The Questions People Ask

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers
~ Voltaire


People ask me amazing questions. They’re generally both ignorant and redundant, as I indicated previously.

Sometimes the questions are neither ignorant nor redundant. They’re mean-spirited, thereby consistent with this entire culture. I don’t know if the questioner is mirroring the culture or the culture is merely a sum of the jerks asking the questions. Perhaps it’s a self-reinforcing feedback loop of meanness as a method to gather prestige by belittling others.

Perhaps the people asking the questions don’t even know they’re rude. Perhaps I’m asking too much from individuals trapped within a culture now far-removed from civility. Consider the exceptionally personal, incredibly inappropriate questions asked by Daniel in this space:

So, how are you currently financially supporting yourself; where’s your money coming from? What flow of money is allowing you to tour the world giving presentations on NTE?

Since you don’t seem to be holding down a day job, I’ll assume you’re still living off the savings/pension from your tenure in academia, yes?

How much did your earlier imperial savings factor into you thinking it wise to “walk away from empire” in the first place, compared to having come to regret that decision, given that nest egg probably isn’t what it once was?

Apparently manners are irrelevant. Consider me a old-fashioned, but to ask these exceptionally personal questions is rude. As expected from somebody who would ask these questions, no thanks was offered when I responded. My too-polite, too-revealing response is here:

Daniel, I can’t imagine a dozen people within IC would answer your extremely personal questions. They are none of your business. But my life is an open book, and I suspect I’m infinitely more honest than the typical person within IC, so I’ll answer, against my better judgment.

All of my speaking tours are financed through donations. Click the link above to pitch in.

I spent my “retirement” funds on this homestead. Between the >$500K spent here and the >$700K income forgone, perhaps you can understand why I view the move as an error. Perhaps not, though. An extra $1.2 million and a healthy stream of income would allow me many more opportunities to get the word out.

Your final question is redundant, so I’ll ignore it. My wife pays for groceries with her paltry income. And we share property with people far more typical of IC than us. Ergo, mistakes have been made.

Daniel is not stupid. And I doubt he’s a troll. Too, I doubt he considers himself impolite. By asking this series of questions, consistent with his previous and subsequent behavior, he illustrates behavior that would’ve shocked my parents. Still would, in fact.

And I don’t think my parents are the issue here. Neither do I believe my response is particularly pungent. Since sending my response to Daniel, funds spent on the homestead have increased, along with forgone income. As expected, Daniel has offered no comment, no thanks, and no donation.

On the topic of trolls, they’re abundant and easy to spot. They don’t ask questions. Rather, they proclaim knowledge, rooted in belief and unshackled by evidence.

For example, the typical troll trots out a three-year-old blog post to challenge the evidence I present. The foolish cowards continue to show up on Alex Smith’s blog, and they include the likes of Tony Weddle (aka sofistek). He’s hardly the only acolyte of science educator denier Scott Johnson wallowing in ignorance and fear, but he’s exemplary in his outspoken denial. These people remind me of a statement from Carl Sagan:

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over, you almost never get it back.

The attacks are unceasing, as they’ve been for longer than a decade. They invariably focus on me, not my work. Shooting the messenger never goes out of style.

I take this opportunity to clear up a common misconception. I readily admit I erred upon leaving active service at the university. I loved classroom teaching, as well as mentoring. I was very good at both endeavors, which explains why the university desperately tried to censor me and then encouraged my departure. All that aside, I have come to grips with my early exit from academic life. Initially disappointed by the cowardice of others with respect to following my lead, reflection has allowed me to accept aspects of human behavior about which I was formerly ignorant. And I am free in ways I could not have predicted before I moved away from Tucson.

As with many factors in the life of a rationalist, my personal history is part of what defines me. At this point, it simply is. There are many facets to reality.

Comments 141

  • .
    @mo flow

    I was going to ask you if you meant …

    “… experience the group dream in other ways rather than Standard Operating Procedure.”

    … or,

    ” …experience the group dream in other ways rather than Shitty Old Poop.”

    Then I realized there wasn’t much of a difference anyway. :)


    As far as dreaming up a collective suicide goes, we do deserve credit for creativity.

    Ten points to Slitheren!

  • The Apostle of Ireland says stop worrying and get shitfaced.

  • Wits End Website had a remark in the newest essay

    “When tipping points are reached, the change can be violent as well as sudden, like the moment that water reaches boiling point. Endgame may amount to a triumph of hope over experience, but you cannot fault the authors’ determination to try to warn us.”

  • For the record, I have not given up hope that the situation could change.
    Notice the modal verb.
    But what would be required is a halt to further carbon in the air. Zero out. End. Finito. Over.
    Then suffering through whatever global dimming hell would consequently result.
    This would of course require a sea change, ocean change in human social relations. On the order of, say, what was described in the opening chapters of Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. With the entire human species signing off.
    I’m not saying that’s impossible. But it would take leadership from the ascendant powers like the US, Canada, UK, etc. The nice white folks – the ones who’ve practiced imperial colonial genocide for centuries.
    But, in fact, with a handful of exceptions, nobody I know in any of those countries is going there. Least of all several notable persons on this board.

    I tried to engage the poor USers to precipitate something, anything close to this for years. But I finally figured out that my military obsessed fundamentalist cousins would hang me with joy. My father and brother would stand by and do nothing and my own mother would stoically watch as I was gutted and disemboweled if the fascist cult members in her church told her it was the right thing to do. Sorry I couldn’t hang around for those ceremonies.

    Every day I commute on my bicycle past new developments neck deep in raw concrete pouring. Zero environmental oversight. A military gun pointed at anyone who disagrees. Honestly, the state of the developed world is hardly any different. And developed world capital is what is driving these lunatic carbon projects.

    So, if you are going to look reality square in the face, it is going to require a large formation to charge the battlements, with only pitchforks and butter knives against machine guns, F-18s and nuclear weapons. With full knowledge that they will not be coming home from that hike.

    Who’s up for that? Uncle Alex at Ecoshock? Nate Hagens? Mark Jacobson? Scott Johnson? Robert Scribbler?

    Is my point clear? We’re out. NTE or bust.

  • “Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

    ― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

    “You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.”

    ― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

  • Respect to all you fuckin doomers, because you are willing to face Hell with open eyes, willing to face the horizon of Death 8-)

  • @Nemesis rofl

  • Wester – well said – and every conversation you overhear it seems is about real estate or money or babies or the price of food.

    “Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

    “Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

    ― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

  • Stop holding grudges cause who gives a fuck. It would seem i’m alone here waiting for everyone to arrive.

  • Song for you.. Mother Earth

  • “We very strongly believe that space-time doesn’t really exist”, says Prof Arkani-Hamed, a leading Princeton and Harvard physicist.

    So the material reality is a dream. The facts of CO2 in the atmosphere are events in my dream. Since space-time doesn’t really exist, I don’t really exist. No space, no time. Only the dream exists. All we ever have, or can have, are mental experiences.

  • Batman, that’s an interesting remark. I have long felt that the only thing in this reality that has any intrinsic value or significance is experience; that that’s pretty much all we have here. Everything else physical is a means to that end and has no intrinsic significance. And a corollary, the only thing we have here whose significance extends beyond this reality besides individual experience is shared experience. (If there is such a thing as individual experience.) I don’t have any evidence to offer in support of the thesis, just something I like to intuitively believe.

    So when you hit your thumb with a hammer is that a mental experience? I would say it’s all (thumb, hammer, pain, etc.) experience and you can subdivide it (mental, physical, emotional, pleasant, unpleasant, etc.), share it, try to avoid it or whatever you want to do with it. But pretty much all humans ever do is have experiences (passively or actively) and then try to figure out what to do with them.

    I’d prefer to call it “a reality” rather than “a dream”, but wouldn’t argue with anybody who would say that the definition of “a dream” is “a reality”.

  • Guy, not all posts need to be large or awesome.

    Think Easy!

    Would I be more oxymoronic than usual to say,

    Disaster Capitalism is Dead!

    Long Live Collapse Capitalism!?

  • Another convert to reality?
    Not long ago, this character called Guy McPherson crazy. Another convert to reality?

    Mainstream Media Sounding More Like Guy McPherson as Global Warming Heads Into Overdrive

    [10 min. video]

  • being human is a jungle thicket. i’m reading a book, “Constantine’s Sword”, that has a chapter called, “Voltaire And The False Promise of Emancipation”, that speaks of Voltaire’s aggressive anti-semetic nature as being based on “their innate character”!

    I Was Born and Raised in Black and White
    The Highwaymen

    we never had a chance!

    Thank you Guy for all u do!!

  • Guy,
    In regards to your intention to include Global Dimming as an added danger which the media has not yet endorsed as a serious threat, perhaps I could suggest the possibility that the temperature rise which would follow the cessation of industrial activities worldwide may be greater than you have imagined. A rise of 2 or 3 degrees C, as you have suggested, may actually be more modest than not. Although I may not be seeing the forest for the trees, wouldn’t the extra heating generated by the lack of air particles be cumulative? If the heat is not escaping as it should, wouldn’t the heat just keep building up? I have no idea if that possibility has even been considered but I just thought that it might possibly add another item to the list of feedback loops at your disposal.

  • Collapse Capitalism & why America is Trump Addicted

    Explains why the poor love Trump

  • We cannot survive in space because of metal wear and tear and radiation.

    Kim Stanley Robinson really delves into space station ecologies here:

    We will have to go underground for radiation protection and eat green stuff that jiggles on the spoon getting energy from algae vats and very likely be a military culture.

  • “Spiritual maturity is usually considered a necessity for true awakening, and I am often asked if there is a sign of spiritual maturity. It’s true that spiritual maturity is a necessity. This kind of maturity, however, has little to do with how people usually conceive it. It is not related to the number of years you have devoted to spiritual practice, or the number of years you have prayed, or the number of years you have been good. At the most basic level, spiritual maturity has to do with the realization that you are not in control. This is, of course, a shattering realization, because from the age of two you have believed in the possibility of control, and much of your attention and energy has been funneled into the fight for control.

    The desire to be in control, the illusion of being in control, and the hope of being in control are all based on the megalomaniacal belief that you know when and what the outcome should be.

    Obviously, you can control many things to a greater or lesser degree, but there is nothing that you can totally control. You can control your bodily functions to a degree, as well as circumstances, thoughts, emotions, position, and survival, but you can never have complete control.

    You need no model for letting go. You cannot do letting go. Neither is letting go a kind of saintly passivity, not being bothered by anything. The mind is very slippery and can even use the desire to let go as a tactic for control.

    Letting go of control is a deeper relaxation, a floating on the ocean. You can become aware of where you are holding on, and you can just let go and allow the ocean to hold you. You can become aware that all your tension and clinging are unnecessary, and then relax and let yourself be supported. In this same way you can become aware of all the mental and emotional energy that gets exerted in holding on to a particular story, and you can just let it all go. There is a deeper intelligence than the one you use to control, and it is present to be recognized in all lives, at all moments.”

    ~ Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket

  • Isn’t it strange? I have never met anyone of you in “real life”, but most of the time I feel more close to you all, than to most of the people I know in real life.

    We share a certain kind of awareness and I really do appreciate that. Is there a difference between the horizon of Death and the horizon of Life? We’ll see… may be

  • No matter what, the Blues will live on forever

  • “the Blues will live on forever”

    and OP will have nine lives! this one has disappeared from YT before. it’s back. absolute magic. bliss.

  • @ Nemesis

    Comedian Bill Burr Explains Why Yoko Ono Sucks

  • Nemesis and Mo Flow

    YES as miles said in a raspy voice
    “Its All Blues ”

    Mo Flow..speaking of piano players do you know Kenny Barron?my mentor and teacher was good friend of Kenny i feel part of his lineage.
    Although i am not religious at all, i have always carried the serenity prayer with me.It has helped me immensely in my life
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change,courage to change the things i can,and the wisdom to know the difference”
    great for traffic rage

  • Well Guy, at least you get asked. The person asking may have been insensitive at best but he did ask. Months back I asked someone to be a guest author on my site. Today I found some of my material used elsewhere. It wasn’t a direct quote, it had been altered a word or 2. There was no mention where the material came from or who wrote it. This person did not ask. I used my brain so they didn’t have to, I have since shut down my site. I don’t ask for donations although they’d be really nice to since I’m disabled and poorer than blowing dust. I acknowledge sources when I use them and that is all I would have liked in return. It’s the decent thing to do and pretty common practice. So back to our “culture/society”? It is totally is rude and outta sync with life, it lacks Grace. Someday I’ll get back to my 4 pillars of strength, someday. Sorry for the rant but I thought I’d express your topic from a different angle…Peace Everyone, G

  • .
    Sorry to hear that gilbert. After you posted the other day, I went and checked out a bit of your site. I really enjoyed it. (No, I wasn’t the person who plagiarized from you.)

    Sorry this happened to you. I’m sad you decided to take your site down, it was good. Maybe you’ll put it back up someday.


  • The the poster who put up the link earlier:


    “To make our consumer economy hum and grow and instantly gratify, costs are driven down as low as they can go, especially at the bottom of the supply chain; this can lead to abusive conditions for workers and harm to the natural world. Taken to the extreme it means slavery and catastrophic environmental destruction. But all this normally happens far from any prying eyes. It’s a hidden world that keeps its secrets.

    But there’s no secret about the engine driving this vicious cycle. It is us—the consumer culture of the rich north.”

    Seems so true, but some down South also reek of the same smell

    …’no way but this, to die upon a kiss’

    Best wishes, and it looks like some heated ‘debate’ here, as a few now have skin in the game.
    Not that it’s a game, really.


  • Climate change could lead to changes in ecosystems, lifestyles – ‘That’s a fairly ominous change, especially when you think about fire’ [“could?”]

    Simply put, says Kootenay scientist Greg Utzig, climate change is about air.

    [a few quotes from this small presentation]

    “What we’re talking about in terms of climate change is air,” said Utzig at a talk on climate change in Revelstoke last week. “That is what this issue is all about. You wouldn’t think about throwing pollutants in the river, but every time you drive your car or start your lawnmower you’re polluting. What we’ve been doing to the air effects the other elements in every way.”

    “We are contributing a substantial [a]mount. We are part of the problem,” said Utzig. “Carbon emissions have been increasing each year since the 1970s. The earth is essentially breathing, but we’re covering it in emissions.”

    [Though he’s a climate scientist, he won’t admit or doesn’t see the end. His two quotes I highlighted let us know how all of us who drive, use the internet (and thus electricity), live in modern constructed houses that rely on fossil fuel for heat, not to mention all the other materials that are manufactured, commute by paved road and using manufactured vehicles (rather than walking), etc. are part of the climate change problem. In short, as is said so often – we’re killing ourselves by living this way.]

    [Paul Beckwith states it a bit better]
    Consequences Of Catastrophic Climate Change

    “Suppose that your mom is sick. None of her brothers, sisters or children have taken her complaints seriously. Everybody has carried on with their own busy lives, thinking that mom was imagining things, and assuming that she was fine.
    And then she took a turn for the worse. Everybody close suddenly realized that she was very frail and ill, depleted of her energy and resources. She was no longer the ageless, sacred source of life that nurtures all living beings.
    Now, suppose that she is everyone’s mother. She is Mother Earth.
    And her illness is abrupt climate change…” Paul Beckwith

    Enjoy your time and be kind. The “miracle” is being (especially now).

    Nemesis: I’ve made a similar statement of appreciation for the commenters here (and especially Guy) and wholeheartedly agree. Though our opinions may differ among us all, the fact that we’re here now, cognizant that we’re looking at the end of the road, is something special imho.

  • Here is a nice piece from Zerohedge asking the big question

    ‘Where Does The Future Lie? Orwell Or Huxley?’

    A quote:

    “George Orwell simply took the past and laid out what government ALWAYS gravitates toward – total control. ”

    This might just be the recent tool that is being used to get that control…

    ‘Robert Newman – History of Oil’

    Gee, that Tyler Durden sure writes a lot.

  • I’ve posted anew, here. The short essay is likely to irritate at least a few readers: it’s filled with facts. New information is included at the bottom of the page.

  • @ Daniel

    Quoting you: “I find it odd that you would be so offended about questions of money, when I’ve actually made far more probing inquirers, which in my opinion, is what truly inspired this retort, for I suspect you’re gleaning from my recent comments a declining lack of respect for not only what you think you’re achieving by touring the world advocating highly unscientific specific dates for NTE, but more importantly, your ever growing egotism and vanity in conflating the message with the messenger.”

    Even if global warming turned out to be a massive hoax, we can still bet on the assumption you, yes, you, “personally,” specifically, will not live out this century. This means, reincarnation notwithstanding, the clock is ticking. All… the… time… This means, in turn, all the energy and attention you’ve spent on this diatribe is time you are robbing YOURSELF of. Think about it. There are only about 500 weeks in any given 10 year period. So, in 100 years there are about 5,000 weeks. You might want to consider how you spend those precious moments. Just a thought…

  • Daniel, I feel like I should add something to my remark of 2016/03/16 at 6:44 pm. For the record, I very much believe that you are a huge asset to this blog and have been for a long time. Not that you or anyone else here needs to be told that by me. Thanks for everything you’ve posted here; in the past, present, and I hope (what’s left of) the future.

  • Henry(from Sydney) ~

    oh yeah. we lived in a major metro area for a long time that has a great jazz tradition. KUVO was the only radio station we listened to, almost all the time. one of the best full-time jazz stations in the US.

    Kenny Barron was there


    Enjoy your time and be kind. The “miracle” is being (especially now).

    Tom, well said.

  • Guy…thanks for bringing us all together…for some of us, there is no such thing as winning.

  • @mo

    Thanks again for the great Oscar Peterson, soooo good vibes! The bassman and the guitarist are incredible too!


    To me, one of the greatest minds of our time is Matthieu Ricard, scientist (molecular genetics) and spiritual (buddhist) teacher. He is one of many lining evidences, that science and spirituality can go together very, very well.

  • Correction:

    “… lining evidences…” should be “… living evidences…”

  • Matthieu Ricard is one of those rebels, who left Empire 45 years ago. He left all choices to make funny money and just FREED himself from funny money materialist Empire, hahaha.

    To realize doom, to realize Death is not the end, it’s just the beginning. There is no end for those who freed themselves and became One with the Universe. Some people seem to get angry and very upset, when they hear that, hahaha. Who cares? I don’t. Does the Universe care about the claims some people make about it?


  • ” Elroy, there is a species of microbe seven miles beneath the surface of Earth. And a new species of fungus was discovered in the sarcophagus of Chernobyl. I doubt civilization can kill all life. But it’s certainly one of the goals of civilization.”

    Haha, maybe some folks just WANT that all life becomes as dead and uninspired as their very own life is. Maybe some folks just can’t stand life, they can’t stand seing other people being happy and free or seing, that Life will go on.


    Maybe the Universe is FULL of Life, maybe the whole Universe is alive. Yes, the whole Universe is alive.

    Evolution taking relevant action without our help. I feel better now. Thanks.

    Yeah- see, it’s not all doomed. You can be 100% sure, that Evolution works without our “help”, it takes care of it’s own.

    I have met a lot of people who think, that life is meaningless, that compassion is meaningless, that freedom is meaningless, that Spirit is meaningless, that just everything is just meaningless, hahaha. You know what? I quit with all these people and I stay happy and free without these meaningless people :-) Dead simple.

  • A mother lost her child: