Sociopaths Assume Control

Too many times to count, I’ve pointed out that when greed is our only gawd, sociopaths assume control. Finally, I’ve come to realize something even worse: Sociopaths assume control, regardless of the desires of the populace, in any civilization.

Civilization allows food to be stored (hence, controlled). As one of many adverse consequences, human-population overshoot is assured. And then, as surely as darkness follows the setting sun, some people take advantage of others. The lazy, manipulative “takers” arise because not everybody is able to keep track of everybody else. This situation does not arise in societies small enough for everybody to know everybody else (i.e., anarchism, tribalism). Empathy, the most important of human attributes, becomes a tool for exploiting those who have it by those who don’t. If civilization springs forth, sociopaths assume control.

My naivete on this topic, and many others, was largely removed during the summer of 2011 when my teachers at the mud hut conclusively demonstrated how badly misplaced was my faith in humanity. Finally, far too late to positively influence my own life in any meaningful manner, I realized the lengths to which some people will go in pursuit of personal gain. On a positive note, I learned to let go, instead of being dragged. I thank my teachers every day.

One outcome of the primary lesson given by my late-in-life teachers was that I could never again achieve greatness as a teacher. Fortunately, the lesson came late in life: I could not have committed myself to a life of service, much less a life as an excellent teacher, had I known at an early age the horrors lurking in the hearts of humans. Great teaching — that which facilitates learning — demands faith in, and knowledge of, every student. Once the veil of sociopathy is removed, there is no putting it back.

There’s another factor, too, underlying my latter-day learning. I’ve long known, and taught, that birth is a sexually transmitted disease. Furthermore, it is lethal in every case. And yet Earth’s human population has grown more than 40% since I began my (apparently futile) academic career in 1988. No evidence suggests my own students have followed my lead regarding procreation. Or, rather, its absence.

Faced with environmental catastrophe and the near-term extinction of humans, I’m often informed I cannot understand the gravity of the situation because I have no children. Paradoxically, a strong motivator for me not having children was because I understood the gravity of the situation before I began teaching in the academy.

Of course, the human-population issue is one predicament among many that arises from civilization. I’ve spent decades observing the horrors of civilization, and many years documenting them. I’ve often pointed out that the world is becoming a worse place every year, contrary to the perspective of my contemporaries. In my own words, and occasionally those of others, I am a witness to the horrors of civilization and imperialism. In bearing witness and reporting the horrors, I don’t fit into the dominant culture.

Unlike most people afflicted by civilization, I’m free of hope. Hope and fear — both four-letter words — are two sides of the same “unknowable future” coin. Acting on either emotion is a prescription for disaster, as I illustrated clearly when I left the life I loved to pursue the counter-cultural path that has brought so much pain. Now, finally, I’m going forward, freed from the cage of hope.

Jennifer Hynes has updated her August 2015 video about Arctic methane. The result is embedded below.

McPherson’s latest book is senior-authored and illustrated by Pauline Schneider. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time can be ordered from the publisher here and also from Amazon. Trailer is embedded below.

Looking for San Francisco Bay Area folks to raise $$$$ to bring Guy to San Francisco. Please contact amyvegan@gmail.com if you are willing to donate towards Guy’s travel here.
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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To catch us live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

Earlier this week we interviewed Stephen Jenkinson. The 2008 documentary film Griefwalker is based on his life. Jenkinson’s latest book is Die Wise.

Next week we will converse with Cory Morningstar and Forrest Palmer. We’ll be taking calls, too.

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McPherson’s first book published in 2015 is senior-authored by Carolyn Baker. The Second, Revised edition of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available from the publisher and also from Amazon.

Comments 124

  • “…the primary lesson given by my late-in-life teachers was that I could never again achieve greatness as a teacher.”

    Dr. McPherson, I couldn’t disagree with you more. You were the first person I encountered who clearly articulated what I had suspected back in 1993, when I took a Global Environmental Issues class and came to the conclusion that humans would be extinct in my lifetime. It was after that class that I decided I should not have children.

    Over the years, I put it out of my mind and thought “maybe I’m just crazy for thinking that humans will go extinct anytime soon. Nobody else seems to think that. My scientist friends don’t even think that.”

    Then along came your blog, and this community of people. For better or for worse, it’s the first place where I have felt that I wasn’t crazy all these years (well… I AM a little crazy, but certainly not because I believe in NTHE).

    Maybe you weren’t the first person to say it, but you were the first person I found. I’ve had dozens of teachers in my life, but I probably consider you the most important one (aside from my own parents). Perhaps that doesn’t count as “greatness” in the eyes of the world, but it does for me.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I was never great at anything. Hahaha!

  • ‘Civilization allows food to be stored (hence, controlled). As one of many adverse consequences, human-population overshoot is assured. And then, as surely as darkness follows the setting sun, some people take advantage of others. The lazy, manipulative “takers” arise because not everybody is able to keep track of everybody else. This situation does not arise in societies small enough for everybody to know everybody else (i.e., anarchism, tribalism).’

    this is virtually identical to the same perception i’ve arrived at. civ. is the problem, a problem which has now reached truly monstrous, nightmarish proportions! it not only spells doom for us as well as countless other species, it also creates the profoundly sick societies for which ‘we’ (that is, intelligent sane empaths) are extremely maladapted!

    ‘I’ve often pointed out that the world is becoming a worse place every year…’

    thanks for doing so! so very few perceive, much less acknowledge, that civ. is an ecological cancer that like any cancer left unchecked, just grows and grows until it kills it’s host!

  • Thank you for coming to the same conclusions as me.

  • The greatest failing of people with intelligence, knowledge and morals is to think that people in positions of power have intelligence, knowledge and morals.

    And, the greatest failing of ordinary people is to think that people in positions of power have intelligence, knowledge and morals.

    Scum rises to the top.

  • Greed is the Gawd of nature. Sometimes a species dares to escape its limitations and its inherent greed destroys everything, the bull in the china shop of a complex and delicate ecosystem. This too shall pass.

  • Dear Guy,

    Thanks for this insightful essay. I’m with you all the way! Your experiences are mostly mine too, and this is something that I particularly identify with because that’s what I put up with too.

    “I’m often informed I cannot understand the gravity of the situation because I have no children. Paradoxically, a strong motivator for me not having children was because I understood the gravity of the situation before I began teaching in the academy.”

    Yes, understanding the gravity seems to much for most. They need the visceral feeling induced by the immediate fear and worry about their children and grandchildren, something “real” they can relate to.

    Many people have very little imagination and don’t appreciate apperception in others. That’s why this way of feeling seems like a paradox to them. I’ve gave up explaining these – to so many humans counter-intuitive feelings/emotions – a long time ago. People seem to need them to feel better and more complete. It’s easier to relate if they can put every kind of “noble” feeling down to having had children.
    It’s the story of my life and the price you pay for being unconventional in this (to most people) unacceptable way.

    Furthermore, it doesn’t make sense to so many people that a person who has chosen not to have offspring actually likes children, the young. I do, just like you. You would have never been a devoted teacher otherwise. How unperceptive of people. But it’s another paradox confronting so many – poor darlings.
    You can’t be filed away in the appropriate box, and that’s really disconcerting. Where to put somebody like you or me or Lidia or some of the others here, who’ve made the same choices?

  • Guy: despite your self-deprecation regarding your vocation, i must agree with babajingo at the top. You’ve been a role model for me because you DON’T shy away from or avoid the hard truth, and you back up what you profess through the latest science research in the various areas, ie. you aren’t “just making it up.”

    Thanks for being here now during my lifetime and providing me with the corroboration of my own misgivings and discoveries about civilization. i’ve learned much traveling this path with you.

  • Professor, it’s clear that the lunatics are running the asylum.
    But it’s nice to hear a voice of reason sometimes.
    What do you think the response might be if you put out a “general call” to people asking how your teaching, words of encouragement (Live a life of excellence), integrity and reason has impacted their lives?
    You would be amazed if you knew how many lives you have touched in a positive, meaningful way.
    Most teachers will never come close to what you have accomplished. And people are far better off because of it.
    Don’t sell yourself short, Man. Keep up the good works.

  • Guy said, “Paradoxically, a strong motivator for me not having children was because I understood the gravity of the situation before I began teaching in the academy.”

    Comments like that one would have had you reprimanded at the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on FB: The mentioning of the correctness of your choice is taboo on that very silly site.

    Here is the wise Doug Stanhope (a clip that was immediately excised from the group for its lack of “luv”):

  • We lost the Arctic, it was the last stand, so we sit on the cliff watching, the economic unwinding chased by the great bio unraveling. We just kicked it down the road, now we get the boot, how boot them apples ? Thanks Prof. who says “Now, finally, I’m going forward, freed from the cage of hope.” With your help I’m trying the same,Love

  • Great article, Guy. On most points I couldn’t agree more.

  • From the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire

    no one leaves home unless
    home is the mouth of a shark
    you only run for the border
    when you see the whole city running as well

    your neighbors running faster than you
    breath bloody in their throats
    the boy you went to school with
    who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
    is holding a gun bigger than his body
    you only leave home
    when home won’t let you stay.

    no one leaves home unless home chases you
    fire under feet
    hot blood in your belly
    it’s not something you ever thought of doing
    until the blade burnt threats into
    your neck
    and even then
    you carried the anthem under
    your breath
    only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
    sobbing as each mouthful of paper
    made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

    you have to understand,
    that no one puts their children in a boat
    unless the water is safer than the land
    no one burns their palms under trains
    beneath carriages
    no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
    feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
    means something more than journey.
    no one crawls under fences
    no one wants to be beaten
    pitied

    no one chooses refugee camps
    or strip searches where your
    body is left aching
    or prison,
    because prison is safer
    than a city of fire and one prison guard
    in the night
    is better than a truckload
    of men who look like your father
    no one could take it
    no one could stomach it
    no one skin would be tough enough

    the
    go home blacks
    refugees
    dirty immigrants
    asylum seekers
    sucking our country dry
    niggers with their hands out
    they smell strange
    savage
    messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up
    how do the words
    the dirty looks
    roll off your backs
    maybe because the blow is softer
    than a limb torn off

    or the words are more tender
    than fourteen men between your legs
    or the insults are easier to swallow
    than rubble
    than bone
    than your child body in pieces.
    i want to go home,
    but home is the mouth of a shark
    home is the barrel of the gun
    and no one would leave home
    unless home chased you to the shore
    unless home told you
    to quicken your legs
    leave your clothes behind
    crawl through the desert
    wade through the oceans
    drown
    save
    be hunger
    beg
    forget pride
    your survival is more important

    no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
    saying-
    leave,
    run away from me now
    i dont know what i’ve become
    but i know that anywhere
    is safer than here

  • Greed, sociopaths, overpopulation, CO2 pollution as an externality, infinite growth, football, murder in Iraq, murder in the Gaza Concentration Camp, Gawd, kindly grannies, Jungian archetypes, where do they keep the watah?, & other issues & conundrums …

    Einstein’s definition of science; “Science is the attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our sense-experience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought. In this system single experiences must be correlated with the theoretic structure so that the resulting coordination is both unique & convincing.”

    What conditions both behavior & ideas?

  • AJ,

    I saw that Doug Stanhope clip last year on TV here in England. Thanks for posting it here.
    He’s just telling us about the root of the problem in a very funny way. People don’t want to hear because it’s the truth.

    By the time I was 15, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to have babies. Then I read The Population Bomb (in 1970) which made a profound impression on my 22 year old self. Now I’m an old hag, and I’ve never regretted this decision, not for a nanosecond.
    And yes, I do everything I can to reduce my so-called carbon footprint (we don’t have Hummers here anyway :), and have done so for a very long time. I’m not a hedonist or take myself so seriously as to think I’m entitled to use as much as possible for myself and my loved ones. So it’s easy. Yet, I can’t imagine that I could have led a better life. I know I’m loved and consider myself lucky. What more is there? I’m not a refugee or one of poorest in the world.

    People don’t realise how peaceful life can be when you’re child-free: no stress apart from the stress you make for yourself. And with practise, that’s avoidable.

    To my shame, I was on FB for just a week or two earlier this year, so that I could follow Guy’s European Tour (being European myself). No longer, and it’s very difficult to delete your profile but I managed it. While I was on there, I checked out the site you mentioned and yes, I found it silly too. Just a mutual admiration society. Silly is a very kind word for it. But “different horses for different courses”. I’m too queer a horse for any course.

  • Great post and odd synchronicity for me. Just watched Interstellar. If you haven’t watched it yet, the role of ‘Dr. Mann’ in the course of this drama is a rather lovely inside joke to those who have passed ‘through the looking glass’.

  • What is going on with these chain links to marketing sites?

    See above in Sabine’s post as, “horse.”

    This mysterious chain link infections directing us to marketing sites are all over, including Scribbler’s site.

  • Guy.

    Once upon a time, for a school assignment, I wrote an essay. I cannot remember the given topic but I compared STD’s to humans in terms of their respective lethal capabilities. That was my first step in realizing (about 30 years ago) that sociopaths always assume control AND they do it with the with the aid of the most despicable methods, the brain can scientifically fashion. The methods are endless.

  • Guy, I could not have said this any better. Thank you for doing what you are doing.

  • Regarding “Sociopaths Assume Control”, Ian Morris’ 2015 book, Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels, How Human Values Evolve provides much essential background knowledge related to energy capture, social systems, population issues, and related values and economic systems. On a related but different topic:

    While many here who have little interest in their own and other’s emotional responses to the high probability of NTHE, and those who do not consider psychology a “real” or relevant science concerning humans, some others may have an interest in this. Regarding writing about and talking about emotions, which I have often found extremely helpful over the years, and we do in our Tacoma EF ESG and ASG meetings, these two paragraphs come from page 63 in Emotion-Focused Therapy, Coaching Clients to Work Through Their Feelings, Second Edition, 2015, by Les Greenberg. Among other things, these paragraphs point to the importance of the stories we tell ourselves and each other about our experiences as we construct our meanings:

    “Empirical research on the independent role of emotion in therapeutic change in EFT has consistently demonstrated a relationship between session emotional activation and outcome. Supporting the EFT hypothesis on the importance of paying attention to, and making sense of, emotion, process-outcome research on the emotion-focused treatment of depression has shown that both higher emotional arousal at midtreatment, coupled with reflection on the aroused emotion (reference provided) and deeper emotional processing late in therapy (ref), predicted good treatment outcomes. High emotional arousal plus high reflection on aroused emotion distinguished good and poor outcome cases, indicating the importance of combining arousal and meaning construction (ref). EFT thus appears to work by enhancing the type of emotional processing that involves helping people experience and accept their emotions and make sense of them.”

    “Emotional arousal and expression alone, however, appear to be inadequate for therapeutic change. The empirical evidence at hand has suggested that emotional processing might be mediated by arousal. For effective emotional processing to occur, the distressing affective experience must be activated and viscerally experienced by the person, but although arousal appears to be necessary, it is not necessarily sufficient for therapeutic progress (ref). Optimal emotional processing appears to involve emotion activation plus some form of cognitive processing of the activated emotional experience. Once contact with emotional experience is achieved, people must also cognitively orient to it (ref). As Greenberg and colleagues (ref) pointed out, symbolizing emotion in awareness promotes reflection on experience to create new meaning, which helps people develop new narratives to explain their experience. Through language, individuals can organize, structure, and ultimately assimilate both their emotional experiences and the events that may have provoked the emotions. In addition, after expressing emotions in words, people can then reflect on what they feel, create new meanings, evaluate their own emotional experience, and share their experience with others.”

  • Hello Guy,

    My deepest gratitude for your current work. I am living more for the moment, acknowledging those dear to me more often because of it. Don’t let the bullies, the sociopaths take your joy.

    All good things,
    ~ Heidi

  • Guy,

    When I review the concept of anarchism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy), and consider the social nature of humans and many other animals during biological evolution, including human history, I see little of personal or socially redeeming value in the concept. When I experience anarchism in action on this comment site, I see much less of personal or socially redeeming value. Indeed anarchist thinking and beliefs appear strongly to support the same “sociopathic” (more accurately using the most up-to-date jargon, “Antisocial Personality Disorder” and “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”) thinking and values that in this essay you appear to speak against. (It appears to me that anarchists most certainly do advocate rules and hierarchies: THEIR chosen rules and hierarchies, often a “hierarchy of one”, to coin a phrase.) This seems confusing and self-contradictory to me. Might you consider writing an essay that attempts to clarify this, resolving any apparent confusion and contradictions? Something possibly titled along the lines of “Why I Advocate Anarchist Values Practices” in which you clearly specify the historical and present day advantages of anarchism as you understand them within human families and other social groups, along with some of the psychological, sociological, anthropological, zoological, and personal evidence on which you base your opinions about this? In this essay, you could argue against some of Derrick Jensen’s anti-anarcho-primitivism points.

  • Nobody is free of fear and hope.

    10 Companies That Control Almost Everything We Eat

    http://www.businessinsider.com/10-companies-that-control-what-we-buy-2014-7

  • Oh for a foolproof test (and a method to ensure they take it without being able to cheat!) that determines the sociopaths from the rest of us. Then we could ensure they never achieve positions of power in govt, mgmt, armies, kindergartens, police, hospitals, churches, schools, etc.

    HUBRIS (a series of questions)

    How many civilizations will rise n fall, their leaders crying “This is the way, I am the truth!” while their soldiers butcher the innocents and their priests chain the dreamers – break them on the wheel or the rack, roast them, excommunicate them, grind them down?

    How many stones will hard labour and sweat raise up as temples of hubris only to fall in tangled heaps in earthquake, flood, famine & pestilence? Statues of lying gods falling in flames.

    How many monoliths, obelisks, cyclopean portraits of kings and gods will stare mutely back at us from the leafy jungle, we who no longer perceive them as king emperors of their chosen civilizations?
    And the sweat-drenched, whip-lashed limbs that raised them now lie in the dust as mute witnesses to the tyranny of lies.

    In desert and jungle, giant stones, the punctuation marks of slavery, the stone phrases of domination, leer through the centuries repeating the same old question: When, humanity, will you awaken? When will you cast off the yoke of these usurpers and tyrants who hunt your children for sport, rape your women for pleasure and steal your food, your wealth, your dreams, while shoving down your throat a counterfeit reality of their devising sustained by your acquiescence?

    How many ruined palaces must the dust and creepers be cleared from? How many lost ruined cities must be discovered beneath the waves, before we recognize how many times they have given us a receipt for deceit, corralling us into cities and tightening the collars around our necks?

    Their warriors do their bidding–illusory justifications of race and religion. They cut out our hearts on the temple steps and would have us believe in their divinity and sacrament. They torture us in dank cells and tell us our security depends on it. They feed us poison and call it manna, tell us lies and call it truth, send us to war and call it valour, steal our riches and call it fiscal austerity. And chuckle endlessly all the way to the banks.

    Moloch, Satan, gods of a thousand faces and names, lying in a thousand languages, pouring salt upon our wounds while they gnaw the flesh from our bones, strip the gems from our earth, slaughter the innocents, butcher the trees and myriad creatures, all the while telling us it is all for our own good, for a better life, a better wife, a sexier body, a secure retirement.

    And our creativity and dignity choke in the dust or turn to cancer in the places where our untapped potential gnaws at our soul.

    We were born in infinity to dance with creativity, in the freedom of a higher way. Why do we snuffle for fungi in the darkness of the earth when we could soar with the eagles amongst the clouds of peace?

    Race of slaves bred to mediocrity, lied to from the beginning of time by a thousand demi-gods for whom power is the drug, lucre the blood of life, and sex the wedge that drives the slave-warriors into the blood-drenched sty.

    Stop listening to the lie.

    Stop sending your sons to die. Stop wallowing in the fiscal sty.

    Ancient stones cry out for justice, ancient bloodstains cry out from the ground. Every ruined fortress and crumbling city betrays the hubris of the whip-wielding fist, the ruler on the throne, the liar who calls the shots.

    Oh, my people, awaken!
    Cast off the chains that choke your children. Mothers, sons, wives, daughters, fathers, husbands, husband this earth of ours. Do not go down the dark staircase they are driving you toward. Reclaim your truth, your freedom to choose.

    Band of brothers, circle of sisters, return to the place where the stars shine upon the healing waters. Return their receipt of lies and charge the new vision with your power.

    The hour is upon us.
    Their lies lie exposed–a thousand civilizations have risen and fallen and the oppressors still try to shepherd us on to worship at altars of their devising.
    Their wings are broken; they cannot fly.

    Their truth is war, rape and poison…

    …ours is an orchard with a river running through.

    DCM (2013)

    and only love remains.

  • What the world does not need now
    Is more prose about anarchism
    That is just one thing we have too muchof

    Check out bikesnotbombs
    or the ef! diaspora
    or CW garbage dumpster divers

    Seriously, I am a big fan of cognitive therapy, been using it on myself and with the people I work with for awhile. Emphathy is my middle name. But, Bud – correct me if I am wrong – but if you are an RN – well hey dive into some anarcho poverty-homeless groups and go with your strengths and nurse. Hands on techniques are essential in learning about anything worthwhile.

    I would hazard a guess that there are a few anarchists in your neck of the woods.

    peace out

  • ‘how badly misplaced was my faith in humanity.’

    A key phrase worth exploring.

    Is there such a thing as humanity?

    I think the answer is no. I think what is describes as humanity is actually a conglomeration of individuals, each seeking his/her personal overall biological success (repeated reproduction) whilst at the same time seeking stimulation of feel-good biological mechanisms that in the past resulted in biological success (e.g. satisfaction derived by eating food). The fact that a tiny portion of the population recognised the terminal nature of overpopulation and overconsumption long ago does not alter the overall narrative. Thoughts of overpopulation are a fairly recent aberration in the grand scheme of things, and clearly do not occur in many societies e.g. Saudi Arabia, which has gone from 4 million to 32 million in my lifetime, and as far as I know they are still ‘breeding like rabbits’ because in the past breeding ‘like a rabbit’ was a successful strategy and the society still encourages such behaviour (as opposed to Chinese society, which recognised the negative aspects of rapidly increasing population decades ago).

    I see ‘humanity’ is a mass of generally competing organisms that manage to cooperate when cooperation appears to be the best strategy and compete when competition appears to be the best strategy. I think we saw how much ‘humanity there was in America shortly after Katrina struck and those who had suffered but were still alive faced road blocks and people with guns when they attempter to move away from the most devastated region.

    As for the shift from hunter-gatherer to agriculture-based societies, I think the evidence is clear: the health of most individuals in agricultural societies was much worse than contemporary hunter-gatherer societies. And there is considerable evidence that intelligence also began to decline upon the adoption of agriculture, very likely because the food ‘surpluses’ obtained through agriculture enabled those who would have otherwise died to survive and reproduce.

    Needless to say, we are reaching the pinnacle of ill-health and stupidity in the fossil-fuel, corn syrup, enclosure raised livestock, crap food, crap infotainment, propagandised, look-at-a-screen, toxic society that is modern civilisation.

    It seems to me the rate of descent increased rapidly once side rules were replaced by electronic calculators. I quit teaching not long after 17-year-olds began using calculators to divided simple numbers by 2, or even worse, use electronic calculators to divide simple numbers by 10.

  • On the matter of children; present day adults have been the first in all of the history of the human species to actively -we might even say gleefully- destroy their own children’s futures, at the behest of the maniacs who have assumed control.

  • Thanks again Guy you are such a brilliant person, a very wise person, you and this site are helping to keep me sane in this crazy times. Your last seminar posted here was so great, it puts everything into perspective that are so so important for people to hear. ‘It’s not all about us, we just showed up.’ I am reading a fantastic and scary book called Under A Green Sky, Peter D Ward, about ‘global warming, the mass extinctions of the past and what they can tell us about our future.’
    Woodwose, amazing post.

  • ‘how badly misplaced was my faith in humanity.’

    I suppose I can be considered ‘lucky’ for never having any real faith in humanity in the first place, or at least for as long as I can remember. I had a happy childhood so it wasn’t because of my family. I do remember learning about the Holocaust as a kid and thinking, “Holy shit, REALLY?!?!” It was jarring, but it left me with a terrible feeling that no level of horror, destruction, cruelty or evil was beyond the scope of human behavior. Since then, of course there have been hundreds more examples. I’m reminded of Nietzsche’s nervous breakdown and subsequent internment at a mental asylum after seeing a horse being beaten in the street (see fact #4):

    http://www.critical-theory.com/5-facts-about-nietzsche/

    I do have faith that there’s a spark of goodness in most people (whatever that even means) but for the most part, I’m rarely surprised when somebody turns out to be a total fuckwad douchebag who screws everybody over. Even when they’re close to me- and perhaps especially so.

  • How many millions have thought:
    ‘Babies are so cute. Why would one more matter?’

    On another topic,since most here are interested in reality,I would like to mention another widespread delusion. I have lost count of the number of times I have read on the internet and also in some books that forests are carbon sinks. A small percentage are,but most are not.
    All forests store carbon,in the many organic compounds synthesised by photosynthesis,lignin fibres of wood being one of the most resistant to decomposition. A carbon sink is different to a carbon store.
    Try a thought experiment to understand the difference. Imagine a cleared
    field. We then plant it with trees. Over the next few hundred years,the forest is a carbon sink,converting atmospheric CO2 into ‘fixed’ carbon ,held in many organic compounds. When the forest becomes a ‘climax’ or mature forest,(The time required to reach that stage varies due to several factors) trees start to die, and the fixed carbon is released to the atmosphere again,by decomposition or fire,depending on the forest type. Young trees then start to grow where the old trees have died,again
    fixing atmospheric carbon. A mature forest is in a stable state,where the carbon fixed by growing trees is released again into the atmosphere again as dead trees decompose or burn.
    For a mature forest to be a carbon sink,there would have to be an increasing accumulation of wood on the forest floor which was not decomposing or being burnt. The forests which are carbon sinks are swamp forests, where the dead trees fall into water and only partially decompose,in effect having the potential to be future coal deposits,and some wet cloud forests which never burn and have a layer of moss growing on the forest floor,which grows deeper each year,in effect forming a growing layer of peat,topped with growing moss.
    Why is this relevant? Because the ‘carbon offset’ component of emission trading schemes,where areas of forest are supposed to be a carbon sink,offsetting the CO2 emitted from burning fossil fuels,is based on deluded optimism.
    The bubble civilisation we have constructed is based on delusions.
    Mainstream economics is based on the delusion that it is possible to have infinite population and economic growth on a finite planet.
    ‘Carbon offsetting’ is another delusion. The difference with carbon offsetting is that we can measure atmospheric CO2 to show that it is a delusion. Are all the forests of the world a carbon sink for our CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels? No. The inexorable rise continues.
    Also, planting forests on cleared land to supposedly offset fossil fuel emissions is another delusion. The forest which grows on that land is simply ‘fixing’ atmospheric CO2 which was released when the original forest was removed.

  • babajingo, I agree.

    When I was very young, I was extremely skeptical of the notion of “progress”. I remember in my 11 y.o. arrogance telling someone there was “no such thing as progress”. I didn’t really have any particular evidence for this; it was just a gut feeling I was convinced of. And this is in the age of moon landings and giant cars and the new concepts that were shopping malls and frozen food. It just didn’t FEEL “progress-y” to me. It felt kinda hysterical and desperate, just like it does now…

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • For david higham:

  • Guy,
    This was an awesome post, thank you again for all you are doing. All the reply’s have been right on about humanity! What a piece of crap we have created it is nice to know there are so many people awake to this fact.

  • ” Fortunately, the lesson came late in life: I could not have committed myself to a life of service, much less a life as an excellent teacher, had I known at an early age the horrors lurking in the hearts of humans. Great teaching — that which facilitates learning — demands faith in, and knowledge of, every student. Once the veil of sociopathy is removed, there is no putting it back.”

    ” the horrors lurking in the hearts of humans.” Apologies for debasing the tenor of this blogsite, but the older I get the more I see humankind in the ugly light of the “Game of Thrones”! Of course that fantasy world was in balance with its environment while modern real man is destroying Earth’s biosphere and simply doesn’t give a hoot so long as I’m alright mate!

  • Martin Prechtel
    September 10, 2015 – 9:00 AM EDT (6:00 AM PDT)
    WBAI-FM (New York City)
    Interview with Tiokasin Ghosthorse
    On “First Voices Radio – WBAI-99.5FM”

    Live & archived:
    http://wbai.org/server-archive.html

    On Streema:
    http://streema.com/radios/WBAI

  • Lidia: Good one.

  • david higham

    ‘Because the ‘carbon offset’ component of emission trading schemes,where areas of forest are supposed to be a carbon sink,offsetting the CO2 emitted from burning fossil fuels,is based on deluded optimism.
    The bubble civilisation we have constructed is based on delusions.
    Mainstream economics is based on the delusion that it is possible to have infinite population and economic growth on a finite planet.’

    I have highlighted the matters you raised on numerous occasions in the past, and now go beyond your stance:

    Carbon offsetting, carbon trading etc. are based on gross misrepresentation and fraud.

    Mainstream economics is based on gross misrepresentation and fraud.

    Western-style industrial civilisation is based on gross misrepresentation and fraud.

    The inevitable ‘implosion’ of systems based on misrepresentation and fraud will occur in the not-too-distant future, and very likely by the end of 2016; 2020 at the latest.

  • kevin:
    Fair enough. I am sure that you don’t mind my raising the carbon
    offsetting issue,and trying to explain it in terms that anyone can understand.

  • “My naivete … how badly misplaced was my faith in humanity.”

    When ecology became a widely known public issue in the 1960’s it was assumed by many that the facts of industrial civilization’s destructive trend would be acknowledged and addressed. A faith that humanity would move away from destructive behavior was built into the entire discussion of ecological destruction – otherwise, why have the discussion at all?

    In 1972 in the book The Limits To Growth, the authors acknowledged that moving away from the destructive path we were on and toward a state of what they called equilibrium (today we would say sustainability) would be difficult, but not impossible.

    To me the naivete of all who presumed humanity would make such an effort to be less destructive was based on an ignorance of the power of the capitalist economic system. Capitalism was not going to permit any political entity to speak for humanity’s future, and develop the power to restrain or eventually eliminate the power of capitalism with its imperative of endless accumulation on a finite planet. Creating such an entity was the vital first step. It never happened – and most people still have not been able to imagine such a first step in their own minds. Such has been the power of capitalist brainwashing.

  • david

    Reiteration of unsubstantiated opinions is tiresome but reiteration of valid scientific points is always worthwhile because presumably there is always new readership, and newcomers are often unaware of previously-discussed aspects.

    I see ‘carbon trading’, ‘carbon credits’, ‘carbon capture’ and all the other deceptions promoted by opportunists and the minions of the empire as forms of sociopathy as well as fraud, since the whole purpose is to generate computer digits for the short-term benefit of a tiny minority whilst avoiding all the real issues -in particular burgeoning atmospheric and oceanic carbon dioxide- and transferring the real costs to the many -and especially the innocent young people on this planet!

  • Guy,
    I must say I really think you are right on the mark with the
    demise of humanity. I live in Spokane, WA. and for the past week
    here they have a festival called pig out in the park, so I went to
    the festival to test the mind’s of the different political party’s,
    they have areas set up to sell their bull shit. So I mentioned
    the problem of exponential growth with the human race and depletion of resources to sustain our way of life. I should have just hugged a tree instead.

  • I tried to post this yesterday, but …

    With all due respect…

    Proceeding from the powerfully evidenced scientific premise of “ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES”

    subcategory; On the “origin(s)” of human greed & sociopathology

    from Wiki; With the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s, Darwin’s concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to modern evolutionary theory, and it has now become the unifying concept of the life sciences.

    Questions to be addressed scientifically in the light of the evolutionary synthesis.

    1. If we claim that greed is the problem, we must answer the critical question – What are the origins of our professed human greed causing all the grief?

    2. Are there examples of humans & human societies that are not greedy?

    3. How do “sociopaths assume control?” over everything? Precisely?

    Claiming that “the lazy, manipulative “takers” ARISE” is pure ideation & tells me nothing.

    Are the “lazy manipulative takers” biological/genetic mutants or not?

    Maggots do not just spontaneously arise.

    Jesus did not arise from the dead.
    WW1 & WW2 did not just arise, although millions of bewildered innocents went “under.”

    Lawyerfishes Bill & Hilarious Clinton did not just arise.

    Neither did Obama, Bush, the Neocons, Netanyahu, James Baker, Alan Dershowitz, Mitch-coal-heart-Mcconnell, Gawd, & the devil.

    Did the right ideas about pressures of football(s) just arise in Holy robed Judge Berman’s “fertile mind?”

    The Federal Reserve Bank, compound interest, & Banksters did not JUST arise.

    When you pay compound interest, your material & physical money payments NEVER just arise – NEVER!

    In his classic study of the Mbuti tribe Colin Turnbull claimed that the critical variable causing the complete absence of hierarchy or any headman/chief was the simple fact that all Mbuti had complete access to the nourishing ecosysytem for hunting & gathering. Therefore there was no need to kiss any careerist’s political arse.

    The material & physical ecosystem “conditioned” the independent Mbuti “behavior” is a sound scientific answer, most especially in the light of the evolutionary synthesis.

    Marvin Harris called “ideation” (ideas cause everything but nothing causes the ideas) the mother error.

  • Although I am as much a doomer as anybody, I steadfastly continue to try to do social “science” as I despairingly observe all of us go extinct.

    If any observers are interested, I offer this new tight synopsis (even I didn’t know this new synopsis existed) of Marvin Harris’s lifelong attempt to present cultural materialism as genuine scientific social science.

    Harris tries to to answer the supreme question; “What accounts for BOTH sociocultural DIFFERENCES & SIMILARITES?”

    It is an attempt to go to the material & physical roots of the question raised by practicing natural scientist Kevin Moore’s ugly but never-the-less all too often true dictum; “Scum rises to the top.”

    My undergrad mentor, A Yalie PhD, spent fifty years preaching this statement as scientific gospel w/o ever considering that it was childish ideationist mystification;

    “SERIOUS MISCONCEPTIONS AROSE in Mediterranean civilizations over two thousand years ago, & they must be shrugged off.

    My early mentor’s sincere solution was equally ideationist; “New ethics.”

    Harris, “the vulger materialist,” offers a scientific analysis; http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Marvin_Harris

  • Right on Mr. Spezio – Thank you for stepping up. We are all so quick to condemn humans based on their bad behavior but never ask the question of what it is that elicits that behavior.

    All dogs should be destroyed because given the right circumstances they WILL bite you, right? Wrong! because we make sure those circumstances do not come up for mans best friend.

  • Yes, Sabine, I agree with you about FB. I allow myself 20 minutes daily of computer time and mostly stick with a couple of blogs. That’s just enough to keep me updated on humanity’s ever-present stupidity.

    However, on Guy’s page I found this comment, which is a rarity for its prescience:

    “Thank you Guy. I saw the corruption and hypocrisy initially, as a six year old, sitting in a Congregational Community Church, back in 1951. The terror I silently experienced, when I realized I was stuck in this house of horrors cannot be understated. I am now 70. I did not have children because of this. And I spent 32 years as an art educator to adolescents, in high school, because I liked them, and loved the interactions with that age group. I thought my greatest gift was to be someone who was genuinely authentic with these kids. I did well, I was loved and respected. Some former students even became international darlings in the art world. I totally resonate with where you are. Thank you for seeing the folly of civilization not as our gift to life, but as our calling card of destruction. Long ago I saw that humans are the cancer of the living earth. And I now stand as witness of the time.”

  • Darwin, Marvin Harris, Ian Morris, H.T. Odum and similar “evolutionary materialists” offer enormous explanatory insights into WTF is going on in the world. The ideation that Gerald refers to is the neo-cortical passenger’s way of explaining the actions of the reptilian bus driver in socially acceptable terms, while buttressing his comforting illusion of control at the same time.

  • @Glucon X,

    You wrote, “To me the naivete of all who presumed humanity would make such an effort to be less destructive was based on an ignorance of the power of the capitalist economic system. Capitalism was not going to permit any political entity to speak for humanity’s future, and develop the power to restrain or eventually eliminate the power of capitalism with its imperative of endless accumulation on a finite planet. Creating such an entity was the vital first step.”

    I agree with your observation regarding how people saw things in the 60s, sort of. People at that time had a faith that humanity would move away from the obvious suicide of self and indirect murder of their own children and grandchildren through wholesale environmental desolation because most people will avoid suicidal self-destruction and murderous destruction of their families, if they are able. Most people, not all. I remember how insane a great many people thought things were getting back then, especially in the 60s. The entire counterculture of the time was in response to the insanity of artificial foods, racism, police states, capitalist wars, and generally artificial and toxic living.

    But your comment confuses me, and I say that sincerely. I do not understand how capitalism, or any other human created idea, is sufficient to explain what has occurred. It does not in the least work for me to say that we failed to understand what a hold capitalism had on human beings. We could say the same of war, which has been around longer than capitalism. We could even say that capitalism IS war, in fact, under a fancy, socially polished and accepted label.

    I don’t think it is capitalism that has done this. I think it is human beings who have done this, and if they had not done it in the name of capitalism, they would have done it in the name of something else. And I agree with Guy that the thing that has done this is more akin to sociopathy than it is to capitalism. And I believe it is the whole of what we are all together. It is our capacity for abstraction and intellectual comprehension, our fundamental and fundamentally limited animal nature, and our innate drive for creativity, opposable thumbs, etc. I also agree with Guy that we don’t understand the whole package that people are anymore than the average Western psychosis captive understood how complex and fragile and responsive the living biosphere would be to human actions.

    I have always been skeptical, and these days I am completely convinced that there is no process or system that humans can devise that will manage us for our well-being and protect us from each other. I see that as an illusion, a lot like progress. Every human-made system or process requires humans for its continuance, and humans are the problem in the first place.

    The system or process devised by intelligent/good/wise/scientific/whatever people that is going to put a stop to creative, willful human malice and destructiveness is, as far as I’m concerned, less likely than Jesus coming back and fixing it all for us. It’s more human grandiosity, hubris and magical thinking, in my judgment. Admitted, my own views are heavily culturally influenced, and my views of humans and their place in the scheme of things is out of step with the views of a lot of people.

    I’m sincerely not trying to be rude here, I’m just talking philosophy, etc. It’s a point of contention for me with most people, the belief that humans can devise a process or system to fix human destruction. I’ve never believed in such a process or system, or believed one was even possible, but I know that people gather together in places all over the planet trying to come up with one. They used to do it at my job all the time, and there was nothing we ever came up with that could not be broken by another human being.

  • Paul, B.F. Skinner’s two most important books, “Beyond Freeedom & Dignity” & “About behaviorism, were Skinner’s valiant attempts to reach a broad public with penetrating intellectual information.

    Skinner did his best & was not unsuccessful, although you will seldom see or hear him mentioned today when all has been commandeered by the mystifying ideation of the unscientific “cognitive revolution.”

    Your tight sentence is pure enlightenment – as good a synopsis as I have ever read.

    All behaviorist scientists bless your scholarly & scientific wit.

    Skinner, Harris, & Benjamin Libet, especially, bless your compact definition from Behaviorist heaven.

    A true classic; “Ideation is the neo-cortical passenger’s way of explaining the actions of the reptilian bus driver in socially acceptable terms, while buttressing his comforting illusion of control at the same time.”

    You were also one of the first commenters at Natalia Shakhova’s prescient video from the 2012 GPU conference in Vienna.

  • Gerald,

    Origins of Sociopathy Department:

    At some point someone came up with the concept of storing, and more importantly guarding, food surpluses resulting from agriculture.

    Try the text of the Lenny Bruce routine below on for size
    and substitute ‘food guard’ for ‘law enforcement person’.

    If the nomination of the food guards by the visionary proto-sociopathic leader was the opening move, then their confirmation by the ‘electorate’ was when you could say that the game was really afoot.

    But…being an open-minded contrarian skeptic, it occurs to me that rather than the nominal/titular leader, what if the storage idea was the brainchild of someone else?

    Now, what tribal role had ‘visionary’ in the description field?

    (Cue Dana Carvey’s Church Lady voice…)
    Oh, who could that have been…I don’t know, maybe Shaman !?

    What if the first sociopath figured out that it would be safer to let someone else appear to be in charge of all this new thinking. State power gets the backing of religion, and the smart guy gets a beard. The leader up front with the shaman well in the wings…ready to convey the wisdom of the universe to a new leader, in case the present one has a fatal misstep. Might not have been that way…but coulda been.

    Lenny Bruce:The Law (The Early Years)

    check out the dialog around 4:52…kids? protection?

  • “reptilian bus driver”

    Indeed. And called “reptilian” because that’s where it originated. Coercive, dominating behavior can be found throughout the animal kingdom. Not always, but often enough. Another anthropocentric misunderstanding by the “exceptional” species? Our contribution is the rationalization.

  • Um, by the way–

    http://arctic-roos.org/

    Looks like the “unlikely” has happened: lowest sea ice on record. Or am I not seeing this correctly??

    Sorry for the 3rd post…

  • I don’t know if it’s true, but remember reading somewhere that in the Chinese civil service, promotion was given to the candidate who displayed reluctance to accept it, because their reluctance was evidence that they understood the onerousness of the responsibility. Ambitious grasping for high(er) office was prima facie evidence of unsuitability for it.

  • Baba, sorry??? You just knocked my head off.

    I go to Charctic every day.

    I was not at all well versed in ROOS.

    Roos is showing a most dramatic difference from Charctic Interactive.

    Chractic Interactive clearly & inescapably shows the 2015 curve far above the 2012 curve.

    Moreover, ROOS shows the 2015 curve going straight down – literally into hell-on-earth.

    As I went to ROOS just now, I was thinking; “Oh, he/she means second lowest extent.”

    GRAZI.

  • Hope and fear — both four-letter words — are two sides of the same “unknowable future” coin. Acting on either emotion is a prescription for disaster, as I illustrated clearly when I left the life I loved to pursue the counter-cultural path that has brought so much pain. Now, finally, I’m going forward, freed from the cage of hope.

    I was born in the Ghetto, I am living in hell (call it “The Empire”) since my earliest childhood and I got used to it. Along the way I got rid of hope and believing (well, mostly). But there is one thing I don’t want to get rid of and that is Trust. Do you trust that it was right to go away from Empire? I think you do. Do you trust in yourself? I think you do. Do you trust in real Love and Excellence? You do. Do you trust in your mission? You do. Do you trust in The Dharma of the Universe, The Dharma of Nature, The Dharma of Mother Earth that is the Dharma in Yourself? You do. So, let’s trust, I trust in You, foreign Brother…

    Steps

    As every blossom fades
    and all youth sinks into old age,
    so every life’s design, each flower of wisdom,
    attains its prime and cannot last forever.
    The heart must submit itself courageously
    to life’s call without a hint of grief,
    A magic dwells in each beginning,
    protecting us, telling us how to live.
    High purposed we shall traverse realm on realm,
    cleaving to none as to a home,
    the world of spirit wishes not to fetter us
    but raise us higher, step by step.
    Scarce in some safe accustomed sphere of life
    have we establish a house, then we grow lax;
    only he who is ready to journey forth
    can throw old habits off.

    Maybe death’s hour too will send us out new-born
    towards undreamed-lands,
    maybe life’s call to us will never find an end
    Courage my heart, take leave and fare thee well.

    – Hermann Hesse

  • Oops, sorry, I took the wrong nickname in my last post, it’s me, Curious 🙂

  • The comment about trust and the Hesse poem ( https://guymcpherson.com/2015/09/sociopaths-assume-control/#comment-164760 ) was posted by me, Curious, sorry, someplace else I sometimes use the nick “Nemesis”, sorry.

  • Infanttyrone, your well stated position about food storage, graneries, & the evol. of non-productive elites is magnificently discussed & evidenced by Marvin Harris in his “Cannibals & Kings.”

    Harris scientifically addresses religious “justification(s)” for the exploitive behavior as well.

    The routine presentation of shamanism-as-wisdom in these pages alarms me no end – more empty ideation with no scientific support.

  • There are things in life that don’t need any scientific proof. Shamanism does not need any scientific proof, just as Art does not need any scientific proof. Shamanism is the root of all culture and therefore it is the root of science too, it has been around for Millions of years, long before there was even a word called “science”.

  • Do we need any scientific proof that Mother Earth is beeing raped and exploited every single day, every single hour? Do we need scientific proof that there is massive Injustice and Cheating out there? Do we need scientific proof for all the Great Suffering on this planet? I don’t need any scientific proof to feel it and to know it, I felt it and I knew it all my life.

  • babajingo

    That’s really interesting because arctic roos paints a rather different picture from that of NSIDC

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

    We have previously discussed the confusion that arises because there are many different kinds of ice, different definitions of ice cover and different methods of measuring.

    The extent of the financial-economic meltdown may also be a lot clearer a month from now.

    If the ice cover and the financial markets do hold together through 2015, it is difficult to imagine them holding together another 12 months.

    By the way, CO2 is around 398ppm and approaching the annual minimum.

  • The best scientific info/discussion sources for arctic sea ice I know of (in case you don’t know those already):

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/

    http://greatwhitecon.info/blog/

    … it’s not looking good, but that’s no news^^

  • ” Too many times to count, I’ve pointed out that when greed is our only gawd, sociopaths assume control. Finally, I’ve come to realize something even worse: Sociopaths assume control, regardless of the desires of the populace, in any civilization.

    Civilization allows food to be stored (hence, controlled). As one of many adverse consequences, human-population overshoot is assured. And then, as surely as darkness follows the setting sun, some people take advantage of others. The lazy, manipulative “takers” arise because not everybody is able to keep track of everybody else. This situation does not arise in societies small enough for everybody to know everybody else (i.e., anarchism, tribalism). Empathy, the most important of human attributes, becomes a tool for exploiting those who have it by those who don’t. If civilization springs forth, sociopaths assume control.”

    The Sociopaths have been there since the dawn of human society: the love of power, domination, control and being top of the pile!

    Too many times to count, I’ve pointed out that when greed is our only gawd, sociopaths assume control. Finally, I’ve come to realize something even worse: Sociopaths assume control, regardless of the desires of the populace, in any civilization.

    Civilization allows food to be stored (hence, controlled). As one of many adverse consequences, human-population overshoot is assured. And then, as surely as darkness follows the setting sun, some people take advantage of others. The lazy, manipulative “takers” arise because not everybody is able to keep track of everybody else. This situation does not arise in societies small enough for everybody to know everybody else (i.e., anarchism, tribalism). Empathy, the most important of human attributes, becomes a tool for exploiting those who have it by those who don’t. If civilization springs forth, sociopaths assume control.

  • Just noticing that one or two people are posting in excess of two posts per day (without seeming to be aware or concerned about it). Which means that the rest of us are policing ourselves. 🙂

  • @Artleads. Yes, I noticed that too. A willful lack of self control in some. An unconscious call to dominance based on inferiority in another. Inner structures supporting self-aggrandizement based on no actual accomplishments. An attempted reptilian take over of the bus.

    Haven’t we seen these episodes cycle around by now, ad nauseam? It’s no wonder nothing works! Well, NTE seems to be working out just fine, anyway.

    All the brains trickling away like so much goo. Ah! Sweet silence, AT LAST!

  • “Just noticing that one or two people are posting in excess of two posts per day”

    There will always be one or two sociopaths in the crowd. What else is new…

  • @oldgrowthforest,

    All I was saying is that it was/is a necessary first step to stop the system that is currently the main source of the destruction, the system where for-profit corporations are required to make profits every quarter which drives endless growth, and therefore, endless environmental destruction. You must stop the destruction first. Maybe you’re right and no better system can exist. But if you don’t even decide to stop the destructive system we have, then you’re never going to find out. So I agree with Guy that we must work to stop omnicidal capitalism in word and deed until the final destruction that it caused takes our life.

    As for human grandiosity, hubris and magical thinking, you somehow failed to notice that capitalists indulge in all of those things – they think capitalism is the best system imaginable. But, in reality, it’s just another social construct, one of thousands that humans have and can conceive of.

    Btw, I do find it a bit mysterious as to how someone with the handle oldgrowthforest became so smitten with capitalism. Capitalists see old growth forests as nothing more than things to be turned into piles of money, you know.

  • Here is the latest and greatest from Naomi Klein. This woman is very smart, the question is how can she tout the idea of a green energy transition to renewables with a strait face? http://takvera.blogspot.com/2015/09/when-youre-in-hole-stop-digging-naomi.html

  • “Just noticing that one or two people are posting in excess of two posts per day”

    There will always be one or two sociopaths in the crowd. What else is new…

    Bwahahaha… well, that’s quite devastating and such a shame in the face of extinction, isn’t it? We have to go extinct in a tidy and proper way, don’t we?^^ Harr harr 🙂

  • … they are telling me “Keep in line!” all my life and now in the face of extinction they are STILL telling me to keep in line! Fuckin, stupid LEMMINGS, bwahahaha 😀 … Sociopaths assume control, yeah 😎

  • My impression is that the money system is a functional religion. As comedian Mike Daisy pointed out in his performances and in his Against the Grain Interview, the financial system has many of the tropes and rituals that would have been associated exactly, in toto, with temple systems in Old Egypt and Mesopotamia which were completely integrated with all aspects of the cultural condition of those societies. In other words, the religion delivers the material goods. That it, our real, actual theology goes under the guise of banking, federal reserve system, monetary units as a measure of human status, power, etc., the high priests talk in funny code language called ostensibly economics or some such, and these high born financial theocrats retain the ability to create and destroy money at will, ie run and manage human society.
    See William Greider’s prescient 1992 book on the Fed: “Secrets of the Temple”.

    As a matter of course, theological doctrine is absolute and total. Anyone who varies or seeks to found an alternative religion will be burned at the stake.

    Anyone who studied the monetary system (example: Modern Money Mechanics published by Chicago Fed) understands that it’s logic naturally produces radical alienation and pathology. Specifically social pathology, as all your once human relations are now crushed on the wheel of rational financial theological doctrines.

    Become a predator, destroy people’s lives, completely alienate yourself from any compassion or empathy with anyone or anything, including yourself. That’s more or less the sum total of post industrial human experience.

    Sociopathology, alienation, predation, destruction and complete corruption of human relations to self, others and the natural world are built into the monetary system. This worked fine for about 5 centuries, as this theological capitalist system worked its way across the planet infecting every nook and cranny of human existence and also, delivering the goods to Europe, where the theology originated.

    Personally I think Confucius and Adam Smith were monsters, but a highly rational monsters in service to the predatory nihilists who were paying their salaries.

    And so we see persons wholely invested in this system for their material well being making every excuse imaginable EXCEPT against the system that butters their bread. Who can blame them really when it’s utterly terrifying to contemplate stepping out on that ledge or even trying to saw off the branch you are sitting on? Who wants to mess with the great void or the scary black unfathomable black hole of having to get your comprehensive shirt together?

    So wee hear things like: “People are crap”, “Humanity is crap.”, “there’s no choice”, “no free will”, “just like yeast in a petri dish”, etc, etc, yada yada ad infinitum. Every possible imaginable permutation of rationalization until it becomes absolutely clear that the earth is going to have to die as a concomitant result of the great imperial theology rather than alter or ammend any of it in any way.

    Thus follows the realization that this is not in fact an economy, or a condition of DNA as so many seem to desperately want, but it is a death cult. Cult as in Culture, cult as in totalist, cult as in you break the spell you will pay.

    Yeah, we’re the Aztecs so awful and nasty because they had human sacrifice, said the nice melanin-free Americans who regularly, as a part of their RELIGION, practice ritual, institutionalized and fully rationalized human sacrifices – primarily and especially human sacrifice of people with melanin.
    And this also includes the “people” in the animal world, your brothers and sisters, who also are sacrificed. At least the Aztecs came clean with themselves. Something that our current modern religion prevents us from doing at all costs.

    Again, I do not see any problem with DNA, or humanity or people, because I know some fine ones, who are open heretics of the current paradigm.

    So this brings us to Generalizations. Or what I used to teach in an ESL lesson: Dangerous Generalizations.

    What this means is that one exception or one outlier of a generalized claim, negates that claim. So humanity sucks, yes I know, but how about the Lao farmers who produce more oxygen than carbon? Who never had any ideation to trapse off to some factory and work for money? Or, one we all love: “whitey sucks”. OK. But what about Phil Berrigan, Anne Braden, Norman Morrison, David Dellinger, Brian Willson, Ammon Henecy, William Lloyd Garrison, or John Brown?

    It is comforting to think and talk in generalizations, but the hard work goes with breaking them down to see what’s real and what I’m implying in order to accommodate my biases, or my obvious complicity in some very nasty business.

    And of course one of the most complicit is me. I have blood up to my eyeballs. Part of my personal hell, “looking into the abyss” is looking at myself and my past without blinders or blinkers.

    _______________________

    The Anarchist literature is vast and deep and rewards exploration. I fell in love with Emma Goldman at age 27 or so and that was it for me. I was also floored and bowled over by Edward Abbery’s Monkeywrench Gang and Desert Solitaire when I worked at Grand Canyon,before I even knew what an Anarcho was. Luigi Galleani “End of Anarchism”, Erico Malatesta: “What is Anarchism”, Orwell, “Homage to Catelonia”, Howard Zinn, Uncle Noam, the IWW, etc. Dismiss these at your peril, as Uncle Noam says, they always keep popping back into people’s heads no matter how much effort and energy is put into trying to discredit or destroy them. The anti-cult if you will.

    Personally, as a bastard hell-son of Europe, I see no other options. However, since most people are neck deep in the benefits of the death cult, look forward to as much more resistance and denial of Anarchos you’ve seen regularly since J Edgar Hoover went after the Haymarket boys.

    _______________________

    Mr. Dredd’s article on Authoritarianism is very engaging. Bob Alymeyer’s work helped me get through the post 2000 BS of living in the US. Seeing my entire family and most friends for what they are: cowards and conformists to THE death cult. That’s their business. I don’t live there any more as my head would probably explode into a million pieces if I had to participate any longer in the bloody, ongoing occupation of Indigenous countries and nations in North America. Not tribes, not territory, but Nations and countries that practiced another religion besides the death cult. That’s why they had to be GENOCIDED. Indigenous have “Chiefs” in the European vocabulary, not KINGS because that might mean that the bloody European monarchies, practicing their death cult, might have to meet these foreign equivalent of Kings on equal terms as sovereign. The death cult will not allow these evil words or ideas to be spoken or even considered.

    Now look at Africa where the same vocabulary and practice is apparent – 20 million dead at the hands of the Belgians in Congo alone. That’s more than 3 times worse than the Jewish Holocaust. This horror, however, cannot be spoken of by Europeans on equal or even greater terms from what happened in 1933-1945.

    So Africa, Australia, N America, South America, and most of Asia succumbed. All these are defeated and occupied neo-european colonies.

    As John Henrik Clarke implies, Colonialism is a more sophisticated continuation of Slavery by another name, and Neo-Liberal economics (ie religion) are even more sophisticated permutations of slavery.

    No repentence. No absolution. Welcome to Hell, which is the rational heaven produced by death cult theology. Europe wins. Everything dies.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    ps – am not getting the captch on my amazon swindle or on PC with Chrome.

  • One more psych book that helped me through the local fascist dumb-bunny miliary takeover was Political Ponerology by Andrew Łobaczewski, a psychologist working in behind-the-iron-curtain Poland. This book is a fine addendum to Altymeyer’s authoritarians. And we are all behind the iron curtain now.

  • Analogy via Paul Chefurka: ‘Reptilian’ bus driver, ‘mammalian’ passenger.

    Analogy via Robin Datta: ‘Reptilian’ passenger, ‘mammalian’ chauffeur.

    I predict confusion.

    Just to add to the metaphor mayhem- I guess it depends on who’s in ‘the driver’s seat’?

    No doubt scientists could observe some novel and interesting syndromes by wiring up Paul’s bus driver’s cortex to Robin’s chauffeur’s brainstem…. Or, ummm…wait a minute… let me just think this through……………………..

    … ’cause, you know, in laboratories everywhere, people not much less confused than me are doin’ stuff…

  • Doing all right
    A little jiving on a Saturday night
    And come what may
    Gonna dance the day away

    Jenny was sweet
    She always smiled for the people she meet
    On trouble and strife
    She had another way of looking at life

    The news is blue (The news is blue)
    Has it’s own way to get to you
    What can I do? (What can I do?)
    When I remember my time with you

    Pick up your feet
    Got to move to the trick of the beat
    There is no elite
    Just take your place in the driver’s seat

    Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah

    Doing all right
    A little jiving on a Saturday night
    And come what may
    Gonna dance the day away

    Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah

    Jenny was sweet
    There is no elite
    Pick up your feet, pick up, pick up
    Pick up your feet, gonna dance the day away

    Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah
    Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah

    – Sniff’n the Tears, Driver’s Seat

  • Is this a methane fireball? If it was, would anyone even know it, much less admit it?:

    “A massive fireball, believed to be a meteorite, has fallen on Thailand. Awestruck commuters witnessed the spectacle, describing a green and orange glow, as it took a nosedive toward Earth.

    The event took place during the morning rush hour at about 8:45am local time in Bangkok, although the meteor did not make an audible sound as it struck the ground.

    https://rt.com/news/314599-massive-fireball-thailand-bangkok/

    Am I banned from this forum? Long comment written in earnest today didn’t show up. Was hoping to copy and share elsewhere. At least the censors got to read it. 🙂 (y)

  • “Bwahahaha… well, that’s quite devastating and such a shame in the face of extinction, isn’t it? We have to go extinct in a tidy and proper way, don’t we?^^ Harr harr 🙂

    There are people who think that extinction means anything goes. Then there are those who believe that extinction (or any other circumstance) requires them to behave with consideration to others. Our web host has always advocated for the latter, which is why he is respected. BTW, this article explains his position quite well.
    ———————

    Creativity:

    I’ve often heard it said that songs are not created. They exist already and their composer merely finds them. I propose that we look at any creative endeavor the same way. All the creative person does is contact an pre-existing essence and makes it accessible to others.

  • ‘Am I banned from this forum? Long comment written in earnest today didn’t show up. Was hoping to copy and share elsewhere. At least the censors got to read it.’

    wester, it’s been reported by several commenters over the past year or so, and experienced by me, that comments occasionally do not go through, for no apparent reason. it’s been recommended that before u click on submit, u copy any comment u don’t wish to lose, in case it doesn’t go through, u won’t have lost it, and can try again. this has worked a few times for me. i wouldn’t jump to any conclusions about censorship here.

  • There are people who think that extinction means anything goes. Then there are those who believe that extinction (or any other circumstance) requires them to behave with consideration to others. Our web host has always advocated for the latter, which is why he is respected. BTW, this article explains his position quite well.

    Don’t expect too much from meat robots with reptilian brains and no control or free will on their way to extinction-> I learned that from Robin and other commentators right here on NBL.

  • @Glucon X.

    Thank you for the clarification. My points are hardly capitalistic, and I’m not sure where you came up with the conclusion that I am “smitten” with capitalism, or that I fail to see the magical, fantasy thinking espoused by those who are enamored with capitalism.

    My point was, as I stated, philosophical, and in truth, psychological. What system or process have humans devised – ever – that manages human behavior so as to protect humans and non-human beings from human predation? There isn’t one. There never has been one. And no human being has ever come close to creating one.

    In fact, I think a person would have to work really hard to make meaning out of almost nothing to conclude that I am “smitten with capitalism” based on what I wrote.

  • Maybe some of the indigenous tribes have devised ways to live in peace and caring but the ones that have/did were/are relatively small, small cohorts? (Maybe we are in test tubes?) I do not really know, just wondering? I would like to think so, if not, then there has never existed any hope from the get go.

    Back to the Mandolin! Dang, it’s somehow fun to struggle and learn.

  • curious/nemesis, same person…..
    The basis of behavior in responsible anarchy, and what makes it work, is personal responsibility and a sense of ethics. Microcosm-macrocosm.
    You are rude and a coward.
    Fine if you’re frustrated and want to get rowdy and free during the twilight of the endocene, but why not do it in the real world instead of here? Go forth, and report back when you’ve actually accomplished something.

  • @Wren

    The basis of behavior in responsible anarchy, and what makes it work, is personal responsibility and a sense of ethics.

    Excuse me, but how is personal responsibility possible when humans are pure meat robots and got no free will, when there is no agent at all, as Robin and many others say?

  • before i forget i want to thank tom for passing on that outstanding poem by a somali on the anguish and desperation experienced by refugees, a day or 2 ago. i linked that comment and passed it on to a few friends.

    wester, i see that a comment of yours was published here this morning apparently after being delayed a few hours, which caused u to think it had been censored/lost. that’s another thing i’ve experienced, having my comments get hung up for a while before showing up on this blog. again, i have no idea why this happens, or if it has anything to do with censorship, so i don’t jump to such conclusions… now moving on to that comment of yours, i copied one little phrase to reply to:

    ‘wheel of rational financial theological doctrines. ‘

    i don’t think the word ‘rational’ should ever be applied to the term ‘theological doctrine(s)’, except in opposition. just a little pet peeve of mine, how some manage to soil what should be pristine concepts like ‘science’ or reason/rationality by trying to link them with their opposites. dogmas or theology by definition are irrational in nature. that is, they are claims/assertions which must be taken on faith, lacking any factual or logical basis. reason/rationality, on the other hand, is anti-dogmatic/theology, based firmly upon facts and/or logic, and always amenable to alteration if/when new facts or logic come to the fore that supercede… this is why scientific knowledge advances/changes with time, while theology/dogmas resist all such evolution.

    and for what it’s (not?!) worth, i still maintain that free will’s illusory, but obviously there will always be dissenters…

  • The World Is Too Much With Us
    BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
    It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
    A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
    So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
    Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
    Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

  • addendum alert to my last message re: “Wondering”

    Just a play on words – nothing more.

  • ‘Excuse me, but how is personal responsibility possible when humans are pure meat robots and got no free will, when there is no agent at all, as Robin and many others say?’ -curious/nemesis

    it’s not. however, even for those like myself who accept this as theory/fact, we still find ourselves caught up in the powerful illusion that it (free will) does exist, and thus accountability/responsibility do matter… i know, i know, this doesn’t make much sense, but hey, c’est la vie! in surreality, facts tend to be a bit squishy…

  • The journey to awareness has been a long and, often, metaphysical one for me. A journey on which I feel I have been deliberately ‘shown’ many things, often in a seemingly sequential manner. The matter of psychological ills has most certainly been a large part of the process as well as a compelling force toward greater and deeper learning. While I, too, was naïve in many respects, in that naïveté I also believe I see the characteristics that could have and should have triumphed over the maligned, but did not. I believe many insights can only be had by those with a sound moral compass, for one thing, and the lack of those insights at large has been ruinous. So, maybe it’s not best to denigrate the ‘naïveté’ so much as that which has come to rudely awaken it to our downfall as a species, although for sure the maligned do presume superiority over the so-called ‘naïve’, I feel quite sure they are, ultimately and tragically, wrong!

  • … i know, i know, this doesn’t make much sense, but hey, c’est la vie!

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I am told by the system of empire all my life. I will not miss that system in any way when it reached it’s final fate absolutely for shure. This sick machine will fall soon and man, oh man, I like that like I like that:

    … Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

    I know the formula of the cheating game:

    C7/-5 = Gb7/-5

  • More than a nit.

    We hear this all the time; “I am not a scientist.”

    We hear this routinely from all types; pontifical powerful politicians, passionate environmental activists in-the-know, literary types positing both their brand of wisdom & the impossibility of human knowledge about anything, & the truly bewildered man-in-the-street.

    Jennifer Hynes says; “I am a climate researcher & a climate activist. I am not a scientist, but I am an environmental generalist.”

    and; “I have a real passion for data & trend analysis.”

    Without linguistically dancing about the meaning of basic terms, I would suggest that it is impossible to do sound climate research or data analysis w/o “doing science.”

    … a good mother, father, friend, mechanic, builder, or plumber???

    A brief discussion about logician/philosopher Irving Copi’s stipulation that a good detective is doing sound science.

    See; Irving M. Copi, The detective as scientist.

    Yesterday, blogger curious claimed; “I don’t need any scientific proof to feel it and to know it, I felt it and I knew it all my life.”

    Blogger curious claims that his feelings produce reliable knowledge/information about the world is both very common & very dangerous.

    A priest, rabbi, minister, lawyerfish, judge, salesman, or campaigning politico could, most assuredly, make the very same claim to knowledge, profundity, & wisdom.

    “I just KNOW that she is guilty … innocent!”

    “We doan need no stinking scientific proof or evidence.”

    The real question is what should any observer accept or believe as reliable knowledge.

    What is the difference between a professed shaman & a professed scientist?

    How can we tell the difference, if any?

    See also; “Social Sciences as Sorcery,” by Stanislav Andreski, 1972

  • Can someone please explain what the hell is going on with the reporting (such as it goes— given the pathetic lack of coverage—no pun intended—- with something that should be front page “news”) of the sea ice extent? Does anyone really know?
    How can there be such a disparity between Nevin and Sam Carana’s blog? And as Kevin mentions: “arctic roos paints a rather different picture from that of NSIDC”
    WTF?????

  • @Nemesis, you wrote “Yeah, that’s exactly what I am told by the system of empire all my life.”

    I agree. Basically, the so-called logic doesn’t provide any greater clarity to or understanding of this omnicidal mess than religious faith as it is characterized here. This culture, especially with its materialistic science (measuring), claims to have the only *answers* that exist, but those answers turn out not to be answers at all.

    How much does a person need to know so as to live without destroying the world around them? Not a lot, I don’t think. How much does a person need to know in order to care about destroying the world around themselves if they cannot or will not care? There is no knowledge or understanding that can do that.

  • I worked my way through this whole blog during the last days.
    I did not expect that the MassMedia would inform me at all about any real issues, that idea i gave up a Long time ago.
    I still cannot verify by myself if the whole prediction of the changed sea of gas, on the button i happen to live, is changing in a way that cannot sustain human life or human supportive Habitat-
    The only thing i can agree on is that we,as a species, are iceage creatures so it is Logical for me that we are in need for ice on the planet because we evolved to live in this sort of living arangements.
    Nontheless, thanks for keeping my mind busy.
    Greetings for anyone out there.

  • Arctic Ruse, and Arctic Reality: (Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place – 3)

    The story you did not hear about is the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland:

    The ESA estimates that the ice is about 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) thick, meaning that the piece lost has a volume of about 17.5 cubic km, which is enough to cover the island of Manhattan in a layer of ice almost 1,000 feet deep.”

    (The Evolution of Models – 12)

    In the Arctic there is a gambling contest every year to see who can guess the time the Yukon River ice first breaks up (Yukon River Breakup – betting since 1896).

    Someone @ ROOS has money on the year 2015 taking the record from the year 2012 perhaps?

  • @Wester and oldgrowthforest

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. Yes:

    They turned science and money into religion:

    http://afaofpa.org/wp-content/uploads/In-God-We-Trust-on-Dollar-bill.jpg

    , because they strive for control of the masses and they had some success, but they will not last for long, the truth will shine again on Mother Earth soon and it will be like they have never existed. Man lived without science and money for millions of years. The tribes, the free men are the true human beeings and those agitators of empire will be like they have never existed, modern zivilisation is just the blink of an eye compared to millions of years of real freedom and no empire-brainwashing.

    Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death.

    William Blake

  • i know ive posted this before buut it has meainng to me