Open Post

April 2022 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no paid propagandizing, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic. (Well, with one exception: there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the current virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.)

With that said, have at it!

446 Comments

  1. To your knowledge, was Schopenhauer aware of Plotinus, or influenced by him? Reading the Enneads the other day, I came across his discussion of the Will of God(/the Supreme/the One/the First God, it’s not clear to me whether Plotinus draws a distinction as Iamblichus and Proclus do). For Plotinus, God(/etc)’s Being is not distinct from his Will, as that would require division, and God is absolute unity. (Interestingly enough, he also writes that “God is love,” and therein hangs a theme for meditation if ever there was one.) But it occurred to me that The One=Will and Nous=Mind as fundamental terms of reality is not that far from The World as Will and Representation.

    (Of course, for Plotinus it would be the One, Nous, and Psyche, with Matter hanging off on the end, and it would be interesting to think through what that does with Schopenhauer’s system, but I need to understand both Schopenhauer and Plotinus better before I get to that point.)

  2. Hello JMG and all. What are your thoughts on the polarity juice westerners’ve been swimming in for the last years? My sense is they’re at the very beginning of their waning though I can’t say why, just a feeling. Can these polarity juices have maybe taught us something we might not have otherwise learned?

  3. Hello John,
    Ever so appreciative of your sharing thoughts, the printed collection of ADR on my shelf, and that long, long view you bring – thank you!

    Continuing to use my imagination (and a wide range of influences, you’s very much included) to develop an overall strategy, and then the smaller tactics, of community, LESS, and more localized resiliency.

    Kind of a chicken-and-egg question: We are clearly seeing the world turning to war in Euroland (a nod to your fairly recent essay) as the debt, kleptocracy and financialization also get well past their “pull date”. Sometimes I ponder if this is a conscious/ semi-conscious decision by (wo-)men of power to “cover” the financial implosion, and other times I see it as “coincidence”. Sure seems historically common, as Hemingway is alleged to have said.

    China’s “shut down” the other big picture issue that has me stockpiling critical essentials to be “useful”.

    Doesn’t seem to change the result, I’ll continue to pursue community, insulation, gardens and chickens. Just curious for your take.

    Hope you and yours are enjoying Spring, and thank you once more.

  4. I wanted to provide a brief update on my sewing efforts. I considered buying a Lehman machine but the treadle itself was on back order. Since I’ve gotten a little paranoid about disruptions to the supply chain and so forth, I looked around for a complete setup near me. As the gods would have it, there was a guy selling a vintage but fully restored treadle near me (I found him on eBay), and I bought it for a couple hundred bucks.

    That, in addition to the other supplies that I had already acquired, has given me a very respectable little home shop. My brother, who buys the contents of abandoned storage units, let me have a bunch of old clothes to practice on (and maybe even turn into a marketable product). I can probably get even more from him, all for free. I’m busy honing my skills now, and also developing a good relationship with St. Homobonus.

  5. I’m wondering about the placement of the Three Cauldrons as described in the DMH and the endocrine glands: if the Cauldron of the Moon corresponds to the pineal gland, does the Cauldron of the Sun correspond to the thymus or the heart itself? And if the endocrine glands do indeed correspond to the cauldrons, which gland does the Cauldron of the Earth correspond to?

    Also, I’m quite looking forward to your new book about the Grail ceremony. I’m wondering how much that ceremony has to do with the Inner Grail working outlined in the DMH? I ask because I recently read The Story of the Grail by Chretien de Troyes and I’m starting to puzzle out in meditation a few possible connections between the procession that Perceval witnesses in the Grail castle, and the Inner Grail working.

  6. Since we’ve been running g a recipe series here lately, and in light of world events, I’d like to hear everyone’s favorite food preservation techniques and recipes. (I’m also hoping Milkyway will share her green bean method (salt brine pickle if I recall correctly).)

    My recent discovery is that chard leaves are easily dried and then at a later time can be crumbled into soups and stews and sauces, which helps me manage the cool-season glut, slightly modifies their taste profile so it’s a nice change, and is easily stored.

    I’d also love to know your favorite sourdough bread recipes, especially if they don’t require commercial yeast.

    In mimeograph news, I had some technical flubs so it’s been slow going. Recently I found out that the last mimeo-stencil manufacturer in the world is ceasing their production, and limiting all orders of remaining stock. I’ll buy my allowed amount to use for some degree of basic reverse engineering, but it’s the end of the end of an era.

    I haven’t been pleased at all with my digitally-derived thermal stencils but will keep experimenting and hope to have something of decent quality at some point, though the process requires a lot of computer time which undercuts the whole analog point. I was hoping to have had a small catalog of offerings at this point, but I’m not there yet, though the site (https://mimeographrevival.com), and the research I’ve done for it, has been helpful to others, so that’s at least gratifying.

  7. How would I go about trying to contact you about coming on a podcast to discuss “The King in Orange?
    I would love to hear your thoughts on the current state of esotericism. How we got where we are today with the popularity of things like astrology and “witchtok” becoming part of pop culture, and where you see esotericism going in the future with the rise of social media “occultist”
    I understand you’re a busy man and it might not be the kind of thing you do often. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. I apologize if this isn’t the place for this kind of question.
    Thank you for all the work you’ve done in western esotericism. It’s truly helped me tremendously on my path

    Sincerely Stefan Switzer

  8. Hey JMG,

    I was hoping to start learning about Neoplatonism after hearing you refer to it over the years – do you happen to have any recommendations for what to begin with reading-wise?

    Thanks for hosting this space,
    Reggie

  9. You’ve spoken about Spengler’s idea of Great Cultures/Civilisations often. Presumably a civilisation eventually dies and a new Great Culture emerges on the territory — at any rate, it’s hard to see how a culture based on infinite expansion can continue existing for millennia in a finite world. With that in mind, what do you see the far future of Europe being? What culture do you think may emerge after Faustian Civilisation falls?

  10. The covid years have been a bit of a blur at points, even with daily journaling. I recall you banning discussion of the virus for much of 2020. I’m curious if we could turn back time, would you change that policy or have made more posts on it then in an attempt to lessen the mandates? When tshtf in summer of 2021 you opened the dream width discussion and I feel this has made an impact on unfolding events. Fwiw I don’t think anything was wrong, I’ve just been reflecting on the impact of bloggers at the fringes like yourself. And also fwiw I’m loving the Levi book study and I wish the comments could be limited to Levi and no news articles be posted. None of that news is an emergency and its enjoyable to interact with the text, you, and the commentariat on the chapter of the month.

  11. My apologies JMG for ranting about how I’d do Putin in last week. Didn’t make it past the decency test.

  12. JMG and Princess Cutekitten

    I was intrigued by David Graeber’s 2013 essay and subsequent novel, “Bullsh.. Jobs: A Theory”. One concept he discussed was that the west doesn’t have so much a capitalist economy as a Managerial Feudalism.
    There is relatively little real work to do but there is enormous wealth to be distributed. This leads to jobs being created simply to rearrange deck chairs and make managers look good.
    This works well as long as the source of funds is consistent.
    I’m reminded of “The Three Musketeers”. They are paid by the king but spend most of their time in leisure or fighting with people paid by the cardinal. It could be called social economic politics as usual.

  13. John, et al.–

    My manager and I were discussing the cries of “Blackmail!” coming from eastern Europe as Russia makes good on its demand for payment in rubles for its natural gas. I looked at him and said, “How dare you visit upon me the consequences of my own actions!”. To which he laughed.

  14. JMG, what are your thoughts on this article? I know you don’t care much for Grist (and for good reason), but the story it’s reporting on is important to hear about.

    https://grist.org/energy/lake-powell-lake-mead-colorado-river-water/

    Reading this article made me think of the old saying from the Soviet Union in its last years: “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.” The water crises are going to be bad enough without this kind of accounting gimmickry making it impossible to know what’s actually going on.

  15. I’ve been working on all kinds of things the past month: my art blog, my art, learning how to use various things to promote on social media, including making pictures move around on a colored screen. I invite the commentariat to check out my progress (which still does not include typing well):
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2xgUuWs11SJAKizdn51wQ
    Also, for anyone needing a baby goat photo-fix, I offer up my new girl and her new kid:
    http://kmgunnart.com/2022/04/25/goat-photos-by-request/
    (formerly dfr1973)
    Katrina

  16. JMG,

    I have found your work extremely helpful. Thank you.

    To whom it may concern:

    Over the last several years I have immersed myself in the works of Emmanuel Swedenborg, finding him to be an excellent teacher and friend. He has helped me open doors I’ve been trying to open for 30 years. I don’t consider myself Christian but I have come to accept many of his ideas as self evident after doing as he says, thinking about them, sitting with them and applying them in my spiritual practice and every day life. I feel so lucky to have found him. At 17 I read Blake and assumed Swedenborg was a footnote of history. Little did I know he is alive and well!

    Any other students of Swedenborg here?

    If not, I highly recommend checking him out. Swedenborg Foundation has free ebooks to download.

    Thank you again, JMG, for your work and for this forum

  17. I’ve been thinking recently about the classical liberal arts education.

    More than 30 years ago, I went to a selective liberal arts college, and majored in a humanity. I felt like the experience was invaluable, and believe (in what I think of as “old school liberal” fashion) that this sort of educational opportunity should be available to anyone with the capacity to do the work and willingness to put in the effort. I’m not sure that I could have self-taught that education; the professors, and the interactions and discussion with fellow students, were really a very important part of it.

    In recent years, however, my selective liberal arts college has become a woke clown show that appears more interested in delivering an indoctrination into a bizarre world view than an actual liberal arts education, and the sentiment in many quarters (including on both JMG blogs) seems to be that the academy is beyond redemption.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with the dismal view of the future of the academic establishment, but the idea that every young person should only learn a trade (with the implication “and forget about a liberal arts education”) saddens me. I learned so much in that liberal arts college, back when it delivered a real education.

    I guess I’m wondering, does anyone see any future for the kind of old-fashioned liberal arts educations (particularly in the humanities) that used to be offered by the university system? Any way for the minority of young people who might want to access that sort of education – minus woke nonsense, over-paid deans-of-everything, excessive focus on athletics, etc – to do so, other than trying to do it all alone in their spare time? Any future for something replacing the liberal arts academies?

  18. Can I donate to you the old-fashioned way–send check via USPS? I refuse to use internet/digital money transactions eg Paypal. I have little interest in your occult/magic/astrological writings, but I appreciate your writing on ecology and possible futures, and how your personal lifestyle reflects your talk much more than is the case with some other authors. I’ve purchased many of your collections of Archdruid Reports and dystopian novels, but would like to make further periodic monetary contributions if possible.

  19. I think we are quickly approaching the point described by Dmitry Orlov in his late 90’s essay comparing the US to the Soviet Union. But he got one thing wrong in that he assumed the US would collapse in the same form it was in circa 1999. What he did not foresee is how we would take on many of the same characteristics as the pre-collapse Soviet Union. Our mainstream press is just as blatant a propaganda tool as the old Pravda. Our government t apparatchiks are just as corrupt and self serving as late stage USSR. And the stories we tell ourselves about are capabilities are just as delusional. But we could always point to our robust set of consumer choices available to anyone with adequate money. But now that difference has faded away. I have been working on some DIY home remodeling to fit my wife’s elderly mother in to our house. During this process I have two interactions with salesmen where they show me the glossy brochure filled with choices ( hvac equip and a built in cabinet) and telling me about the difference’s only to end up circling a single item and telling me “ that is the only one you can get”. This seems to be getting worse, and not better. Once the “ Puppet-on-a-Stick” starts showing up for pressers reeking of Vodka like Yeltsin the end is probably near.

  20. It might not be appropriate for this type of blog…
    But here goes: I work in logistics, the transport of plumbing material east of Canada,Qebec Ontario, Maritimes…
    Everything is AOK except cost:
    Diesel fuel+ 28% from january to march
    Anti freeze diesel addictive:not avialiable, comes from Russia…
    prevent fuel becoming like vaseline at -28
    replacement Tyres: +23%
    mechanical part varia only +10% but lots of shortage
    insurance +7%
    I could go on, but these cost do not add up, they multiply each step of the way

    Truckers will only carry so much debt, And in fact are leaving the industry, even if it pay more
    They dont want the political hassle after the Trudeau Repression, bank account seizure and all that.
    Now, a government that ran rough shod over the charter of right and freedom… Over minor defiance

    I fear the consequence of this in 2-3 month
    We are not that far from the food riot of the arab spring here in North America
    Its as if the Powers that Be are determined to shoot themselve in the foot with a bazooka

    I never expected to be a character in one of your novels, the long descent is getting pretty steep

    We are living in historic times,in fact we are ALWAYS living in historic time, but this time its noticable.

    I was in berlin as a tourist when the wall came down, unaware. Only when i came back home i could piece the events together
    Same thing now.
    There are times when decades goes by and nothing happen, now there are days goes by and decades happen.
    Its going to be a rough ride
    Denis

  21. John and commentariat–

    I recall, John, that you have hypothesized that the next pseudo-morphosis to hit (North?) America will be Indian in nature. I wonder if that will bring with it a much more explicit class/caste system than the unspoken one we have today.

    In the US, of course, we pretend we don’t have class structure (everyone’s “middle class,” after all), though we all know that such a structure exists. It is, however, somewhat fluid and one can climb (or fall), based on one’s fortunes, luck, and ability. A more rigid structure, on the other hand, may lock one in more tightly, not allowing the kind of movement we are used to today.

    I offer an anecdote from my work that may (or may not) be pertinent. Our prior General Manager (retired two years now) was of Indian origin. I had a conversation recently with one of our senior managers (roughly equivalent to the VP level in a private company, but with “dirt under the fingernails”) who spoke of a conversation he’d had with the former GM. They were talking in the GM’s office, which overlooks the parking lot, and the GM pointed to one worker’s truck, which had a trailer with a boat on it, as the worker was heading “up north” for a holiday after his shift was done: “That man has too many discretionary dollars.”

    While that GM had kept the utility in excellent financial shape, he was terrible at labor relations and he was very reluctant to pay people what they were worth. Now, we have good benefits, which helped offset this, but it was no secret that he went out of his way to “keep people in their place” wage-wise. (Just as one example, when wage studies were done, he ensured that the pool of utilities used for comparison were generally smaller than us, which put downward pressure on the results.) Needless to say, morale was less than optimal–something the new GM has spent a lot of time and energy fixing.

    Now, to some degree, this all may simply be due to his particular personality, but I wonder if some among the commentariat knowledgeable of Indian culture (e.g. Varun, viduraawakened) may provide some insight to what degree there was a broader cultural influence in the former GM’s attitude towards workers.

  22. I received my 3rd Degree last week, and wanted to thank you for bringing Freemasonry to my attention via your work on this blog and dreamwidth. With Covid delays, it has felt like a long time coming! I was wondering if there were any particular books on Freemasonry you would recommend a newly made Master Mason to read (other than Manly P Hall, I am already reading through his books). Thanks!

  23. Headline on BBC;

    EU accuses Russia of blackmail over gas.

    Poland and Bulgaria didn’t pay their gas bills, Russia turned off the valve. And they are shocked, shocked, I say.

    What did they expect? If I sell you something and you claim you paid for it, and the money is in a cairn just below the top of Annapurna I’m not going to accept your payment either. Same thing if you try to pay me in Yap Stone Disks.

    Locally April weather and March weather seem to have been swapped. I did get the potatoes planted though. They can take a frost. Oddly they were sprouting less than usual for mid April. I’ve always wondered how they know when it’s time to sprout. They are stored in the crisper all winter, constant temperature and no light, but yet they know. I should have studied more biology.

  24. Some thoughts about traditional marriage: That is marriage as defined by self described conservatives as one man and one woman, and, traditionalist Catholics will add, “open to life”.

    That definition leaves out a lot. Such as is this not supposed to be a lifetime commitment? And, is not fidelity supposed to be required of BOTH partners? And, while both can enjoy close friendships with members of the opposite gender to whom they are not married, are not the sort of ego soothing activities usually called ‘flirting’ to be avoided and discouraged? Avoid the occasion of sin, you know.

    Which means, no on the job (or anywhere else) mock intimacy, no flirting, no try to get a reaction out of someone, no “kidding the girls”, who do have their own responsibilities. Which do not include paying attention to random men over and above the requirements of everyday courtesy.

    Furthermore, not everyone is temperamentally suited for marriage and child raising, never mind the thorny questions of sexual orientation. Being in a traditional marriage is not the only way adults can make themselves useful. Consecrated life is a feature of many world religions, such as Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and others. I have met nuns and they are, to a woman, very formidable people–the theme of “repressed spinsters” is an insolent caricature. I read in an article about the English Reformation that closing of convents meant depriving the English poor of access to health care, a lack which would not be made up for some 200 years.

    As a widow with grandbabies, my only personal interest in this topic is the welfare and happiness of my descendants. I would ask believers in traditional marriage “What restrictions are you, personally, willing to accept on your own behavior?” Read almost any 19thC novel and notice the restrictions placed on conversations between men and women–last names with appropriate prefixes, no off color remarks, intimate matters not suitable topics for conversation, etc. There was even a code for appropriate behavior from high station to low–observed in the breach, perhaps, but it was there.

    As for feminism, I think that what reasonable, sensible women want is what we most of us want for own daughters and granddaughters, full civil rights, including access to professions and employment, and personal choice of one’s partner–in other words, no arranged marriages.

  25. I thought I’d share a couple of articles on somewhat encouraging topics, given how grim much of what’s going on has been of late:

    1) First, an article on a recent study by a University of Alberta researcher on the carbon sequestration of perennial (rather than annual) rye crops, which I found via @wrathofgnon on Twitter: https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2022/04/perennial-rye-crop-shows-potential-for-greener-agriculture.html

    As you might expect, perennials lay down deeper roots and maintain some of their above-ground structure through the winter, unlike annuals, and so use more atmospheric carbon to build themselves. This article led me to do a quick search on other perennial cereal crops

    2) So, secondly, there’s this roundup of the current(ish – 2013) state of research into perennial cereal crops: http://www.perennialsolutions.org/perennial-cereal-grains-a-promise-requiring-patience-and-prioritization

    The tl;dr is that there are some promising developments, but nothing that is commercially viable yet (I haven’t been able to find a more recent similar study to see if anything has progressed). Besides carbon-fixing, perennials have all kinds of advantages: better erosion prevention, better water retention, they tend to promote healthier soil ecosystems, they get along better concurrently with nitrogen fixers, and so on.

    Ever since I read Joel Salatin’s books about 10 years ago, I’ve been sold on the value of devoting more land to perennial cultivation (in his case, grass to feet cattle and host chickens and pigs), but I hadn’t ever considered that cereal crops might be able to be bred to be perennial. The article covers a range of climates and possible uses besides just grain to eat, such as salt-tolerant delta crops that might help improve coastal resistance to storm surges and erosion (Nipa), and desertification-resistant crops for arid climates (Markouba grass).

    And all of that is to say nothing of the potential economic benefits to farmers (you don’t have to hold back seeds and replant every year!)

    If anyone has recent updates on the development of viable perennial cereal crops, I’d be very interested to hear about it, but mostly I thought folks here might appreciate these articles.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  26. Modern bus rapid transit systems have things like separate lanes, stations, platform level boarding. Did any cities in the past have a similar thing with fast horse-drawn carriages? Would that work?

  27. So saltpeter can be harvested from efflorescence that comes down a mortared stone wall. It can also be harvested from bat guano and latrines. But if a culture didn’t have mortar, did they also not have saltpeter on the walls? And if they didn’t have saltpeter on the walls, did they not toss saltpeter into the fire and see it go “WHOOSH!!” and then develop alchemy? Or did they just amuse themselves setting latrines on fire and develop alchemy anyway? With all of the ancient cultures that just had fitted stone, has anyone else commented on this? I feel as though I’m asking a stupid question, but somebody else should have asked it too. It’s not like I’m the only idiot out there.

  28. Not able, under pressure of Ukraine events, to read much in this “Open Posting” discussion, sorry. HOWEVER, I would like to draw attention to my various Ukraine-related posts over at http://toomaskarmo.blogspot.com/, particularly those involving His Eminence Hilarion the Titular Metropolitan of Volokolamsk. If anyone has suggestions for establishing contact with the Titular Metropolitan, do please communicate with me privately at toomas[dot]karmo[at]gmail[dot]com. I have so far tried several rather obvious things, such as registered papermail and a small initiative with the informal “Old Boys’ Network” in the UK university of which both His Eminence and I are alumni, but so far without success. – (signed) Toomas Karmo, in south-central Estonia

  29. The Second Coming of Q-Anon

    Well, well! Here is another military counter-intelligence operation:

    The 2030 Singularity: Two Timelines, One Outcome
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/04/no_author/the-2030-singularity-two-timelines-one-outcome/

    I think JMG said, not long ago, that “2030 is the new 2012.”

    They claim to be able to see the future via Mormon-style “peep stones”:

    “The looking glass timeline data was first discovered and researched in the 1980s and 1990s. The artifact itself is Sumerian in nature, but not believed to be originally from that civilization. It activates, or is functional, when placed in certain geographic points, where known multidimensional portals exist.”

    Here is where they try to “reel you in”:

    “It is critically important to understand that without intervention, the negative timeline is inevitable. We explained some of this timeline in our first video. This timeline includes multiple devastating events, including nuclear war, famine, economic calamities, the near complete destruction of the United States, new vaccination campaigns, and ultimately an irreversible, deadly, destructive result of the cosmic event in the year 2030.

    The first event required to be prevented is the false flag on April 18, 2022, as discussed in our previous video. If this event is not stopped, then nothing can be done to prevent the negative timeline outcome. The false flag event on this date leads to a cascade of events which quickly lead to nuclear war. The looking glass artifact showed with certainty that once this false flag occurs, the timeline is set and irreversible.”

    Well, nothing happened. “Go back to sleep, everyone!”

    Here is the “tell”:
    “We collectively hold years of training in military and intelligence operations, and we are confident that no matter how we are attacked, we will prevail.”

    Actually, I should have referred to this as “the third coming of NESARA.” Does anyone remember that scam (ca. early 2000’s)? The claim then, was that the Japaneze Yakuza gangs (!!) were going to arrest oligarchs and send them to the Hague! True story! How many people fell for that one?

    All these tales are there to ensure that no one thinks that they actually have to do anything meaningful, but that someone else, somewhere else, will take care of the problem for them.

    P.S.: I just learned that Q-Anon and all their knock-offs are based upon an early Soviet model, called “Operation Trust”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Trust

  30. @JMG

    I guess this is probably a stupid question to ask, but – what is the truth about the 9/11 attack? Is the official story correct, or was it an inside job by the US military industrial complex/the Israeli government, as many conspiracy theorists say? Or was it a case where it was done by the Al-Qaeda, but the US government knew about it all along, and deliberately allowed it to happen, so that they could use it as a pretext for waging another war? I ask because this reminds me of the Covid situation in some ways – the official story is a lie, and the only major alternative that many people want to discuss are some or the other villainous group behind it; but you have presented a third option by way of the reason behind the Covid open posts.

  31. Hi,

    I hope it’s okay to ask here for your take on the Chinese lockdowns. The question belongs here (I hope) because it’s not about covid, it’s about the economics of depletion. Gail Tverberg speculates that these lockdowns are a means for keeping fuel prices from spiraling out of control in today’s tight supply situation. This is along the lines of Fabio Vighi’s (https://outsidertheory.fireside.fm/monetary-long-covid) notion of the original covid lockdowns as a controlled demolition of the economy, although he lacks the perspective of resource depletion so he links it to internal dynamics of capitalism.

    I’m trying to ask if lockdowns might be just a (conscious or unconscious) story accompanying the industrial slowdown that has to happen anyway due to resource constraints. Here in Israel mask mandates were officially lifted a few days ago, and I find it strange that the Chinese, of all regimes, would keep on sticking to zero covid policy.

  32. Hello JMG and kommentariat:

    This week I have a story about my nephew “past life”.
    When my nephew was 4 years old, he was lying on a carpet playing with his toys, when he suddenly said me:
    “When I was big like you, I was sleeping in the floor too.”

    I was alone with hm in the same room, so there were no more witness of this phrase.

    Obviously we had never told nothing about the idea of reincarnation…You can think he had too much imagination or…was he talking really about a previous life? (maybe in Japan?).

  33. I just wanted to say I appreciate the little community we have here. I’ve grown accustomed to it over the years. I’ve never attended a church service, but I imagine that’s what it’s like.

  34. I bought and read your book “The Druid Path” and decided I needed to read more about this. I got a copy of Penny Billington’s The Path of Druidry. I’m working through it now. This weekend is my birthday, and also the Beltane day, and also a full moon. It’ll be fun.

    I have been pondering the new style of communicating that has emerged in the last few months. People have strong opinions, especially now about Ukraine, and they need to let everyone know. And god forbid anyone should disagree. Instead of being about to discuss and disagree, respectfully, with each other, people are attacking others who don’t agree with them. I’m not explaining this well. Anyway, it’s happening more often, and I find myself getting really angry. I guess I’ve decided to just walk away. I also feel that the underlying problem is that maybe we have forgotten how to listen. What do you think causes this?

  35. I have been working for the last few years on the Mentats wanted, will train idea. It really seized me. My wife has been referring to it as the cliff notes version of being smart.

    So Project Mentat,
    Ars Mentat version 1.0
    Art of Memory, Giordano Bruno also recommend Kevin Horsley as a primer.
    Art of combinations , Raymon Llull https://lullianarts.narpan.net/cont.htm
    Speed Reading, Abbey Markes Beale
    Mental Math, Arthur Benjamin
    Soroban, I’ve been using Anzan Expert and SAI speed math academy book
    Logarithmic scales including slide rules and nomographs
    Mental models Scott E page and Farnham Street, specifically using mental models of the big ideas of different disciplines. The easy way to polymath. I.e. anything ending in ology is the logic of, biology logic of life, psychology logic of mind, etc.
    Mental Models arranged into checklists on a decision tree
    and an attempt to turn mental models into simple questions and patterns, I.e. bell curve, sine wave model of history (with a little you are here sticker on the decline side,) s-curved or logarithmic growth patterns and perhaps a bit of 80-20 thinking.

    I’ve had a special interest in primers for various disciplines. I especially liked the break down of philosophy in Dark Age America.

    I’ve also been working on visual metaphors as much as possible i.e. density towers, Galton boards, Bernoulli’s urn, a balance scale to explain inflation and deflation etc.

    I quite like Redcape: reason, explain, design, communicate, act, predict, explore.
    And SWIIM from configuration of the 5 Senses, will, imagination, intellect, memory

    I’m definitely interested in others input and eventually might like to turn it into a vocation, but we’ll see.

    May others find this useful

  36. Hello JMG,
    I hope this question does not duplicate too closely any others you have answered recently as I presume it is quite a common concern. Here in the UK I have three three infant step-grandchildren, aged 1-3 years. Their parents are all in professional/technical jobs. Two are in software development – one developing games! – one a school physics teacher and one in math-based space management for a retailer. What advice can I give the parents about the best options for education and life pathway for these children? I’ve never discussed the issues raised here with them in any detail, just suggesting occasionally that things may not be too rosy in the medium-term. The main response inasmuch as there has been any, tends towards regarding the present problems as just a stutter along the path of inevitable Progress. Of course, it may be that in the next few years events will take such a turn that the options – or rather lack of them – become more apparent to them, but any advice would be much appreciated.

  37. @David BTL

    Disclaimer: My answer is based largely on my own personal experience, so take it with a pinch of salt.

    I live in and grew up in one of India’s largest metros, and moreover, I come from a middle-class, liberal, somewhat anglicized family. Hence, in my family (both immediate as well as extended), I never saw any caste-based discrimination.

    However, I’m aware that caste-based discrimination is still practiced in India, especially in villages and small towns, although the extent is somewhat exaggerated by Indian and international media. While I have not seen untouchability in my own life, I will not deny that there are people in India who practice it, although their number is shrinking (thankfully).

    What I have observed is that in metros, economic class tends to supersede caste quite often. Contrary to what many Westerners think, money is GOD in the metros of modern India, especially among the nouveau riche as well as the English-speaking class. You will easily find many cases of Brahmins driving taxis and auto-rickshaws and living in poverty, and more often than not, their customers are non-Brahmins. Similarly, there are many cases of people belonging to different castes, including Brahmin and Kshatriya castes, working as cooks, gardeners, car drivers, etc. for people belonging to the Vaishya caste (eg: Gujarati Hindus with the surname ‘Patel’, ‘Mehta’ or ‘Shah’).

    It is also true that in many parts of India, especially in the North (eg: Delhi), the cultured middle class is being superseded by the nouveau riche, which cares only about money, and looks at the size of a person’s bank account/wallet, in order to decide how to behave with him/her. What caste the other person belongs to is irrelevant. I am not saying that class should be replaced with caste, all I’m saying is that discrimination just took on a different form.

    In your case, the GM need not have been necessarily indulging in something originating in caste-based discrimination, it could simply be another case of a boss being stingy and unreasonable, not to mention, downright arrogant.

  38. El #20,

    A new liberal arts university is being founded that describes itself as “fiercely independent,” the University of Austin (not to be confused with UT Austin): https://www.uaustin.org/.

    I agree with you about the importance of in-person education; I went to a very traditional liberal arts college and I think the conversations with faculty and other students were as important as the actual curriculum. There are a few other colleges/universities that offer an old-fashioned liberal arts education and they seem to have no shortage of applicants, so I think there is a future for such schools. (Several, though not all, are religiously affiliated.) Some of them are listed here: https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/features/best-great-book-programs/

  39. I am pleased to report that the old and sickly apple tree that bloomed last September survived our mild winter and is blooming and leafing out. It still looks awful, but no worse than before.

    Jon from Virginia

  40. I’m about to release my first novel, a fantasy fiction piece, and I’m trying to get those all-important first reviews on Amazon. Would it be ok for me to post a link to my blog post where I called for ARC readers in hopes there are some like-minded fantasy fans here?

    It offers a free ebook in exchange for an honest review, so there is no sales (releases Aug 1), but I wanted to run it by you first in case that violates the self-promotion policy.

  41. Wer here
    I hope that there will be a an awakening of some sorts but I was mistaken. Recently Morawiecki said in one article that we do not have to be afraid of shortages of gas (just one of the things we are importing from Russia, never mind the metals!) because wait for it..
    We have storage capacity of about 3,8 billion cubic meters of gas which is 80% full, he mentioned that at the same time Poland uses over 20 billion per year (and according to researches that will increase to over 23 billion in 2025 – something says me it is unlikely) and that we will diversify our gas (did not say from where…) That was a word salad not a speech, and when asked about shortages (guess who we blamed money printin of the last Covid years on,,,)
    Something says me that people are not buying it, polish currency is nosediving now, inflation is gonna get worse. Folks here are planting potatoes in their gardens there is local Potato valley near kruszewo, at least we will have something to eat. I wonder how fruits in local area we have a lot of them will fare.
    On top of that thoose idiots in Ukraine had hatched a scheme of “Russia has a lot of ammo let’s steal it” there is a large ammo depo near the NadNiedrzańsk region don’t know how to write Russian googletranslate, and they had proclaimed their intensions on social media.
    This has to be a PR stunt who in his right mind things the Russians are not wathcing the media, or that the ammo depo doesn’t have an army guarding it (it has it is a literal bunker)
    I am beggining to think that this is some of act of madness or desperation, They want the ukrainians to fight to the last man. Even the Russophobic goverment of Poland and Britian is sying now that the Russians are likely to win (Polish media claimed a mounth ago a 20 thousand dead Russians now they are claiming 10 thousand – I know there was Easter Resurection but come on, how many had risen from the graves on Sunday.
    It is crazy here, there heroes of “Azov” batalion just showed that they have civilians in their bunker
    A telegram photos were posted- did they just admit they want to kill them and blame Russians on it ? Or use them as human shields? They claimed a week ago there were no civilians in Azowstal /:
    NPC’s in the social media are salivating (the virtue thing is getting creepy)
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  42. With our gracious host’s permission, I’d like to again invite anyone with a good query for divination to drop me a line at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com, and I’ll do my best to answer it using the toolkit of traditional astrology. I enjoy performing my art for strangers on the internet, and there are few better ways of getting better at astrology than actual practice, so you would be doing me something of a favor as well.

  43. @EL, #20

    Step one is finding such group of like-minded young people “who might want to access that sort of education” (aka old-fashioned liberal arts ed). As my shifu said once: It is one thing for one to like the idea of practicing kung fu; it is another thing to actually like kung fu”. Listening to their wants and needs is paramount to the success of the project.

    Step two is to provide something “worthwhile” for that young people to achieve on the side while they are studying old fashioned liberal arts. I do not say the humanities are worthless, but these prospective students have opportunity costs. Unlike universities, this Academy of Ideas, if you will, lacks a socioeconomic infrastructure that funnels young adults to their doors (and furthermore, booes and shames any young adult that happens to escape the funnel).

    For these reasons. I think a reasonable chance of success may be achieved by founding a trade school and only then adding the classical education as (a mandatory) part of the curriculum. Only 101 classes, thank you very much, with promotion to more robust subjects in a thoroughly voluntary way attached to “continuous education”.

  44. Siliconguy #27
    Potatoes sprout when the soil temp is 55 degrees Farenheit-that’s when the dandelions flower also. You can plant them early, albeit with some risk of rotting, but I’ve never had any problems with that here in western PA. -Berserker

  45. I found an interesting article today:

    Why Being Anti-Science Is Now Part Of Many Rural Americans’ Identity
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-being-anti-science-is-now-part-of-many-rural-americans-identity/

    The urban and rural divide seems to grow wider into a chasm. I wonder why Americans don’t trust experts anymore?

    “But indeed, that was quite a clever remark which Cato made many years ago: ‘I wonder,’ said he, ‘that a soothsayer doesn’t laugh when he sees another soothsayer.’

  46. @Drakonious, #40

    May I recommend “Mentant Privacy” to the mix? Check the Hill Cipher and the Fairplay Cipher (both in use during the early 20th century) for examples of stuff that can be done efficiently without computers. Today they are toy ciphers, meant to keep your little sibling away from your diary, if you will… but at some point they are going to be required again. Combine that with a bit of Steganography and away you go!

  47. Hi JMG and everybody,

    I’m currently trying to get voted into the Board of our local Waldorf school. We’ve been there with our kids for a few years now after moving from the big city to a smaller one to prepare for the Long Descent.

    Our school is actually not a good example for a Waldorf school, its too large and common-denominator. I’d be surprised if even 5% of the parents would be able to explain the difference between the etheric and the astral plane. They’d think I’m talking about aircraft. And to be perfectly honest, the subculture around Anthroposophy I experience here seems to have fossilized a bit.

    But when I heard that Steiner was a Theosophist before founding Anthrosophy, it occured to me that the school might be a great point to introduce Ecosophy. In the last century since Steiner, we humans revolved around ourselves. Over the next centuries, we’ll have to appreciate the living earth and all of her creatures.

    I’d love to give some talks at the school about the topics our host talks about here. Evolution, overshoot and the integration of humans into a wider world, embodied or not.

    I’d love to hear what you all think about this. Can you think of a good way to introduce Ecosophy to Anthroposophists (or at least Waldorf students and parents)? Do you see an overlap between those spheres and where would it be?

  48. @ JMG – I have to ask; the Peter Jackson versions of Lord of the Rings, what did you not like about them? Jackson’s directorial style? The editorial choices involving which parts of the novels got cut?

    Inquiring minds want to know… 😉

  49. Hello JMG,

    Over the past few months, I’ve asked you about population losses and war in the coming long descent. In this Open Post I’d like to get your opinion (and anybody else who cares to chime in) about something that I believe is more imminent, that being the cutting down to rational size of the global electronic interlinked markets and the stock market in particular, as opposed to the hyper-growth and “irrational exuberance” of the past few decades.

    It seems that a disproportionate percentage of the growth in financial services happened near the end of the Industrial Age expansion with most of it coming after the US formally reneged on its promises to exchange dollars for gold in 1971, making it necessary for the multi-nationals to hedge their currency risk. This sort of let the genie out of the bottle by enabling the growth in financial services and derivatives. It also seems that an extraordinary amount of effort and resources has been wastefully and carelessly expended over the past 15 years or so to hold this tenuous and unaffordable financial system together. At the same time, a large and growing percentage of stock issuing corporations are zombie corporations (defined as those whose cash flow can’t meet their interest obligations) as interest rates are starting to rise more rapidly than has ever been the case, though still at relatively low percentages (interest rates from 2 years and higher duration are now close to 3 percent).

    Whereas, as has been discussed, many aspects of the long descent are likely to be gradual, occurring over centuries, it seems to me that it wouldn’t take much reduction in complexity for the financial services industry and the stock market to revert to pre-1971 levels in terms of percentage of the economy and valuation, and likely undershooting some of those measures, at least temporarily. It’s my opinion this could happen rather quickly, like maybe the next time Central Banks can no longer come to the rescue one more time, the previous time being the last time (most likely the rescue that occurred coincident with covid). Along with that, since the financial services sector accounts for a huge percentage of corporate profits and has been the impetus for the stock market bubble, it seems to me that the stock market could crash within a short time frame (perhaps the bulk of it occurring in as little as a few days with a multi-year low coming in as little as a couple years after the ultimate high) to perhaps single digit percentages of its current value.

    It’s fair to say that this post could have been written anytime in the past 8 years or so and seemed equally compelling, so what is different now? I believe it’s the part about interest rates suddenly shooting up that could mean the jig is almost up.

    What are your thoughts on how the financial services industry and stock market will fare during the long descent?

    CRC

  50. A quick note on treadle sewing machines. Old treadles restore pretty easily and are a simple mechanism. You can take a newer sewing machine “head” and settle it into the table of the original treadle. That way you can get a better machine with zig-zag, bobbin winder, etc. Get a round leather belt from Lehmans, or you can fashion one. Fashion a belt tension pulley.

    Good heads can often be found at Goodwill, etc. because few people understand the value of sewing. I have made a small hobby of buying machines, tuning them up, and giving them away. Just for fun I bought a souped-up electric motor and put it on an old Mercury machine. I now have a hot rod Mercury. Cost a fat $40 to do that, although it may take off a finger before the story if over.

  51. Temporaryreality #6:

    I was hopping up and down in my chair, inwardly shouting “Fermentation! Fermentation!” even before I had reached the end of your first sentence… 😀

    The beans are really, really easy:

    Clean your green beans as necessary (wash in clear water, string, …). Cooking isn’t necessary and will only kill the microbes etc what we need to start the fermentation.

    Take one or more large enough jars (e.g. mason jars). Use glassware, or crockware which was produced for food. Do not use steel, not even stainless steel – fermented stuff contains acid. Just sayin’… 😉

    Fill in the beans (whole, or cut in segments, the length is your choice), and also herbs etc to taste – I like some garlic gloves cut in halves together with savory (Satureja), but you can use whatever taste you like with your beans. It’s best to distribute that stuff throughout the glass, but not have it at the very top, as especially the herbs tend to float and can then get mouldy. For this reason, it’s also better to leave the herbs in larger pieces, no cutting required.

    But you could also use pepper corns, juniper berries, whole coriander, … Whatever floats your boat.

    Pack the beans plus your chosen herbs, garlic, etc into the jar(s) as tightly as possible, but leave some headspace at the top (they need to be completely submerged at the end).

    Roughly guess how much water will be needed to fill the jars. Weigh that water (in the metric system, this is easy: 1ml of water = 1 gram). Add salt, 5% of the weight of the water.

    Example: 500 ml of water (half a litre) = 500 grams. 5% of this = 25 grams of salt.

    You can use any salt you like, but avoid iodine and other additives if possible. Also your water should be unchlorinated. If you only have chlorinated water, either cook it and let it cool again, or let it stand open in a pot for a day or so, stirring occasionally, so that the chlorine will disappear from the water.

    The water should have roughly room temperature (too cold won’t hurt, but too hot might kill the beneficial critters on the veggies which are supposed to start the fermentation).

    Add the salted water (brine) to the jars until the beans are covered.

    At this point, three things are important:

    1. The veggies etc need to stay submerged. If possible, weigh them down (e.g. with a small saucer, a flat stone which you have cooked for a few minutes, or if you don’t mind using plastics, you can fill a small food-grade plastic bag with water and place it on the top of the water inside the jar).

    2. Air from the outside should not get to your veggies, otherwise they might rot. If you’re using mason jars (the European type, called “Weck Gläser” in Germany), you can simply put the rubber seal in place and close the lids with the clips. Fermentation jars will also do the trick, just follow the instructions. But you can use any sort of glass jar with a lid (see 3., though).

    3. During fermentation, gases are produced, and they need to go somewhere, If your lids are perfectly airtight, your jars might explode (this is neither a joke, nor is it fun if it happens!).

    So: The German style Weck Gläser are fine, the overpressure can escape through the rubber seal. Any dedicated fermentation vessels will also be fine. If you use simply jars with screw-on lids, do NOT (NEVER EVER!!!) screw the lids fully closed. Instead, just put them on very lightly.

    Leave your ferment in a reasonably warm place for a few days to get the fermentation started (e.g. in the kitchen). You’ll see activity: bubbles etc. If nothing starts within two or three days, the place is likely to cold – move your jars to a warmer place.

    After a few days, you can place the jars somewhere cooler (a basement, a cool pantry, etc). Refrigeration isn’t necessary (if you want to refrigerate, then wait for a while longer until the fermentation process is mainly done). The ferment should not be in a place with freezing temperatures.

    If this is your first ferment, I recommend opening one jar every day or every other day for the first few days and having a taste. That’s the best way to get a feel for the process, and also to decide how you like your ferments (and to learn when you can store the stuff in a cooler place). The jars will store longer if you don’t continuously open them, but one has to gain experience somehow, so… (plus, I’m curious when I try something new… 😉 )

    Troubleshooting: I have never had this type of ferment go really bad on me, but of course stuff happens…

    If there is a white film at the top of the jars, which doesn’t look like mould, that’s ok. It’s called “flower”. You can eat it, or scratch it off the top. Once it has started, it will likely come back, but that’s not an issue.

    I assume that you are able to recognise real mould, and that if your ferment should really rot, you will easily smell this and not be tempted to eat it.

    What did happen to me once was that I let a ferment of this type stand in the kitchen for too long, which was unusually warm at that time, and it started to get a taste that I didn’t like – but not rotten or spoiled. If that happens, you can either eat it anyway or throw it away and learn something for next time. But that was a clear case of “should’ve known better”. 😉

    Other than that, as long as the gases can escape, nothing much can happen.

    Finally, I’ll let you in on a secret: This is a basic recipe. You can use this style of fermentation (brine with 5% salt, measured in relation to the weight of the water) to ferment almost any vegetables which come in chunks: carrots, radishes, beets, sweet peppers, tomatoes, … Oh, and cucumbers. Try cucumbers!! Tomatoes will go a bit soft, but are great on pizza etc.

    Just add herbs/spices of your choice (garlic rarely hurts) to your veggies of choice, and you’re good to roll.

    Very starchy veggies (potatoes eg) aren’t good, they are prone to rotting. Leafy veggies are better prepared sauerkraut-style.

    This type of fermented veggies can be used as a condiment, to create sauces or dips (puréed, or e.g. cucumbers finely cut in zaziki), in salads, soups, scrambled eggs, on pizza (try tomatoes!), in casseroles, – do what JMG says and use your imagination… 😉

    The beans in particular make for a great and very quick salad: Just take them out of the glass, cut up if necessary, add some oil (they are salty and sour on their own) and whatever else you fancy for a dressing, and dig in.

    You can store your ferments for a long time. Just last week, we’ve had 18 month old fermented cucumbers (yep, we had a glut the year before last), and they were still great. Just know that the fermentation process will continue even in a cool place, albeit more slowly, so the veggies will get more mushy over time. But worst case, you can still puree them and turn them into a dip or sauce.

    Oh, and try the brine, too – if it’s not too salty for your taste, it makes for a great, very gut-healthy shot.

    And finally: If you want to go all in, get Sandor Ellix Katz’ “The Art of Fermentation”. 😉

    Enjoy!

    Milkyway

    PS: JMG, sorry – I know this has turned out very long.

  52. Update on very simple lentil recipe – many of you already knew before I did that you could steam rice with stock to have extra flavor (and probably nutrients). This also works with steaming the rice and lentil combination, though you will want to add more stock than you would add water as otherwise it dries out more. It adds a very nice flavor even with store bought stock. I am amused that in this version the most expensive ingredient is the stock, though it is still very inexpensive altogether.

  53. @Denis #23

    I’m seeing the same spiraling costs in my tiny business for lumber, metal, shipping, etc., but I just keep raising my prices to maintain my margin and so far I still have customers.

    Why are truckers going into debt instead of passing the added costs along? It seems like the stuff has to move regardless of the price. Are they locked into contracted rates? If so it would seem that as we enter a volatile/borderline hyperinflationary environment we will need to do away with such pricing structures.

  54. Temporary reality,

    I do the following: dehydrating (mostly fruit, although sometimes chilies and tomatoes, even corn kernals for use in masa (tomales..) that grow on the suburban polecat ranch), mead making (does that count as method of preservation?? Who cares/the results are for the Gods! …. and mortals as well ..’;], homemade sourdough: pizza dough, Naan, bread .. sometimes seeded w/ equal amounts of caraway and nigella (in East Indian culinary speak that’s black onion seed, fwi.. not to be confused w/real onion seed!). I actually incorporate both equal amounts of wheat sourdough starter and rye when I make my bread (I started both – the ground rye will have little gluten in it, but is a good way to get a whole wheat starter going due to the natural yeasts that live on the rye seed , then just add whole wheat from there if that’s your preference. Canning: A must! I can, every fall, much of what we grow – jams, jellies (the medlar pepper jelly into die for, it’s That good!) Pasta sauces, roasted tomatillo/chilli green salsa- umm!, pressure canned tuna (tip: Don’t Add Salt!), Oh… did I mention BEER..

    OK, I’ll stop here.. hope that helps/encourages

    Cheers

  55. Noted & ever-productive Archdruid and esteemed commentators, events over the last month for me firmly put the final broken shards of the environmental movement, at least in the USA, in the reeking dumpster of historical rejecta. Two things in particular drew my attention: the donning of white lab coats by several environmental-movement folks followed by their tearfully chaining themselves to entry doors of banks, then the sad and irony-drenched self-immolation of an environmental protestor on the grounds of the US Supreme Court.

    The first event was covered by some of the environmental-movement-friendly news resources. This particular article was particularly noteworthy:
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/nasa-scientist-tears-impending-disaster

    One not-obvious thing about that article is that the person(s) doing the page layout couldn’t resist a sly bit of snark: at the top of the page in small-point type is the subhead “Climate Cry-sis”, refering to the tears the featured person emitted at the event while he was wailing about humanity being on-course to “lose everything…we’re not exaggerating.”

    Absolutely bonkers messaging on the part of those folks; too much irony for me to even swallow, much less digest.

    The second event was covered (briefly) even by mainstream news outlets: a 50-year-old environmental activist drenched himself in liquid fuel and then burned himself to death on Earth Day in front of the US Supreme Court building:
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/25/politics/supreme-court-climate-activist-dies-fire/index.html

    I was surprised to hear a similar incident occurred in 2018 in New York City, as briefly mentioned in that CNN article.

    The sadness, grief, and despair that has taken over the climate-change activism movement appears to be harvesting bitter fruit. Charles Eisenstein recently commented on this topic:
    https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/the-spirituality-of-________

    A great quote from that essay: “I think the environmental movement made a big error when climate change came along as an issue in the 1980s and it changed its tune from “Let’s protect nature that we love so much,” to “Let’s protect nature or we’re gonna die.” Because ultimately, why are we here anyway? Is it to survive? Nope. We’re all going to die anyway. Besides, on a deep level people don’t really believe the doomsaying. Civilization has been destroying nature for a long time, and humans seem to show no signs of going extinct.

    If the present environmental movement has to change course by having its loudest adherents torch their relationships, lives, and bodies in an imitation of the mythological Phoenix, that’s really saddening to me but perhaps an inescapable fate.

  56. Steve, Schopenhauer was familiar with the whole span of Greek philosophy and drew extensively on Platonism for his own philosophical position — he explicitly identifies the Ideas with his grades of the Will — so I think it’s safe to say he was familiar with Plotinus. As for integrating Schopenhauer’s idea with Neoplatonism, I think that’s a worthwhile endeavor, and one toward which Eliphas Lévi did some very useful preliminary work.

    Sues, er, what? Put it down to my Aspergers syndrome or something, but I’m not at all sure what on Earth you’re talking about when you say “polarity juice.” Perhaps you could explain.

    Frog, you’re most welcome. It’s very common for nations to turn to war when the civilization to which they belong begins to run short of critical resources or starts to hit the leading edge of disastrous environmental change, and of course both of those are true now. The same thing may be behind the business in China — I’ve wondered more than once if the latest flurry of lockdowns are camouflage for an attempt to fight a domestic insurgency.

    Brenainn, delighted to hear it! I sense a successful new career in the making.

    Jbucks, the cauldrons don’t correspond precisely to individual endocrine glands. The Earth Cauldron gently stimulates all the endocrine glands in the abdomen, the Sun cauldron does the same to those in the chest, and the Moon cauldron those in the head. As for The Ceremony of the Grail, there’s no direct connection, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring.

    Temporary, sorry to hear about the stencils! There must be some way around that barrier…

    Stefan, please put through another comment headed “Not for Posting” with your email address. I’ll forward it to the person who does my podcast bookings.

  57. Hi all–

    I don’t have the physical strength to DIY a solar water heater.

    1. Can any Rhode Islanders recommend someone local I could hire to install one?

    2. Can anyone who lives in a cold-winter area (such as around USDA planting zone 6b/7a) share their experience with solar water heaters?

    3. Has anyone tried a prefab one and if so, what brand and what did you think?

    I found these:

    https://thesunbank.com/products/sunbank-40-gallon-solar-water-heater/

    https://www.dudadiesel.com/solar.php

    Does anyone have experience with either?

    Thanks everyone!

  58. @Jeff Russell: regarding perennial cereal crops (grains), they aren’t really a good idea. They get too much competition and don’t produce enough. Its better just to rotate annuals if you’re doing that. I think annuals like corn amd other grains can be a very importamt part of an integrated permaculture/regenerative ag system. However, there are perennial tree crops, like chestnuts and hazelnuts, that perform really well and create a lot of calories per acre. Check out Mark Shepard’s work with them. Perennial grains quickly lost the interest of the permaculture/regenerative ag crowd, while rotational grazing and tree crops are proving to work well.

    @JMG: I’m almost finished with Heindel’s “Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception” and see where Dion got a lot of her ideas/lingo for CosDoc. Where did Max get his? He had very interesting, vert detailed (and sometimes absolutely ridiculous) information. Is it from a Neoplatonic and Theosophical framework with a lot of active mediumship to fill in the deets? What other books/authors should I read to fill out this constellation? I’m finding it a really interesting mythology, though, it also seems to me like it shares a lot with the Myth of Progress. I realize he says the progression is a spiral and not a straight line, but still.

    Also, I didn’t chime in last book club, but that chapter made a lot of sense to me, and gives me a new perspective on Richard Rose advising people to take time for regular isolation/solitary retreats, but also work out in the world and work with other spiritual seekers. His magical chain is still operational, and I’m grateful to be a part of it, though I never even met him!

  59. Also re. Sourdough starter. It is very easy to make. Start w/ 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (fresh ground if possible – but not esssential),1/4 cup water. Feed each day, for 2 weeks After discarding each day all but 2 Tbsp of your batch, adding the same as above amounts as refreshment. After a couple of weeks, you should have the beginings of your starter! As I mentioned above, adding some ground rye to the starter initially will get it going gangbusters – due to the rye yeast. Also, FYI: I add maybe a tsp of UNFILTERED honey to my batches every so often .. to sweeten the starters, as they can become rather too acidic over time – seems to stall that somewhat. ALSO: said starters will ‘skin up’ in the container, which is generally ok – just stir it back into the batch. Sometimes, however it starts to reak of, I don’t know .. old gym socks!! (I know, sounds gross) so I dump out all but say 2 or 3 Tbsp skin included, and refresh – remember your honey (I use a pint canning jar with muslin on the top, with a screw-on plastic storage lid that I’ve perforated first with a 1/16 drill bit on top of that (dozen holes or so) to let the starter ‘breath’ .. and to keep any fruit flies from spoiling your batch – it happens, the little buggards!!

    A pint jar should work for most applications .. unless your intent is high production. Tis a good idea to freeze a spot of sour dough (will last several months – just thaw to room temp before refreshing) should your batch get too funky – yes, it happens … especially when the fruit flies fly! .. hence the muslin barrier..

    Good luck!

  60. @Ecosophian, #50

    The most interesting thing in that link isn’t properly discussed in the text. The graph of “trust in science” shows that it wasn’t especially partisan until 2016, after which “believe science” became a supercharged Democrat shibboleth. And yet the author uses all those words to try and tell the opposite story, which is about how her inferiors are stupid for not trusting people like her. It’s like a fine cocktail mixed from chutzpah, cluelessness, and irony.

    So clearly a fanatical intolerance of even the mildest skepticism towards anything labelled “science” (i.e. the opposite of real science) is a symptom of TDS, and only later magnified by The Other Topic. My hypothesis is that the PMC had a pleasant delusion that the lower levels of society loved it as much as it loves itself. 2016 popped that bubble with what the shrinks call a narcissistic injury. Now the PMC is doing everything it can to reassert its superiority and, having chucked religion and morality overboard decades ago, has nothing but “science” to prop itself up.

  61. Reggie, hmm! It’s been so long since I first started reading the Neoplatonists that I have no idea at this point what’s out there in terms of introductory works. Anyone else?

    Alice, the normal process is that when a civilization falls, unless it’s off in the middle of nowhere, its territory is occupied by some newer and more vital civilization, the way that Egypt was occupied by the Magian/Muslim civilization. So I’d expect Europe a few centuries from now to become a fringe region of the future Russian civilization, and later on, when the Russian civilization has passed through its own cycle of rise and fall, it might fall under the dominion of some future West African civilization. Eventually — say, ten thousand years from now — there might be some new European civilization with its own unique take on things, but I doubt it’ll have much in common with Faustian civilization — the Faustian impulse isn’t the sort of thing that has a long shelf life, and I suspect most future cultures will find it utterly incomprehensible.

    Jerry, yep. I’ve been watching that, and being glad that I left the dryland West.

    David BTL, I’d headline it “Americans Divided Between Meaningless Slogans.”

    Denis, no, I think it was the right call. I wanted to wait until the first rush of blind panic and fury was past before opening a space for discussion.

    Austinofoz, thank you. It was partly a decency issue, but more to the point, a matter of relevance. This is a place for polite discussion between people, not a place for emotional outbursts of no interest to anyone but the person who does them.

    Piper, Graeber doesn’t understand feudalism — next to nobody on the left does — but he was pointing to a real phenomenon, though it’s not a feudal one. The great challenge in the heyday of empire is how to distribute the influx of unearned wealth. The great challenge in the twilight of empire is how to recognize that the influx is going away, so you can get ready to live without it.

    David BTL, the governing class of the EU suffers from a bizarre conviction that everyone else on the planet is obligated to do whatever benefits the governing class of the EU, irrespective of their own interests and needs. It’s one of the oddest delusions I’ve ever seen in a ruling class, and it leads to crass stupidities like the ones spilling out of the EU’s spokesflacks right now.

    Ethan, I’ve put the article in the stack of things I hope to get to one of these days. Keep in mind that there will probably be a hundred comments on this open post by the end of the day, and I don’t necessarily have time to read articles, think about them, and respond to them while fielding said comments!

    Kmgunnart, congrats for all of these!

    Eudaimonia, I’m delighted to hear this. I’ve read some Swedenborg but it’s been a while. Come to think of it, what do you think of this basic intro to his works?
    https://www.globalgreyebooks.com/gist-of-swedenborg-ebook.html

    Jeanne, of course the invasive species are winning. Every species is an invasive species — some have just been here longer than others — and the movement of species is one of the ways that nature adapts to changing climates and environments. Say hi to the worms when you see them. Also to the huge, hand-sized Joro spiders…

    El, there needs to be some new venue to get a liberal arts education, preferably one available to adults of every age, and even more preferably, without the absurdly over-the-top price being charged by colleges and universities these days. I’m not sure how best to proceed, but the need exists.

    Downside, thank you, but due to some awkward events at various points in my past, I make my personal contact info hard to find. May I encourage you instead to find a good environmental charity, such as a local wild-plants society, and make the donations to them instead?

    Clay, one of the few things Dmitry missed is precisely that the conditions you’ve described aren’t independent variables — they’re symptoms of the impending collapse.

    Denis L, it’s entirely appropriate — thanks for the data points. I’m starting to wonder if the collapse of Canada will precede the collapse of the United States the way the collapse of the Warsaw Pact countries preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Mark, thanks for this.

    David BTL, interesting. Thanks for this; I hope that’s not a bellwether.

    Bro. Trubrujah, glad to hear it. I’m going to send you straight to the following list, which covers the ground at least as well as I could:
    https://www.theresearchlodge.com/further-light/2017/10/27/scrl-top-25-masonic-books

    Siliconguy, Russia should tell them that Gazprom will take Yapese currency! As for biology, why not start now?

    Mary B., I can’t speak for traditionalist conservatives, since I’m not one. From my moderate Burkean conservative standpoint, what marriage “should be” depends on what the consenting adults involved decide, and everyone else should stop poking their noses into so private a matter, full stop, end of sentence.

    Jeff, thanks for these. I hope the perennial-grains people succeed — that would be a wonderful legacy to leave for future civilizations.

    Yorkshire, I have no idea. What a fascinating question to research!

    Pesci, saltpeter was known in ancient times. It took Chinese alchemists fiddling with it to figure out the the “whoosh!” was more than a funny habit, and could be turned into something useful. Alchemy comes first, and gunpowder comes later — one of the volumes of Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization in China covers the whole astonishing saga of the discovery, development, and use of gunpowder.

    Toomas, I can’t help you but I hope someone else can.

    Michael, nicely spotted. Yeah, that looks like the standard US military-intelligence template. I wonder how many people will fall for the same drivel this time.

    Viduraawakened, I have no idea. Seriously, I have no idea, and I think it’s safe to assume that nobody outside a very small circle of insiders will ever know for certain. The same thing’s true of the Kennedy assassination, and a good many other causes celebrés.

    Omer, it’s a very interesting question. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve wondered more than once if the Chinese government is using the lockdowns as camouflage to cover up fighting a domestic insurgency, or some other internal political mess.

  62. A few things…

    Shortwave Radio

    One of the interesting things about the current war is how it has spurred a renewed interest in shortwave radio.Here are a few articles and resources for those who want to look into it further. (These are from a few weeks ago, but I’m just now thinking of sharing it here! .. a few are other radio related articles vis a vis Russian-Ukraine war)

    https://www.radioworld.com/global/wrmi-at-heart-of-sw-broadcasts-to-russia-ukraine

    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-april-4-2022-1.6407495/this-ukrainian-radio-station-is-staying-on-air-for-the-war-effort-from-a-makeshift-studio-in-the-mountains-1.6413322

    This one is a great piece of radio from Ireland exploring shortwave with Thomas Witherspoon of SWLing.com and pirate radio… “Thomas Witherspoon discusses the historical development of shortwave, including its heyday during the Cold War, and explains how it continues to be used today, for instance to evade Russian internet censorship during the Ukrainian war. The programme also remembers Irish pirate shortwave operators of the 1980s”
    https://wirelessflirt.radio.ie/2022/04/04/programme-60-april-2022/

    “Ukraine’s battle of the airwaves: A look at three aspects of wartime radio in Ukraine: the interception of communications between Russian soldiers, how broadcasters are using radio to combat censorship online, and the mysterious silence of a radio transmitter known as ‘The Russian Lady'”:
    https://www.ft.com/video/4adad9c9-151b-4448-8547-908b49d74fde

    Here is one about jamming that was happening…
    https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2022/03/28/why-russian-radios-ukraine-war-intercepted-heavy-metal

    So shortwave still has a strong spot and suite… and will continue to do so, as it has no respect for borders, and can be directed to specific places where the internet might be down (an increasing possibility in time) and where otherwise the news is propaganda/misinformation. Of course shortwave is also famous for broadcasting state funded news slanted towards a particular worldview, but when other countries doing the same and beaming at each other, that’s what makes it interesting to listen to…

    .:. /|\ .:.

    The Golden Section and Stria by John Chowning

    For those of you studying JMG’s The Way of the Golden Section might be interested to know that John Chowning, the father of FM synthesis, used the Golden Section throughout his 1977 work Stria, organizing all aspects of the composition around the Golden Section.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=988jPjs1gao

    As I explored how Chowning went from radio frequency based frequency modulation, to audio based frequency modulation, I discovered some other principles of harmonic science that I then wrote into my article on him, which anyone interested in can find here.

    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/john-chowning-audio-hacker-and-fm-synthesist

  63. @ Jeff Russell, The Land Institute (https://landinstitute.org/) has been working on perennial grain agriculture for years. They already have one perennial grain crop that is in early commercialization, an intermediate wheatgrass, with others in various stages of development. I’ve donated to them for years.

  64. To all and everyone.

    I would like if the Good Lord allows me to visit England some day. Who knows if it will be possible given this whole long descent with sudden bumps we find our selves in. My question is I would like to see a green England but my work is busiest in the summer. So when is it a good time to visit. When does it green up in spring how long does it last in the fall. Thanks everyone

  65. Chuaquin, that sort of thing is very, very common, and like most occultists, I see this as a past life memory surfacing.

    Ecosophian, I appreciate it too.

    Kathy, I’m glad to hear this! As for the new style of “communicating,” you’re explaining it quite well, and I’ve seen the same thing increasingly for the last six years or so — about Trump, then about Covid, and now about Ukraine, people are repeating talking points from the corporate media in loud, angry voices to everyone around them, as though this counted as some kind of communication. I think it’s a response to insecurity. The official version of how things are supposed to be doesn’t work any more, and people can’t deal with that, so they repeat media talking points in loud voices and get angry at dissidents because that helps them drown out their own realization that the people in charge are lying to them.

    Drakonus, excellent. Excellent! If there’s enough interest, you might consider putting up a website with links and a closely moderated forum, and using that as the nucleus of a future Mentat school.

    Robert, I have no idea. I’ll have to leave this to those readers who have children and grandchildren, as I have no idea how to offer advice to either in any way that they’ll accept.

    Jon, this is fascinating. Another reader of mine had something very similar happen to her apple tree — after years when it put out a dozen blossoms a year, it has hundreds of blossoms this spring. I wonder if the invocation of Johnny Appleseed is working…

    Kyle, you may certainly post a link here.

    Wer, I’ve been watching this whole business and shaking my head. Having slapped sanctions on Russia that make it impossible for Russia to receive payments for their natural gas in the usual way, the EU is now throwing fits because the Russians aren’t just sending their gas for free. The words “clueless” and “entitled” don’t even begin to touch it…

    Ecosophian, I saw that a few days ago. I note with great amusement that the author never considers the possibility that rural folks don’t trust experts because the experts have been caught lying to them so often.

    Bendith Fawr, that’s a complex question that I’m not sure how to answer. One thing I’d encourage is for you to focus on nature as such, and on human integration with the natural world; most people can handle that fairly well.

    Ben, Jackson seemed unable to let his actors act. Think of the scene with Galadriel and Frodo. He could have let Cate Blanchett play her part without all the sleazy horror-movie special effects, and it would have been moving and powerful; instead, it was just cheap. Jackson did that all through the trilogy, so the result was shallow and kitschy through and through. Imagine, by contrast, a version done a la Casablanca — no special effects, no fancy camera work, just good actors and a good script letting the chemistry of performance do its magic — that would have been worth seeing.

    CRC, exactly how the overhang of unpayable IOUs that makes up the global financial economy will become irrelevant is an important question, and the only answer is that nobody knows yet. When will it happen? Nobody knows that either. The old adage that the market can remain insane for longer than you can remain solvent is worth keeping in mind here. That said, I’d encourage everyone to remember why it is that you’ve ever heard of a family named Kennedy: in the spring of 1929, when Joseph P. Kennedy was just a well-to-do Irish bootlegger, he stopped at a shoeshine stand in New York City on his way to his brokerage, and the shoeshine boy gave him a stock tip. Kennedy decided on the spot that a market that had seized the interest of shoeshine boys was no place for his money, and pulled every cent out of stocks to put them in the most secure investments he could find. The market crashed six months later, and the Kennedys didn’t lose a penny when everyone else lost their shirts. I’d encourage anyone who has investment money to keep this story in mind, and act accordingly.

    Bryan, I forget who it was that commented a couple of days ago how bleakly appropriate it was that Wynn Alan Bruce’s last act was to release a bunch of carbon into the atmosphere. The cult of grief and despair in the climate change movement is easy enough to understand if you recall just how many of the people who are involved in it are loudly insisting that someone else do something about the climate, while refusing to change their own lives — I’ve watched far, far too many “climate activists” spend a weekend at a peak oil event sobbing about the fate of the planet, before climbing into their SUVs to drive back to well-paid corporate jobs and absurdly energy-extravagant lifestyles. Their grief is how they excuse their own failure.

  66. Hi John Michael,

    That’s possible about a domestic insurgency in the land of stuff, or other political threat. Having been through one of the longest lock downs on the planet myself, I can’t even say the reaction is that extreme. Ook!

    Hey, did you see this: Russia releases former US marine Trevor Reed in surprise prisoner swap with a convicted drug trafficker?

    I suspect that there is a lot of hot air being wastefully blown around in the west, and the underlying reality is not so crash hot.

    Cheers

    Chris

  67. Cary, I rent these days, so I can’t offer any experience. Anyone else?

    Isaac, Heindel’s sources are an open question. A fascinating article doing the rounds in Rosicrucian circles…
    http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=17938
    …suggests that Heindel got his material from an early version of Rudolf Steiner’s work, and Steiner’s work was a free mix of Theosophy, other trends in the German occult scene of the time, and his own clairvoyance. You might want to read some basic Theosophical literature — C.W. Leadbeater and Ernest Wood are good sources — to get some of the background.

    Justin, many thanks for this. I’m delighted to hear of the shortwave renaissance!

    Will O, I’ve only ever been there in the summer, so I’ll have to wait to see what others have to say.

    Chris, yes, I saw that. Something’s definitely going on behind the scenes.

  68. Hi John Michael,

    Oh my goodness things are moving fast!

    Why would Germany do that and expropriate a refinery that ain’t theirs?

    Yes, there are words, and then there are actions.

    Cheers

    Chris

  69. I’ve started up something a small berry farm/orchard in on the quarter acre of land I bought a few years ago to replace the drudgery of mowing a useless lawn. I’d like to recommend American Elderberry to anyone with empty space for a bush – these guys are very hearty and take little work to get going. A couple years go by and you’ll have it sprouting out all over the place most likely – then you can dig up the new shoots you don’t want and give them to others! The berries themselves are regarded by many as having numerous health benefits, the bees love the flowers, and the bushes serve as a symbol of resilience.

    Vegetable gardening rightly seems to get a lot of attention, but for those of us who are a little more lazy and would rather put in some effort up front and then let plants do the work, fruiting bushes and trees are perfect. Watching something gradually turn from a soulless suburban lawn to a flowering, fruiting garden filled with birds and bees can’t not be gratifying.

    Reggie

  70. Attention fantasy fiction readers!

    I’m looking for folks willing to read my first novel and leave an honest review. You’ll receive a free ebook, and all I ask in return is that you post your review to amazon on release date, Aug 1.

    For details, please see my.blog.post: https://kylec.dreamwidth.org/20735.html

    Please read the disclaimer to make sure this is your cup of tea. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s as likely to find a couple of interested parties here as anywhere. Thanks!

  71. @Bendith Fawr Steiner is responsible for biodynamics, so perhaps bone up on that and introduce people to it. If there is some faculty interest and support, it might even be able to be introduced into the curriculum.

  72. Milkyway–apparently fermentation is the next housewifey craft to be commercialized. The local hardware store has a shelf of kits and bottles, seals, etc. next to the usual run of canning supplies. Wonder how many moms will get a fermentation kit for Mother’s Day.

    Bendith Fawr–my daughter worked for the local Waldorf college a few years back. They were expanding because opportunities for Waldorf trained teachers had expanded with the charter school movement. However, the staff and administration were very set in their ways. For Federal financial aid coursework has to be listed in a consistent way so that it is possible to judge whether a student is making progress, enrolled full time, or half time, etc. Uncle Sam doesn’t make suggestions–but despite repeated warnings from the financial aid director the school lost the ability to offer Federal loans to the students because some of the professors just would not follow the rules. I guess the kind of 60s era free spirit that was attracted to the Waldorf system was too much of a rebel. A friend of mine years ago had her kids in a Marin area Waldor school and her comment was that there was something wrong when the teachers are driving beat up VWs and old Volvos while the students are being dropped off from new luxury cars. But I think that may be the case in many types of private school.

    I feel pity for any population caught up in a war not of their choosing. However it seems that the propaganda machine is hitting every possible note. Russians are killing innocent women and children. Check. Domestic animals and beloved pets are being endangered or killed by Russians. Check. Historic buildings and cultural artifacts are endangered by Russian attacks. Check. The only thing I haven’t seen is endangered plants, sylvan forests or other natural wonders. As SF author Fritz Leiber used to say, “Cynicism ill befits the young.” But that no longer applies.

    Gas prices in California are hovering on either side of $6. A simple fix was proposed by a Republican assemblyman of postponing a gas tax increase of $.51. But everything is so partisan that if a Republican suggesting putting water on a burning building the Democrats would cry for kerosene instead. A pox on both their houses.

  73. @reggiemello #8

    I asked a similar question on a Magic Monday thread over on the dreamwidth and got these responses:

    From JMG: “Gregory Shaw’s Theurgy and the Soul and anything you can find by A.H. Armstrong”

    From readoldthings: An extensive comment making recommendations on notes about translation, video lectures that can help, and reading order, which you can find in its entirety here: https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/144777.html?thread=18021513#cmt18021513

    Here’s the “get you started” bits:
    – Pierre Grimes has quite a few lectures on the Platonic dialogues, many of which are available on Youtube. I found it helpful to listen to them right after reading the relevant dialogue, so that I wouldn’t have his approach in mind while reading, but the stuff he was referring to would still be fresh.

    – Reading order recommendation, slightly modified from how Iamblichus did it back in the day:
    1. Republic
    2. Alcibiades
    3. Gorgias
    4. Phaedo
    5. Cratylus
    6. Theaetetus
    7. Sophist
    8. Statesman
    9. Phaedrus
    10. Symposium
    11. Philebus
    12. Timaeus
    13. Parmenides

    From there, for the actual Neoplatonists, generally go in the order Plotinus, Iamblichus, then Proclus, but you might start with Proclus’s “Elements of Theology”.

    What I might add is that good quality translations will be helpful. The Hackett publishing “Plato: Complete Works” is a nice one-stop shop for well-regarded, scholarly translations that are still quite readable.

  74. In one of my very occasional looks at Television I cam across the most geopoliticaly awkward new prime time TV series ever. It is about a very devious Female Russian arms dealer who has set up the FBI and the US government with a set of “incidents” of which each exposes the corruption of a different member of the last presidential administration. It was obviously made before the current set of World events and I figured that it would be cancelled after the first couple of episodes. But I tuned in again last night and the series is still going and in its ninth episode and the arms dealer ( who is in custody at a FBI black site while her minions do her bidding) has become a folk hero of the American Public and is in the process of exposing the current president as a puppet installed by powerful criminal forces. The show is called “Endgame” and is on CBS I think.

  75. Easy Sourdough

    5 oz starter
    20 oz water
    23 oz flour (choice, I use half white bread and half whole wheat)
    2 t salt
    Optional additives – thyme, rosemary, honey 1-2 T

    Mix starter, water and flour. (Optional, mix with dough hook for 5 -7 min, not required)
    Cover with towel and wait 20 min. (OK to skip if you don’t have time)
    Add salt and mix again. Dough will be wet and sticky.
    Put into an oiled glass bowl, covered (can use an oiled inverted glass pie pan) until doubled.
    Rising will take 10-15 hours, so typically overnight. Amount of rise is more with fresher starter.
    Put parchment paper into a second glass bowl and transfer the dough (will punch down in the process)
    When nearly doubled, preheat oven to 450 with cast iron 5-6 qt covered pot inside.
    When hot, lift dough from the bowl and transfer with the parchment paper into the hot pot, replace top.
    Cook 25 min. Remove top and rotate front to back.
    Cook another 25 min then turn off heat, remove from oven 5 min later.
    Remove hot bread from pan and cover with a towel to cool 30 min or longer.
    This is a large loaf which can be divided, and freezes well.
    You can add 1 t dry fast acting yeast for a bit extra rise, but it is not needed. Will be fairly dense either way.

    Leave at least a couple of oz of starter with one oz flour and water added and stirred for the next batch (extra room in jar). I use a starter that is half flour and half water, with the original coming from a bakery. King Arthur sells starter, or you can make your own. Refresh the day you are making by adding 2 oz flour and 2 oz water to your leftover approx 3 oz of old starter (may have dark liquid on top, just mix in) Extra refreshing is only needed if starter hasn’t been used for two or more months – after the first refresh, wait 4-6 hours until some bubbles appear, discard back down to three oz and repeat (fridge overnight if too late to mix dough). This method saves a lot of wasted starter, and does not require a fancy mixer or baking stone.

  76. Eudaimonia (no. 18), I had some contact with Swedenborgianism when I was younger. Remember “The Last Judgement in Retrospect” (1758)? Which begins, ““The Last Judgment began last year–1757–and was completed by the end of that year”? Well, guess what other spiritual event happened that year? Yup, the beginning of Jigme Lingpa’s revelation of the Longchen Nyingthik cycle of terma texts.

    El (no, 20), there are conservative liberal-arts colleges around as well. Beyond that, anybody can read and discuss the classics, study languages, etc. In philosophy, it often happens that some of the most important philosophers come from outside academic philosophy (often from some other academic field).

    Mary Bennett (no. 28), Catholic theology defines marriage as a lifetime commitment–that is, if a couple make a vow for something less than a lifetime (as is done in Shi’a Islam, and with more of a wink, the Church of the SubGenius), the Church does not accept this as a marriage properly so-called.

    Your remarks on nuns reminds me of something I read in a book on Korean Buddhist monks. The author (who had himself been a monk) noted that a number of writers had floated more or less bizarre socio-psychological theories about what motivates someone to take robes, and observed that in real life, there are all kinds of people, who join for a variety of reasons (much like in the army).

  77. Dusk Shine, if you see this, are those email pings you requested still useful to you? It’s been over a year since I last heard from you on that, I believe, so I thought I’d check. Thanks!

  78. Michael Martin (no. 34), this reminds me a bit of John Titor, the time traveler from 2036. Apparently there was supposed to be a nuclear war in 2015, in which Russia sides with what we would call red-state America against blue-state America. Oh, and no more Olympics after 2004.

    Ben (no. 53), I thought they were good Hollywood popcorn movies (think “Titanic”). I have never seen the extended editions, though–I thought 3 hours per movie was quite enough as it was. I do wish that Rohan had been depicted more along the lines of a real-world nomadic society (think Mongols), so that they lived in tents instead of elaborate wooden buildings, but for all I know maybe this was in the original text.

    Oh, and the “Hobbit” prequel movies were dreadful. That book should have been a two-hour Disney-style cartoon musical.

  79. EL #20 “I guess I’m wondering, does anyone see any future for the kind of old-fashioned liberal arts educations (particularly in the humanities) that used to be offered by the university system? Any way for the minority of young people who might want to access that sort of education – minus woke nonsense, over-paid deans-of-everything, excessive focus on athletics, etc – to do so, other than trying to do it all alone in their spare time? Any future for something replacing the liberal arts academies?”

    Definitely has value. I would suggest the Labour movements of the early 20th century had the answer in their working men’s clubs which were not only locations for drinking and playing pool, but also held seminars, study groups, circulating libraries and book clubs (back then often focused on understanding Marxist writings). JMG’s book club is in itself part of the replacement for liberal arts academies, and considerably more value for money than the current incarnation of said academies.

  80. Regarding Canada… Something I noticed early on in the pandemic that has remained consistent, is that expensive cuts of meat are up a lot more than cheap cuts or ground meat from the same animal. Steak has doubled vs. 2019 but ground beef is up maybe 20%. If it was just that, say, the inputs needed to deliver cow parts to grocery was up 50%, and all forms of beef cost 50% more, that would make sense. I think what is happening here is that inequality is increasing as the increased money supply is mostly only available to a certain percentage of people. For instance a lot of employers have had to increase salaries across the board to be able to hire at all, otherwise people cannot afford housing within range of work. Those salary increases trickle out to people who bought 10-20 years ago. My parent’s last mortgage payment, in 2016, was about what a one bedroom apartment cost at the time, and that’s for a large McMansion on a big lot close to the city center.

    Likewise, the huge gains in the housing sector are paying for a LOT of diesel to schlep concrete and steel and timber around but everyone who doesn’t have an increased money supply from taking out more and more debt backed by paper real estate values. Lots of people are using their houses, which increase in value by $100,000 a year as tax free ATMs to fund investments or hyperconsumption.

    For what its worth, I don’t live in a particularly fancy part of town, and although prices are up about 20% the shelves are stocked more or less “normally”, with bare shelves, or shelves only stocked with one brand of product being more of a curiosity than a real problem. Likewise with electronic components, which, as part of my job, I source for my company – there are shortages, but shortages that cannot be substituted are actually pretty rare. My company is too small to put our feet up and ask the government for a bailout, so we adapt, we have had to buy different microcontrollers and pay people to port code for them. But we’re small and agile and we make a product that is about as complicated as the ’80s version of the Gameboy. Raytheon is in the same boat, now that the United States has shipped half its Stinger missiles to Ukraine, but a) what we make is considerably simpler, and b) MBAs have not fired all our engineers to improve the bottom line.

  81. To continue with this year’s project of bringing you with the music of my homeland, I will gift you with Huapango Torero.

    What is it with bulls in this April? For starters, astrologically we are in Taurus time right now. This is an Earth sign and a springtime sign. The Bull is, symbolically speaking, a strong animal, strongly willed and full of vigor. As we shake off the last of the winter energies and embrace the rise in vitality all around us, this is whole appropriate.

    Furthermore, spring is, from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the time of the Liver. Liver is one of the organs where the Will resides in the body. If our Heart is the Emperor, our Liver is the General of the Armies; it is the force that pushes us to go out, get in troubles and achieve great things. Liver is also the residence of the ethereal soul that leaves the body at night when we are asleep; it is the stuff dreams are made off.

    So, what better song to present to this fine audience than the tale of a young boy who wants to be a bullfighter? This is great and terrible and full of potentiality, not always realized, but never missing of deep meaning. So I gift you with Huapango Torero, in the voice of another Great One: Lola Beltrán, Lola la Grande. Probably one of the richest and most powerful voices of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

    As as always, here you have the lyrics (a modified/corrected version of the one found at lyricstranslate.com

    BULLFIGHTHING HUAPANGO [1]

    Bull, bull, bull…

    While the steeds are in the testing pen,
    solely and only, only… for the bullfighters.
    Outside of the bullring,- by the way, made of stone,-
    a crying young boy sits,
    while sitting he cries in silence.
    With his short red cape he wipes [2]
    his bullfighter tears
    with his short red cape he wipes
    his bullfighter tears.

    The night falls in silence,
    the full moon hangs, hangs far away;
    the stars begin to arrange themselves in the sky,
    and making his way to the corrals,
    is seen a boy fully resolved
    he wants to fight a bull,
    he sets his life as collateral [lit. he names his life as the price]

    Silence…

    The foremen are asleep,
    the bulls… the bulls in their corrals are getting restless.
    A long cape in the night [3]
    by the light of the moon wants to fight.

    Silence…

    [Long instrumental melody, with the mariachis yelling what
    might have been the boy’s own provoking the bull:
    “hey pretty steed”, “come on, brave one”, “there, pretty”, “hey”]

    Suddenly the beautiful night
    has seen something and is crying now;
    doves, white doves, down from the sky,
    they’re coming down
    All lies, they are handkerchiefs,
    white handkerchiefs full of tears,
    that fall like a white frost over a young boy
    already in his death throes

    Oh Bull, murderer bull! May the Devil come and take you!
    Oh Bull, murderer bull! May the Devil come and take you!

    Silence…

    The foremen… are… weeping…

    [1] Huapango is the musical genre, typical of North-East Mexico.
    [2] Muletilla is a short red cape, stiffened with a rod, that the matador uses towards the end of the bullfight (when he’s about to kill the bull).
    [3] Capote is a long cape, pink on one side and yellow on the other, that the matador uses towards the beginning of the bullfight (when the bull is fresh and most dangerous).

  82. JMG, you said the magic word, ‘lying’. It seems that people at the top, whether in Washington or Manhattan, or in the two competing centres of the known universe (at least in their own minds), Toronto and Ottawa, can’t tell the truth. Why? Because they can’t. They just can’t. They don’t know how. They’ve forgotten how.

    If they lie to deceive others that’s one thing but it seems they’re so far detached from reality that they believe their own baloney. IOW they lie to themselves. Deception is one thing but self-deception something else entirely. This is not a good survival strategy. It is highly maladaptive. I don’t know, can it by itself turn a civilization into mounds of dirt? Repeated headlong rushes into disaster have to deplete the collective will to live.

    I bring this up because it appears to everyone with functioning eyeballs that the US and maybe others are fighting in the Ukraine a proxy war against Russia. At least a proxy war. Except maybe to the guys in the top floor offices.

    Now I read that US intel was used by the Ukrainians to shoot down a Russian plane full of paratroopers. And it appears that ‘unnamed’ American defence and intel officials are crowing about it. Imagine that this is true. Can you think of anything more likely to incite fury in Russian leadership?

    I must have read a half dozen times that special forces from various NATO countries are in the Ukraine. If this is so, can American leaders admit to themselves that the US is de-facto at war? Can the other countries involved admit to it?

    Given the shambles of 20 years in Afghanistan and a mess of a withdrawal that makes the Italian order of the march look a model of organization and discipline, does anybody really think that another war, especially with Russia, especially on the heels of the Afghan debacle, is a good idea? How long before Russian forbearance is worn out and they hit back? Imagine a highly expensive US navy ship listing with a great big smoking hole in its hull. Then what?

    Or maybe this represents multiple failures in the elite’s collective logic circuits, ie not only self-deception about what they’re really up to, but a failure to imagine the likely consequences.

  83. I’ve recently taken to watching YouTube videos from the Ordre Martinistes Souverains (OMS, f. 2013 and headquartered in Austin, Texas), most of them by its Grandmaster, Paul Edward Rana (aka Sâr Cœur de la Croix). This tradition is based on

    (a) the Kabbalistic-inspired ritual magic of Martinez de Pasqually,

    (b) chivalric Rosicrucianism by way of Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, and

    (c) the devotional Christian mysticism of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, as systematized by Papus

    along with some influences from the French gnostic revival, Renaissance Hermeticism and alchemy, and even Buddhist shamatha / vipassyana practice (required of postulants). I am impressed with the group’s scholarly publishing, as well as what I have seen of them on the internet, although the whole magical subculture is alien to me, and I am struggling to wrap my head around it.

    It seems that Rana, and some of his companions, have backgrounds in Freemasonry, the Sodalitas Rosae+Crucis & Solis Alati, and other magical groups like the Golden Dawn and OTO. Realizing that these are related, I wonder whether the differences primarily involve cultural “coloring” (e.g. ancient Egyptian motifs vs. Jewish or Christian ones, like the neo-pagans who are divided according to whether they prefer Celtic or Norse mythology, e.g.), or particular claims of authority and lineage, or what. For example, if memory serves, “regular” Freemasons are not supposed to join “irregular” groups, but some of these claim descent from Strict Observance or Memphis-Misraim.

    While the group is open to people of every religion, I notice that they make use of “episcopi vagrantes” type ordinations (discussed here before), representing virtually every denomination of Christianity, ordination into which would clash with most religious commitments. As I understand it, this is in order to empower the initiate to lead gnostic masses. The ordinations are apparently infused with alchemical symbolism.

    I suppose what confused me is that each religion / esoteric path would have a somewhat different notion of human fulfillment, and how one ought to live, so combining them seems more than simply an issue of translation from one genre of symbolism into another. Anyway, could someone familiar with this subculture please explain to me how cross-membership works? Is it like Masons joining the Shriners, or more like someone who goes to yoga on Tuesday and synagogue on Saturday, or what?

    Here’s an easier question: what do three little dots (arranged in a triangle) mean, when they appear after the initials of an esoteric organization? Is this just a fancy version of a period (the punctuation mark)?

  84. Chris, hang onto your hat. I’m pretty sure we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Reggie, delighted to hear this.

    Clay, good heavens. I’m frankly startled that it was allowed on the air in the first place.

    Justin, interesting. I could see that.

    CR, thanks for this!

    Roger, do you remember when Obama was in the White House and the media was full of chatter about “the surge” in Afghanistan? The Pentagon decided to send a bunch more troops to the graveyard of empires, and talked about it incessantly. It apparently never crossed anyone’s mind that Taliban members can read. So they knew in advance that the surge was coming, and exactly how many soldiers were going to be sent and what they were going to try to do. That guaranteed that the surge was a total flop. The current situation is identical — it has never occurred to anybody in DC that the Russians have internet access. Our current leaders are striking faux-heroic poses in front of a mirror and it’s never crossed their minds that everyone else is giggling at their antics.

    Bei, yes, I’m familiar with that end of the Martinist scene. As for how it works, the occult community has a very different understanding of spirituality than mainstream churches do. From an occult perspective, no one tradition has a monopoly of the truth; the truth itself is far bigger than any human concept of it. Think of the old story of the blind men and the elephant! Each doctrine has a hand on one part of the elephant and its more dogmatic followers are arguing whether an elephant is like a pillar or a rope or what have you, while the occultist moves from one to another in order to get a better sense of the elephant as a whole. Each initiation, each set of practices, and each vision of human fulfillment is similar — they are tentative attempts to express the inexpressible. That’s why so many occultists get initiated in several different traditions; it’s why I’ve worked in the Golden Dawn and Rosicrucian traditions as well as three different forms of Druidry.

  85. In looking through some quotes I had collected from my reading of Ernst Jünger’s works, I came across the following which might interest readers (my translations in square brackets):

    1. This one has applicability to so much of what’s in the news now:

    Zahnloser haben größere Zungenfreiheit.

    [The toothless have more freedom for their tongues.]
    (actually Stanislaw Jerzy Lec: Unfrisierte Gedanken – cited in Ernst Jünger: Federbälle II)

    2. This one applies to El’s query above #20:

    Wir werden erzogen, bilden müssen wir uns selbst. Die Erziehung kann uns im besten Fall das Spalier geben; das darf nicht über-, doch auch nicht unterschätzt werden. Bildung ist nicht nur Wuchs; sie ist auch Ausbildung.

    [We are taught, but must still develop ourselves intellectually and culturally. Education can at best give us a trellis – that shouldn’t be over-estimated, nor should it be under-estimated. Developing ourselves intellectually and culturally is a matter not only of growth, but also of training.]
    (Ernst Jünger: Sinn und Bedeutung.)

    3. And this is one which applies directly to Faustian culture in a sort of ironic way:

    Ein Wissen, das sich stündlich ändert, zeugt nicht für Fortschritt, sondern für Übergang.

    [A knowledge that is changing hourly is not conducive to progress, but rather to transition.]
    (Ernst Jünger, An der Zeitmauer)

  86. Brenainn- Good for you! While things are still cheap and easy to obtain, don’t forget to lay in a good supply of sewing machine oil, a manual for your machine, a variety of presser feet, a zig-zagger, button-holer, a tube of grease for the pivots and bearings in your treadle mechanism, and at least one spare treadle belt.

    You’ll want to identify beforehand a local sewing machine repairman. Find an independent one; as the technicians employed by Sewing Centers are expensive, and have a hidden agenda to steer owners into buying new.

    You might want references, as human expertise is not common:

    Treadle Sewing Machines: Clean and Use an Iron Lady- by Kohler

    and Complete Guide to Treadle Sewing Machines- by Doyle.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  87. Drakonus,

    I have a few suggestions, although this might be more geared towards subdisciplines. Learn two different systems of thought like one from the classics Western, Chinese, or Indian and one from system theory, ecology, linguistics, law. You could go further afield and include astrology, alchemy, or Catholic or Orthodox theology. The idea is to have internalized more than one framework for understanding the world, ideally with more than one language included, to help identify blind spots and binaries before getting caught in them and a diversity of tools for analyzing problems.

    You might also consider mapping the training onto a traditional classic education in the form of a correspondence course, where the first semester is, say, ancient greek, greek mythology, and the arts of memory.

    Lastly, you might want to include some of the more modern brain training tools that have come out like Lumosity. Obviously you would need to build your own games or puzzles or whatever you want to call them, but the basic notion of spending time working on basic skills like focus, working memory, task switching, awareness, field of vision, etc. shouldn’t be excluded just because they are new.

  88. @Drakonus #40 – on the Ars Mentatis

    First off, thanks very much for sharing this list! Funnily enough, there was some talk about mentats last month as well after I asked for recommendations on sources on how to process, store, and sort information without computers. Try this post and then do a search for “mentat” for some of the relevant staff: https://www.ecosophia.net/march-2022-open-post-and-lentil-recipe/

    Also, I’m a big fan of Farnham Street – if you haven’t checked out the Mental Model books they’ve put out yet, they update and re-organize the material from the website and I find them much clearer and more useful than the already plenty clear and helpful articles on the website.

    As a couple of additional resources I didn’t mention last time because they either didn’t come to me or I hadn’t checked them out yet:

    – The History of Information Project: https://historyofinformation.com/

    It’s a bit more focused on the history of computing and what’s been done with it than I’d prefer, but it does include some rather interesting brief articles spanning all of known history, which can give some interesting jumping off points.

    – Spaced Repetition and Incremental Reading: https://supermemo.guru/wiki/Incremental_reading

    This is a topic that I got very into for a while, but since then I’ve decided it’s more dependent on technology than I’d prefer, though there are a lot of good insights about memory and learning, especially from Piotr Wozniak, the creator of Supermemo. The site supermemo.guru isn’t responding for me right now (late evening of Wednesday, 4/27, US Central time), but when working, it’s a big wiki full of resources on learning and memory, including some principles of effective memorization.

    – Cognitive Flexibility Theory and Note-Taking: https://commoncog.com/blog/how-note-taking-can-help-you-become-an-expert/

    This article digs into how folks learn poorly-structured domains like medicine, and note-taking methods that might be able to support it. So far, I have found it helpful in studying occult concepts, and I look forward to seeing if it has further usefulness.

    – The Dolmen Arch: A Course in the Druid Mysteries: https://bookshop.org/books/the-dolmen-arch-a-study-course-in-the-druid-mysteries-volume-1-the-lesser-mysteries/9781935006916

    By our very own generous host, though this book is more explicitly about occult philosophy than “only” the mental arts, it includes a series of techniques and exercises on attention, memory, and discursive meditation that I assume would be useful outside of a spiritual context as well.

    Happy learning, and please share any further developments you work out!
    Jeff

  89. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I’m curious to know whether you think this recent round of bird flu is a result of natural causes or more gain of function research gone terribly wrong.

  90. So I was sitting in a hotel lobby having a bit of breakfast. As usual there was a TV on the wall nattering on about some such. It was tuned to the “History” channel and the program was about (what else?) Atlantis. It was all so much background static until I heard some hyperventilating “scientist” say that Atlantis was an advanced civilization that may have had space travel, automobiles and submarines. I snorted out part of my bagel. My parents who were with me asked what was so funny. I tried to give them a Cliff’s Notes version but was only getting blank stares. Finally I played my trump card; “Did Rome have space travel, automobiles and submarines? Were they an advanced civilization? How about Egypt? Or China?” Still didn’t get it. I went back to my bagel.

  91. JMG, yes I do remember the surge and so you have to wonder about the soi disant elite that make these outlandish claims to expertise, especially given the gigantic numbers in their budgets which are seen more in astronomic calculations than in earthly applications.

    Three quarter of a trillion bucks annually on the military, tens of billions more for the State Department, who knows how many billions more for the many and varied intel organizations, and they cough up a mess like Afghanistan?

    And bogus Iraqi WMDs as a casus belli and then a calamitous invasion that turned the country upside down, killed uncounted multitudes, and most absurdly, handed the place to the beards in Iran, and to the cut-throats in ISIS?

    Is this the expertise of the experts? Is this what they deliver? Jesus save us. This is a joke.

    I wish I could say we’re better on this side of the border but our upper crust is just as much a gang of moronic, self-dealing incompetents.

    But I give Americans credit because they never do things half-way. They are truly an extraordinary people. Their delusions are grandiose, their screw-ups epic, conducted with great zeal and energy and conviction and purpose. A tip of the hat. No really. No tremulous, whining ninnyism, not a bit of it, not like up here.

    As for this Ukrainian thing, it looks to me that the US and its elite are playing a game on a multidimensional board, part of which is hidden, whose rules they don’t know, which keep changing anyway, and which has an additional player in the room, muttering behind the curtain.

    The question is whether Putin and Xi (the man behind the curtain) are smart enough to draw the US into yet another quagmire in a country far away, which Americans don’t understand.

    Or maybe the question should be whether Americans are dumb enough to get drawn in. Maybe if we know enough to ask the question, we already know the answer.

  92. JMG/The Commentariat – what do we think of Elon Musk likely buying Twitter (they have agreed a deal but it is subject to shareholder vote and anti trust approval etc)?

    I don’t trust Musk at all but at least he’s a bit of a loose cannon who doesn’t March in line with liberal orthodoxy. And the shrieks from all the right places about how billionaires cannot be trusted to own key media outlets makes me think it could be a good idea. At least shake things up a bit. If he gives Trump his Twitter account back that could be very entertaining.

    After all the liberals are just fine with billionaires dominating media as long as they agree with the liberals and censor the right people..(oh wait, Twitter is a private company and can do what it wants – there’s no First Amendment angle – isn’t that what the liberals have been telling everyone complaining about censorship?)

  93. My personal experience is that the level of understanding and conversation and learning is far greater here than any post-church-service conversations I ever managed to have 🙂 I realised, the day I dared to talk about the Book of Revelation and people looked at me like I’d farted, that this church at least (a Salvation Army church in Australia in the 1990s) was dead.

    However, the out-of-church conversations, once I left that dessicated institution, were far better. My favourite were the times I spent sharing a joint with my friend Ernie, as we stood looking up at the stars in his backyard and pondering and swimming in the beauty of the Is. Ernie was always worried about this smoking of the herb, said he was worried “the Lord” would return and Ernie would be stoned and ashamed. I’m not so sure “the Lord” would have seen the connection between the action and the shame, but who knows, I guess 🙂

  94. JMG and El. In Mexico we have something called “diplomados” which are 2-6 months courses given sometimes by universities but more often than not by congregations of professors or professionals that get together to make their own school for relatively cheap price and offer a legal diploma in return. It sounds better than what it is but I can see the concept being iterated on to make something like academic guilds that focus on spreading the knowledge and the trade. I paid $100 for one about Cell Salts and the “university” was someone’s house adapted for to a school. I don’t think the college monopoly would like that though…

  95. Kerry, thanks for these!

    Stephen D., I have no idea. In the words of Sherlock Holmes, “I never guess. It is a shocking habit — destructive to the logical faculty.”

    Debric, of course they didn’t get it. Most people, most of the time, think in rigid mental categories. Rome, Egypt, and China belong to one category — “dowdy old civilizations that didn’t have any technology worth remembering.” Atlantis belongs to a different category — “dumping grounds for trashy fantasies.” (Some people put Egypt or Greece into that, too, but it’s usually a different set of trashy fantasies.) It takes a noticeable mental leap to create a broad category like “all civilizations, ours included,” from which it becomes possible to see every civilization as a different answer to the question of how to have a literate urban society among human beings. And then, of course, there’s the question of why the category “advanced civilization” means spacecraft and cars and submarines — that is to say, our idiosyncratic form of “advanced” — and what this is all supposedly advancing toward…

    Or maybe they’ve all just seen too many reruns of George Pal’s worst movie.

    Roger, oh, but think of how profitable all that was to the kleptocrats in and out of uniform! But you’re right, of course. We Americans do nothing by half measures. When we act like morons, as of course we so often do, we do it on the grand scale. We out-moron every other moron who ever moroned. We behave with herculean, gargantuan, Godzillaesque stupidity. Far into the future, people of distant lands will read records of our history and say, “You’ve got to be joking. Nobody could be that dumb!!!”

    RPC, we’ll just have to see. I’m not placing bets either way.

    Sues, I think if Jesus showed up and you offered him a toke, he’d take it. He used to hang out with sinners and Republicans, after all.

    Augusto, hmm! That sounds like an idea worth exploring.

  96. Hi JMG and commentariat,

    Recently I’ve been hearing a bit about the veneration of a deity called ‘St. Death’ in Mexico. Apparently, it’s a revival of older Aztec theology with everything that implies, including human sacrifices. The cult or whatever you want to call it seems to be primarily popular with organized crime and radical leftists which I found interesting given how radicals traditionally tend to be atheistic. How much of that is true vs. a Catholic influenced line I don’t know, take it with a grain of salt and whatnot. If anyone knows more by all means let me know.

    It got me thinking about a post JMG made about the Lemurian Deviation. As the long descent picks up speed, and the progress religion utterly collapses, could daemonic entities prey on those desperately trying to find answers after the shattering of their world view? What would that look like and is there anything to be done if that happens?

    Regards,
    JZ

  97. Hello Mr. Greer and Commentariat
    I would once again like to take this opportunity to invite everyone here to join the #SaveSoil movement at savesoil.org
    Several caribbean nations, a number of environmental and agricultural organisations including the FAO and UN Convention to Combat Desertification have signed MoU’s or publicly stated support for the movement. Sadhguru, who is the public face of the campaign, is journeying on a motorcycle through Europe and Middle East to galvanize the public and policymakers. Everyone’s support would go a long way to raise awareness as well as enact policies to ensure a minimum of 3-6% organic content in soils.
    Thank you!

  98. @JMG: the same thing may be behind the business in China — I’ve wondered more than once if the latest flurry of lockdowns are camouflage for an attempt to fight a domestic insurgency

    Having lived in China, I would say that the odds of this are close to zero, at least in the Han heartlands which make up most of the country (the ethnic minorities on the peripheries are something else, but that’s not what we’re talking about here). If the extreme lockdowns are camouflage for anything, I’d say it’s far more likely that they’re a dry run for maintaining public order if/when things turn hot with NATO and its regional allies. (Possibly related: I’ve been reminded by comments on another site that in 2020 Ukrainian Nazis went to Hong Kong to support the anti-government protests there; make of that what you will, but I’m sure Beijing took note).

    The Guardian today (April 28) is reporting on how EU sanctions are simply boosting Russian revenues, and that Russia “has effectively caught the EU in a trap where further restrictions will raise prices further, cushioning its revenues despite the best efforts of EU governments”. The answer is, of course, to move to renewables; I guess we will now find out very quickly whether this is possible or not, and what level of social and economic activity can be sustained by renewable energy – something much discussed on this blog in the past!

    @Chris at Fernglade: thanks for the tip about the Schwedt refinery – I hadn’t seen that reported. It adds texture to the reports that CNOOC, the biggest Chinese energy company, is pulling out of the UK, the US, and Canada…

  99. re: waiting until after the first rush of blind panic and fury – I recall feeling relieved being gently pushed into not thinking about the virus in the posts and comments here in 2020. I agree that discussing it was useless to a large extent and it’s obvious now that the intense swirl had multiple purposes. I expected post election for a 180 to occur and the usual puffery of a new administration to begin. What’s occurred since has been morally clarifying.

    I do think your ideas and views of the future are out here and I just can’t quantify it. It shows up in weird ways like farm animals. This spring I’ve seen four neighbors get horses, two got pairs of cows, and three more either goats or sheep, about a dozen each. These are all small properties of 2-10 acres and a few had chickens before. I expected to see more chickens this spring. The horses made me realize people are committed to a car-less future. They are a lot of work and finicky and don’t have much purpose other than transport around here. I’ll have to keep my eye out for mules as those are a true American animal.

    Now you’ve never directed anyone to get farm animals, but the future you paint requires them. People are not dumb and can put 2+2 together. Regular people that is. Not people in positions of power. They are required to keep fooling themselves to keep their position.

  100. Well, now on sober second thought I realize I should not have shown off at ecosophia.net yesterday evening by mentioning my feeble efforts in respect of the Titular Metropolitan of Volokolamsk: It was, however, morally okay that I did mention my own blog, with its various Ukraine-related postings (toomaskarmo[dot]blogspot[dot]com). – Also, having this morning a little unexpectedly found time either to skim or to speed-read quite a bit of the material here on ecosophia.net, I would like to say how good it is to see discussions of civic-resilience technologies, such as food preservation, sewing machines, and mimeographs. – Special thanks are due to Justin Patrick Moore for posting on that civic-resilience technology which is shortwave radio. The articles to which Mr Moore refers are at several points instructive, indicating lines of research as we in northern Europe try to do what we can to support Ukraine in its agony. – I would like for my part to note, for the possible benefit of people working in radio, a literature discovery from yesterday. My discovery was that a United Kingdom ham, G3TXQ, has an unusually clear impedance-matching article entitled “What tuners do”. This writer supplies the right kind of examples, with the right amount of maths (no handwaving, no vagueness, but also nothing beyond what is needed). The full URL is http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/tuner_match/. Additionally, I find that Google locates the article when given the search string >>>>G3TXQ what tuners do<<<< .

    Hastily, resolutely,

    Tom = Toomas (at dark-sky campus of Tartu Observatory, in south-central Estonia)

  101. Thank you, JMG, for your answer.
    Another two questions:
    What do you think about geobiology? Do you have some experience in it?

  102. To my understanding, you’ve long asserted that nuclear power (in all it’s real and fabled-to-be-here-SOON varieties), at an honest accounting (accidents, cleanup, decommission, incentives to compete, and on and on), is uneconomic in that nuclear energy requires takes in more usable energy than it ever produces.

    Am I giving your position it’s fair shake?

    When I encountered that position, it fitted well with other thoughts I had, and I never did much look into it.

    Now I’m curious to look at it deeper, as there seems to be a groundswell of strange bedfellows who are joining the “nukes are the answer” (to recovering/keeping certain standards of living for certain people). Can you please recommend me some people/books/articles that would be a good starting point for furthering my comprehension on the economic argument?

  103. Here’s a question to which I’ve never been able to find an answer. In the book The Haunting Of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, heroines Eleanor and Theodora are walking down a path in the haunted woods as it gets dark. The color around them switches to the negative—white sky and trees—and Eleanor thinks “Now I am really afraid.” But the women continue on to the end of the path, where Eleanor sees a sunlit vision of a happy family picnic. Theodora, however, screams in horror and they flee for their lives. No one I’ve asked can figure out what Theodora saw, although one person suggested that since the book was written in the dawn of the swinging ‘60’s, and Theodora is what was then called a Bohemian, maybe, to her, the happy family picnic IS the horror. 😄. If Shirley Jackson left any notes about what Theodora saw, I haven’t found them. I’ve read all the reviews and reread-type articles I can find. No luck. Has anyone who has read this book figured out what Theodora saw?

    (As an aside, Shirley Jackson is best known as a horror writer, but Kindle used to carry one or two books of her other specialty, Erma Bombeck-type domestic comedy, also worth reading. Try used book sellers.)

    While I’m on books, I love those reread-type articles and series EXCEPT that the ones I have found are all written by PMCs and, though still enjoyable, are thus quite predictable, conformity being one of the highest PMC virtues. I am not saying I’m qualified to tell other people what qualities they should consider virtues, but I am saying predictability can get—well, predictable after a while. I’m thinking of doing my own reread articles, since I was born in 1959 and was thus an adult before the PMC really got established so I can provide a novel, for today, viewpoint. (I can remember reading and enjoying Mike Royko, a man who considerably upped the profit margins of the Chicago Tribune; these days they probably wouldn’t hire him, since he lacked a journalism degree, or, indeed, a degree, period.) I’m not claiming I will offer brilliant insights, but they will at least be something different. May I encourage everyone else with a non-PMC perspective to write? Maybe you’re from an unfashionable country like Hungary. Maybe you practice a non-mainstream religion (I can think of a Druid who writes interesting articles). Maybe you just have unfashionable or unusual opinions. Please share them. After all, somebody’s got to provide a flow of interesting reading material now that prolific Stephen King has been absorbed into the Borg and no longer gives us readers many surprises.

    The unusual thing about PMC conformity, to me, is there seems no way out of same if you want to remain in your class—and, after all, who lightly gives up job, friends, family? This is not true of the other classes. The very rich, e.g. J. K. Rowling, and the very poor can do pretty much what they want with little social penalty. And as long as we make sure the people who know us can describe us as “a good worker,” we peasants also have quite a bit of social freedom. Being thought of as A Good Worker can get you forgiven for a lot. (“Yeah, he’s never paid any child support, and we’re pretty sure he’s the one who stole Dave’s truck, and those poor girlfriends of his…but he is a good worker!”). But the PMC—man. Let those poor souls step an inch out of the hive mind, if I may mix metaphors, and they’re risking darn near everything if they get caught.

    Writing critiques, which I can do in my sleep, will also allow me to write till the blogging and fiction-ing parts of my brain recover from whatever ails them. I used to love being assigned book reports—easy A!—and once got 5 points extra credit on one that must have been particularly good (“The Dracula Tape,” by Fred Saberhagen, which you should read right now. The actual book, I mean, not my long-lost 5-pointer.). And what, after all, is a critique but a book report for grownups?

    I suppose the safest place for non-conforming opinions is Substack? I’ll let you know when I have several pieces up, if JMG doesn’t mind. I think I’ll start with William Lindsay Gresham’s Nightmare Alley, because that gives me an excuse to read it again; because many people have seen one or both movies but comparatively few have had the pleasure of the book; and because I was born at the tail end of the civilization in which it takes place and so I have heard a lot of firsthand descriptions of same, and indeed, still have one living relative from that civilization. (He’s 86, we hope to have him for at least another 5-10 years.)

    Enough kittenly rambling. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Open Post.

  104. 🎼”One toke over the line, sweet Jesus, one toke over the line!”🎼

    😄

  105. Hi John Michael,

    Maybe it’s just me, but if someone says to me: “if you steal X (gas is not technically the PCK refinery I’m guessing is their thinking) there will be consequences”, then you know I’d take that admonition seriously. It also suggests that the other party knows full well that theft is going to be a problem over which they have no direct control, but consequences can be dealt. This is just too weird for my brain to comprehend – perhaps it just makes no sense, that’s always a possibility.

    Cheers

    Chris

  106. @Will O:

    Here in my corner of England (Devon, in the south-west), things are greening up pretty nicely already. Any time between April and September is a pretty safe bet for greenery in the southern part of the country, and if it’s a mild autumn (which it usually is these days), it can even stretch into October. Even if you miss the green, the leaves are usually still on the trees through November, and the autumn shades are quite lovely.

    The more northerly climes are a little different, and of course it very much depends on the very changeable weather – within my short lifetime, I have known winters with no snow at all, bitterly cold winters that lasted well into April, mild rainy summers, summers with 30+ degree heat, and so on. I sometimes wonder if the unpredictability of the weather in Britain and Ireland has given the natives of these isles our peculiarly wry, off-the-wall sense of humour.

  107. #6 TemporaryReality: Dehydration has been mentioned already but I’d recommend it for most herbs (not super leafy ones like basil or parsley though since no flavor remains), tomatoes, green beans and making your own fruit leather by dehydrating very thinly sliced watermelon.

    Another preservation technique I’d recommend is infusions. Herbs in oil, vinegar or vegetable glycerin. Or fruit and herbs in alcohol. The recipe I’ve enjoyed is what’s called Bachelors Jam which is a great way to drink a full summers worth of fruit harvests. You fill a mason jar with alcohol over 80 proof. Beginning of the season strawberries are first to come up so you add strawberries completely submerged to the alcohol and some sugar. Then when the blueberry harvest comes in you add those on top of the strawberries plus a little more sugar. Mulberries, melon, apples, grapes etc… proceeding through the growing season. Then around Christmas time filter out the fruit (put the fruit over ice cream for a boozy compote of sorts) then you can adjust the alcohol to taste by adding water to lower the proof or adding more sugar to sweeten it. Really nice on a cold winter night to sip the whole summer in a glass.

    #29 Jeff Russel: As far as a perennial grain crop Kernza (Thinopyrum intermedium) looks promising looks like another poster mentioned it.

  108. Just a reminder that the Ecosophia Book Club in Calgary, Canada, is reading books mentioned on this blog and JMG’s other blog, and meeting regularly to discuss our readings and other topics of interest. If you’re in the area and are interested in joining us, please email user ashrountree, email service yahoo. The ending of the email address is com, not ca.

    Currently we’re reading The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin.

    Thanks to JMG for opening this delightful intellectual salon.

    – Brother Kornhoer

  109. History is rhyming again, by why does it have to be the 1970s? GDP was down last quarter, but inflation is high. The business news actually admitted stagflation has arrived.

    Last time industrial policy cloaked as environmentalism chased me into the Navy. This time the Green New Deal to fight Climate Change is on the table, but I’m too old to join the Navy. The rhythm may be the same, but ending words will be different.

    One thing that I just thought of, the ’70s had a pair of one term Presidents, that looks pretty probable now too.

  110. @CR Patiño #51
    Absolutely! I haven’t gotten too deep into cryptography but I have an offset cypher cylinder. That’s definitely going to be a need, especially if we want to talk about inconvenient things like political economy, or incompetent future monarchs. Thank you for the analog suggestions as well, I’m working hard on those in particular.

    @team10tim #92
    That’s another excellent suggestion. The perspective another culture or even schools of thought give you are are definitely worth it. One of the startling revelations I’ve had was that rationality is contextual. I picked it up from Friedrich Hayek and to be rational is simply to have a rationale. “Two gentlemen find themselves at cross purposes” Moriarity. The example Hayek gives is 3 people arguing over what to do in a river bend, leave it wild? Build a factory? Build homes? Which one of these people was irrational?
    I’ve collected some ideas on cross cultural influences and ideas like Machiavelli’s Discourses, the Strategikon of Maurice, the Art of War Sun Tzu and the Arthashastra of Kautilya. I would also like to read the “Four Books and Five Classics” from China. I’ve currently been making my way slowly through the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
    I’m also a fan of low tech magazine and his discussions of the Chinese wheelbarrow, power water networks and compressed air networks. There’s plenty of space for things like the Diderot Enclopedie, the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious mechanical devices, etc.
    Love the idea of being a polyglot though my Spanish is painfully slow. I’ve also done a lot of contemplating about how a cultures metaphysics feeds their ideas from Ghandi’s quote about how thoughts become destiny. I.e. the conception of time, many other places have a sense that time is cyclical as opposed to linear like ours and that has led to some interesting understandings. As you said it builds flexibility in the models and thinking. I would one day like to see multiple schools of Mentats that were willing to share information cross culturally.
    My background is not education but making a plan like that is a good idea. I have kids and so have aimed it with the thought of training kindergartners (or at least starting there.) My older daughter effectively used the art of memory with 5 objects in a room so it’s quite scalable. She also liked shape pegs for numbers.
    Your last suggestion is sort of where I’ve been putting some serious effort. Games and memory and focus (again children) I recently found a game of dice that had letters on it instead and the objective was to spell as many words as you could, I’ve done this with a handful of dice to play arithmetic and demonstrate multiplication, I also like Tangrams for illustrating that concepts can be combined in multiple ways. Building perceptual abilities like Sherlock and more into the woo side the aura glasses. I am focusing mainly on analog, because of the future being discussed on this blog.

    @Jeff Russell #93
    I couldn’t find it on that post (searching Mentat) but I do remember you asking and bringing it up so that’s a great suggestion, I meant to respond but sort of wandered off, work etc. And suddenly we were onto next week’s post. One of the things I’ve been doing with the Farnham Street Models is trying to turn them into questions. I.E. second order thinking becomes “and then what happened?” Or First principles becomes “First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?” Hannibal Lecter.
    History becomes “what happened the last 3 times?” JMG
    The problem with Utopia is whose? “Who, whom?” “Who gets to tell whom what to do?”
    Friedrich Hayek.
    “Politics is who gets what and who pays?” JMG
    “Cui bono? Cui Malo?” That’s been an outgrowth of my limited understanding of the art of combinations. It’s about asking questions. Hit a thought stopper, “what if that wasn’t true?” Or “fair enough, is there a scale where that doesn’t work anymore?”
    And thank you for your other suggestions! I will look into them as time permits. I do think spaced repetition is the other key to the art of memory, and have found the logarithmic time scale of longer and longer intervals fairly true.

  111. Cary,

    I have installed two solar hot water systems (or solar thermal systems as they are sometimes called), one in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts, both in areas with deep winter freeze cycles.

    You probably know this, but for cold-weather climates, solar thermal systems must use an indirect heating method in which the fluid in the panels is a glycol solution–basically antifreeze. The panels on the roof heat up the fluid, then the pump cycles it down into the house to exchange the heat with the domestic water.

    In both installations, I hired an installer, and each setup was a mashup of components from different companies. The panels were from one manufacturer, the heat exchanger from another, and the control system from another. Of the two setups, the one I preferred included AET panels, a Superstor tank, Grundfos pumps, and an Eagle 2 control panel.

    In my opinion the design of the system and the competence of the installer is more important than the manufacturer of the equipment. Here is the key issue, which is more important than anything else in my opinion: in most retrofit situations, the installers prefer to install the exchanger on a second, new hot water tank, and they place this tank so that it pre-heats the water feeding into the home’s existing hot water heater tank. This is what I wound up with in the second installation I did. I believe this is more common because it is easier, cheaper, and less disruptive to the home’s existing plumbing, but I do not recommend this.

    In the first system I installed, We replaced the home’s hot water heater with a brand new one that had heat exchanger coils inside the tank. This was a more elegant solution and I noticed a much better energy savings from this setup.

    One resource I recommend is _Convert Your Home to Solar Energy_ by Barber and Provey. The authors are from Connecticut and there are clear descriptions of different technologies. What I like about this book is that the authors actually got the message about embodied energy, and the book is organized in order of priority of retrofit measures (first passive solar>air sealing>insulation>solar thermal>solar PV panels last). Weatherize before you solarize.

    Good for you for taking this on!

  112. JMG,

    Thanks for your response!

    The book you linked to

    https://www.globalgreyebooks.com/gist-of-swedenborg-ebook.html

    looks great actually! Consisting of shortish quotes from the range of Swedenborg’s work, it does in fact give the gist and should be a good place to start for people who are interested.

    Heaven and Hell may be the most popular of his books, giving a sweeping travelog of the Otherworld. Divine Love & Wisdom is good entryway to his theology, followed by Divine Providence.

    Interestingly, Swedenborg was called Buddha of the North by Zen master DT Suzuki, who wrote several books on the Swedish mystic. I find common ground with the Vedas or for instance this quote by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.

    Thank you again, JMG

  113. @Mark L.

    You wrote on the last open post something I’ve been thinking about a lot since. You noted that a lot of the skills that will be needed down the long decline aren’t things in demand by the general public. Indeed, the audience for many of the important skills are “boutique” and only affordable to, or even desired by, the wealthier classes.

    I’ve been stewing on that, along with the theme of inflation. I think I’ve circled around to your point indirectly.

    By definition, inflation means that you work the same amount of time and effort for less and less of a financial return for that time and effort as time goes on. Does there come a point, assuming that you’ve cut expenses as much as possible and got out of debt, where it makes more sense to either work part-time or not at all in order to create the things you need directly?

    Someone who knew the techniques of biodynamic gardening a la John Jeavons and had some space to grow food on could grow a good chunk of their own family’s food, rather than working harder to be able to afford less and less food. And trade produce for things you can’t do yourself.

    After some quick internet searches, I saw that this is what indeed happens in places where inflation has become so problematic, such as Argentina and Zimbabwe. People switch to the barter system.

    So those skills will likely become important pretty soon, depending on how bad inflation gets. And by the looks of things, it’s already pretty bad! There presumably could be a point where, say, an organic farmer is selling their produce to the wealthier classes who can afford it, and trading produce with other people for skills and products that they need which no longer makes sense to do using money.

    Me being naive, I’m probably missing that this is already happening right under my nose!

  114. I would like to remind all that the 5th Annual (sort-of) Midsummer Ecosophia Potluck will be held at our house this June 25, 2022. This is your opportunity to meet the some of the physical people whom we have come to know through these forums. Once again, whomever is coming from the furthest away is welcome to stay in our guest room. In order to ensure a maximum of diversity and inclusion of food groups, please sign up at the Google form here.
    That evening, there will be a WaterFire downtown, about a 15 minute walk from our house. I recommend it if you have yet to see one.

  115. Temporary Reality #6 asked about preserving green beans. Here’s the recipe that our family has used for pickling beans for the last 100 years or so.

    For each quart of beans:

    2 large or 3 medium cloves garlic
    1 head fresh dill
    1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
    1 cup water
    1/8 cup salt
    3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Pack beans tightly in jar with dill and garlic. Boil remaining ingredients and pour over beans
    in jar to fill within 1/2″ of top.

    Can with water bath canning method. Wait 2 to 3 weeks before opening jar to allow for
    best taste

  116. Mary, who are the Traditionalist people you define? Do you use anybody in the 80% bell curve, or draw the line with 5% weirdos and above who will always be with us? Who are the “Sensible people” you are part of? Same % question. Neither of those seem like groups to me, nor have any delineation nor cohesion within themselves. Indian or Muslim would seem the strongest traditionalists right now. Who is advocating for arranged marriages? Pentecostals? Other question: if those are the outliers, who is the defined center? Is that also 5 unrelated belief groups? That’s not a strange question in a society with no center and no cohesion, no longer even coherent subcultures. Also, even within those rules, nobody ever followed them. Personally I don’t feel traditional marriage has been on the regular menu for more than 30 years.

    Jeff, the Hudson valley was test-growing perennial wheat which may be available for sale. Of course the CO2 sequestration of this is truly laughable, but it would save on tilling, erosion, and a number of other things. No idea how you’d keep the much stronger, more spreading perennial weeds out. We could also easily perennial right now, with permaculture, trees, and so on. Nobody does, I would guess for reasons.

    LookingGlass: why would you believe a word they say? If you put all the parameters in an ordinary computer, it would spit out similar possible scenarios. You could then use this to sell people on taking normal, reasonable advice they won’t otherwise. And thereby avoid WWIII: a net benefit for people who won’t listen. It’s the same as saying “The plants told me they don’t like Brawdo” to the criminal Idiocracy who are in charge of things. The framing is a scam, but not a wrong one: the possibilities are in fact real and likely. I also don’t see why it couldn’t be real. If scrying is real, certainly this can happen. If you somehow use a “quantum techno-scrying” that would be this.

  117. I have been offline mostly. I did have a question for Magic Monday but couldn’t get to a computer in time….

    I am living in a reality TV Show: When appliances go bad. I had to replace nearly all my appliances in a two-month period including a water heater. I asked around and other people are having the same experience.

    Is there something like in Astrology or someplace else, where appliances are cursed?

    As for me, I really shouldn’t know the repair people by their first names. But I now do.

    I had to go back to when I lived with no electricity – when I was growing up in the North Woods.

    Anyway, is the phase over? Or am I still cursed?

  118. Could mass formation psychosis really just be Stockholm syndrome on massive scale?
    My friends family, and associates who still hold onto their particular political affiliations (one’s I use to hold( I am a recovering liberal (10 years clean))) there just is no other explanation I can find for their continued enthusiastic support. They are generally good people, some college educated, some naturally smart and inquisitive persons. Yet when it comes to any subject they fall instantly into the company line.
    Makes me wonder if I’m the crazy one.
    I often think of the story of the kingdom that’s water supply was poisoned and everyone went mad and turned on the good king. The king finally drank from the same water source, and the people declared once again the greatness and sound mind of the good king.
    (Not that I See myself as the good king 😉)

  119. One more thing – it seems in Neo-Pagan land, that people are doubling down anyone who has an opinion on transgender issues. It is mostly – if you say nothing or don’t follow my lead, you are slime that oozed out of the primordial sludge.

    Since I see things as being very grey, I ended up being that slime. I just figure that it must be nice to be so sure about everything. I guess it reflects the culture out there.

    We have a little library next to the supermarket – take and read and replace books. I have been leaving my Neo-Pagan books there and “The King is Orange.” All of them are a major hit. I am curious – is there some sort of underground movement away from binaryism.

  120. Hi JMG,

    I hope this is not too personal. Otherwise delete!

    Above you mentioned, that you rent these days.
    And in your past comments you implied, that these days your financial situation is comfortable. So I assume that renting was a choice.

    Can I ask why? I come from a culture where ownership is a big deal so I would like to get your perspective. I have always found your perspective illuminating.

  121. @ JMG

    (sigh) I know. I guess I can live with the monster spiders. We need something large enough to eat the murder hornets anyway. But those worms… ick!… fortunately, it may be a little too cold up here for them as they are a subtropical beastie and prefer it to be warm and damp.

    For those who are interested, info on the Internet says hammerhead worms are nocturnal and if you want to get rid of them, you need to go out at night and collect them in a plastic bag (wearing gloves as they are irritating to touch) then put in vinegar as this helps dissolve them. Don’t cut them up as each piece will grow into a new worm. Which makes me think gardeners will need to ditch their rototillers. One site recommended putting the bag in the freezer for two days while the vinegar’s doing its work, but that may be overkill. Of course, if you can’t stand wormy things there may be no such thing as overkill……

  122. I am beginning to think the US is at the same point in its history as the British Empire in 1914. The slow decline started years ago, the world is changing, and we are just starting to catch on to it. However, I’m worried that our incompetent, delusional elites could inflame the Ukraine War into the Big One. Putin obviously thought he had to fight now, and he is not likely to be able to accept a defeat if he considers this is a real existential crisis for Russia. I doubt that it would go nuclear, but miscalculations and mistakes happen. After all, none of the European leadership had any idea of what they started in 1914.

    I don’t see China abandoning Russia; they know what would be be in store for them next. I could see the end of the Dollar as the World currency, NATO and the EU being devalued at best, and numerous problems worldwide.

    This step in the decline may be a big one!

    Good luck all!

    Cugel

  123. And just to follow up on my previous comment, here’s the UK’s Foreign Minister (equivalent of the US Secretary of State) calling for China to be threatened with sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia if they don’t do what they’re told, and for the G7 to become an “economic NATO”. This could get… interesting…

  124. John–

    I’ve seen the pushback against the notion of the long descent of industrial civilization generally (and you’ve shared a number of examples on your blogs over the years), but have you seen (or experienced) similar pushback against the fall of the US empire?

    I’d pose the same question to the commentariat, as well.

  125. Temporaryreality #6:

    You asked about sourdough, here’s how I do it. This is a recipe for two loaves, you can adjust for how many loaves you’re making as long as the proportions stay the same. You will need a kitchen scale that measures to the gram, measuring ingredients by mass gets you way more consistent bread. It seems like a lot at first, but I barely even have to think anymore when I’m doing it. See below for book recommendation that would ease you into it.

    1. Feed your starter 24 hours before you start (I feed every two days by eye, I don’t even know the measurements anymore). I just feed whole wheat flour and water. One thing that seems wasteful but really helps keep an active starter – only use about a tablespoon of your old starter when you feed with fresh flour and water, and compost the rest. When I had chickens, I would feed them my old starter.
    2. Mix 210g whole wheat flour, 240g water, ~30g starter. This is your “pre-ferment”. Let sit 12ish hours at room temp.
    3. Into your pre-ferment, mix 750g bread flour, 450g water, 24g sea salt. This is now your complete dough.
    4. After mixing dough, wait 15-30 minutes and then “stretch and fold” the dough about 10 times. You can find how to do this online, it’s much easier than kneading.
    5. Wait another 15-30 minutes, stretch and fold 10 times again. Repeat this twice more for a total of 4 stretch and folds.
    6. Allow dough to rise to 150% of it’s volume at the end of step 5. About 6-8 hours at room temp (this can vary depending on the season and if you heat your house or not), could be 24-48 hours in the fridge. The fridge is your friend if your schedule gets hectic! It can slow everything down without harming the process.
    7. Pre-shape your loaves. Basically, cut the dough in half on a floured countertop, then fold in the four corners of each dough blob, then flip so the seam side is down. Let rest 10 minutes.
    8. Shape your loaves. There are lots of ways to do this, from rolling to “scrunching” under the dough – look around online and you’ll find lots of ways.
    9. Place your shaped loafs into either: a banneton basket lined with a floured cloth (white rice flour works particularly well, but any flour will do) or; a greased bread pan. A big enough bowl will also work in a pinch instead of a banneton.
    10. Let loaves rise to 150% of their volume at the end of step 9. Again, 6-8 hours at room temp, 24-48 in the fridge.
    11. Preheat your oven to 475F for 45 minutes. If you are making loaves in a banneton, place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven to preheat with the oven. You want the pan to be scorching hot before you put the bread it, which is why the 45 minute pre-heat.
    12. Flip and slash the top of your banneton loaves (this prevents them blowing out all over the place), then use a cradle of parchment to drop them them into the hot dutch oven and put the lid on. For bread pan loaves, tightly cover the top of the pan with foil, leaving enough space for the final rising during baking.
    13. Bake covered for 20-25 min, then uncover (remove foil or dutch oven lid) and bake for 20-25 minutes until desired level of brownness is reached. This is personal taste, and may also depend on your oven.
    14. Let the loaves cool fully on a drying rack before eating! I know, it’s tempting to eat it warm, but it will be much gummier if you don’t let it cool. Much better to let it cool and then heat it up again if you really want warm bread.

    My method is all from Josey Baker’s book (Josey Baker Bread) which I highly recommend to anyone getting started with sourdough. Starts at the very beginner level and works up step by step to all kinds of things, like incorporating additives (cheese, sesame seeds, garlic, olives, yum!), sourdough pizza, 100% whole wheat sourdough, spelt sourdough, and more. Very accessibly written too.

    I also made myself a cheat-sheet that I laminated and keep in my kitchen for whenever I bake that has all the measurements and steps, and would be happy to share if anyone wanted. Just let me know where to email it.

  126. @Bogatyr #103

    “The answer is, of course, to move to renewables”

    Europe is already quite far along the renewables path. The best sites will already be taken. New installations will have to contend with less wind/more cloud/higher property prices or rentals/longer distances from the grid etc. Not to mention equipment supply problems which don’t seem to be ending soon. The “free” electricity is going to become mighty expensive.

  127. Hi John, happy (late) spring solstice!

    I’ve been trying to remember a technique you suggested to do after ether discursive meditation or the sphere of protection, so far of what I recall you’ve learned it from a Buddhist? I cannot remember exactly where I’ve read that, can you remind me of it?

    Also, lately I’ve been reading a lot of people claiming that we’ve got all our zodiac signs wrong and that Vedic astrology is more accurate, etc. What do you make of it? And what solid books on Western astrology do you suggest?

    Thanks.

  128. I’ve heard the term “blackmail” thrown about a lot these days, as in “Russia is blackmailing Europe” by suspending (or threatening to suspend) deliveries of fuel unless paid in rubles. At first, I thought that this was a misuse of language. If we set aside the obvious problem that barring the Russians from trading in dollars forces them to arrange an alternate payment scheme, I’d describe “suspending a contract for political purposes” as extortion, not blackmail. (It’s as if the West thought that we could make all of the decisions about sanctions!)

    But, after meditating on the issue, I took a moment to review the legal definition of blackmail, and it’s all about the threat to reveal embarrassing information or criminal activity if not being paid. And I realized: Europe’s dependence on Russian fuels IS an embarrassment! It’s a fact that they’ve been able to keep hidden (from the public, if not from people who actually care), and now it’s getting some attention. The actual depth of the dependency has yet to be revealed. Give it a year or so, and people who are only hearing about it now will be feeling it in their bones.

  129. Milkyway, yes Katz’s book is chock full (crock full?) of great stuff. I’ve made a few things from his collection (though my sauerkraut ends up too soft – probably because I don’t have a cool room or root cellar in which to store it. Perhaps I ought to just make small batches because my fridge can’t handle an entire crock of kraut).

    Here’s what I’ve fermented the most: https://temporaryreality.dreamwidth.org/11007.html – though this spring, with the last of the mustard-greens harvest I only went so far as to make the plain brine-ferment without the additional steps of drying and steaming. We’re putting it into stir-fries and noodle dishes.

    I also have a small amount of radish pods with which to do the same. Last time I did them, they didn’t turn soft because I stored them in the fridge.

    Another one I really like is salted-preserved lemons. I’ve used Meyer lemons in the past and their thinner skins are a plus here. I use them in all sorts of dishes, from baked chicken to sautéed asparagus and as a garnish for pasta.

    Do you make Rumtopf? I’ve never had it, but I have a recipe for it. My fruit trees are still small, so I doubt I’ll have such an abundance to warrant making the recipe this year, but maybe someday.

    GP I just saw your post and realized you’re describing Rumtopf! Yours is the first commentary I’ve ever read on the concoction, so thanks for mentioning it. Also, the watermelon slices!

    polecat – great list! Yes, I’ve had luck making sourdough starter – now to practice enough that the end-product (ideally bread, but I suppose I should explore pancakes and such) is enjoyably edible. I started pressure canning this year (so far, stock and beans have been attempted). I hope my tomatoes do well so I can can them this summer.

    Suzie thanks so much for the bread recipe – I’ll give it a try!

    jbucks, in reference to inflation – your thoughts seem quite reasonable. The more the money inflates, the more important it is to find ways to de-link from the money-derived system. In addition to the gardening and food preservation and (attempts at) analog and home-scale printing, I’ve been out collecting my town’s landscape plants to experiment with dyeing (to complement my fledgling sewing skills). I’ve found barberry makes a lovely pink (not sure how lightfast, but it does seem to be recognized as a dye material). I’m also learning to spin. I want to have useful skills and be able to create useful (and beautiful) things. Obviously, I’m tightly bound still to the money economy (and using it to buy what tools and necessities I can, while I can still afford them), but, well, little by little I want to step away from that. The more of us who do so, the better, in my opinion.

  130. Just after I posted my bit on “blackmail”, I found a fresh article from the Washington Post in my inbox: “The Daily 202: *** Putin’s counterproductive gas ‘blackmail’ hits Europe. The big idea: European leaders are showing a resolve to end their energy dependence on Russia”.

    OK, nothing we haven’t heard before. It winds up with this paragraph:
    “Now his energy gambit also seems counterproductive over the longer term, as Europe seems suddenly willing to act on long-standing concerns its dependence on Russia means it must mute its objections to Kremlin policies or face economic pain at home.”

    This all seems well and good, until I realized the significance of the part that I marked above as *** which was actually this text: “Presented by the American Petroleum Institute”. The news analysis is immediately followed by an (overt) ad placed by API: “More U.S. Oil Production Can Help Slash Gasoline Prices”.

    Several years ago, the WP was running special advertising sections every month or so, paid for by either the Russian or Chinese governments (“great places to invest, with people just like you!”). Having my news paid for by the oil company lobbyists may be an improvement, but I’m not sure.

  131. Funny the idea of what an advanced civilisation looks like has come up, given what I’m going to say…

    This has been noted many times before, but depictions of a green, sustainable future have an awful lot of steel and glass and concrete. It’s basically Star Trek with plants. The same monofuture, but we use solar for everything (Solarpunk had promise, but then the socialists took it over and wrecked it with their fantasies of living in a yoghurt ad). No-one ever pushes a vision of the future where people live in houses of their own with gardens, rather than apartment blocks. Where transport is the same rails and canals we’ve had for coming up on two centuries now, and food comes from either the ground or animals that eat stuff that comes from the ground.

    In short, a future that can be implemented using stuff that already exists.

    I suspect a big part of this is what it’s not new and exciting. An anachronistic future that looks to a first glance like a cleaner, more hygienic version of the Victorian age with solar panels doesn’t look futuristic enough. Annoyingly, the early solarpunk stuff was all about this, but now it’s been taken over by Soviet Futurism and that is no more. I don’t think the people claiming that label now have any idea what embodied energy means, or what applicability that has to building steel and glass towers in a resource constrained age (we built the first ones to show we could — including that we had coal to burn…).

  132. Jasper @ 122, It is, granted, a fringe opinion, but, it seems to me, one which has influence larger than its’ numbers. It has shown up on this blog in the past: perhaps I failed to notice changes in the discussions here. The problem, as I see it, with proclaiming or promoting ideas and programs which make the proclaimer feel good and righteous is not thinking though probable consequences and ramifications of what is being advocated–Defund the Police is a good, current, example.

    Princess Cutekitten @ 108 I remember Shirley Jackson as a brilliant and rather ambiguous writer the likes of whom would never, IMHO, find a major publisher today. Do not get me started on current American publishing, that cesspool of self satisfied mediocrity. I don’t think I ever read the story to which you referred. Right now I am reading Joyce Carol Oates’ first novel, a tale of sexual obsession, all the more effective as Oates used the detached style which I privately call American realism; Oates’ novel reminds me a little of Drabble’s The Waterfall. I have always thought that Drabble’s early novels are her best, and that she is a far better writer than her sister, who, I think, ought to have stayed with short stories.

    I have fond memories of reading Mike Ryoko..(paraphrase) in the South black folks had no right to vote. In Chicago they had the right to vote for the Democrat of their choice. As for rereads, do you mean reviewing forgotten gems for a new audience, assuming such exists? I would love to, but where? Do you know of a venue not owned by Mr. Bezos, and not one whose name insults a magnificent river?

    JMG, could you please elaborate on your remark that the author Graeber and others didn’t and don’t understand feudalism? Are these folks merely parroting Marx–stupidity of rural life or is something else involved?

  133. Less of a question, more of a data point:

    I was speaking with a young lady barista at the local coffee shop (Chicago, if relevant) and she spoke about how she’s saved up money and is looking at investment options and she *literally* said:

    “I have some of it in, you know, boring stuff. Like Bitcoin.”

    The youth of today officially think Bitcoin is boring. I thought you’d get a kick out of that, especially as she went on to talk about the investments she was really excited about- which was the hip exciting revenue generators known as vending machines. As in, owning and operating physical, actual vending machines. I remember some time back you said that something that gives you hope is that young people in America have taken a cold, hard look at their future and concluded that it has nothing to do with the glitzy, tawdry tomorrowland peddled by their elders. This seemed an example of that.

    Thanks as always, for this space.

    – Matt

  134. Hi Mary Bennett, I plan to start a substack reviewing exactly such forgotten gems, glad to hear from someone else who loves them! I hope to find plenty of books of interest to all ages and both sexes. The publishing business these days seems to concentrate on chick-lit. There’s nothing wrong with chick-lit, but by its nature it’s not of much interest to men.

  135. JMG,
    I have a very vague question about demonic possession.
    I have seen friends and members of my family showing very strong signs of mental deterioration for a couple of months at the beginning of the year. This was not entirely unexpected – some are old and one friends has MS.
    It’s also not just my observation.

    But the surprising thing is the recovery – in the last month they are going back to (almost) normal.

    I understand this could be the result of a reality shock – Russia did not collapse in a week and instead they are suffering the economic effects of EU stupidity.
    Or it could be transient microclots due to foxing, in which case it could all come back anytime.

    But, is there a chance that this is simply demons losing their hold on people? How would the other side of a demonic possession look like?

  136. David BTL and JMG about the entitlement of EU elites.

    Can I correct you and say that not just the elites, but a large procent of the EU population has the same delusion?
    I knew that PMCs are going to be certain they are right and the best(!) but even the poor or immigrants in western Europe sometimes absorb that same certainty through cultural osmosis.

  137. Wer here
    i don’t know what are thoose people thinking. They are really planning to attack that place with the ammo it is on Moldavian land – then what another quagmire, Poland is in bad shape we can’t receive another million of migrants (considering the fact the people are throwing potatoes on Macron and setting cars on fire in France they don’t want either).
    Yesterday I went to a public healthcare clinic to get some prescription medicine and on of the nurses yelled that 2 patients died in Piła because there is a shortage of ambulances, she ended with a remark “what I am supposed to do? Buy an ambulance myself?
    That place NadNiedrzańsk is a bunker and Moldavia is hostile to Ukraine now (do they seriously think that nobody has a plan in that case?).
    Russian planes control the air over Ukraine even Pentagon admits that, they are going to charge that place??
    What is this The ride of Rohhirim from that movie?
    Yes let’s attack the heavly fortified region whoose defenders can count on almost endless supplies of food and ammo to support themselfs, meantime Russian and Moldavian troops can hit them from behind, the stupidity is endless now
    Polish army is mobilising some of it’s armored columns (we don’t have a lot of them approx 20% of the amount Ukraine had) and at the openning of this war the majority of them were shipped to the Kalingrad border (do they seriously think the Russians didn’t anticipate any problems there?).
    Donald Trump made an interview last day wherehe said that “stupid people are in charge of the country and unless something changes, the world will be destroyed” At this rate NATO and Democrats will take a beating and then a Republican landslide will happen in the US.
    P.S I heard that people are escaping the blue states in droves Is that true? Is that why millions of migrants are crossing the boarder?
    this just came in, the largest exporter of palm oil in the world Indonesia is hutting down all of it’s exports. Oh boy whatever the vegans will do? Like in that Joker movie “is it getting crazier outside with every moment”
    Parody is now being broadcasted on live feed. /: /:

  138. @jbucks #118

    “There presumably could be a point where, say, an organic farmer is selling their produce to the wealthier classes who can afford it, and trading produce with other people for skills and products that they need which no longer makes sense to do using money.”

    This is already happening to a great degree in my community, and it works well for all involved. The trouble is that it still depends on the existence of those upper class buyers. I see that as a problem for two reasons:

    1. It tends to insert upper class (i.e. “woke”) values and causes into the resilience/practical skills community, and

    2. It makes it much more difficult to succeed with these sorts of endeavors in areas far from upper class markets, so there are very large resilience “deserts” in wage-class communities and regions.

  139. @viduraawakened #35

    Regarding 9/11,the Kennedy assassination, etc. Well, I think JMGs answer is probably spot on. However, I will add this…

    9/11 – Two planes, three buildings at WTC. Sorry, but the official narrative is just not possible. There is no way that WTC7 was exposed to high enough temperatures to collapse onto its own footprint solely from an attack on a nearby building. So the official story is crap.

    JFK assassination – The Zapruder film shows unequivocally that the fatal shot came from the front. Oswald was allegedly in the Texas School Book Depository when the shots were fired. In other words, behind the president. So the official story is crap.

    That’s what we know. What we don’t know is who was actually behind these tragic events. Who has the clout needed to cover up such enormous crimes, and to control the narrative to such an extent that those who point out the obvious inconsistencies are marginalized or otherwise (ahem, like Oswald) “removed from the conversation”?

    As JMG said, it is unlikely that anyone outside a small group of insiders actually knows the full story. But these events make it pretty clear that such a group of insiders does exist, and have no problem committing massive atrocities to further their aims. And that those aims are not aligned with the interests of ordinary Americans.

  140. John, there’s been a lot of Catholic disinformation about the rising cult of Santissima Muerte. (I’m not sure why it is that some Christians forget that commandment about not bearing false witness against your neighbor when the neighbor in question belongs to a different religion.) You might try looking her up under the Spanish version of her name; alternatively, my Mexican readers can doubtless point you to some good sources. As for malefic spirits, those have their heyday in the peak era of a civilization, not in its decline and fall — it’s during the latter period, in fact, that old religions are revitalized and new ones are born, because material wealth and success are great ways to barricade yourself against the Spirit.

    Mohsin, thanks for this.

    Bogatyr, fair enough. The Han Chinese have a history of robust domestic insurgencies more than two millennia long, but as you say, you’ve been there and I haven’t.

    Denis, I don’t think I’m responsible for the farm animals, though I’m delighted to hear this. (Especially the goats — I have a permanent soft spot in my heart for goats, having tended them in my commune days.) I think a lot of people, on one level or another, sense what’s coming and are making preparations.

    Toomas, thanks for this!

    Chuaquin, I had to look it up just now because I’d never heard of it before. Draw your own conclusions.

    Stinkhornpress, no, that’s not quite correct. I don’t care to guess whether nuclear power is actually net-energy negative, though I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this is the case, and I think it’s very likely true that it can’t produce enough net energy to support the kind of society that can maintain nuclear power plants. What I know is that it can’t pay its bills. I don’t keep a file of articles on the subject, but you should be able to look up the economics of nuclear power easily enough.

    Your Kittenship, I’ve never read Jackson, so I can’t help you there. I think a Substack book review column is a great idea; given the sheer dullness of the book reviews in the mainstream press, I suspect you’ll win a following in short order.

    Chris, oh, granted, but haven’t you ever met one of those clueless privilege bunnies who are blissfully certain that consequences are strictly for other people?

    Siliconguy, we blew it the last time. Now, improbably, it looks as though we might just get a second chance to get it right.

    Eudaimonia, glad to hear it. One of the reasons I asked is that I’ve got it on my secondhand Kindle, with an eye toward beginning a dive into Swedenborg; the other is that I want something I can recommend people who ask about the Swedish seer.

    Neptunesdolphins, good heavens. No, there’s nothing astrological in process that I know of. Did all your appliances fail in the same way? Or were they all of the same vintage?

    Travis, it’s terrifying right now to look at what’s actually happening in the world. Many people can’t handle that, and flee into the dreamworld marketed by the media for solace. I’ll be talking about that, and about the situation building around us, in an upcoming post.

    Neptunesdolphins, that’s very common in failing ideologies and religions — since everyone knows that the whole shebang is falling apart and nobody wants to admit that, finding tests of loyalty and turning on anyone who fails them is a common sport.

    Marko, there are complex reasons. One of them is that my wife and I decided to rent when we moved to Rhode Island; we want to be sure it’s going to work for us before we buy. Another is that housing prices are wildly inflated in the US these days (though they’re better in RI than in many other places) and the chance of a sudden downward lurch in real estate values, making a home more affordable, is a real one.

    Jeanne, what I’ve read of the hammerhead worms is that north of the Mason-Dixon line, they’re mostly a problem in greenhouses. Still, we’ll see.

    Cugel, I see you’re paying attention.

    Bogatyr, you and Cugel should talk. 😉

    David BTL, interestingly, I’ve had very little pushback on that. I’ve had a few doctrinaire neoconservatives loudly insist that the US doesn’t have an empire and it isn’t falling, but that’s about it. As for the Save the Nukes campaign, funny!

    Aziz, do you mean this one? As for Vedic astrology, it works, but so does Western astrology. There are a lot of dreadfully bad books on Western astrology right now; see if you can find Llewellyn George’s A-Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator (the original version, pre-1980, not the “New A-Z etc.” which is garbage) or any of the writings of Alan Leo or Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson.

    Lathechuck, you know, that makes a lot of sense! As for “counterproductive,” er, counterproductive for whom? 😉

    Alice, I know. I’ve been trying to fight against that for well over a decade now, but the fantasy of skyscrapers forever is still welded in place.

    Matthew, excellent! I notice two things about the barista’s hot new investment. First, it exists right out there in the material world, and second, it provides an income, not the promise of speculative gain. Both of those are important steps in the right directions.

    NomadicBeer, that’s not the way that demonic influence usually works. Once they have their toys, they play with them until the toys break. I suspect it’s something else. As for the entitlement of Europeans, many thanks for the data points.

    Wer, okay, at this point I’m going to have to ask you for evidence for your claims.

  141. Jbucks #118 and Mark L from last week

    RE: skills, valuable but not profitable

    I think that this is a feature and not a bug. The issue has two components. Issue 1 is infrastructure, complexity and economies of scale and issue 2 is financial intermediaries.

    In the early days of a civilization the government creates more infrastructure and complex technologies and systems which give rise to economies of scale. Doing this requires financial intermediation of some kind, taxes, tribute or whatever you want to call it. The net gains from this arrangement allow for robust growth.

    But in the twilight years of a civilization the opposite is true and the taxes exceed the production for a variety of reasons. (Deforestation (Mayan), loss of top soil (ancient Greece, Corinthian), soil salinity (Babylonian), negative returns on Imperial wealth pump (British and Roman), and of course corruption and senile elites taking a larger share and producing less) but regardless of the reason the state is going to want a cut of the action even when it isn’t profitable to do it in the most cost effective way (the current standard way) so it will be less profitable to do it in an older and less profitable (read simpler and less dependent on infrastructure and supply lines) ways.

    There are two solutions. 1 collectively reduce the complexity of the society (Byzantium) and deliberately revert to an earlier way (Retrotopia). Or 2, do it off the books and under the table (gardening, bootlegging, bartering) which will either be a low profit sideline or actively illegal. Again, this not a bug it is a feature. If it was possible to do it profitably the state would want a big enough cut to put it in the same category as all of the other industries that are losing money in the dying civilization.

    As far as I can tell this baked into the rise and fall of civilizations. I believe Oswald Spengler said that every civilization starts in its own way and grows into something distinct, but they all collapse the same way. And I certainly don’t expect Faustian culture as a whole to realize the error of its ways and revert to something sustainable.

  142. JMG – Thank you! I certainly hope so. Using your numerology posts on the other blog, I’ve determined that 2022 is an 8 year for me. I think that means this is a good year to expand my basic sewing skills into an actual business.

    John+Dunn – Thanks for this. After examining my vintage treadle, the thought occurred to me, “I think I could probably modify this to use a newer machine.” I’ve added a Lehman to my shopping list. I’ll also keep my eye out for heads, and anything else, at my local Goodwill.

    Lunar Apprentice – Thanks for these suggestions. I’ll add them to my shopping list and see about acquiring them ASAP. Is there a substantial difference between sewing machine oil and oil lubricants like WD-40? I’ve found that many machines often work just fine with plain old oils like WD-40 but I don’t want to mess up my machine. As an aside, when I opened one of the drawers on my treadle, I found the original manual for the machine! This machine, based on the model and serial number, dates back to 1913. The manual is fragile but still readable! I thought that was pretty cool.

  143. I make a sourdough loaf with a dense, fine crumb and thin crust baked in a frying pan on a hot plate. A loaf usually lasts me four days. Towards the end it gets stale and is better warmed.

    Flour: Equal parts by weight of white, wholemeal, and rye flour.

    Starter: Mix a few tablespoons of flour with water to a porridgy consistency and stand at room temperature. Every day add flour and water and mix in. After 3-4 days bubbles start forming. It is now ready. From now on, store in the fridge and continue adding flour and water daily.

    Water: Use water with no chlorine, i.e. from the hot tap or been standing overnight.

    First rise: In a bowl mix 3/4 of the starter, a cup of flour, salt and lukewarm water to a stiff porridge. Stand covered in a warm place 2 1/2 – 3 hours till doubled in size.

    Second rise: Turn out on a floured board. The mix should be a creamy consistency with a pleasant smell. Flip over and over with a knife to mix in the flour until it firms up, thereafter fold over with your hands and press until it forms a firm ball. Line a bowl with olive oil. Put the dough ball in the bowl, then turn it over so it is covered in oil top and bottom. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 1/2 – 3 hours till it doubles in size. Add any leftover flour to the starter.

    Baking: Put a light sprinkle of flour into a heated frying pan. Loosen around the edges of the dough in the bowl and tip it into the frying pan. Put a lid on the pan. After six minutes, slide the still wet dough out onto a plate, cooked side down, re-dust the pan and dough with flour, put the pan upside down on the dough, flip over, and bake covered for another six minutes. Flip for six minutes, flip for six minutes, flip for two minutes, flip for two minutes (These last four flips the bread should be firm enough to flip without the plate.) If it is brown and hollow sounding when tapped it is done. Cool for an hour before eating.

    Note: It took some experimenting to find the right combination of hotplate setting and baking times. I use an old aluminium nonstick pan which is no longer nonstick. Making bread doesn’t take much time once you have your method sorted. I haven’t bought a commercial loaf of bread for more than four years.

    Starter and mixing paddle: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52034842677_44f7c958dc_z.jpg
    Baked loaf in frying pan: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52035883291_1203bbc90c_z.jpg

  144. JMG, I’m not sure if the reviews are dull, or the dull books make the reviews dull!

    The Haunting Of Hill House has one of literature’s great opening paragraphs—you should read the book. It’s like what I imagine a low-wattage acid trip would be like.

  145. Hello Mr. Greer,

    Awhile back on the other blog you mentioned that you have a very solid, conservative bank where you keep your funds. How did you go about finding such a bank? And how do you determine that a bank is solid in the first place?

    Thanks for all you do to maintain this community.

    -B

  146. Hi JMG,

    I recently discovered a 2016 novel about financial collapse and global de-dollarization called _The Mandibles: A Family 2029-2049_. The author is Lionel Shriver, who is still alive. I don’t believe I have seen it discussed here before.

    Of all the collapse fiction I have read, this one is the most sophisticated in its treatment of the fragility of the financial system. It also does a good job of showing how traumatic it will be for Americans to have their middle class comforts and conveniences wrenched away involuntarily.

    It has a number of flaws, chiefly a lack of awareness of peak oil (while there is water scarcity, there is still gas and electricity for those who have access to sound currency), but the financial story was good enough that I finished it and thought other readers here would like it.

  147. Bogarde, thanks for your link to the UK minister’s speech. She suggests that entire G7 “defend” against any threat to a G7 member’s “economic security”. If a newly elected Brazilian government decides to revoke the 30 year tax-exempt oil exploration license granted to Shell, BP and Exxon by the unelected Temer government after the parliamentary coup of 2016, does that count as a threat to the UK economic security?

  148. Peter Van Erp (aka Peter Khan) #120, your Google forms link is not working for me. Would you please repost? Thanks, adara

  149. There is Believing – as in “being intellectually convinced enough to swear to your belief in court,” and BELIEVING – because it gave you a sound one-two punch.

    I had my 4th COVID shot Friday, and an appointment with my primary care practitioner this morning. In between, I’ve been weak, achy, fatigued, and on Tuesday afternoon after grocery shopping, in such a brain fog I couldn’t whip up the initiative to go to bed, but sat on the couch for 4 hours straight. I ran all this by her, and while she’ll check me out with a metabolism test (blood and urine, took samples immediately,) her verdict was “It sounds like a reaction to your vaccination.” Right off the bat, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    JMG, you know I could never buy the either-or model of the early days (vax good, talk about downsides bad; vax bad, virus no big deal), but independently came to the conclusion that both sides were right about the both issues to some extent, and that both the disease and the vax could be truly nasty. It’s absolutely no fun having it proved.

    OK – data point from Florida. The front-running candidate for Governor, Charlie Crist – ex-GOP, turned Democrat, whose biggest talking point is “I’m not DeSantis,” really laid an egg Sunday. He said, and I quote, via the Gainesville Sun, “So while Ron DeSantic is trying to score points with the red meat, hard right, toothless crowd….”

    Oops! Open mouth, insert foot.

    Agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried, also running for governor as a Democrat, lit into Crist with “Floridians aren’t ‘toothless’ because they don’t vote for you… you think after three statewide losses, you’d know better.” The Sun also brought up Clinton’s “basket of deplorables,” and Crist’s ‘campaign’ – not he himself – denied he was targeting conservative voters with a word that can invoke stereotypes of poor rural people. But rather, “Charlie was referring to the toothless, spineless crowd that aids and abets DeSantis’s crusade to hurt, rather than help, Floridians…..”

    Feeble, Charlie, feeble.

    “Let them eat cake.”

  150. John–

    Re neocons arguing that the US wasn’t an empire and wasn’t falling in any event

    That’s funny! Back when I was a somewhat active commenter on the liberal blog PoliticaWire, I fielded arguments saying pretty much the same thing.

    Peas in a pod, I guess.

  151. Honyocker thanks for that, I’ve added it to the collection!
    DutyBound thank you as well. I’d love to receive your cheat sheet by email – my username here @ a gmail account would make it to me.

    And, on another topic, brought up by Drakonus – is “mentat’s wanted, will train” currently a one-person operation (self improvement, etc.?) or are you putting something shareable together? Thanks to Jeff Russell’s inquiry elsewhere (I think it was a Magic Monday), I started investigating Zettelkasten. There does seem to be a qualitative difference between analog and digital versions, so I’m going to start my own analog variety to see if I can coalesce, organize, and utilize my thoughts and ideas relative to things I read and meditate on. See Scott P. Scheper (website, youtube, etc.), who is writing a book on the ways the analog variety that follows Niklas Luhmann’s method actually enhances memory though its original purpose was to “outsource” memory.

    I’d be happy to hear of your continued efforts (see JMG’s idea?), and appreciated the comments in this vein – including Augusto’s sharing of the informal (?) unofficial (?) teaching/learning alliances related to the Liberal Arts question but that might be of use in this as well.

  152. Hey jmg

    Lately I have been playing with a sector I printed out from a pdf ,which I cut out and glued to card, then had laminated and finally riveted together.
    It works fairly well, but you have to be careful that it doesn’t move when you are setting the dividers or compass. You can divide and multiply lengths, calculate radius, diameter and circumference, and create polygons easily.
    Since you and a lot of readers here do geometry I think that the sector would be useful to you all. Unfortunately the website I got my pdf from is defunct, but someone else has made and similar product.

    https://www.byhandandeye.com/product/580/

  153. Wer here
    Well perhaps I am reading too much into ukrainian blogs right here. I don’t know maybe the panic and uncertainly is getting to me. Where I live in poland we have problems getting to information that is not part of the mainstream. I don’t know maybe i am turning into another Kyvian, that one from a few posts ago, who I think stopped posting comments. But this is not like Afganistan (a war in a far away nation, with little effect on me and my familly).
    Just fear people just fear.
    Maybe I am just panicking like so many around. It is a haze sometimes I don’t know what is truth.
    You can ban me if you want, I don’t know if the media people are doing it but it feels like there is soo much garbage being told around that it is hard to say what is really happening.
    Some person said that some misinformation is being spread by people who are not aware that they are saying it, there is so stuff flying around. The Polish nationalists are saying things that make’s some of Ukrainian Azov people look tame that I am afraid they might start doing IRL if they get to power.
    Just want to raise my kid in a safe enviroment (guess that’s out of the window now….)
    Is there any anbiased source that anyone can offer? (If there is any at all in this )
    Well as for now it is the garden and the neighbours bees, stop thinking about this so much salad and the carrots are growing maybe finally there will be some warmer days, can Turnip grow on a more accidic soil ? because we live in a area where there is an abundance of it, and we don’t have the money to pour expensive chemicals to change the pH. 30 years ago we could get who do say it (dolomit) from a local glass factory, You known a man who knew a man (you know) but now it is outside the window. People said that gardening is difficult and unlike many people around I am just a begginer..

  154. I’ve felt a growing interest in learning astrology, but my concern is that the average person may not be able to practice it for much longer – it would be extremely difficult without say, the internet, to access maps of the sky.

    In some of your podcast appearances about Pluto (I’ve also read the book -extremely thought provoking) you discuss how astrology may change with the decline of pluto (over quite an extended period). But it seems to take quite a bit of technology (particularly to map the dwarf planets) and high levels of civilizational mathematics to perform astrology.

    Do you think astrology will survive the coming dark age? How far down the slope of decline might the means for an average person (with an average amount of spare time) be able to practice? Just as guesses – I know the future is completely unpredictable.

  155. “The Han Chinese have a history of robust domestic insurgencies more than two millennia long, but as you say, you’ve been there and I haven’t”

    Yes they have, and yes I have, and not just been there but lived there for a number of years. The Han have many complaints about their lives, but overthrowing the government is not something they have any interest in. Regardless of what Americans might think, the majority of Han Chinese are content with the political system they have.

    “Wer, okay, at this point I’m going to have to ask you for evidence for your claims”

    I’m not sure which part of Wer’s comments were the issue, but maybe this answers your question?

  156. Quick question, W of H books – just how big a town is Arkham, and was in its day?

  157. JMG, yeah the meat thing has been on my mind since 2020. Canada is rapidly becoming an extremely unequal society and real estate is driving it. We are building new homes at about a quarter of the rate we’re adding people – Canada admits as many legal immigrants as the US does despite having 1/10th the population. There are basically three classes of people, the ultra rich, who own many homes, the middle class, who own their home, and the poor, who do not own a home. Here in Nova Scotia, we’ve seen rent roughly double in 4 years and houses go up 75% in the same time. Most Nova Scotians could not buy the home they own now in this market, and many renters could not afford their own units if not for rent control. I’m a renter, and if I had to move, it would cost me at least 500 dollars a month in higher rent for the same quality unit.

  158. @JMG #148:
    “As for malefic spirits, those have their heyday in the peak era of a civilization”
    Which relates interestingly, I think, to what you’ve pointed out before about the demonology used by the Nazis. Looking at WWII and what might be called some major marker points in the peaking of Faustian civilization, I note that 1914-1939 is about the same length of time as 1945-1970. 1914 being of course the start of the Great War, and 1970 being around the time of the moon landings and the start of the oil crisis.

    @neptunesdolphins #123:
    Interesting; in the past few weeks, I’ve had an electric kettle break and an electric shaver’s battery get increasingly unreliable — both of them are devices I’ve been using regularly for years without trouble.
    My other appliances and such have been working as usual, though; I hope that keeps being the case.

  159. Princess Cutekitten (no. 142), I’m a male fan of Olivia Dade’s “Spoiler Alert.” The premise: What if one of the actors from “Game of Thrones” secretly wrote GoT fanfic, and got together with his plus-sized writing partner? Okay, the hero’s TV series is not actually GoT, but an adaptation of the Aeneid. Oh, and everybody thinks he’s a himbo, but he actually speaks fluent Latin, having been raised by classics buffs. All the chapters are separated by hilarious little pastiches mimicking fanfic, internet chatter, stuff like that.

    Eudaimonia (no. 117), the Swedenborg Foundation has published “Swedenborg: Buddha of the North” (1996) which consists of two essays by Suzuki. I also remember liking “Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam,” a 1995 book combining two essays by Henry Corbin; and “Gallery of Mirrors: Reflections of Swedenborgian Thought” (1998), a book of essays by Anders Hallengren.

    Bogatyr (no. 103), I suspect the Chinese crackdowns (over the last several years, not just right now) of being preparations for an anticipated period of economic upheaval, which might otherwise send mobs of angry, unemployed young men–or families who have lost their savings–onto the streets.

  160. Hi John Michael,

    Hmm. Possibly it is more complicated again than that. I’ve known and encountered many a wealthy person over the years (and ironically by world standards I’m probably one myself and I’ve travelled to third world countries so am aware of just how far we can all fall), and it’s hard to avoid sweeping generalisations, but a common distinction with such folks is a level of self absorption which defies my understanding. It’s possible that this mindset has infected a large part of our society as many have gained more unearned wealth in the past decade or two than they deserve, but I don’t really know and there’s no way of being able to discern this. Oh well, it’s there though.

    And possibly that viewpoint is the one which tends to obscure concerns that are not theirs. Hmm.

    The other common distinction is that (and again this is a sweeping generalisation and therefore a bit suspect) but very well off people tend to be dissatisfied and so they direct their energies towards obtaining more of the same. And again this mindset has also infected the wider society.

    It’s not good, but I guess sometimes groups have to grow through pain in order to formalise better and more workable arrangements. Or they perhaps they all get flushed down histories toilet.

    Dunno, as I wrote, it’s complicated. What are your thoughts about that?

    Mate, I tell ya truly. There are days where I feel that I am only but one step ahead of events, and that ol’ del’ is nipping at my heels waiting for me to slip up. Hard work at building future capacity here seems to keep the ghoul at bay, for now.

    Cheers

    Chris

  161. “There is no way that WTC7 was exposed to high enough temperatures to collapse onto its own footprint solely from an attack on a nearby building.”

    I’m going to wade into that only because it’s a fine example of efficiency at the cost of resilience.
    The following notes are from here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_World_Trade_Center

    “7 World Trade Center was constructed above a two-story Con Edison substation that had been located on the site since 1967.[14][12] The substation had a caisson foundation designed to carry the weight of a future building of 25 stories containing 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2).[15] The final design for 7 World Trade Center was for a much larger building than originally planned when the substation was built.[16]: xxxviii  The structural design of 7 World Trade Center therefore included a system of gravity column transfer trusses and girders, located between floors 5 and 7, to transfer loads to the smaller foundation.[6]: 5  Existing caissons installed in 1967 were used, along with new ones, to accommodate the building. The 5th floor functioned as a structural diaphragm, providing lateral stability and distribution of loads between the new and old caissons.”

    In other words, to save money they got cute. Loads were transferred around in ways that they normally are not. Then;

    “In particular, the fires on floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13 continued to burn out of control during the afternoon.[7] At approximately 2:00 pm, firefighters noticed a bulge in the southwest corner of 7 World Trade Center between the 10th and 13th floors, a sign that the building was unstable and might collapse.”

    “The fire expanded the girders of the building, causing some to lose their structural integrity. This led column number 79, a critical column supporting a large part of the 13th floor, to buckle, causing the floors above it to collapse to the fifth floor; however, this could not be seen from outside the building.”

    The structure failed by buckling, not by loss of tensile strength. Think about how much load an empty beer can can take when it’s a perfect cylinder and compare that to what it can take when you dimple the side.

    This next data point is from the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code,

    For a good grade of carbon steel (SA-516-70) from 0-500 degrees F the allowable load is 20,000 psi. At 800 F it is only 12,000 psi. At 1000 F it is 2500 psi. You are not allowed to use it above 1000 F at all.

    Carbon steel loses strength fast as it gets hot. At 1340 F, it has a phase change from ferrite to austenite, its strength and stiffness at this point is essentially zero. It’s still a solid, but not a very sturdy one, which is why blacksmiths make complicated shapes with hot metal.

  162. GP – I’ve dried herbs (including basil and parsley) and found that they retain a useful amount of flavor. It’s not as good as fresh, of course, but it’s still good. Though I have a warm-air circulating dehydrator that I use for apples (mostly), I simply hang herbs in the cool, dry basement until they’re crisp. I’ve also dried herbs in the refrigerator, which helps preserve the delicate flavor components.

  163. jbucks – “inflation”? How about “stagflation”? My understanding is that inflation is a general rise in both costs and wages, simply because the government puts more money into circulation (or the velocity of money increases). When commodities (and derived products) become more expensive, but wages don’t rise, that’s called “stagflation”. The economy is stagnant. Commodities can become more expensive due to a variety of factors: drought-related food shortages, pandemic-related shortages of manufactured goods, depletion of natural resources (e.g., oil, nat. gas). If the supply of money didn’t increase, higher costs in one area would need to be balanced by lower costs (or less consumption) in another area: the same amount of money would flow through different channels of the economy. Stagflation is painful.

    Governments can mask the pain of stagflation by pumping more money into the economy, promoting inflation, so workers make more money so they can spend more. (Whether they keep up with rising costs or not will vary from person to person.) The people who really get hurt in inflation are not workers, but pensioners (retired people, living on a depleting stock of savings. The purchasing power of each saved dollar falls even as the stock of dollars diminishes).

  164. I’m late to this open post (as usual!)

    But I wanted to throw to JMG the commentariat this thing I’ve been ruminating on.

    I’ve been struggling at work because things my foreman says (tone, sarcasm, speech) all come off as extremely rude, if not degrading to me, but do not strike him as so at all. Things like you make me laugh sometimes, and not in a good way, and I think you’re smart but …

    It’ll send me into mental tailspins, where I feel like it’s all my fault and I messed up again therefore I’m worthless, (habit since childhood, working on remedying)

    And then I’ll do worse, get more criticism, etc.

    Or go to the other opposite extreme and start to feel enraged towards my foreman. Neither is a helpful state to be in.

    I’ve asked him to be softer with his criticism and sarcasm, and communicated that these things make me feel bad, but neither he nor I expect these habits of speaking developed over years and years to change much in the short term.

    I could ask to be placed with another foreman, but I really don’t want to. It seems to me he has some of the best skills and does the best work, and I enjoy learning from him when it’s not too negative.

    We’re friends outside of work and get a beer every once in a while, and these things do not carry over there. And there’s things lots of things I really admire about him.

    This dynamic has happened with at least 3, if not more authority figures in my life and I was trying to figure out why it seems to be happening again, and if it truly is my fault due to something I’m bringing to the situation.

    I was talking about this with my girlfriend and she pointed out that the three people with whom this occurred were over 50, and very different from me generationally. She thinks this is one of the primary causes.

    I know my own phycological baggage is involved (ie mental tail spins discussed above)

    But it also leads me to wonder on generational distinctions. Why is my “special snowflake” generation regarded that way by many of our predecessors? I try not to think of myself as “sensitive” but in these conditions I can tell I truly am, at least in comparison.

    Is my generation really that much more fundamentally verbally or phychologically insecure?

    I am very familiar with how over “masculinization” and never discussing feelings, etc has dramatic drawbacks and issues.

    But I am also aware of as our host says “the opposite of a bad idea is usually another bad idea”

    In the medium term, I feel I need to give the enchiridion another good hard look, and continue journaling to unpack these issues.

    In the short term I wanted to ask you all for similar experiences, thoughts, advice, etc.

    Thank you!

    -WindMan

  165. Patricia Matthews, I wonder if politicians qualify as a subspecies, just on the basis of intellect and behaviour. I’m not a biologist, I was just pondering.

    Hillary has to have uttered political history’s most boneheaded words when she referred to Trump voters as ‘deplorable’, with a few short sentences losing what many regarded as an unlosable election. You just don’t insult the people whose votes you need.

    And now Crist. As for us up here we have a fool for a Prime Minister who recently smeared people in the trucker’s convoy and their supporters as racist.

    Never mind that the people that the Prime Minister insulted have valid and legitimate interests. Never mind that they were defending those interests against a predatory state and the multi-billionaires whose money and power the state defends. But does this mutton-head want to win the next election? Or lose it?

    Why did Hillary lose? Why did Trump win? Some people argue that the Democrats achieved the impossible in picking a candidate worse than Trump. Others say they achieved the impossible in running a campaign worse than that of the Republican Party, most of which opposed Trump.

    Others say that politicians defeat themselves just by opening their mouth. They hold up Hillary as Exhibit A. And Crist and Trudeau are testing that proposition.

  166. @Temporaryreality #160

    Project Mentat and Ars Mentat version 1.0
    Trying to put something shareable together. The goal is to systemize an approach to learning. That way it is shareable and transferable across the generations, that said everything in it is a skill. Skills require practice. Due to my personal proclivities I am trying to build it from the ground up, i.e. 5 year olds and up can use and apply it. I try to limit my technical explanations to about a 5th grade level of education. The easier it is to understand the more likely it will be to be passed on, the more useful it is the more likely it will be to be passed on. The goal is to develop human potentials and capacities. Kevin Horsley’s “Unlimited Memory” and Arthur Benjamin’s “Secrets of Mental Math” are both excellent places to start. Some of the core ideas would be Scott Adam’s idea of developing an average level of competency in a couple of different categories.

  167. Brenainn, an 8 year is indeed a favorable year to launch such a business.

    Your Kittenship, dull people reading dull books and talking about them in terms of a dull ideology is about the dullest of all possible worlds.

    B, I talked to people who knew the local banks, and then did some serious research into how the banks I was considering had weathered recent downturns.

    Samurai47, it’s been a while, but I recall some discussion of that in the comments on several Archdruid Report posts.

    Patricia, ouch! I’m delighted that your doctor was willing to consider vaccination as a cause.

    David BTL, of course. We got to see just how much difference there was between Democrats and the neoconservatives they claimed to hate when Obama got into the White House and the Dems started swooning with delight when he did everything they denounced Dubya for.

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this!

    Wer, I don’t intend to ban you unless you repeatedly break the rules here; I simply wanted to know where you’re getting the information about Transnistria. Other than you, the only people I’ve seen making those claims are hardcore pro-Russian sites like the Saker, and — well, everybody’s busy spreading propaganda, you know.

    Aspiring, er, you do know, don’t you, that astrology was practiced for more than five thousand years before the invention of the internet? Many astrology courses available right now still teach how to cast a chart without using a computer — it’s not that hard, I’ve done it myself many times, and math isn’t my strong suit. The Babylonians were doing first-rate astrology back when clay tablets were a high-tech information storage technology. The dwarf planets will be very hard to track without advanced tech, sure, but they’re not that important, and all the major planets can be tracked much more simply: Uranus was discovered in 1781 and Neptune in 1846 — both of those dates, again, are well before the invention of the Internet! — and decent telescopes capable of spotting both planets can be made by hand. So if you want to learn astrology, by all means get to work on it — and consider taking one of the courses that show you how to do the math yourself.

    Bogatyr, so noted. I don’t think the scale and severity of the shutdowns can be explained as mere practice for a future crisis, however, so I’ll continue to watch the situation with a wary eye. As for the link to the Saker, yes, I follow that site too — it’s fun to contrast it with the BBC, to get both ends of the propaganda spectrum and play them against each other — but I don’t take either one very seriously, except as a way of figuring out what the respective sides want people to believe.

    Patricia M, Arkham’s peak population in the 1950s and 1060s was around 50,000. When the series starts, it’s got about 20,000, and it’s around half that when the series ends.

    Justin, that strikes me as a very explosive situation.

    Reese, exactly. There were major outbursts of demonolatry in Europe in the 1880s and 1890s, and then again from 1920 until 1945.

    Chris, fair enough! I’ll want to think about that for a while.

    WindMan, I have no idea. I have Aspergers syndrome, remember, and so figuring out other people is not one of my strengths.

  168. @temporaryreality #160 – on Zettelkasten

    Thanks for the link to Scott P. Scheper’s material! I hadn’t heard of him in my investigations, and I have also come to the conclusion that there’s something to doing it by hand that you don’t get digitally. I can’t consider my analog practice “well-established” yet, but it seems promising. I’ll be interested to hear how your own practice works out.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  169. @ Wer
    The analyst I put most trust in regarding the situation in Ukraine is Alexander Mercouris. He has channels on Youtube and on some other sites where he puts out ~30 minute videos almost every day talking about various geopolitical topics which currently center mostly on Ukraine and Europe. I place a lot of trust in his analyses not least because he shows a good deal of intellectual humility and generally admits when something he mentions is speculation or otherwise unconfirmed while still coming across as well-informed on the topics at hand. He used to write for Sputnik some years ago, so maybe he has some pro-Russian bias, but I haven’t seen it bleed into his analyses, which have lined up fairly closely with new developments on the ground over the month that I’ve been following him.

    He also has another channel called The Duran where he along with Alex Christoforou (who also has a channel of his own) discuss much the same topics and are sometimes joined by guests. Alex by himself is more irreverent, less careful in what he says, and very much wears his sympathies on his sleeve, so I put as much stock on what he says, but he’s alright when balanced out by Alexander.

  170. Hi Brenainn. Do not use WD-40 as a sewing machine lubricant; at best it’s too volatile and thin. It evaporates quickly, leaving parts unprotected; there may be other longterm issues even if you apply it frequently. It’s okay for getting parts cleaned and unstuck (carburtetor cleaner is preferred by repairmen). Don’t use plant-based lubricants either (I learned that one the hard way). An excellent sewing machine repairman I know first worked 30 years as a machinist, then as a gunsmith before he settled on sewing machines. He had nothing good to say about WD-40 as a lubricant. Use sewing machine oil only, period. You might want to permanently remind yourself of that with a hot branding iron if your’e serious about keeping it running for the long haul.

    I have a treadle Singer 66 (from 1905) and 15 (1910 IIRC) myself. Ex-wife has a Singer 201K (1940 IIRC). They all run easy, quiet and smooth as warm butter.

    If I might ask, what machine did you get?

    —Lunar Apprentice

  171. Brenainn Griffudd:

    Please don’t use WD-40 on your sewing machine. There is special oil for that, it is not expensive and can even be used to safely clean the machine without destroying any decals that might be on it.

    The subreddit /r/vintage sewing is a good source for info on old sewing machines.

  172. @Temporaryreality

    The best captured yeast I ever used, in terms of flavor and rising, was one I acquired by the “natural yeast” method listed in Nourshing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I pulled a quart grapes from an unsprayed vine (Concords, neglected for several years) picked off the stems and so forth but did not wash them, put them into a blender, blended until I had a liquid, strained the result through a coffee filter, and mixed the resulting liquid with rye flour in the usual method for developing a sourdough culture. After four days I made it into a loaf of bread. (I did not save any for later culturing as this was a one-off experiment.) It tasted good and rose well (especially for an all-rye loaf). You just had to not mind that it was purple.

  173. @ RPC

    The Musk thing looks a lot like Caesarism to me. Musk has mastered the art of trolling (just like Trump did). Why does trolling work? Because the faceless ideologues who constitute “the elite” implement policies that are deeply unpopular while sneering down their nose at the average person. All a billionaire has to do is come along and make fun of them and he or she wins instant support from the ideologically oppressed.

    @WindMan

    I think your girlfriend is right. I have seen the exact dynamic you described in a family business setting.

    You have to bear in mind that your foreman came of age in a very different world. There was usually an “initiation” into trades which involved physical hardship (getting locked in a shipping container overnight was one story I know from an acquaintance). As an apprentice you were also expected to prove yourself and part of that was taking sh!t from your superiors. I have seen with my own eyes that old school mentality come into contact with the millennial generation. In one case it took the new hire less than 30 minutes to walk out the door shouting “you can’t talk to me like that”.

  174. @Audrey #31

    Thanks for the link. What a fascinating video – temperature measure by feel alone. Similar to the legendary ‘brewers thumb’. It’s easy to see that many of our ancestors had enormous amounts of craftsmanship and craftwomanship.

    @milkyway #51

    When you say ‘green beans’ do you mean the variety of beans where you are effectively eating the pod and the seed? Or do you mean actual bean seeds that happen to be green? We’ve actually got both types here in the UK. Runner beans which will be in season in a few months are pod+seed, thinly sliced and briefly boiled, French beans also pod+seed usually boiled. On the other hand broad beans, sometimes known as field beans have recently come back into fashion. Theses are large flattish soft bean seeds – but they are green when fresh. You boil them briefly, then chill them in cold water so you can pop them out of their outer tough membrane. Rather good with a vinaigrette in a salad.

    Odd that there should be a discussion of lacto fermentation this week as I was planning on writing something on the subject myself this weekend. To the booklist as well as Katz I can also recommend the Noma Guide to Fermentation. There’s overlap of course but Noma covers garum as well as the more common forms.

  175. Hi John,

    I have been interested in magic for many years and and am spiraling inward towards different practices. What do you say to people who are fascinated by “high” and “low” magic? I’m getting into Learning Ritual Magic, have always loved meditation/energy work etc… but candle or sigil magic seems so practical for day to day stuff. I may be creating a false division here…I’m trying to figure out where to put my limited time. A few kind words if you might…

  176. @Windman: I’ll throw in a few thoughts, if I may.

    I often drink in a pub that’s frequented by middle-aged men who run small construction companies. Sometimes, they’re there with their teams: younger men, perhaps not too well-educated. Nice guys, but very rough and ready, and the language used by all is, ahem, quite blue and very masculine. The same older guys, when I talk to them one to one, are articulate, thoughtful, and emotionally open and self-aware. In other words, different contexts have different rules. When you’re socialising individually with your foreman friend, one set of rules applies; in a work context, other rules apply, particularly in a role where hierarchy and authority are important. In a sense, we have to be different people in different contexts.

    Part of life is figuring out what the rules are for the particular context you’re in, something I myself have not always been good at. This may be down to individual psychology, but I suspect a lot more is about the ways we’ve been socialised into thinking that there is only one acceptable way to behave, and that we should be the same person at all times. This may or may not be generational, or it may be class-based, I don’t know.

  177. @WindMan, I was raised by a Devouring Mother Archetype, so I’ve had to work through some of the things you describe. Good luck! I’m a Millennial, and I think one of the reasons so many of us are this sensitive is because the middle class is going away. We are downwardly mobile; we’re caught in a rag that’s being wrung dry. Thus we sense that we need to catch onto every nuance and aspect of a teacher/parent/boss’s personality and satisfy their views of the world, in order to be one of the last few people who make it through economically. We’re also scared into this behavior by terrifying descriptions of poverty: “If you don’t do this, you’ll end up homeless and unable to secure your own safety. You’ll end up like Fantine in Les Miserables.” How neurotic!

    One thing I worked on was my automatic translation thought process whenever she would insinuate that I am selfish or stupid. She’d say something awful, and on my side I would immediately think, “She’s right, I must be dumb. Now I feel like garbage, and I should hate myself for this.” Lightning fast before I could stop it, I’d already feel bad from her words. That’s the part I worked on, not letting it immediately translate, or attempting to stop it partway and reverse course. Now when she says something cruel, I think, “You’re wrong, and you’re a jerk.” I mostly bypass the issue by not talking to her except a small handful of times a year, though you can’t get that reprieve from a boss at work. Some days I’m so good at sticking up for myself that I can laugh in her face when she gets mean, and that really dispells it. Anyway, best of luck to you, you got this!

  178. @JMG

    Thank you for your reply. No wonder there are so many conspiracy theories about them!

    I have 2 questions to ask you:

    1) India is a Third World country with a very low per capita energy consumption, and a corresponding quality of life. Also, the massive wealth inequality contributes to the sad phenomenon of a very large portion of our population living at a level of poverty that even the most stressed-out, underpaid, working-class MAGA person would find shocking. However, at the other end, there are the middle and upper classes of the First World, with their profligate consumption and wasteful habits. Given this, would an intermediate, ‘something in-between’, level of consumption (and its corresponding quality of life) between these two extremes be a wise choice for setting as the objective for economic development (like say, Uruguay or Argentina)? Our governing classes and policy-makers of course say that the aim of Indian economic development is that every Indian should be able to live a middle-class American lifestyle, but of course, that’s both impossible and stupid to strive towards, hence this question.

    2) I read that the industrialization of the USSR under Stalin, East Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as that of the entire Socialist bloc (in the postwar era), focused on heavy industry, which enabled them to become relatively self-sufficient in many areas of production. This, I think, can be seen in the case of the current Ukraine war, which the Russians seem to be winning, although at a much slower rate than they hoped they would, maybe because while Ukraine did deindustrialize to a significant extent post 1991, it still retained a lot of heavy industry manufacturing capability, and was thus able to put up a stiff resistance to the Russian advance (which is why I think the current scenario is qualitatively different from the US invasion of Iraq, Libya, etc.).

    Given this, it would logically follow that countries like India too should focus on heavy industry in order to achieve economic development and higher living standards. However, if we take the ecological dimension into this question as well, then questions like peak oil, resource depletion, and the strain on the biogeochemical cycles which absorb the wastes of human activity, must be addressed. In this case, then, heavy industry may not be the best option. Instead, could ‘leapfrogging’ to an economic model focused on agriculture and/or horticulture and/or forest products (hopefully all organic), in addition to light to medium heavy machinery be a better option? What are your views on this?

    Sorry for a rather long comment.

  179. @Wer, JMG

    Regarding the Ukraine crisis, I can recommend the Indian news network WION. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert on Eastern Europe or Ukraine/Russia, but from what I’ve seen of their coverage of this crisis, they’re fairly unbiased and do express sympathy for the people of Ukraine, although they’re not as crazy about ‘impose sanctions on Putin NOW!’ as Western media is.

  180. @Jeanne,
    I’m so glad to know the joro spiders are getting a good start there. They’ll be nice to have when the giant hornets from Asia invade.

  181. Mark L:

    You mention the risk of injecting PMC/woke values into the resilience community.

    Can I ask where you are based? The reason is that, here in England, the permaculture/regen.ag scene is utterly saturated with these values, and has been for some years. It’s really quite depressing to be in an off-grid community and hear someone say “people with vaginas” to refer to women.

    There is a festival called the Land Skills Fair, organised by the Land Workers Alliance. They are offering discounted tickets to “BIPOC”. As someone with both indigenous European and Native American ancestry, I was wondering I could blag the discount. 😉

    I get the impression that it’s a little bit better in parts of North America, and perhaps Australia. I’d be interested to hear what those in other countries think.

  182. Dear JMG,

    Yes, that one! I’ll make sure to grab at least one book by the names you mentioned, thanks.

    On the other hand, what do you think of cloud seeding in general? Yesterday I was surprised by local news here in Saudi that they did the first experiment of cloud seeding over the capital city and other areas. The thing that came to my mind instantly was, how contradictory is that if you want to protect the environment as well with the Saudi Green Initiative, since you’ll be working more airplanes and thus increasing the carbon footprint, doesn’t make sense.

  183. @ Michael Martin “Actually, I should have referred to this as “the third coming of NESARA.”

    Funny you should mention NESARA – I heard about this for the first time just a couple of days ago. In the eyes of the person telling me about it, it is something worth waiting and hoping for.

    Apparently…

    …a law was passed by the US Congress in the year 2000, but has been kept strictly secret by all parties since then, which includes provisions like a general debt jubilee, the abolishment of the Federal Reserve, a restoration of Constitutional law, and various other such benevolent plans…. Additionally, the people who are waiting for the exactly right time to bring this secret law into the open are also diligently working on a true digital currency which will eliminate criminal laundering of money, and everyone will be given a “wealth starter pack” pre-loaded on a smart phone…. cash will be abolished… this and that other bad thing will be abolished, and the WEF cartel is quaking in its boots…

    So I hear.

    It strikes me that if your narrative has become unbalanced by too many distantly omnipotent embodiments of evil, you are going to have to put in some equally distantly omnipotent embodiments of good, so as to do proper battle between good and evil, which all takes place away yonder in those hallowed halls of power, offering no obvious roles for we here on ordinary earth to play.

  184. This is more a MM question but a vax mandate with no test out option was just reinforced for my daughter’s college graduation ceremony in two weeks. There is an option to submit a medical or religious exemption 10 days or more prior. What is the best planetary hour and day to make the request to my doctor? And then the best timing to submit it to the venue?

    Part of me finds it unethical to have to grovel to attend the graduation from the college I paid for for the past four years, but its the only thing of hers I even have the possible option of attending. I was banned from both my daughter’s campuses this past year for being unclean with no test option and no exemptions for any reason.

    Our elites are not doing well at all. They think doing this banning of non genetically engineered humans is right and keep doubling down on it. I will be relieved when my child is out of their clutches.

  185. I re-listened to your interview on The Dodcast the other day and hearing you say “bizarre” about the adherence vaccination was cathartic. I’m looking at my kid’s two colleges – one was a science and engineering school with a medical doctor program which gets huge $$$ from NIH. They are mandatory vax but allow exemptions for medical and religious. I don’t like it, but they allow for dissent. I can logically understand their pro-vax position because the millions in money talks. It’s unethical but I can explain it to myself.

    Same with politicians and their commitment to vax. They get money donated to their campaigns by pharma. Unethical, but I can explain it.

    But then there my other daughter’s arts school. Doesn’t seem to have taken any NIH or pharma money over the years. They forced vax 3 shots and told the kids that they would be getting the 4th as soon as it was authorized for them. They haven’t stopped wearing masks. They still make the actors and dancers wear them while they are performing. This school teaches critical theory in every course and students can identify as one of 25 genders, but covid vaccination is an unquestionable good and right to force on everyone. They deconstruct family, race, gender, sexuality, god, religion, but covid vaccination is off-limits. When there was a mumps outbreak in spring 2019, they didn’t even make the kids vaccinate for mumps. Point this out to them and there is zero acknowledgment of what was said.

    I can’t not understand why an arts school is so invested in the covid narrative. I can’t tell if its a few enthusiasts in the admin and the majority is afraid to speak or the majority is true believers. It’s been puzzling to me and frightening. Any insight from you or the commentariat as to why arts people are so invested in vaccination?

    Simon Sheridan are you here? In what you have been writing about Jung did you find an explanation for enthusiasm among this population?

  186. JMG, sure, but the sort of places where things actually explode are far worse. It’s not like Egypt where lots of people who spend 50% of their income on food are facing 30% or higher price spikes…

    We did have the trucker protests, which were quite something, but basically just lead to the Liberals and NDP making a deal to prevent an election until 2025. The only class I see that is capable and willing of upsetting the apple cart is the labor aristocracy that do irreplaceable things that keep our infrastructure and remaining industry going.

  187. Cyclone #137 The length of time on the boiling water depends on the size of the jar and the elevation where you live. I’m at a high elevation so I usually keep quart jars in the bath for 20 minutes. You can find recipes and tables at this site – https://www.ballmasonjars.com/

  188. Some random thoughts… My lease renews August 1. I got the notice from the rental office of what the new rent will be. The rent increased, which I did expect. It’s never in over 20 years increased more than $16 a month. This time the increase is $45 a month. I can afford it, but why so much. Calling them to find out why is useless, because they give me a runaround of PMC BS. It is truly as if we are using the same words to speak different languages.
    I remember JFK being assassinated. It’s when I began to not trust the official narrative. Lee Harvey stated, many times “I didn’t shoot anyone, I’m the patsy, it will all come out at the trial” Course we all know there was no trial and why. Watching the film of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey, I was struck by the way the police reared back, making Lee Harvey a perfect target. Speaking of Jack Ruby, he had been ingratiating himself with the Dallas police, so they were familiar with him for weeks before the assassination. Then there was the rifle, which was tested by the Office of Civilian Marksmanship (which still exists) They determined that the rifle they were given was not capable of hitting “the broad side of a barn”. The action was loose in the stock, and the scope was loose in the mounts, and the bolt was rough and sticky, making rapid fire impossible. Remember Lee Harvey was a former Marine marksman and sharpshooter, who would have known such a sloppy rifle was useless.
    Then there is the Zapruder film, a portion of which was not available to the public until the past few years, because it was considered too gruesome. Yes, it is quite gruesome. It shows the bullet impact, and the damage of the exit.
    Which leads me to 9/11. Considering that PNAC, founded by William Kristol, Robert Kagan and Dick Cheney, had stated in 1997 that they would need the “equivalent of another Pearl Harbor” to implement their agenda. And what has 9/11 been called, over and over? PNAC disbanded in 2006 stating that its purpose had been achieved. If nothing else, they knew something was up, and let it happen to give us the mess we have today. All of this has been public knowledge for decades.
    Finally, I have a number of friends who are having very nasty reactions to The Booster, which scare me off it, given my health problems. Yet given all the above, I’m supposed to “trust those in authority” ? Ummm no thanks

  189. About appliances. I have encountered 11 people who had the same thing happen to them in the same months.

    As for mine, I expected my refrigerator to go since it is over 30 years old and is duck taped together. Our 1998 Chevy was leaking oil. That was expected. But the others are less than 7 years old. And in one case – just installed only to conk out a month later.

    So it is things falling apart because they weren’t built right or installed right. I don’t know. I just know that I have conked out appliances.

    As for the 1998 Chevy, we opted to buy a new motor. The body of the Chevy is still good. Believe it or not, it cost less to get a new engine for the car, than to buy a new or used car. We had saved up 12,000 U.S. dollars for a used car, but none could be had at that amount.

    So, I believe that people are making do with they have. Our neighbors bought a used stove to replace theirs. Appliances are out of range for most people. We used our car money to buy new ones. So, I guess that could be a data point in the decline of the American civilization.

  190. @temporaryreality:

    Agreed! And it’s not just inflation, recent events have shown me the perils of being on the wrong side of public opinion, and the enforcement measures authorities will take in response. Being outside of this newly-forming money/internet/social status hybrid technology seems like a smart move. I’ve been working on getting away from it, too!

    @Mark L:

    The first problem might solvable by the people serving an upper class market being very outwardly boring, very polite, and having the ability not to get ruffled by the values you describe.

    But I see what you mean: easier said than done when selling to that class may require you to send the right signals about certain causes, and if you don’t, you’ll get cut out.

    I met a person recently who complained about his neighbour, who is apparently a professor, because she chose to have a wild field with flowers rather than a tidy lawn. OK, having wildflowers is not a skill, but it struck me as a way of showing this clash of values.

    The second problem I didn’t think about. I live in an area where all social classes exist, and which is rural enough that everyone has a car because it’s the only way to get around and to work. There is a town very nearby that is mainly working class but which has a middle and upper class, and it’s small enough, and car-centric enough, that the majority of people have the same ability to access spaces and locations as anyone else.

    But again you’re right: in very rural areas (where people don’t already have those skills) or in large urban areas you would have those resiliency deserts.

    What I see here, in both working and upper classes, is a heavy reliance on machines, both for work and for household tasks. This isn’t meant as a sneering judgement of people with their lawnmowers, drills, and leaf blowers – busy people need to maximize the amount of work they can do in the least amount of time, and machines are the way to do it.

    I try to do a few household tasks without machines and they are so time-consuming in comparison (I can hear the chorus of ‘no, d-uh!’ from the audience once again). There’s no way I could do everything without the help of electricity and machines. The well, the wood furnace blower, all mission-critical systems are reliant on a machine. Again, obvious to many, but it was pretty depressing to realize this.

    Will inflation get to the point where people are forced to cross that same psychological barrier, as electricity prices rise, and when machines break down and are too expensive to repair? Will class signalling matter if that point arrives, when it comes to trading your skills?

    @team10tim:

    “of course corruption and senile elites taking a larger share and producing less”

    You’ve explained something here that I’ve also been thinking about. Why are systems in our civilization that people consider to be the most important, like infrastructure, health care, education, etc, currently in a state of decay whereas industries like big finance are booming?

    There are positive feedback loops where less people want to work in, say, health care, and train instead to go into tech or finance where you either have more ‘work-life balance’ or be stressed out, but get oodles of money. So those critical systems suffer.

    It didn’t make sense to me, because I would have expected a civilization in decline to go after the ‘useless’ parts first. But your comment makes it clearer, so thanks!

    Although some of that corruption in finance looks like it may come to light, judging by today’s news (Deutsche Bank and others).

    “If it was possible to do it profitably the state would want a big enough cut to put it in the same category as all of the other industries that are losing money in the dying civilization.”

    That’s a good point! I’d like to think on that for a while.

    @Lathechuck:

    I’ve been keeping an eye on that, and wondering whether it is stagflation we will see, or “just” inflation, and how bad either could get.

    Here in Canada, I read that in Ontario there are some fights gearing up between employers and unions in janitorial/cleaning companies. Janitors want raises in line with inflation, and the employers are balking, and there could be strikes.

    My guess is that one way to tell whether we could get stagflation or just inflation is to watch to see if wages rise as part of the inflationary spiral.

    If they do, that seems to me a sign of regular inflation, if they don’t, then it could mean stagflation.

    This may be too simplistic, of course, but watching the results of labour disputes might be a way to judge this.

    In general:

    I’m caught up in all this, because like many, I’m trying to live in two futures at once. I have a day job which consumes most of my week, and then in my free time I am either learning skills that a) I’m interested in and b) which will also be useful in the long descent to other people. But I have little slack. Inflation means even less slack. (Although I have enough slack to write these comments so I shouldn’t complain!)

    So I’m hunting out to see if there’s a phase shift that can occur if inflation gets bad enough, so I can live in just one future. 🙂 I guess it’s like making a bet or playing in the stock market in a sense, both future-oriented activities, but also trying to match my values and interests with something that will be useful in the future, and trying not to do this based on fear. It’s quite a juggling act.

  191. I remember several years ago you pointed out that “you imitate what you contemplate.” Ever since then, I can’t help noticing this effect in our political arena. I think you even used the permanent-bureaucratic-state/deep-state/ uniparty as an example, but even if you didn’t, it is the poster child for this phenomenon. After all the Russia! Russia! Russia! hysteria of the past several years. Russia Controls Orange Man! Russia Bad! On and on. Meanwhile these folks are spying on American citizens, detaining people in American gulags, and now I hear the Administration is creating the equivalent of a Soviet-style “Ministry of Truth.” Honestly, if it’s true, it really just underscores your point. It’s scary. I wish they would stop obsessing about Russia already!

  192. David by the Lake,

    I would be very surprised if an Indic psudomorphasis lead to the establishment of the caste system here in the US. Most conservative and liberal Hindus are virulently anti-caste, and only the very tiny traditionalists support caste in India. The BJP and the RSS, both the largest pro-hindu outfits in India are explicitly anti-caste system, and are actively working toward its abolishion in all corners of the country.

    If caste does become common in the US, it will be a result of economic stagnation and an explicit “family first” mentality settling into the system. I wouldn’t say it’s unlikely since plenty of cultures have developed caste systems during their descent into the dark-ages.

    In my opinion three conditions would need to be met for a caste system to develop:
    1) A shortage of the means of production either artificial or natural. Once arable land becomes scarce most agricultural societies become very clannish.
    2) We would need to see a sharp increase in patronage networks, where wealth flows based on who you know rather than what you can do.
    3) Employment would be restricted based on personal social networks. Essentially good old boy networks would need to dominate access to specialized sectors such as the skilled trades.

    I think regionally we’re most likely to see its emergence in the southern states, but in either case I don’t think it’ll have much to do with an Indic-psudomorphasis.

    Regards,

    Varun

  193. Here’s a vision of the futures I have.
    As collapse accelerates the ability to project force will slowly come unglued into a series of localized networks out of which new nations will form. James C. Scott writes about how the ancient world got something like 90 to 100 miles in circumference because that’s how far an ox could pull a cart of grain before he ate all of it. An early measure of EROI. Obviously sailing could get you more distance, which is one of the reasons civilizations tend to be on the ocean.
    He also mentioned that no hierarchical government had been based on the tuber, so good anarchists should grow potatoes.

    Following this model I do expect wars and violence and fights for territory good farm land, good range land etc. All wars are resource wars including that lovely phrase Human Resources.
    Included in that will doubtless be a share of dictatorships until we come to resemble something like the tribal societies that were here before. A land built in dissensus will continue to shape us that way.

    As someone who lives on the arid steppes of the Great Plains I have a particular vision of coming unstuck and becoming herd following nomads. Something like a colorful mix of Mongols, plains Indians Comanche, Sioux etc, and the great cowboy and vaquero traditions with just a pinch of basque nomadic sheep herders. I think on the far shores of time they will be living out of prairie schooners, vardos, and sheep herders wagons possibly outfitter’s tents, tepees and or yurts. Children sleeping on Buffalo robes and sheep skins. Small stoves that run on dried dung as fuel. A man’s wealth measured in heads of livestock, cattle or sheep or horses. Maybe with their own haughtiness of looking down their noses at sheep herders. They will cast the brands as a form of divination. They will drink blood and milk from the animals to cross deserts as the Maasai do. I can see it now. Strange culture that it is, based off a North American savanna of horses, cows, sheep, Buffalo, goats, maybe even pigs and chickens. A vast savanna of millions of semi-domesticated animals. Following the animals own grazing patterns of winter summer and seasonal rainfall. Build mobile workshops out of the wagons. It’s a sense of things I get up here. Simply a future that could be.

  194. Bei Dawei #168

    Thank you for the suggestions!

    My major intro to Swedenborg was via Wilson Van Dusen the clinical psychologist and mystic. He was able to put Swedenborg’s concepts into plain modern language. His book Returning To The Source was also very helpful in establishing and deepening my daily practice of contemplative mysticism.

    I’ll look for those other authors’ writings, thanks!

  195. Siliconguy:

    That seems fair enough, but I would caution that using Wikipedia as a source is always dicey, and for something as contentious and geopolitically charged as the events of 9/11, what you read is pretty much guaranteed to be *exactly* what some powerful people with ulterior motives want you to read, and those ulterior motives rarely align with anything resembling truth.

    For other examples, take Wikipedia’s articles on topics like parapsychology, homeopathy, astrology, etc. Not exactly unbiased.

  196. Windman:
    If this can help you. I feel that for me would be very dificult to worlk with you because you seem too much strange.

  197. JMG,

    My wife and I were discussing the impact winning a large amount of money could have on a person – both good and bad. It made me wonder this: If you win the lottery and wanted to know the impact it would have using Astrology would you use the moment the winning numbers were drawn, the moment you found out you won, or the moment you collected the first check?

    AV

  198. Roger @ 174 In the 2016 presidential election, I voted for the Green Party candidate. I, and many others, were and are, infuriated by the theft of the nomination–the word theft is more than appropriate here–from Sanders. Even JMG, who is not necessarily a fan of his, admits Sanders would have beaten Trump. Many others simply declined to vote at all. I believed then and still believe that the vote for Trump was in large part an anti war vote. Clinton clearly signaled that when she took office, troops would march and bombs would fall, on any pretext or none. Such is the woman’s state of delusion that she was imagining herself Winnie Clinton, Great Wartime President.

    Mme. Clinton has one, and one only, outstanding quality. She is relentless. She does not give up, and, among a party of mostly gutless wonders, who care more about their perks and privileges than they do about winning elections, never mind serving the people, I suppose she stood out.

    I could go on for pages about why she is hated, why she is known as ‘Killary’, ‘Shillary’, and her party the ‘Dumbocrats’, etc. There was a cartoon a while back in which Mme. Clinton was depicted as saying that 11 of my close friends just happen to have committed suicide. The so-called “Clinton Body Count” was a theme, or meme, for a while and was not altogether unbelievable.

  199. @ Erika #180 – Time for the one person Dance Party out here in the real world! (while listening to James and Erika work it out).

    @ Siliconguy #170
    You can download the NIST report on WTC 7 here. It has much greater detail than the Wikipedia article. Also interesting are the details which the NIST report left out, such as: who made the decision not to examine the evidence from all three of the collapsed buildings, and rely on a computer model? As you know, most of the 350,000 tons of structural steel from all three buildings was sent to China for recycling in the next year. One would think that the murder of 3,000 persons would demand careful conservation of physical evidence, such as was collected from MH 17 from the middle of a war zone.

  200. @Luke #192

    I’m in western Oregon, USA.

    The area is a mix of ideologies. My town, where the major employers are university, tech, and health care, is pretty blue. Our sister town ten miles away is predominately heavy industry and is more red. The rural areas are mostly pretty red and there are plenty of Trump signs.

    The intellectual leadership of what might be called the permaculture and regen ag communities are quite “woke”, but the same is not true of most of the actual local food producers who are an eccentric lot with a whole range of interesting and often contradictory political perspectives.

    @Simon S

    I would agree that the Musk phenomenon is best explained by Caesarism. Like Trump, he is assembling an unlikely coalition of supporters around his cult of celebrity which is a mix of future-in-the-stars, green-energy-saves-the-world, anti-woke, and anti-government overreach.

    On one of these open posts it would be fun to make a list of potential Caesar figures in the US.

    The trouble with Caesarism (or one of the troubles…) is that it takes a certain amount of ego and narcissism to cultivate such a cult of personality, and those traits are seldom compatible with good and nimble leadership (though it may still be an improvement over revolving door crony capitalist deep state bureaucracy…).

  201. @JMG – thanks for the info about Arkham. That makes very good sense, and jibes with the feel I was getting for it in the series. In other words, very seriously overbuilt for its normal population; see also, ruins surrounding the town.

    And yes, blessings on Ingrid Pitts, PA; just handed in the last sample today, and have decided I have to fast for the next two or three days. The cards read Mountains, Clover, Money Safe; and today, those mountains have been the Australian Alps.

  202. In US media mercenaries are glorified, the Krone(“Crown”) one of the biggest newspapers in Austrian history post WWII on the other hand posts:
    https://www.krone.at/2694812

    “Not all Ukrainians hope for Russia to lose….accusations of discrimination of the Russian part of the population since years…
    people in Donbass”

    I think whats left of Austria’s land locked elites is slowly coming to the realization: this may also be their necks,
    and what is even more, there may be the rare case of a mutual interest of the elites and the wider populace minus the urban young hipsters and their ever hip parents. To persist as a country.
    Austria pays and – for now – gets gas deliviered. As I mentioned last week, Austrian prime minister’s visit to the Kreml seems to have made an impression.
    A friend and I mused that young urban hipsters reject the martial and of course virile aspect of humanity,
    while right wingers naturally don’t. A WKII thing: some of those on the loosing side did not proscripe to the new times, and keep memories of shortage, misery, violence and fear tradited until today. In a country that hasn’t seen genuine mass violence or otherwise the past 60 to 70 yrs.
    Years ago they laughed about right wing parties Herbert Kickl police horses, when his party was junior in government for a period, later swapped for the Greens (Conservative+Greens).
    When there’s no diesel for the forces to drive, that sure becomes an option.

    Herbert Kickl is generally known as a scrawny, bespectacled scheming type of a man, but even his enemies give him he is intelligent. I don’t think he’s more morally inclined than the lots of them all, still I think his kind may have a more realistic grasp of what our current situation really foreshadows.

    Because right wingers are more interested in war, conflict and such like history, they may see a picture clearer for what now is happening,for that part, a greater willingness to imagine a less comfortable situation up to an emergency situation being real. Mouse and Hawk don’t see the same things; Elites and Rabble have their different pathways to different types of knowledge. The leftist alternative friends I have have are great people, in many ways, they have a deeper and more fine grained emotional than right wingers on average.

    But their naivety concerning any real and genuine violent conflict, and of an idea how people seasoned in dire times see the world, makes me thing of birds in a cage, not knowing the cat for real.

    And an anectode of my recent everyday life: I walk up the metro station where there’s a girly flook of prob high school girls and a guy with a signal jacket talking to them in british English. Prob such a programme of the social dem city govt urginig girls into technical professions.

    The signal jacket man says: “bleh bleh SMART, digital technology is-the-füuuuuuueture, bleh bleh smart city,.. it is !!!GOOD!!! to live in a smart city!!!” That last line sounded kind of menacing or commanding to me. ! It’S GOOD to live in a smart city, its GOOD!

    I talked to a work colleague, who is a young father since recently, at 27. He talked about job prospects of the upcoming years, I said nothing (not wanting to senselessly irk people), then he said: “Well, or maybe that kinda job doesn’t even EXIST anymore in one years time!”
    As it is.

    In May I will join a weekend of my firm, the decades jubilee of my firm. I think I don’t need to elaborate the symbolic value I see in this. It is spring, some time it is. Warm, people are unwinding and calming outside, its as if nothing ever changed.

    I hope I can enjoy another a holiday this Summer, going 200km away from my home city into a quiet place.

  203. Mark L:

    Interesting, that makes sense.

    Regarding Musk’s possible foray into Caesarism; it seems that Jeff Bezos approvingly retweeted an article about the alt-right. As Kyle Dunnigan’s hilarious impression of Musk would put it: things are gonna get pretty weird…

  204. @Windman #173

    Regarding a rough and tumble foreman. Yeah, I’ve been there as the laborer and as the foreman.

    I’m not so sure it’s a generational thing so much as it is a class thing. Working class guys and tradesmen were looked down on for a long time. (Everybody needs a degree! If you don’t have one your stupid.) So some of them have developed a perverse joy in being shocking. They are deliberately shocking and causing the pearl clutching behavior. It’s a working man’s secret joy to shock Todd the terror of the accounting firm. It’s also a filtering mechanism, “if you can’t hang you might want to look at doing something else.” It separates the suits, from the good ole boys.

    The fine art of trash talking is taken to new levels on job sites. I enjoy insults the same way some people enjoy a good whiskey.

    Here are just some of my favorites.
    “I don’t care what _____ says about you, you’re alright.”
    “Anybody tell you good job today?” “No.” “Well you might want to work on that.”
    “Hit it with your purse.”

    In my experience if they are NOT talking smack that’s a worse sign. A lot of it is a sign of affection. You can tell how much the crew likes you by how long they leave you locked in the port-a-john. Longer is worse. If you’re in there sweating until you see the Great Spirit you’ve done something bad, if it’s just until everybody makes you panic and has a good laugh you’re fine. Your foreman likes you. I was raised by people who expressed their affection that way. Developing a tough skin takes some time.

    When I got started I got told high praise in the industry is “He’s a useless fracker but I need him until the end of the week.” (Trying to abide by the courtesy policy!)

    That is to say relax. Don’t take the criticism so seriously. More than likely your doing fine and better than most.

    Also if I may suggest Annie Duke’s “Thinking in Bets.” She goes into a lot of detail about blaming bad luck and other people as a way to protect the ego. She calls it motivated reasoning. To get better we need to stop blaming luck. Your trying to protect your ego and he’s trying to hustle up a concrete pour.

    No matter who you meet “absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is uniquely your own.” Bruce Lee. Get through it as best you can those tough old guys can show you amazing tips and tricks, collect every one you can. I’d like to tell you that you won’t be that way as a foreman, but, yeah, you will. You see some kid screwing up and you’ll launch into a profanity laden sentence and you’ll see that you’ve hurt his feelings, but you’ll need to finish the concrete pour.

  205. @JMG, Thank you for hosting the forum at the very least! I always find it reassuring that you’re perfectly willing to admit the limits of your understanding.

    @Simon S I haven’t had to go through anything as extreme as that. (The shipping container) and you’re right, it is important to consider.

    @Bogatyr Thank you, that is an important thing to keep in mind. I have also struggled with that idea of being the same person everywhere or not.

    @CS2 I think the automatic translation you refer to is also part of what’s happening to me. Interrupting it will be helpful. I also think what you said about feeling an intense need to satisfy every aspect of someone’s worldview is at play as well. If someone isn’t happy to me, I semi-consciously default to a feeling that I’m doing something wrong and making everything worse. A nasty pattern as clearly you know.

    @Anselmo I am strange indeed! But I am also, from my view, completely normal, as I am my own perspective. Would you mind explaining more specifically what makes me strange to you? I think that would be more helpful to me, and help me understand what other people may be feeling or seeing when they interact with me.

    Thank you all again!

    -WindMan

  206. Hi JMG,

    I just started the Pluto book and I’m enjoying it a great deal.

    I wanted to ask you something about your historical argument. In discussing the 5 planets in relation to history you rely on the standard narrative which sees agriculture and urbanism emerging for the first time in the Fertile Crescent 10,000-oed years ago. But of course I know you’re well aware of the possibility of earlier advanced civilizations. Can I ask why you chose to make use of the conventional narrative in this case, and how the acceptance of earlier cycles of civilization might modify your argument? Might it be the case that civilizations themselves are part of larger clades that rise and fall across very long cycles of time (the course of an interglacial, perhaps?) and that the rise of a civilizational cycle necessarily involves the re-discovery of the 5 planets, etc?

    Of course, I’m still at the beginning of the book, and for all I know you address these points later on…

  207. Lunar Apprentice & JeffFromIowa – Okay, I’ll only use sewing machine oil. I’ll get some ordered ASAP, since I have a bad feeling that by this summer, we might very well be in an economic depression. If not that, then a bad recession.

    Lunar Apprentice – The seller told me it is a Faultless Treadle Sewing Machine, National Vindex B. The only name on the machine is “Faultless.”

    JeffFromIowa – Thanks, I’ll check out that subreddit.

  208. The Sane Polytheism group on dreamwidth is compiling starter guides for many varieties of polytheism. I would like to contribute a post for those interested in Taoism/Daoism/Chinese folk religion. Does anyone have recommendations for books or other resources, especially those with detail on ritual and practices? I recently read “The Souls of China” which touches on Daoist practices in modern day China, along with the rise of Christianity and other religious practices.

    @Bogatyr – I followed the link to your blog and it looks like you may have some experience with this?

    I will also post this question on the next Magic Monday. Thanks!

  209. Windman #173

    “It’ll send me into mental tailspins, where I feel like it’s all my fault and I messed up again therefore I’m worthless, (habit since childhood, working on remedying)”

    One last thought. You’re not the center of your foreman’s world. “Leave your problems at the gate.” He’s worried about the Job. So if someone or something is slipping and he barks, it’s because something needs to tighten up. Once you are back on track, that’s the end of it. He’s looking for the next problem to head off as best he can.

    Construction can seem simple but it’s not, there are a thousand ways to screw up and people are inventing new ones every day. “People who try to make things completely fool proof often underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” I like to say “There is no such thing as idiot proof, only idiot resistant.” Some screw ups are basically making it harder than it needs to be. “Why would you do it in the most screwed up bassackwards way possible?” (Hope that flies.) “You went around your elbow to get to your wrist!”

    “Don’t do it like that! Do it like this!” He wants you to do it like this. It’ll be a better product that way. That’s the end of it. How you feel about it doesn’t matter. He isn’t trying to tell you you aren’t good enough and should probably jump off the nearest bridge. That’s called spiraling. He wants you to do it the way he showed you.

    Catch yourself in the spiral, my usual way is to go to the extremes “Woe is me, I should probably jump off the nearest bridge!” Make sure it’s over the top ridiculous and silly so you can laugh and say “Or I could just do it like he showed me.”

    You’re either screwing up too much or not enough. There is no happy medium, if you aren’t screwing up at all it’s because you aren’t doing anything and therefore not learning anything. This is a craft, you’ll look back on your early efforts as embarrassingly bad. Everyone does. Just shake your head and laugh. The reason the foreman knows your screwing up is because he screwed up and probably did exactly the same thing. That’s what that knowing grin is about. Tell him a story about how you screwed up and he’ll likely match you or go one better. Being open and honest about our mistakes is how we grow and get better.

  210. Wer here
    I’ve read some articles on The Limits To Growth, and it strikes me. If this war will get out of hand, we will nedd a lot of resorces to rebuild and a “next Marshall Plan”. Well it seems the the marshall plan was enacted just so the Communism will not take hold in Europe (The US was on gold standard and had conventional oil geysering out of the ground then) It seems unlikelly that this will happen, are the Russians wanting to take over eastern Ukraine?
    It will be an enormous strain on their economy to rebuild all of the damage there, or just Donbass and Lughańsk
    Is this what the two camps are planning for us (what’s left of Ukraine and Poland) a buffer state.
    Well some people got the impresion that Poland does not have any anthracite left- there is but the era when it was “too cheap to meter” is long gone demagog.org.pl/wypowiedzi/głębokość polskich kopalń,
    The problem when industrialism started in poland rich cheap anthracite was just on the surface and now we have to dig soo deep to find it. Brown Coal has an average half of energy content – there are problems with Slovakia where a rich sorce is (old fasioned border dispute) but this EROEI is very low right now, and the easy to start industrialism is no longer an option in our nation.
    And speaking about oil some people are saying that shell companies are being made to facilitate a scheme like this: Germany and Poland pay the company in euros, the company gives Euros to an Russian bank, payment in rubles is being made. And we are forced to pay premium for Russian gas ( officialy is not from Russia)
    The folks in the intermediate buisness must be salivating thinking about the profits….
    I don’t know if this posturing in the south will end, we don’t have an army for this.
    May the Lord have us all in his mercy if someone presses the red button…
    The interview with Trump was on Fox News and Sky News Australia BTW

  211. George, there’s no reason not to learn both kinds of magic. I spent twenty years doing intensive Golden Dawn work, right up there at the high end of the ceremonial spectrum, and then took a good correspondence course in traditional Southern hoodoo to get my feet back on the ground and learn some good practical magic. (You can also combine the two — candle magic and mojo bags work even better than usual if you combine them with Hermetic angel magic, for example.)

    Jonathan, I apparently need to put that in an FAQ somewhere because it’s a question I field regularly. Yes, it’s a good way to train your will and imagination, and it also has practical advantages.

    Viduraawakened, it’s probably wisest for the BJP et al. to talk about middle class American lifestyles, since that’s what people want to hear. In reality, of course, the US will be as poor as India in the not too distant future, and a middle class American lifestyle will be out of reach for anyone but the elite in about the same time frame. As for heavy industry, it only makes sense if you’ve got access to the fossil fuels and raw materials that make it possible, so going to a Gandhian model of agriculture and local craft production while buying the products of heavy industry from nations that already have it — Russia comes to mind here — is a wiser move. That said, I don’t expect that path to be taken by any government anywhere.

    Aziz, cloud seeding doesn’t put more moisture into the atmosphere, it just tries to turn some of what’s already up there into rain. Given the Arabian peninsula’s geographical location, that’s not going to do a lot of good, since your weather systems by and large come from regions that are almost as dry as Arabia is.

    Denis, in both cases, since you want to be nimble and evasive, day and hour of Mercury is your best bet. Jupiter would be a good second choice.

    Synthase, there’s that!

    Denis, one of the saddest things in the current craziness is the way that the arts community has abandoned all pretense of original thought and now demands total allegiance to the corporate agenda du jour. That’s one of the things that happens when artistic establishments get caught up in a decadent academicism, as of course ours have.

    Justin, let’s see what happens when the economy unravels further…

    Marlena13, I get the impression that more and more people are thinking such thoughts just now.

    Neptunesdolphins, fascinating. I’d like to hear from the commentariat — anyone else having the same things happen?

    Blue Sun, I know. It’s not exactly pleasant to watch.

    AV, you’d want to talk to a good natal astrologer about that. I do mundane astrology, remember? Natal work isn’t my focus, and a specialized question like that is right out of my knowledge base.

    Patricia M, positive energy en route for a prompt recovery.

    Curt, fascinating. I’m glad to see a trickle of common sense finally finding its way in. More generally, thanks for the data points.

    Steve, given the evidence from prehistoric observatories such as Stonehenge, the one conclusion I can draw is that knowledge of planetary astronomy was lost at the end of the Atlantean age and had to be recovered anew in the emerging civilizations thereafter. If occult tradition is anything to go by, specialized knowledge in the Atlantean age tended to be kept secret as the private preserve of priesthoods, which would make its loss more likely. Did the same thing happen when the Lemurian age ended? I have no idea, and the data we’ve got is extremely sparse. As for why I used the conventional model, why, the evidence tends to support it, and since the book isn’t about previous cycles of civilization, I didn’t see any point in including it.

    Wer, in all probability there will be no rebuilding — not if you mean a return to industrial-age lifestyles. I’ll be talking about that in an upcoming post.

  212. @ Neptunes Dolphins RE: Appliances, etc.

    I my experience, it is the quality of the components in newer appliances that are the core issue.

    Dishwasher – bought 5 years ago; waterpump housing went leaky – took it apart an epoxied split and surrounding areas of pump housing; detergent dispenser stopped opening – ceased using it as modern dishwashers fill and then rerun water to clean until rinse cycle (thank you California). In “ye olden days” of the 1970’s, we just dumped detergent into the dishwasher and switched it on, so we started doing that instead of filling dispenser. Now the digital on/off switch ceased to work, and it is integrated into the control board, which is $250 – so I pulled the control board, traced the leads and just put in a new switch. It is ugly, but works.

    Washer – The wife had to have the new higher front load monster. 6 years back Turns out the chassis for the washtub is welded to the back of the washer, and when it lets go the tub crashes into the housing. I pulled it apart, ground off the old spot welds and bolted the chassis back into the housing. Now it works again.

    Dryer – replaced thermostat 2X, replaced drive belt once after 5 years.

    Fridge – control panel failure while under warranty, followed by control panel failure at 1 year still under warranty. Blower motor failure at 4 years (it was a super cheapo 12VDC fan same size as in an old desktop computer, which I replaced it with – still going). Water dispenser switch broke in two – ceased to use it. Freezer fan failed – replaced with 12VDC brushless computer cooling fan as in fridge – still going.

    OTOH….I have a 2007 Toyota FJ with over 400K miles on it, and just now replaced the read end. Compression still fine in all 6 cylinders, so motoring on. 2001 F250 7.3L diesel with 300K on it – just replaced AC compressor and all looks good.

    The bummer? 2013 Jeep replaced motor at 125K miles ($6200) due to pi$$ poor cam followers wearing out, blown head gasket and water pump failure.

    The ‘smart appliance’ thing is a complete joke – lots more complexity in items that have ONE primary function is recipe for failure. Digital controls are also quite the moneymaker, as the fail rate on them (MTBF) is 5 years at most and they are costly IF you can find one to fit.

    So, I am not surprised by what hit you if you bought most of your appliances within a year or so of each other. The more whizbang gadgets and gizmos they add to appliances, the more you introduce potential points of failure. Add in global supply chains, and you have parts entering an assembly line coming from 2-6 different countries, and they do lower the specifications more each year in order to get cheaper product out the door.

  213. JMG,

    On 8/16/2018, you posted about the work you have begun on constructing a “Heathen Golden Dawn” ceremonial system, and I was wondering if that work is ongoing. To the best of my knowledge you’ve not published anything on the matter. I discovered your blog when I was playing around with runic correspondences to the paths of the qabalistic tree of life. I am new to your work, but the adaptability of the golden dawn system has fascinated me.

    I hope this comment finds you well. Thank you for taking the time to read my question

  214. Chuaquin, When my daughter was two and a half, out of the blue one night she said to me “Daddy, when you were a baby, I was your mommy”. My mother had been dead for 14 years at that time. In the 20 years since, many times I have pondered what my daughter said and tend to believe it is indeed true.

  215. JMG Thank you!!! This gives me some time to pray and craft what I want to say.

    I have no idea how this will all play out but I feel it will be as surreal as the last two years.

  216. @ Denis

    I’m not sure that the archetypal theory can account for specific distinctions between eg. engineering and arts colleges. Why do some people get possessed by the archetype far more than others? Who knows? There are people I know personally who I never would have predicted would fall for it but who became true believers overnight. Meanwhile, in the public sphere, even a hard-nosed realist like Nassim Taleb went off the deep end.

    @ Mark L

    Agree. We’ve got a choice between two bad options. Caesarism does look like the least bad, however, and it’s certainly entertaining (something something bread and circuses).

  217. @Kyle #75 – I’ll read your book(s) if you read mine! 😉 https://americancrackpot.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-effect-of-aging-on-process.html

    The situation in Ukraine has me concerned. China came out today to blame NATO for making ‘a mess of Europe’. NATO is pledging long term military arms to Ukraine, as is the United States. They all seem convinced Russia is down for a long grinding war. They may be missing that they are giving Russia pretext to hammer Ukraine with nukes. Any nuclear armed nation at that point that declares war on Russia by launching their own nukes risks triggering MAD – not that that will stop them in these times.

  218. JMG, yeah, I’m just saying that there’s nothing to point to in Canada like there is, for instance, with the Lay Flat movement in China, Brexit or Trump to say “there, that’s what the winds of change blew in first”. The trucker thing was one thing, but so far all it’s done is reinforced the existing order.

    Diesel is going up to about US $6 per gallon where I live, so there’s that.

    On a more perennial subject, does Faustian culture necessarily seek out “the last big battle” as it winds down? I feel like it does, maybe not an actual battle, but rather a punctuation mark at the end of the story. I’m a little less sure about it now that the timeline for the end of the US Dollar has been moved up quite a bit, but I feel like a human mission to Mars is a real possibility. An elaborate version of the boomer suicide parties you wrote about what feels like 20 years ago. Of course, it won’t happen without Elon Musk involved.

  219. Hey JMG,

    I had a question about the Golden Dawn vows and publishing material later. I think so recall you saying you wrote your GD inspired books after your own personal practice rather than from temple work, but obviously there are several other authors who are writing information about the GD after having been initiated. How does this fit into the vow to keep secret all about the order, including what you learned about the order before joining, etc? I’ve been interested in a local temple but want to think through everything before I take any vows, if it comes to that point and I get the opportunity to.

    Thanks!

  220. Hello JMG,

    With the economic situation becoming worse with each crisis, I have been preparing to live with less resources, to invest time in my business, and also to ‘invest’ in the local community of friends’ relations.

    Accepting to live with potentially much less in the future is particularly challenging to the mind since I have not know real scarcity in this life.

    Do you think that is a good / complete approach, or am I missing something?

  221. On his site (johnhelmer.net) John Helmer has just posted a short discussion of a fascinating story by a Russian writer from the 1920s:
    “In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.”

    This is worth reading (and meditating on?) and is very reminiscent of Borges.

  222. @JMG & NeptunesDolphin RE: Appliances… We are replacing almost all our appliances after recently moving into a fixer upper, so I certainly hope I don’t have to report back any problems to the commentariat in the upcoming months!

    What I can say is we purchased nearly the exact same model of refrigerator as we purchased in 2017 and now the price is more than twice as much as it was then.

  223. lp (no. 221), on the Chinese folk religion / Daoism, I’m not sure what to suggest. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a Chinese temple of some kind, you can usually just go inside and look around / watch people.

    The temples are conceived as the palaces or embassies of the Chinese gods, whose pantheon forms a sort of bureaucracy similar to the government of imperial China, with the Jade Emperor on top. Most of these gods have some particular thing they’re responsible for (e.g. having babies or passing exams), and can be petitioned for help in these areas. This is typically done by bowing at their altar (the gods being represented as statues on altars) three times, with sticks of incense in one’s hand. However, it’s quite acceptable not to use incense. Really, visitors to temples can wander around and pretty much do whatever they want, and there’s not much prescriptiveness involved. I should add that Buddhist deities (especially Guanyin) are represented alongside Daoist ones, but Buddhism is also its own separate thing, with its own temples and religious professionals (monks and nuns and so on).

    The folk religion / Daoism (some people think of these as separate, some think of them as the same thing) doesn’t go around teaching doctrine, although there are sects like I-Kuan-Tao (Yiguandao) which do this. Normal Daoist priests (there are two kinds) can be seen leading long, complicated rituals (they chant and ring handbells), including funerals as well as temple rites. It’s possible to train in this, but you’d have to know Chinese, and high theology doesn’t really enter into it. I went to see an exorcism, thinking it would be exciting, but it was just some old guy in robes waving a stick of incense over somebody while chanting and ringing a little bell. That’s what the priests do–they do rituals, and people pay them.

    Temples sometimes put on parades with floats, god-puppets (men in oversized costumes), musical groups of various kinds, lion or dragon dance troupes, and firecrackers. There is a kind of person who beats himself with nails, so that blood comes streaming out (“dang-ki” in Taiwanese, I honestly can’t think of to translate this).

    My in-laws don’t care very much about temples, although they do visit them as tourists when they go traveling. Instead, their religiosity is focused on home rituals. Like most families in Taiwan, they have a home altar which someone in the family (usually the father) bows to every day with incense, and then sticks a stick of incense outside the door. The altar is a big piece of rosewood furniture with a printed image of several gods (most people in Taiwan have the same printed image), plus items like ancestral tablets, candles (or electric lights that imitate candles), and little bowls intended to hold offerings rice wine. On major holidays, elaborate offerings are set up–these always involve chicken or duck, pork, and fish.

    A couple of times a month, people burn “paper money” (slips of yellow paper representing money) in burners (they look like little metal trash cans) in front of their houses. It’s very polluting. Anyway, the money is thought to be transferred to ancestors or gods or something (depending on which kind of paper money it is). There is also a big festival where offerings are made to the ghosts, who don’t have any descendants to worship them and might otherwise grow malevolent.

    The holiday cycle (like Chinese New Year, the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, etc.) is followed by almost everybody, but isn’t thought of as religious. In terms of life-cycle rituals, funerals are often done by religious professionals (they can be expensive), but not always. Weddings and childbirth have lots of customs associated with them, but these aren’t thought of as religious. What else? Well, there’s fortune telling, and qigong type stuff, and traditional Chinese medicine, which is all kind of related, I guess.

    The fact is, it’s not at all clear what counts as “religion” over here. My family don’t think of themselves as religious (except the ones who converted to Catholicism for marriage), because they don’t belong to any religious group. But they do rituals, and sometimes believe in ghosts or whatnot. And if somebody asks them what religion they are, they give all different answers (and maybe not the same answer each time), or say they don’t know. So the Chinese folk religion / Daoism lacks a strong group identity. A lot of people consider this religion to be “Buddhism,” for example when several of my family applied for Indian passports and had to write down their religion on the form. (They could have picked “other,” but “Buddhism” was easiest.)

  224. samurai_47,

    Thanks! Well, I don’t have a hot water tank, so no problem there. (I just have heat exchanger coils inside the oil-fired boiler. So “tankless,” but with oil instead of gas. This system does not work well.)

    Can you tell me more about the new hot water heater you used? When I searched for Superstor I got the HTP website which lists many different water tanks. I was thinking of using the boiler as the backup heat source–what did you do?

    I will check out that book. Thanks again!

  225. @Simon S Thanks for answering my plea. I probably should have posted on your blog where I read but don’t comment. I’ll comment next visit.

    My arts school daughter assures me that life is fairly normal at school and the faculty doesn’t care about covid and they all just wear masks because they are supposed to. However the ever changing rules from the admin and the shrill emails with threats and warnings are tiresome. She said that covid doesn’t mean a virus it’s something else for people. I shared your work with her and I’ll have to follow-up when I see he next to see her thoughts.

    But yes, the whole arts scene on the East Coast of the U.S. became true believers and have not budged. There are some cracks starting to form, but not enough for movement.

    I saw that about Taleb and I saw his vicious attacks on Joe Norman and some other friends he had because they didn’t share his views. He has the same shrill tone as these college administrators. It might be privilege speaking. Whatever it is, its based in ego. I saw the same thing in my kids as toddlers.

  226. Why is Elon Musk so popular even in “alternative” circles? (Or am I wrong?) I´m not referring to him buying Twitter to supposedly de-censor it, but to his popularity already years ago. You would think that a billionaire who owns an electric car company would be universally hated on the “fringe”, but it seems not…

  227. JMG, thank you for your response (no. 89) to my questions about Martinism and so forth (no. 88). I’ve been reading around since then. Although Martinism is a lot more obscure (at least to me) than, say, Freemasonry or Theosophy, it seems to have been more prominent in the 19th century, when there was a lot of both multiple affiliation as well as forming breakway groups out of dissatisfaction (e..g Papus leaving Theosophy for Martinism, which was less Asian-oriented; numerous Masons complaining that Freemasonry wasn’t interested in esotericism). Occasionally, various groups will join together and initiate each other. Oh, and further reading suggests that he “three dots arranged in a triangle” after organizational initials, which I asked about, apparently originated with Freemasonry.

    The OMS people seem to be progressive types, whose founders left the Solis Alati ten years ago due to internal politics of some kind. One puzzling aspect is that SRC+SA does not seem particularly Martinist, although both groups incorporate Rosicrucianism (as does the Scottish Rite), alchemy, and Kabbalistic ritual magic.

    I just discovered Leo Lyon Zagami’s “Confessions of an Illuminati” series, or at least the first book of it (there are at least seven). Zagami is both informative and paranoid (his conspiracy weaves together people across a vast and dizzying range of organizations, some of whom try to infiltrate and take over others, and turn them to sex-magic and contact with extradimensional beings) (I actually know a few of these people–don’t tell Zagami!), so has to be used with caution.

  228. @JMG #176: Speaking of “Dubya” I do miss Molly Ivins. I wonder what her acerbic wit would have done with the current wokeness among the Dems. I certainly agree that Obama carried forward Dubya’s neocon policies seamlessly; I was quite disappointed. I, too, had to vote for the Green Party in 2016 after what was done to Sanders. And I live in a “swing state” that went for the Orange Man.

    @Marlena13 #201: Apparently we are of a similar age. I bought a house 12 years ago after renting for my entire life up until then; if rent stayed at 1,000/month for those 12 years, that’s almost 50% more than than I paid for my house. On JFK and 9/11, my thoughts are similar. That weekend in 1963 was like the world had gone crazy; being sent home from school early on Friday because of the assassination, and then hearing about Ruby and Oswald on Sunday as we drove home from church — hard to forget. I didn’t know that more frames from the Zapruder film had recently become available. I’d like to see what they show.

  229. Brenainn Griffudd – Do Not Use WD-40 on a sewing machine! WD-40 is a blend of a waterproofing wax and a wax-dissolving solvent. When it’s first applied, the solvent will dissolve old lubricant and free stuck mechanisms, but then the solvent evaporates, leaving just the waxy stuff behind. I had good results using mineral spirits on a cotton swab to scrub away old grease and oil in the sewing machine I got from my mother when she no longer needed it. Then I use (low viscosity) light “turbine oil” that comes in a plastic squeeze bottle with a long spout to re-oil the fast-moving parts. I use “food machinery grease” for the high-pressure, low-velocity surfaces. It seems to work.

  230. Neptunesdolphins: A batch of appliances going bad at the same times smells like a power company voltage spike. You might attempt a complaint to your electric supplier, If they had an event and know it there could be compensation.

  231. Denis – In the Engineering School, either you solve the problems with appropriate accuracy, or you don’t. It doesn’t matter how many genders you recognize, or which one(s) you belong to. In the Arts School, you need your Art to appeal to fellow Artists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those evaluating the Art are actually (perhaps subconsciously) evaluating the entire Artist. Art is intentionally ambiguous, leaving room for all sorts of subjectivity, as well as pretention and outright fraud. Warhol could paint a soup can with camera-like realism, and people would still marvel “What did he mean by that?”

    Furthermore, the engineering students can be reasonably confident that they will find a job in their field, if they can survive to graduate. The art students can be assured of graduation, but know that then finding a job that can pay the bills will depend on luck, hard work, and being KNOWN TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Hence, one mis-step in the Woke Hurdles Event can knock them out. No wonder they’re conforming!

    Umm. Yes, I was an Engineering student. Does it show?

  232. Phutatorius #245 We probably are close. I was living in DC at the time, and yes they sent us home early, and ballet classes were cancelled too. I remember all of us in shock, lots of crying and wailing. Remember how Jackie had blood and parts all over? How that happened is what the newly public part of the Zapruder film shows. They posted a “graphic content, not suitable” warning. It shows the bullet exiting. I don’t want to get any more graphic, unless JMG says it’s ok.

  233. Tidlosa,

    I think part of it may simply be that Musk comes across as having a good sense of humor not taking himself too seriously. I’m not a fan of his businesses — the latest one least of all! — but he has a refreshingly affable persona for being the world’s richest man.

  234. JMG,

    I’ve been researching into modern Druidry and practice, though I’ve had some concerns and questions, especially regarding gods and worship (hence my question on the last monthly post).

    Are there any books or resources you could recommend for someone looking into the religion?

    Also, I’ve started reading Initiation into Hermetics by Bardon. It’s been rough going, but it’s quite interesting. Definitely enjoying the theory so far.

  235. Bradley, that project went through a range of ups and downs and it’s currently been taken in hand by a Heathen ceremonial magician who goes by Gullindagan online — you can find his work at https://gullindagan.dreamwidth.org/ . He might be interested in hearing about your runic correspondences!

    Denis, you’re most welcome. As for surrealism, I have no doubt about that.

    Justin, so noted. As for the Last Big Battle, yes, that’s a Faustian obsession, though it doesn’t always work that way — think of the way that Hitler’s attempts to go down in a last grand battle ended in a whimper and a single gunshot. Things could end the same way this time around.

    Connor, I wasn’t initiated into any branch of the Golden Dawn when I wrote those books. I was a solitary practitioner working entirely with published material, mostly Israel Regardie’s and Gareth Knight’s books. When I was initiated into a Golden Dawn offshoot by my teacher John Gilbert, the oaths I took didn’t include anything about not revealing what I’d previously learned — they specified certain narrowly defined things, such as the passwords and signs of the degrees, and I’ve kept those oaths strictly. I have been initiated into a range of other orders and lodges, some of which require that their names not be mentioned, and I’ve kept those oaths, too. It’s always a good idea to find out what you’re committing to before you join any group, and any group that won’t tell you the details is probably one to cross off your list.

    Tony, why not try living with a lot less money for a while? Look at your expenditures, and for one month, say, cut all your voluntary expenditures in half. (Obviously you can’t do this with your rent, etc., which is why I specify voluntary expenditures.) Eat rice and beans, find things to do with your free time that don’t involve spending money, take the bus to work instead of driving — that sort of thing. Doing that is a great way to work out the details before you have to live on less.

    Kerry, that sounds very Russian.

    Tidlösa, I have no idea. Maybe it’s just because he’s good at trolling.

    Connor, I’m not a fan. His approach to the Golden Dawn tradition seemingly works for him, but it doesn’t work at all for me; just to cite one example out of many, his recent article denouncing several of the standard GD rituals as “useless” made me roll my eyes, as I’ve gotten excellent results with those very rituals, and so have many people I’ve advised. But it takes all kinds, I suppose.

    Bei, the occult scene is pretty much always like that — a bubbling cauldron of constantly changing groups, traditions, ventures, ideas, and the like. I haven’t followed the Martinist end of things all that closely, but what I know of it reminds me of the Druid scene.

    Phutatorius, she’d have been denounced as a racist, a TERF, and a closet Trump supporter, of course. That’s what happens to anybody who doesn’t support whatever the latest fashionable brain fart in Wokesterdom happens to be.

    Asnon, good question. Some research is called for.

    Ezra, my books The Druid Path and The Druidry Handbook might be worth a look.

  236. Regarding perennial grains/agriculture:

    Actually there is one kind of perennial crop already: trees.

    I’ve posted about Mark Shepard here before. He actually tried to apply permaculture principles to a farm scale, selling wholesale, rather than creating a garden, as most permaculture projects seem to end up being.

    Nut trees, fruit trees, and more are all perennial crops that have been cultivated for millennia already.

    In some parts of the world like much of pre-WW2 Italy or Corsica, or even Appalachia before the chestnut blight, chestnuts, not wheat, was the main staple crop.

    The Jomon people also seemed to make extensive use of the Japanese chestnut, while also hunting and foraging for other food sources.

    I believe if there were pre-mono crop advanced civilisations, they probably had similar sources of food to the Jomon.

  237. @ Patricia Mathews #158 –

    I am so sorry to hear what you are experiencing in relation to the challenges a 4th dose is presenting your system with. May you find that you have the resources within you to meet these challenges, together with whatever help comes your way.

    Are you ok with prayers? prayer intention candles?

    Be well, stay free! xx

  238. Dear JMG,

    I see what you mean. Sometimes I’m baffled by the shallow, contradictory and even reckless behavior of my government. There are some good things going on here for sure, but their focus on purely material gains without attention to the bigger picture will make this decline harder. It seems we are at this phase of artificial abundance, I really hope some of my people will snap out of it and really build the future of their nation, it’s so hard to communicate that sometimes and makes the path quite solitary for me.

    Ride the wave I guess.

  239. @ Jeff Russell – thank you for the link on “note-taking”.

    I found it fascinating, and an EXCELLENT rebuttal to the Trojan Horse insertion of bureaucrats into the heart of the doctor/patient relationship, also known as “Evidence Based Medicine”.

    It lays out so clearly the way that a doctor does best for an individual patient, by becoming conversant with a wide variety of disease CASES, each of which might present entirely differently, than by learning a single, statistically average, textbook disease “type”.

    Lots to chew on here. Thanks!

  240. @Lathechuck Ahhh I think you hit on it. The arts college issued the edicts to make sure they had all true believers and no apostates in their midst. Art, and theater in particular, is dangerous in that in some periods it comments and critiques those in power. We aren’t living in one of those times – the art world is very much woke and acting like revolutionaries when they are conformists.

    My daughter chaffed in one class when the professor explained (and tested them on) the standard that the art world decides what is art. There are those who hold the reigns of soft power and they say who is an artist or not. it set my kid off one visit home because there are so many talented people in the world who don’t get recognized as artists. She finds it demeaning especially because women will quickly label another woman “crafty” or “creative” instead.

    Camille Paglia is a professor at the college of my daughter’s. Three years ago the college defended Paglia’s speech and it make a blip in the national news. Paglia is now pro vax and pro mandates, so now I’m questioning “was she ever really the revolutionary thinker I thought she was?”

    Yes, the engineering school is trying to solve the problem is get ahead of it. The admin still is very left of center and trying to do what other colleges are doing. They can’t stand up and think for themselves because they’ll be shunned from other colleges in the area and from their buddies in government and industry who all decided that covid could only be dealt with by forcing injections. So they forced but they knew from the data they’d still have a problem (and they do – the vax had zero impact on case rates and hospitalizations at the college according to their own data) so they kept the masks as “doing something.”

    Well everyone here will be glad to know that they’ve been studying these college students to see how far people can be pushed until they break down or commit suicide. I’m sure it will inform the next set of policy measures soon enough. The NIH is also studying vaccine hesitancy in dozens of studies.Central question “what do I have to do to you to get you to do what I want you to do?” So far they love lock downs and masking as ways to force people to vaccinate. Fun.

  241. Windman:

    I can very much relate to your situation. I’m a pretty sensitive guy from an artsy/intellectual background and I’ve encountered one or two bosses like that; none of them were in jobs that I particularly wanted to stay in, and none of them were particularly skilled or knowledgeable in ways that would have been useful for me to stick around, so I didn’t stay for very long.

    But I think it is a cultural/class thing, as Drakonus said. My dad worked as a film editor’s apprentice, back when film editing was a highly technical, manual job in which a minor error of judgement could destroy a whole reel of film (nowadays, it’s all done on Final Cut Pro and the basics can be taught within the space of one afternoon). He left the job, because he didn’t think he was very good at it; his boss would criticise him and get angry quite often, so he assumed it wasn’t for him, and left.

    When he left, his boss said “but you were doing so well!”.

    So, yes, take heart in the knowledge that you are probably doing just fine, and your boss is just treating you the way he was treated when he was in your position.

    In the men’s group I am involved with, one of the organisers talks about “the space to be inexpert”. Sometimes, when it feels like others aren’t giving us that space (rightly or wrongly), we have to create that space for ourselves.

    As for whether you’ll be just like him when you’re a foreman, well, maybe, maybe not. Maybe you’ll be able to find a way of being more skilful with your banter, criticism, or ribbing; timing it in such a way as develops the discipline and mental toughness required to work in that environment, but also modulating it with empathy and nuance, balancing it with encouragement and positive reinforcement. It sounds like a worthy aspiration to me, at least.

    Best of luck!

  242. There is at least an organization within the EU promoting horses in agriculture:
    https://www.europeanhorsenetwork.eu
    Idk about their reach or success, but at least their website shows they are active up to this year.

    Seriously, it is time to talk about horses, maybe also donkeys and mules.

    Around 2002 in Poland I saw old people still maintaining horses for agriculture.
    @Wer, is it still practiced in Poland?

    There was the “horse meat scandal” around 10yr ago in the EU. A new law forbade horse carriages on the roads in Eastern Europe, leading to many draft horses being slaughtered.

    I wonder what the present condition of traditional agriculture is in the EU. In 2012 I saw in Macedonia, there was still a very resilient local and manual form of agriculture and gardening, with many different cultivated varieties of vegetables and fruit.

    Very different from my sterile, rectangular, over-regulated, saturated and bloodless home that is Austria.

    I still love my country, but for reasons that have nothing to do with the skills or attitudes of its inhabitants.
    It’s more a boon of history:

    Josef Schöffel protected Vienna’s forests in 1898 (while in Budapest they were destroyed), the city of Vienna has a history of a robust working class movement shaping their own living and tenancy through crowd funded building projects and urban planning that markedly emphasized on good access to public infrastructure (AND recreational parks!) for the lower classes.

    Our rural landscape is semi-natural. There are many dreary spruce mono-cultures and other disgusting practices, but due to a history of small to middle sized farming, there are also still many natural ecosystems to be found.

    Due to the social democratic history of my country and people like Josef Schöffel (conservative, politically), private pathways through forests and across acres are publicly accessible in this country.

    I know the difference very well, having visited Chile and the devils gutter which is South Africa. All these colonial countries with a history of big ownership in agriculture instead of small peasantry, they have no accessible paths into the country. All rural properties have a fence around them, ordinary people have nowhere to go.

    Plus in Chile and SA the endemic ecosystem before the colonizers came was not well fitted to agriculture. Therefore Eucalyptus trees and spruces dominate the sterile and dreary landscapes.

    Look at even better cities like Montevideo on a map, you will see that access to green spaces for the people there is minimal to non-existent.

    What I find very interesting is also the difference between England proper and Scotland.
    In England its that colonial setup where the public isn’t allowed to step on rural property and use the pathways, but Scotland in 2004 passed a law to protect heritage paths for the public.

    By the way, what I find one very interesting polarity in perception is this: all the various and different kinds of people I met who were in Scotland were always marveling at the country and laudating its people endlessly (similar to Ireland). England on the other hand, where I was at 15 years old in 2003 as well, has the worst kind of reputation. I heard bad stories from people young and old who visited.

    I did like Englands charm despite all, but I can tell, I found it to be a shabby, unfriendly and dismal country. Although admittedly, when I visited Southern France (Nice) with school when I was 17, that was also very far from a nice and peaceful place.

    regards, Curt

  243. Here’s an interesting take on the madness of our “information elites”. In one sentence, the thesis is that most of the controversies we hear about (covid origin, transgenderism, Black Lives Matter, etc.) are not attempts to change policy, but are merely in-group signalling, because those of us on the outside are not regarded as the audience for signalling; we’re not even regarded as “real”. Truth is irrelevant, when they’re isolated from consequences.

    https://peakprosperity.com/you-are-not-real/

  244. JMG, I think it was last month you were saying you wouldn’t be surprised if the current conflict in eastern Europe led to satellites getting shot down, leading possibly to the Kessler syndrome. I just came upon this news today: https://bulgarianmilitary.com/2022/04/25/production-of-anti-satellite-anti-ballistic-s-500-sam-has-begun/
    “According to the officially announced characteristics of the Russian Federation, the S-500 will be able to deal with air threats classified as hypersonic aircraft, satellites in orbit, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The range of interception of hypersonic missiles and aircraft is 500 km.”
    Given that America has been providing the Ukrainian military its reconnaissance data to direct attacks and it still unclear what happened to cause the battleship Moscow to sink, Russia might feel the need to employ this.

  245. re: Radiation Emergency. A quick Google search shows that training materials for radiation emergencies have been available from FEMA and the CDC for several years. I’m guessing that NYC public safety officials have reacted to Putin’s reminders that his country has nuclear weapons sort of the way that Florida officials remind their residents that the Atlantic Ocean produces hurricanes. Part of it is encouraging preparedness, and part of it is showing that they’re earning their paychecks. That doesn’t mean that they have any special knowledge of the risk.

    My Google search also helpfully suggested that if I NEED a radiation emergency, I can get one! “Low priced Radiation emergency – Amazon.com Official Site” (No, I’m not ready to buy a radiation emergency at this time. I’m just doing a market survey for budgetary purposes. 😉 )

  246. Re: #248. I didn’t mean to italicize more than one word in that post. I guess I just fumbled the markup tag. Don’t try to read more into it than I intended.

  247. polecat #64:

    I’m with you 100% on the rye flour in a sourdough starter. I add a tablespoon or so with the other flour every time I bake to refresh the starter, works like a charm. Ours is at least a decade old and has never gotten a funky smell, although there is sometimes a layer of liquid that forms on top. That’s alcohol; it can stirred back in and it will make the bread taste sourer; I don’t care for that much sourness so I pour it off before using the starter.

    If anyone has tried and failed to bake fabulous sourdough bread or even edible bread at all from a starter – or even from commercial yeast – I enthusiastically recommend the book, “Josey Baker Bread” by Josey Baker, of course (his real name). When I first created my starter I had really disappointing experience with sourdough even though I’ve been baking yeast bread since I was a kid. Someone recommended Josey Baker’s book and I’m not sure what made the difference: his method? the way he explains everything? Whatever it was, with the very same starter I began to make better and better, and now absolutely wonderful, sourdough bread. All of his recipes and instructions are in metric weight measurements and standard US cups and tablespoons so anyone, anywhere can use them.

    Ecosophian and JMG:

    When I read the article about distrust in science becoming a hallmark of rural residents, I had the urge to laugh out loud. Speaking as a rural person, I am left to assume that the author – and probably the readership as well – has never ventured out of the city or suburbia and met someone who lives in the boonies. Sure, there are dumb people, even uneducated folk, out here, but there are plenty of them in the city, too. My takeaway is that by the term ‘rural’ they don’t actually mean ‘living in a rural place’, it means ‘Trump supporter’.

    The idea that rural people are stupid seems pretty universal, at least in the Western part of the world. Jeremy Clarkson, a television presenter well known to our British readers no doubt, bought a farm and decided to start farming it. I’ve seen clips of the program and it truly is funny: clueless, but sophisticated, city guy decides that if rural rubes can farm, anyone can farm. It doesn’t work out that way and among other things, he experiences firsthand the meddling of ‘experts’, mostly from the government; in one of the clips, he says something to the effect of, ‘when I see a pickup truck come down the lane, I know it’s one of the people from the village coming to work. If I see a Vauxhall driving into the farm – and it’s always a Vauxhall – it’s someone from the government coming to stop the man in the pickup from doing what he’s doing.’

  248. Just popping in and saying hello and giving a brief update.

    Lately I’ve been taking up crocheting and taking up hobbies and studies I used to study and take avid interest in when i was younger and take the aspects that i struggled with immensely and put it towards my AODA curriculum and my personal 5 year plan. As a result I’ve been getting into small scale vermicomposting, turning my Turkish Filbert into a bonsai, and studying Economics more all during and after my two week vacation out into the country to connect more with my Parents in Law.

  249. I have on my desk a printed copy of a paper that JMG linked to several months ago called A Contamination Theory of the Obesity Epidemic, which analyses a great deal of data to make a very convincing case that the rise in obesity rates has been caused by something in the environment, although exactly what is unclear. The authors propose three likely candidates, antibiotics in groundwater – runnoff from the agricultural industry, PFAs, and Lithium.

    This is more than idle curiosity on my part as I’d made a substantial weight gain during the lockdown and I wasn’t in a great place to start with – I’ve had weight trouble since I was a small child and it’s continued all my life to my current state as an (over) large man. My mind was drawn to the subject again as I was travelling home from London after a meeting last week. The train drew into a station and I saw three adolescent girls in school uniform, standing laughing at some phone message. Off to the side was a fourth, same uniform, heavily overweight and scowling into the bag of corn chips she was steadily devouring. The first three were pointedly ignoring her.

    The paper is rather dismissive of diets as a cure for this sort of thing and when I first read it I was disappointed to see that the authors had bundled a variety of ketogenic diets into one subject area, quoting a metastudy that says they are ineffective. My own experience on variations of this plan (essentially less than 30g carbs daily) over the last year have been extremely worthwhile. I’ve lost 49lbs as of yesterday which is close enough to be halfway to my ultimate goal as to make no difference. I’ve noticed improvements in skin tone and the working week a year I typically lost to IBS has recently dwindled to ‘no days at all’. The weight loss is really no surprise. It’s been mentioned here that the effect of reducing carbs was popularised in the English speaking world by William Banting – the Duke of Wellington’s coffin maker – who at one point was so fat he could only descend stairs backwards because his knees couldn’t handle the strain. [I’ve occasionally wondered why the Duke needed a personal coffin maker, he was famously lethal but was he paying for all the burials as well?] The other two side effects were unexpected but welcome.

    Of course, there’s the other implied mystery of my own experience which is why am I unable to so much glance at a croissant without unwanted gain whereas I’m aware that many people thrive on high carb diets. I know many vegetarians who do perfectly well without any meat at all and yet this not only forms a substantial part of my daily diet, it’s got to the point where I’ve come to think of a full English breakfast (no beans or tomatoes though) as health food.

    However, now at the end of this first year I have made one change in what I eat and with some success. I’d started introducing more fermented low carb foods into the daily fare simply to get a bit of variety. I noticed however that both sauerkraut and kim chi seemed to improve both my digestion and my sense of well being. It’s reached the stage where I am eating one or the other on a daily basis and in such quantities that I’ve started making both myself. It turns out that either can pad out almost any meal however untraditional. Spaghetti Bolognese with Kim Chi instead of pasta works surprising well for example. I’ve also started experimenting with cheese – a substance I’d previously regarded as a variety of spoilt milk.

    The obvious impact of the fermented foods is that my intake of vitamin K2 has gone through the roof, but also I’m now consuming substantial amounts of lacto-bacillus and I imagine, a number of other gut friendly bacteria on a daily basis. My intake is probably outstripping a daily probiotic drink by a couple of orders of magnitude.

    When I glanced that that unhappy fourth schoolgirl I was struck by a momentary but very intense vision of an empty and windswept town in the middle of a desert. If someone lives on a diet of highly processed convenience foods, or has been exposed to the kind of antibiotics that we see in US watercourses as a matter of course – what happens to their gut biome? What did mine look like last year? Do variations in gut flora explain the variety of reactions to various diets?

    I’ve got no easy way of finding an answer since even if I did pay for an analysis of my current biome I have no records from earlier parts of my life to compare it with. So there the question remains, although I’m inclined to take the vision as gospel, it felt as if it had come from the outside somehow.

    @JMG with your permission I might make a third and final post on this subject in around a year’s time assuming I’m still able to and there’s something to report. That would be two years into the process and I think any life altering change that can be sustained that long must be close to permanent.

  250. Wer here
    It is strange thing about Musk. Is it just me or he is strating to realize that a mars mission will be:
    a) a fancy money burning party,
    b) unlike sea travel you can actualy wind a island with food, (let’s let even think about oxygen, or a radiation immune place),
    c) you cannot launch all the time. I don’t know if it’s true but apparently there is a “window’ when you can launch to mars ( when the planet is the closest to earth every two years) and if you miss it or launch with a 1 degree off you end up in cold vastness of space- compare to the fact that you can travel the oceans whenever you want
    d) people are afraid of Chernobyl, so let’s go a place many times more radioactive and without oxygen, food, liquid water and with a permafrost full of toxins in it psych.
    Musk once tweeted on the 10 December of 2021 that he is thinking of quiting his job and becoming an influencer, is that a slip or something.
    BTW his promises including electric cars and trucks did not pan out (Tesla semi promised in 2019, did not arrive yet, self driving tesla’s are having problems driving straight and have an tendency of erupting into flames)
    YT: Tesla midel S explodes in garage videos,
    Maybe he realized that the mars thing is not going pan out?
    The were so many attempts on mars colonisation (the infamous Neadtherlands- Mars One which promised Mars arrival in 2022…which was announced in 2014 a fundrasing scam I might add) and folks like me just want a peacefull lives with our familly members, we don’t care that a subsidy sponsored billionare want’s to copy the same thing like the last thing. People are more interested in what could happen due to shortages etc.
    There was this rap song once once “Whitey on the moon ” I think many in poland think the same, we have so many on our plates nowadays.
    Plus JMG what do you and the other folks in the commentariat think about this. Will Musk, bezos and the rest survive the dollar losing their reserve currency status? Tesla and Amazon are addicted to market speculation and subsidies what are their chances? Or will they receive the Retrotopia celebrity billionare treatment?

  251. Lathechuck – No worries, I’ve ordered a gallon of sewing machine oil. Thanks for the additional information on oil types. I don’t have a lot of experience with machinery, so a lot of this is new to me. Thanks.

  252. Wer here
    Oh snap i realized. In the posts about retrotopia (maybe I could order one when some money will be loose:)
    There was this GMO food that was supposed to be a miracle for world hunger but ended up causing death of many people and was more harmfull than anything, despite this the well to to and the goverment claimed that it was safe – when everybody else could see that it was not.
    Good Lord watching the news is like Twillight Last Gleaming and Retrotopia IRL it is almost uncomfortable
    It is like we a living in a political cartoon- only it is more sad than anything.
    Plus It seems that people in the intermediate buisness will become filthy rich. Latest scheme is this: A group of buisnessmen in the oil market are buying oil from Russia with rubles,
    Then he oil is comming from russia in tankers to avoid political incorectness.
    Then they charge premium in euro of course and sold it to countries in Europe. So we are going to end up with paying premium for (officialy not) Russian oil
    /: /: /: /: A lot of shady buisnessmen are going to be really rich but not ordinary folks. What a suprise
    I’ ve read some really daming article in Polish press about Abrams problems
    bezprawnik.pl/abramsy dla polski/ I didn’t know It was this bad…
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  253. What are the odds of having a famine in Europe in the next few years? It seems many bureaucracts are dead set on regreening the fields and ignoring the farmers pleas to ease their demands and restrictions .

  254. “As for the Last Big Battle, yes, that’s a Faustian obsession, though it doesn’t always work that way” – I think that was addressed to me by Justin. Trying to find a handle to distinguish from the other Justins. 😛 Jostin if Jastin is not good?

    Anyway – Faustian obsession? Nah, what I am pointing is a little different. I can see that it may not work that way in a collapse of internal for support to continue the war.
    The trouble there is that NATO has already committed to long-term armament in Ukraine. Ukraine is effectively a NATO nation at this point. The Russians have a memory of losing 20-50 million in WWI-II. I don’t think they will be down for a long entrenched war with Ukraine being armed by the world, nor will they be good with backing down and seeing Sweden, Finland and Ukraine install NATO missile and military bases.

    I think the reason Putin waited so long from Crimea to now to start the special operations in Ukraine was because Russia needed time to refurbish their nuclear arsenal to prepare for NATO showdown.

    China has also come out to blame NATO for the mess in Europe. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/29/china-says-nato-is-messing-up-europe-and-warns-over-role-in-asia-pacific

    I can’t see what scenario you have in mind where things go without a whimper. I think there is a good chance that the assumptions of MAD were so baked into the war-gaming and planning in the west that they overlooked the possibility of Russia using nukes in response to a massive armament of Ukraine by NATO and the US – so they thought nothing of pouring arms into the conflict and making statements that they are looking forward to giving Russia a long-haul conflict a la Afghanistan.

    We’ll see. Get stocked.

  255. Appliances – I will have to find out about if the power company had a surge.

    In general, they cost more now and supply is short. I also discovered that companies like Best Buy should be avoided since they outsource almost everything. It results in broken promises since no one talks to anyone else. I spent an entire month dealing them to install my dishwasher. I was at the point of taking my cane, going to the local franchise, and giving them a good knock on the side of the head.

    Buying local saved my sanity since the local people aim to please.

    Because of my brain injury, I do not want smart appliances. I had a toaster that was one, and it totally flummoxed me. All I wanted was to toast bread. Searching for the basic stripped down models in small sizes is a problem. I discovered that everyone makes larger and larger appliances. I have a small condo, and need the smaller sizes. So hunting for basic small ones was a huge effort.

    I also discovered that repair people do things by rote and rarely ponder the machine. One local company apologized to me that their repair person was not up to snuff. They refunded my money, and gave me free visit by another repair person to fix what the other one couldn’t.

    The bottom line is that since we going into a decline as Mr. Greer states, it is starting to show up in very basic ways. i.e. appliances and repairs.

  256. About living on less and saving money. As I said, we saved up 12000 U.S. dollars for a used car. We did it by questioning everything that we were spending money on. Did we really need it? Why are we buying it? What were we thinking that we needed this thing?

    Why spend money when you don’t have to? That was the rule we worked under. We are not saints since I will splurge on books and my husband on stocks and bonds. (Yes, we get a lot of stock dividends, that we socked away.)

    The stocks could be thought of as another money stream. We have multiple money streams in case one doesn’t pan out. We do not rely solely on any particular stream such as my pension.

  257. @Marlena13: thanks for alerting me to the “director’s cut” of the Zapruder film. I watched the “French Zapruder Film” on YT, and it showed WAY more footage that I’d ever seen before. I recommend the book “Conspiracy Theory in America” by Lance DeHaven Smith (Univ of Texas Press) if you can find a copy.

  258. Hey, isn’t May Day a holiday for some of you? If so, have the best ever! 🌱🥳

  259. @Scotlyn – I’d be very glad of prayers and intention candles! And I’m wondering now if I didn’t already have something when I got the vaccine, and just didn’t know it, since the digestive rumblings had been there off and on. (And manifested explosively about this time yesterday. Treated with imodium and a 24 hour fast. Just cranberry juice, chicken broth, and water.) anyway, thank you!

  260. On the topic of saving money, I’ve found I have a different relationship to money since going into business for myself. When I was a middle manager at a Legal Aid office, money was like a resource that replenished itself in my bank account twice per month.

    Now that I have a solo law practice, there is no waiting around for the money to replenish. I have to go out and do work to get paid and there are no guarantees. I’ve realized this is the way it really is. Money as a replenishing resource is a convenient fantasy enabled by having a salary, but the organization has to keep the money coming in to maintain that fantasy.

    Functioning in this new reality, and it really did involve a significant shift in consciousness, has left me with a healthier relationship to finance. I find that I keep a more careful eye on my spending because I fully understand that there is no guarantee what will come in in the coming weeks and months. And yes, keeping a better eye on my money means that I have found I do more stuff that does not cost money. It also brings home the extent that our society is organized to suck as much of your money away as possible.

  261. Beekeeper in Vermont,

    I’ve modified a sourdough French recipe by Andrew Whitley (which calls for mostly unbleached white flour with some whole wheat, in addition to adding a ‘production starter*’ component into the dough to complete the kneed) whereby I add some commercial bread yeast into the dough mix before kneeding. It gives the dough a faster rise, and also greatly improves the crumb texture of the finished product. I also add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil whilst doing the finishing kneed. Plopped into a covered bread pan to finish it’s second rise before baking. Baking at 425°F for 10 min., then reduced to 400°F for the remaining 40 min.
    The loaves come out light in weight, with uniform small pocket porosity, and makes for a perfect sandwich or toast!
    When I first started making bread, what came out of the oven were rather flat discs (no pan) of whole wheat bricks. Needless to say, they weren’t such a great hit with the family, so I do the above instead..

    * a combo of sourdough starter (equal parts wheat and rye) all purpose unbleached white flour, and water, allowed to sit and proof somewhat before kneeding into the main mix.

  262. Patricia Mathews, get well soon! I recently had the flu, I’ve never had it in April. Doctor’s office says there are all kinds of unseasonable things going around.

  263. Tidlosa:

    I think Elon Musk is an easy figure on which to project fantasies of a benevolent savior in the form of a kooky mad scientist. He is neither a savior nor a scientist, but that does not stop people from wanting him to be. I will give Elon this however, he does sometimes make genuinely funny cracks and he does seem to upset the wokies. I have my own take on his purchase of Twitter on my Substack (shameless self promotion alert!). Just click my name on this post to go there.

  264. Hi JMG,

    Has your wife, given her gluten issues, been able to tolerate homemade sourdough bread? I’ve got similar medical concerns and given the downard economic food trends, having the ability to make some form of bread (without relying on just rice and oats) would be pretty ideal. I’ve heard that the fermentation of the sourdough process eases the potential gut inflammation triggers but have never ventured to try it myself yet.

    Tamanous

  265. Aziz, I know the feeling — my government is just as clueless, if not more so.

    Curt, glad to hear it. They’ll be needed.

    Lathechuck, that strikes me as a very useful way of thinking about the situation, and it certainly explains the baffled rage of the elites when the nonpeople outside their bubble up and do something they’re not supposed to do.

    Patricia O, the S-500 is a scary piece of hardware. If it works as advertised, the era of mutual assured destruction may be coming to an end.

    Andy, you may certainly post something a year from now. Two years doesn’t count as permanent, though — I’ll ask you to update us annually through at least year 5, as that seems to be a much better measure for really long-term shifts.

    Wer, if Musk is starting to get a clue about the futility of the space program, that’s excellent news. I haven’t been paying much attention to his ramblings, though. As for the long-term survival rate of billionaires, it depends utterly on how they cope with the rising blowback. Musk seems to realize this; Gates is as usual serenely convinced that he can force everyone else to cater to his fantasies.

    Emily, I think the possibility’s a real one, between EU regulations and serious fertilizer shortages.

    Jostin, the Russians have regrouped and seem to be pursuing, with quite some success, a strategy that will result in a divided Ukraine — the half or so with a mostly Russian-speaking population and most of the mineral wealth under their control, the other half left as a basket case for NATO to prop up indefinitely. If Putin keeps pursuing that project, things could definitely trickle away into silence, as Russia fortifies the new borders of the Novorossian Peoples Republic and settles for the same sort of occasional scuffle that they get in their former Georgian proxy states, Transnistria, etc.

    Neptunesdolphins, I don’t have a TBI, and I also find it better to avoid the “smart” (that is, gimmicky and failure-prone) versions.

    Your Kittenship, yep — tomorrow’s Belteinne. Thank you, and a happy May Day to you and yours!

    Chris, as a self-employed writer, I know the feeling…

    Andrew, no, not if it has any gluten in it. We’re able to get a decent commercial gluten-free bread (Canyon Bakehouse brand), but I haven’t been able to find a homemade gluten-free bread recipe that produces anything even approximately edible. Fortunately it’s not just a matter of rice and oats — there’s corn, you know!

  266. @Robert Morgan #41

    Here is what I am doing for/with my own children. I’m pushing for shop class as much as I can because those are foundational skills. I particularly like Dave Canterbury’s ideas about wood work (carpentry) and metal work, his thought is with these skills you can make anything from tools to houses. Of course developing skill is required. We cook together when we can. We do art projects. We go outside as much as we can and do experiments. Mostly volcanoes and making slime. I’m also trying to make that Mentat program I mentioned accessible to them. We’ve been concentrating on analog toys, for example we have a globe (I name the countries different Disney princesses are from,) several dice for games and math (They work well for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), a set of dice with letters to help practice spelling etc. Trying to teach them left to right math (I.E. if you are going to add 427 to 326 start with 4+3 and work back) and the soroban.

    I don’t treat any of this as end of the world stuff. There’s a real joy in making things, so I concentrate on techniques and abilities to try to make things better. One of my goals is to get them involved in gardening. They are children. They love to play and make messes and build, explore and discover. With a little guidance towards practical ends, I.E. baking bread, that can be fun. Since kid’s love to get messy, dough is a great way to do it. You can also teach them how to make a well in the flour and various ratios of dry to wet for different styles of dough. That’s especially useful as they’ll learn to fix mistakes and what to do is something goes wrong. If at all possible make the messes in the backyard for ease of clean up and your wife’s sanity.

    I’m also as much as possible trying to let them lead. They are individuals with unique personalities and my one daughter loves art. So we paint and color and dye eggs and draw, etc. Trying to show her what can be accomplished with a systematic approach I.e. the 4 chord song from Axis of Awesome.

    I’ve also looked at electric bread boards and various other things. That might be a good way to get the parents involved. I look to a lot of historical reenactment type stuff, I.e. Townsend’s on YouTube. It’s perfectly reasonable to have that kind of life and make it comfortable. Things like using vinegar as acid when lemons will be harder to transport is one. The fine art of fermentation, sauerkraut and the difference between good and bad bacteria, add a little hot pepper and you’ve got a kimchi style derivative. Things like rocket mass heaters and masonry heaters is another. Mark Twain praised the German masonry heater, possibly hobbit holes. It’s going to be a return to a more traditional way of life, so why not use the past as a source of inspiration, like keeping doves, and pigeons and rabbits and chickens. Like making cheese, growing mushrooms, etc. Other ideas like Edwin Tunis’ books and the Diderot encyclopedia. Just because things have changed doesn’t mean going back to living in caves. The Baconian revolution had comfortable cities and deep water transport (by sail.)

    I picked this up from Chris Martenson, paraphrasing “Don’t think of it as something you are running away from, think of it as something you are running towards.”

    If you help lean on it and lead by example they’ll remember baking bread with Grandpa. As opposed to doom and gloom and it’s all going to be so awful.
    Meet them where they are. They’ve got a lifetime of skills to acquire.

  267. Cary,

    In that installation we had a propane-fired boiler that supplied hot water to hydronic radiators throughout the house for space heating and it also supplied hot water to the Superstor tank, which was just a storage tank with the solar coils inside. The trade calls this a combi-boiler.

    If you are not happy with the tankless oil system you have now, I would suggest looking into a different energy source for the domestic hot water.

    My understanding of the tax incentives for solar are that you get a tax credit (which is a whole lot better than a deductible expense), and it includes things like water tanks and installation labor as long as they are connected to the solar thermal apparatus. This gives you a chance to make various plumbing upgrades that would not normally offset taxes.

    I am just in the planning stage for my dream system which is going to be a shared hot water supply in a small apartment building. What I want to accomplish is to have the controls and circulator pump work from DC power from a dedicated PV panel. If it works, it will allow the system to supply warm water even if the electricity grid is down.

  268. Windman: Curious whether you grew up with a father? You seem to be parsing pretty normal male behavior in an unintended way. Pitching someone a bit of BS is meant to stoke you up, motivate you to be the better man he thinks you can be. I’d consider your boss’s criticisms to be actually a compliment of a sort, an acknowledgement that you are capable of being better. It’s meant to get you a bit PO’d, such that you will show him up, I’m fairly sure he’s not trying to cripple you with self doubt. Maybe he’s a bit miscalibrated for your mental starting point. The fact that he is willing to have a social beer with you reinforcing that. If he thought you were worthless he certainly wouldn’t bother.

    Re: sewing machines. As an experienced mechanic, I echo Lunar Apprentice in imploring that WD-40 not be used in place of a proper lubricant, it is mostly volitile solvent and VERY thin oil. A manufacturer’s brand of lubricant would be a good choice, givin the tiny amounts used it shouldn’t matter that it’s a total ripoff😉. A light oil such as Triflow, sold at bike shops, would probably be a good match for a sewing machine, but I prefer a gun oil made by Breakfree called CLP for bike and gun use, it is good about not attracting dirt, lasts much, much longer on a bike chain in wet conditions, and has never gummed up or “dried out” even on mechanisms that sat for years without use. Good stuff.

  269. Here’s another perspective on Elon Musk and his recent purchase of Twitter:

    https://tube.solari.com/videos/money-expert-fitts-us-financial-system-govt-citizens-addicted-to-narco-dollars/

    In the last three minutes of this discussion, at 56:54, financial expert Catherine Austin Fitts gives her assessment of Elon Musk, beginning thus:

    “So, Elon Musk is building the control grid.”

    And in her book that’s a negative. Her take is well worth listening to; it gives a whole different view on Musk as the putative savior of free speech.

    Forewarned is forearmed!

  270. @marlena13
    All good points about JFK and 9/11. I’m too young for JFK but I was in my early 20s when 9/11 happened.

    In retrospect I still can’t believe we never questioned how a lightweight aluminum plane could leave an airplane-shaped hole in a wall of structural steel columns, just like in the cartoons! (I’d love to see an attempt to re-create that in an experiment.) It just goes to show watching too many cartoons as a child really is a bad idea.

    But even those who were around at the time and still believe the official narrative should recall that Bush and the feds told all the first responders that there was no need to wear a mask at ground zero. And then many of them got cancer. Remember that? That certainly came to my mind when twenty years later they told us certain mRNA treatments were “safe and effective.”

  271. @Andy,

    Please do continue to update us! I am in recovery for an orthopedic issue that will take a long time of diligent daily work. I will keep up my patience and efforts and look forward to your updates, since I am likely on a multi-year timeline. You got this.

  272. Would just like to mention that the Ukraine-Russia war can’t be understood fully without taking into account centuries of Russian imperialism. The idea (popular here) that Russia is just innocently defending itself from a predatory NATO is a one-sided oversimplification.

  273. @ Cobbler #293

    I don’t think it’s a matter of guilt or innocence: no one is innocent when it comes to geopolitics. It’s more an issue of clueless elites, their equally-clueless enablers, and “what did you expect was going to happen?”

    Here in the US, we have to frame everything as a crusade and a fight against evil, even when it’s not. (WWI comes to mind.)

    I’ve learned–slowly– that politics is a pragmatic discipline, not a doxology–contrary to popular belief. This is about raw materials and resources, in the end. And I think John is likely right on another point: the US (or at least the part outside of Dixie) is going to soon be learning what it’s like to be on the losing side of things. The reaction here at home as this sinks in over the next decade or so is going to be… interesting.

  274. The comments on the water level in Lake Mead and the impact of the drought in the Western US deserve comment.

    Our sales and marketing team attended a recent conference in Las Vegas focused on water treatment. We organized a boat tour of Lake Mead to gain a visceral feeling of the drought impact. A bath tub ring 150 feet above the water level did it.

    A deal reached between Nevada and California involved paying California to reduce its draw of Lake Mead water. California is using the money to help finance large water recycling facilities (“toilet-to-tap” or “new water” if you prefer). Producing potable water via recycling is less energy intensive than seawater desalination such as used at Carlsbad. Our company is provided equipment to reduce the energy consumption of water recycling facilities.

    According to people I know in the San Diego area, fines are already in place for exceeding water usage limits.

    On another topic, when the deep state/MSM directs hate to the level they have to Russia (personified as Putin for the simple-minded), you gotta suspect that Russia is doing the right thing. A deeper analysis will prove the same.

    Suffice it to ask this question: When has the deep state/MSM ever had our best interest at heart? Answer: Never. They want a war for fun and profit? Push a few buttons on a gullible population and out pops a demand for war.

  275. JMG and Andrew, about corn, and I don’t mean to butt in but ever tried polenta? We had it several times, once with maple syrup. Nothing much to look at but it wasn’t bad.

  276. Hi John Michael,

    I don’t really know, however at a guess I believe that the negative feedback loop of inflation will be met with the policies of higher interest rates and further (!) expansionary money printing efforts, whilst keeping wages stagnant due to inflationary concerns. There are other policy options, but I have my doubts that they will be used, if only because it hurts the wealth of the people making the decisions and pulling upon the response levers. It seems plausible, but I was wondering as to your opinion of this guess?

    And I’m really struggling to comprehend how that scenario could be possible, but I believe that will be the path taken based on what has occurred in the past. The thing is, if a hit to wealth was taken now, the future blows would be easier to navigate. I genuinely believed that we were smarter than this. Perhaps we’re not? Maybe I wasn’t cynical enough.

    Cheers

    Chris

  277. Question, on rereading “The Twilight of Pluto” – Dion Fortune, a child of her times, refers to “Old Maid’s Disease” (or neurosis, in modern terms?) a fair amount, and seems to assume everybody knows what she means. She doesn’t seem to mean the conversion disorders her Dr. Rupert Malcolm has made a life’s work of exposing in his patients. My private guess is, she means a tendency to see sexual predators under every bed. Would that be correct?

    She does note, later, that “bachelors girls” seem to be more mentally healthy, and theorized that a lot of old maid’s neurosis stems from lack of freedom and agency. Which makes good sense to me.

    On the other hand, since Victorian men were no angels, one wonders how many times the sexual predators were actually there, and the neurotic old maid had PTSD. Remembering how Freud blew off such claims as wish-fulfillment fantasies on the part of the victims; and how her character Vivien Le Fay, given to long brisk walks alone and sensing she’s being followed (by Dr. Malcolm), dismisses the danger with the notion that only a drunk would molest a woman walking alone, and drunks wouldn’t be capable of doing any damage. Uh, no, ma’am. 99% of the time, she could be right, but we’re all aware of the 1% chance.

    At any rate, I’m dithering. The question is, what was this well-known(in her time) neurosis?

  278. A yummy Belteinne to all you Belteinners, courtesy of the ever-inventive Tanaka Tatsuya.

    https://miniature-calendar.com/220501

    And thanks to Cobbler for reminding us there are 2 sides to every issue. Although I still say, If world leaders had returned my calls when I said NATO was outdated and new treaties should be made, none of this mess might ever have happened. Harrumph.

  279. JMG and everyone, I don’t know if this topic passes muster but what do you guys think of the Blade Runner movies? I gather that people either really like them or really hate them.

    I’m in the first camp. I even like the 1982 version with that awful Harrison Ford narrative voice-over. To me it was a visual and auditory feast. Yeah, I know, it was a flying car, magical sources of energy vision of the future, but still…

    I thought the ‘director’s cut’ from the early nineties with all the tweaks and without the voice-over was great and the ‘final cut’ better still.

    As for 2049, I think it could have been filmed in black and white. I wonder what Ridley Scott would have done with it.

  280. Chris Smith, kudos on keeping your head straight about money. I worked for a large company (a long time ago) whose top brass apparently thought it grew on trees and could not and would not believe what our cash numbers were telling us.

    In any case, down the drain it all went, first into creditor protection and then bankruptcy and then dissolution. What a shame.

  281. Mr. Greer,

    Have you considered using rye grain in making bread. As I understand it, rye contains very little if no gluten. An alternative perhaps? I do have a Russian inspired pan-baked sourdough rye recipe to offer that might work for you two, though without as much rise as would be for a wheat dough.

  282. Kevin, thanks for this.

    Cobbler, of course Russian imperialism needs to be taken into account. So does NATO imperialism. Russia has good reasons to worry about NATO, and NATO has equally good reasons to worry about Russia. This is the real world, not a cheap superhero movie, and that means that there are no good guys and no bad guys, just political blocs contending for power in the usual ruthless way.

    Observer, the whole chain of Colorado River reservoirs is desperately low and getting worse. Stay tuned; over the next few years, it could get very ugly indeed.

    Roger, we eat it quite often. If you make it, put it in a buttered loaf pan, and cool it, you can slice the resulting loaf and fry the slices; the result is less sloppy and very tasty.

    Chris, your country can afford higher interest rates. Mine can’t, not with federal deficits running around US$3 trillion a year. Any significant increase in US interest rates would force a default — but it’s going to be a choice between that and hyperinflation. Fun times!

    Patricia M, it’s also known as “old maid’s insanity.” Here’s what an old medical dictionary cited online says: “A disorder in which the subject believes that a person, usually older and of higher social status, is deeply in love with him or her; failure of the object of the delusion to respond to the subject’s advances are rationalized, and pursuit and harassment of the object of the delusion may occur.”

    Your Kittenship, thank you!

    Roger, I never watched them. I’m not much of a movie watcher.

    Polecat, wheat has four gluten proteins; rye shares two of them, and then has two of its own. One of the complexities of gluten intolerance is that different people react to the proteins differently. Unfortunately for Sara, she reacts to the two that are common to wheat, rye, and barley, so no, that won’t work. Thanks for thinking of it, though!

  283. Off list if desired….have you tried almond flour for bread? On my SCD diet I used a lot and was pretty good especially toasted. Celadon btw ty for all your hard work. Happy Beltainne.

  284. The situation in Ukraine,

    I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is a professor of political science. We were each supporting a different team, but for the same reason. On of us backs Ukraine because he supports the underdog (Ukraine vs Russia) and the other supports Russia because he supports the underdog (Russia vs the US).

    We both agreed that the current situation is a watershed moment where things are about to change substantially and that it is unclear who will prevail. War is always a gamble and if two strong powers have decided to fight at least one of them has made a mistake.

    On that note here are two very good analyses of the situation that disagree:

    https://acoup.blog/2022/03/11/collections-nuclear-deterrence-101/
    A fine discussion of where and when nuclear powers fight and why. In this assessment Putin is the bad guy.

    https://swprs.org/ukraine-war-a-geostrategic-assessment/
    An equally good assessment of the geostrategic situation. In this case the US is the bad guy.

    Both are worth reading.

  285. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for the measured and calm reply. Some people might have a freak out about such discussions and I appreciate your level headedness.

    As a thought exercise I ran the numbers on what does it cost to simply service the interest on US national debt. In order to simplify the numbers so that my brain could wrap itself around the problem, I originally had to forget about the principal, which as everyone knows is the amount which refers to repaying the original amount borrowed (my best guess at this stage is that it will be disappeared – I’m sure you’ll agree).

    Bear with me, as I had to look up just how many zeros were actually involved. I’d understated the original number by three zeros. So, according to wikipudding, the US national debt is now at $26.70 trillion. The number is so large that I had difficulty conceptualising it – so please anyone correct me if I’m wrong. I believe the number looks like this:

    $26,700,000,000,000

    That sure is a lot of zeros, and it is a number so large that it is way beyond my comprehension.

    I believe your current official interest rates are 0.25%, so servicing the interest alone costs each year:

    $66,750,000,000 (that’s $66.75 billion folks and makes twits look cheap)

    And that’s just the interest. The original loan of course has to be repaid at some point. Let’s assume that it is to be repaid at 30 years (or 360 months) and for simplicity let’s assume the whole lot has to be repaid over that period of time beginning now. The annual repayments for both principal and interest at 0.25% interest rates work out to be:

    $923,884,810,070 (that’s $923.8 billion folks or 1/3rd of the annual deficit)

    So, what would it work out to be at 1%?

    $1,030,533,023,510 (that’s $1 trillion)

    Mathematics is not my forte, but in order to get my head around the numbers I constructed a little model, and it sure was alarming. I’d suggest that at every 1% increase in the official interest rates, someone, somewhere in your country loses access to at least about $200bn in funding. Yikes! That’s gotta hurt.

    And each year the debt increases at about 10% or something around $3,00,000,000,000 so it just goes up and up and away into the bonkersphere.

    Mate, we’re on the same debt path down here. It’s bonkers, and I’d have to suggest that at this point: we’re fracked!

    I now retire from the field, and note that my brain hurts. 😉

    Cheers

    Chris

  286. Re: neptunesdolphins @202, JMG; Appliances and unreliability: My daughter, employed as a barista, is peeved because her employer replaced the expresso maker and the oven with new equipment, which are computerized with touch screens. Without any prompting from me, she was ranting on how “stupid” these things are. “An expresso machine doesn’t need a computer and a touch screen. The old one was easier to use, works just fine, and is faster; and a computerized OVEN??? Give me a break! And they seem flimsy. I’ll bet they’ll break in a month or two…” Our conversation shifted to an old truck I’ve promised her (to be a restored 1970s Ford Courier vs Mazda B2000, vs 1980s Ford Ranger fitted with a pre-1980 6-cyl engine). She really grasps why I think non-computerized vehicles are the way to go, and is fully on board. I recently had a 1978 Ford truck restored for myself because I was aghast at having to take my modern car to a full service garage just to replace a light-bulb, after which it signaled me to bring it in again to fix a built-in tire pressure gage, which led to a meditation on all the semiconductors in it…

    Similarly, I recently bought a propane camp stove as a backup for my kitchen stove which needs the grid. In order to ensure you’ve correctly filled a 1 pound propane bottle, you have to weigh it. The scale offered is a semiconductor based gizmo with a lithium battery. I then checked out postal scales at the office store, but they were all electronic. I then found a 5 pound mechanical postal scale at a thrift store, and a remaindered 10 pound mechanical kitchen scale in a big-box store; everything else was electronic.

    And don’t get me started with sewing machines…

    What I see with appliances, sewing machines and vehicles is that marketing considerations heavily weight convenience, feature-richness, light weight, and “high tech” as being major selling points; this is tangible and makes for great ad copy. No value is given to the intangibles of reliability, robustness, durability, repairability, supply of replacement parts and such, as they are costly to build into a product, and are not as marketable. All of this convenience and feature-bloat is ferociously complex, but semi-conductor technology makes it economically doable for now. But it comes at a cost of severely negative returns on the intangibles.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  287. Hi JMG,

    I’ve heard you in a couple of interviews talking about magic that involves contact with spirits and magical training that is more geared to developing oneself. Can you help me understanding where the line is drawn with this? So many practitioners talk about their “spirit allies” or having to tend to a deity in a statue in their home etc… Where does the Golden Dawn stuff fit into this? I’m guessing the spirit contact route is more hazardous if someone isn’t developed enough and understand protocols….what then happens to all these neophytes dabbling? Any clarity here is appreciated.

  288. @Andy,
    A fourth possible candidate for the explosion in obesity is EMFs from household gadgets. It was quite a while back, but I read one study had found a correlation between the number of electronic gadgets in a person’s home and their degree of obesity. Arthur Firstenberg in The Invisible Rainbow and elsewhere has noted that artificial EMFs tend to slow down the metabolism, the result being that if you can somehow avoid weight gain and the associated issues, you can live longer as a result, which he says is one reason the average lifespan in modern societies has been increasing despite all the chronic diseases increasing in concert. (I note of course, that the current medical industry paradigm is also geared toward such an outcome.) The mitochondria are affected by EMFs. A quick Yandex search gave me this: https://stop5g.cz/us/electromagnetic-effects-on-mitochondria/ I don’t have time to go through it carefully to see if I agree with everything said, but there was one graphic with advice on how to repair the damage to the mitochondria and I can attest to the advice being useful from my own experience. Also, it links to Drs. Olle Johansson, Martin Pall and Magda Havas, for whom I have great respect.

  289. #192 As a bit of a tangent to your point, not specifically about permaculture but I’ve seen various organizations have this model where they employ someone as a project manager or some kind of coordinator, and have volunteers do the actual work. Sometimes the attitude creeps in where they seem to try to make you feel as though they are doing you a favour by allowing you the volunteer to volunteer for them rather than the other way around.
    I’ve also seen a case where a community orchard and organic growing area has been set up basically as a greenwash for a large new build housing development on a greenfield site.

  290. RE: Recycling water.

    Windhoek, Namibia was famous (or maybe notorious) for recycling sewage and pumping it into the drinking water. I was posted there in 1979 and given a tour of the sewage works. There seemed to be a lot of biology involved, I remember a bed of creepy-crawlies munching away, and they also generated electricity from sewage-derived methane. Nevertheless, I never drank plain water, only tea, coffee, and beer.

    A housemate’s girlfriend worked at the local brewery doing quality control in the lab. The brewery was located a couple of miles outside the city limits.

    “Did they put it there because they found a spring with perfect water?” I asked her.

    “Oh no, we use municipal water. There’s a long pipeline to the city.”

    “You mean…?” I asked, pointing at my beer.

    “Yep. Recycled.”

    I was horrified, and gave up drinking for all of two minutes. (Namibian beer is excellent, BTW. It is made according to the German Reinheitsgebot.)

  291. Yesterday, I engaged with the “Makerspace Tool Lending Library” in a neighboring town, and came home with an old sewing machine. (The brand is Premier, made in Taiwan, with an AC/DC motor. I haven’t found a model number.) I hope to repair it, but was told “we actually found this beside the road, so it’s no great loss if you can’t. But they don’t make them like this any more. This one is heavy, so it stays where you put it. Modern machines are so light that they wander around the table while you’re trying to use them.”

    I thought you all might be interested to consider one concrete example of how a property of an item (reduced weight), could be marketed as a feature (“easy to carry” (and cheaper to ship)), but is actually regarded as a bug by the people who use it.

  292. There have been a few comments about the soaring cost of housing. I suspect that the big financial institutions would rather collect rent than mortgage interest. Selling a fixed-rate mortgage (say 6%) in a situation where the current inflation rate rose from 2% to 8% between 2021 and 2022 (and it could be much higher, depending on which stats you believe), seems a lot riskier than buying the house and just jacking up the rent each year by whatever rate matches inflation. Also, it’s probably a lot easier to evict a deadbeat renter than to foreclose on and evict someone who falls behind on a mortgage. (The mortgage crisis of 2009 proved that.) In a deflationary environment, rent could be reduced to accommodate falling incomes, while mortgaged buyers would be trapped, paying constant-dollar interest while the value of the dollars increases (increasing the chance of default).

    I don’t expect these conditions to change any time soon, unfortunately.

  293. Hello Mr Greer. In your work you’ve written about how future societies will salvage from the ruins of our modern cities for materials. A concept I think makes a lot of sense. The amount of steel in a single modern office building alone could yield truly vast amounts of useful tools. And that’s just the steel! But one question has been bugging me.

    How will they cut the steel when they will not have access to modern gas torches? I doubt they will have furnaces big enough to melt entire steel beams at once (due to lack of charcoal to fuel such large furnaces). Are you aware of any techniques with which one could feasibly cut thick, solid steel without industrial age equipment?

  294. Wer here
    Am blessed Sunday to people who are Christian here. Someone asked in the comments about using horses in agriculture. No knowledge on that.
    I might say and Wielkopolska where i live is the equivalent of Ukraine (we produce the lion’s share of grain – riverbed , fertile soil and generaly flatland most of it) of Poland.
    But when it comes to people and the farmers that live here, there are disputes about “Natura 2000” an EU program which saw turning of many fields into grasslands. Now people are concerned about food security here as a result of Ukraine and everybody is talking maybe even repelling the “Natura 2000” program.
    There is Agroshow in Poznań three times per year and let’s just say everybody was more interested in giant diesel guzzling John Deere combines and wait for it (hydrogen powered tracktors with GPS that can work without a driver) is mr Schwab doing this or what? Do i need to remind everyone why this is stupid.
    http:fuel cell works.org , new holland webside – litteraly crazy what’s next terminator farmers culling livestock?
    Diesel for truck has reached a price of 7,50 złoty which means it is 40 % more expensive than 2 years ago
    and are really bad quality there are videos of diesel trucks with water pouring out of exhaust (they must be mixing it with something there was a scandal “Mafia paliwowa” about this) We are not moving towards sustainable farming anytime soon, nobody is even thinking about it
    There are heavier oils and guess where almost all of it comes from…

  295. I’m reflecting on the ethics of working in a “morally questionable” industry, such as advertising, defense, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, etc. In reading about it, I stumbled across a post of yours from a few years ago that discussed ethics, and this was quite useful.

    The first part of your post tackles this head on. To paraphrase:

    In the absence of Abrahamic morality (“God says it’s bad, so don’t do it”) we have to separate the facts of the matter from our values about them.

    To pick one industry from above: the fact of advertising is that it is an activity involving the use of visual rhetoric in order to persuade an audience to buy something.

    Someone working in advertising might say “My value system does not conflict with the values of the advertising system, in a free speech environment I don’t see the issue with persuading someone to buy something. They are free to ignore my ad”.

    Whereas someone else may find advertising’s goal of mass persuasion despicable, this person may argue that the techniques of advertising don’t only work at the level of conscious awareness, they just as equally operate on the level of the subconscious, which most people aren’t aware of, so the possibility of their making a conscious choice is already subverted.

    I’m purposefully here trying to show that defining a value as separate from a fact is tricky, because other facts insert themselves into arguments about value.

    The proponent of advertising is using the legal fact of free speech (although perhaps also a value) to make their case, the opponent uses the fact of the qualitative power difference between conscious and subconscious awareness to make their own case.

    One can then exaggerate, and hopefully not into farce: I could tell a friend that they shouldn’t murder someone else, and this friend could reply “why not?”. In the absence of one of the commandments, I can only explain that it removes the life of another conscious being, to which they can reply “why is that a bad thing, in past societies if someone wronged you, there was greater tolerance for reciprocal murder” and this person could probably make the argument that my stance against murder is also based on value.

    In your post, you discuss then the Stoic basis of ethics, which if I haven’t misunderstood, answers this quandary. There are values most humans have in common, namely, happiness, and happiness comes from especially inner freedom.

    You don’t murder someone because it removes both their happiness and their freedom, and working in advertising arguably means that you are consciously applying techniques which don’t work at the level of conscious awareness in the minds of the audiences, therefore you are intentionally (within your control) shifting someone else’s thoughts and will, which impinges on their freedom and happiness.

    Therefore, if my logic holds, it is unethical in the Stoic ethical system to work in advertising. I may be able to apply similar logic to some of the other industries I discussed above.

    Certain types of gambling, especially smartphone based online gambling, are also implicated in this because they include some of the strongest techniques of advertising. Especially when coupled with regulatory issues and match fixing issues. There doesn’t appear to be any ethical issue with the activity of gambling on the part of the gambler, but if my logic is correct, then it would seem that working in the gambling industry, with conscious awareness of the techniques involved in ensuring that people continue to gamble, could be considered unethical in these terms.

    Weirdly, the issue starts to dissolve into utilitarian ethics with this example. Does the funding of charities by gambling profits outweigh the harm done to a small but quite badly affected population of badly addicted gamblers?

    In any case, I’d welcome any thoughts from you and the commentariat about this, including any corrections in the logic.

  296. Just a brief comment:

    When the Empire of the Narcissists blackmail other countries – its called “sanctions”

    When Russia demands payment for gas – its called blackmail.

    Compare and contrast the two statements.

  297. Oops, I forgot a “>” after my link HTML in the first paragraph.

    And in case the logic does hold, and I’ve simply stated the obvious in too many sentences, I am trying to be more precise about it than just saying “advertising is bad”.

  298. People tend to think of real life in the west in terms of superhero action movies. Where historic events center about the actions of some stylized and idealized iconic
    figures and their actors. A drama play.

    A drama play describes what people do in their private lifes and their challenges and options, but it does not describe the mass movements of populations of humans in their
    civilized hive states. The global macroeconomic flows of goods and products, the ecological flow that reacts according to human influence.

    These are “dry” topics because they do not relate to private matters and emotional human affairs, but to the abstraction of our complex interwoven reality.
    Media distorts the inner measuring we give to experience and events.

    Think of a street crime. Is it a frequent thing in the area where it happened, was it special in its nature, or is it a common occurence in the area?
    A video of the crime will be horrifying in either case;
    Judging things by the emotional and mental reactions you get when seeing them on screen is not the best strategy.

    I noticed when I sit in front of a flickering rapid sequence of music with animations and memes, it is a feeling like I’m running through the thickets outdoors,
    but only emotionally; my body is on standby the whole time.
    This may be abstraction what abstraction does in general, evoke an emotional reaction in a person by imagining the implications of something that isn’t physically there or yet to be there.
    Like the imagining quality of a carpenter, standing in front of the wood pile seeing the shape of a thing to be;
    As in martial arts, when you visually or physically imagine the shape of your intended movement through to its desired end-point.

  299. There’s a lesson in everything

    Since Christmas I had taken up weight lifting with a friend. He is experienced in it. However, as a skiing teacher and weight lifter, he has had many operations on joints, once a bone rupture in the finger, and that rupture in the pelvis which name I cant remember. I have always made in my goal to have none of this and so far, had not. My friend urged we train 3 times a week, for maximum result.

    As was to be expected, it bound my energy so that I had insufficent resources left for proper stretching and breathing exercise. I became strong but inflexible, sometimes across the last months so that my whole body hurt with a slightly inflammatory feeling. My lifestyle apart from that isn’t ideal due to heavy smoking, and im going to my mid thirties.
    I feel like a rusty knight’s armor, physically.

    Two times I trained alone and was as disingenious as to experiment whether it was a good idea to let my arms dangle when standing and lifting the weight up fron the ground with
    my upper body. I hurt my left shoulder. I often had shoulder pain the past years from sitting a deskjob, often in combination with cold drafts and too little clothing. My remedy for that was moving my arms around in every direction during whatever I did in my day, searching for the axes and angles where my arms and shoulders made cracking noises. My uncle who is an old IT man had the “frozen shoulder syndrom” where he couldn’t lift his arms above shoulder level.

    SO after training wrong the past weeks, my left shoulder became much more contrained than in the past and somewhat inflammatory. I trained on weigth lifting despite that, which is admittedly a very stupid move.

    My shoulder started hurt badly. I wanted to train on but fortunately my training friend is very unreliable and cancelled the appointment this week. My shoulder cracked evilly at certain angles and felt distorted (in a spiral ax form shoulder to arm). A small blood clot had formed at the little tip.

    In the beginning, I worked and fumbled at my shoulder furiously.
    Then, in the stead I decided to yoga exercises. In light of the kind of pain that hinders sleep at night, I did slowest motion Hatha yoga, slowly buildup to the more strenuous forms, always stopping at the point where I felt I’d better get some rest now for my body. Also, I did the kind of standing exercise where you breathe in lifting your arms, then push with your hands down in front of your mid body,
    letting your mind wander below your feet. Earthing. In my sleep, I found that when feeling and observing into my hurting shouldern breathing in, then imagining its healthy form it shall rebound to breathing out,
    my body twitches and shakes on its own in paths I do not calculate, ending up relieving my shoulder.

    These practices have helped my shoulder immensely. Also, I rediscovered the challenge to do things with my whole body, with smoothing whip like movements involving much the hip.

    For example on my bed, when I throw my heavy upper blanket out so that it straigthens out, I do not use merely my arms in a static pose as before because it hurts, rather i grip my blanked with soft arms (but tightly), then make a wavelike movement thorugh my hips that goes through my arms and ends as an whipping energy
    burst throwing the blanket out before myself.
    Those things in combination have made me rather happy the past days and enthusiastic about life.
    a flexible and smooth body and well airated lungs give my a kind of serenity.

    I have successfully restored a cracked knuckle on my hand last year by myself, I shall take the shoulder challenge too.

    In light of the downturn, this time I’m having now is I think definitely the last of its seasons this spring and possible summer, idling out in the cafe, strolling around, consuming with no worries. If not already in summer then by Autumn, I expect a serious change of paradigm that cannot be veiled in public life.

    I suppose that going into this in proper spiritual shape is a good idea.

  300. @ Varun, viduraawakened

    Thank you for your responses. As I noted, I was unsure whether there were cultural aspects to my former GMs attitude toward workers (particularly those w/o a 4-yr degree) or if it was just a component of his personality. It sounds like I should be chalking it up to the latter.

  301. @blue sun and others re 9/11,

    As far as I’ve been able to tell, nothing that followed physically from the impact of the planes on 9/11 (including the characteristics of the damage and debris at the impact sites, the extent and behavior of the fires, and the building collapses) was anything other than what the laws of physics would predict given the parameters of the “official” scenario. I won’t try to persuade by referring to sources you don’t trust, and I’m not going to turn my own calculations into some kind of report that you still won’t (and shouldn’t) trust. Instead, I’ll ask you to do some general thinking about scale.

    Here’s the rub: your intuition about how small objects behave will mislead you if you try to apply it to how much larger objects behave. Your familiarity of what happens when billiard balls collide (they bounce off) even if they’ve figured into problems in basic physics classes (“in what direction and at what speed will they bounce off?”) will not help you imagine what happens when e.g. Earth-size planets collide. If they could somehow collide at the extremely slow velocity of billiard balls, they’d melt and coalesce; at an unrealistically fast pool table “scale speed” of several diameters per second they’d mostly vaporize instead. (And that has nothing to do with having molten cores. Hypothetical Earth-size planets with the same composition, density, and temperature as billiard balls would still melt or vaporize.) How fast in feet per second, and how fast in own-diameters-per-second, does Earth actually orbit the sun at? I’ll leave those as exercises. Hint: one is blindingly fast, and the other super slow, compared with billiard balls.

    Here’s another more directly relevant example: can you imagine crystal wine glasses so thin and delicate that if you stacked three of them (empty) on top of one another, the bottom one would shatter from the weight alone? It’s not easy to imagine; they’d have to be somewhere between an egg shell and a soap bubble thin. Picking one up (even empty) without shattering it would be a challenge, and filling one with wine would be impossible.

    Now, can you imagine a fifty-story building so robust you could stack two identical copies of it on top of it, without the stack collapsing under its own weight? That’s hard to imagine too. There’s no reason to build them that strong. The way we build them, to save weight and cost, the columns near the top are scaled to handle the weight of just the top, not the whole building let alone two more. There’s a strength safety factor but that would be overwhelmed in that scenario.

    So why do we consider the individual 50-story building (that can’t be stacked three high) “strong” and a real-world thin crystal wine glass (that can probably be stacked 10 high, when filled with three times their own weight of liquid, without damage) “delicate”? Because in our minds we compare them to the forces we’re familiar applying with our own hands. When we compare instead them to forces proportional to their own respective masses (such as mutual collision forces, or their weights), we find we have our mental models of which is “strong” and which is “delicate” backwards.

    Another mental shortcut we use when evaluating strength is comparing materials. We all learn early on about houses of straw versus sticks versus brick. But you can lift up a doghouse made of straw, sticks, or brick by one corner without it crumbling apart. That same treatment will break a full-sized house, even of brick. Scale trumps material strength.

    So it is with aluminum versus steel. I’ve read arguments that characterize aluminum airliners as just like aluminum beer cans, and the collisions with the towers on 9/11 as comparable to throwing the can at a wall. But make that a full can instead of an empty one (like the fuel-filled wings of an airliner) and throw it at 500 miles per hour (kinetic energy increases as the square of velocity, so that’s about 80 times the kinetic energy compared to throwing it by hand, and ten times the kinetic energy of a bullet) and it will make a hole through a 3mm steel plate. Now also make it 150,000 times more massive overall (while increasing the impact area by a much smaller factor) and it will break through multiple structural steel columns. It would be surprising if it didn’t. A reinforced concrete wall could have a different result, but that’s not what was there.

    I would treat this (whatever ones own opinion of 9/11 truth) as an exercise or object lesson for aspiring mentats. Knowing the limitations of your mental models is as important as having them in the first place. Keep in mind that the problems that are comfortably within the applicable range of common mental models based on everyday familiar phenomena aren’t the ones that are likely going to be assigned to a mentat. You’re not likely to be consulted about colliding planets, but issues of scale and square-cube problems come up all the time. What do you tell the potentate who wants to plan a large building or ship or siege engine by “just doubling the scale” from an existing one?

  302. Phutatorius # 276
    Welcome! And thanks for the book title. It’s still available, at Barnes & Noble, as well as that South American river. I noticed other places, in several formats. Remember when the US House held hearings in the mid 80’s? They had access to a lot more info than you and me, and concluded there was more than one shooter, that both the planning and cover up involved a number of people, public and private. As usual with the House, there was much gnashing of teeth, pearl clutching, and “something ought to be done” shouting, while not much happened.
    blue sun #291
    Welcome! Do you remember that they “found” the ID of one of the 9/11 “terrorists” in the rubble, barely singed? There were even pictures of it all over. While claiming the fires were intense enough to melt steel and aluminum?

  303. @David, by the Lake, Here’s what I have seen as someone who lives in a rural but relatively wealthy part of India. Caste and class do overlap considerably but not completely. Also a person’s caste lies on a very broad spectrum and its influence on an individual’s life is highly graded and modulated by other factors. It is true that an upper caste person may be employed by a lower caste person, but it is rare compared to the other way round. Also if you seek to find a Brahmin family that lives in a similar dwelling as an average Dalit family you will have to look long and hard. I have never seen one in my entire life.

    It may seem as if caste has become a personal matter – 90% of the marriage invitations I get are for people marrying within caste – but don’t all marriages involve unstated economic contracts? A single child of parents who are also single children, gets to inherit almost all the accumulated wealth of 3 generations. At a time when fertility is falling like a rock – and much more so amongst the upper castes – this alone leads to considerable economic advantage for the upper and therefore wealthier castes compared to the lower ones.

    Here’s an anecdote from around where I live that sheds some light on how things are vis-a-vis caste. I know a relatively poor agrarian Brahmin family with two sons. The elder son never studied beyond basic schooling and could only land odd jobs. The younger one got a college degree and landed a well paying professional job. When it was time to get them married, they couldn’t find a Brahmin bride for the older son, so they found a bride for him (quaint phrase I know but we do “find” brides and grooms around here) from a lower caste fishermen community. There was no wedding, no one was invited. The younger son easily found a Brahmin bride and the wedding was a huge affair. The family also has three daughters and they are all married to Brahmin men of better economic status.

    Another anecdote, around here (as in all parts of India and probably the world) we need to occasionally clear drains carrying human waste that have been clogged. Care to guess who is invariably called to do the cleaning?

  304. Chris @ Fernglade, funnily enough just before coming by here, I was reading about the provincial budget deficit. The only way to think about these numbers is to make them per capita, then they make more sense. My province spends $500 a head more than it brings in in revenue, and Canada spends an additional $2200 a head. So $2700 a year per head.

    Provincially, per head, we’re $18500 in debt and federally, $71,250 in debt. Call it $90,000K of debt per head, or at least $120K per person who works. In the last “normal” year (2019) we spent $520 per year per head on debt service. So we’re overspending by $2200 a head federally, and 1/4 of that is debt service. So if interest rates quadruple, we’ve doubled our deficit for the same spending, which won’t go as far. It feels like the kind of thing that happens with oil soaked rags on hot days, a chemical reaction makes itself go faster and faster for a few hours, then suddenly it gets to the critical temperature and it all happens nearly at once.

    Lathechuck, yeah, 25 year long financial commitments (even if they get updated with the new rates every five years like they do in Canada) don’t make sense anymore. The supply/demand situation here in Canada sort of explains it, but the same thing is happening on your side of the border, where you don’t have bonkers immigration rates. For some perspective, the mortgage and fees on the cheapest condo that sold in my city this year (and I’m not in the big five….) would be over $2000 a month. 2000 a month gets you an extremely nice apartment anywhere in town you want. This condo is a dilapidated unit in a bad part of town that will be 70 years old when it’s paid off.

    @JMG, I wondered the same thing as John did about cutting steel effectively in 25th century Meriga.

  305. Celadon, I’ve considered it but it’s very expensive. I may give it a second look one of these days, however. Thank you, btw, and likewise.

    Tim, that seems like a reasonable assessment.

    Chris, exactly. That sort of monumental folly was practicable for a while because US currency was the de facto common currency for international trade, and so central banks around the world could absorb a steady stream of US debt as part of the trade financing mechanism. Now the dollar’s dominance is collapsing due to the US government’s decision to weaponize it in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, just as the US is pumping out unprecedented volumes of debt. This will not end well.

    Apprentice, you have a very smart daughter.

    Bob, different forms of magic vary in how much dependence they have on spirits. Golden Dawn magic is way over toward the less dependent end; in a Golden Dawn working the standard approach is to call on energies from the Divine, using various Hebrew names of God as formulae, and to work with those as directly as possible. There are some forms of magic that don’t interact with spirits at all, for that matter, but the GD system includes the evocation of spirits as an option. Other forms of magic stray further over into dependence, finishing up with the kind of magic that consists solely of summoning spirits and trying to get them to do what you want. Me, I’m an old-fashioned Golden Dawnie; I have zero interest in being dependent on any created being, and even less interest in dealing with the scum of the cosmos, which is what the current fashionable crop of demon-summoners are of course up to. But others have their own preferences.

    Lathechuck, I’m sorry to say you’re probably right.

    John, acetylene torches are easy to make and operate in a lower-tech setting; all you need is calcium carbide and water, which is why miner’s lamps used it in Victorian times. My guess is that cheap portable carbide-based torches will come into the market sometime not long after 2050 and remain in use for a couple of centuries thereafter. Beyond that, rust will take care of it; iron oxide is a fine iron ore, easy to transport and smelt, and old rusted lumps of former structural steel will be as valued for the rust as for the steel.

  306. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for your response, it helps me contextualize the GD work. What kind of magic doesnt require any require spirit contact? Hoodoo, natural magic, candle magic etc? Your comment about not being dependent on a created being made me hesitant with magic for many years. Listening to some Damien Echols interviews and reading your books I was heading toward the same conclusion about GD work. I see the parallels with GD/Franz Bardon, get yourself sorted before you evoke beings from other realms…

  307. JMG, interestingly, I was thinking that acetylene wouldn’t be a possibility in 25th century Meriga because the ruinmen used solar powered flashlights instead. Sure, powered by the sun and all, but heavy and you would still need to recycle the batteries now and then. And the round-trip efficiency of a lens heating a thermopile charging a battery to run an incandescent light – whew!

    Looking at the constraints of 25th century Meriga, I see two major hurdles to making calcium carbide, one is that it is traditionally synthesized from fossil coke, which wouldn’t be tolerated, and the other is the graphite for the electrodes in the arc furnace. I assume sufficiently pure charcoal could stand in for fossil coke, but I wonder about the graphite. We voraciously consume graphite these days to make lithium ion batteries, and making synthetic graphite isn’t easy now with all the tools we’ve got at our disposal. Even though it’s just carbon, so’s diamonds..

  308. Windman #173
    The discussion about your situation has brought a few things to mind. Having grown up
    working class, I forget that my viewpoint is probably much different than a lot of
    the commenters on this blog. A lot of physical labor jobs are dirty and dangerous
    and making a mistake isn’t like making a mistake in an office job where the most dire
    consequence might be that your team doesn’t make it’s quota this quarter. A major
    mistake in a physical labor job might mean that someone dies. That’s why the foreman
    goes over the top with verbal abuse when a potentially large mistake is made. He is
    trying to trigger the worker’s emotions and make an impression in memory that will
    reduce the chances of the mistake being made again. No doubt some bosses get stuck
    in that mode and get abusive even when it’s counter-productive.

    If you are friendly with your boss outside of work hours, you’re fine. In my experience
    it’s when they quit “chewing you out” that you’re in trouble in your job – especially if
    you suddenly get assigned menial tasks at the other end of the job site to keep you out
    of the way. If that happens, they’ve probably decided that you’re irredeemable and
    you’re probably done.

    Things look a lot different if you’re from a white-collar working environment. In my
    case, I grew up with a dad who was a coal miner, then a sergeant in the Army in WWII,
    and then a railroad track foreman. When I got my first laborer job at 14, there wasn’t
    any kind of task-related verbal abuse the boss could throw at me that I hadn’t
    experienced and worse at home.

    Temporary Reality #6 – I forgot to mention that green beans canned this way will keep
    a long time if kept in a cool dark place and as long as the seal isn’t broken. I’ve
    eaten beans that were 8 to 10 years old. The top beans tend to get soft where they’re
    out of the brine, but they’re still perfectly edible.

  309. @ Chris

    Given most Australians are in debt up to their eyeballs, I expect the government will allow inflation, even hyperinflation, over raising interest rates. The latter will be spectacularly unpopular and can easily be blamed on the government. The former actually makes debt disappear and can be blamed on indeterminate forces or even geopolitical foes (“Putin’s inflation”).

    @ Curt

    “I had insufficent resources left for proper stretching and breathing exercise”

    There’s your problem in a nutshell. You need to stretch before and after each weightlifting session. Then you need to stretch on the days you’re not lifting. Bear in mind weightlifting works on a stress-recovery cycle. How you manage the recovery is just as important as how you manage the stress. You need to have flexibility work as part of your recovery, especially if you have an office job.

  310. JMG, I understand if you don’t have the time to look at the article in-depth just now. I just thought it was funny that Grist took the time to publish a blog post criticizing the state governments for their delusional thinking about the environment, after that short story contest they had held a while ago that told us to “put people and planet first”…

    Temporaryreality’s (#6) post, meanwhile, reminds me of an issue related to the food industry fhat I heard about recently: due to nutrient depletion in the soil, food grown now has less in the way of nutrients than it did some years ago. Higher CO2 levels can also reduce the levels of vitamins and minerals in crops, essentially acting as a sort of “junk food” for their growth. If this has a major effect on the nutrition levels of staple foods, then learning to can and preserve food could be even more important than it is now; the preserved food might end up being more nutritious than the fresh stuff…

  311. Wer, I’m sorry to hear that. The longer it takes for farmers to start realizing that the age of diesel farming is ending, the more people will end up going hungry.

    Jbucks, of course. One useful distinction you’ve missed here, however, is the difference between laws and morals. Laws — for example, the law that prohibits murder — are the rules societies enact to govern behavior among their members; they are necessarily based on values, but they’re shared values on which most members of the society can agree, and they are enforced by society because most people agree that they’re necessary. A society can thus decide, using its political institutions, that advertising is a bad thing and ban or restrict it. Your decision whether or not to work in the advertising industry, by contrast, is a moral decision and thus based on your individual values; those values are responses to facts, some of which you’ve mentioned, but as you’ve shown, other people can look at the same facts and value them differently; when a society decides that a given decision (to work or not work in advertising) is a matter of individual freedom of choice, you then apply your own irreducibly personal values to the question. That is to say, moral choices are always personal, complex, and conflicted. Choosing to follow a set of moral precepts that you believe have been handed down by a god is still your choice — there are, after all, many such sets of precepts, no two of which are identical, and you choose which of them if any you want to follow.

    Observer, sure. I’d also point out, however, that “special military operation” is a euphemism just as dubious as “sanctions.”

    Jbucks, fortunately I was able to go in there and fix it.

    Curt, a valid point!

    Bob, natural magic — candles, herbs, gems, etc. — is one form of magic that doesn’t rely on spirits. Another is the kind of energetic magic Franz Bardon teaches in Initiation Into Hermetics, in which you’re tapping into the elemental energies and doing things with them. Eliphas Lévi’s magic is another — he does everything with the astral light, rather than with entities. There are many other ways to do this — and of course there’s the broader realm of occult practice that doesn’t specifically focus on magic, and that generally has no truck with spirits at all.

    Justin, if I were writing Star’s Reach over again I’d have a lot to say about acetylene! (I’ve done some research since then…) My immediate question is whether something else can be used in place of graphite — but that’s not something I’ve looked into yet.

    Ethan, so noted! Decreasing nutrient levels in foods is a significant factor, though it can be overstated — one reason to make much more use of compost is that it remedies that.

  312. @John #314, if your industrial base can make and store oxygen, then there are several available fuels that can cut steel when reacted with oxygen. Including steel itself, which is the primary fuel of thermic lances, used today to cut steel up to half a meter thick.

    There are also natural mineral abrasives that can grind their way through steel, such as aluminum oxide. Today that’s done (on small project scales) using abrasive “cutting discs” attached to angle grinders. The cutting speed (but not the ultimate effectiveness) depends on what power source you have available. The form of the cutting discs or blades depends on what materials are available to bind the abrasive grit together. With no binding agent at all, the ancient Egyptians used sand worked with copper edges by hand to cut granite. (The copper itself can’t cut or abrade the granite, but the sand can.)

    @Roger #300, the original Blade Runner is one of my very favorite movies. I saw it in its theater release, mainly because I was a fan of Vangelis who composed the soundtrack. (Good thing I did, because the soundtrack wasn’t available for many years after!) At the time the movie was marketed as an action movie, competing with The Road Warrior, so I wasn’t expecting much from the story or acting or VFX. Never before or since has a movie exceeded my expectations that much. Apart from its then-unique visual experience, for once a science fiction movie was real science fiction (not fantasy, Western, horror, etc. “in space”), like the novels I’d been reading since the early 70s, directly confronting the primary theme of all SF (“What is human?”) and without resorting to dissolving into vague weirdness (e.g. 2001).

    One SF movie since then impresses me almost as much, but unfortunately it isn’t Blade Runner 2049, though I wouldn’t call that a bad movie. It’s Dark City, which in my opinion explored “the matrix” much better than (and a year earlier than) The Matrix, and also had a very deep 70s SF-novel vibe, even including some of its elements that were just a little cheesy.

    @jbucks #316, I realized only a few weeks ago that studying what advertisers do and how they do it would be a valid if not essential part of my imaginary course on proficiency with mental models. When a car is explicitly portrayed as a refuge from the world (or any of a dozen other things) instead of as a way to go from place to place, or a detergent as a means of keeping death away from one’s family instead of cleaning off dirt, those are alternative mental models not only of the product but of aspects of life. The crux of the malign model magic is not that fizzy brown sugar water is fun, it’s that the nature of fun itself includes FBSW. The advertisers win if you passively accept (or eventually adopt) their mental models. But looking directly at them in all their absurdity is immunizing. “Selling the sizzle instead of the steak” thus joins the ranks of familiar phrases that relate to the use or mis-use of mental models, along with e.g. “mistaking the map for the territory” and “every problem looking like a nail.” Advertisers and propagandists are among the few people today who routinely contemplate the question, “how else might one understand this thing?” If we all did that, we wouldn’t be so vulnerable, or so divided.

  313. Hi Curt, our sports medicine book advises circling, sawing, flapping, and shrugging for shoulder pain and stiffness, I’ve always found it to work.

    Circling: lean over and let your arm hang straight down, and move it in circles. If you can’t do that, just let it dangle until you can move it (may take a week or so).

    Sawing: make sawing motions.

    Flapping: flap your arm as high as you can go; if it hurts too much, try bending your elbow at first.

    Shrugging: shrug and circle your shoulders.

  314. @Roger (post 300)

    I am in the “both” camp!

    Loved Blade runner when it came out in ’82. But the problem with all sci fi as I get older is, it ain’t happening. If you recall, Blade Runner was set in dystopian 2019 LA. THAT WAS 3 YEARS AGO! 🙂 Clearly we didn’t go to the stars (i.e. the shoulder of Orion)

    It was a visual feast, and it was a thinking story — but it now just makes me sad (that I believed this was the future, and that our society seemed to encourage that).

    And BR 2049 was fine, as just a stand alone story. I am not even sure they needed a reference to the old characters in there.

    Jerry

  315. Patient Observer @ 295, are those fines in San Diego being imposed on commercial as well as residential properties?

  316. It’s perhaps worth noting that the papers in the UK today are running reports that chicken will soon cost as much as beef. Apparently, this was the historical norm. Various fast food chains which specialise in chicken-based products are raising prices to reflect this. The chief executive of one of the high street supermarkets suggests that consumers will adapt by using giblets to make soup, to make their chicken stretch out. Personally, I’m not sure that giblets are really on the dietary radar of ordinary Britons any more, but perhaps it’s just me who wouldn’t know where to begin. My guess is that very soon we’ll be back to eating seasonal foods, and we won’t like it. Anyway, big lifestyle changes, and involuntary ones at that, are approaching. It really does look like we will be forced into the ways of living of an earlier time…

  317. Walt F @ 322, For what it might be worth, I think the scandal about 911 is that the Bush administration either knew or should have known that the attack was coming. Remind me please, someone, why do we even have intelligence agencies? I have also read, and seen no refutation of, the point that a large number of other nations, 13 if I remember right, warned Washington about the impending attack.

    I can’t help thinking that 911 truth obsession is being funded and promoted as a way of diverting attention from that inconvenient fact. Not to mention the Iraq War itself, undertaken, in part, for dynastic reasons (Tried to assassinate my father!) but also, I think, to cover up high level malfeasance and incompetence.

  318. On second thought, that study may only have looked at show lines of dogs; show breeders don’t care what, if anything, a dog can do as long as it looks the way judges want it to look. With that caveat, breeding having little correlation with behavior might be correct as far as it goes. But if you need, say, something to herd your sheep, seek a border collie from a good working bloodline, not a Samoyed.

  319. On being berated at work, this reminded me of a quote which I saw years ago, and have never forgotten:

    ” If you are easily offended by direct aspersions on your lineage, the circumstances of your birth, your sexuality, your appearance, the mention of your parents possibly commingling with livestock, then the world of professional cooking is not for you.”

    –Anthony Bordain, “Kitchen Confidential”

  320. Observer, sure. I’d also point out, however, that “special military operation” is a euphemism just as dubious as “sanctions.”

    Russia is indeed using the proper term – no declaration of war has been declared and Russia was not looking to conquer the Ukraine – just as they pulled out of Georgia once safety was secured for South Ossetia. They simply wanted the US and its NATO appendage to guarantee that the Ukraine would not be a staging area for military attacks and, in particular, a staging area for nuclear armed missiles. Oh, and elimination of Nazism cultivated by the Empire of the Narcissists was another demand which is reasonable to my mind. If the US would accept those terms, the operation would stop.

    If the US continues to double down, Russia may declare war and start a general mobilization. From the reports I have seen, the Russian population will support a war. A surprise to no one, the draconian sanctions and rhetoric of hate have only stiffened Russian resolve.

    Will it go nuclear? My guess is only if NATO goes all in. They will almost certainly lose a conventional conflict leaving only the nuclear option. My life and my family’s life would be significantly shortened if our leaders make that choice.

  321. @samurai:

    “I recently discovered a 2016 novel about financial collapse and global de-dollarization called _The Mandibles:”

    Excellent book, I second the recommendation. The story offers one of those glimpses that you can only really get through fiction; it’s one thing to discuss abstract notions on a blog, it’s another to consume vignettes reminding us about the little day-to-day things that could suck.

    The book highlights something worth remembering, which is that often, the way down is not the same as the way up. A future of declining energy will not neatly wind down the same way we came – if we assume that we peaked in (for example), 2010, then 2030 will not necessarily be the same as 1990, 2050 not the same as 1970, in any way other than perhaps raw numbers of oil barrels consumed. In a scenario of catabolic decline, people are busy spending resources trying to keep the complexity running, so that (say) 2030 might actually be (or feel) worse than 1990.

    I suggest pairing The Mandibles with another book that I read last year, a piece of non-fiction, this being Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, which describes the horrors that characterize life for the forgotten classes in a semi-industrial society. Together these books paint a grim picture that should have anyone scrambling to collapse now while it can still be done pleasantly.

    @JMG:

    ” I’m starting to wonder if the collapse of Canada will precede the collapse of the United States”

    Well.

    It’s interesting, I don’t usually bring up Canada much unless there’s a particularly relevant point to be made, partly because it can come across as navel-gazing, partly because Americans never believe it when I say that Canada is more interesting than it sounds. (A low bar to be sure, a bit like saying that folding socks is more interesting than watching paint dry.)

    But there are a lot of politico-sociological lessons on display up here, and I’ll give you an example. Justin touches on the rise in housing prices out here on Canada’s east coast. This is driven partly by an increase in people moving here, fleeing the even HIGHER prices further west. But there’s another detail – it’s a thing that hardly ever gets mentioned because it’s colossally politically incorrect even to notice, however, I am a perpetual Noticer of Things, and so I notice it, which is: that all these people who are selling their homes in Toronto or wherever, and moving here, are all white.

    Before I left my previous job, last year, I used to meet them literally every day, someone who had just moved here “from Ontario”. I’ve heard people say that what they like about it out here on the east coast is that it unlike where they come from, it “feels like Canada” here, which is code, whether the speaker consciously realizes it or not, for saying that it’s still really white out here.

    So you’ve got this dynamic where the big cities in this country are becoming ever more racially diverse, and white people are moving in droves to cheaper and more homogenous parts of the country. Is this going to end well? (No.)

  322. Your Kittenship, I expect to see a new, highly praised study any day now insisting that the sea is not wet.

    Dennis, thanks for this.

    Bogatyr, stand by for more reversions to the mean!

    Observer, funny. Have you met anyone, anywhere, who refers to the Vietnam Police Action or the Korean Police Action? The US didn’t declare wars then either, and insisted at the top of its lungs that it wasn’t intending to conquer anybody, no, it was just saving the South Koreans or South Vietnamese from aggressors. If that doesn’t sound familiar, it should.

    Bofur, fascinating. Is the increasing racial diversity of the cities being driven by immigration, as I would expect?

  323. JMG, filling in for Bofur here: I live in an older apartment building in a city that is not one of the Big Five. My building was 80% white when I moved in in 2014 and is 20% white now. It is 100% immigration, the only people other than white people in Canada 30 years ago were indigenous people, some Asians in Vancouver and some Black people in Halifax and Toronto. Every other ethnic group existed at the level of a rounding error. The fertility of immigrant groups is just as low as “native” white people, the only fertile groups in Canada are Indigenous and Mennonites. A future domestic insurgency is brewing in the Prairies with the highly fertile Indigenous population and the infertile white and immigrant population in Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

  324. @Chris #306: when you start looking at the national debt, scientific notation can come in handy.

    @Marlena13 #323: Yeah the details of the “biggies,” events that have occurred during our lifespans have been hashed over endlessly in many, many books. And we’ve even attracted a debunker above at #322! Hello, and welcome! It’s why I like the book I recommended earlier; because it’s more about the general topic of conspiracy theory, with a secondary emphasis on individual events.

  325. “The sea was wet as wet could be…”. until the study said otherwise.

  326. Hi John Michael,

    I tend to agree, and wanted to add that just like other boom and bust ecological functions, there will be a return to the long term mean. I don’t believe that people used to more than they are, will like the outcome.

    Hi Simon,

    I agree. And with a Federal election on the cards, followed by a state election later in the year, I too believe this will be the way of things. It makes a weird sort of sense and fits the actions of those particular people – of either political persuasion.

    Hi Justin,

    Your math is beyond me, but if you were saying mucking around with exponential functions is a bad idea, then I agree. The thing with reducing the problem to a per capita basis is that the numbers can be fiddled, say by immigration which dilutes the overall numbers.

    Cheers

    Chris

  327. # 343 – Mary Bennett says:
    May 1, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    My friend only mentioned her situation in Temecula which is outside of San Diego. Water consumption is monitored by water meter and each household is allocated a certain amount. ExceedING that amount results in a fine according to her.

    The following link indicates that a fine is not mandatory and is not linked to metered water consumption (will try to get a clarification on that from my friend). Snitching is encouraged through a convenient app.

    https://www.sandiego.gov/public-utilities/sustainability/water-conservation/enforcement

  328. Jerry, Blade Runner is dystopic, nonetheless, the reality of where we’re at as compared to the movie’s vision is kinda disappointing isn’t it?

    Walt F, yes, great sound track. Those wailing vocals, aren’t they something?

    Now that it’s 2022 it’s interesting to see what they got right In Blade Runner, like the crowded streetscapes, the giant digital billboards on the sides of buildings, and what they got wrong, no shoulder of Orion, no flying cars, no artificial animals, no nexus 6 replicants etc.

    I thought the vision of LA was interesting even if it was off-base ie polluted (maybe not so off base), but cold, rainy, highly japanized and that high-tech 3rd world bazaar street-level. Mind you I haven’t been there for a good 25 years. Remember JF Sebastian’s grotty toy-filled apartment? Some of the ‘toys’ were living things, genetically crafted by Sebastian. I thought those scenes showed real creative genius.

    As for Dark City, I too thought it was a great movie. Matter of fact, I got the DVD

  329. @ Bogatyr re #339

    Merciful heaven, giblets are just the odd bits of the chicken (or turkey), usually the liver, heart and occasionally gizzard. They are perfectly edible.

    Growing up, I watched my mother always carefully select a whole turkey for Thanksgiving with giblets at the store as it was unthinkable not to have giblets included with the stuffing. Giblets would be boiled first then ground up and mixed in with the stuffing mix with the cooking water added, along with some chopped onion and celery, then the mixture crammed into the bird cavity and popped into the oven for roasting.

    I’ve continued this practice on the rare occasions when I cook a whole bird. I used some leftover cooking water in some soup I made afterwards once. It made an excellent addition. Maybe giblets aren’t on the radar now but
    like rice and beans will likely make inroads on future menus.

  330. polecat:

    Yeah, I’m familiar with the sourdough brick. The first couple of loaves came out like that, not even good for breadcrumbs. The squirrels were happy enough with them though. 😉

  331. @ JMG – yes, Jackson sometimes turns the CGI/effects up to 11 when the story would have better handled a 6 or 7. That said, there are certainly quieter moments in the trilogy that do allow the actors room to do just that.

    As for Casablanca, well, that movie is a master class in storytelling, and my darling wife took me to see it in the theaters for a 80th anniversary showing in theaters. We were the youngest people in the audience by at least thirty years, which, at the rest of sounding like an old person, is really too bad, considering…

    On another note, I messaged with a good friend of mine, who is a university professor of economics, about the subsidy value of the dollar being the reserve currency of the world. He actually reckoned that $1 trillion is an understatement, and the subsidy is likely worth closer to 10% of GDP (or about $ 2.2 trillion). And he agreed that losing the reserve currency status is a real risk, in the present situation, and we, as a country, would be collectively, very unhappy about the results if that were to happen.

  332. Dear JMG,

    As noted, when Russia responded to an attack by Georgia, it defeated the Georgian army and then withdraw leaving the existing government intact and just as anti-Russian as before. That would clearly be a police action using minimal force, right?

    I would argue that the Ukraine operation was intended to be similar but unfortunately is turning into something much more serious as the US continues to double down on its Ukraine project. To be clear, I appreciate the clarity of your analysis. Thanks.

  333. Justin, interesting. Many thanks for the data points.

    Chris, no, they won’t like it at all.

    Ben, I thought the whole thing was hamhanded and clumsy, but of course your mileage may vary. One of the things about Casablanca that I find most striking is that it was an ordinary run of the mill production — nobody involved in it had any idea it was going to be a classic, until the chemistry among the actors took off.

    Random, positive energy en route!

    Observer, no, it was a war. There have been plenty of other wars over the centuries that also involved carefully controlled use of force. It’s just that mealy-mouthed euphemisms have become so fashionable of late.

    Anony (offlist), no grammar policing, please.

  334. Hi Jeanne,

    In the midwestern U.S. the giblets are in s little plastic packet inside the chicken or turkey, so you can cook them or feed them to a pet, as you prefer. (Given how filthy U.S. food processing plants are, I’d probably cook them for the pet just to be safe, even though the pet would probably prefer them raw.)

  335. Re: Blade Runner was my favorite movie for many years. It brought together some amazing visual representations as well as interesting questions about what it means to be human and who gets to decide. I find it funny that anyone thought that the imagery was supposed to depict an actual future. I tend to think the world building is supposed to help the viewer move out of their usual context so they can see a question with new eyes. I thought the futuristic stuff was a good way of saying the more we change, the more we remain the same.

  336. JMG could you please explain the coffee cup thing and how changing the mind in accordance with will opens the door to magic? And how does that relate to reincarnation? (I know you’ve talked at length about it in the past on the ADR and in various interviews, however I’m feeling the need for a refresher…. ) Idk if you have any articles you’d recommend I go back and read. That whole analysis of Dion Fortune I know is going to be one…..

    Long story short I keep trying to get a useful article on the subject out of Google and google keeps giving me the whole…. “There is nothing after death, you are electrons and neurons that’s it.”

  337. Hi JMG,

    Curious as to what fiction you’re reading these days, in the category of trash/lowbrow or pure entertainment? A while back you read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. I’m wondering if you had a chance to read his The Little Sister?

    @Jeanne – thank you very much for posting the link to Richard Heinberg’s post on abiotic oil last week. It’s an excellent summary of the topic, and pretty much in alignment with my thoughts. Hopefully that content can keep the faithful from gaining too much traction – wishful thinking like that is the last thing we need in these times.

    @JMG – I didn’t see your post from last week’s entry requesting links on abiotic oil until yesterday, as I’m running behind lately with my online reading. I’ve noticed a couple lately out on Zerohedge – could be bots – and another at a site I can’t recall off the top of my head. If I see any in the next couple of weeks, I’ll forward them to you.

  338. Why have euphemisms become so omnipresent in foreign and military affairs after the development of the atomic bomb? Leftists rightly chide the US for this of course but all the major powers do it and had have done it since the first mushroom cloud sprouted in New Mexico. China calling its vast military deployment of troops ‘The People’s Volunteer Army’ to combat the US ‘Police Action’ in Korea or Russia calling its current war a ‘special military action’ are two of many examples of this type. Are leaders in major powers convinced that if they don’t call something a war, then nukes can’t be used? The fixation on finding other names for things that are clearly wars is really difficult for me to comprehend.

    Cheers,
    JZ

  339. Candace, the questions of what it means to be human and who gets to decide don’t matter much in the day-to-day hurly burly, do they? I mean, who really cares? These issues are maybe for genocidal race theorists and the intellectual elite that spend their days and nights blowing clouds of obfuscation over issues easily decided by the exercise of common sense. Right?

    Then again maybe not so fast. Answering the questions raised in Blade Runner take on some urgency in the context of rapid scientific and technological change where computers solve complex problems ie beating chess champions, and genetically modified babies are being born. Artificial intelligence and genetic engineering are upon us.

    So, how far does the process of advancement go? How fast should it go? Where’s the limit? Should there be one? What would the world look like where businesses are creating humanoid organisms out of genetic material in industrial facilities? Why would we even need such things? What kind of society would we have? The movie (and the novel that inspired it) took a shot at answering these questions by depicting such a world.

    And so, given the setting in 2019, how much does the 1982 movie resemble what actually came to pass? Outside certain contexts, like that of advances in fields like AI and genetic engineering, does the question of what it means to be human even matter? Does it matter now? Will it ever matter?

    I am in no way shape or form a philosopher. My education was in business and my working life was spent there. That’s all I’m good for. Maybe other people are better qualified to have a go at this.

  340. Bogatyr, stand by for more reversions to the mean!

    Oh, they’re coming thick and fast. Here in the UK, over 70% of our dentists are apparently reconsidering their career due to overwork, stress and burnout. 65% of nurses and other health workers are looking to leave our health service because of overwork and low pay. 75% of teachers want to quit for the same reasons. In industries such as agriculture and skilled trades, average ages are over 50, with low recruitment levels – so in a decade or so, those skills will be lost. Our topsoil is so exhausted that it can probably only sustain a century of further production in the absence of chemical fertilisers – and those are now unobtainable, probably for good. I can’t think of a historical period comparable to what’s coming, but it’s going to be one of the less palatable ones.

    You know, looking at all that together, I’m put in mind of a poster I recently bought: Wedi cael digon o’r mwydro. Amser cychwyn chwyldro (“Had enough of the confusion. Time to start a revolution”).

  341. So, exactly WHO are all these governments in debt to? WHO are the creditors who hold legal claims against the wealth of nations in the palms of their hands? Curious people want to know!

  342. Isn’t advertising a type of sympathetic magic? “Drink this beverage and you will be young and attractive, and have fun like these people here.”

    Actually, that’s more marketing. To illustrate the difference:

    Advertising: “Hi, I’m Andy. I’m a real stud.”

    Marketing: “You must be Andy. I hear you’re a real stud.”

    An ad agency did a survey to discover what people really wanted in a car. It turned out the ideal car was a double bed that would go anywhere.

    No doubt Elon Musk is working on it. Neuralink to imagine what you want. Self Drive to get you there. A Cybertruck with 4-poster bed to waft you along in blissful silence.

    Speaking of Elon, I think the Mars thing is a cover for his real goal, which is Starlink. He says he needs the estimated 30 billion a year revenue from Starlink once he has his 12,000 satellites in orbit to fund the Mars mission. I think he just wants the money. He might slip a couple of billion to the SF-inspired nerds who develop the necessary technology.

    If an East-West war breaks out, one of the first things to go will be fiber optic cables. You can bet the competing powers know exactly where they are and have the submarines or underwater drones to sever them. Then who who must turn to? Why, communications supremo Musk, of course. (The Ukies are already using Starlink to guide their drones. It responds faster than cellphone > cell tower > uplink or whatever the control system is.)

  343. I have a question: JMG, what do you think about the theory of confirmation bias? It feels to me like one of the rhetorical tricks of pseudo-skeptics. By the way, a belated happy Beltaine to you!

  344. Dear JMG,

    What book or books would you recommend as an introduction to The Stoic Philosophy?

    Thank you,

    Cugel

  345. Curt, #320: For rehabilitation, I have found the MovNat system beats all others by a long way. Look up some of their free workouts on YouTube for an intro. If you can find a teacher or course in your area, even better. There are some other similar ‘movement-flow’ systems out there, like Primal, Animal Flow, and Ido Portal, but I find all of them gimmicky and filled with superfluous detail compared with MovNat, which breaks it all down into an alphabet of simple moves, many of which are quite familiar from horsing around as a kid (different kinds of crawls, rolls, etc).

    Stretching at the end of a workout is essential. If you haven’t got the time or the energy, then consider reducing the intensity of your workout. Better to train smart than train hard. No good having big muscles if you can’t use ’em! 😉

  346. Regarding classic movies: my favorite is “The Third Man.” By far. It features the usual Graham Greene theme, it seems; that of a well meaning American klutz going around breaking stuff while the Brits try to keep him from hurting himself. So many great lines in that film: Such as telling the American (Joseph Cotten) “we don’t need any more murders in this town, and you were born to be murdered.” For a 1949 film, I thought the bleak ending was just amazing! That ending was imitated in Sophie Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” by the way.

  347. Chris, I have no idea whether the math is valid or not, but I find dividing national debts and deficits into per capita costs makes them make a little bit more sense. I have no idea how debt based systems are going to work long term, even without the physical processes that underlie them breaking down due to lack of inputs. All I know is that I wouldn’t feel good about being $100,000 in debt and spending $350 a month more than I make.

  348. Greetings all,

    Can we have a brief over view of your beliefs about free will?

    Thanks!

  349. @Mary Bennett #340,

    I’ve wondered the same thing about aspects of the 9/11 “truth movement.” For a period of many crucial years, most public criticism of such things as the intelligence failures, the opportunistic political responses and warmongering, and the lethally bad health advice given to Ground Zero workers and New Yorkers in general, got drowned out by a large loud chorus of people shouting that the planes were holograms, the victims’ grieving families were all actors, and all kinds of other nonsense. As they themselves like to say, cui bono? Who benefited from all that distraction?

  350. @Simon S
    @Princess Cutekitten

    Thank you for your advice!

    I am changing my training regime…

    regards, Curt

  351. More on Elon (of whom I am an admirer):

    You can invest billions in making advanced equipment and toss it over a cliff along with some of your best and bravest people, or you could go to war, or you could go to Mars.

    Is there any difference between these three options?

  352. Aspects of abstraction I have observed myself:

    1) Especially girls for whatever reason frequently accuse me of “supporting” things like genocide and general warfare, when I merely talk about these things analytically and historically “as is”, without value judgement.

    This is in general a good BS detector for me:
    if people cannot separate value statements from factual statements, something is off!

    Accusing me of supporting things by merely describing them is as disingenuous as accusing me of causing a tempest merely by predicting it

    2) Abstracted guilt: the abstracted world view of (until now) wealthy middle class Westerners is that you must in your words support an abstract idea, so that the world may get better as a whole, and you are at fault for the world’s grievance if you don’t support these abstract ideas.

    Any idea will do including any buzzword. “Anti-racism”,”Climate change”, you name it.

    This of course is not an faustian thing, but a civilization thing:
    A civilization must force and convince its subjects to comply. Convincing is cheaper than forcing of course.

    This starts with people’s thinking, which must be put into order by supporting vague ideas, however unreal they are. It embeds an alarm trigger in people’s thinking to not deviate from what is considered proper thinking.

    ——————————————–

    All in all, whatv a civilization really is, is the commandment of the individual to cooperate with people it does not personally know; a civilization is an impersonal construct, the members do not know each other.

    Civilization simulates personal social interaction through the abstraction of symbols that speak to people.

    Similarily to modern computer gaming, the symbols simualte a real situation and evoke feelings accordingly.

    Originately I think abstraction is necessary if one human tells a story to another, so that in a humans imagination becomes real what the other is telling as a story, accompanied by the respective feelings.

    So that when a recounted situation appears in reality, the emotional reaction is set correctly already.

  353. @JMG:

    “Is the increasing racial diversity of the cities being driven by immigration, as I would expect?”

    Yes, of course, and keep in mind I’m not painting a Turner Diaries-type future of racial war. But even the excellent novel mentioned above, The Mandibles, contains scenes which underscore that in times of economic scarcity, racial tensions bubble over into everyday life. They just do. And this is likely to be a “thing” in the future.

  354. Hope you all had a happy May Day/blessed Beltane/ etc. I was sick over the holiday and dared not sit at the computer instead of where I was sitting. Whom the gods love, they send challenges, and some of them have a vile sense of humor.

    Speaking of which: xkcd’s Bad Map Projection MAdagascator

  355. Dear JMG and fellow commentators,

    What are your thoughts on Douglas Murray? He’s been making the rounds promoting his new book, “The War on the West.”

    Made in Malkuth

  356. One last:

    http://historyunfolding.blogspot.com/2022/05/psychology-and-politics.html

    And @Roger #296 – polenta is fine, but what’s wrong with plain old corn meal mush? Cooked slowly in a double boiler, served for breakfast, leftovers packed into a refrigerator dish to be fried up and served with maple syrup, molasses, or back in the day, plain old corn syrup. Preferably dark. Polenta? Whazzat? Maple Syrup? A rare treat, because, $$$..

    And if at least one of my alternate history/post toastie fluff reading series was well researched, the oats-and-molasses mix given to horses makes a right good porridge if cooked up in a pot. Which sailors on the tall ships knew all along, it seems.

    Now I’m both nostalgic and hungry, and facing plain oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce in RL.

  357. @Luke Dodson

    Well thank you Luke!

    I have listened to a podcast or two of the MovNat guys – sounds very sensible to me!
    Luckily my shoulder is getting better at a rapid pace. For now these Hatha Yoga exercises do for me.

    Yes, training weights without stretching is a bad project, I was warned in advance about that and kind of knew it, but as often,l I simply ignored the signs.
    I did do some stretching exercises in between, but that was far from enough.

    A frequent phenomenon modern society: looking towards a singular goal without looking left or right, pushing things beyond a reasonable point due to an ill-born ambition.

    I agree with you and the MovNat instructors: our bodies are made for multiple forms and modes of movement, and all to simplified exercises does not do our body justice.

    regards, Curt

  358. This week on Friday is my Cousins marriage.

    He made it from a youth criminal to an established cook, and then due to a developed allergy against the cleaning chemicals in the kitchen, he found a hard battle to become a software developer.

    He took health damage to become a software developer, threatened by bankcruptcy and a labor market for people without certified education like him that was a looming threat to his well being.

    A marriage should be a happy event, but I can’t help but to feel nothing but sad.

    He wishes for a house on credit, a carand a dog, and to have a child. His to-be wife always wants one, but without money or time, how should a man follow. They’re both in their mid thirties.

    In autumn I pointed out the bad economic future we have. “You already said that last year!” he said angrily.

    Yes I was off the mark by a bit. The boy who cried wolf like.

    But now it’s coming. My cousin kind of already notices how our world is turning…but I don’t think he wants to believe the implications.

    Seeing my family and the children, it should be a happy event, but I am solely sad for the things to come.

  359. @ JMG and Observer (#345) – I think the last time anyone refered to it as the Vietnam Police Action was in the movie ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’. Robin Williams pokes fun at the phrase by saying a ‘police action’ sounds like a pair of cops in the Bronx checking out a hot chick….

  360. @ JMG – Yes, it is a neat side note that ‘Casablanca’ was just another movie being put out by Warner in 1942.

  361. And lastly, some links:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-14/russia-ukraine-war-u-s-is-running-out-of-weapons-aiding-kyiv

    German “outdoor Chiemgau” channel – am man who does survival stuff and argues that
    Germany and Europe is depleting their military stocks and also their reserve vehicles because their armies
    lack replacement parts.
    Also, he calculates roughly what no gas and no coal from Russia means for Germany.
    He says he was shocked in awe at the result.

  362. Dagnarus #365,

    How do we know the West is shipping weapons to Ukraine? Maybe they are shipping empty boxes with a bit of scrap metal to give the correct weight and allowing Russia to waste its missiles on blowing up fake ordnance.

  363. Lunar Apprentice #307:

    Forgot to add to my previous comment: if you want sheer lunacy, just see what’s involved in replacing the headlight on a Subaru Outback, the Official Car of Northern New England. (Seriously, they’re great in the snow.) Back in the day, you could stick your hand in, remove the old bulb and pop in a new one in a couple of minutes. Putting in a new bulb now involves removing a large part of the front end of the car and, for some reason, disconnecting the electrical system (I’ve always got to re-program the clock afterwards). The whole gruesome operation takes about a half-hour, longer when the mechanic is new.

    We used to replace these things ourselves, but it’s gotten too complicated and we just don’t have the time or patience to perform invasive automobile surgery in our driveway once or twice a year. Did I mention that the bulbs don’t last as long any more either? My oldest son disassembled and rebuilt his Subaru Impreza in his apartment parking lot and still won’t replace our headlight bulbs for us because he says it’s too annoying.

    As for sewing machines, the new ones are disappointing at best, complete junk at worst. I’ve got an 1871 Singer treadle in fine shape and my grandmother’s 1949 Featherweight with all the attachments (most of which work on the treadle too) in perfect condition. Modern Singer machines manufactured after the 1970s are really bad – made that mistake once. I’m told by our local sewing machine repair guy that the same factories that crank out the lousy Singers these days also manufacture Brother and a couple of other common brands, all to increasingly low standards. Bernina, on the other hand, still manufactures its own machines to its own, higher-quality, specifications. Therefore, when I was in the market last year for a new machine that will do all the interesting stitches that are sometimes needed, I bought a not-even-close-to-top-of-the-line Bernina and it’s wonderful, worth every penny I paid for it.

  364. JMG,
    I want to thank you for another tangential remark that made me start digging and finding weird and surprising (and unfortunately depressing) new things.

    I refer to your point about archeology and history being another scientific endeavor where politics and propaganda manages to hide or destroy a lot of valid data.

    It’s crazy once you start looking how many data points you can find that don’t fit standard history. For example there are many different finds in US that show transatlantic contact thousands of years ago. From native americans medicine bags containing sumerian tablets to giant copper mining operations to of course runestones dating from hundreds of years before Columbus.

    And of course the result of archeologists trying to publish these findings were censure, threats and sometimes loss of career.

    And the most depressing thing is that a big part of the reason for people being “canceled” was a big dose of conformism mixed with religious and political hatreds.

    For example, I found out that Major John Wesley Powell (big guy at Smithsonian) hated Mormons and set out to prove that there was no contact between America and the rest of the world before Columbus.

    So no need for grand conspiracies or convincing everybody – just have the guy that holds the purse strings enforce an insane policy and everybody will quickly fall in line…
    I know, nothing like that could happen today! /snark/

  365. @John Zybourne, #101

    Nobody but JMG seem to have fielded your question on the Pretty Girl. Not a worshiper myself, but I will allow me to say that this is not a revival of the old Aztec religion, but the rising of a new syncretic cult that mixes Catholicism and Amerindian beliefs. AFAIK, this is not an evil but a deviant development; the rejection of orthodox dogma in favor of personal religious experience; which itself constitutes a response to the sell out of our religious institutions to the rich and the powerful of this world (and indirectly but ultimately to the Prince of this World).

    In my humble opinion, it is impossible to assess the phenomena surrounding the cult of Santissima Muerte if you are not familiar with the folk tale of the Godson of Death. This story is of German origins and was documented by the Grimm Brothers. Not the best recount of the story if you ask me, because it fails to grasp the heartbreak Death must have felt when her child was blindsided by the trappings of the king’s court.

    Originally male in most Europe, it was in Spain where Death took a female identity, and from there she passed to Mexico. Curiously enough there’s one (male) “San La Muerte” venerated in Argentina,- of whom I know nothing but the same hearsay you mentioned regarding our Thin Lady, – which makes it likely that he came to the south of the Americas with the many Italian immigrants that arrived to that nation in the late 19th century.

  366. A quick note on fixing up old sewing machines. The two major brands out there are Singer and White. I found out the hard way, trying to get a White head to work with a Singer treadle, that Whites rotate clockwise, Singers rotate CCW.

  367. Hi JMG,

    There is a local real estate agent who does his flyers as cards (maybe 5″ x 7″), where on one side he prints his ad, and on the reverse it is a larger message that says “In case of emergency, please save my pet”, and then a smaller print message saying you should display this in your front window. Obviously the idea is that you keep his ad essentially posted up in your house forever and maybe you eventually consider him if/when you decide to sell.

    It seems to me that this is an attempt to align the cosmos of people’s instinct for pet protection with his own cosmos of having a successful business. This ad provokes (by implication) a response on the emotional plane: “my pet is at risk”. He the works with the ring chaos (contemplation of thoughts of loss of a pet) in order to push off of it towards a solution (post this card in your window) which solves your emotional concern by taking action on the physical plane. His card presents an idea (a change on the mental plane) which acts as a map joining your newfound negative emotional change (pet is at risk) to a positive outcome (action taken so pet is safer). Is that analysis somewhat appropriate in your mind?

    I would think his cards have a chance of working with home owners who have pets, and probably mostly in places where the card is viewed with it’s pet message first. I saw him delivering these today so saw that he is there when they are personally placed in the mailboxes. I wondered if some people might be offended by this practice, since it has a kind of transparent scheming to it, some might object to the manipulation if they saw it that way, but that it probably isn’t so serious as to gather negative business where people are boycotting him or telling others to avoid using him. On the balance some pet lovers might see him as doing very kind work out of concern for their precious animals – you could even imagine a scenario where somebody’s pet WAS rescued in a fire or other emergency and the person being highly motivated to thank him in any way they could (using him to sell their house, recommending him to friends, mentioning it on the news (etc)) The middle ground being people who simply contemplate the ad neutrally, but are interested enough in it for it to rise above the noise of advertising. I can imagine people saving the cards and not posting them, but just to show them to somebody else because they were “onto him” – another variation of a win for him.

    By my tally these are the ways in which this action could work (positive and negative being related to his ring cosmos, the success of his business):

    1) Strong Negative – A rare negative event (negative enough to generate direct action him on the physical plane)

    – This has a negative effect on the emotional plane, thoughts, and also into action

    2) Negative – a more common negative event (disapproval, with increasing degrees of emotional investment in the judgment)

    – This has negative effect on the emotions and thoughts of the receiver, but does not cause them to take physical action

    3) Neutral -Ignored with rest of advertising

    – No effect (outside potential for subliminal effect on mental plane)

    4) Soft positive – Viewing without noticing this strategy as simply a flyer, and works as well as one of those does.

    – Some positive effect on mental plane

    5) Soft positive – found incongruous and noticed above the rest, so theoretically more likely to be effective

    – Some positive effect on mental plane

    6) Positive – An engaged neutrality (detection of “strategy” – with potential for action on physical plane (saving ad/sharing))

    – An unintended (perhaps) positive effect on mental plane, with potential for unusual but beneficial action on material plane

    7) Positive – thought of personal pets, effect on emotional plane, potential to be affected by future cards from him

    – Some positive effect on emotional plane, with potential for success and action on mental/physical plane

    8) Positive – posted by entrance (“just in case”) and subtly become part of the owner’s mental plane

    – Positive emotional through physical effects

    9) Positive – a rarer positive, emotional investment (this is a good thing he is engaged in), total alignment of rings of cosmos, his business aligned with their love of their pets

    – Positive emotional through physical effects

    10) Strong Positive -a rare positive effect causing meaningful change on the physical plane (a pet is actually saved) with a remote chance for his ad to become part of a story of universal good (a pet is saved due to his ad – maybe even he is interviewed on TV about it)

    – Positive emotional through physical effects

    I’m still trying to understand the concepts in the Cosmic Doctrine, and it often pops up in my mind as a tool when I’m contemplating things. I personally haven’t had a pet for some time, but received a card from this agent a couple years ago, and found the trick a benign sort of scheme and was amused by it, but, I realized today, that I recognized him on site (he has a somewhat outrageous style: long hair and sunglasses), so I would have to consider that some kind of win for him.

    Some thoughts, thanks,
    Johnny

  368. @ Walt #322 & @ Mary #340

    I think it would be fair to say that I was on the same page as you when it came to this topic until sometime around 2012 or 2013 when a colleague from NYC pointed out to me that there was a third building that fell along with the two towers. When I looked into it, lo and behold, there was a third building that came down. For me, as someone who has a degree in structural engineering from an Ivy League school, it was looking into the official explanation of what caused this building to fall down that opened a vista for me of all the things that didn’t add up in this whole mess.

    I’m sure our gracious host would agree this is not the forum to get into details or debate about this loaded topic, so I’m not going to say any more about it. I will only point you to Helix’s comment above (#147), which I think is a superb summary of JMG’s point that only a small circle of insiders will ever know what happened, and to “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth,” which from my point of view takes a very serious and sober look at one aspect of the affair.

    If you decide to research it yourself, it’s probably worth repeating, as JMG does at the beginning of every open Covid post on his other blog, that while claiming something is the result of a deliberate plot by some villainous group is a conspiracy theory, asking for a legitimate investigation is not.

  369. I’ve come across this article https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/04/20/1093153651/a-4-year-old-can-run-errands-alone-and-not-just-on-reality-tv?t=1651524493943 discussing a Japanese reality TV program where pre-school children are followed by a TV show as they go and run errands for their parents.
    Is this a signal that over-parenting of children, where every moment is choreographed by helicopter parents, is being acknowledged to be counter-productive at long last, and the trend for children to have a smaller and smaller home range and less and less unsupervised play is likely to end?
    I also am reading a recent book entitled Wayfinding : the art and science of how we find and lose our way which discussed this in one of its chapters, how over the past 60 years or so, the autonomy of children has contracted. It references another book, King’s Cross kid : a childhood between the wars, which I look forward to checking out of the library soon.
    People sometimes suggest the increase of screen time is detrimental to children, but the book argues that this is really just secondary to the insistance that children must be supervised at all times.

  370. I know it is late in the week, but want I want to throw this general question out to the commentariat: Regarding “divide and conquer,” do you think it is a strategy employed by the elite consciously to stay in power, i.e., a “conspiracy”? Or is it just a part of human nature, that we wind up doing because that’s what we do naturally? Also, is it known to have been employed deliberately in the lead up to World War II?

  371. @John Zybourne,

    I think the atom bomb has a lot to do with it. It provided a need to distinguish between a hopefully limited armed action undertaken for the need to achieve a vital goal and an all-out war. It is interesting in this light that the US and UK are claiming that Russia will declare an all-out war on Ukraine on May 9. I for one wonder what would cause Russia’s leaders, who are now calling us their “colleagues” rather than “partners,” to take such a reckless action.

  372. @Jeanne

    I saw my first flathead worm in central Florida in about 1999– in my shower, of all places! I’m surprised they’re only just now making the rounds in the news.

  373. Scotlyn – “Who are governments in debt to?” you ask. Well, to me, for one, in that I’ve been buying “savings bonds” for many years. Anyone who invests in government bonds is owed the value of that bond by that government. If you have a pension, your pension fund managers probably loan some of your savings to the government (of their choice, since this is an international audience). If you’re in Japan, your government may have bought US government bonds. If you pay insurance, your insurance company may have bought some government bonds, so they can earn interest until (or unless) you file a claim and need to get some of your money back.

  374. @Roger. I find it fun to talk about movies and what people do or don’t like about them. Sounds like you liked looking at whether the artists were good futurists, I enjoyed the art of the movie, but enjoyed trying to look at some of the philosophical questions. To me that’s one of the thing that makes something “great” instead of just good. When there are so many ways to enjoy it!

  375. JMG @ 326; You wrote: “acetylene torches are easy to make and operate in a lower-tech setting; all you need is calcium carbide and water”.

    Are you serious? Modern acetylene torches require a tank of acetylene and a tank of oxygen. Can you get anything approaching the temperature and energy of an oxy-acetylene torch with calcium carbide and water? I’d always thought that arc-welding would be more viable in the low tech future. Do you have sources on calcium carbide/water torches?

    —Lunar Apprentice

  376. This would have been more appropriate to the Magic Monday post, but I’ve missed the window for that, so I’ll ask here:

    At 8:32 PM EDT, Politico, headquartered in Arlington, VA, published an exclusive on what purports to be a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. While most people are treating this as genuine, there are some irregularities about it, including the fact that it’s in Alito’s name when it should have been in Clarence Thomas’s.

    It seems to me that astrology should be applicable to ascertaining the veracity of the document and its likely impact, and I’m looking for advice on how to go about doing that. I’m assuming that casting the chart for the time of the report’s publication, at either Arlington, VA as the headquarters of the publisher or Washington, D.C. as the capital of the country and location of the Supreme Court (which, the two are close enough together it likely won’t make a difference).

    IIRC, documents are a fifth house matter, though since this is a matter of the highest court in the land, the ninth house and tenth houses should also be involved. I’m first and foremost interested in whether the document was actually written by SCOTUS and leaked, or whether it’s a fake, and secondarily about its impact — including if possible on the upcoming election. Any suggestions?

  377. Following up on my own comment, I cast the chart for 8:32 EDT at Arlington, VA and for DC: as I expected, there was no significant difference, despite two house cusps being incredibly close to changing signs.

    Anyway, the ascendant is in Scorpio, making either Pluto or Mars the ruler of the chart — the latter seems to give clearer results, so I’ll go with that. Mars is also the ruler of the 5th House, which starts in Aries, but Mars itself is in the 4th house in Pisces, meaning no essential dignities, but accidentally dignified by the angular house. It is sextile Uranus (slightly more than 1 deg orb) and the Sun (< 1 deg orb) but square the Moon (~7 deg orb, but Moon is a luminary so I'll allow it).

    The Sun rules the 10th house of the government, which has its cusp just barely in Leo, while Uranus rules the Fourth House, which has its cusp just barely in Aquarius. The Moon rules the 9th house of legal institutions. In addition, the Moon is conjunct Mercury, which is in its rulership in Gemini in the 7th house and rules the 8th house. Of interest, the 5th house itself is empty.

    Speaking somewhat impressionistically, and as someone not very good at astrology, what I'm getting from this is that the draft is real but one of the justices has already changed his or her mind — the Moon rules the court itself and is the planet of the chattering class, and is square Mars. The fact that Mars is benefic aspect to the Sun — which both represents the President and rules the 10th house of government — suggests the leak is good for him and his party, rallying pro-choice Democrats. The sextile with Uranus, the house of non-traditional sexual practices, makes me think that the number of abortions will rise at least in the short term.

  378. Wer here
    Well i cannot say that i am a scientist or anything, but this whole mars thing strikes me as a hockey.
    I mean in the 1970 and 1980 there where thoose L5 people. who wanted to construct a giant rotating station in the L5 point, and there were confident that they can make with with little founding by the year 2000….
    I was shocked to learn that mars is so radioactive and almost has no magnetosphere (something about the core colling very fast), just staying in thoose contidions you would need a nuclear bunker with lead on it.
    Plus can human beings reproduce in high radiation conditions? Where would the next generation come from.
    Meanwhile the madness continues. Is it just me or people on You Tube are also on the disinformation train.
    ( demonize Russia etc.) Today is the 3rd may constitution celebration in Poland
    And the speeches are all about “Russia evil”, “Russia nazi”, some trolls are even suggesting attacking western Ukraine (used to be polish territory up to 1939) we don’t have the army to do this.
    But so more worring pieces of propaganda are showing, some people are claiming that Russia doesn’t have working nukes (if they can build hypersonic rockets but no nukes?),
    Another clowns on facebook claim that Russian people are evil and insane and need to be punished ALL OF THEM including thoose that don’t like Putin. They are driving the entire population into supporting him by default.
    I personaly do not care about this whole mars thing (some politicaly conected ultra rich guy with daydreams)
    Apparently Starship has problems comming of the ground and is waiting for testing, and they are absolutely sure that thing will get them to Mars ??? We folks in a small town in Poland have other problems , most pressing it hasn’t rain in 3 weeks now and freshly planted crops are not growing fast, let’s not even talk about the fertiliazer price
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  379. re: The Mandibles This is one of my favorite post apocalyptic books (besides those of JMG’s of course). For me its not the events, but the characters that make it great. The family is saved by the thinking and planning of the young adult with asperger’s and the brother-in-law is an economist who is useless and keeps loudly saying everything will return to normal. Lionel Shriver nailed it with those two.

  380. Separate post in case you want to delete – Is the Supreme Court leak the thing in your eclipse chart that will hit the U.S. like a ton of bricks? My sense is no, given the rest of what you wrote, and that event is still to come.

  381. I try to listen for what’s missing the discourse out there in media world. Right now its the deafening silence post Decision Day May 1st for colleges. Typically colleges put out press releases immediately saying how many students they are bringing in and for the top colleges how many they turned away. The colleges did this even in 2020 and 2021 to show how resilient and necessary they were (their words not mine).

    Maybe the bragging from colleges is still to come this week, but I’m hopeful Gen Z took a look at the prison conditions, cost, lies they told students, and lack of education and said “no thanks.” It would be make me very hopeful for the future if enrollment was down at least another 5%. It dropped 5% the past years already.

  382. blue sun @ 396. Did the third building have a name? Was it a warehouse or apartment building and how big was it?

  383. @Patricia Mathews –

    Just FYI, a preference for polenta may have ethnic and regional origins. It’s historically been an Italian-American staple. Especially when served savory rather than sweet – fried with marina sauce, baked with roasted eggplant and tomato on top, as a creamy (and sometimes cheesy) side that replaces another starch in Italian style cooking, etc. At least in the Mid-Atlantic region, polenta is a familiar ethnic dish, whereas plain old cornmeal mush is less common.Regional food preferences are still with us to some extent. (Cornmeal mush? What’s that?)

    As for that molasses and oat mix for horses – well, it doesn’t surprise me that it would be palatable if cooked. It always smelled delicious when I used to dish it up to equines, lol.

  384. Concerning La Muerte and Mexico, I am reminded of an old (but popular) Mexican movie called Macario. If I recall correctly Macario, a poor Mexican peasant living during colonial Mexico, turns down both God and the devil, but accepts Death… I could write down more, but if you’re really interested in figuring out the Mexican psyche, you should watch the movie yourself.

  385. @ Lathechuck (and anyone else discussing government debt)

    ““Who are governments in debt to?” you ask. Well, to me, for one, in that I’ve been buying “savings bonds” for many years. Anyone who invests in government bonds is owed the value of that bond by that government.”

    Thank you. Reflecting on this answer prompts me to wonder if there are enough citizens ready and willing to queue up to buy more savings bonds every time Congress raises the debt ceiling and makes more of them available? Do you do this? Find yourself reminded to buy more savings bonds every time Congress raises the debt again?

    It’s just that Congress raises the debt ceiling, fine. But surely then, someone has to go and FIND creditors ready and willing to fund this next round of debt. So, if the supply of citizens and insurance companies and pension funds who/which can both afford, and who wish, to keep buying savings bonds, runs out, who THEN will the US borrow FROM?

  386. Hi Roger and Candace,

    I actually think the new Blade Runner’s world was deeply disturbing for people, and struggled to find an audience as a result. It shows how much worse a functioning, technologically “advanced” society could be. The environment is in an appalling situation, even by today’s standards, but still there is luxury and even some niceness, like the artificial dream gardens. Everything is worse than last time you were here, in roughly every way, but there’s still a “futuristic” angle. There are things that are technically advanced in this world (the massive dams to keep out the sea, the huge solar arrays, etc), but they seem mostly like desperate moves, and are positioned amidst garbage dumps, with orphaned children working below searching for valuable material amidst the trash. It is dystopian and bleak, but still recognizable. A society still functions. It doesn’t map nicely onto either utopian views of progress, or apocalypse, or even the quite to the stylish electronic dystopia of the first movie.

    I don’t think it’s all plausible (SF isn’t really about that for me, though) but I found it very well made and emotional, and I think it is more like something Philip K Dick might have written than the original. I don’t think it is a perfect film, but in many ways I prefer it to the 1980s one, and I have been a near lifelong fan of that. It has a feel somewhat of Soviet science fiction films (“Visitor to a Museum” would be a good reference point) with a more openly biblical feel to its vision of collapse. As a side note I heard it played in Moscow to a packed audience (at least at the show a friend went to). Here I went with my dad, who I know the original from (I probably sat and watched it with him when I was 5 or 6), and the theatre was mostly empty, and even he seemed unimpressed with it.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  387. I want to propose another category of information to go with mis- dis- etc — namely “junk information”.

    By analogy with junk food, this is information from which some vital components have been removed thus not giving you a complete balanced picture.

    E.g. reports on the situation in Ukraine will tell you that Russia invaded Ukraine, but will not tell you that Ukraine was killing Russians for years beforehand. Or, reports on Covid will tell you that X number of people have been hospitalized, but will not tell you the vast majority of them are elderly, obese, or diabetic.

    @ Phutatorius #397. I’m not sure how else you destroy or remove from the Earth large amounts of expensive machinery and people. Maybe a demolition derby, but that’s really just one-sided war.

    @ Bei Dawei #402. I think a feather bed would be more practical. Go over a bump on that air mattress and you would be launched into the air.

  388. @JMG and commentariat

    It’s probably too late for me to post this, but here goes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C6Fsvy21cg

    This is a kirtan (type of Hindu devotional music) performance by the musician Jahnavi Harrison (and her team), who’s an ISKCON devotee (her Wikipedia page says she was brought up in a family of ISKCON converts), and her singing is quite good. The lyrics are not all that great, so they can be safely ignored, but the music is really good, IMO.

    In times of despair and stress, good soothing music can put a smile on our faces. Just thought I’d share this. I know our host doesn’t do videos, so I suppose he can focus on the audio, which is the whole point of this video anyway. Cheers, everyone!

  389. @ Mary Beth #413
    WTC 7 was a forty seven story office building housing, among other things, the NYC Emergency Management Agency, and offices for the US Secret Service, the CIA, and INS. It was damaged by debris from the collapse of WTC 1, and later that day became the only steel framed skyscraper to collapse due to fire. Videos of the collapse are easily available online, and the official report from NIST on the collapse is available for download here. The report is based on a computer simulation of the collapse. The structural steel from the building was never examined to confirm the computer model, and most of the 350,000 tons of steel from the 3 collapsed buildings was shipped to China for recycling within the next year.

  390. @patriciaormsby

    I do think the elites/governing aristocracy indulge in it, but the whole ‘divide and rule’ thing is blown out of proportion. Few people are willing to say that the communities subjected to the ‘divide and rule’ often have their own desires, priorities, and aren’t the innocent sheep they’re made out to be. The elites/Jews/politicians make a convenient scapegoat (of course, in most cases, they too aren’t innocent or clean at all), hence this repeated emphasis on the governing aristocracy so as to give a clean chit to the ‘innocent masses’.

    @CR Patiño

    Regarding music from movies, are Indian (especially Bollywood) film songs really popular in Mexico, or is it just an exaggeration by enthusiastic Bollywood fans?

  391. Hi Denis,

    I imagine most states will legalize abortion. It’s big business. And if abortion remains mostly legal, things won’t change much. So I agree, the big change will probably be something else. Widespread food shortages, maybe. I don’t think many Americans, if any, will starve, but they’ll find that certain products are not available and that would shake things up; Americans are used to being able to buy whatever they want as long as they have the money (or a credit card). “Not Available “ is a deeply un-American concept and I can see people getting riled when they’re forced to get used to the idea.

  392. Well, I suppose an apolitical (or something vaguely resembling an apolitical) judiciary goes away eventually. Makes me sad to see things being leaked from SCOTUS for political purposes. The damage to the institution will be far greater than any gain.

  393. @blue sun #396, of course you have to come to your own conclusions. Before I came to ADR, 9/11 history had been my hobby and my largest online pursuit for five years, so I’m very familiar with all the details. I’ve examined and measured the available videos frame by frame, read books and scientific papers, run my own (relatively unsophisticated) computer models, and evaluated the arguments put forth by AE911T, Pilots for Truth, and other similar organizations. That’s what I base the opening sentence of my comment #322 on. But I don’t ask or expect anyone else to take my word on it! I agree that this is not the place to stage a debate or argument about it either.

    @Mary Bennett #413, blue sun is most likely referring to the Salomon Brothers building, at 7 World Trade Center, most often referred to as “building 7” or “WTC7.” As far as I know, the following facts are non-controversial: It was a 47-story slab-shaped office building, near the North Tower but with another shorter building (WTC 6, of 8 stories) in between. It was evacuated by tenants and the public early on 9/11. Subsequently, debris from the collapse of the North Tower overtopped building 6 and caused structural damage (the extent of which is not reliably known) and started fires in WTC7, and the fires burned mostly out of control (the exact extent of the fires also not reliably known.) Firefighters evacuated the area around WTC7 about five hours after the North Tower collapsed. It collapsed completely two hours later, with no loss of life.

  394. Bofur #344,

    Agree with your recommendation on “The Mandibles”: it’s a vivid (and disturbing) picture of post-collapse life. Do you (or others who have read it) have thoughts about the title? I thought the family being named the Mandibles referred to their being consumerists (chewing up resources) before the economic collapse, but I’d like to hear other ideas.

  395. @JMG: Thanks for the further food for thought!

    @Walt F: I worked in advertising for a couple of years before escaping once I got a taste of it. But it gave me useful training in “how else might one understand this thing” as you put it!

  396. Hey jmg

    By any chance did you know that Ursula k leguin also wrote a novel set in a deindustrialised future America called “Always coming home”? I just bought it recently and I have also listened to some music she made in collaboration with Todd Barton which is supposed to be the music of the future society , called the Kesh, which features in her book

  397. @Patricia Ormsby – thank you. Hanging in there. @ El – I lived in West Haven,Connecticut as a small child, and corn meal mush appeared on our table at times. Another dish was fried patties of mashed potatoes mixed with shredded codfish.

  398. “The benefits to using Oxy Acetylene are: By far it has the hottest flame (5000 degrees vs. 2700 degrees)”

    2700 degrees is hot enough for many things. It’s also worth noting that you seldom turn the acetylene pressure over 7 or 8 psig. So adding calcium carbide to water and closing the top shoulder toy up to usable pressure easily enough.

    Also interesting is that acetylene is not stored as a high pressure gas, it’s dissolved in acetone in order to make it safe enough to move around. It’s much the same idea as soaking diatomaceous earth in nitroglycerin to make a safe to transport explosive.

  399. Hi John Michael,

    Oooo (it’s late in the weeks cycle so I don’t expect a reply), but the great unravelling, is indeed continuing to unravel at an alarming rate. Events are flying in all directions, and all at once! The latest economic news indicates to me that finally the errors and misjudgements of the past can no longer be ignored. Makes you wonder if sooner or later economists will suggest that it did in fact matter – and then go on to say that they advised this all along! How funny would that be?

    Mate, it’s a strange thing to be conservative and prudent when everyone else seems to be enjoying a good old party. Hmm.

    Cheers

    Chris

  400. Patricia Mathews, hi, I have to defer to your greater knowledge on this question of corn mush. I guess that polenta is just one among a multitude of variants.

    How likely will be widespread hunger in our environs? I suspect that with inflation and economic upheaval as our globalized arrangements come unstuck, getting enough calories will become a much more common problem. The more you know about sources of calories the less you’re likely to suffer. Few things are as lousy as being hungry. I strongly suspect our food buying and eating habits will change. Bye bye Popeyes, so long Big Macs, forget about steaks, hello corn mush. And rice and beans. I take it the US grows rice.

    I was just in a butcher shop I’ve passed by but never entered. 50 canuck bucks a pound for beef tenderloin among other outlandish prices. I had a sniff around and left. Too rich for my blood.

  401. Hey Lunar Apprentice. Check out this awesome 8 minute acetylene generator video!

  402. This might be too late in the cycle, but really, Americans are crazy. They see something happening in real time in front of their eyes or on screen, and deny what they are seeing e.g. 911 and the moon landings.

    I have a degree in civil engineering and I don’t have a problem with the conventional explanation of 911. Planes flew into the towers, the fuel caught fire and the heat buckled and softened the steel frames, and they collapsed under their own weight.

    Some extra items about WTC7. There is very little photographic evidence of the damage from falling debris because most cameras were trained on the two main buildings. This has allowed conspiracy theories to proliferate. There were large diesel tanks in the basement for emergency generators, so there was plenty of fuel to burn, and surrounding water mains were damaged by the two main collapses so the sprinklers ran dry that would have put the fires out. The Fire Dept deemed the building too dangerous to enter and let it burn. Eventually the steel frame got hot enough to collapse under its own weight.

  403. @Vidura Awakened,
    Thank you for responding. I agree with you, it seems to be both an elite strategy and normal human nature that is hard to avoid. I think the British colonial strategy of creating national borders that split up ethnicities and combine clashing groups within a nation was a case of its deliberate, conscious use, as was Brzezhinsky’s Grand Chessboard, which is being played upon right now in Ukraine, enhanced with the deliberate creation and/or encouragement of extremist groups, of which Azov battalion is not the first.
    On the other hand, people feel a strong need to distinguish themselves from the idiots and yahoos over yonder, with whom we would be much better off finding common ground and striving together for common goals. We are our own worst enemies. Examples abound. In EMF research, for example, a lot of people try to distinguish themselves “conspiracy theorists,” which is what we are all called in order to discredit us. It makes me wonder if the CIA’s coining of that term was a deliberate divide-and-conquer strategy, or if it just worked out that way.
    @Everyone in the food preservation discussion, I enjoyed it very much and wish I had more time to get involved. I focus on fermentation and drying, with canning as an interim method I do not expect to be sustainable long-term. In a very humid climate, drying can be problematic, and it was used in limited ways in Japan. I am looking carefully at what strategies they used here in the past. We are finding ways to prevent sweet potatoes from going moldy, but that might not work out in the long term. In the past, they were kept fresh over winter in root cellars. Until about 100 years ago, they did not have maize in Japan. I find I can ferment that and then dry it, and it keeps for years if you can seal a jar reasonably well to keep out rats and insects. That is likely to be a viable addition to traditional preserved foods here.
    @Roger and Walt F, I loved the original Blade Runner, too. I didn’t realize there was a new version out, and it sounds good. I don’t think the first one was popular in Japan. It moved too slowly between bursts of violence, and dialog just doesn’t translate very well across the language and cultural barrier. I think the Japanese much prefer a brighter view of a technological future. Also, they have a different view from us regarding tyrannies. One friend teaching English said he’d assigned his students 1984, and they thought it sounded like a nice society. Good grief. Confuciansim values stable hierarchies, demanding benevolence out of the elite in exchange. What we see an an imminent danger they would be blind-sided by if it came to pass, and if that was reasonably tolerable, they would go along with it.

  404. Hi JMG and everybody,

    this is late in the comment cycle but my computer time for writing comments is unfortunately rather limited these days. I just wanted to slide in a quick comment to thank all of you who replied to my question about Ecosophy and Anthroposophy!

    I’ll give it some thought. Especially the agriculture angle and our dependency on nature might be good starting points.

  405. I’ve been going through some old Ecosophia posts over the past week, something I often get sucked into (there are just too many interesting essays and comments to browse!), so I don’t have any questions or comments on contemporary matters for this open post, BUT:

    I was looking through the comments on The Fall of the Chosen Ones piece (https://www.ecosophia.net/the-fall-of-the-chosen-ones/) from September 2019, and in some of the discourse about Star Wars, JMG at one point asked “Question for those who’ve sat through the whole range of Star Wars films, poor souls: how many Death Stars end up getting built?” And even though that question was almost 3 years ago, I just have to respond.

    I can now answer that, with the December 2019 release of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (which was somehow even worse than the two new movies before it), about 4 separate Death Star/planet killer superweapons were built in the movies. There were the two in the original movie and then Return of the Jedi. Then there was Starkiller in the first of the new movies, Force Awakens, in 2015 (and that one was able to shoot out multiple beams to destroy several planets in a star system all at once). THEN, in a supreme act of dumb writing that was so off-the-charts ridiculous it was funny, in Rise of Skywalker (2019), the bad guys somehow built an ENTIRE FLEET OF A THOUSAND old imperial ships, each equipped with a mini-death star laser, so that they could fly around the galaxy and hold hostage as many planets as they wanted to. No, I’m not making this up.

    So either you count that fleet as one more ultimate Death Star, or you can count it as 1,000 little Death Stars–so the entire Star Wars saga in the end had either 4 Death Stars, or 1,003 Death Stars, depending on how you measure it.

    Also there’s Revenge of the Sith (2005) which shows the original Death Star being built, and then the Rogue One spin-off (2016) that shows the original Death Star right before the original movie. So that’s a total of 6 movies where Death Stars/planet-killers make any appearance.

    Truly these things are important, as the global economy continues to come apart and we move further down the Long Descent.

  406. @viduraawakened, #422

    I would not call them popular, but they are steadily gaining market share, specially in the middle classes who can pay for streaming/cable services. It is a niche thing but I do not think they are too far behind Japanese anime, as they have the potential to appeal to a way broader base. On old fashioned air TV, Turkish soap operas are all the rage…

    …though I might be showing convenience sampling biases here.

  407. I’m going to try to avoid igniting a religious/political firestorm, but hopefully I can speak my piece without doing that among your followers, who generally aren’t wedded to the ground-levels of common societal debate.
    I was raised Catholic and my late parents, and other relatives, were very much against abortion, although they did not really veer into Evangelical territory. They were garden-variety conservative Catholics.
    The #1 explanation I heard for why they opposed abortion was, they said, because it limits or interferes with God’s plans for humanity. The next Einstein, or a Da Vinci, or another Isaac Newton might be aborted in the womb by a quick short-term selfish decision on the part of an uninformed mother who is going through a stressful time.
    Now, we can debate whether this is the actual real or underlying reason why Catholics oppose abortion. Oftentimes people don’t say what they mean, or don’t even realize that they are swimming in a collective/cultural rip current that is pushing them out towards a sinister sea.
    But the thought just occurred to me that this commonly voiced opinion is, in fact, a perfect expression of “The Myth of Progress”. What would my parents expect such a new Einstein or Newton level genius to do? Well, obviously, make life better for the human population. “SAVE” it, in fact. Save us from the ecological consequences of eight billion people sh#tting their own nest every day. Take us to Mars, or perhaps come up with some Star Trek Replicator type of ‘magic’ technology that makes all our waste products and extractive needs vanish, so that we never have to face up to the consequences of our lifestyle. The Myth of Progress is baked-in deeply to the idea that we need every conceivable human mind battle-ready, to solve the problems with the lifestyle that we have inherited from all the past human minds. My parents believed in Heaven and yet somehow also picked up the secular belief that mankind is destined to turn Earth into a techno-paradise. If only we keep increasing the population; endless growth.
    My own belief is that history shows ( pace, Stephen Pinker), that while we might get a few more Einsteins, what usually happens is that we get a lot more Napoleons and Pol Pot’s, who fight each other, reduce their own populations in bloody wars, while spurring human technological and economic culture farther down the dead-end path of modern scientific war and materialism. And when most people squint at that hard enough, they see “progress”.

  408. Hello John Michael Greer,

    Wanted to ask. Do you think Stainless Steel would have the same effect on ethereal matter and beings in the same manner as purer iron (Carbon steel, Wrought Iron and etc) or whatnot?

    Its effectively not exactly pure iron but still has large portions in it mixed with more than 11%+ chromium to prevent rusting. A more modern alloy.

    Some may have nitrogen, aluminium, silicon, sulfur, titanium, nickel, copper, selenium, niobium or molybdenum.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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