where I was before I began the journey. I still live in the same place, I still have the same job, I still look after my wife and parents, I still don’t vote etc. But while the outward appearance of my life is quite similar, how I experience it is not. Although the inputs remain the same, the qualia are now radically different. I see things in a much broader context; I don’t get outraged or angry nearly as often; I make different choices as a result.

    Most of all, my morality has undergone a profound revision. I am far more empathetic on a person-to-person basis, but I am much less so when group misery is involved.

    For example, I just turned down an opportunity to articipate in planning for large-scale international food-shock disasters (i.e. famines from crop failures), a humanitarian endeavour that already has the ear of several major world financial and insurance institutions. I turned the offer down flat, because propping up the human endeavour in that way now seems deeply immoral to me. My broader context is now the biosphere, and from this perspective assisting human beings to maintain their dominance over the rest of life (even just through our continued survival) is immoral. My Taoism doesn’t permit me to take the DGR/monkeywrench route, but I will at least not act to prolong human dominion.

    My “fuck it” stance helps with this because I no longer seek status through others’ approval of my moral stances or actions. “Fuck it, it makes no difference to me whether you like or hate my beliefs or behaviour!”

    In this way, “fuck it” is a lot like enlightenment. I still chop wood and carry water, but I do it with a transformed awareness. I no longer get as exercised over trivialities – and most of life is trivialities. I now understand Jiddu Krishnamurti’s reported explanation for his equanimity: “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”

    But this is just my response, it says nothing about yours. As you’ve seen, each of us reacts differently to the awakening implied by “Fuck it.” Whether and how we change – or not – doesn’t depend on the “fuck it”. It depends on who were were before, and what our journey to “fuck it” has shown us about the world and ourselves.

    @Bud Nye

    I’m not here to shovel intellectual justifications for my personal beliefs into the insatiable maw of your idle curiosity. Please do the work yourself.

  • Kirk,
    Excellent taste in music!!! Thank you!
    Fellow doomers (and post doomers too)—-I highly recommend you immerse yourself in the song Kirk posted.
    For the past 5 years WOJB (Community Radio) has presented the Slambovians to exultant sold out audiences—-they are WONDERFUL! And a soothing balm to the spirit amidst the turmoil of the day. Standing room only crowds. They are brilliant.
    Shep-music is my God too (long with nonhuman world of plants/animals etc.). Glad you liked Modern Times.
    Makes me happy to share music when it brings joy to others.
    Here’s another one for you—Joziah(lead singer/songwriter and his partner/wife Tink, here on accordion)

  • Paul Chefurka,

    Regarding your September 26th, 2015 at 9:17 am comment that “I’m not here to shovel intellectual justifications for my personal beliefs into the insatiable maw of your idle curiosity”, if you prefer not to describe your motivations (fundamental emotional issues, not superficial “intellectual justifications”; the emotional issues far more often than not drive the intellectual justifications), fine. I certainly have no problem with that and respect everyone’s rights to their privacy. Preferring to preserve one’s privacy about such things often makes very good sense—-especially within a frequently emotionally abusive, bullying public venue such as this. On the other hand, referring to my questions and request as “idle curiosity” inappropriately trivializes processes that have immense importance for all of us as individuals, within our different groups, and within the processes that have, over time, resulted in our self-annihilation trap. Or so it seems to me.

  • .
    @Paul Chefurka

    I really enjoyed your last post, and also perusing your website. Bravo.

    I especially enjoyed your page ‘Climbing the Ladder of Awareness.’

    I also enjoyed your response to Bud Nye. “Please do the work yourself.” Hilarious. I suppose I got suckered into answering him, without realizing he was just looking to release the James Randi spiel on everyone. I honestly thought he might be interested in an honest answer, I guess I walked right into that one. (James Randi, by the way, has been thoroughly debunked his own self, having been caught in many lies and falsifications himself, and appears to be somewhat of a shill for empire; one intent on selling books by appealing to certain peoples confirmation bias’. And besides, he pulls his pants up way too far to be trusted anyway, like to his armpits … ugh.) Just more guys with all the answers. The ego is always so certain of itself. Having begun my life there (and quite firmly), reason now no longer seems so reasonable, and rationality has ultimately proven to be quite irrational. It’s all such a paradox, I mean, take a look around at where it’s all ended up? Anyway, whatever.

    Paul, I also really enjoyed hearing Jiddu Krishnamurti’s quote …

    “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”

    It reminded me of Alfred E. Neuman’s “What Me Worry!”

    It also reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s lyric from ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’:

    “And I’m hovering like a fly …
    … waiting for the windshield on the freeway.”

    In my own words … what does anything really matter anymore anyway, including my own existence? It doesn’t. All that really interests me anymore, I guess, is my own inner journey of consciousness, such as you’ve mentioned on your site. Although, that doesn’t preclude me from still spewing out the odd rant now and again, or even often. However, I don’t presume my rants are important or matter. They’re really just for my own catharsis. I do still feel sometimes, after all.

    Anyway, thanks for your post Paul.

    I’d also like to thank 44south for saying “While these debates are interesting and entertaining, do they change anything?”

    No, they don’t 44south … not in the slightest. You are correct. Thanks for reminding me of that. I will try and adjust my attitude accordingly. Thilly me. :)

  • Bud…I guessed as much re the psychedelics.
    The point I was trying to make is that this “otherness” is inexplicable and can only be experienced.
    Nothing seems to work at scale. How many words have been spoken and written on this subject and still only a tiny fraction get it.
    I have made no conclusion as to the true nature of things.
    What is will be revealed. Or not.
    As to the mails irritation provoked by your style of address.
    The fact that you don’t see how it irritates many here IS the problem.
    Drugs would help you see that too…maybe.
    For what its worth I woke at 4am from a very vivid dream of a massive explosion.
    Best of luck to you all.

  • A couple of years ago I highlighted the area under the graph, and recently stumbled on the presentation below:

    Even the so-called safe 2oC upper limit is now mathematically impossible to achieve, since the majority of models do not factor the mitigating effect of Global Dimming (solar dimming due to pollution), nor do they assign sufficient potency to methane.

    At 397ppm, atmospheric CO2 is very close to the annual minimum and will soon be climbing towards the 2016 maximum of around 406ppm (390ppm was mentioned in the above Climate Challenge video)

  • ‘You see,I don’t mind what happens’
    More vacuous horseshit posing as wisdom.

  • Well, LWA, now you know.

    If anyone does have a bowl of the good stuff, I suggest watching the linked video with good sound. This woman’s beauty of self and voice just shatters me.

  • Ray,

    You’re saying what causes thoughts. I wasn’t talking about what caused thoughts, but what thoughts cause instead, and how thoughts can be honed (insofar as that can be accomplished). If you’re saying that there is no free will, that’s too philosophical a subject to be useful to me.

  • kevin moore Says:
    September 25th, 2015 at 10:38 pm
    I first read this about a decade ago, but I keep forgetting its essential messages.

    Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

    Gregory W. Lester

    Thanks for posting that link. The information contained therein goes a long way towards explaining the loss of relationships with family and friends over the years.
    After reading the article, I began to ponder why some of us find it much easier to accept the information about NTE? When I think about the relationships that I have lost over the last decade it seems to me that the majority of those individuals were/are afraid of change, and this article does a good job of explaining WHY they are afraid.
    I have been fortunate enough in my life to have experienced change on a regular basis, and I find it refreshing, rather than something to be fearful of. As a result, I eventually found NBL, and I’m extremely thankful that I did. I’d much rather know about “the asteroid” than not, but these days, I rarely bring up the topic. Attempting to enjoy each moment, has become my focus.

  • .
    Love that Whitney tune. And yes, now I know. ;)

    Some people don’t know where that great voice came from. Here’s Whitney’s mom, Thelma Houston, from 1975. She was no slouch either. The first tune on the album is great (I’ve Got the Music In Me), but the tune at six minutes (6:00) is my favorite (To Know You Is To Love You). Someone here mentioned Larry Carlton the other day … he plays on this album too.

    This album (Pressure Cooker) was a big deal for its day. It was an audiophile recording created at Sheffield labs, recorded completely live and direct to master using custom tube technology. The vinyl version of it kicks ass when turned up way, way too loud.

    Remember to check out the song at 6:00.

    Thelma … Whitney’s equally awesome mommy. We did some shit right. Enjoy.

  • Change _is_ the ONLY constant in the entire Universe. The Universe, it seems, is not lacking a sense of irony. Laugh while you can, smoke’em if ya’ got’em and always trip with the lights fantastic. Nothing less will suffice, anything more is utterly irrelevant.

  • Phil Morrison – The table of effects from Sievert levels you posted is exactly why we are working on Dr. Benner’s Applied Molecular Evolution.

    Like Babajingo I feel really bad for all the animal species that will be mutated beyond reasonable reproductive means. A thousand years of horribly fucked animals because we can’t even get a thousand people to care for a minute about doing any real WORK toward decommissioning 406 nuclear reactors. 30 years to decommission is just an excuse. It takes 30 years only because most of the work is greasing wheels. Political hand outs and delays that gain more $ bribes. FACT: we could decommission everything in 5 years if 5 billion people demanded it. But billions of humans are too mean and lazy & selfish to care about what will happen to the next thousand years of biology.

    Phi – why do you think Janet Yellen got pulled off stage yesterday right in the middle of her sentence about “The factors causing instability are forcing us too..????..US Treasury rate interest rate increase can not be afforded by 93 countries suffering our greed???

    DARPA’s Assured Arctic Awareness (AAA) program plans to develop new technologies for an advanced distributed sensor system to monitor the Arctic both above and below the ice, providing year-round situational awareness without the need for forward-basing or human presence. NO HUMANS NEEDED because highly complex & intelligent nano lifeforms already exist. A time is approaching when bio-gen will eliminate humans and give a boost to the next phase of evolution (Which will replicate & tolerate the radiation levels we refuse to remove in a timely or caring manner.)

    ROBERT C. – I always read your collapse data sheet. Lot’s of interesting comments on NBL but the best is keeping up with facts about Methane levels and things that will rapidly impact our systems. From Beijing to Moscow contractors are working on altering our human impact aftermath into pre-released non carbon based lifeforms & other modified CH which will support atmospheric/H20 regeneration. The genetically modified mosquitoes released in Florida have Rad resistance in their DNA. Applied Molecular Evolution is a major lab. Their enhanced Tardigrades (with 6 space radiation factors) were successfully tested last month in dishes attached to the outside of the International Space Station. Possibly the pollution we humans created had enough mental impact to give the few with the best facilities an urge to create better life forms to follow our extinction. What we are creating now we will never live to see or know. Just like the long lost fingerprints on past genetic leaps. 7 Billion different concepts of God. And a few dogs playing dice.

  • Bud Nye,

    OK, here goes. No promises made about connecting all of the dots.

    I have just noticed that, just as occurs in our society in general many people here at NBL think in those dualist terms regarding “mind”, consciousness, and self-awareness, and I wonder why…I wonder what attracts people to this kind of reasoning? What appeal does it have? And how do they resolve the problem of the ghost in the machine without invoking magical processes?

    To make a purposefully provocative but perhaps imperfect analogy, some people here as well as others out in the rest of the world are attracted to the dualistic mind-body view because it allows them to ‘explain’ to themselves a variety of current phenomena (such as telepathy & UFOs) in much the same way that many people before them turned to religious explanations for things like earthquakes and eclipses.

    Latching onto almost any explanation for something new, scary, mysterious or any combination thereof makes most humans more comfortable than if they were to suspend judgement until more data is available or until a better explanation comes along. Better to say the moon and sun are having some sort of battle than experience darkness at noon without a hypothesis. And to cop an idea from Mr. Pynchon, if you think paranoia is bad, try the reciprocal. In his words, “If there is something comforting—-religious, if you want—-about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.”

    So, today we think we have more or less solid explanations for eclipses, earthquakes, and related occurrences. But there doesn’t seem to be any clear market-share-leader in explaining things like UFOs and telepathy.

    If I didn’t have Penn & Teller on speed-dial James Randi would be a valuable asset for reverse engineering/deconstructing a stage magic trick. I’ll spot you the other things he has supposedly debunked (Bermuda Triangle, psychic surgery, TM, etc.). But you probably don’t want to put him up against Bucky Fuller on the question of whether ESP/telepathy exists or put him up against millions of people who have seen UFOs so he could tell them what they did or did not see. That would be taking ‘mansplainin’ to a new extreme. (Side note: I’d be interested in Randi’s explanation of the Phoenix Lights phenomena. I won’t be surprised if that didn’t make it into his book.)

    But people do see things (UFOs) and feel/sense/experience things (ESP/telepathy) that are not easily explained. Ala Pynchon, better to believe that the god living in your nearby volcano is responsible for the occasional lava flow than to be completely without any sort of causal linkage based on observation, hypothesis, testing, and analysis. If it’s a god, then at least (usually) someone will come up with a story about why the god causes lava to flow and what sorts of preventive behavior humans can perform (prayer, sacrifice, etc.) to try to minimize the volume of lava and its extent and frequency.

    In 1964, he offered $10,000 to anyone who could demonstrate a paranormal power under satisfactory observational conditions. As of the 1982 publication date, over 650 people had tried for the reward, none successfully. He describes some of the attempts in this book.

    ‘Satisfactory observational conditions’ reminds me of the alleged quote from a banker to the effect that he doesn’t care about who controls a nation’s politics as long as he (the banker) gets to control the money. But as far as I know, nobody who has experienced telepathy or has seen a UFO claims that ‘it’ reliably happens when they want it to happen. So, Randi can disallow 650 claims due to non-replicability. Big whoopie. Does he lay out some logical chain of thinking that would allow him to say that none of the reward seekers had ever experienced the ability that they were unable to demonstrate to him in his lab set up? Or does he leave that erroneous conclusion to the reader, having only implied it himself? There are plenty of people who have bowled perfect (300) games. Far fewer than that have done it back to back. And only roughly a couple dozen have bowled a perfect series (900) consisting of 3 perfect games in a row. Does this level of repetition give the 900 people any basis for suspecting that those simple back-to-back 600 people (or those huddled masses of simple 300-one-time-Charlies) really didn’t bowl their perfect sets? The supposed logic would be that anyone who could bowl 2 x 300 should be able to bowl 3 x 300. But, like the folks in Tornado Alley will tell you, just because a cyclone came through and wasted their town last week doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen again today. Nor does it mean that it *can’t* happen again today. And just because the past six twisters all veered off and didn’t hoover up Smallville doesn’t mean the next one won’t. (Folks in N’awlins had a long history of dodging hurricane bullets…until that perfect string of no-hits was broken in 2005…doesn’t mean they will get slammed again this year…doesn’t mean they won’t.) Bottom line for me is that there are short-lived and/or non-repeatable phenomena that are not subjectable to the sort of testing/experimentation protocols that Randi uses. (Nothing wrong with his type of setup. I’d prefer to have my medications tested his way. But it is a category error/mismatch to use his 650 ‘flops’ as evidence that neither they nor anyone else *ever* had or could have had what they claimed was their paranormal power. To me that is magical thinking or just sloppy logic, ostensibly in the service of rationality.)


    Enough of that…on to the odds & sods section.

    1) If I understand you correctly, I agree with the idea that people shouldn’t invoke quantum effects on one hand and then raise the other hand as if to say “Stop…we can’t use scientific methodology and protocols to investigate the human mind.”

    2) So where might these weird effects come from? Well, I don’t have any answers for you, but I recommend a book by Prof. Lisa Randall (Harvard Physics Dept. and probably a Nobel Prize in her future if we son’t collapse too quickly) titled “Warped Passages”. Has a lot to do with dimensions on beyond the usual four that we’re used to. I can’t remember the details, but there was some problem that had been proven (to the general satisfaction of the academic physics community) to be insoluble. As in everybody agreed that they understood why it could not be solved. Well, Prof. Randall and a colleague took it up a couple of dimensions higher, did a few twists and somersaults and math gyrations…and came up with what everybody (who’s anybody) now agrees is a solution. It’s quite readable and you can probably get it on for about a dollar plus shipping. She doesn’t go in for woo-woo (not as we know it anyway) and she won’t make you follow along some n-dimensional math sequence. Whaddya got to lose?

    Prof. Randall works on stuff at this place…Randi works on stage in front of biased audiences who need confirmation of their skeptical superiority. I like *my* chances here.

    3) An interesting question (to me anyway)…do you happen to know if James Randi has a public position on climate change ?
    If he accepts that it is happening, does he believe that humans have played a big part in causing it?
    If yes and yes to the above, does he have any recommendations for how to slow it down and maybe reverse it ?
    I would be amused to find out that he’s a denier.
    It would be tickled pink to find out that he’s in synch with Guy on NTHE.

    4) OK, I get what you mean by the dualist model…what did you have in mind as ‘the much simpler, more direct, and verifiable explanations’?

    Be careful about what you ‘believe’. A cautionary tale for both/all sides in this area.

  • Thanks Apneaman.

  • Mark,

    I’ve tried to put you in touch with Sabine. Did you get that communication?

  • RE:
    A myopic focus on temperature as “the” direct driver of habitat loss is like looking at a single tree to explain the forest.


    One And All:
    A myopic focus on climate as “the” direct driver of NTE is like looking at a drop of water to explain the ocean.

    Crop and pasture lands have caused 80% of land vertebrate extinctions.

    The financial collapse of the $1 quadrillion derivatives market in ’08 was caused by a mere 3% drop in value of hard assets.

    Civilization will collapse long before NTE.

    All the sound and fury, signifying nothing made by mister pointy hat at the U.N. is complete nonsense without depopulation.

    Financial collapse is always staved off by war.

    Since the U.S. sold off its grain reserves in ’08, the next financial collapse will include hunger because Letters Of Credit are needed to get the world’s food to your grocery store. We do not remember hunger.

    When faced with hunger, thirst or your own personal extinction, NTHE will be the furthest thing from your mind.

    This is why I cannot comprehend all the existential navel gazing and music videos I see here. Without serious population and consumption controls, we have already QUIT. Would you forego you iPhone to save life on earth?

  • We Are In Debt Beyond Our Eyeballs.

    The $1 quadrillion derivatives collapse has rescaled its previous highs.

    Debt is promise of future energy imputs.

    How much is one quadrillion dollars?

    If dollars equal seconds, it will take 12 days to get 1 million bucks.

    It will take 30 years to get one billion bucks.

    It will take 30,000 years to get one trillion bucks.

    It will take 30 million years to get one quadrillion bucks.

    When the fantasy paper markets collapse, the banks will move in and take ownership of our public and private assets. They will own the world, and are willing to destroy it to do so.

  • In the 1950s, we feared public ownership of private assets – communism.
    Now we fear private ownership of public assets – neoliberalism.
    Neoliberalism is the substitution of the word “love” with “rape”.

  • Teresa,

    It seems to me that if you had read here for a while, you would not have needed to post what you did, prompting Wren’s reply. She’s way ahead of you, something you would have noticed if you were an attentive reader.

    Most people here are not beginners and have figured out ways of coping personally. The best naturally consider to care for all life that can be included: their beloved humans and the non-humans around them, considering and caring for them at all times. That’s what real awareness, being awake, is all about. From what I get in Wren’s comments, she’s more aware and skilled than most and doesn’t need to be patronized. And she’s right about you initial comment.

  • Finland is officially at 2.1 C above baseline.

  • Sabine – so good to see you back here. :) ☀

    Re teresa again …
    I can’t speak for Guy, but personally, when I write about the pain of living within a dying biosphere, and witnessing with full knowledge, it’s not a plea for help.
    I’m not asking to be fixed, because my own personal pain is not The Problem.
    I am willing to own my pain, and the writing is just a way to both share and articulate.
    But I’m not talking about paralysis here. Do what you can… either in the spirit of hospice or in the spirit of Crazy Horse, depending on your own personal level of risk aversion. But do something.

    So like Sabine said, do some reading. Start with Daniel’s ground breaking opus and read every word, and the comments:

    The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction

  • “the pain of living within a dying biosphere” – no pain, no gain. USA is responsible for 27 % of total cumulative CO2 emissions, by far more than any other country. Thank you America for NTHE.

  • 44 south,

    In your September 26th, 2015 at 12:20 pm comment you wrote “Bud…I guessed as much re the psychedelics.” and so on. You and many others here seem actually, seriously to believe that your personal, subjective experiences produce profound, reliable, meaningful information about how the world supposedly works. One’s having a drug-induced experience would presumably open me (or anyone else) to “the truth” about consciousness and the universe? Sorry. I disagree. My deeply held, personal, subjective experiences and beliefs necessarily “are true” and define realities outside of my own head? I don’t think so. Sorry. I just don’t have that strong a narcissistic or human supremacist streak in me. I guess the little experience I had working with people having various kinds of schizophrenia led me too far away from such magical, self-centered thinking. Way too far away.

    So, let’s bring on the unicorns, psychic surgery, trolls, ESP, fairies, ghosts, angels, dowsing, demons, and so on, and on, and on, in all of their psychedelic glory! If I subjectively experience or believe something, then it MUST exist, it must “be true”! The universe revolves around me, Me, ME! Many here obviously, actually consider this “subjective experience defines reality” premise, and the reasoning that follows naturally from it, excellent, powerful, profound, and very useful for themselves and others. I do not. But have at it. Believe whatever you need to believe in order to feel good right now. It seems nearly certain that none of us have much time left.


    I just noticed your well written, thought filled, September 26th, 2015 at 9:02 pm. Thanks. I will probably respond to your comment later today.

  • @ bud nye-
    Most of the time, I just scroll on over your posts, but I read this last one because it was relatively short for a change, and began with an attack on 44 south.

    So I’m trying to visualize what a person must be like, to have gotten this far in life without ever having injested any mind expanding drug.
    While I find this truly bizarre, it also helps explain who you are.
    I see an extremely needy individual who has to resort to cruising sites in a futile search for followers to whom he can endlessly pontificate.

    I won’t even begin to try to explain (to you) how it is that the plant world, with all its knowledge, attempts to communicate with us via the compounds within, and your hubris of dissing all that Knowledge. You, Bud, are a pathetically mainstream Cartesian, and, as such, way more a root cause of the problems we’re facing than most.

  • America is worse off than I thought it was: heard new poll today that says the millennials tested 1 in 3 to be narcissistic versus 1 in 8 in comparison to the generation before the Mills.

    Shoot. I thought my generation (the ‘lucky’ ones – right after the depression and before the boomers) was the most narcissistic I was, for first forty years out of 74 so far. A supreme b(rat). Still can’t shake it sometimes!

  • @RC
    Agreed- naval gazing is of no practical use.
    What is eminently practical is the effort to get a direct taste/touch/glimpse of the stark, naked, undeniable reality of ‘you’ – here -untouched, unchanging,unmoving ,everpresent . (or as Robin Datta puts it – to ‘grok’ this ). This contact with reality infallibly eradicates the fundamental unconscious terror and the entire context of fear which spoils life and within which the mind itself has evolved.
    This act of moving one’s attention onto the faint sensation of ‘youness’ requires no understanding , no analysis, no years of practice.
    The outcome is a natural human life -sane and self-reliant – free of all misery and suffering

  • “Solutions”:

    I’ve tried to get my mind around that too. Then two seemingly opposite thoughts emerge:

    – It’s easier (more effective) to refrain from stopping undesirable things than to start, support, empower desirable things. Less marching to ban oil and more promotion of something more appealing than oil (if possible).

    – It’s easier to discard what is obviously wrong than figure out what is right. Among the most “obviously wrong” things (IMO) would be discharging effluent into the sea or chemicals into rivers. Presumably, the more obviously wrong something is the more consensus there will be about it. The less obviously wrong something is–or the more polarized are views about it (like population control, for example)–the less consensus, as goes without saying.

    Then it gets a whole lot more complicated from there. Ideas like how to get everybody on the same page and the like. Needing far more effort and insight than most of us can muster, unfortunately.

  • Wren,

    Hello Southerner Survivor.

    “…what a person must be like, to have gotten this far in life without ever having injested any mind expanding drug.”

    I shud tell u about my two experiences with pot. Never again! Called my children, described it to them and begged them never to do it. Maybe I missed something too, probably did.

    Also: U are correct: Apparently, Rene’ he is. Animals have no feelings or emotions and do not suffer.

  • If Guy had looked me in my eyes & told me about his pain, I would not ask him about his position on quantum indeterminacy. Maybe later?

    It appears that many missed my (our?) mentor’s “real” anguish.

    “In the midst of creating the homestead, my body suffered from the mistakes I made. As I’ve been known to say: “I’ve heard you learn from your mistakes. I make all of mine repeatedly, just to make sure I absorb the knowledge.” I was a young, vibrant man when I started the homestead. I was old beyond my years only a few years later, my body and mind racked with pain.”

    Guy, with all your friends & so-called therapists, there must be a scientific exercise physiologist/nutritionist/health guru, who could help you regain ebullient health. I am fully aware that it’s a screaming paradox – get healthy to face the coming horrors & doom.

    “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much of anything.”

    Every phys ed major/jock knows how to write; “Mens sana in corpore sano.” Yabut it’s still true.

    I agree with every word of Bud’s direct on point rebuttal about cavalier drug induced wisdom. Bud’s contempt for the ME generation(s) rampant & overt narcissism is particularly well stated.

    Wren, Bud never said that he did or didn’t do any “mind enhancing” or “mind constricting” substances, & Descartes has been stone dead for more than 3 centuries.

    I do not take any pharma drugs of any kind.
    I’ve been smoking pot in moderation since 1965.

  • Sorry for my post gluttony, but this was requested. Here you go infanttyrone.

    But, he’s not denying, he’s just not convinced. Particularly about the anthropogenic part.

    Cranky Randi is a shill for empire, no question, for reasons too outside of the scope of what I’m going to bother hypothesizing to people here. Hint: Notice the two types of people who mostly post here? Science types and hippy/mystic/witchy/DMT types. What these types have in common is that these are the people whose minds were not purposefully constrained in their growth by empire. The former because empire needed their minds unconstrained, and the latter because they refused to allow their minds to be constrained. Cranky Randi was a shill to discredit the latter in order to silence them, like modern witch burning. Yes, some of our DNA survived.

    You can see Randi’s success when a fellow like Bud conflates mystical seeking with schizophrenia. Unicorns Bud. really? And remember, a mystic is not to be confused with a ‘faith religion’ type of thinker. Science types often fail to discern between the two. One deals with blind faith and instructed belief from religious authorities, the other deals with careful observation and experimentation; sort of like scientists of the subjective, sort of like a compliment to scientists of the objective. The fundamental religious type is a whole other animal from a mystical thinker or a nature witch.

    Anyway, there it is, James Randi is not convinced of AGW. Which he softens by saying he’s just skeptical about it. Old habits must die hard with him; either that or he likes the paycheck and perks from empire too much.

    Again here, Google was your friend. But, I thought Randi’s stance was worth exposing.


    That debunking of extinction was lame. He quibbles over the literalness of the term extinction, then admits few would survive, and then tells you that survivor can be YOU. Meh.


    RC … sorry for the naval gazing and odd video. My bit was leaving empires work force years ago, and it’s left me few options to do much anymore financially, unless someone wants to send me a cool million to do my own off grid defending of nature. Until then, ferociously protecting my urban yard creatures is about where I’m at. Nature gathers over at my house, for whatever good that does.

    Is this site a community, or is it supposed to be pure news and data feed? Can’t it be both? Should Guy clarify this for us? (Rhetorical questions, unless Guy wants to clarify.)


    P.S. Ha, ha … James Randi is a denier. Go figure.

  • Apparently, Randi also lies, along with just being a nasty person and wildly incompetent on the subject of climate science.


    One better known complainant was Dr Rupert Sheldrake, the Cambridge biologist whose controversial idea of morphic resonance allows for the theoretical existence of ESP. To test his notion, Sheldrake ran a number of studies on a dog that seemed to know when its owner was coming home.

    Following a burst of publicity for Sheldrake, Randi told a journalist, “We at JREF have tested these claims. They fail.” But when I met Sheldrake, at his Hampstead home, he made a serious charge. “Randi’s a liar and a cheat,” he said. “When I asked him for the data, he had to admit he hadn’t done any tests.”

    According to Sheldrake, his direct requests for data were twice ignored. After appealing to others at the JREF, Randi eventually wrote back, explaining that he couldn’t supply the data because it got washed away in a flood and that the dogs he tested are now in Mexico and their owner was “tragically killed last year in a dreadful accident.”

    Unusually for Randi, he was polite. “I over-stated my case for doubting the reality of dog ESP based on the small amount of data I obtained,” he wrote. “It was rash and improper of me to do so. I apologise sincerely.”

    But, publicly, Randi then attacked Sheldrake. Of his own failure to provide the data he wrote, “A search of our site would have supplied [Sheldrake] with all the details he could possibly wish. Alternately, I could have supplied them, if only he had issued a request. That’s what we do at the JREF.”


  • Bud…I’ll keep this brief, these comments are a struggle for me.
    I wouldn’t argue with much of what you say if it only involved one/my brain and it’s subjective perceptions.
    It didn’t.
    I have previously described the three become ONE incident, it was not “my” perception.
    Did you ever look into another’s eyes and feel two become one with an almost audible click,and see the delight at the wondrous glory of it spread over the “others” face?
    That may be a subjective experience to you Bud,but it’s a holy one to me.

    Thanks Wren,glad you got my back.:)

  • Wren,

    Regarding your September 27th, 2015 at 7:53 am comment, I did not “attack” 44 South in any way. I just stated that I disagree with him or her, how, and why. That, in your view, amounts to an “attack”? Ahhh, no it does not. You created that “attack” frame and interpretation, not me. Meanwhile, I find it bizarre that someone finds it bizarre that another human has not used psychedelic drugs. I notice how you and others wish yet again to form an ad hominem attack club. Feels good, doesn’t it, personally attacking those you disagree with? “Let’s change the subject! Let’s knock the bastard down and kick the hell out of him! It feels SO good to express our frustration and anger that way! Let’s kill the goddamned messenger!” Just an observation.

    If you had actually read and understood the things I have written instead ignoring them, as you have openly acknowledged that you usually do, you would know that I do not “diss” the knowledge that the plant world attempts to communicate with us via their compounds (and in many other ways that you did not mention). From many years ago I have an undergraduate degree in ecology through the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida, at one time I seriously considered working for a Ph.D. in botony, and much more recently got a permaculture design course certificate. I simply do not think, feel, or express the alleged hubris as you have constructed. Meanwhile, I most emphatically do not qualify as any kind of “mainstream Cartesian” as you have also constructed! On the contrary: I have received a huge amount of verbal, emotional abuse here, and especially at Scott Johnson’s Fractal Planet site, for repeatedly expressing my strongly anti-Cartesian views. But how could you possibly know that since you do not read what I write, instead preferring emotionally to construct a straw man and then beat him up. You do have the time to construct and whale on straw men; but you do not have the time to read what someone has written. Okee dokee. Whatever turns you on.

    As with so many people who comment passionately at great length here about books that they obviously have not read, I find I fascinating that you comment here, as you have, about things I have written that you have not even read, much less understood. The thought would never even cross my mind to comment on another person’s writing, whether a short comment, an essay, or a book, without my having first slowly and carefully read and thought about it at least once. I reason: “How can I possibly comment in any meaningful, rational way on something someone else has written if I have not first carefully read it, understood it, and if necessary had any questions I have about it answered? I guess I’m weird that way—-at least here at NBL. Sorry. It completely escapes me how others so often do exactly that. Perhaps my not taking immediate gratification psychedelic and other drugs has helped protect me from that kind of behavior, which strikes me as both highly irrational and hurtful? I don’t know.

  • Doomsteaddiner Debunked Guys Hyphothesis of NHTE since the logigal conclusion tells
    In Nigeria Lagos 20 million people live under a very hot environment with no problems coping with those

  • RE and the crew of denying nitwits at the Diner happily ignore habitat. Ignorance is bliss. Lacking interest in biology and ecology, ignorance is easy to sustain.

    I’ve addressed the issue of increased global-average temperature a few hundred times, as well as pointing out the importance of habitat and non-human organisms. So far, logic has bounced off the deniers of abrupt climate change.

  • “One of the disadvantages associated with my life of privilege was my naivete. For far too long, cultural programming convinced me that planetary destruction represented human progress, and that human progress required the “collateral damage” of human suffering and death.”

    Born slightly before you, Guy, we the sons and nephews of WWII’s heroes/”heroes” were expected to follow upon that mission of Manifest Destiny. Unquestioningly.

    Our formative teen years were warped by a coup at the top of the American State, unmentioned thereafter by our parents. A series of too-much-to-handle events were to follow. A permanent state of shock.

    Some of us, with perhaps even more privilege, and thus more naivete, were in for more of a shock when we saw iconic photos such as the little Vietnamese girl screaming down the road, burned by napalm.

    General More-land-West had a plan for us alright. Some of us, caught up just in time by LBJ’s sudden withdrawal in May, 1968 — thanks to Gene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, and some other brave senators whose like scarcely exist in today’s Neocon prevalence — became resisters/non-cooperators with the draft, and have remained such against all the succeeding wars.

    We have spent our lives only adding to the catalog of varieties of disillusionment. Somehow, moving to a straw bale house, or putting a solar collector on the roof, while briefly considered, could not finesse us past that catalog of horrors. Apocalypse When? has always been the background music to our lives, as the body count grew, and grows.

    There will be a massive die-off, only Who, When, Where and How remain to be detailed.

    Knitting together the finest threads from all that has crossed our lives is the mission that Guy inspires us to remember as we close out whatever time remains to each of us.

  • Bud Nye: As someone who was completely transformed by LSD and psilocybin (sp?), I do not consider them to be “immediate gratification psychedelic and other drugs.” I also think they resulted in the exact opposite of what you say, i.e. somehow re-affirming my own subjective reality as truth. If anything, they expose the individual to the fact that their “normal” reality is only one form of consciousness, and that there are an infinite number of perspectives in the Universe. It is a humbling trip, to say the least. I never once thought that it meant I had some special insight that was unique to me. It simply altered my perception and made me realize how limited my consciousness really is. Unfortunately, I cannot describe the experience in a satisfactory way, any more than I can truly describe a dream to you with any accuracy.

    Gerald: Marijuana is a psychedelic drug, as it’s considered a hallucinogen. So you have taken at least one. :)

  • Bud, I think you’re the person guilty of slinging the first ad hominem smears here. Seriously, bringing unicorns into the discussion, as if that’s what anyone here was ever even talking about. I can’t believe you even went there. That’s just dishonest, and probably the worst kind of ridiculing tactic there is. You must think we’re pretty stupid to not notice such a statement for what it is … just an underhanded smear from left field.

    Yes, mocking people is an ad hominem attack … and it’s a logical fallacy through an appeal to humor too, as well as its own straw man fallacy, all rolled into one. If you look closely, I think you’re just getting a bit of what you give. So, next time don’t start it by casting the first stone(s).

    Also, there’s plenty of James Randi all over the internet, both in written works of his, and also in video lectures by him. When it’s so easy to figure out how dishonest he is just from those sources alone (his own sources by the way, not even the many critiques of him), then why would I waste my time reading such a dishonest persons book? He’s simply not credible.

    The fellow has even now cast doubt on the anthropogenic causes of global warming, and at the very least downplayed its seriousness. Why would I take a person like that seriously and even bother with his book? Like I said, his views are all over the internet, so you really don’t need to read his books to figure out what a disingenuous crank he is.

    And again, Bud, you don’t seem apply the same standards to yourself that you demand of others. Why would you so mockingly criticize our discussions about consciousness and perception when you seem to know so very little about the subject yourself … so little that you actually think it’s about believing in unicorns? Yet, you admonish us to not criticize Randi because we haven’t yet read his book? Something just doesn’t add up there. Your inside and your outside just don’t quite seem to match. You seem to do a lot of projecting.

    There’s nothing wrong with discussing these issues, even in debating them. But, you’re just so condescending. It’s like having NBL’s own Hermione Granger. (And that was for the unicorn wisecrack, unless you choose to take it as a compliment.)

    Anyway, I’ll pass on this discussion for now. You can have the last word if you wish. I think I’m going to try and get back to being sympathetic for awhile. Mock away if you must.

  • The dominant political-financial-economic system is geared to making everything that matters rapidly worse, and will continue to do so until it completely collapses. Collapse is underway but is painfully slow because those who benefit the most from current arrangements -the controllers and their minions- do everything within their power to maintain current arrangements, including lying continuously.

    RE once again suggests that, despite everything being made rapidly worse (we might even say exponentially worse) and every life-support system for life-as-we-know-it being rapidly disrupted or completely destroyed, humans will manage to pass through the various bottlenecks that lie ahead and will persist as a species beyond 100 years ( ‘For our purposes in this examination though, we’ll consider “Near Term” to be anything under a Century’ ).

    If I have interpreted his post correctly, he cites as evidence for continued human survival the fact that shrew-life mammals-


    The shrew’s carnivorous and insectivorous diet consists mostly of insects, slugs, spiders, worms, amphibians and small rodents. Shrews need to consume 200-300% of their body weight each day in order to survive. A shrew must eat every two to three hours to achieve this goal. This means that a shrew may starve if it finds no food for as little as 5 hours. They do not hibernate in the winter months because their bodies are too small to hold sufficient fat reserves.[citation needed]

    Shrews have poor eyesight, but use their excellent sense of smell and good hearing to locate food. Using these senses, a shrew can locate prey up to 12 centimetres (5 in) deep in the soil.[citation needed]

    -avoided extinction 55 million years ago, when the Earth’s average temperature rose as a consequence of volcanic activity ( ‘about 170,000 years of duration’ ) releasing vast quantitie4s of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate I understand to be about one-hundredth the rate humans are currently releasing sequestered carbon into the atmosphere.

    The world modern humans evolved in, which of course included all existing species plus those exterminated by humans towards the end of our evolution, had an average CO2 concentration of about 225ppm, which occasionally peaked at up to 280ppm and very occasionally spiked above 280ppm. Minima were as low as 170ppm.

    We are currently very close to 200ppm above normal, and ‘the plan’ the scumbags at the top of the pyramid are promoting includes driving the CO2 content of the atmosphere to at least twice normal. Another major component of ‘the plan’ is to effectively completely ignore the contribution to warming made by methane.

    Once again, in RE’s item, the ‘average monster’ rears its ugly head:

    ‘Let’s begin with what the current Average Global Temperature (AGT) actually IS at the moment.

    Climatologists prefer to combine short-term weather records into long-term periods (typically 30 years) when they analyze climate, including global averages. Between 1961 and 1990, the annual average temperature for the globe was around 57.2°F (14.0°C), according to the World Meteorological Organization.’

    As previously discussed (many times), any ‘average’ that does not include the temperature of the deep oceans is not an average.

    That raises the most important point in all the discussions about the time frame for NTHE, the one that is usually overlooked: how quickly can heat be transferred to the deep oceans? I certainly do not know the answer, but I find it difficult to accept that a substantial rise in deep ocean temperature, say of 3oC, whereas I can can occur in as little as 15 years, whereas I can accept that a rise of 3oC can occur in a few decades.

    15 years ago I contemplated a completely fucked-up world by 2100. 15 years of governments making everything worse and absolutely refusing to even acknowledge that ANYTHING is wrong rendered that time frame obsolete several years ago.

    At the forefront of my mind at the moment is the matter of whether the Great Unravelling will occur later this year or whether it can be delayed for yet another year.

    We’ll know by Christmas. 11

  • correction

    That raises the most important point in all the discussions about the time frame for NTHE, the one that is usually overlooked: how quickly can heat be transferred to the deep oceans? I certainly do not know the answer, but I find it difficult to accept that a substantial rise in deep ocean temperature, say of 3oC, can occur in as little as 15 years, whereas I can accept that a rise of 3oC can occur in a few decades.

  • Shep, you’ll love this, pal. George Carlin, an individual you and I can certainly identify with, explains how the poor Millinials got to be the way they are. He blames it on the parents and I think he’s right. I mean, in a society like ours, doesn’t every kid deserve to grow up to be a crazed Roman imperor?!?