Radio Curious Interview, Part Two

McPherson was interviewed for Radio Curious. The interview was conducted via telephone on Monday, 14 September 2015, with a minor follow-up segment on Tuesday, 22 September 2015. The second part of the interview is described and can be heard here.


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 63

  • “American exceptionalism has to be driven out of our curriculums. We’re not under threat. We are the threat.”

  • You sound despondent Guy. Your F@#$! it comment on extinction radio makes me wonder if you are OK.

  • Guy, I’m glad that you mentioned in the interview that you are emotionally much better off these days than you were before the grief training. Like Dave Thompson, I have noticed lately a more somber personal tone, even while you have maintained your usual sense of humor. Or maybe I was reading into that and you’ve always had such a tone.

    I think your emphasis on the exponential nature of the climate crisis might be the most important aspect of the message, even though most people won’t get that until they’re feeling the effects first hand. Which, of course, will be too late. As Jennifer mentioned in her interview with Carolyn, when people look outside, everything “seems to be normal” for most of them. People have come to expect a linear change over the next few centuries, rather than sudden, dramatic changes in our lifetimes.

    When people ask why more scientists aren’t on board with your perspective, you should start saying, “Most of them are, they’re just not able to say it out loud if they want to keep their jobs.” After all, you were forced from your seat at the table for saying it. Not many people are willing.

    Somebody linked to an article about the methane time bomb waiting to happen (can’t remember who) where they start out by saying, “No one has really talked about this yet…” or something like that. I thought that was interesting, since it seems like that’s a main topic of conversation in these circles. I suppose it depends on where you’re looking.


  • Pingo goes bingo – with some great photos

    from Robert Scribbler;

    humortra / September 22, 2015

    A new expedition to one of the mysterious Siberian giant holes found in recent years has concluded that it is a warning sign of a deadly threat to northern regions as the climate warms.

    Scientists from the respected Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics insist the process by which a series of craters formed was caused by the melting of gas hydrates and the emission of methane.

    This accumulates in a pingo – a mound of earth-covered ice – which then erupts causing the formation of the strange holes that have appeared on Russia’s Arctic fringe.

    A pingo believed to be poised to explode ‘at any moment’ is now being constantly monitored by a Russian space satellite in an attempt to catch the moment when the eruption occurs.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about the “fuck it” stage since I heard Guy mention he has hit it and wondering what led to it. Although, I could never have done the work he has, ever, and so, think I hit “fuck it” right out of the gate, but, as others have stated here, I wonder what it means for him, personally, and hope he is alright with it. I hope it means he will move on to a better place for himself personally, somehow.

  • Thanks, Guy, for being you, despondent, joyful, angry, sad, you always come across as real. Thanks again for all you do for us here and for all people everywhere if they will only listen.

    Here’s more on American exceptionalism, Chomsky on Democ. Now, today’s show.(9/22).

    Am reading, Under A Green Sky, by Ward. It’s a dry but nevertheless interesting account of the research that went into finding the causes of the previous five great extinctions. It promises to relate those findings to what we see fast approaching, our own extinction.

  • How we choose to live?
    More like how we choose to die.
    I have one surviving child, I choose to prep for his sake.
    Living a life of excellence is meaningless psycho-babble otherwise.
    Excellence means anything to anybody.
    How many will tell you they prefer a life of mediocrity?
    Worrying about how NTME will come to pass, or how it came to be, is pointless self-indulgence.

  • In one week, 90% of the world’s leaders will gather in Fortress New York to listen to some old fart who wears a pointy hat. Putin, Xi Jinping and Obama will discuss a new “sustainable” development agenda. Christian evangelicals are losing their fucking minds. When was the last time all the world’s leaders gathered together under one roof? Sustainable, just like excellence, does not mean what you think it means. The words they utter will be meaningless, all deals are done in the back rooms.

  • When he stated he has “lost critical support” it could be that Guy’s personal life may be in turmoil. Marriage problems, depression, poverty – any one or a combination (and there are lots of others) would lead to one feeling the loss or degradation of personal perspective. Hopefully he’ll find his way forward.

  • Waiting for Collapse: USA Debt Bombs Bursting

    I see Tom Brady of “Deflategate” infamy took Chefurka’s admonition and has become an avid supporter of the doo in search of a brain.


    Won’t be long now.

  • 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’ve discovered that tracking doom is an addiction that takes a lot to break. As well, being a post-doomer has a lot in common with retiring from work. Unless one has some other interests that can fill that large a void, one is still at risk of depression.

  • I see where Brother Bear Mr Putin has a stealth weapon ready for the USA bankers. He has been advised by an economist in Russia to simply default on all US debt agreements. What a great response to the so-called ‘sanctions’, like they cannot get along w/o this place. I’m sure there are plenty of other folk who hate us that would be happy to bring us down so they could take over and be the biggest and greatest.

  • The Pope this morning at the white house said the church should be like a field hospital not the inquisition, And he’s clear on climate change, not the typical comments from a Pope, the Pope of the 99%, he speaks a lot about income inequality, and the refugees, because he is the Pope of the poorest of the poor which speaks of population, he linked the civil rights fight to the fight against climate change and then something about the Earth being all our commons but is falling, like here, its like a morgue around here for so many good reasons, time to turn to love like the Pope did

  • WoodWose: following your lead (a bit of relatively good news)

    16yo teen invents world’s fastest Ebola test, grabs Google science prize

  • If I may – a somewhat idyllic (idealistic?) short story I wrote earlier this year in which Buffy makes a brief appearance.

    Albert, John & Francis & Buffy

    Two men were enjoying a leisurely stroll through a beautiful, mountainous wilderness area. They had met about an hour earlier and, after a brief conversation, found that they were kindred spirits, lovers of solitude, of the silence of the forests, the gleam off the glaciers, the ripples over the surface of the pristine mountain lakes.
    “Joy is looking, and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift,” said the older of the two, stroking his grey walrus moustache.
    The younger man, moving his round glasses higher up his nose, agreed enthusiastically: “I’d rather live on a mountain than wander through canyons of concrete and steel.”

    They wandered up from the lakeshore, stopping now and again to take in a particularly beautiful prospect, pointing and nodding to each other and drinking in the pine-scented air.
    After a time they emerged from the trees onto a rocky outcrop overlooking a pine carpeted valley. The snow-capped peaks marched off into the distance in all directions. They sat refreshing themselves with cold water.
    “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy,” said the younger man, his long blonde hair shifting in the breeze.
    The older man, taking out and loading his pipe, smiled and nodded, light twinkling in his eyes.

    An eagle appeared, soaring on the updrafts just above their heads. The younger man jumped to his feet, grinning from ear to ear, gave a shrill cry of joy. The older man, his wild white hair wreathed in pipe smoke, squinted up and said: “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
    The younger man clapped his hands in agreement, never taking his eyes from the majestic bird. “When I see that eagle, I believe in her, and I share in the freedom she feels when she flies. She’s dancing with the west wind, sailing over the canyons, reaching for the heavens.”
    The old man drew on his pipe, grunted in agreement and smiled. The eagle disappeared over a glacier ridge line. The two men stood and roved on.

    After a time, they were moving along the banks of a shallow pool of glacier-fed water, bulrushes and yellow flag lined the banks, dragonflies and butterflies danced out over the water, the air was filled with the sound of croaking frogs, bluejays and red-winged blackbirds.
    The younger man stooped to admire the tiny flowers growing in the mosses along the shoreline. He pointed out some tiny blooms that resembled little bells. The old man stooped too, examined the flowers with his twinkling eyes and said: “We still do not know one-thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.”
    Rising, the young man looked out over the water, let out a huge sigh: “The sunshine on the water looks so lovely, it almost always makes me high.”
    The old man smiled and pointed to a dragonfly chrysalis, empty, still clinging to a reed, the perfect simulacrum of the creature that recently emerged: “If we look deep into nature, then we will understand everything better. Of this I am sure.”
    The young man threw his arm around the old man’s shoulder declaring: “I like the way you think.”

    They left the banks of the pond, striding up a forested slope, the ground beneath their feet was pine needles, meters deep, punctuated by the occasional fern. They heard the lonely call of a raven. After a time they found themselves below the tree upon which the raven perched. They stood for a moment admiring its glossy blackness and then moved on. As they did the raven followed them flapping from tree to tree and giving gentle calls that sounded like language.
    “I wonder what he is telling us,” said the young blonde man, pushing his battered leather hat back on his head to better spy the croaking bird. “They are so intelligent, so always curious. I would love to know what it is trying to communicate to us.”
    “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” said the old man, stooping to examine some brightly coloured fungi growing on a fallen log. “Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality.”
    “I agree,” said the young man, turning to walk again. “But I think curiosity is also a kind of love. It is an expression of my interest in the world, in the life, in the mystery itself.”
    “Perhaps love is the glue of the universe,” said the older man as they walked side by side.
    The young man paused for a moment and recited: “Love to some is like a cloud, to some as strong as steel, for some a way of living, for some a way to feel. And some say love is holding on and some say letting go. And some say love is everything and some say they don’t know. Perhaps love is like the ocean, full of conflict, full of change. Like a fire when it’s cold outside or thunder when it rains.”
    The old man began chuckling, “Oh, that is lovely, did you compose that.”
    “Yes, I did,” said the young man, but I can’t remember where or when it was.
    “Very nice, indeed,” the old man put his finger to the side of his nose: “like the ocean, full of conflict, full of change, like a fire when it’s cold outside or thunder when it rains. Yes, very nice indeed. I like that.”

    They continued on their way, drawing each other’s attention to the myriad small wonders of the forested slopes. After a time they came upon a sun-drenched clearing and both stood stock still in amazement.
    In the middle of the clearing a man was kneeling down in front of a huge wolf that was sitting with its nose inches from the man’s face. The man seemed to be talking to the wolf and held one of its paws in his hand.
    The old man gasped inadvertently, the wolf’s ears pricked, and it bounded away into the shadows among the tree trunks.
    The man who was talking to the animal rose to his feet and waved at the two wanderers.
    As they approached, the younger man, awe-struck, asked: “Was that a wolf?”
    “Yes,” said the stranger, a benign smile adorning his face. “Sister wolf had injured her paw. I had some salve in my satchel and was able to help her a little.”
    “That is amazing,” said the young man. “I have never seen anything like that before.”
    The man who had helped the wolf was bald on the top of his head, his clothes were threadbare and his feet too were bare. He had a staff which he now picked up from the ground and over his shoulder a well-worn leather satchel. “Well,” he said, smiling. “We must do what we can, mustn’t we. We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
    He shook hands with the young and the old man. The old man, held his hand a moment longer, looked into his eyes, smiled and said: “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.”

    The young man offered the bald man his canteen of cold glacier water. The middle-aged man took the canteen and as he raised it to his lips, said: “Praised be my Lord, for our sister water.”
    The young man and the old man looked at each other. The young man gestured toward the old man, “This is Albert, my name is John. What is yours?”
    “I am Francis.”

    The three men carried on through the sun-dappled forest, kindred spirits, companions of the pilgrim fraternity of those who dwell in the bosom of the earth gratefully, reverently, joyfully.

    After a time they heard the roar of water and presently came upon an enormous waterfall, thundering and roaring on its way from the sun bright glacier above to the milky emerald lake cradled in the tree covered walls of the valley. They realized they could go no further and agreed to spend some time refreshing themselves in the sun glimmering mist that hung over the white foaming waters. They removed their socks and shoes – well, the young and the old man did, for Francis’s feet were already bare. They sat side by side their feet immersed in the refreshing, icy water.
    After a time, a time of little talk since the roar of the water drowned out their voices, by some unspoken mutual agreement, they rose together and started back in the direction from whence they had come.

    After a little while the raven reappeared. It seemed like it had been waiting for them to come back this way. Perhaps it had known that feeble humans were incapable of crossing that roaring cataract.
    John was delighted to hear the voice of the wise bird again and told Francis of its earlier visitation. Francis stopped at the base of the tree where the raven perched and, raising both his hands intoned: “He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favoured you with such bounties.”
    The raven flew silently away.
    John was delighted at these words. He took both of Francis’s hands in his and enthusiastically invited him back to spend the evening at his camp on the lakeshore. “My lady is there now,” said John. “Albert you must come too. We have a big tent, lots of blankets and lots of food. Spend the evening or spend the night. I make the best blueberry pancakes. We can share dinner and a breakfast.”
    Both Albert and Francis expressed their gratitude for John’s generosity. They both agreed to spend the night at John’s camp. John again expressed his joy at Francis’s words to the raven, and as they walked again, John said: “I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life – whoever you are, whatever our differences.”

    They passed the dragon-fly busy pond, they laughed at the raucous racket of the frogs and, after a time found themselves once more on the rocky outcrop, drinking in the scented air and the intoxication of space and distance and beauty. They sat for a spell.
    Francis chewed on a blade of grass, John whittled a piece of wood with his knife, Albert lit his pipe and said: “A human being is a part of the whole. A whole called by us the universe. A human being is a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. This is a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion becomes a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison.”
    Francis smiled, turned to Albert and patted his shoulder gently: “And we must remember that when we leave this earth, we can take with us nothing that we have received–only what we have given.”
    “Beautiful words,” said John, “both of you, really beautiful. If I had a day that I could give to you, I’d give a day just like today.”
    They rose and moved on.

    Eventually, they came out of the woods, walking along a lakeshore, weaving their way among the stands of willows, reeds and high grasses. Francis was walking quite comfortably over the stones and the roots. John gave a tuneful whistle, and his lady turned toward them as they stepped out of the high grasses and into camp. Introductions were made, her name was Buffy.

    They sat around the campfire on logs. The lake was a mirror of placid perfection in the late afternoon sun. They ate and talked quietly, laughing frequently, a mood of mutual respect, of gentleness and a heartfelt gratitude for the beauties of the day pervaded the atmosphere. Snatches of poetry were recited, songs sung to the accompaniment of guitars played masterfully by John and Buffy. John stopped playing and she strummed alone to these words:
    “Eagle man, climbing the skies
Red light of evening falls like rain
Rainbow’s my yarn, the sky is my loom
I will weave sunsets later on

Snow woman, climbing the wind
Blue light of winter fills her baskets
Changing woman, dance on the weather
Lightning and feather mark her trail

Life lovers, splinting the worlds
Healing the broken and the lame
Reach out to me, give me your hands
We close the circuits of time.”

    The sun began to set at the western end of the lake, going down between snow-capped peaks, painting the sky with orange, magenta, yellow fire and turning the tree-clad slopes purple. Birds flew over their heads or out over the lake, hawks and eagles circled, eager to make one last kill before the descent of night and the sovereignty of the owls. Coyotes yipped, a fox barked, the occasional plop of a fish and the resulting concentric ripples playing across the water.
    Francis walked to the water’s edge, he stooped and splashed water on his face, then he took several steps into the water, raised his hands, palms to the sky, and intoned:
    “Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
    Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.”

    Gradually, the evening descended in soft velvet purples. The fire cracked and crackled and the flames grew brighter and brighter as the sun withdrew its light from the sky. The moon rose, full and milky orange bright, the stars one by one revealed themselves in the soft purple infinitude above their heads. They feasted together and drank some wine. Albert and John smoked. Conversation slowly subsided and the delicate harmonics of two twelve-stringed guitars wove patterns in the soft evening air.
    John suddenly stopped playing, smiled at Buffy, gazed into the fire and said: “Music does bring people together, it allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what colour we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith.”

    Buffy sang again:
    This I mean to whisper to my mind

    This I mean to laugh with in my mind

    This I mean my mind to serve ’til
 Service is but Magic
 Moving through the world
And mind itself is Magic 
Coursing through the flesh

    And flesh itself is Magic 
Dancing on a clock
And time itself the magic length of God.

    Content, grateful, they sat or lay on blankets around the campfire. The night surrounded them, cradling the valley, and in the deeper night within the shadows of the trees small furtive animals moved quietly, cautiously on their nightly quests for food.
    Unbeknownst to the little group, a pair of wolf eyes were glimmering in the deeper recesses of the forest. The campfire light was a tiny dancing pin prick in each of the wolf’s eyes. Pinpricks also danced in the eyes of its mate, and in the eyes of the five young pups who trailed along behind them. After a few moments the wolves moved off silently, heading toward their den.
    Buffy set her guitar down and John began to sing by himself, quiet songs, thoughtful songs.
    Francis nudged Albert and said, “A man who works with his hands is a labourer. A man who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist.”
    Buffy offered him the wineskin and said, “I heartily agree.”
    Albert nodded between wakefulness and sleep. Francis sat with his back on a log, his legs stretched out before him, his bare feet toward the warmth of the fire. Albert nodded off, his head resting on Francis’s shoulder.
    A breeze began to sing in the treetops, it swooped down and played with the flames of the fire, sending sparks out over the black water of the lake. Buffy snuggled deeper into her blanket.
    John looked up into the dancing trees, silhouetted in strange moving forms by the flames of their small fire and the gentle wind. He drank some wine, picked up his guitar and sang:

    “The wind is the whisper of our mother the earth.
    The wind is the hand of our father the sky.
The wind watches over our struggles and pleasures.
The wind is the goddess who first learned to fly.

The wind is the bearer of bad and good tidings, the weaver of darkness, the bringer of dawn.
The wind gives the rain, then builds us a rainbow, the wind is the singer who sang the first song.

The wind is a twister of anger and warming, the wind brings the fragrance of freshly mown hay.

    The wind is a racer, a wild stallion running and the sweet taste of love on a slow summer’s day.

    The wind knows the songs of cities and canyons, the thunder of mountains, the roar of the sea.

    The wind is the taker and giver of mornings, the wind is the symbol of all that is free.

    So welcome the wind and the wisdom she offers, follow her summons when she calls again.

    In your heart and your spirit, let the breezes surround you.

    Lift up your voice then and sing with the wind.”


    July, 2015

  • Thanks for the short story
    “gratefully, reverently, joyfully”
    Woodwose it’s amazing, truly !

  • Alaska newspapers do not know why the sea level there is dropping.

    Do you (Proof of Concept – 2) ?

    Got feedback loop?

  • oldgrowthforest (and interested others),

    A question: What attracts you to and keeps you attached to your dualist model of consciousness (especially given the much simpler, more direct, and verifiable explanations)? And a request: Given your embracing and arguing in favor of this historically and presently popular dualist spirit/body reasoning, please help me to understand 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.

  • Bud Nye,

    I haven’t been following very closely the thread(s) that prompted your questions.
    Please tell me what you’re referring to when you say ‘dualist model of consciousness’ and maybe do a little compare & contrast with what you refer to as ‘much simpler, more direct, and verifiable’. Thanks.

    Not sure which side of which fence I’ll wind up after your clarification, but I can get you started on your request:

    Somewhere back about 35-45 years ago, Norman Spinrad spent some time with Buckminster Fuller and wrote an account of it for Analog magazine. During the course of their conversations the topic of ESP and related phenomena came up. Fuller’s take on it was that such things probably had to do with energy operating at frequencies higher than we have instruments capable of monitoring (might have them now, as this was roughly 4 decades ago).

    I suspect you have some visual concept of how it is that any or all of the following are passing through your body as you read the list: an old episode of The Simpsons being broadcast by a nearby TV station, a neighbor’s latest chili recipe described to her friend via a phone conversation, a Beatles retrospective being broadcast by a local radio station. Something to do with waves…and you don’t feel/notice a thing, not even when the apparent sound on the TV signal goes up during a commercial, unless you’re properly equipped to use one or more of these channels as input.

  • oldgrowthforest (and interested others), & Bud Ney and Infantyrone maybe this can be for help in understanding

  • You can laugh or cry.

    Below is a selection of the mutually-exclusive, Orwellian claptrap that so-called leaders of the world will be spending billions of dollars, pounds, yens, euros ect. discussing over coming months (or a few years, if the system can be kept going for a few years).

    For some strange reason there is no mention of the peaking of global oil extraction, the need for rapid decoupling from fossil fuels use, methane eruptions, rapidly depleting aquifers, climate chaos, abrupt climate change, Ponzi finance, or anything else of significance.

    By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality

    By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

    Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

    By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

    Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

    Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration

    By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

    By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels

    Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries

    By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

    * Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international,
    intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change

    Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

    Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want

    By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

    Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

    Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020

    By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

  • Kevin,

    Hey. young man. If I counted correctly, you have pointed out 18 possible mission statements for a good old Foundation tax dodge that does virtually zero, except shield the wealth gained by blood.

  • “Scientists recently suggested that Earth’s sixth mass extinction has begun. As terrifying as that sounds, surely humans are too smart and important to get wiped out, right?

    Paleontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival of a species.

    While this is not a straightforward exercise, research so far indicates that the odds are not in our favor.”

    (Business Insider “Earth’s 6th mass extinction has begun, and there are no signs that humans will be spared”)

  • Here is the most recent Show on Alex Smith Ecoshock radio

    Here you can see how much misinformation and false hope is being presented by so called scientists along with some real information . Which weight is being immediately diminished by those fantasized alternatives and solutions .That shows that the general public will be never ever be presented with the full scope of our situation since that take the personal effort of the person and they can just happily tag along into extinction . Maybe it is better that way anyway

  • Etyerepetyere,

    Thanks for the link to one of Uncle Terence’s workshops.
    Usually an enjoyable & informative listen, and this time was no exception.
    I heard lots of interesting information in the just-under-90-minute clip.

    But I didn’t hear anything that made it easier to understand what Bud Nye was referring to with the phrase ‘dualist model of consciousness’ nor did I hear anything relating to the ‘much simpler, more direct, and verifiable’ models that I assume Bud thinks are preferable.

    Not directed at anyone in particular…here’s one of my faves from Uncle T.

  • @ twimc

    Consequences of radiation in millisieverts per year:

    Natural sources 3 mSv/yr
    Add man-made sources 6 mSv/yr
    Increase cancer 12.5 mSv/yr
    Radiation sickness 750 mSv/yr
    Radiation poison 3,000 mSv/yr
    Death (50%) 4,000 mSv/yr

    Radiation Counts Per Minute (CPM) in Billings, MT last week
    registered 2,252 CPM, or 197.3 mSv/yr.

    Radiation professionals multiply CPM x 5 to ‘zero in on’ actual radiation exposures.

    CPM in Billings was running 600 CPM before Fukushima and 1200 CPM in 2014. CPM in Billings is set to double again in 2015.

    IOWs NTHE is a done deal, and soon. Bankers included.

  • Kevin, it is truly hard to believe that the UN would endorse such ridiculous yuppie management speak with power pointing unoperationalized buzzwords signifying nothing but pure fantasy.

    I am shocked.

    It is really worse than wrong.

    It is depraved.

  • Regarding Bud’s questions.

    I’m not going to make a claim as to what is what or what is not, but I just want to throw a wrench into Bud’s question about how a ‘spirit’ might interface with a ‘material body.’ That seems like a rather pedestrian view of how things might be, and seems based on western Christianity, which is what most people immediately assume someone is talking about when they start to verge outside of the realm of the physical sciences.

    But who says it has to be like that at all?

    What if we are, say, a point of consciousness completely dreaming up our entire existence, and it is all just an illusion, similar to when we (think we?) are asleep at night. Then there is no actually body, only just the conviction that we have one, and therefore the permanent illusion that physical reality exists at all. That perspective would make an explanation for how consciousness interfaces with a material body a non thing. You wouldn’t have a body, and would just be dreaming this all up, I guess sort of (and I stress ‘sort of’) just like in the Matrix.

    However, that’s probably even more far out for people to entertain as a thought than even the idea of a spirit entering a body, playing around in it, then exiting it after ‘death’ and floating off to heaven to hang out with some bearded guy in a skirt. (Which is not a theory I prescribe to at all, by the way, being an atheist myself, and decidedly non Christian.)

    Regarding Bud’s first question, I would say people usually seek more of an answer than what is provided by modern science when they have continual, or maybe even just a few, truly unusual experiences that contradict what science is telling them is and isn’t physically possible in our reality. Like say they are telepathic or something of the sort.

    For example, let’s say you fly out of your body one day, float up above your roof (where you’ve never been before because you rent the house), and you see on the roof a pattern of damaged shingles. Curious, you borrow a ladder the next day, get up on the roof, and verify the exact same damaged shingles that you saw while you were ‘out of your body.’ This sort of experience can set a person on a quest for answers that just aren’t being provided by the status quo. They aren’t satisfied anymore by skeptics who, having never had such an experience themselves, tell the world that all people who claim such things are only lying and trying and make money from selling books, or are insane.

    Delusions, dreams, confirmation bias, and bumps to the head aside … how exactly did you manage to see those shingles? It sort of shakes you loose from what you’ve been told by supposed ‘authorities’, and it often sets people on a quest for better answers to explain their experiences other than ‘you’re crazy, stupid, or lying.’ You’ve now been thrust out of the common paradigm and commonly accepted worldview that your consciousness is merely a biological byproduct of your brain. There are many similar experiences that can disturb this commonly accepted view of reality, and people seem to be having these experiences all over the place.

    I think that’s possibly one of the reasons that some people are lead to question the explanation of reality that science is giving them. I think it may be that only a fairly small percentage of the population ever experiences these low probability phenomenon, and that’s why they are able to be brushed away as insane or delusional, or outright as lying.

    That’s something I’ll throw out there as to why people would question the answers that science feels are so ‘absolute.’ And, like I said earlier, that doesn’t automatically mean people will suddenly go all Christian and start clinging to ideas about spirits in bodies either, there could be other possible explanations for the non scientific phenomenon that many people claim to experience. If you’ve had such an irrefutable experience, it’s probably a little annoying to be told to put your hand down and be quiet … that you are simply mistaken. That just leaves a person searching elsewhere for explanations for their experience away from science. They may find good answers elsewhere, or they may not.

    But, keep in mind that I’m just brainstorming here. I try and keep my beliefs pretty loose and undefined, but I also don’t think science has it all figured out just yet either, if that would even ever be possible from our human perspective. We are, after all, also part of the system that we are trying to understand, and everything eventually gets computed subjectively in our consciousness, even the objective stuff. Who can say if science is absolutely right. Science, after all, does move forward as a progression of funerals as old ideas are replaced by newer and better ones. But, it’s hard to claim we know it all absolutely yet, especially when there are lots of experiences out there that seem to contradict what we claim to know for certain.

    I feel a possible flaming coming on. Just thought I throw some ideas out there to chew on. ;)

  • .

    I was trying to picture what extinction might actually look like, and my mind quickly became bogged down just trying to picture the sheer numbers of people that would be dying. I realize it wouldn’t happen all at once, but still, just imagining the sheer numbers that would be perishing is astounding.

    I recalled the 250,000 people who died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which was a lot of people to see lying around dead (and we didn’t even see them all.) I remembered the images, and it was a staggering amount of death to see.

    Now, you would have to have 400 times that amount just to make 100 million people, and that would still only amount to 1.4 percent of the 7 billion people on the earth. You would need to have 70 events, each killing off 100 million people, in order to eradicate the world’s population, or … 28,000 Indian Ocean tsunami events.

    That’s just over 7 Indian Ocean tsunami events worth of death, every single day, for ten straight years, to equal 7 billion people.

    That’s a lot of death. Considering how shocking the 2004 tsunami was to see, I really am having a tough time picturing what extinction is going to look like. It really is going to suck a lot. :(

  • While these debates are interesting and entertaining, do they change anything?
    Did any of us ever have a ahah moment and profound insight as a result of any such debate, as compared to our personal experience?
    Lidia is clearly my intellectual superior and could slice and dice me with logic and “science” in any debate.
    Wouldn’t change a thing about the things I have experienced as a reality outside the “normal”.

    And it’s not just the subtle psychic stuff we must confront, it’s the in your face distortion of time and space. Read Fred Reads’ recent essay ” protons and leprechauns” for a couple of WTF examples.
    I don’t think we have a clue what is going on.
    It is a shame (really), that we are all going to be gone before we have time to find out.
    Damn!And we seemed so close. Ain’t that life all over.

  • What extinction might actually look like? Boccaccio descibed the Black Death in The Decameron.

    In the year of our Lord 1348 a terrible plague broke out in Florence,
    which, from being the finest city in Italy, became the most desolate. It
    was a strange malady that no drugs could cure; and it was communicated,
    not merely by conversing with those strickened by the pestilence, but
    even by touching their clothes, or anything they had worn. As soon as
    the purple spots, which were the sign of the disease, appeared on the
    body, death was certain to ensue within three days.

    So great were the terror and disorder and distress, that all laws, human
    and divine, were disregarded. Everybody in Florence did just as he
    pleased. The wilder sort broke into the houses of rich persons, and gave
    themselves over to riotous living, exclaiming that, since it was
    impossible to avoid dying from the plague, they would at least die
    merrily. Others shut themselves up from the rest of the world, and lived
    on spare diet, and many thousands fled from their houses into the open
    country, leaving behind them all their goods and wealth, and all their
    relatives and friends. Brother fled from brother, wife from husband,
    and, what was more cruel, even parents forsook their own children. It
    was perilous to walk the streets, for they were strewn with the bodies
    of plague-strickened wretches, and I have seen with my own eyes the very
    dogs perish that touched their rags.

    Between March and July a hundred thousand persons died in Florence,
    though, before the calamity, the city was not supposed to have contained
    so many inhabitants.

  • More on that reality that we’re just imagining:

    Study: Twice as much trash put in landfills than estimated – Open landfills represent 91 percent of all landfill methane emissions

    Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study.

    It turns out that on average America tosses five pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures from the same study, which is based on actual landfill measurements instead of government estimates.

    For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency relied on estimates to determine how much trash was being sent to landfills. But in 2010, the agency required most municipal landfills to measure and report how much trash was heading into the dumps, as part of an effort to lower heat-trapping methane emissions. Researchers at Yale University looked at the records for more than 1,200 landfills and calculated amounts, predominantly based on weights.

    They figured it was 289 million tons in 2012, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. For the same year, EPA estimated the figure to be 135 million tons. {more]

  • kevin: send this to the U.N. [hat-tip redskylite @ scribbler’s comments]

    MOTHER’S CRY: The Deeply Moving Video on Climate Change that Every World Leader Should See [2:35]

    Of course we know it’s already far too late, but still . . .

  • How You Will Forget About Mass Extinction
    The U.S. sold its grain reserves in 2008.
    After the gold-silver fraud is exposed, how credit collapse will lead to massive hunger. Letters of credit is how your food is delivered.

  • More on that reality: Shell boss says they are going to double oil and gas production by 2050.

  • @Bud Nye,

    As I’ve described here before, I hold two opposing worldviews – one materialist (all is matter/energy), one idealist (all is consciousness). I operate out of whichever one is appropriate to the circumstances. I spent a long time and a lot of efort trying to collapse them into a single view, but eventually realized my mistake. It would be like asking a photon to decide whether it is a particle OR a wave. It depends on the circumstances.

    I see no reason to limit myself to one way of understanding reality.

  • I think that the recent VW cheating scandal deserves some brain cells.

    The highest levels of VW management, engineering, & legal eagles are clearly involved – specific individuals performing specific tasks designed to POLLUTE THE LUNGS of innocent humans, including innocent children walking to school.

    The top down scam was anything but UNsophisticated.

    The culprits are well educated, highly trained, very well off financially, & very well dressed.

    They are reprehensible criminals, who knew full well what they were doing.

    Comes the impeccably dressed lawyers for both sides & millions more in legal fees for more reprehensible verbal flapdoodle.

    Thanks to the U of W.Va. honest engineers for TESTING VW’s gaming – for scientific veracity.

    Do the honest engineers at U. Va claim to know something?

    Do they have methods & laboratories to test their suspicions/hypotheses?

    You bet they do – & now you know something, & what you know is true.

    What is all this childish literary flapdoodle expressed daily on these very pages about our INABILITY to know anything?

    How do these same people entertain any sound/reliable information about lethal climate disruption, drowning Bangledesh people, & NTE?

  • 44 south -“While these debates are interesting and entertaining, do they change anything?”

    Well, they did when I was younger. Debates, conversations, books, teachers, and the art I was seeing, all focused my attention in a certain direction, which led me down a path of direct personal experience, which stripped off the layers of bullshit from the cultural idiom I was born into.

    But how far can you deviate from that cultural idiom is a matter of personal limits…

    How far out can you go, your tether to ‘reality’ ever thinning, before your fear of the unknown and your longing for the comfort of the familiar overcomes your courage and curiosity? For the average person, no further than arms length. Eat, consume, shit, reproduce, and avoid death at all costs.

    So while ‘we’ were busy exploring inner space and contemplating the infinite and our place in it, ‘they’ were busy reproducing and consuming, and now here all we are at the edge of our shared petrie dish. Sigh.

    Do I have any regrets? Personally no …. only that I would strive to be braver, and more willing to venture out even further, and with even less regard for my own personal comfort and safety, searching for something that might have made a difference.

  • When it comes to the sort of universe we live in, determinism is true so all our actions are predictable and we have no free will, just the illusion that we are making free choices. Climate change is nonlinear and chaotic but ultimately a deterministic process. The actions of the brain remaining fully deterministic as well, this all is extinction by determinism.

  • @Ray Batman,

    That’s certainly one way to see it…

  • Guy, thank you for this post—as always. Glad you’re still here and this blog is still active. Few places to go where one can keep track of the facts related to this human induced 6th extinction along with acknowledging the feelings that result from examining them.

    The feelings are hard to grapple with no matter how you frame it (I’m talking to you R.C.! smile/wink) unless you don’t allow yourself to feel—– which has its own set of problems and then some.

    This latest post has generated some intriguing responses and some new contributors. Missing Sabine though—–where are you Sabine?

    Paul Chefurka Says: 
September 23rd, 2015 at 7:23 am
    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’ve discovered that tracking doom is an addiction that takes a lot to break. As well, being a post-doomer has a lot in common with retiring from work. Unless one has some other interests that can fill that large a void, one is still at risk of depression.
    I’m just about at the fuck it stage. Guess I’m not ready to be a post doomer yet as I am still drawn to the horrid facts/destruction as it unfolds as if somehow I will figure out what the hell is going on and why we are here, why we are part of this and find a reason for existence at this time on earth. Yet I believe it will remain a mystery . . . which is a major bummer no matter how you spin it. I mean really—-we’re born, we figure out we’re going to die and to top it off we NOW realize we’re part of what’s bringing down everything else.
    How is it that ANYONE is still even attempting to be fully conscious while holding this in one’s heart/brain/gut?!!! Not that I’m advocating ingesting massive amounts of tequila or anything . . . .

    As much as I’m drawn to the collapse unfolding—-there are certain things that are too much——can’t watch that video you posted Tom. THAT would be too much. Might be immobilizing (like that picture of the thin polar bear) or lead to tequila drinking.

    Heck, I had a hard enough time watching a flying squirrel get plucked from a tree last night by a barred owl and that wasn’t a death caused by humans! At least I don’t think it was . . maybe it was . . . shit!

    In my experience it is getting more difficult to find things that fill the void that Paul mentions. They must be (for me) activities that are separate from the homo —-whatever we call ourselves—- killing machine and THAT is hard, if not impossible.
    Working in community radio/music is about the only safe haven (for me) these days. Fiction and gardening too. I find lately that even poetry gets on my nerves because so much of it is so egocentric!
    Ed Abbey helps as does Kurt Vonnegut. Man, did Kurt Vonnegut call it but it left him terribly depressed. No resolution at the end of his life or so it seemed.

    On a final note: there is a false lull in extreme weather in the midwest right now. Some color emerging in the leaves of the trees that are still hanging on.
    A few loons are lingering on the lakes—— they occasionally call but most of the time this feels heartbreaking. What remains of the nonhuman world is so heartbreakingly beautiful. Why don’t all humans see the beauty and miracles in the nonhuman world? Why do we have to resort to videos like “Mother’s Cry” to get people to see/feel? Even that doesn’t do it. Silent Spring didn’t do it. It didn’t.

    Hope I can get to the Paul C.- type FI stage soon.

    p.s. I just read most recent comment from Ray. Wish I could be that (seemingly?) la de da about it. Maybe some day. In the meantime . . .

    I would insert music video here but Lidia’s description of the “beach of doom” and the music video types is haunting me!!! I spared you!

  • ‘Large sections of the nation experienced dry weather, reducing topsoil moisture but promoting summer crop maturation and harvesting. On the Plains, some producers awaited rain before planting winter wheat. Pastures in portions of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States continued to suffer from the effects of late-summer and early-autumn dryness. In contrast, locally heavy showers soaked Florida’s peninsula and the immediate southern Atlantic Coast. Significant rain also fell—albeit briefly—in parts of the Midwest, providing localized relief from recent dryness. Above-normal temperatures dominated the Plains and upper Midwest, favoring fieldwork and helping to push summer crops toward maturity. The late-season warmth also extended across the Great Lakes region and into the Northeast. Meanwhile, cool air settled across the southeastern and northwestern U.S. for several days, helping to hold weekly temperatures more than 5°F below normal in a few locations. Elsewhere, locally heavy showers dotted the West, with the most significant rain falling in the lower Southwest, southern California, and the northern Intermountain region. California’s rain, heaviest along and near the coast, fell mostly on September 15 in conjunction with tropical moisture associated with former Hurricane Linda, while Southwestern rainfall was courtesy of Tropical Depression 16E later in the period.’

  • “I hold two opposing worldviews – one materialist (all is matter/energy), one idealist (all is consciousness).”

    They don’t have to be opposing.

    The spacetime world is continuously adding space: the galaxies are not moving away; they remoin at their own places in space, but new space is being added. As a result the most distant galaxies appear to move away faster than light.

    In the case of mattergy on a sufficiently small scale, it is continuously and spontaneously appearing and disappearing, which accounts for Hawking’s radiation that leads to the decay of black holes.

    Everything within the domain of spacetime-mattergy follows the rules of that domain, including indeterminate and individually unpredictable quantum events. None of it is sentient, not even the abstraction of brain activity called the “mind”. “Mind” is a convenient way to collate certain effects of neurological electrochemistry and molecular biology to explain observed behaviour. Even the collation, observation and explanation are insentient processes, as is this writing and its reading.

    Awareness “of” is consciousness in the presence of an adequate machinery of perception (neurological or electronic mechanisms) and an appropriate object/percept for that mechanism. In the absence of an object or a mechanism consciousness is without awareness, the Sunyata or the Ain Sof: from the point of view of awareness, indistinguishable from nothingness, nonexistence. The domain of spacetime-mattergy is a subdomain of consciousness.

    Consciousness is not perceptible because there is nothing to perceive; even awareness is not perceptible outside of consciousness since all else is insentient, including the concepts “consciousness” and “awareness”. Yet consciousness generates localising constrained identification with assorted body-mind complexes.

    Hence it is said:

    “One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he is aware, “I am not doing anything.””
    – B. G. 5:8-9

  • robin, i don’t know if u’re a weirdo or genius or charlatan. perhaps a mad, as in crazy genius?

    your attempt to make a link with the word ‘appear’ in your above text didn’t work for me. perhaps u can fix/re-link it? i’m curious now to read this source material supporting the claim that space is being created, which gives the appearance that objects in the universe are spreading out.

    also, i’m curious to know why or how u can perceive that the vedic writings u’re fond of referencing are ‘truth’ and not dogmas. i’d like to understand the strange concept of our non-sentience, but i doubt i ever will, regardless of your persistent efforts to enlighten. it all seems rather insane to me, but then, i suppose so does existence, so maybe truth is insane. and pointless. particularly from your perspective, as i understand it. it seems to negate even the illusion of meaning in our lives.

    seems to me u haven’t been posting much this past week. making me a little worried u might be dropping out or whatever. not that many posters here who’ve been doing so for 5 years or more. if u quit, i might be the only one besides guy left of such old timers. so glad to see this post of yours, although i rather prefer your more whimsical witty side, the one u show less often.

  • 161. Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.

    Laudato Si’

  • Thought this was interesting. Even though obviously there are indirect “climate change refugees” it appears as though this is the first case of someone actually citing it in order to claim refugee status (I’ll give you one guess as to whether he was successful with this approach…)

  • Metric expansion of space

    “i’d like to understand the strange concept of our non-sentience, ”

    The “our non-sentience” is declinhng to climb out of the wallow, contnuing to identify with the body-mind complex. When consciousness as awareness has a consistent series of perceptions relates to a constrained body-mind complex, it identifies with that complex, as “”I” am so-and-so”, be it an insect or a whale, and almost all of humanity. The almost impossible task is to grok the sentience, the seer, as distinct from all that can be placed in the category of the seen, including the mind. To an extremely few this discernment comes naturally.

    Truth is what is non-negatable in the three domains of time (past, present and future). What is perceived as truth and what is perceived as dogma will necessarily vary with what one understands and what one groks.

  • Population Doomsday Scientist Attacks Pope’s Climate Message

    In a rare note of dissent from a prominent scientist, Paul Ehrlich is denouncing Pope Francis’s call to action on climate change, stating that the pope’s rhetoric will be as “ineffective as ignoring the problem altogether” unless the world’s billion Catholics embrace population control.

  • @TVT:

    As far as I can understand it, ‘Dattaworld’ consists of a sort of ‘total-awareness’ which, mainly as a diversion from ‘the void’, voluntarily inhabits a ‘meat robot’ and surrounds itself with other ‘meat robots’ which have no awareness at all. This goes on until the total-awareness gets bored with being in this ‘enlightened’ state, and voluntarily regresses to the fantasy of being a discrete being with a more or less limited awareness, surrounded by other discrete beings, each with their own more or less limited awareness… iow, the bog-standard human condition we are so desperate to get ‘enlightened’ out of?

    I can’t quite work out whether or not ‘consciousness’, ‘sentience,’ and ‘awareness’ are synonymous in this construct? Maybe Robin can ‘enlighten’ us? They certainly are synonyms in my dictionary, or near enough… which is why, to avoid confusion, I tried to limit myself to using just one of them.

    That’s my best shot. probably not even close. I’m certainly not anticipating a cigar.. :)

  • 18000, I can’t understand it at all, & I would not even try.

  • Stanislav Andreski

    Stanisław Andrzejewski (or Stanislav Andreski) (May 8, 1919 – September 26, 2007) was a Polish-British sociologist.

    Social Sciences as Sorcery (1972)

    So long as authority inspires awe, confusion and absurdity enhance conservative tendencies in society. Firstly, because clear and logical thinking leads to a cumulation of knowledge (of which the progress of the natural sciences provides the best example) and the advance of knowledge sooner or later undermines the traditional order. Confused thinking, on the other hand, leads nowhere in particular and can be indulged indefinitely without producing any impact upon the world.

    The natural sciences did not advance in virtue of the universal appeal of rationality. Their theological, classicist and metaphysical opponents were not converted but displaced. All the ancient universities had to be compelled by outside pressure to make room for science; and most nations began to appreciate it only after succumbing to the weapons produced with its aid. To cut a long story short, scientific method has triumphed throughout the world because it bestowed upon those who practised it power over those who did not. Sorcery lost not because of any waning of its intrinsic appeal to the human mind, but because it failed to match the power created by science. But, though abandoned as a tool for controlling nature, incantations remain more effective for manipulating crowds than logical arguments, so that in the conduct of human affairs sorcery continues to be stronger than science.

    Laughter is a mental mechanism which enables us to face reality without falling into despondency or delusion. As people who have sunk in apathy seldom bother us by rushing into print, delusion (leaving aside deceit) constitutes the chief obstacle to the progress of our understanding of society, and in this context is usually assumes the form of doctrinairism couched in a mystifying jargon. A sense of humour is the most reliable external indicator of the likelihood of immunity from this folly, and of the ability to appraise social situations realistically.

    Sacrifice has always been regarded as the most convincing proof of loyalty; and its most common form involves a foregoing of the use of some organic function, as in the case of celibacy or fasting. Of at least equal significance, however, is a sacrifice of the use of reason – credo quia impossibile – and the more incredible the assertion, the stronger the proof of the devotion manifested by its acceptance. The Catholic theologians are quite explicit about this, and openly say that by affirming what to the human reason appears absurd, a believer proves his love for God. Although they are never so frank about it, the secular sects make similar demands.

    [T]he reason why human understanding has been able to advance in the past, and may do so in the future, is that true insights are cumulative and retain their value regardless of what happens to their discoverers; while fads and stunts may bring an immediate profit to the impresarios, but lead nowhere in the long run, cancel each other out, and are dropped as soon as their promoters are no longer there (or have lost the power) to direct the show. Anyway, let us not despair.

  • I’ve posted a new essay, and more. It’s all here.

  • Wren – well said. I think you have summed up the primary preoccupation of those of us who frequent this site and those others who monitor the event horizon heading our way.

    “How far out can you go, your tether to ‘reality’ ever thinning, before your fear of the unknown and your longing for the comfort of the familiar overcomes your courage and curiosity? For the average person, no further than arms length.”

    Sobering in the extreme.

  • Seems to me Wren,had you been any braver,(Peyote buttons at fifteen?!!),you might not still be with us,and that would be our loss.
    Or was it bravery or desperation that brought you to that day?
    I have no idea why some of us do and some of us don’t get IT,any more than I understand the circumstance of my birth and my journey to this place of beauty, and peace.
    I have simply tried not to be greedy and tried to be grateful, failed at both at times, so try not to be too judgemental.

    And fail at that sometimes as well! It’s the anger at the loss of course.
    Spring has got cold and wet again. I could really use some sun.

  • ‘When consciousness as awareness has a consistent series of perceptions relates to a constrained body-mind complex, it identifies with that complex’

    apparently ‘i’ lack that unusual non-sentience to surrealize a p.o.v. that isn’t so constrained. reading about various reported psychedelic drug experiences i think/hope this may be a route to enlightenment, under the right circumstance. perhaps not. i fail to grok mystifying philosophical or theological writings or even find them very interesting.

    kevin moore, i’m sorry for forgetting to include u on the very short list of ‘old timers’ to nbl who remain involved. an odd thing to forget, considering the impact your contributions to this blog and your book ‘the easy way’ have had on me.

  • forgot about mike sliwa also, a.k.a. ‘privileged’, easier to do considering he rarely posts comments nowadays, but of course is cooperating with guy on his radio show, among other things. perhaps i’m leaving out others as well, for which i apologize.