Open Post

August 2023 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 — 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!

421 Comments

  1. Hi JMG,

    I read “The Witch of Criswell,” and enjoyed it a lot. I’m very much looking forward to the next installment. There is one thing I am very curious about. Near the end of the book, Ariel’s grandfather gives her a 19th century book on magic to read. As you’re doing the whole book based on real magic, I presume that the book is real, but I can’t think what it would be. As no mention is made of her reading French, I assume it’s not Levi, but I’m very curious what it is. Can you please tell me? Thanks!

  2. Hi John,

    First thing, I have updated my blog with a few recent gems I have come across – have a look, you might find them interesting.

    https://forecastingintelligence.org/2023/08/23/quick-takes-2/

    The data is backing up the LTG BAU model it seems to me from a range of sources. Preparing for a wild 2020s and even wilder 2030s!

    The latest high quality reports I’m reading suggest US fracking will peak, plateau and start to decline within the next few years e.g. from around 2025 expect to start seeing falls in US shale production.

    US fracking has been the bulk of new supply in oil since 2010 or so, after the global conventional oil production peaked in 2005. This is clearly a big moment.

    Now, Argentina does offer some hope in terms of fracking but it won’t replace or supplement the US anytime soon or even ever.

    Coincidently, the best analysts I follow in financial markets are all predicting that US markets will peak around 2025 and start a protracted collapse after that. Some see signs in the charts of a bigger collapse around 2030 or just before.

    For me the evidence is building up that we are watching the LTG BAU model in real time and the US is staring at a major crisis from the mid 2020s onwards.

  3. I’ve got a question about unifying the will.

    If I understand right, there are inner parts of oneself that have different intentions. This makes even more sense if these inner parts are conscious entities with wills and desires of their own as you’ve written in a previous post.

    A number of magical and spiritual practices seem to depend on one already having the strength of a unified will, for example, to be able to make a decision and stick to it. But how does one get a unified will in the first place if all these aspects, archetypes, emotions, memories, etc all have their own wills with differing goals? I would guess it involves listening to them, but then you might end up getting so influenced by these competing intentions that you end up not going anywhere.

  4. Hello JMG,

    Since the Religion of Progress is the unofficial faith of Faustian civilization do you think it’s possible that our second religiosity could manifest itself as a forceful reassertion of enlightenment principles and hyper-rationalism?

    As things unwind might we be in store for progress cargo cults even more absurd than the ones we already have or does the second religiosity neccesarily have to be metaphysical in the traditional sense?

  5. I think in one of your interviews you said something to the effect that much of western organized religion had degenerated into crowd control. If I have understood you correctly, can you expand on that? Also, since hearing the phrase “crowd control”, It made me think that much of the media are in the same business. A CNN interviewer recently scolded a presidential candidate because he pointed out that freedom of information releases showed that the government clearly lied about at least one major aspect of 9/11, saying that pointing out it would leave the door open to people who believe in conspiracies. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  6. A Personal/Societal rabbit hole.
    I am a birthright/lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends and witnesses of Truth, known to most gentiles as Quakers.
    Although as a group Quakers don’t agree about almost anything, most would agree that in in All dealings with other people they should be treated as if they are a friend.
    I have read the Elite Panic entry in Wikipedia.
    How does one deal with friends whose reaction to disaster is fear of other people.
    People bond together during and after disasters.
    The phrase “Getting along like a house on fire” has been the state of everyone I have ever met in a disaster zone.
    I have been to disasters of all descriptions. If you search “Samuel Schultz Aceh” you can see one where there were media people along to write about it.
    Where do these “Elites” getting this strange idea that the masses will rise and take all the stuff when it just doesn’t work that way.
    How does one deal with friends like these?

  7. As I am currently engaging with your book Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush, and given the context of the attempts of both India and Russia (the latter of which having failed, the former set to occur today as I write this) to land spacecraft on the Moon, I am curious to see how your thinking on humanity’s spacefaring has developed. Are you equally dismissive of the Progress-infused notions of humanity’s destiny to explore and in some capacity to conquer space, the final frontier? Your prognosis a decade ago, essentially that this has died (“Space is dead” seems to contain a small echo of Nietzsche’s similarly astute declaration on cultural transformation: “God is dead”), while perhaps accurate in broad strokes, seems to have underestimated our continuing investment in space travel and our wonder and lust at the possibility of exploring those new frontiers. The likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, foolhardy though their attempts may be in the end, are nevertheless striving.

  8. Something I’d love to see a discussion about sometime is Nietzsche and occultism. You’ve read his works (which is more than can be said for many who comment on him!) and you’ve mentioned that he’s one of the people from history that you’d most enjoy having a conversation with.

    Famously he had a certain skepticism of abstractions and was borderline hostile to anything outside the realm of immediate experience, to the point where he is often labelled a materialist (though I think that’s an overly blunt description of his attitudes). I’d be very interested to read or hear your takes on what he would think of occultism today, and to what extent–if any–his perspective of vitalism and life-affirmation are compatible with the broad and often Neoplatonist world of occultism.

  9. Picking up from the end of last posts thread…

    “Can you tell me who was the prez before LBJ and what happened to him?”

    Not only was LBJ the president who followed JFK, he was very likely integral to the plot to have JFK assassinated. There are several great videos (I just listen to the audio while working) getting into many aspects of the assassination here:

    https://www.youtube.com/@AmericasUntoldStories/streams

    Here are a several of the episodes that get in closer on LBJ (and his friend Jumbo):

    Did LBJ kill JFK part 1 The Lead Up
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgVdPOVZo7Y

    Did LBJ kill JFK part 2 The Cover up
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmZck_BPRC4

    The Ladies of LBJ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj6d4rXSDjU

    Who was LBJ mistress Madeleine Brown?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-hxSpSGM5o

    Who was LBJ crony Billy Sol Estes?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKrHfRtdsU

    Who was Little Lyndon LBJ fixer Bobby Baker?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb8CkH2uwGk

    Uncovering the dark secrets of LBJ’s enforcer Malcom “Mac” Wallace
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuQwddwyPCA

    Lots more on other characters connected to the assassination…

    It’s a rabbit hole of murder most foul.

  10. Following up on my brief history of tattooing and some of its magical aspects, I have written up a brief history on the revival of piercing in the United States. The story of Roland Loomis, aka, Fakir Musafar is very intriguing and shows the influence of the land he was born on (South Dakota) and memories from his past lives where he had done ritual piercing before. It was interesting that I felt tugged to start working on this piece on August 10th, which is the birthday of Musafar, the father of the “modern primitive” movement. I did not know it was his birthday until I started researching some of the stories for writing this, and I felt keenly his presence throughout.

    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/needles-and-pins-the-pierced-body

  11. Update on husband:
    He is out of the hospital and is at home. His staph infection was so swift that if we waited another day, he would have died. It took them five days to get it under control.

    They were able to save half of the big toe on the right foot. He can walk but driving is out of the question. He is recovering with a lot of pain from the operation.

    One thing the infection and operation did was to trigger his diabetes into overdrive. He was maintaining his sugar through diet but now has to use medications. We are adjusting to that. Keep us in your prayers.

  12. Was reading about Michael Hughes and his tweets about Mr. Greer in Magic Monday. My first reaction was why should he care what you thought, six years later. DO you have that kind of power that people have to debate you?

    I noticed that when an unsettling blog post comes up, that reports of people trying to change the topic or shut it down is common. Is this blog that influential or popular? Or is that people are policing the internet for alternative views to shut them down?

  13. If we knew the extraction version of peak oil was imminent, say happening in a few months, what would be prioritized? What would still be functioning? Everything currently as-is, just super expensive? Would certain businesses flounder first? How would it impact the cost of other non-renewable resources (coal for electricity) and the businesses that run on that (from vending machines to personal Internet of the WFH folks to physical buildings to electric cars)? I know these are a lot of questions, so if you have a resource that might cover some of this instead, I’d appreciate anything you could offer.

  14. OK John,
    If no one has sent you a link to this, allow me:
    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23836358/meditation-mindfulness-enlightenment-science-contemplative-buddhism-spirituality

    Don’t be drinking tea when reading this. It is way more unintentionally funny than the link that inspired Futurus Interruptus.

    When i was reading this i couldn’t help but think how the author would react to hearing about the long term beneficial effects of being in a loving relationship:

    “Hrmmm, with the right drugs and mechanical stimulation (potentially controlled by an AI) i am thinking we could reliably get a novice to experience a state of ejaculation without going through that long extended process of developing a loving relationship. Although the people who i have talked to who have actually achieved this “loving relationship” seem to think i am missing something important and may not experience all the benefits of an actual “loving relationship”.. But who has time for that kind of thing?? Science and technology should be able to get me a short cut.

  15. @JMG re: Threaded vs Non-Threaded Comments

    I tried to ask this on last week’s post, but I’m not sure if I never submitted or if it got deleted for being off-topic, so I figured I’d ask here: someone raised the idea of having threaded comments here on the main blog, and you politely but firmly said “not your call.” I was just curious, since you have threaded comments on your dreamwidth, and non-threaded comments here, but basically the same content policy at both, do you see a difference in the kind or quality of discussion you get? I’m mostly just interested from a McLuhan-esque “the medium is the message” standpoint.

    Thanks much, and my blessings to any here who welcome them,
    Jeff

  16. Good day,
    I know that there are lots of different people who read your work, and at different areas of understanding and acceptance of the situation we find ourselves in collectively with regards to decline.
    I have been listing and reading your work since KMO days.
    I first came across Mr. Kunstler on unknown country back in Whitley Streiber days.
    Anyways..
    I find that often when you write about decline it’s at the level of 101. Sort of as an overview, or a demonstration of facts trying to convince people of the reality.
    I have Green wizardry on my book shelf (among a handful of your other works), and we have changed our way of living and being, both mentally and physically to the reality of a ever faster changing reality. Relearning old ways (better ways 😉 of growing, propagating, and preserving, etc…
    Do you have any ideas in the pipeline of talking about specific regions, and pragmatic adaptations that can be implemented to live and help others live in the new situations?
    How are you as a neighbor? Is your whole neighborhood tuned into the things you write and talk about, or are you in a similar situation as myself and many others; where we are adapting physically and mentally surrounded by many others who are not, and who are seemingly getting more insane with every episode of the news.
    This is planet Earth. I know this place is a spiritual meat grinder. So there is really nothing to “fix”. And I know this is a big question, but as always I appreciate your point of view.

  17. Hello All,

    Wanted to share this: https://www.businessinsider.com/tech-broken-promises-streaming-ride-hailing-cloud-computing-2023-8

    Bottom line: streaming is as complicated and costly as cable, Uber costs same as a taxi and regarding cloud computing, Google has hundreds of workers offline because cyber attacks are so prevalent and disabling.

    Question: what is your over/under date prediction for when the costs and risks of the internet outweigh the benefits for a majority of Americans? I say 2040. I feel my personal date might be before 2033.

    Take care and have a good hump day.

  18. Hi JMG,

    What do you think lies behind the refusal of western governments to take any serious steps to curb mass migration into the west from developing countries despite clear support for doing so among much of their populations and the very clear conflicts it has caused in places like France where there were big riots last month? Do you think it is that western governments are too weak to do anything about it or is there genuinely, as some on the nationalist right speculate, a “great replacement” agenda (an opposition to which was cited as a motivation by the Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant among others). I’ve seen different speculations why it might be happening, from the governments wanting to import new workers in a vain attempt to maintain economic “growth” to a more nefarious goal of creating a population with little in common which will find it harder to rise against the governments and which can be divided against itself. Or could there be something else entirely going on?

    On a not entirely unrelated note I’ve been quite amused by the elites’ outrage at the success of Oliver Anthony’s new song “Rich Men North of Richmond” which evidently speaks far more deeply to far more people than any electronically enhanced, shadow-written contribution by Taylor Swift or Cardi B. The concern it seems to generate at all the ‘correct’ news and commentary outlets is quite amusing. The power of the song is evident in that even British news outlets like the “Independent” and the Guardian have written hit pieces on it. Thankfully these people are ignored more and more outside of their own bubbles but it is still entertaining to watch their outrage.

  19. I noticed that the upper crust of the privileged class is the major user of energy and the major contributor to global warming. Aren’t these the same people who wants everyone to embrace green energy?

    I was watching a commentator on Epoch TV say that every chance a major weather “event” happens, the first thing everyone does is blame it on “global climate change.” Recently, D.C. had a flash flood and several dogs at a daycare drowned. The first thing out of the mayor’s mouth was it was a product of climate change. Not that the city was having sewer overflows or that the 911 did not treat the calls from the daycare seriously.

    Same with Maui fires – first thing out of the governor’s mouth – climate change. Not that a fire in 2018 happened in the same way, and people said they would prevent the next one. Nothing happened. Neither the power company nor the lack of clearing of brush was mentioned as contributing to the problem.

  20. I’ve kept my ears open for the sweet sounds of the mountain dulcimer. I have to wonder, however if they may have been replaced by the twanging of a Gretsch G9220 Bobtail Roundneck.

  21. I finally pressed [PUBLISH] on “Escape to HighTower”!
    Yay!
    It only took me several years, largely because life got in the way.
    But I did it.
    Yay!

  22. I was wondering if anyone had any insight on getting ahead of the cruel inflationary crush of increasing prices and falling wages, particularly with a view to not being enslaved with debt in the process?

    Inflation is clearly much higher than is being let on. Some of my bills have more than doubled recently.

  23. I’ve mentioned before that Bill and I are watching *ALL* the Agatha Christie film adaptations.

    We’re currently plowing through the international versions, the ones we can get with English subtitles and here’s where we need help.

    We’ve already watched the Chinese “Checkmate” series. This is a 24 episode series that ties 7 Agatha novels and 2 short stories into a much bigger arc about the Japanese attempt to take over the Republic of China. It’s set in about 1922, in and around Harbin, the Ice City.

    This isn’t the China most of us are familiar with.

    This is such a huge, complicated series that we’ll have to watch it again. I need to write an overall review of the series as well as each episode.

    Does anyone speak and read Chinese who’d be interested in helping us?

    The episodes have TERRIBLE subtitles. I am positive that they’re missing not just the nuances, but large chunks of dialog. This means I’m missing important plot elements.

    I’m not even sure which Chinese language they’re speaking! I assume it’s Mandarin but I don’t know. There are at least two kinds of Chinese subtitles too, with noticeably different characters.

    We also don’t understand how we should refer to a given character’s name OR the actor’s name. The Chinese IMBD and the Chinese language Wiki (when translated into English) are wildly inconsistent about breaks in names, and even spelling.

    Thus, is our hero’s name Situ Yan? Or Si Tu Yan? I’ve seen it both ways online and in the subtitles!

    Our Agatha Christie film reviews are becoming a reference book so I want to get it right.

    Email me at tdbpeschel @ gmail.com removing the spaces before and after the @ symbol and we’ll talk.

    At this point, we’re not having issues with the French or Indian films. The Japanese ones are trickier but they don’t involve a huge, overall arc. Haven’t gotten to the Swedish or Korean yet. We’ll find out!

    Thank you to all.

  24. A while back you mentioned in passing that one of the things you had to make peace with in studying 19th century occult teachers is how many were bunkum artists. Could you elaborate on how you made peace with this fact?

    I’ve come to a similar conundrum in my own study of spirituality where it seems that the founders of nearly every religion were scoundrels of some sort or other — L. Ron Hubbard seems closer to the rule than the exception.

  25. You recently made a comment about the Dalai Lama, in response to someone who was commenting about him and Greta Thurnberg both having participated in a book.

    I can understand your points, and sure, tha Dalai Lama has been and extremely mediatic figure in the west during all his life. However, i’ll rather break a lance for him.

    Governants in exile are always in an akward position, in a delicate balance between ridicule if they act like too boldly like actual rulers, and oblivion if they are too timid. Add to that the fact that he is not only a secular ruler, but also a religious leader, and you can see that he is using as best as he can the bad cards Destiny has dealed him.

    I’m very interested in your opinion, so please don’t take this as a complaint.

  26. I read and enjoyed “The Witch of Criswell”. I’ve got a capsule review coming up on our Instagram account so I’ll introduce you to 727 more potential readers.

    The book is now on Bill’s TBR pile and eventually, he’ll get to it too, possibly followed by a podcast interview request. We’ll let you know!

  27. In our home, we have been much consumed with the Tragedy in Lahaina as it is my wife’s hometown. I post this observation with much sadness ( and not any kind of detached irony). In fitting with the main theme of this blog and the recent posts about turning points in American history here it is.
    My wife was the Valedictorian at Lahainaluna high school, which sits on the hill above Lahaina , in 1979. A pivotal year which brought us the end of the industrial era, the beginning of the financial era and a turn away from the sensible era of green wizardry. At that time high school officials did not even inquire as to the substance of a student speakers text. My wife’s speech was on the future ahead of the people of Hawaii when faced with scarce energy, dwindling resources, and increasing pollution. Not the usual high school graduation happy talk, and certainly not expected from the dutiful daughter of Japanese immigrants.
    Afterward her principal said to her in a good humored Hawaiian way, ” No need be so dark, too much worry not good for you.”
    I think that sums things up, now 44 years later. We have not taken the challenges of the future seriously, we have chosen to not worry and bank on hope instead of reality. And now a fire ,that started only 100 yards, from where she gave that graduation speech has consumed the town, and the lives of many of the people sitting in that audience that day. No, she did not warn of fire danger, but this catastrophic fire is the result of ignoring reality and the many converging consequences of the last 44 years.

  28. Hello JMG! It would be great if you tell us your e-mail address to contact you! I have a question: What should happen when a list of things to do in the Age of Memory is created, can you write an example?

  29. Chronojourner, when I originally wrote that I hadn’t decided which book it was, and I’m still considering the options! Her later readings are better defined — in the second book (now in press), The Book of Haatan, she’s picking her way through Lévi’s Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, and she’s gone on to one of Papus’s books in the third, The Carnelian Moon, which is almost finished.

    Forecastingintelligence, yep. We’d have been in the next round of energy crisis already except for the economic slowdown caused by Covid hysteria. As it is, that just postponed things a little.

    Jbucks, it’s a slow process, rather like training animals. You have to accustom the quarreling fractions of yourself to work together; you have to listen to them but also talk to them, and you have to demonstrate that cooperation means success for all.

    Douglas, in all the historical examples I know of, the Second Religiosity is a rejection of the various rationalist civil religions of the failed Age of Reason. I think we’ve already seen the great revival of rationalism in the form of the (pseudo)skeptic movement, now guttering out around us. There will still be rationalist cargo cults, and some of them will get pretty baroque, but I don’t expect them to find a mass audience. Instead, they’ll become little circles of people loudly insisting that they’re right and the rest of the world is wrong, while the world ignores them.

    Bradley, that’s been true since the 1700s; Christianity was widely supported by the upper classes because it kept people passive and willing to put up with whatever misery the rich inflicted on them, since the church taught them they’d be rewarded in Heaven. That’s one of the main reasons why Christianity has had such a total collapse in Europe. Of course the mass media is in the same business. You can take it as a general rule that whatever rich people support is primarily in the business of keeping rich people in control of things, and keeping everyone else divided and powerless.

    Valiant, I’ll be discussing the theory of elite panic in quite some detail in an upcoming post. The short form is that you treat them the way you’d treat anyone else who’s so freaked out by fear that they’re caught up in a shrieking tantrum — you get them someplace where they can’t hurt themselves or anyone else, try to calm them down a little, and wait for the tantrum to end.

    Thomas, humanity’s spacefaring days are clearly winding down. There hasn’t been a human being beyond low earth orbit since the 1970s, and most probes these days are launched either by rising powers proving that they belong to the spacefaring club — India’s successful Chandrayaan-3 landing is a good example here — or by former powers proving, or trying to prove, that they haven’t lost it yet. The “wonder and lust” you talk about is confined to an ever-shrinking fraction of people, and the resource base even to duplicate the achievements of the 1960s and 1970s — much less go beyond them — simply isn’t there any more. (We used it up on shoddy consumer goods.) As for “Man’s destiny in space,” I trust you realize that destiny is a wholly theological concept. My post about the end of the space shuttle era is a bit dated, but the overall theme remains correct:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2011/08/elegy-for-age-of-space.html

    Alex, Nietzsche himself was hostile to occultism — I’d have to go digging for specific quotes, but he rejected astrology with quite some scorn, for example. That said, his philosophy lends itself to explorations in directions he himself would never have taken. That’s true of quite a few philosophers — I’ve been intrigued, for example, by the potentials of existentialist occultism — and down the road I may do a post or two about that.

    Justin, that’s a long, long rabbit hole to go down. The fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was a protegé of one of Jackie Kennedy’s closest family friends, George de Mohrenschildt — she called him “Uncle George” — is just one of the oddities nobody likes to talk about.

    Neptunesdolphins, I’m glad your husband made it — staph infections are nothing to mess with. My father nearly died of one. As for this blog, I’ve been baffled for years by just how frantically people keep arguing with me. I’m about as far out on the fringe as it’s possible to get, a quirky occultist intellectual with a modest following online and no broader public presence at all, and yet Hughes and his many equivalents keep bellowing as though the least word on my blog is an existential threat to everything they believe. I’m not sure if they’re just insecure, or what — but then, like most people with Aspergers, I’m not very good at interpreting the odder end of human behavior.

    Question, the peak of oil extraction doesn’t mean that oil starts running short right away. It just means that the rate of extraction can no longer increase, and begins a long ragged plateau followed by a gradual decline. Since we already passed the peak of conventional petroleum production back in 2005, it’s quite clear what to expect — financial convulsions frantically patched over by governments, the price of oil lurching up and down wildly but trending gradually upwards, substitutes for conventional oil being brought online as fast as possible whether or not they make any economic sense, general economic contraction partly concealed by faked statistics, and a broader picture of accelerating decline that can only be seen clearly in retrospect. As the fracking bubble runs short, expect to see more of same.

    Dobbs, thank you for the warning. I put my teacup down, and so didn’t give the screen an unwanted bath. You’re quite correct — that piece is even more moronic than the ones I cited in last week’s post!

    Jeff, thanks for understanding; I wanted to make it very clear to the person who posted the question that I wasn’t going to budge. The quality of discussion between threaded and nonthreaded forums seems more or less the same, which is among the reasons why I have one of each.

    Travis, the area where I live is a down-at-heels working class urban neighborhood, a mix of small single-family houses and little three- and four-unit rentals, highly walkable and with plenty of resources close by: that is to say, the kind of urban neighborhood that can expect to get through the next fifty years in decent shape. Most of my neighbors have no clue about the subjects discussed here, but they’re used to getting by on less; many of them are first- or second-generation immigrants from the Azores or the Cape Verde islands, and so they don’t have American expectations — another helpful point. One of the reasons I relocated to Rhode Island is that it’s one of the parts of the country that can obviously thrive in a nonindustrial context, since it did so in colonial and Federal times, and the likely directions of climate change won’t affect that. Beyond that, well, what specifically do you need to know? It’s a big subject.

  30. An optimistic comment,

    “– “Future” demands optimism. Pessimists have been on the losing side of the trade for all of human history. Even setbacks like the dotcom implosion, the GFC and the pandemic were temporary. Pessimism is a bet against human ingenuity, and that is a bet I am unwilling to make.”

    https://ritholtz.com/2023/08/investing-decision-making/

    Ritholtz has an interesting business model. “Let me manage your money because you will panic when the market does and sell at the bottom. But I will go to the garage and pet my supercar collection until the panic passes as it always does.”

    George Friedman has added an epilogue to his book, and I got an excerpt e-mailed to me.

    “George very recently wrote an epilogue to The Storm Before the Calm. It is a fascinating analysis of where we are today in George’s typically blunt manner. Quoting a few paragraphs from the end:

    “For this to happen, the federal government must be restructured. The post-World War II model of a deep interlocking of private life with a federal government helmed by experts, poorly overseen and managed by those who can’t see the unintended consequences of expertise, has been outstripped by reality. It is not the size of government that matters but its claim to authority….

    “The first institutional cycle [the Revolutionary War] did not define the relationship between federal and state governments. The second [the Civil War] established the primacy of the federal government but did not set its limits. The third [WW2] created almost complete [federal] domination of the states. All were in their time what was needed.

    “It follows that the next cycle will be one that accepts the federal government’s primacy but will necessarily require the creation and institutionalization of a new level of expert—the generalist—to make certain that the area experts are both effective and non-contradictory.

    “The deeper problem is citizens’ access to the government. Here, I expect that the core relationship of government to states will remain, albeit with two notable changes. First, the states will have at least an informal role in federal decision-making. Second, the states, much closer and more sensitive to their citizens’ interests, will become a channel for allowing citizens to petition their government. This will, in turn, result in curbing unilateral federal authority over states, and shift the World War II model to one that is collaborative or adversarial, both of which achieve the same end.”

  31. @ Valiant Johnson re #6

    As long as people have had stuff, they’ve lived in secret terror of somebody snatching it all away. As often as not it’s because they themselves have lived off the blood, sweat and labor of people they perceive as being ‘beneath them’, and know how fragile their wealth really is. Hence, locks, fences, barbwire, dead-bolts, guard dogs etc.

    A couple decades of Terminator-style pics and zombie apocalypse movies, tv series, and comics, haven’t helped any. Notice the anxious discussion about AI.

    There’s no reasoning with such people. It does no good to tell them that most people are too busy struggling to survive to come after their stuff. And heaven forbid if you try suggesting they
    get rid of some of that stuff so theft of it doesn’t prey on their minds.

    Best way to deal with it? Get new friends.

  32. Daniel, thanks for this. My guess is that the internet will phase out as it phased in — people will stop using it for one thing, and then another, but it’ll be a couple of decades before most people simply decide that it’s no longer worth paying for. 2040-2045 is a good time frame for that.

    Sam, from my perspective it’s quite simple. Industrial societies can’t function without a supply of dirt-cheap labor; when workers in the industrial nations got enough clout to start demanding decent wages, the system began to falter, and offshoring factories and bringing in vast numbers of undocumented workers who could be employed at sweatshop wages were the only way to prop things up. At this point, if you hired people at industrial-nation wages to make the goods and services sold in industrial nations, the prices would be so high that we’d be right back in the kind of overproduction cycle that caused the Great Depression. Mind you, the global economy that made offshoring possible is breaking down, and the social costs of mass migration are spinning out of control as well, but be aware that there’s no easy solution to the situation we’re in — either economies collapse or societies collapse, take your pick. 😉 Yes, I’ve also been watching the Oliver Anthony phenomenon — “Rich Men North of Richmond” is still at the top of the YouTube music page, with 35 million views as of a couple of minutes ago — and chuckling at the meltdowns of the people who thought they could tell the rest of us what to like.

    Neptunesdolphins, of course. They want everyone else to use less energy so they don’t have to, and they want to be able to blame climate change for the consequences of their own bad policies.

    Zhao, the possibility has occurred to me.

    Teresa, yay indeed.

    Synthase, you have to spend less than you make. I know, that’s not easy, but that’s the only way. If it involves sharp cutbacks you’d rather not make, that’s what it involves. Remember “collapse now and avoid the rush”? That’s what I was talking about.

    Slithy Toves, it helped that I knew John Gilbert personally; he was a genuine occultist and mystic, and he was also a snake oil salesman in the alternative health care field. Getting to know him, and seeing how those two things interacted, helped me realize that occultists also have to make a living, and a certain amount of con artistry directed at people who want to be deceived is one way to do it.

    Guillem, I have nothing against the Dalai Lama. I was simply commenting on the way that he’s been turned into a pop-culture icon among the clueless rich — rather like Greta Thunberg, in fact.

    Teresa, thank you, and I’m delighted to hear it.

    Clay, yeah. It sucks sometimes to be an accurate prophet.

    Kurtyigit, I don’t give out my email address precisely because so many people want to contact me; I’d have to spend all day responding to them, and have no time left to write! I’m trying to make sense of your question; can you come up with a list for the Age of Reason, to give me some idea of what you’re talking about?

    Siliconguy, optimism is cheap. There was a lot of it in 1929, too, until it got beaten out of people.

  33. Hello JMG;
    The Early Chinese philosopher Mencius around 300 BCE stated that the hierarchy of society placed the people first then the altars of soil and grain and last the emperor. If society fails then the mandate of heaven fails and a new emperor is needed. In the cycle at first the society runs smoothly. Then corruption creeps in and inefficiencies develop. People tolerate this for a time, but finally society begins to run off the rails and a new emperor is found.

    You stated recently that in the reason phase of a civilization at first things run smoothly. Then gradually rationalization replaces reason for those with power to justify their continuing advantages at the expense of everyone else. When this becomes intolerable I can imagine society will run off the rails.
    I know people can name many examples happening now. I chose one of them and want to pose a question regarding carbon dioxide and climate change.
    I feel as though rationalization is being used now to view complex systems of climate into overly simple explanations when it comes to carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. The narrative as I understand it is more carbon dioxide equals bad. And it is all our fault.
    I have recently come across the carbon fertilization effect as it effects green plants and also that the thermal capture effect is greatest at low carbon dioxide concentrations and diminishes as concentrations increase. That is a surprise for me as I was given to believe that heat capture was a direct and unrelenting increasing phenomenon.
    Also higher carbon-dioxide levels allow plants to use less water during photosynthesis making them more resistant to drought. That would seem to be an advantage for agriculture and all C3 photosynthesis.

    Could there be some good things to understand about increasing carbon dioxide levels? Are we missing something very important if we don’t learn how to use this knowledge to our advantage and how it fits with the bigger climate picture? Are carbon-dioxide levels being rationalized into an overly simple situation and reacted to politically with a drive towards electric cars, outlawing methane as a heating fuel, and spraying things into the atmosphere to block sunlight. It feels to me like we are flailing around the issue and being intentionally ignorant. This may run off the rails spectacularly. Who benefits from this rationalization and how? And will this end up back firing on them? Is the real issue land and ocean habitat destruction rather than carbon dioxide concentrations?

    Farquhar, Graham D Carbon Dioxide and Vegetation. Science (1997) vol 278 (Nov.21) P1411

  34. Just a shout out for a fine podcast on matters esoteric: https://shwep.net/ “The Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast.” A few sample podcasts are free, otherwise it’s $5/month. The host, “Earl Fontainelle is a researcher specialising in the religious and philosophic thought of late antiquity, but with an abiding and annoyingly-diffuse fascination with all manner of esoteric systems of thought.” He starts at the Pre-Socratics and works his way through the history of esotericism. At podcast 170 he’s up to late Antiquity. (Plato gets 14 podcasts.) The scholarship is very good (I pay attention to episodes where I already know a fair amount about the topic). And on the web pages for each podcast can be found references for further reading (high quality pointers into the literature). His presentations are fun and engaging. And he deeply and respectfully cares about esotericism without favoring any particular tradition.

  35. Political Notes: (Now, if you are simply throwing up your hands, crying “The Americans have gone insane!” you have my entire sympathy.)

    The big news is the Georgia indictment of Donald Trump. Best overall description and comment comes from the you tuber Beau of the Fifth column: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmAx3M0eiL4&t=425s

    As Beau put it, “Its a RICO Act case.” Any American knows immediately what that means. It means prosecutors have decided to get serious. A RICO prosecution involves large expenditures of money for everything from pens and pencils to gasoline for travel, investigator time, and all other conceivable kinds of resources. No prosecutor brings in charges under RICO laws without public support. RICO prosecution puts a stop to nonsense like we are only trying Mr. Capone for tax evasion and the jury is instructed to ignore evidence that he might have allegedly ordered the deaths of 200 or so people, not to mention running theft and prostitution rings. The fundamental allegation is that the former President and 18 other defendants AND 30 more “unindicted coconspirators” were engaged in an organized criminal enterprise to keep Mr. Trump in office after he had lost an election. Ms. Willis would not, no way, have been permitted to make such an allegation without checking with state and county officials. The Trump team seems to have forgotten that when you are running a national campaign you DO NOT offend or insult the local officials.

    I don’t say Democrats are not capable of stealing elections. They do it all the time. I do say that they made a calculation that they couldn’t hope to get away with stealing this particular one, the 2020 Presidential. We tend to forget that Trump owed his election in 2016 to the fact that large numbers of voters literally hated his opponent. (Remember the cartoon in which Mme. C. was represented as saying 11 of my close friends just happen to have committed suicide?) Four years later many voters had decided they had reason to hate Trump, and many more did not appreciate the raucous Trump Show infecting the WH. I think the DNC and allies made a calculation that they could, just barely, pull out a win, which they did, so why take the risk of getting cute. Furthermore, after 2000, both parties have realized that actual tampering with ballots is not a good look. DC bigshot meanies picking on the little folks doesn’t play well. Why steal an election when you can a. buy one (Democrats), or b. restrict the voting pool to your own side (Republicans)?

    The fact that this is a state trial means that there can be no Presidential pardons, and the current Gov. of Georgia, who saw his (Republican) Secretary of State insulted by Team Trump is not likely to issue pardons either.

  36. @ Dobbs re #14.

    Thanks for the warning. I learned long ago not to drink anything while reading online. That pic of
    the lady wearing VR goggles and ‘meditating’ was what really got me.

    “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

    ― Lao Tsu, Tao Teh Ching

  37. Yes, though that is much easier said than done when the goalposts keep shifting, which is what I’m finding so difficult and gruesome. The rush has apparently not been avoided.

  38. @JMG

    I remember you saying that STEM can be salvaged if it’s put to work on practical uses, rather than grand philosophical questions which don’t help the average Joe and Jane one bit. I was forcefully reminded of that when I read this paper: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161115101306.htm.

    It’s a very interesting paper – for an engineer, what matters is whether this enables better design or not; for a pure mathematician, the model proposed in this paper can open up quite a few unsolved questions. (I take an intermediate position between these two).

    The mathematical machinery that can be used by a pure math person to study the properties of this system would not be entirely out of place in a quantum physics research group. Thus, it’s even more interesting that Prof. Moroney trained his guns on a problem relevant to the average person. IMO, if modern mathematics will be saved, it’s going to be stuff like this which does the trick.

  39. Hi JMG,

    Since the COVID hysteria is once again rearing its ugly head, it now seems an appropriate time to return to the ADE Hypothesis from your Dreamwidth Blog (and feel free to ignore this question if you’d rather I ask over there).

    Do you have any sense that these new rumblings about upcoming masking requirements and lockdowns foretell entrance into the final stage (I believe it was stage 12, “Into the Endgame”) from your original hypothesis? Or do you see this as more of a politically-motivated move by the failing American ruling regime in advance of the upcoming election? Or maybe just an tantrum, which will be shortly ignored and forgotten, from the minority of the population who desperately wants the world of 2020-2022 to return?

    Thanks!

  40. As to why various governments are so unwilling to curb immigration,

    “the governments wanting to import new workers in a vain attempt to maintain economic “growth” to a more nefarious goal of creating a population with little in common which will find it harder to rise against the governments and which can be divided against itself.”

    Both are sufficient reasons, and you can add the need to find someone to pay Social Security payroll taxes, at least in the US.

    As for peak oil, when demand outruns supply the price will go up, and the least cost effective uses of oil will stop. 40 foot motor homes will cease to be, in fact the whole RV industry will probably tank. But the plastics they use to make replacement heart valves will last until the end.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see coal come back, but as a source of configurable hydrocarbons, the return of coal tar as it were.

  41. Just a quick note about your comment from last week: “If you knew that natural gas reserves are running short, and you want to keep as much as possible to generate electricity for critical uses, that’s the way you’d do it — knowing that cutting people off of electricity is easier than shutting off their gas.” The vast majority of domestic natural gas goes for space heating with electrically operated furnaces, so cutting off electricity will cut off that natural gas consumption as well. Granted, some people may still be able to cook and have hot water, but that’s a lot smaller share of the total. I think a lot of those making those decisions sincerely believe that transitioning to the type of energy which can be produced by “sustainable” sources is the sensible thing to do.

  42. I would like to announce two new transcripts I just put up on my dreamwidth blog. I don’t do this much anymore these days because the pain in my hands and wrist just don’t allow it for long.

    If you are interested in the four major categories of dreams (that breaks out into 16 subdivisions), visualization and infusing life energies into something (ex: talismans, etc), wisdom (vs. just knowledge), pragna (alt spelling: prajna) then please check the post out. My aching hands will be happy to know their pain was not for naught. lol

    https://happypanda.dreamwidth.org/8581.html

  43. JMG, on a purely pragmatic level I was wondering how you’re planning and preparing for your own retirement? I’m sure you plan to continue writing as long as you’re able, but both my parents were writers and in their old age it became increasingly difficult to manage even that level of productive activity. Do you have investments, or simply save what you can?

  44. @ Forecasting intelligence #2 – I clicked the link and got a page of white-on-black, with the headers readable, and the text, in mouse-print, unreadable. Is this an artifact of the server? Or Firefox? Or is it your choice or format? Blind eyes want to know.

    Thanks.
    Pat

  45. Just want to direct you and your readers to the launch of an old-fashioned print newspaper, County Highway, headed by Walter Kirn, whose sardonic wit I very much enjoy. Bucking the usual modes, it will NOT have an online component and is only available via subscription or through purchase in brick-and-mortar bookstores. It’s also interesting because Kirn avoids the mainstream narrative and is picking out great nuggets of “old weird America” and other topics. The most controversial piece in the inaugural issue was one on RFK, Jr., on the topic of falconry. Read more here: https://www.countyhighway.com/

  46. @JMG

    I just found out the most amazing thing (to me, at least) recently. Sadhguru let the cat out of the bag on the prime way Tibetan yogis and certain other spiritual traditions around the world are able to achieve the Rainbow Body. It’s not exclusive to the Tibetans or to the dharma religions because I’ve read how certain Christian saints have done the same thing.

    Apparently the real key is that one has 100% mastery over Ida, Pingala (and possibly over Sushumna though he didn’t specifically mention it). Then, the yogi, saint, occultist, mystic, etc – LOCKS one of the nadis (either Ida or Pingala) absolutely still while letting the other operate as normal. The result is that over time the person will dematerialize.

    The other thing I learned is that Sadhguru said there are a few instances where someone may actually take rebirth as an animal even though they have a lot of spiritual practices under their belt.

    The example he gave was of a yogi.

    Imagine a yogi, lifetime after lifetime, does fasting as one of their spiritual disciplines. Normally the desire to eat a lot begins to whittle down to eating only what is needed to keep the body healthy so adept don’t have to spend time on basic survival needs.

    But let’s say this whittling down doesn’t happen for the yogi, for whatever reason, like it does for most. He or she may come back as an animal that can eat to their heart’s content without concern for needing to do daily spiritual practices. Like maybe as a cow or a horse or some other animal so long as they get to eat a lot.

    In that way the desire which was an obstruction to their rise up the planes gets fulfilled and deleted. Sadhguru says this was the origin of why Ramakrishna was said to assist with mahasamadhi (mahaparinirvana) for many animals! Those animals actually had past lives as spiritual sadhakas. Ramakrishna saw that and simply liberated them on the spot – onward and upward to new possibilities so they’d never have to take rebirth on earth ever again.

    I was so surprised to hear that. Thought you might find it interesting. So…apparently not every animal on this planet has been only an animal and not even necessarily had “bad” past human lives for which they’re suffering karmic culmination. It may just be that plenty of animals around us actually DID have past lives as a human but are using an animal rebirth as a stepping stone to clear out some karmic obstacles and their next rebirth may be in a more celestial abode.

  47. Hello again JMG! I was talking about what needs to be saved in the Age of Memory and what needs to happen in the post-industrial world, as well as what needs to be saved from the Age of Reason, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on what needs to be saved from the Age of Reason, similar to Eliphas Lévi’s use of Tarot cards like an excavation team to recover the Ancient Mysteries !

  48. On the topic of Spacefaring.
    I have recently been fascinated with studying many of the details and history of the Apollo Program. I was recently discussing some of the aspects that fascinated me with a friend of mine who is otherwise realistic about the world but a big fan of Elon’s Quest for Mars. He asked me why I liked Apollo but not Spacex or the Artemis program.
    I had to think about it for a day or so then replied that in a nutshell Apollo was a very very expensive but grounded-in-reality project driven by very serious men who believed in limits, while the other two are what my son’s high school marching band director called ” flash and trash”.
    Apollo recognized that only a certain amount of weight could be taken to the moon on a single rocket and constructed a mission to stay within that limit. While todays space program talks of huge landers that can establish moon colonies, docking in Lunar orbit while refueling in earth orbit. They spin yarns of a space adventure with no limits, suitable for the most dire hard acolyte of the religion of progress. To sell this they rely on gimmicks ( like landing the booster stages back on earth) and cool names ( Dragon, Starship).
    But the thing that annoys me the most is the ” SpaceX rapid trial and innovation mantra.” They have convinced the fanboys that it is not big deal when rockets blow up on the pad because they are learning on the cheap unlike those old fashioned guys of the past. The biggest achievement of Apollo ( in my opinion) was the Lunar Lander. Grumman built a machine that could not be tested, but had to work perfectly every time, and did it in 7 years. I shudder to think what happens to the first crew Elon tries to land on the moon ( if they ever get that far).
    To accomplish this Apollo gobbled up over 2.5% of the U.S. GDP, and an entire workforce of 400,000 people. To think that todays shrunken shadow of a program can refuel rockets in orbit, land giant ships on the moon and go to Mars and back is profoundly unrealistic. It is just another gimmick to distract people from the real problems of the world.

  49. Wer here in context of other posts. It is bewildering to me that people are so obssesed with what? landing a few satelites on the moon? wan’t that done to death by all major powers before I was even born? And what is Musk thinking? forgive me but didn’t Musk and Branson guy I think suffered humiliations this year. After their multi billion projects literraly had fallen out of sky or malfunctioned? Can’t bring a living person to orbit and their fanboys think they are going to mars next week??? or that Titanic sub guy who got himself killed with thoose people deep into the ocean after he proclaimed himself arogantly in front of a camera to be “brave innovator” not listening to advice of older sub veterans who saw his thing. If Musk (don’t like him) behaves like he is some kind of messiah on a rocket, then perhaps he should lokk at his twitter mess project a lot of people are leaving it after issues here in Poland.
    Meanwhile our brave leaders had proclaimed that someone has to give Ukraine more weapons because we gave everything we have and it might be a problem when something comes forward.
    A guy like me lives now a worse life than before this mess, lost a job, factories are closing in Poland. The Polish goverment response to this is launch an inquary about “Russian Agents” among us….. Polish goverment census data really fudged is admiting that economy and productive sector of the economy is getting worse, We already live in an unreal world.

  50. There will be a wedding for the TemporaryReality household next year and I’d like to hear what you all might suggest for finding someone to officiate. The groom’s family is Catholic, the groom is not. The bride’s family (yours truly etc.) is a mix of Tibetan Buddhist & unaffiliated polytheistic Taoist/Druid mutt (ahem); the bride, while not overtly any of those things kind of leans into all of them and would like welcome the blessings of those beings in the non-human/Unseen realm inclined to bestow them. The groom is ok with that as well. An overtly Christian/Catholic wedding is not planned.

    We’re kind of at a loss about how to find someone to hold a ceremony. I know the Modern Order of Essenes trains folks to do such things, and while I may at some point follow that path, I’m not doing it now and I’d rather just be the mother of the bride.

    So…?

  51. Greetings JMG,

    It seems to me that we are in the first step of scarcity industrialism already, that you described in the long descent:
    *Germany is facing trouble with gas supplies, has reduced production and is moving some factories abroad
    *The USA stated intentions of reindustrializing and I doubt how much of it can be done,
    plus at some point in the next 5 to 10 years, shale oil and gas will decline significantly
    *Foreign Investment to China declined a lot over the past year, and this will affect its industry
    *I don’t think India and South-East Asia can industrialize like China did

    Do you have any comments on this assessment ?

  52. JMG, you mentioned last week that “if the privileged left dumps the language of social justice (…) they’ll all start talking like neoconservatives”.
    There is in fact a single figure representing those intertwined aspects like no other, and he was portrayed in an episode of Radio War Nerd: Gene Sharp.
    http://exiledonline.com/45wn84klrz/media/rwn_ep_181_v21.mp3

    Also, Andrei Martyanov has repeatedly claimed that Russia isn’t fighting Europe because the essence of what Europe used to be was abandoned in the West, with Russian culture standing alone in preserving what is worth preserving of European achievments.
    Will that make getting over its Faustian pseudomorphosis more difficult, or will it contribute in a positive way to what Russia is about to become?

  53. @BrunetteGardens #47:

    Yeah, I plan on picking up a subscription to County Highway. When a friend of mine mentioned over the weekend it was another white pill for me. I’m stoked.

  54. kurtyigit56, if I may be so bold, and though you probably aren’t looking for a random internet-stranger’s views on the matter, I’ll weigh forth anyway….

    What should be saved is what YOU want to save! What do you think people will want, need, appreciate?

    I get a bit wordy on this topic over at my blog, here: https://www.mimeographrevival.com/about – where I talk about what motivated me to start the project, so I’ll just leave the short form here.

  55. Siliconguy #41, “But the plastics they use to make replacement heart valves will last until the end.” I’m not so sanguine about that – we’re already in a situation where providers of party balloons are outbidding semiconductor manufacturers for helium.

  56. @TemporaryReality

    We faced a similar conundrum when my sister got married. We held a backyard wedding at an auntie’s house, and my cousin, who is a public notary, officiated. Almost everybody was happy (you can never please everyone).

    Maybe ask around your friends, family, and acquaintances, and see if anybody you know happens to be a notary– it’s more common than you’d think. My cousin was certified because her company made her do it. Lots of companies, churches, and other larger organizations like to have an in-house notary for the sake of convenience, so it’s likely you know at least one.

    Of course, I don’t know where you live, so apologies if you’re outside the US and that’s not a thing where you are 😉

  57. oops, silly me, I meant the Universal Gnostic Church, not the MOE – typing toward lunch is to blame 🙂

  58. @jbucks- I’m not pretending that I have a grasp of what will is in anyway that wouldn’t just sound like incoherent babbling.
    That said, I am currently reading Arthur Schopenhauer “studies in pessimism” (quick plug here; if you like Nietzsche, you will quite possibly love Schopenhauer) his waxing on “will” takes me deeper than any other philosopher I have read (yes even the big and great FN) I would consider this work on par with any great holy book I have read in the sense of placing “man” in “his” proper or natural place in creation. Holy Philosophy…

    @JMG- i guess the main driver of my question is my position as father and husband, and where the responsible place is that should I bring them..
    We live in Elkton Oregon on the umpqua river.
    Which is a place I considered a good place to be at this point in time. Which it is in many ways. Not so great in others. Besides fires, I have recently come onto Edgar Cayce and his vision of how the future landmas of Earth will play out. Squaring that with the science of the west coast fault lines, I’d say now might not be a bad time to invest in Arizona beach front property.

  59. I see that the CDC is warning against kissing turtles. It’s hard to argue with them about this. In fact, I think they’re right.

  60. @Jeanne #32: “There’s no reasoning with such people. It does no good to tell them that most people are too busy struggling to survive to come after their stuff.” I must disagree with you on this point: people struggling to survive would be more than happy to come after your stuff, especially if they can eat it, sell it, live in it or use it to shoot with. It is not a pretty picture.

  61. @Jbuck- I here by retract my comparison of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Talk about your apples and oranges…
    “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” I think, could also come near to being considered a “holy” book. By “holy Book”I mean it’s direction is in bridging manifestation and non manifestation. So to speak.

  62. @ neptunesdolphins RE: infection

    You are in my prayers, fervently. I had similar issue with staph in my arm. Took a week to get rid of it, once they drained it. Took 3 months to heal. My diabetes waws also diet controlled, and I had to start insulin as well.

    I sympa/empathize with your tribulations.

    Godspeed in your recovery!

  63. Following up on our discussion last week on the validity of the Stanford study supposedly demonstrating increased atherosclerosis in habitual cannabis-users, you will recall I wondered how they would land on the soy isoflavone known as genistein for a proposed mitigant for that. Well, I found this on a website discussing genistein:

    Genistein is thought to benefit heart health through maintaining normal arterial elasticity and hence helping prevent hypertension. More specifically, genistein may help prevent cardiac hypertrophy. This condition involves abnormal enlargement and thickening of the heart muscle often a result of high blood pressure (hypertension) or valvular disease. A recent study (1) has shown genistein is able to reduce cardiac hypertrophy in vivo. The authors suggest the underlying mechanisms of genistein activity may be associated with blocking the JNK1/2 signalling pathways. Additionally, a new paper (2) suggests that genistein can provide protection against the risk of ischaemic stroke. The authors suggest the mechanism is through the reduction of oxidative stress, promotion of growth factor signalling, and immune suppression in endothelial, glial and neuronal cells.

    Whether or not this is true is immaterial to the discussion. The fact remains that genistein is being pushed for purposes of atherosclerosis-mitigation, so that it makes it easy to see how paying Stanford for a study saying cannabis-use exacerbates atherosclerosis would seem like a cost-effective investment to the manufacturers and sellers of soy-isoflavone-based supplements. After all, there is some overlap between the people who use cannabis frequently and people who tend to treat their ailments with oral supplements. I’m a more than a little embarrassed that I didn’t think to look for that very easily uncovered trail of breadcrumbs.

  64. It has been much speculated that the working class segments of the red and blue wings would soon get together in their hatred of the elites. I just got an email from David Rovics ,who is the most left wing of modern folk musicians, with such songs as ” Santa joined the Pirates”. For anyone not familiar he is kind of a cross between Woody Guthrie and Harry Chapin with a socialist twist.
    He just got a chance to listen to Oliver Anthony’s hit song and found it to be ” Beautiful and Powerful.” He then he recorded his own version for those on the working class left with two lines changed ( basically the ones about obese people and welfare.)
    I think the elites should be nervous.

  65. A question about Witch of Criswell: how hot is it in the mid-Atlantic states in summer if you’re near a major waterfront? Because one thing I know about Ariel Moravec’s family is that, being PMC, they’d certainly have air conditioning, probably refrigerated air. Dr. Moravec’s home seems to be moderately low-tech, but Ariel has no problem with the heat there. So I have to assume the temperature she’s coping with is somewhere in the 80s, probably low-to-middle 80s, with nighttime lows cool enough not to need a/c at all.

    Now, in the dryland West, the question wouldn’t even arise: almost everybody would use a swamp cooler, in which cold water circulates in the cooler and an internal fan brings it down into the house (or sideways through the window, if it’s in a lower-income home or apartment.) Again, people at Carmen & Ted’s level would still have refrigerated air.

    Anyway – just out of curiosity.

  66. TemporaryReality#54–If you have not already done so, check what the law requires for a legally recognized marriage in the jurisdiction(s) you are considering to hold the ceremony in. These vary from state to state and sometimes from county to county. In California, basically any adult can officiate a marriage; all the law cares about is that the marriage license is obtained ahead of time and the paperwork is signed by the required witnesses.

    If your area requires an ordained minister, and is picky about who qualifies as such, it’s not a big problem. It just means that you might want to have the ceremony officiated by the person or persons of your choice plus a civil ceremony of the most basic kind to make it legal.

    I know several Wiccan witches (in both the narrow and broad sense of Wiccan) who perform handfastings and marriages from time to time. Some do it for free for their friends, some do it for a donation or travel expenses, some do it professionally for absolute strangers. They are all accustomed to designing ceremonies and rituals for very mixed marriages–for couples who don’t share a religion and also have relatives of differing religions.

    I’m mentioning Wiccanate witches because there are a lot of them about and if they aren’t newbies or wannabees, they tend to have some experience of group ritual and some acquaintance with polytheist or nature-centered religions other than their own.

    That doesn’t mean that any young Wiccan is going to do a good job of this. You want someone (Wiccan or not) with five-ten years of active practice in a particular spiritual path, a path that includes doing group ceremonies or rituals fairly often, and ideally the officiant will be at least in their middle thirties and not have a large ego.

    There are also a lot of books published for couples who want to design their own wedding ceremonies. Since you have some lead time, you could ask the engaged couple to look over a couple of those books and identify some elements (words, actions, visual symbols) that would be meaningful to them, and use that as a starting point for interviewing potential officiants.

    Other unsolicited advice:
    When both families support the marriage to be and approve of the potential spouse, these are some important points for planning a marriage ceremony:
    1. That the parents or other close relatives of the bride and groom (bride and bride, groom and groom) experience something that looks and feels like a real wedding to them. This can vary a lot culturally. Jews want a marriage canopy and a ceremonial breaking of a glass. In the case of Catholics, including some “smells and bells” will help. So hold the ceremony somewhere that allows you to burn incense.
    2. For some religions, giving friends and relatives and/or the guests collectively an opportunity to bless the couple (along with whatever blessings are specific to the ritual script) is a good idea; it helps everyone feel a part of the ceremony and also gets the marriage off to a good start.
    3. Elements of the ceremony that may seem scary or wrong to some guests (as opposed to odd or unfamiliar) should be spotted, kept to a minimum, and suitably disguised if they are felt to be necessary.
    4. As you mention, divine beings or spiritual forces which are favorable to a union of this kind ought to be made welcome and invoked by the officiant. This can be done obviously or quietly. Either way, this should be integral to the ceremony, and the officiant be capable and willing to do it.
    5. The Book of Common Prayer model of Protestant marriage has the couple exchanging prescribed vows. These days, people think they should write their own. Sometimes these vows are very extravagant. IMO, whoever is doing spiritual counseling for the couple would be wise either to show them a few short, simple, modest vows from the plan-their-own-wedding-ceremony books and suggest those as models, or ask each of them (separately!) what he or she wishes to promise and hopes to receive, and then boil all of that down. I don’t know whether Catholic nuptial mass includes exchange of vows. Also, this is strictly my opinion, but if I were doing spiritual counseling, I would discourage any spoken promises that carry over past the death of the body.
    5. Logistics: Don’t make the ceremony longer than it needs to be, set up for it in advance, make sure everyone can see and hear, make sure seats are comfortable. If it is outdoors allow for heat, sun, cold, rain, wind and bugs, loud extraneous noises, and uninvited spectators or wedding crashers. If it’s important to have someone photograph or video the actual ceremony, give them a place to stand that is out of the way and make sure they stay in it. Photographers think getting their shot is more important than anything else going on. Have a plan to make it easy for wailing babies to be taken out of earshot until they calm down. Which means, don’t cast a tight magic circle.
    6. Music is good but requires its own tech or rehearsal.

    Deborah Bender

  67. In the comments to the post of last week, someone posted an anti-Druidry screed which the poster had commissioned ChatGPT to write. But this comment seems to have been deleted; was this for inappropriateness or maybe the poster deleted the post?

  68. JMG i know you believe in the next few centuries humans will return to pre-industrial technology. my question is what do you see for humans in the very long term? do you think someday a thousand years in the future humans will eventually have things “progress” has promised, like space colonies? if scientific knowledge continues to advance, even slowly, over a long enough timeline isn’t it inevitable that we’d eventually learn enough to make those things happen?

  69. I just read your “An Elegy for the Age of Space.” Very interesting, even moving. I was born shortly after the Shuttle Challenger blew up in the sky. I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars. I was, and remain, deeply fascinated by space and the worlds out there. Yet, reading your elegy has helped an idea form in my little brain. It occurs to me that, while space travel will soon enough be a thing of the past, more or less, that beautiful and fascinating thing we call space is no more lost to us than the Earth.

    When I was a boy, I would spend hours outside at night in my backyard, just looking up at the night sky. Eventually, my parents bought me a telescope, and I put that to good use. As I got older, and became more convinced that our destiny was among the stars, I ironically lost the desire to spend much time actually looking up at the night sky. I spent more time encouraging the idea that we needed to increase funding for space exploration, and telling others how important it was for us to send a manned mission to Mars. I was very fond of Robert Zubrin’s “Mars Direct” plan.

    Of course, as I came to realize that none of this was going to happen, I felt a great deal of sadness and disappointment. Those feelings mostly faded but I’ll feel them occasionally, especially when I read something like your space age elegy. But now the fairly obvious has occurred to me: space will always be there, and if I want to enjoy it and “explore” it myself, I only need a good telescope and a decent night sky field guide. Combine that (ironically enough) with Carl Sagan’s “starship of the imagination,” and I don’t need powerful and prohibitively expensive rocket engines to reconnect with this longtime love.

    Maybe that’s kind of hokey? I don’t know, but for the first time in a while, I feel a little giddy with excitement over the heavens above us. Thank you for that!

  70. @JMG,

    Wow, just had a bit of a time warp… I was reading the linked ‘Elegy for the Age of Space’ from ADR in 2011, going through the comments, seeing some familiar old names (Bill Pulliam – RIP old friend!), and then I came upon a comment from… sgage. Bit of a flashback, really…

    That was a good one for sure, and you got a lot of people waxing nostalgic in the comments. And now, a dozen years later, I’m waxing nostalgic all over again! 🙂

  71. I have read all six books of the Dune saga, written by Frank Herbert, over the summer and I have had the impression throughout that the author was well-versed in occult study because so many ideas I have read here manifested in the writings.

    As for an actual question for the open post, is some of the Great Arcanum Levi is discussing showing up in the Dune saga?

  72. @ Phutatorius re # 67

    All the more reason to be part of a close-knit community where everybody helps everybody else and learning to make do with what you have. Even in poor third world countries, you only see the war-bands swooping in and indiscriminate looting when social order has utterly broken down beyond easy repair, usually as the result of greedy outsiders fat fingering the situation. Elite Panickers assume off the bat it’s every human for themselves unable to visualize any other scenario and so they hunker down waiting for the zombielike hordes to shamble in their direction or bug out for another location taking their solid gold goodies with them leaving the rest of us to rot. Yeah, granted it could happen but only if people sit wringing their hands helplessly. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. But we’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?

    To all,

    latest news show Yevgeny Prigozhin as having apparently met an unhappy end. It will be
    interesting to see if this is actually true.

  73. Concerning potential progress cargo cults, one thought I’ve had is that we could end up with one based on the illusion of transhumanism. Take AI technology that’s a bit further advanced than now and a lot of desperation among formerly priviledged classes that have lost their wealth and influence. Throw in wishful thinking and gaslighting of skeptics and convince people that transhumanism is here and they can live lives of perfection inside the cloud while shedding their meatsuits. AIs will be created that have a rough simulation of the departed’s personality and will convince others that they are really the person in cyber form,describe the paradise they’re living in, and convince others to come join them in the perfect virtual world.

  74. @Ecosophia Readers, @JMG

    To further a bit on my earlier posts.

    Here’s two examples of animals whom I believe had former lives as humans on a spiritual path. I have a suspicion there’s a lot more of these animals around than people realize. Be kind to animals. They may actually be more spiritually evolved than you!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10a_4v8ZjIg
    A Cow Bows Down to a Buddhist Monk for Saving its Life from a Slaughter House

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssx67FDiYFI

    In 2015, Wenzou, China a Pig Genuflects to a Buddhist Temple

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/astronomers-see-a-bizarre-space-circle-in-unprecedented-detail/

    Astronomers discover evidence of the Cosmic Doctrine’s Ring-Cosmos and Ring-Chaos.

    FYI, Sadhguru says this happens everywhere in the universe. The two rings are always at 90 degrees from each other and rotate in opposite directions just like Fortune’s Cosmic Doctrine explains. Spin, says Sadhguru, is a fundamental property of the universe. This is true inside the human body too. So Sadhguru confirmed at least this part of Dion Fortune’s Cosmic Doctrine in his talk about how yogis attain to a Rainbow Body. As the saying goes, “As Above, So Below”.

    Next up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFYAc6-NrYs
    The Earth Doesn’t Revolve Around the Sun

    Watch the whole video. Daoist fans and Cosmic Doctrine fans may find it especially interesting. A torus is how the universe itself is evolving to eventually become a higher spiritual plane. The “two holes” in the middle that connects them are the areas that are the least physical. Sadhguru said it’s like how high pressure atmosphere always seeks lower pressure atmosphere (this is the origin – imo- of the yogic and Buddhist/Hindu (and
    Cosmic Doctrine too!) teaching that around a central Exalted Divine Being are slightly lesser Divine Beings on down through a great Chain of Being. High pressure (physical/lower planes) will always seek out lower pressure (the non-physical – aka maximum freedom).

    Sadhguru says he’s seen direct evidence that at least 20 Big Bangs have happened in the past that are no longer of the physical plane. They’ve evolved the next step up. But he knows at one time, long, long ago they were still physical because the scars they left behind are still there inside his body and everyone else’s body too. These planes were once still of the plane of Malkuth. Someday, eons upon eons, time-out-of-mind in the future, our physical plane will become a Divine Spiritual Plane. 🙂

    and here’s one I discovered the other day:

    https://phys.org/news/2023-08-visualizing-mysterious-quantum-entanglement-photons.html

    Daoist fans take note of the photo of the light particles!

    FYI, Sadhguru says it’s only “entanglement” because science doesn’t know how to explain ‘spooky action at a distance’. He says it’s really just that the All-Pervading is everywhere, permeating everything and so there’s absolutely no need for it to “go” anywhere. It has no need for time or distance. Where ever you look, where ever you go – it’s already there so no need for movement. That’s why training for stillness. That’s why if a yogi or mage learns directly about and from the fundamental forces in their own body and mind they’ll immediately understand the fundamentals of everything else in the universe too.

    And last but not least – after Sadhguru’s talk on how monks and yogis manifest the Rainbow Body – I made a point to be the first in line to get the following newly published book from my library once they release it into circulation.

    The Science of Spin
    How Rotational Forces Affect Everything from Your Body to Jet Engines to the Weather

    https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Science-of-Spin/Roland-Ennos/9781982196523

    This, to me, is a Spiritual Yoga book masquerading as a Science book. 😛

  75. Hi JMG and everyone,

    this is going to be a bit odd but I’m a book person and have found many great recommendations here, not only through you but also through the commentariat. Your books and those mentioned here have helped me immensely in the years since I’ve found your sites (some that changed my life apart from yours: “Convict Conditioning” for fitness, “The House that Cleans Itself” for a helpful mindset for housekeeping).

    There’s one topic that I’d like to ask you and others here for book recommendations: my wife and I have a very happy marriage, are still – with four children – very much attracted to one another but we have a lot less sex than we both would like (especially me). I’d like to learn more about seduction and how to get my wife in the mood.

    I’m aware that this is not a matter of pushing buttons but the required mindset for seduction was never my thing. I was probably most sexually attractive to her way back in the beginning when I wasn’t really interested in her but how to recreate that in a loving, long-term relationship?

    The conversation about “pick up artists” a few weeks ago was interesting, maybe someone knows worthwhile literature from that scene? Or anything else that might seem helpful?

    Thank you in advance!

  76. Daniel, I’ll be discussing all this in great detail in an upcoming post. The very short version is that the image of a warmer earth being circulated by the global-warming crowd is utterly contradicted by the evidence from prehistory. I’ve had to reconsider my own views; sea level rise is still very much an issue — the earth has no ice caps when it’s at a normal temperature — but much of the rest of it shows a stunning disregard for the evidence. More on this soon!

    Wiliam, thanks for this.

    Synthase, “collapse” means much more than a few minor adjustments. How much would you have to change to get to where things are headed?

    Viduraawakened, thanks for this — if the coffee really is better tasting, they may be on to something.

    Balowulf, I’m still watching the situation trying to figure out which of these is involved. It may be all three!

    Siliconguy, were you aware that coal is being extracted today at a rate that far exceeds the peak of the coal age? We never stopped using it — we just added oil, and natural gas, and anything else we could burn.

    Roldy, I’ve been told that shutting off people’s gas mains risks letting air get into the pipes, leading to possible explosions. That’s specifically what I was thinking about.

    Panda, thanks for this.

    Joshua, I don’t have a retirement plan, as I don’t think retirement will be an option by the time I’m of age for that, and I can’t think of anything duller than sitting around doing nothing while everyone else waits for me to die. I write because I love writing, and I expect to keep at it until they pull the keyboard out from under my cold stiff fingers.

    Brunette, thanks for this.

    Panda, hmm! Interesting; many thanks.

    Sam (if I may), thanks for this! That’s a very solid paper.

    Kurtyigit, that’s a topic for an entire book, not a comment here. Fortunately I’ve already written it; my book The Ecotechnic Future discusses the matter.

    Clay, thank you for this healthy dose of cold reality.

    Patricia M, that may well be what happened.

    Wer, have you ever met a fifty-year-old guy with a big belly and a bald head who used to be a sports star when he was nineteen, and likes to get drunk and insist he could still compete in his sport? That’s what’s behind the space probes. Industrial civilization is trying to prove that it hasn’t gotten old and paunchy.

    TemporaryReality, ask around. You’d be astonished how many unexpected people have ministerial credentials.

    Tony C, we’ve been in the transition to scarcity industrialism since 2008. At this point, yeah, it’s starting to get obvious. I don’t see anything incorrect with your assessment.

    Michaelz, I’ll see if Sharp has anything written I can have a look at. As for Russia’s Faustian pseudomorphosis, the very fact that Russia is busy defending its notion of the European ideal against Europe shows that the collapse of the pseudomorphosis is very far advanced. It’s rather like Charlemagne being crowned Roman Emperor, and thereby setting the seal on the collapse of the Apollonian pseudomorphosis and the rise of Faustian Europe.

    Travis, I wouldn’t put too much credence in Cayce’s predictions; like many untrained visionaries, he had a hard time differentiating between symbolic and literal meanings. Fire and drought are your real threats.

    Phutatorius, that sounds like the CDC:

    Lunchbox, they’re trying to create something that doesn’t require a large crew to set and furl the sails. I’ll be interested to see how well it works.

    Mister N, the fact that you were able to hear the suggestion and not reject it out of hand — after all, we must give blind faith to anybody in a white lab coat — puts you head and shoulders above the crowd.

    Clay, good heavens. That’s tectonic.

    Patricia M, well, here in Rhode Island we very rarely have summertime days above 90. Swamp coolers don’t work here at all, since the heat is humid, not dry.

    Booklover, it was off topic for the post.

    LongRoader, not preindustrial, deindustrial — not the same thing at all. The technologies left behind by a falling civilization are always significantly different from the technologies that were there before the civilization rose. (For example, I expect the armies of the deindustrial dark ages to have decent firearms, portable radios, and ultralight aircraft for reconnaissance, so war will be a very different thing than it was in 1500 or so!) In the longer run, of course there will be future technic civilizations. Our industrial society is the first, crudest, and most wasteful of earth’s technic civilizations. But space colonies? No. Scientific knowledge isn’t enough; you need a very large resource base and, er, we’ve wasted that and it’ll be fifty million years or so before the earth restocks. Nor does scientific knowledge advance in the linear way you’re suggesting; five hundred years from now schoolchildren will giggle at the things we now consider scientific facts…and they’ll turn out to be as wrong as we are. I recommend a good close read of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in reference to this.

    Brenainn, it’s not hokey at all. Many years ago, back when I still had to work for employers, I was part of a conversation in the break room at a microfilm place where I worked evening shift. One young woman, who was usually very quiet, startled us all with a story. She had been sitting out in the back yard with her father and other family members, looking at the stars, and she said, “I wonder how far away they are.” Of course her father started to tell her, and she stopped him. “No,” she said, “I don’t want to know. I want to wonder.” That’s something the age of science has taken away from many people — but it’s something essentially human, and it’s on its way back.

    Sgage, yeah, you’ve been on this journey with me for a good long time, haven’t you?

    Viking, I couldn’t tell you. I read and enjoyed Dune, but the next two volumes never did anything for me and I never read the rest of the series. Anyone else?

    Kashtan, I like it. As really savage irony, it works — and I could see somebody doing it…

    Panda, fascinating.

    Anon, I’m going to leave this one to the commentariat. Anybody have any suggestions?

  77. I am about to have a baby soon, I wonder what her future is going to be like. Hard to imagine, but probably vastly different than this world.

    JMG what do you make of Peter Zeihan’s analysis that the end of globalization will mean another American era? He argues we are the only ones with good demographics that has all of the materials/internal market for domestic industry. He foresees the resurgence of american auto and tech manufacturing. I could see how this might be possible with lower energy waste

  78. Hi JMG!

    Thanks for the book recommendations for my 12 year old son! I can’t seem to find where I wrote down the list but I remember there was a retelling of the Mabinogion that you appreciated when you were younger. Which one was it? Otherwise, all the books were a hit.

    Thank you,
    Matt

  79. Yes, the anti-Druidic screed was out of topic, but it was funny in its tabloid-style way, as if ChatGPT tried to emulate a Trump speech.

  80. re: Travis #63

    Small world! I spent 3 years of elementary school in Elkton, Oregon back in the early 80s. Is the house at the end of the high school football field still there? It was yellow when I lived in in. Not a bad place for a kid who really only wanted to splash around in the river and cut paths through the blackberry bushes!

    – Lothar

  81. In response to a question on Magic Monday on why people get weird if others don’t watch TV, you said the following:

    “I’ve been baffled about that for years. It’s really “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” stuff. Some people start insisting that you’ve absolutely positively got to watch this one program; others get angry or freaky; it’s happened to people who don’t own a TV that somebody they know will literally buy them one and try to force them to watch it. I think the tube owns their minds.”

    I’ve just finished reading The Columbia History of American Television, a book on the technological, social, and cultural history of the medium. It’s an interesting book, but one of the things which stood out as I read it was just how much the introduction of television in the immediate aftermath of World War II changed society, and just how complete the effects were. I think there’s a very good case to be made that the introduction of TV completely changed society, and that it essentially took over people. The amount of time people spent watching it, right from when it was introduced, is insane. As is the fact that as early as 1952, politicians had to conform to the mandates of the machine in order to get elected.

    I think you may be right, in a very literal sense, when you say the tube owns people’s minds….

  82. Hi JMG,

    I would like to know how seriously you take the threat of chronic wasting disease. It’s a prion disease which has become endemic to the US and Canada which affects cervids (deer, moose, and elk). It causes brain lesions and eventual forgetfulness, odd/violent behavior, and eventual death. It is incurable, and the disease vector, prions, are virtually impossible to remove from the environment by known means. CWD is highly infectious and spreads through bodily fluids and contact with the environment.

    The big fear is that this disease could make the jump to humans. Given other primates like macaques have been infected by CWD in the lab, it is a distinct possibility. Although the CDC, USDA and Fish and Wildlife Service offer free testing services and most hunters in the US are aware of the risk CWD poses, it’s estimated that 12,000 deer with CWD are consumed every year, and each one of these is a potential “case zero” for zoonotic transmission. If the jump does happen, the consequences would be apocalyptic. Prion diseases cannot be cured and are always fatal. You might remember the mad cow disease of the 1990s, this would be far worse given that theoretically human-to-human spread would occur once the disease has made the jump. Infectious Alzheimer’s is the level of danger we could be dealing with. I do not think the species would survive.

    That said, CWD has been in the US since the 1950s and no case of human CWD has been found yet, with millions of deer being eaten in that timespan. Nature has its ways too; research has shown that mountain lions which consume CWD-infected deer can somehow destroy the prions which cause CWD. So maybe rewilding parts of the US and reintroducing predators could help manage the disease (although given the rancher lobby, the odds of that happening are unlikely). Still, if the jump to humans is ever made, it’s going to look grim.

    All in all this is a topic I think/worry about a lot and I would like to know your’s and other’s thoughts on it.

  83. Time for the Bonneville Power Administration renewable energy report for July.

    For wind, the worst day was the fourth at 3.8% of name plate capacity. The best day was the tenth at 72.6%. The monthly average was 31.9%.

    For solar the worst day was the the tenth again at 38.9%. The best day was the fourth at 50.3%. Average for the month was 44.7%

    The fourth was hot, sunny, and calm, the tenth was the opposite, cloudy and windy, a line of thunderstorms went through and dumped over an inch of rain on my place in an hour. Further north it dumped double that, identifying all the plugged culverts along US 2 on the west side of Moses Coulee and washing out the road when the water found new ways of following its categorical imperative to flow downhill. Rainfall here is normally 8 inches a year, 12 inches a year on the Waterville Plateau. Although for Easterners an inch in an hour is Tuesday, here it’s a bit over expectations.

    The sun and wind alternated to keep the dunkelflaute manageable, the longest was only 9.8 hours. (both wind and solar have to be less than 10% of capacity to count as a dunkelflaute.) Over that time power demand was 5471 MW, or 53,800 MW-Hr, which is 13,795 of Tesla’s Maxpower batteries with the equivalent weight of 5.8 aircraft carriers.

    It’s all downhill for solar for the rest of the year. We were smoked out for a few days recently, they should show up in next month’s report.

  84. Alex, John, my next vote, my vote after next, and whatever comes after to that, for “a post or two” on existentialist occultism!

  85. Clay #71 & JMG
    I am not surprised by the song being re-recorded from the left. This is still pretty anecdotal on my part, and not enough to form much of a theory on yet, but I see quite a few friends and acquaintances starting to move from the left to being more open to that position. Still a lot who aren’t so I am getting pretty good at keeping my mouth shut. I also don’t have enough friends on the right to gauge it as well from that direction. much of the earlier folk music was very pro working class. In the US the split seemed to start with Vietnam, the hippie movement, etc. More recently, the PMC and pro war and woke people coming to dominate the left has led to some visible fissures starting to open.
    Stephen

  86. Synthase – If our gracious host will excuse the redundancy of my comment, look at “efficiencyiseverything.com”. Read about running a two-person household on $19,000 per year. There is a cheap-cooking cookbook somewhere on the site. The recipies may not excite your palate, but they’ll keep you alive until something better comes along (like a home-grown Cherokee Purple tomato).

  87. I agree, the first Dune book was great, after that not so much.
    A curious thing. There is a British organization bioregionalism.com that promotes sustainability and one planet living. One planet living is using resources within the limits of planetary resources. Supposedly if everyone lived like Americans it would take five earths. I teach environmental science classes and wanted information for my students. I emailed them twice in a 3 year period asked what would the British Isles lifestyle would be if operated in a sustainable, one planet fashion in housing, transportation, agriculture, energy and resource use, and so on. They couldn’t tell me, or maybe wouldn’t, in summary they said they didn’t know. A few years ago I saw a list of countries and their estimated planetary footprint. India was close to one planet. I am sure more now. Even Costa Rica exceeded it by a good margin. So even with best and most efficient practices and equitable distribution of resource use it seems we are headed to serious downsizing, kiss your car good bye!

  88. Miami is about having a bad day…..in a few decades.
    I recently read ‘rivers of water falling on the ice sheet’ in Groenland
    Greenland had a heat wave of about 22c over its ice sheet,generating 10 billion tonne melt water loss in 24 hour in 31 august.
    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ojavtMknSfE
    The potential for large chunks of the total ice mass to drop in the atlantic is possible but distant in time in range of 60-80 years in the future
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4fz7Dc5vRs
    generating a tsunami of 20-30 feet and leaving behind an increased ocean height of 5 to 6 feet
    Enough to lose Louisiana and the southern tip of florida
    Basically within a human lifetime.
    Denis

  89. Dear JMG,

    Does it not seem like we already have centralized digital currency? I know the underlying block-chain technology is supposed to be radically different, but today you can direct deposit your paycheck, debit all purchases, shop online, have groceries delivered…really you can already go for long stretches without handling, or even seeing, cash.

    So this begs the question: is an official CBDC just a straw man? Is it just a bogeyman, meant to distract and postpone action until “the unthinkable socialist takeover” happens? Just the latest, greatest, shiniest, most progressive (or more importantly, most devious) economic maneuver ever?

    Meanwhile…is it really any different than what we’re already doing in practice? Those who would spit involuntarily at the mere mention of CBDCs get up bright and early every morning to proudly participate in the same system that they’re being “threatened” with? One day off in the conveniently distant future?

    Seems to me like if you’re getting the vapors at the mention of CDBCs you should go ahead and move to cash now, and stop paying attention to a problem they’re trying to convince you is somewhere “out there.”

    Yes, my wife and I have been doing this for a good while already, but it just clicked in my head last night that the whole dark raincloud might be intended to distract people from the proper fleecing that’s already well underway. Decades in the making actually.

    Penny for your thoughts?

  90. TemporaryReality #54 – You might consider approaching a Unitarian Universalist minister. Having been involved with a couple of UU congregations over the last 35 years, I have been consistently impressed with the open mindedness both in the membership and the ministry.

  91. Trustycanteen, I think Zeihan is right in a certain limited sense, but we have a lot to get through before that happens. The US economy is hopelessly dependent right now on running up unpayable debt, and as globalism ends, that’s going to stop being an option — the result will be a great deal of turmoil as a political system based on shoveling out unearned wealth in vast amounts goes to bit, and the US economy has to shed vast amounts of debt via bankruptcy and default. Once the rubble stops bouncing, a recovery will happen, but it will never give the US the kind of wealth we had in the late 20th century, because we got that by pumping wealth from the rest of the planet.

    Matt, there are two such sets, Lloyd Alexander’s five-volume The Chronicles of Prydain (about right for a twelve-year-old) which is inspired by the Mabinogion but doesn’t tell the classic story, and Evangeline Walton’s four-volume series Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, the Birds of Rhiannon, and The Island of the Mighty, which retells the classic story of the Four Branches and might be better suited to him in a few years.

    Anonymous, that makes sense to me. It really is a weird phenomenon, and not in a good way.

    Writing Hobbyist, there are thousands of potential threats that could kill us all if this or that or the other thing happens. I don’t find it useful to spend my life worrying about them.

    Siliconguy, many thanks for this.

    Lorenzo, so noted!

    Stephen, interesting. It’s definitely a space to watch.

    Moose, of course they wouldn’t tell you. Nobody wants to admit that living on the resources of a single planet means we all get to live like Indonesians. Mind you, that’s not necessarily a bad way to live, but try telling that to people in the industrial world who think the universe owes them all the resources they want!

    Denis, it could happen even sooner than that. We simply don’t know. One way or another, Florida and the Gulf coast are going to be full fathom five in due time.

    Grover, that’s an interesting point. I’ll have to mull it over.

    Justin, I see the synchronicity machine is working overtime!

  92. JMG: “…but I don’t expect them to find a mass audience. Instead, they’ll become little circles of people loudly insisting that they’re right and the rest of the world is wrong, while the world ignores them.”

    That sounds oddly familiar…

  93. As someone who has been gifted an unwanted television, I have a guess: it was the first leap of technological progress that Baby Boomers remember. Australia got TV around 1965. My mother saw her first TV when she was 8 years old, living in a tin shed with a dirt floor. She gave us a TV for Christmas one year with the words, “I hope you don’t have a philosophical objection to this …”. (No, Mum. I just didn’t care. Thanks for the TV, we’ll watch movies. Love you.)

    TV might be a powerful symbol of technological progress from a lot of Baby Boomers’ childhoods.

  94. Re: living like Indonesians – I have an acquaintance who moved from Laos to Australia. She worked hard, made her money and now her child and grandchild have moved back to Laos to live a good life. She says when you cooked back home, you made lots and invited all the neighbours but here in Australia, you don’t. Come to my house, I’ll feed you, she says.

  95. JMG,

    I have to wonder if thoughts of this kind aren’t similar to what led Nietzsche down the road of infinite regression and into the territory of nihilism, though, so I’m trying to approach it cautiously.

  96. For Denis,

    “The initial meltwater pulse caused between 0.5 and 4 m (1 ft 8 in and 13 ft 1 in) of sea-level rise. Based on estimates of lake volume and decaying ice cap size, values of 0.4–1.2 m (1 ft 4 in – 3 ft 11 in) circulate. Based on sea-level data from the Mississippi Delta, the end of the Lake Agassiz–Ojibway (LAO) drainage occurred at 8.31 to 8.18 ka and ranges from 0.8 to 2.2 m.[21] The sea-level data from the Rhine–Meuse Delta indicate a 2–4 m (6 ft 7 in – 13 ft 1 in) of near-instantaneous rise at 8.54 to 8.2 ka, in addition to ‘normal’ post-glacial sea-level rise.[”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.2-kiloyear_event

    On the other side of the argument, Greenland isn’t nearly that big, and it’s bowl-shaped, the land in the center of the island is lower than the rim. So the ice isn’t going to slide off in a huge block.

    During the last interglacial the sea level was 6 meters higher than now, so there is plenty of room for up.

    Invest in houseboats?

  97. Happy Panda – As for hands that ache from excessive typing, I’ve found (over the last 20-or-so years) that adopting the Dvorak optimized keyboard layout has worked well for me. The home-row characters (aoeuidhtns) are so commonly used that your need to stretch for upper row, or curl for lower row, characters is greatly reduced. With the MS-Windows OS, you can electronically access the alternate keyboard layout under the system settings, and leave both layouts readily accessible: Dvorak when you want to write prose, and QWERTY when you need to hunt-and-peck a password precisely on the first try. 20 years ago, my hands were sore and tired at the end of the day, and now (at age 64) they are only rarely so.

  98. Interesting that the mountain dulcimer was mentioned upthread, as I have some measured good news about the quarterly magazine published for mountain and hammer dulcimer players, Dulcimer Players News (hereafter DPN), http://www.dpnews.com.

    A few months back I reported with sadness that the publisher of DPN had announced that increases in postage and other costs and decreases in ad revenue were forcing her to end the magazine. As it turned out, DPN is a going concern again, under a new publisher and editor. Subscriptions are again available for purchase, and I just got the current issue a few days ago, with everything we all expect in it.

    The good news about DPN is tempered somewhat by the doubling of the yearly subscription price, no doubt made necessary by rising prices, and not just in postage. DPN no longer offers a three year subscription option. The three year subscriptions were part of what nearly wrecked DPN as they didn’t provide enough revenue to cover the price increases since the purchaser paid for them. Only yearly subscriptions are offered now, and there is an option to pay more for a sustaining subscription, to give the publisher a little cushion against future price increases.

    The other tempering factor is that interest in both kinds of dulcimers seems to have lessened recently. There are likely many factors behind that. We subscribers are encouraged to bring the magazine, and the instruments, to the attention of more people. I’m doing my part by mentioning it here, with our host’s indulgence. I can only speak for the mountain dulcimer, but I can say that it’s perhaps the easiest string instrument to learn to play, and its simpler construction means it costs less to get an instrument of comparable quality to more complex string instruments such as guitars. The mountain dulcimer evolved to its current form in the early 1800s in the southern Appalachians, before fossil fuels, so it has proven itself as an instrument suited to a low-energy future. If you cannot find a local teacher, many teachers offer lessons via Zoom. You can play any kind of music on it, and there are teachers out there who will show you how to do so.

    Recently I mentioned that my husband and I had dealt with three episodes of loss of electrical service due to severe thunderstorms in July. In my latest blog post I described being without electricity for 47 hours: what went well and what didn’t. Anyone interested can find it here: http://livinglowinthelou.blogspot.com/2023/08/the-47-hour-learning-experience.html

  99. I noticed that Indias moon landing was unmanned. Having humans outside our atmospheric protection is a whole nuther thing to sending unmanned crafts. Has anyone else ever had astronauts past the space station orbit areas since we landed on the moon, if we landed on the moon ? Seems alot of expensive signalling going on, but no new race or milestones met.

    JMG what do you think about this ?

  100. To follow up on my comment on last week’s post, it seems Tucker Carlson is continuing to unwittingly push your ideas towards the mainstream. After Vivek last week, this week he interviewed Colonel Douglas MacGregor, who (shockingly for an internet broadcast available to all our enemies around the world) pulled no punches in explaining that our military not only ain’t what it used to be, but is really not capable of fighting a war against Russia.

    Nothing he said would really surprise any regular readers here, but it was quite a thing to say out loud.

  101. Grover, it ought to!

    Kfish, sensible of her.

    Grover, do you mean your concern about current money practices being close enough to CBDCs to not matter? I don’t recall Nietzsche ever fretting about anything so prosaic.

    SLClaire, I’m delighted to hear this. Thank you!

    Atmospheric, unmanned craft are a lot easier and safer to run, and if they crash, no lives are lost. You’re quite correct that nobody’s been much past the international space station, and that’s in low earth orbit — it’s literally just 254 miles overhead. By comparison, the Moon is 238,900 miles from Earth, and the distance from Earth to Mars varies from 34,000,000 miles when it’s on the same side of the sun as we are to 250,000,000 miles when it’s on the far side of the sun from us. People who prattle about space travel tend not to pay attention to the difference. (Oh, and the closest star? 23,500,000,000,000 miles from Earth. Yes, that’s right around a billion times the distance from here to the Moon…)

    Blue Sun, common sense seeps through at last!

  102. Hi John,
    I remembered your remark (to a comment of mine) that this world was like a kindergarten class for the soul: the souls that learn the kindergarten lessons move on, some nursery school souls move up to kindergarten, and the souls that haven’t yet sufficiently mastered all the lessons of kindergarten stay on. Hence, this less-than-perfect world is a perpetual kindergarten by design.
    Not only believers in reincarnation, but those of the Christian faith (like me,) or other faiths, or atheists can all appreciate this point of view. Both the exceptionally good and the exceptionally bad come and go.
    But what about the accumulation of knowledge and the various applications that flow from it? Don’t we have at least technological progress? Not permanently. Many technologies require the close cooperation of many, many people, so a breakdown in the character of a nation, and thus its laws, will eventually lead to the breakdown of all but the simplest technologies. (Even if resource limits had not yet been reached.)
    Moreover, technologies are not value neutral. It’s no coincidence that the atomic bomb developed during a war where deliberate mass civilian casualties were already occurring. Also, a young person can be technologically clever but spiritually immature; and if this immaturity permeates all of society, gee whiz technology becomes the instrument of its collapse.
    To return to the “perpetual kindergarten” analogy, perhaps the only enduring progress is at the level of the individual soul.

  103. JMG,

    What you say about John Gilbert is interesting, albeit somewhat wrenching for me. But I can certainly imagine why such a relationship might come about: even the honest doctor must be tempted to prescribe a placebo (and given the current laws, that means an ineffective but side-effect-ridden actual drug) from time to time just to make their hypochondriac patients stop complaining, or to give hope to a hopeless patient. It may even be the best thing for them.

    Similarly a purveyor of alternative spirituality is often expected to offer miracle cures and cheap substitutes for enlightenment, and doing so may not only be lucrative, but may be the best way to get some trace of actual spiritual teachings into those clients’ heads, as well as support more legitimate spiritual endeavors and spread actual spiritual truths.

    Plus let’s face it, the category of people who are drawn to not just learn but teach eccentric metaphysical system is going to slant toward those who are insensitive to peer pressure and social shame, and thus to the main mechanisms that keep people normal — and honest. (I hope you understand that I’m speaking generally here, not insinuating anything about you.)

    I suppose a similar set of incentives and psychological tendencies afflicts people who create new religions. First, people are going to want you to be their guru and run their lives for them. Second, it probably generally takes a rotter or a nutter to think they are capable of starting a new religion. I suppose the gods just have to work with what they have.

  104. I’ve been working through editing my translation of the second volume of Werner Sombart’s Modern Capitalism, and thought readers may be interested in this little excerpt (I have also added a few other excerpts on my dreamwidth blog):

    But now even this shall we say technical awkwardness of the workers would have been lifted much more rapidly — at least in the course of several generations — if another obstacle had not stood in the way of the training up of a class of workers suitable for capitalist production — an obstacle which was based in the mental state of mind of the people themselves. It is namely quite clear to see that the propertyless or property-poor people of those centuries did not want to work, in any case did not want to work in the way which and on what the capitalist entrepreneurs desired from them. This shall we say natural laziness, idleness, indolence of the great masses was detected by every contemporary who expressed themselves over the labour relations of those centuries with a strange consistency in all the lands of the early capitalist culture. This judgement then solidified in the economic theories and the practical suggestions of reform into the claim that only with low wages were people to be moved to work, and consequently also of course, with everyone for whom it was about an expansion of the capitalist economy, to the demand for as small as possible a calculation of the reward for labour so that people would see themselves forced into regular work. These theories of wages and labour, even of poverty are the outflow of a general opinion over the mental composition of the great masses and can thus serve us as a source from which we can draw the knowledge of the views at the times over labour relations (not so easily these labour relations themselves).

  105. @ Synthase (#22) – thanks for mentioning inflation. I have to agree, it’s just crazy (and will likely not get better any time soon). I, too, am open to hearing about ways people are dealing with this situation.

  106. Teresa (#23)
    I’m pretty interested in the Chinese Agatha Christie adaptation — and I can probably help out a bit with the spoken and written Chinese parts, especially if you haven’t already found a real connoisseur of Chinese films to help you out. How does one get to watch the series?

    As for “Situ”, it’s a surname — “Yan” is the personal name. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situ_(surname) .) Some Chinese surnames consist of two characters, rather than one (the usual pattern).

    I’ll try to drop you a note via your email address in a day or so.

  107. JMG,

    Sorry, no, that’s not quite what I meant. It was late, after a long day, and maybe I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. I was talking about the barbarism of reflection, and being careful not to develop a habit of extrapolating current or future problems back through a chain of sinister Matrix-style hoodwinks. Sort of a, “if what I’m thinking about CBDCs is true, what else is being perpetrated at my already long-term expense (that’s also being waved around as an issue of the “future”) that I haven’t caught on to yet.” A habit of finding a man behind the curtain everywhere.

    Does that make more sense?

    RFK’s book about Anthony Fauci might be to blame…

  108. Blue Sun,

    I’ve seen quite a bit of Colonel Douglas MacGregor lately, and Vivek Ramaswami, and the same thoughts crossed my mind as well: “I think we read the same people!”

    I find that very encouraging, but boy, you’re right, MacGregor really laid it out for all the world to see.

  109. Thanks Lathechuck, that helps.

    What do Indonesians do that can be replicated in an expensive country anyway?

  110. Dear JMG,

    You responded to jbucks excellent question on unifying of the will by saying, “[y]ou have to accustom the quarreling fractions of yourself to work together; you have to listen to them but also talk to them, and you have to demonstrate that cooperation means success for all”.

    Are you able to point to any exercises explaining in greater detail how this can be achieved?

    Your notion of “fractions of the will” seems very like the internal family systems model of personality, which I reference in case you are not familiar with it*, with apologies if you are.

    Family systems, by the way, can be employed in conflict resolution, where the mediator appeals to different aspects of a person’s personality (or will) to invoke understanding of their negotiating position.

    Yours kindly,
    Boy

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Family_Systems_Model

  111. To get an idea of just how much space there is in space, if the sun was shrunk to a tiny ball one millimeter in diameter, the nearest star would be another one millimeter ball 29 kilometers away, and in between would be nothing, zip, nada, just empty space.

  112. I’d like to thank Quin (Tunesmyth) for posting my prayer request along with anyone who prayed for me to find a place to live in Southwest New Hampshire. I am safely nestled in mostly rural New England but in a town large enough to find work. There are plenty of local farms to establish relations with, and that was important for me. I’m very grateful to you all.

    JMG, I’ve finally finished a major leg of my collapse plan. Thanks for your blog posts over the years. Coincidentally, the Masonic Lodge is only a couple blocks away. Hmmm, I think I just might finally join.

  113. Trustycanteen: FWIW, my take on the value of Peter Zeihan is that what he says is not necessarily true, but he does say what the Washington DC groupthink believes, or at least what they want to hear. He’s still a Washington swamp creature, just a small fluffy harmless one.

  114. Synchronicities abound…

    @temporaryreality: I read your q about finding someone for your daughters wedding (congrats to all!) and I wasn’t going to jump into the fray, as I figured other people here had plenty of advice or pointers.

    I had thought of a friend who does side work as a celebrant. She works out of NJ with this outfit on the side officiating weddings and funerals:
    https://www.celebrantinstitute.org/

    I don’t know if the Celebrant Institute has any presence in CA, but you could look into it.

    I was prompted to post this morning when a co-worker came up to me out of the blue with a business idea name for me and asked if I’d ever thought of getting licensed to do weddings. He though I should call the business “The Moore the Merrier” I have written and given a few eulogies within my family… so, doing this isn’t out of the question. Might be good sideline in times to come too, though I’m not sure what the ethics are from a magical & spiritual pov would be for officiating. That seems like a service… I’d have to contemplate that.

    I’m going to keep this in my back pocket. Maybe getting a ministerial license down the road will be handy. In the distance I hear the bells of the UGC calling…

    It’s interesting… My dad was named after the catholic side of my families favorite priest. As the youngest of his brood they had hoped he would become one. He left the catholic church, but did in time become a prison minister, where he still does outreach. My first name is his middle name, and I often wondered about the priesthood as a kind of family thing in away, but for me it would have to be universalist… In any case, this has me thinking of that again. I always thought there was something else to this.

    In any case, thanks for listening, and best of luck on your own path, and planning your daughters wedding. May their marriage be a merry one.

  115. My current reportings:

    – Thomas Bachheimer is an Austrian gold trader. He has a website, Bachheimer dot com, which is a news collection about topics such as geopolitics, society politics, energy security and other things. Often there are interesting links to diverse news sources.
    In general, a right wing conservative blog, angry with the current situation and in opposition to US&EU governments.

    Mr. Bachheimer lived in Vienna since 2014 or so, but last year relocated to Dubai. He reports in an interview:
    – Saudi Arabia ist opening an industrial zone, including more liberal freedom, a break with previous hard core religious politics. The country intends to replace Europe as an industrial power and invites qualified foreign personel for contribution to a new industrial future. Many of bin Salman’s policies were unthinkable just a decade ago
    – even pakistani taxi drivers in the emirates pity Mr. Bachheimer for coming from Europe. Europe in the eyes of the wider world, in the eyes of Asian countries, is already seen as a basket case. Most EU academics, I would say, are not at all aware of how EU status in the world is changing, radically, in many ways into an opposite of what it was

    National Austrian radio broadcast news:
    – Only 6 percent of all loans in Austria are at a fixed rate, all others are variable ie dependend on the interest rate of the central bank. Obviously, a greater part of private debt cannot be repayed anymore, therefore the government is in negotiation with the banks, searching for solutions. The government has announced intervention.
    Obviously a good lot of people are in danger of going bankcrupt now.
    – The state broadcast says Austria has to take in many more “refugees” because we lack “qualified personel” – what the qualification is remains obscure. I suspect a vested interest. Allegedly, Austria is so “mean” to all newcomers that qualified personel is leaving. No details are given.

    Dmitry Orlov reports that
    – Russia is opening new factories at an accelerating pace. Obviously, the country is rapidly industrializing now
    – Ukraine’s mafia and elites are dismantling the country at a rapid pace. According to him, they actually hope for Russia to invade, so that they can emigrate and take everything with them with impunity

    A seasoned old trades-man, a strong man ~45 years or so owning a company for all kinds of housing renovations, road construction and other trades tells me, he definitely expects a blackout to come, citing several reasons of fragile infrastructure and lack of qualified personel.

    Herbert Saurugg, the ex military blackout investigator of Austria says, yes last winter went better than expected due to extremely mild temperatures – but the danger is still there, and the situation becomes more dire all the time.

    I really feel like the EU and esp Western Europe is sleep walking into its own demise, and quickly. May the long descent be long globally, it does not have to be so locally!

    I cannot see any such awareness among most of my Austrian fellows from all social strata. The idea that things might change radically just is not there.

    regards,
    Curt

  116. Is anyone familiar with the herbal medicine work of Jill Stansbury? Does anyone have any hands-on or direct experience with it’s usage?

    Although many here, including myself, are discouraged by the function of US public health, a recent case of polio was found in NY, and now there are three states where malaria has spread locally (not just brought in from another country). Studies have shown Covid has some correlation with immune dysfunction, that lasts at least a year, though poorly understood. A concerning combination, where promotion of preventative health makes a lot of sense.

  117. John–

    It appears that the US has managed to repeat the F-35 fiasco, but on the sea:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/zumwalt-the-u-s-navy-s-stealth-destroyer-looks-like-a-historic-failure/ar-AA1fp5DD?ocid=entnewsntp&cvid=a048ef0b149a4bdc8364adb70037b2ca&ei=16

    On a more personal note, I was the one who asked you about occult aids for “transmuting anger into love,” which is guidance I have been given from the deity with whom I’ve have developed a relationship. Because my question was posed so late in the day, I didn’t have time to respond to your question before the window closed for the MM.

    I have some minor experience with natural magic–I’ve made a couple of amulets over the years–and I’ve constructed a few gahemes using geomantic magic. Within those traditions (natural and geomantic magic), do you have any suggestions for practices, tools, etc. for aiding the above-mentioned transmutation?

  118. Re: the Dune Saga (@Viking #78, and @Nony Moose #94) –

    Would agree that the series never quite lives up to the first book. That said, book 4, God Emperor of Dune, has one intriguing concept that is worth pondering in our age of decline. The scheme of the eponymous God Emperor, Leto II, to level humanity’s collective playing field so to create the circumstances for a new age of growth/evolution, has some interesting parallels with America’s Post WW2 monocultural dominance. While it is definitely the case that a new-multi cultural world is arising, Putin is still wearing a suit and tie rather than a tunic. That is to say, the fallout from America’s planet-wide cultural bomb will linger for centuries to come and will have some input in whatever new cultural forms emerge, once the worm that is America’s cultural monolith ceases to be the life crushing force it is today.

    This idea aside, the book also has one very scene that moved me to tears in a way that none of the other books (including the first), ever did.

  119. I wandered into a chat group with Michael Hughes and friends. It was about “Rich Men North of Richmond.” I had to leave quickly because I had never seen such raw bigotry displayed. It was awful, what they said about the song and the singer.

    At first, I thought it was the blow-back from the half-baked rituals that increased the hatred of Conservatives and related people. Then I read my issue of “First Things” (a religious review of politics from orthodox religious perspectives.) The author of one article was experiencing the same thing with Progressive Catholics and their bigotry to traditionalists. He went on to say that what happened is that the religion of progress replaced Catholicism for these people. He said that they have now set up Progressive political theology to replace traditional Catholic theology.

    Pondering that, I realized that we are in for a bumpy ride while the Progressive religious people continue to try to assert their dominance. None of them seem to have any kindness or compassion for what “Rich Men North of Richmond” was expressing.

    I imagine that as we move through the decline, the shriller the Michael Hugheses of the world will become.

  120. Hi JMG,

    I have been a reader of your blogs for a long time, but this is the first time that I have written a comment.

    I live in a European city where there have been no skyscrapers, but a lobby has forced a high rise building to be built in a prominent place in the city. You have to know that this riverbank is beautiful, lots of people walk here or sit on the benches, I used to do my walking meditation here. From here you have a beautiful view of the city, the historic buildings on the waterfront and the bridges. This tall modern building can be seen from these promenades and the biggest problem is not the way it looks, but the fact that they put lights on the top for the safety of air traffic. The daytime lighting is a strong flashing white light, which is very irritating in cloudy weather or at sunset and would attract the eye. The interesting thing is that there was a lot of discussion about the building, but no one mentioned these lights when the building was still in the design phase, I guess on purpose. Many residents are bothered by this, but so far no change has been made.
    I have two questions:
    1, As JMG wrote, things are happening in the other planes not just in the material plane. What could cause such a thing to be built against the will of many people? Why is it that the authorities consider such a problem as nothing? I get the feeling that the interest of the elite is all that matters and that everyone else is ignored.
    2 I am corresponding with the authorities and trying to do everything I can on the material plane but I feel that I need a little more help. Can you suggest something? Perhaps I could pray to Pallas Athena?

  121. @ Anon Bookworm

    I’d recommend The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 by Athol Kay. The content takes some inspiration from the pickup artist literature, but the book is primarily focused on how married men can make themselves more sexually appealing to their spouse .

  122. to clarify my previous post #122: I’m not sure what the ethics around “getting paid” to conduct ceremonies such as weddings & funerals would be. I see it as a service, but I could also see it as something potentially could be given gifts or trade for in the times ahead for people who aren’t closely connected to you. IDK.

  123. My prayer list blurb should have been one of the first batch of comments, but it doesn’t appear to have gone through. I am wondering if it’s because I started using Dreamwidth’s “rich text” editing feature, and when converting back to html for copying to comments here, it’s now enough html code to flag automatic spam filtering. I will leave the blurb immediately after this comment, and we’ll see if it gets through this time.

  124. Has anyone heard from the Great Khan of Small Potlucks lately? I haven’t seen one of his posts since this year’s event. I hope I just overlooked him and that he and Mrs. Khan are well.

  125. Okay, now I notice that I get a message saying “invalid security token” when I try to send the blurb. Okay, I guess I’m going to need to go through and edit all of the extraneous “rich text” html… Just a moment please!

  126. The Zumwalts and the Littoral Combat Ships, two strikeouts in a row. Stealth ships require a series of compromises in the other areas from stability in rough seas to the weaponry. The LCS was supposed to have quickly swappable mission modules, but that idea didn’t work. The hybrid drive train also didn’t work. (Gas turbine for speed, diesels for fuel-efficient cruising).

    Now they are going to try again.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation-class_frigate

    Whether any surface ship is viable in Drone World is an open question.

  127. Hi Jon G,

    Thanks very much for the update. I’m delighted to hear you’re doing well, and I wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life!!

  128. Response to #25 (Slithy Toves)

    I kind of understand your pain about the “bunkum” artist comment. I am still having a lot of problems with that myself.

    I think that I am working my way around it though. This has been made possible by realizing that:

    1) the author is human.
    2) Humans gotta eat.
    3) One eats better and can pay rent more reliably if the books you write actually sell.
    4) Even textbooks have garbage in them, you have to sift through the information and sort out the good stuff from the bad stuff.
    5) Even bunko artists have good ideas, they just approach the problems between 1-3 a little more aggressively.

    The Tarot book that JMG edited/re-released (The Doors of Tarot by John Gilbert) kinda annoyed me when this came up:

    7. When you know and understand your cards, start reading for money.

    Luckily, I was complaining about this on my site and one of my readers pointed out that the book was to get folks ready to be “certified” as a reader. Big thanks there BTW. But the point of this is that even though the purpose that the book was written for isn’t for the most “pure” of motives, it has still has a lot of good advice and ways to help out a person trying to learn.

    I think that one just has to find “truth” where they can in order to piece together a working hypothesis about how the world works. And you can find truth in the damndest places.

  129. Something just clicked, and made a lot of sense of the last few years. Things which still resonate with Pluto are likely being drawn further into the Plutonian as it fades; this follows symbolically from the nature of the planet, and from the (to mind plausible) idea of viewing it as an overgrown comet in the Cosmic Doctrine sense. Pluto rules power games (an unequal distribution of power creates a division between the powerful and the rest of society); and it rules overriding obsessions of all kinds (because those kinds of obsessions only survive if the person who has them has a firm division between themselves and the cosmos, and refuses to allow reality to get in a word about why they might want to pursue other things). Given that power is inherently a zero sum game, the very powerful will tend to be the people who pursued it with single minded intensity, further strengthening the link with Pluto.

    As Pluto fades out, and the inherent imbalances it creates grow more and more extreme among the people still resonating with it, not just are ordinary people growing more likely to start seeing through the Plutonian fog and realizing just how much of a mess their self-proclaimed betters have made of things, but at the same time the elites are growing ever more unbalanced and unhinged as they become ever more Plutonian.

    I suspect this dynamic will continue until Pluto finishes fading out entirely, giving us governments which will continue to grow ever more insane and unstable until things finally settle down in around 13 years.

  130. Synthase – you might peruse the Mr. Money Mustache site and forums (https://mrmoneymustache.com/) – yes it’s targeted toward salaried millennials who want to “retire early” but many of the tips work for anyone who wants to just live on less.

    Likewise, Early Retirement Extreme (book or website https://earlyretirementextreme.com/) approaches the topic from a philosophical point of view which can be helpful for determining value – as in, what do you value and want to keep, what is of less value and can be set aside (etc.).

    Both have been around a while, so maybe you’ve already seen them, but if not, I hope they’re helpful.

  131. @JMG, others,

    I’ve got two links I recently saw, that I think would be of much interest to some of the people at Ecosophia:

    1. A post from a Substacker with the delightful name “CatGirl Kulak.” It is entitled: The Problem With Prepping, what to do when the zombies don’t come.

    In her essay, she attacks the mainstream “prepper” mentality that teaches people to be ready for a quick disappearance of government/civilization due to disease outbreak, nuclear war, or what-have-you, after which they’ll get to battle it out with disorganized mobs of looters until whoever has the most food/ammo/wilderness-survival-skills ends up surviving and thriving in a government-free agrarian wonderland.

    CatGirl Kulak lists a number of real-world SHTF scenarios – Communist revolutions, civil wars, foreign invasions, stuff like the Holodomor, etc. – which have actually happened over the last century, and says:

    The distinctive thing about all of these, every single one, is that social-political order, from the perspective of the person on the ground, STAYS INTACT throughout all but the narrowly dramatic moment… and maybe not even then.

    “What will you do during the end of the world?” I’m sorry to have to tell you this: But in 99% of all scenarios, You’ll still be going to work and paying your taxes, right up until the death squad rolls through or the press gangs drag you away.

    The peasants on the eastern front were still working their farms and worried about making quota when the Whermacht went through.

    This is the problem with prepper logic. It’s completely passive. The dream of zombie movies is that the living dead will give you a clear-cut moment when the old political moral order is gone and it’s now socially/ethically acceptable to loot what you need from the already dead and shoot the man who’s drooling and chanting “Brians”….

    Granted, CatGirl Kulak is more focused on political/military disasters than the sort of gradual climate/resources related collapse that people on Ecosophia usually talk about. But there is still a lot of overlap on the practical side of things – for instance, if you’re worried that a hostile government is going to crack down on private property/private enterprise, then it’s better to learn how to make small trades on the black market than to fill your basement with ammo and canned rice and daydream about a sudden unraveling of the present order!

    Link to full essay: https://anarchonomicon.substack.com/p/the-problem-with-prepping

    2. On the more optimistic side of things, here is a video about some Guatemalan architects who recently (over the last 12 years or so) built a s small city called Cayalá in the suburbs of Guatemala City. They built it to be walkable, with traditional architecture and human-scaled elements, defying all the mainstream opinions in their field… and it turns out that the people there love it. (I know you don’t normally do videos, but maybe you will make an exception for one that’s full of pretty neoclassical buildings?)

  132. @ Happy Panda #43

    May I recommend compression gloves and wrist splints?

    I’m a writer and I do a lot of sewing. I have arthritic pain in my hands and am subject to carpel tunnel syndrome.

    I’ve learned that if I sleep in gloves and wrist splints, I prevent the carpal tunnel. I don’t need — at this time — to escalate to wearing wrist splints during the day. The reason for the gloves UNDER the wrist splints at night is you never want to let your hands get cold. Cold hands hurt more in the morning.

    During the day, when I write or sew or do anything dry including book events in public, I wear compression gloves. My current sets come from CVS. You’ll have to try different types of compression gloves to see what works. Don’t get the kind that cover the fingertips as it’s harder to type and sew. Similarly, if the glove only covers the palm and not the fingers, your fingers will hurt.

    Any drug store, any craft store, any medical supply store, and all the usual online suspects sell compression gloves. You may discover you need a larger size than recommended as they’re meant to fit snugly.

    Compression gloves saved me and without surgery or drugs. They may help you. They can be a cheap solution.

    And, again, don’t let your hands get cold! Ever!

  133. I’ve just found a brilliant analysis of what’s happening with modern atheism. It’s in an article about “belief in belief”; the idea that some people hold ideas they know are wrong because they think believing in it is virtuous. The article opens with Carl Sagan’s “Invisible dragon” thought experiment, where someone says there is a dragon their garage, and proceeds to explain it’s invisible, makes no sound, doesn’t breath, is impermeable to flour, etc. Here’s the brilliant quote from this article that made me realize it’s really about modern atheism:

    “Maybe the dragon-claimant flinches away from the prospect of admitting to themselves that there is no dragon, because it conflicts with their self-image as the glorious discoverer of the dragon, who saw in their garage what all others had failed to see.”

    What makes the entire thing so fascinating is that it’s an analysis of why people believe in religion! But of course, it works so much better as an analysis of modern atheists than religious people.

    https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/CqyJzDZWvGhhFJ7dY/belief-in-belief

  134. Hi, JMG. I am looking for audio recordings of the Orphic Hymn to Physis, in Ancient Greek, set to music. Googling has only turned up one and it’s done in a metal/industrial style that leaves some of the words obscure. I just want something I can sing a capella as an act of devotion. Have you run across such a thing or a resource that might provide a link to one?

  135. Television watching and @anonymous #88

    When our TV died in 1996, we didn’t replace it because oldest child would watch so obsessively he’d wet himself rather than walk away.

    We had conversations with ministers and teachers about how ADH kids brains resonated with the flashing electronic images and how some parents couldn’t pull the plug.

    It distressed family and friends but they got over it.

    We didn’t accept a replacement TV for about 10 years and when we did, we set it up to only play DVDs and game cartridges on the PlayStation. Naturally, I selected the DVDs and game cartridges. The TV was set up to minimize the vampire power load so anyone wanted to watch needed to turn everything on AND choose something from the library.

    As you can imagine, not much TV got watched in our household.

    When people asked me — including cable TV package salesmen — I’d say

    “All television is educational. The question is, Do you want to be educated that way?”

  136. The International Agatha Christie film project and @legrand #114

    I should have added the reward for anyone helping us out. You’ll receive a copy of the trade paperback and be included in the book’s acknowledgements in the manner you prefer.

    As for Chinese Checkmate, we’ll mail you a copy of the DVD series.

    Do you know why their own subtitles would sometimes say Situ Yan and sometimes Si Tu Yan? And the spelling inconsistencies!

  137. The mention of Pluto reminded me of an earlier comment on an earlier post that mentioned “Pope Frankie…” and made me realize Pope Francis’ career and reputation had a very Plutonian story arc: a big start trickling away into a feeble finish. For what that’s worth.

    I ran the thought past Jean Lamb, who retorted “He has yet to deal with the altar boy in the room.” She’s right: that’s an elephant he flatly evades noticing or dealing with.

    @ Teresa from Hershey – many thanks for recommending sleeping in compression gloves! I’ve held off on writing a couple of long letters due to a painful upper-right-arm muscle made worse after much scrolling, typing, handwriting, or taping e-readers to turn the page. Will check my glove box.

  138. Greg, exactly. The one thing that progresses is individual souls; everything else in this world of manifestation moves in cycles.

    Slithy, it’s easy but very dangerous to assume that spiritual teachers are morally better than other people. I’m sorry to say that isn’t so — and yes, I certainly include myself in that, as I’m no saint. First of all, morality and spirituality are not the same thing; second, incarnate human beings are never perfect, and most of them — including those who practice and teach spiritual traditions — are your typical mix of virtues and vices. Yes, some spiritual teachers also deliberately use a bit of trickery now and then to get ideas through the thick skulls of their listeners — as George Adamski said, “sometimes truth has to come in by the back door.”

    Kerry, that’s fascinating. Thank you.

    Grover, it does indeed. Thank you for clarifying.

    Boy, that I know of, there are no exercises, any more than there are exercises for getting along with your spouse. You simply have to make a continuing effort to become aware of your competing desires and intentions, and negotiate among them when conflicts come up.

    Martin, yep. Space is much bigger than human beings are capable of imagining. It’s also far more hostile to us, and far more lethal.

    JustMe, thanks for this.

    Jon, glad to hear it. If you feel like exploring Masonry, the best bet is usually to go to the Grand Lodge website for the state where you’re located, and find the contact link for the lodge — for all that Masonry is old-fashioned, the internet gets a lot of use in the Craft these days!

    Curt, many thanks for these. I note that Saudi Arabia has just been welcomed into the BRICS bloc, so its future as an industrial nation is probably tolerably secure. As for Europe — yeah. I don’t know many people who have grasped just how far it still has to fall.

    Gardener, I’m not, but maybe someone else here is. Anybody?

    David BTL, they have indeed. The US Navy’s racked up a string of embarrassing failures — it was quite an accurate omen, for example, that its new class of aircraft carriers is the Gerald R. Ford class, because the carriers in question can’t walk and chew gum at the same time either. As for the magical question, anything that invokes Venus is a good choice for this. Make an amulet of Venus or burn a candle to her in her day and hour, and ask for help along these lines.

    Neptunesdolphins, that’s really sad to hear. It used to be that liberals were concerned with the sufferings of working people — if all they can do now is shriek hatred at a working class guy who’s singing about those sufferings, they’ve completed the process of becoming what they hate. I wonder if it’s ever occurred to any of them that if Woody Guthrie had written that song — and he could have, very nearly — it would have been all over the folk-protest music scene in the Sixties…

    Tom, (1) at this point the elite classes hate and fear the people they rule. Look at the public architecture they build these days — the view from outside is deliberately cold and forbidding, a fortress of privilege meant to threaten all those not part of the elite. Skyscrapers are the natural expression of their hatred and arrogance, an architectural way of saying “we are above you” — and the lights are there to say, “how dare you try to ignore us?” (2) You can certainly invoke her for that, as she’s the goddess of thriving urban life.

    Quin, it never reached my inbox, so, yeah, it was apparently flagged by the system. Please redo it the way you normally do, and repost. Thank you!

    Anonymous, it occurs to me that for Pluto to act like a comet in the Cos.Doc. sense, it would have to leave the solar system and go spinning out into the Van Oort cloud. I suppose that’s possible — if another big iceball swings by it and destabilizes its orbit, for example — but if it just sits there in its current orbit, I don’t see how it could do the job of hauling a cargo of failed souls out to the Ring-Pass-Not. (If something does send it on its merry way, on the other hand…)

    ThrownSandwiches, thank you for both of these! I’m delighted to see CatGirl Kulak dispensing some common sense. Hint: even if the crisis du jour isn’t political, it will have a strong political component, because governments will try to manage things.

    Anonymous, there’s a very ripe irony in using Sagan’s ideas to criticize the atheism he upheld.

    Joan, I wish I knew of some. Anyone else?

    Patricia M, Plutonian indeed — and Jean’s comment is a keeper. (My ex-Catholic wife cracked up when I told her about it.)

  139. Synthase @ 22 & 38 About frugality, I have some experience here, having raised two girls on minimum wage jobs with no extra govt. support. I was terrified that social workers would find excuses to take my kids away.

    The basic principles which worked for me, YMMV, of course were Pay NO late fees. Ever. and buy only what I need and not at full price. As I was explaining to a newly on her own Granddaughter, late fees get you no value for money expended. Be aware that late fees is where utilities and property owners get their profits. Notice the array of tricks they have to put you in the wrong, such as the utility due date is always different each month. Do not sign a rental contract which does not specify the EXACT due and past due payment dates. In general, property owners and utilities are not your friends. Business agreements need to be treated like just business and too bad if the clerk gets his or her feelingses hurt. The clerk chose to work for that company. Pay bills in cash if possible and demand receipts on the spot. At the present time, I pay two utility bills. I know the location of every payment station in my town and what are their business hours. Keep a calendar on which all bill due dates are clearly marked. I am leery of paperless billing. I want that paper bill and receipt in case I ever have to prove I did pay something. Keep a permanent record of payments made, including the reference number. If you ever have to dispute a bill, the person you waited for 30 minutes to speak with will cut you off if you cannot recite the number.

    I paid cash only. I once walked out of an insurance office when the clerk refused to take cash.

    Limiting expenses at the grocery store, etc. is not that difficult. One can watch for sales, avoid processed foods, cook at home, shop at thrift stores and yard sales–try to arrive early, ahead of the Ebay dealers. What will kill you is utility bills. The music being played 24/7 by teenaged son, daughter’s half hour showers, air conditioner kept at 33 degrees, the power equipment used in the yard; all of these things COST. A LOT. We have gotten used to thinking that personal comfort is a right. Only if you can pay for it. It isn’t stuff which will have to be given up in the coming decades, it is the personal comforts to which we have become used.

    Younger folks are exploring multiple income streams, LIFT and the like. When my highly paid daughter went on vacation she hired a cat sitter for her pet. Who works through a pet care agency, no less. Garden designers are in demand among the rich and near rich, also yard care companies who have a professional attitude–as in, don’t expect to use your bathroom, don’t blow-dry your plants into extinction, don’t help themselves to the fruit on your avocado tree.

  140. Where all your favorite games came from.

    https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/classic-board-games-37285709?utm_medium=at_daily&user_email=62f5f5ac9d1eb092c3135e923abd411ab6dafd696723359d6a9cd5563181b9f9&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_campaign=AT%20Daily%20Tues&utm_content=A&utm_term=AT%20Daily%20-%2090%20days%20engaged%20NEW

    That air-raid story about Clue is just the company’s effort to hide the shocking truth: that Clue was REALLY designed by Colonel Mustard, in the conservatory, with the lead pipe.

  141. JMG, would you imagine that other star systems have their own hierarchical set of governing angels, perhaps performing basically the same functions, but still distinct from ours?

    I realize that this might be one of those Unknowables, and I’m not exactly sure how I’d benefit from knowing, but my sense of wonder re the immensity of the universe of which we are such a microcosmic part compels me to ask …..

    Thanks.

  142. Slithy, it’s easy but very dangerous to assume that spiritual teachers are morally better than other people.… First of all, morality and spirituality are not the same thing…

    Thank you for this. It throws a great deal of light on the situation for me. In particular, it suggests that just as with all other things in life, there are tradeoffs to be made, and perhaps spiritual achievements require investment of time and energy that might otherwise be spent on moral achievements.

    Thinking about it, perhaps this is even why some schools, such as Tantra, have disciples intentionally break social mores: perhaps it’s to free up the energy from morality to redirect to spirituality. Hmm, that seems a fine theme for meditation…

    I’m sorry to say that isn’t so — and yes, I certainly include myself in that, as I’m no saint.

    For what it’s worth, I avoided simply carving out an exception for you in my post (e.g. “present company excepted”) because I figured you’d find it fawning and tedious.

  143. Salutations esteemed mage. Maybe a couple years ago you posted a breakdown of the Mercury symbol to your Dreamwidth account, but I’m having a difficult time finding it. Going through the archives is a trip, though. It’s inspiring how much you managed to accomplish in one lifetime.

  144. Degringolade (#138),

    Thank you, that makes a good deal of sense. I think part of what makes these issues thorny is the issue of trust: if I cannot trust a teacher not to sell me literal snake oil disguised as medicine, how can I trust him not to teach me metaphorical snake oil disguised as metaphysics?

    This takes on an even greater sense of anxiety for me when it comes to religion, in part because in my mind I still somewhat associate spirituality with faith — i.e. trust in spiritual authorities. So it’s disturbing to realize how many of the men whose founding of religions is well-documented were not merely fabulists but the worse kinds of predators. It makes you wonder about the ethics of the teachers whose personal character is lost to history.

    Of course, to a large extent the proof of the pudding is simply in the eating. For these and other reasons I find myself moving to a more pragmatic orientation toward spirituality — I’ve even toyed with the rightly-maligned term “spiritual but not religious.” By it I simply mean moving away from grand systems of abstractions that are treated as somehow more real than concrete experience.

  145. Grover #116, blue Sun, et al, Douglas Macgregor is one of my main sources, as is Tucker Carlson, along with Larry Johnson, Scott Ritter, Andrew Napoletano, Moon of Alabama and The Automatic Earth. Granted they all lean in the same direction, but everything on the other side seems to be such complete propaganda.
    Next year will be an interesting one politically with elections in Mexico, US, UK, Taiwan, Poland maybe?, The one in Taiwan will be interesting if the KMT candidate wins, who favors reunification with China, which will pull the rug out from under the main US excuse for confronting China. In Mexico the most likely candidate is a Jewish woman, which is a departure from the typical macho image.
    Stephen
    .

  146. JMG & Slithy, your conversation about how incarnate humans aren’t perfect brings to mind the Squaring the Circle construction of the Golden Section Fellowship. For those who don’t know the construction is an approximation as the areas of a square and circle can’t be made perfect with a compass and triangle. Even our geometric idea of perfection isn’t perfect!

  147. Dear John Michael,

    You have repeated expressed your view that most if not all UFO sightings and experiences are NOT literal visitations by extraterrestrials, but bear many analogies to the visions of, and visitations by, angels, fairies, gods, and other supernatural entities reported in past centuries and eras. One might include the contemporary and numerous, but always undocumented, sightings of Sasquatch, the chupacabra, Mothman, and other such entities into the same argument.

    However, that would seem to merely push back the question by one degree, meaning, what is or are responsible for THOSE sightings and visitations? Are UFOs, Bigfoot, fairies, angels, and all the rest actually some sort of physical beings who maybe only sporadically and briefly enter into or interact with our physical dimension? Are they all purely manifestations of the mind of the beholder? Are they divine in nature, or evil, or both?

    The frequency of these reports, along with the consistent lack of physical evidence for them, has long left me baffled.

  148. Here is a “duh” excerpt from another blog,

    “German goals to cut greenhouse emissions by 65% by 2030 are likely to be missed, meaning a longer-term net zero by a 2045 target is also in doubt, reports by government climate advisers and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) show. The European Union has sought to be a climate leader and Germany has set itself more ambitious targets than the bloc as a whole, but in many countries politics and the economic crisis have pushed the climate crisis down the agenda. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 65% by 2030 compared with 1990. Last year its CO2 levels were already 40% below the 1990 level, but the new reports said that was not enough.

    “The expected overall reduction is probably overestimated,” Hans-Martin Henning, the chairman of a council of climate experts that advises the government, said in a statement on Tuesday. The German government has ordered 130 measures in various sectors. The buildings and transport sectors in particular are failing to implement them, the council of government climate advisers’ report said. The buildings sector is expected to be 35 million tonnes of CO2 short of target by 2030, while the transport sector is expected to have excess emissions of between 117 million and 191 million tonnes compared with the government target. Tuesday’s advisers’ report coincided with another from the UBA that found that Germany cannot become climate neutral by 2045 on the basis of planned and existing government climate policy.”

    They turned off the nukes that were already bought and paid for and turned to burning lignite and now you are shocked, shocked, I say, that your CO2 budget is blown?

    Elite panic mode engaged.

    I had a thought, will the elite shut down the cruise ship industry? They don’t use it, it’s of little economic value, and it signals their virtue and diligence in tackling the climate crisis head on.

    Furthermore when moored the ships will hold thousands of homeless people and are immune to sea level rise. Instant 15 minute city!

  149. “Anonymous, it occurs to me that for Pluto to act like a comet in the Cos.Doc. sense, it would have to leave the solar system and go spinning out into the Van Oort cloud. I suppose that’s possible — if another big iceball swings by it and destabilizes its orbit, for example — but if it just sits there in its current orbit, I don’t see how it could do the job of hauling a cargo of failed souls out to the Ring-Pass-Not. (If something does send it on its merry way, on the other hand…)”

    And this could lead to an incredibly Plutonian end to Pluto, as far as our solar system goes. If some object Mars sized, or even Earth sized, were to unexpectedly send it flying out of the solar system, then it could easily reignite the “What is a planet?” debate, but, at the same time, decisively settle the “Is Pluto a planet?” debate. Huge controversy and turmoil wrack the scientific community, as they try to explain how they could have missed such an object; and the astrological community scrambles to try to make sense of what has just happened. The entire thing creates a media storm, and then fizzles out as people move to more important things, and within a few years most people have forgotten the event entirely as Pluto rapidly moves away from the solar system.

    Eventually, on some uneventful day in 2036, someone spots Pluto through a telescope for the final time, and thinks nothing of it, and with that, the former planet is gone forever from our solar system….

  150. @JMG

    I don’t know if you’re going to continue the Beyond Thaumatophobia series; I know many of us enjoyed it so far. Either way, after reading the Witch of Criswell, I thought of something, with respect to it all, that to my mind is analogous to the classic “Trolley Problem” in that it reveals something about a person’s preconceptions. This has to do the question of witch-burnings, and whether they were ever justifiable.

    Don’t misunderstand me! I know that this is something of a sensitive topic, and that occultism =/= witchcraft in the nefarious sense. Leave that aside; it’s not the point of this thought exercise.

    Here’s the question. For anyone who gets het up about those awful pre-modern people and their terrible, superstitious witch-burnin’:

    What *is* the appropriate punishment for someone who uses occult magic to destroy crops, burn homes, etc.?

    I’m sure the point is obvious. The modern “rational” scientific individual will think you a loon (and worse) for posing the question, because “obviously” such a thing “isn’t possible”.

    But what if dark witchcraft *is* possible? Then what’s the answer to the question?

  151. Wer here
    JMG and the commentariat something just occured to me.
    While looking for work I ‘ve heard about a massive unrest in france caused by killing of a young migrant from Algeria (entire city streets were burned and the damages were in over a billion euro) Apparently macron was dancing on a gay concert when it was all happening….
    But this hear me out: there are hundrets of thousands migrants in France from African countries icluding Niger and Algeria (which are working together to stop the oncoming invasion) what would be their reaction when the country they dislike- France when it tries to invade Niger with ECOWACS ? Did Macron thought about that for 5 minutes?
    And not to mention that the french military depleted it’s stores of artillery shells and Caesar guns and AMX 10 tanks – majority is in Ukraine and ECOWACS does not have enought capacity to make them themselfs?
    I don’t know what is happening in Ukraine, media here is silent. The rulling party in Poland is in real trouble here there whealing and dealing to postpone the election after their promises had not panned out. They are ramping out hysteria about Russian agents everywhere – especialy in their oposition (not biased at all….)

  152. mehtylethyl, yeah, hadn’t remembered to note our location which of course will influence who we need to look for. I think ultimately, I need advice on how to cultivate more friends who might know more people who could officiate (can’t conjure up an extended family for that or any other purpose, unfortunately.).

    Deborah Bender, a very nice list of considerations, thank you! We’re in CA, so we may go the “anybody” route, ultimately, but your idea about consulting some books to get an idea of where to start will be helpful in narrowing that down a bit. I’ll forward your “unsolicited” but still very welcome advice to the kid, too.

    Justin Patrick Moore-the-Merrier 😀 That’s nice! Yeah, I’m keeping the UGC in mind for this and other reasons too (seems as things dissolve folks might appreciate someone as celebrant/name-giver/eulogy-‘remembrant’, etc.

    Ken, thank you – that was one of the few things that occurred to me. I admit, I think we all feel a bit odd that we’ll have to find someone who is essentially a stranger… but I don’t see a way around it.

    Anyway, thanks everyone – I’ll share your wisdom with my daughter and future son-in-law and maybe an idea will be sparked and we’ll find a good fit.

  153. To pick one example from the book that illustrates the effect of opposing forces on evolution, in “God Emperor of Dune” Herbert has Leto II become the archetypal Tyrant but has him enlightened with a higher purpose, which is to ensure humanity long-term survival through diversification and spreading throughout the universe (The Golden Path). To achieve this Leto II acts out the exact opposite of what he is trying to achieve, that is he imposes stringent and repressive uniformity of thought and belief for 3500 years. During that period, he voluntarily breeds and select rebels that could creatively bring him down in surprising manners until he is actually brought down by one of them. The effect of all the oppression and the stifling of creativity for so long results in an explosive urge from the previously oppressed populations to spread out and diversify culturally after his death.

    More generally, there is an overarching narrative arc over the 6 books of exploring the rise and fall of civilizations. For example, in the first book, the Harkonnens, which are the sadistic over-indulgent rulers and main antagonists of the first book, essentially collapse and mostly disappear in the following books with only some of their ruins left behind as backgrounds for later action. In the second book, he has the involuntary empire built in the name of Paul Muadib, the main protagonist of the first book, decay into a religious bureaucracy stiffled by internal politics. Throughout the shifting landscape of evolving factions and ideologies, Hebert has the ideals of the Atreides, namely the strong loyalty and caring for the people they govern, survive many generations, leaders changes, and character reincarnations and successions.

    I think there is a lot more to unpack than a reasonably short comment may do justice but I felt some echoes of Levi and Dion Fortune ideas covered in the essays of this blog.

  154. Is it possible the House of Saud has taken into account the greening of the Sahara and of Arabia? That is decades, maybe centuries, away. But royal families are supposed to be better at thinking long-term than elected officials. If they’re not totally out of touch. (Yes, that’s a big if.)

  155. Re Oliver Anthony & “Rich Men North of Richmond”

    Because I watched the video, my YT feed (of course) began queuing up reaction videos. Out of curiosity, I have watched a number of them, particularly those posted by folks of darker skin tone and every single one of them has been some variant of “Preach it, Brother!”

    No wonder the elite establishment is in panic mode over this.

  156. Re: space

    There’s a radio station in Atlanta that has recently gone back to playing their programming from the 90s (the original 99X). I can’t get the channel where I live in the mountains, but when I drive into metro Atlanta once a week for work I can. So I do, because it’s mostly my music, the same stuff I was listening to, in roughly the same place, 30 years ago.

    And they play this ad. This ad about keeping up essential workers during COVID in “the space exploration” business. (Ooh, look, you guys! I found some more space! There’s actually quite a bit of it over here.)

    Essential workers in the space exploration business?

    I turn off the radio every time it plays. Not down, off. And leave it off for a while.

    C’mon. Are you being serious right now?

  157. I was just looking at a picture of the Zumwalt class destroyer. It finally clicked; it looks kind of like a cross between the Monitor and the Merrimac/ Virginia: the two ironclads in the battle in US civil war.

  158. Teresa (#146) —

    Wow! I’ve sent you my mailing address via email. Thanks for your generous offer.

    As for the inconsistencies, I have a minimum of two theories.

    First, there is some factional conflict involving ongoing assassinations of hapless subtitlers, as part of a disagreement about the Correct Line. Or perhaps simply forced rustication, followed by later rehabilitation, depending on which faction happened to be prevailing.

    Second, the production may have scrimped on such things as developing a consistent style book, and hiring a single subtitler for the duration, instead hiring from a temp agency that sent different people at different stages of the project, each of whom had a different idea of how to romanize Chinese surnames. It could simply be that doing the English subtitles was far down on the budget priority list.

    LeGrand

  159. @Bofur #161
    If black magic is possible. then the punishment that comes for the black mage is baked into the cake, as it were. Maleficent magical workings bring maleficent results upon the mage doing the working. It’s one of the basic “laws” of magic. I believe JMG refers to it as the raspberry jam principle.

  160. Bofur, I have never talked to, or read the writings of, a person who has lived in Africa for any length of time who did not believe in witchcraft, and in many African countries a person who gets a reputation for black magic (no pun intended) runs a serious risk of being summarily lynched. A while back I read an article about a man who ran a sort of refuge for accused witches. They were risking their lives if they tried to go home. Africa has many people in many countries and they can’t all be superstitious fools. They might well be wrong about who’s working black magic—frightened, angry people don’t reason well—but I see no reason to disbelieve them when they pretty much all agree that malicious magic exists.

  161. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared across the Ecosophia community. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers. If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

    * * *

    This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.

    Neptunesdolphin’s husband has just had his big toe partially amputated due to a staph infection. He and she and son all are struggling to cope with the difficult situation, made no easier by the fact that all three have different varieties of mental impairment. May Neptunesdolphin’s husband heal quickly and vigorously; and may her family all get through the situation successfully and with grace.

    Lunar Apprentice, who has started his own private practice in difficult conditions, that he find the strength and the capability to successfully fulfill his self-appointed duties both to his patients and to his family, that the insurers contracting with his patients be favourably disposed towards the service he faithfully provides and pay as they are obliged, and that the flow of new patients increase sufficiently to support his medical practice.

    Steve T’s brother Matt is currently in the hospital after a sudden violent seizure, and his daughter is having extreme panic attacks; they were both in a terrible car accident last fall. Steve asks for prayers for Matt’s recovery of health; for the emotional and psychological well-being of the rest of the family, including his wife Megan, his daughter Diana, and his young son Jake; and for the lifting of any spiritual harm afflicting the family.

    Freddy, Ganeshling’s neighbor’s 10 year old son, hasn’t spoken since a traumatic hospital stay a few years ago; for Freddy to start speaking again and to help him develop into a functional adult.

    Tamanous’s friend’s brother David got in a terrible motorcycle accident and has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic given the resultant spinal damage; for healing and the positive outcomes of upcoming surgeries and rehabilitation, specifically towards him being able to walk and live a normal life once more.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all. The reasonable possibility exists that this is an environmental disaster on par with the worst America has ever seen.

    * * *

    Guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are now to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

  162. For anyone who’s interested, here’s a refreshingly not-American interview piece about the Religion of Progress:

    https://europeanconservative.com/articles/interviews/the-great-war-of-the-21st-century-is-the-anthropological-war-an-interview-with-miklos-lukacs/

    I struggled with what to excerpt, closed my eyes, waved my pointer finger, and whispered “eeny meany miney moe…”

    “Therefore, reading today’s politics through the lens of the past, as a dispute between Left and Right factions born in the 18th century, is anachronistic. The war of the 21st century is not just a political, economic, cultural, or social war. The great war of the 21st century is the anthropological war between progressive visions who conceive of the human being as improvable and those who believe that the human being must maintain his dignity and integrity. Human beings at the service of technology versus technology at the service of human beings.”

  163. I was wondering what you, or others here, know about breathwork (the more intense holotropic kinds), from an occult perspective? Which of the subtle bodies does it work with? Is it of spiritual benefit to practitioners? What are its main effects?

  164. Hi JMG,

    I’d like to get a reality check on my interpretation of both Levi and Dion Fortune. For them, the unmanifest is the world as it really is and the manifest is the world as we perceive it, right?

    Thanks!

  165. Anon Bookworm – After almost 30 years of marriage (40, counting my first), I recommend looking at your wife’s schedule, and see how much of what she does, you could do instead. I’m not talking about “fair share”; I mean, how much more than that could you do? With four kids, no matter how old they are, I’m sure that you’ll find many opportunities. After a couple weeks of doing everything you can, you’ll probably be too tired to worry about sex, but your wife might be feeling more agreeable.

    Another perspective is to look to Nature. You’ve reproduced, probably more than replacement level, so the raw, biological imperative for your marriage is satisfied. Sex is energetically demanding, and your body (and your wife’s) may be ready to relax and pursue other interests. Look carefully at your own motivation, and see whether sex is really, truly, the source of your discontent.

    On the other hand (so to speak): depending on your age, Nature may still have your body producing the resources for reproduction. If sex with your wife is not sufficient to relieve the pressure, then you can relieve it in the privacy of your bathroom, like any other unavoidable biological function. However, if you find that pornography is involved, then there’s something other than a basic biological function going on, and you should think carefully about that.

  166. In regard to “There’s increasing evidence that Einstein’s theory of general relativity is wrong:”

    It has been known that galactic rotation curves are not matching predictions for some time. That’s why they have MOND and dark matter as alternate theories to explain the discrepancies. Neither one seems to explain every observation, and searches for dark matter particles have all failed.

    The wobble in Mercury’s orbit could not be explained by Newton’s laws of gravitation, but General Relativity did explain it. Could a correction to General Relativity explain what is going on way out there where space time is really flat? Could be.

    A couple months ago there was a paper describing the way globular clusters leak stars in their wakes matches MOND better than a galactic dark matter halo. So research in continuing. MOND has two problems, explaining the Bullet Galaxy where the center of mass is off center from the visible stars following a galactic collision, and explaining those cases of gravitational lensing now well described by dark matter.

  167. David, BTL,

    And that rabbit hole just keeps going, and is getting wider and more welcoming by the day. My favorite of late is the young black liberals going to Trump rallies, admitting at the outset (for example) that they expect to end up in jail tonight, only to discover that “these people” are kind, and genuine, and accepting. In fact, nothing like what they’ve been told.

    Don’t know why it is, but very few things bring a smile to my face as reliably as watching other people realize they’ve been lied to. Systematically. For years. I have a feeling that when the narrative finally shatters, it’s gonna be one for the history books.

  168. If I had a buck for every time that I heard that ‘corporate pricing behavior’ is one of the factors behind the surge of inflation, then I might have enough to bring my wife to dine at McDonalds.

    McDonalds? Yuck, you say. I know, but I’m just illustrating a point about prices.

    Now, I’m not a deep thinker in these matters, nor am I a betting man. But, if I was the latter, I’d bet that ‘corporate pricing behavior’ is just obscuring with fancy words what a barstool philosopher might otherwise call ‘blind greed.’

    Now we have corporate chieftains deploring rampant theft depressing company bottom lines. And we do see videos of mobs storming stores and ripping off everything in sight. But I doubt that most of this so-called ‘inventory shrinkage’, is so blatant, especially now with self-checkout more and more common.

    Pots calling kettles black? Because somehow, almost no matter the abuse committed by the wealthy and powerful, it’s legal, but if it isn’t legal, then we’re told that there’s nothing to be done because proving such crimes in court is beyond the capacity of the justice system with its limited means, no matter that it’s run by a government that pours astronomical sums into favored corporate coffers.

    So, would it be unreasonable to surmise that the surge in retail theft is the other side of the coin? And especially when the powerful and wealthy, with their ‘corporate pricing behavior’ make life impossible for people?

    Anyway, leave it to the greatly sophisticated to miss connecting the dots even when they’re big, brightly colored and side-by-side.

  169. Stephen H. Pearson,

    Vivek Ramaswamy brought up an interesting point in his interview with Tucker Carlson, that all or most superconductors are made in Taiwan, and that all of our modern gadgets rely on said superconductors. Therefore a major plank in his platform is leading the U.S. to a revitalized domestic superconductor industry. (I think we invented the things, after all.)

    Then, according to him, we can stay out of nationalist squabbles in a part of the world that will no longer “really matter.” And probably not go well for us if we intervene.

    It’s awfully hard for me to get onboard with sending our (or worse, my) children to die for…superconductors, so that our neighbors can keep their iPhones going for a little while longer! I, personally, would rather just say to hell with the lot of it. Even if that means losing contact with all of you.

    I used to read The Automatic Earth quite a bit, but it’s been a while. I’ll check out some of your other recommendations.

    Cheers.

  170. @siliconguy 159: agree about targets not being met, but the shutdown of nuclear reactors has little to do with the two sectors that were singled out. Transport is not electric nor powered by coal nor by natural gas, while petroleum is not used to produce much electricity. Heating is also, in Germany, rarely electric, though heat pumps have been pushed recently, to be powered by photovoltaics. It is mostly oil and gas. Construction, the other part of the building sector, is mostly diesel. So I think missing the targets is mostly due to the way people live and work and want to continue to live and work, and not to the source of electricity.

  171. I’ve just realized there’s a delightfully simple explanation to a question that’s bothered me for a while: why do our elite classes freak out so much at state owned media, such as RT? Everyone is pushing an agenda or other; and I could not figure out what the issue was. The answer, however, is painfully obvious once I realized it: RT is owned by the Russian political class.

    In the west, the political class is owned by the media, which gains their power by shaping the narrative. The collective panic over RT and the like in our mass media is simply nothing more than the realization that their power can be controlled, if the political class gets the will to do it. So, of course, they need to make sure that that never happens, and keeping people from seeing what’s happening objectively is an important step.

    Especially since it’s not hard to argue that RT does a better job than most of our mainstream media, even on covering topics of political importance….

  172. Siliconguy @ 159

    ‘OH.. “SNAP!”

    Cruse ships as the derelict British Hulks of old..

    Nameless, faceless, certified Authoritarian:

    “You will be sentenced to departure on (name of decrepit hulk here _____), to be transported to … a hell of our choosing …”

  173. To SiliconGuy (post #180),

    I am no astrophysicist, but with a solid background in the sciences, and a lifelong interest in astronomy and cosmology, I have to admit that the search for “dark matter” has always, from the beginning, somehow struck me as a replay of the search for phlogiston, or the search for the luminiferous ether. It is more a gut feeling than anything, but with every year that goes by, with NO direct observational evidence for “dark matter”, my skepticism of it only increases.

    From the start, my instinct was that the galactic rotational/gravitational conundrum was due to a faulty and/or incomplete understanding of gravity, nothing more.

  174. I am fascinated by the PMC’s obsession with routing out invasive species. Clearly, it operates to help reinforce a deep-rooted subconscious narrative about their much-deserved entitlements. That dubious narrative then permits them to ruthlessly discriminate against and eradicate whatever they have prejudicially judged has become a dangerous threat by having moved out of its rigidly assigned place.

    How their glee at killing their chosen adversaries is any different from confidently snapping smiling family photos at a Klan lynching is quite lost on me. In their studied posing as the GoodPeople™, the PMC get to combine their “No human is illegal” and “We believe in Science” twaddle with ruthlessly exterminating any contaminating foreign influences that happen to be scaring them this week. It’s quite a masterpiece of hypocrisy to behold!

    Here in Pittsburgh, the spotted lanternfly became completely endemic last year. Last August, all our sidewalks, even on bridges far away from any plants, were littered with lanternfly carcasses. Yet that fact in no way limited our Park Conservancy’s zeal to keep posting warning placards about the dread lanternfly, illustrating every stage in its life cycle and exhorting everyone to destroy the bug at every single stage. To what purpose, one might ask, now that they’re thoroughly endemic to the region? Why to provide our brain-scrambled PMC with an approved target for their repressed hatred, whose existence they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge. “Kill, kill, kill the evil invader! Destroy the deplorable bug that hides its signature red baseball ca… whoops, its signature red hind wing under its camouflaging forewing!”

    Since we’re once again back in August’s great-spotted-lanternfly-die-off here in Pittsburgh, I’ve been endlessly entertained by watching our élite wannabes tucker themselves out to exhaustion chasing after already-doomed lanterflies that they can then dutifully squash. One truly sad episode occurred after an SUV-driving Mom dropped off her eleven-or-twelve-year-old daughter and her husband downtown, right before the traffic light changed. The Dad was rushing to make it across the crosswalk when his daughter suddenly stopped, pointing down at a lanternfly that had captivated her attention. Dad was quite obviously frustrated by the ill-timed interruption, but what was he to do? His daughter was obediently following the rules she had had so methodically drilled into her at school, attempting her best to be one of the GoodPeople™. So the father then backtracked to affirm his daughter’s good deed by stamping the offending pest to death, thereby missing the crosswalk light. The sacrifices these people have to make in order to keep signaling their virtue at each other is so truly heartbreaking.

    Whatever will end up befalling our poor PMC should they get told that it has now become their duty to wipe out invasive flu viruses? Oh, wait a second… they already did get told that, didn’t they?

  175. Synthase #22

    > I was wondering if anyone had any insight on getting ahead of the cruel inflationary crush of increasing prices

    I don’t say the following flippantly. I apologize if the message is too blunt for some readers🙏. Subtle is not working. I have to say it out loud. I have no idea where you personally fall regarding food. One would think the following is obvious but — argh — it isn’t.

    Getting fed on a regular basis BY RESTAURANTS is wildly expensive, and from what I read (past and present tense) from multiple sources, that is what people did during COVID.

    An intermediate step is the canned and freezer sections of the supermarket, which costs less than a restaurant. But, ultimately, the best thing to do is …

    … learn to cook from scratch, or pretty near.🥖

  176. @HappyPanda #43
    If your finances allow it, you might be able to use a speech-to-text app such as Dragon Naturally Speaking with a word processor to make blog entries and other documents.
    Sending blessings your way for healing in your hands.

  177. @jstn (#164)

    Yep. Agreed the Gita says that. But I’m not sure what the Gita was pointing out is what I was trying to (poorly) point out – that not every animal that gets reborn from a human state is necessarily due to excess tamas (inertia, dullness).

    I think my point – or rather Sadhguru’s point – is that these animals had prior lifetimes as an occultist/mage/monk/yogi/sadaka, whatever, but had an animal rebirth as a means to clear out some of the stubborn stock of their karma that was resistant to all other attempts at deleting it.

    I personally feel there may be many more of these spiritually advanced animals around us than humans may be aware of.

  178. Oh! I forgot to add one thing that’s rather important about a spiritually advanced human having an animal rebirth. Animals generate far less karma than humans do. That may be an advantage for deleting stubborn karmas that are holding someone back from “leveling up” while incurring as little new karma as possible.

  179. Kurt, delighted to hear this. I’ve had my doubts about the foundations of modern physics for quite a while now.

    Your Kittenship, my money is on Professor Plum, in the library, with a tentacled horror from Beyond. 😉

    Will, that’s correct, according to occult philosophy. Every star system on each of the seven Cosmic has its own Solar Logos working through a hierarchy of beings who have completed their evolutionary journey within that star system. It’s quite possible that those hierarchies are structured according to principles that we can’t even imagine, of course.

    Slithy, I know it’s awkward, but there it is. Thank you for avoiding fawning tediousness!

    Aloysius, the symbol for Mercury consists (from top to bottom) of the moon, the sun, and the cross of the four elements. Is that what you had in mind?

    Luke, exactly! There ain’t nobody here but us (decidedly imperfect) chickens.

    Alan, from the point of view of occult philosophy — and I am after all an occultist — that question answers itself. No, they are not physical; no, they are not all in the mind of the beholder; and they are for the most part neither divine nor demonic. There’s a mode of reality that we may as well call paraphysical, or metaphysical, that occupies the middle ground between matter and spirit. UFO investigator John Keel called it the “superspectrum,” and referred to the beings who inhabit it as “ultraterrestrials.” Occultists have other names for that realm, but that’s the realm on which most of these mysterious phenomena operate.

    Siliconguy, the thing that fascinates me is that they’re actually admitting it.

    Anonymous, here’s an interesting bit of synchronicity. This afternoon I visited a thrift store to check their book section (which quite often has astonishing things — I got a copy of The Kybalion in Portuguese there, for example). This time I found a book I’d been wanting for a while, Astrology: A Cosmic Science by Isabel M. Hickey, the astrologer who predicted that Pluto was a double planet years before astronomers detected Charon. Here’s what she has to say about Pluto: “Pluto is not a natural planet in our solar system… It is truly a dark planet. Clairvoyant investigation shows it to bea prison house for those who over eons of time have refused to take the path of evolution.” And elsewhere: “Pluto is a dark planet, and it is part of an inferior solar system. The vibration of the earth is speeding up, and there will be those who cannot take the increased vibrations that are bombarding the earth to raise its vibratory keynote. All the evils that have been submerged and hidden for so long are being brought to the surface to be faced, cleansed, and changed.” She wrote this in 1973…

    Bofur, I will indeed be continuing it. In answer to your question, the ordinary people of medieval Europe were dealing with witchcraft quite successfully before the Christian church freaked out and started burning people en masse. The best response to evil magic is good magic, and there was (and still is) a rich and effective body of traditional folk magic, much of it explicitly Christian, that was used to stop evil magic in its tracks and turn it back on its senders. The method Dr. Moravec used in the novel is a comparable method from the lore of ceremonial magic; you’ll be encountering other such workings as the series continues.

    Wer, all of that’s quite relevant — and I understand from the latest news that Algeria has closed its airspace to the French air force, so the capacity of France to take military action in Niger is facing a very sharp limit.

    Nemo, that’s a fascinating possibility, and I wouldn’t put it out of reach. A few seasons of regular rains, and the Arabian peninsula is going to be a very fertile region.

    David BTL, that’s what I hear. Wind is really changing at this point.

    Grover, maybe they’re still playing ads from the 1990s too!

    Quin, many thanks for this as always. As you see, yes, it came through just fine.

    Methylethyl, it fascinates me that the author doesn’t realize that this difference between attitudes toward humanity has been at the heart of the left-right divide since the 18th century. The heart of liberalism has always been the claim that human beings can be improved, by some combination of education and coercion; the heart of conservatism has always been the claim that this ain’t so. You can find these same themes in conflict in the Philosophes on the one hand, and Burke and Le Maistre on the other.

    Sam, I’m going to have to hand this one over to the commentariat, as that’s not a system I’ve studied at all.

    Chronojourner, yes, exactly.

    Smith, well, yes. I prefer the phrase “corporate kleptomania” myself.

    Anonymous, that makes sense.

    Christophe, I’m going to be talking about this at length in an upcoming post. It’s part of a broader terror of change that pervades the supposedly progressive managerial caste.

  180. Anonymous @ 185, “In the west, the political class is owned by the media.” Surely you did not mean that? You have perhaps heard of Operation Paperclip, in which the CIA essentially told editors and publishers what to print?

    I think politicians and aspiring pols are owned by their donors, who also invest in the five companies who own all of our major media.

    Princess Cutekitten, or anyone else, what is your opinion of the writer Iris Murdoch? I am about 2/3 of the way through one of her novels. I can’t fault her mastery of her craft, but the novel features a collection of singularly unappealing characters, all with their various semi-submerged sexual obsessions, all meticulously described, in case the reader can’t catch a subtle hint. I begin to wonder if mid 20th Century publishers were interested in any manuscripts which did not center around sex obsessions.

  181. JMG,

    I was reading a news piece that says that the DOJ is suing Musk’s SpaceX for not hiring asylum seekers and refugees.

    https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-sues-spacex-alleged-discrimination-against-asylees-refugees-hiring-2023-08-24/

    It occurred to me that countries hostile to the US would have taken advantage of the lax border controls in the past few years and sent in a large number of sleeper agents. A number if them may have even joined sensitive government and military organizations. This portends a lot of trouble in the future.

  182. The BRICS coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa has invited 6 new countries to join it including Saudi Arabia, a BRICS goal is unseating the pre-eminence of the dollar as the world reserve currency. I continue to be staggered by the stupidity of the American leadership class, the Ukrainian gambit put the inevitable fall of the dollar into a sped up overdrive along with other inane actions over the past few decades. What effects would “dedollarization” have on the USA? Hyperinflation? or other consequences?

  183. On the way home from work tonight, some mental meanderings lead to me thinking about what an internally-consistent inversion of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism would look like, and this is what I formulated:

    1. Life is joy (but it is obstructed from us).
    2. This obstruction has a cause (aversion).
    3. The obstruction has an end (when aversion is removed).
    4. There is a way to remove the obstruction (insert a spiritual path here).

    Three things about this list (the Four Vulgar Truisms, perhaps?) stood out to me immediately:

    First, they aren’t actually true: just like suffering, joy is not an all-pervasive attribute of all things; it’s not an objective attribute at all, but a relation between the experiencer and the experienced. (Since we’re inverting Buddhism, we’re definitely not keeping the doctrine of non-self.) Nor is aversion an evil we need to cut off from ourselves or an absolute obstruction to joy: like desire, it has its place and should know its place.

    Second, despite being false, they strike me as being much closer than being true than the original Four Noble Truths. This may admittedly be a Western prejudice on my part: I find myself in sympathy — though disagreeing on some points — with Nietzsche’s views on Buddhism. Or perhaps not merely Western, since some schools of Hinduism — most notably Kashmir Shaivism — hold that life is a divine game played by Ishvara (the Supreme Lord), who gets great joy from it.

    Third, and related to the second point: this is much closer than the original four to what most Western Buddhists, as well as pop-spiritual types, tend to actually believe.

    Anyway, I don’t have a point, just thought it was an interesting train of thought.

  184. @sam #177 re: Breathwork

    Take all of this with an appropriately large dose of salt, as I am neither an expert in the subtle bodies, nor in breathwork, but I’ve done some work with both.

    The one time I tried Grof-style holotropic breathwork, I did not have a guide and did it all based on written instructions. I also maybe didn’t spend as long on it as I might have (an hour to two, versus all day). I had some similar effects to other breathwork (feelings of heat, “energy,” positive emotion), but nothing comparable to hallucinogens. For what it’s worth, when I tried flotation pods, I had a similar response: afterward, I had some excellent mental clarity, but while in there, nothing all that dramatic, even for floats over one hour.

    The other kind of breathwork I’ve done some work with is Wim Hof breathing. This had some more noticeable and specific effects, but again, not quite so dramatic as some of its most ardent enthusiasts report. Especially when I first started, I was able to get feelings of intense euphoria and liveliness from this approach. I’ve never tried it with extreme cold, but it certainly helped with cold showers and ice baths. Most practically, when I finally quit smoking for good, I made a habit of taking a walk and doing Wim Hof breathing whenever I wanted a cigarette. I was following Tony Robbins’s advice to identify what you got out of a bad habit and try to get as much of that as you could in a healthy way. I realized that smoking gave me an excuse to go outside, pay attention to my breathing, and change my mental state. Wim Hof breathing gave me an opportunity to do all of that, but way healthier, and it was a big help.

    As for the subtle bodies, with what I know now (very little!) reflecting on my experience, I’d say most of what I felt was etheric in nature – focused ways of stimulating my life-energy body through breathing. There was some amount of astral engagement in imagining things (for example, as part of my Tony Robbins-inspired work to quit smoking, whenever I had the urge to smoke, I imagined a ridiculous situation to make the craving less “serious” – that was largely astral).

    Altogether, where I am in my practice, I occasionally use Wim Hof breathing as a bit of a “pick-me-up,” especially if I’ve otherwise depleted myself etherically, but I find that ritual, meditation, and scrying get me where I need to go otherwise. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  185. Our host comments,

    “My guess is that the internet will phase out as it phased in — people will stop using it for one thing, and then another, but it’ll be a couple of decades before most people simply decide that it’s no longer worth paying for.”

    My son’s about to start high school, and they’ve sent a little pack. The longest part was a justification of having every student have a laptop. I remember at the school tour they told us, “Technology is a tool, and it’s entirely up to each individual teacher how much they use it.” I thought at the time: if the teacher decided how much they would use the technology was ZERO, would the principal be comfortable with that?

    But the brochure contained an advertisement for what they called a “2-in-1 laptop”, which is a touchscreen with a stylus. They tell us,

    “Pen interfaces are expressively more powerful than keyboard interfaces. They more accurately accommodate how we think. They can convey all types of representation, including words, symbols, numbers and diagrams.”

    and they go on to cite studies saying that students who use “pen interfaces” learn and retain information better. And so to them, the great innovation of laptop computers is that they are like… pen and paper. Finally our technology has caught up with the Sumerian with his wedged stick and wet clay 6,000 years ago (or if we consider non-words, Neanderthals 250,000 years ago are believed to have done some body and clothing painting). Such advances! O brave new world!

    As I read through that, I thought of your comments about technology having diminishing returns. And of course, what everyone forgets is that eventually diminishing returns become negative returns. If you need to gather resources from across the world, spend a large wad of cash on it, and it can’t work without electricity, I’d consider that to be a worse technology than the old pen and paper.

    Finally, the brochure told us that the school had “a learning-centred curriculum.” I am not sure what else a school might be “centred” on? But evidently some critical thinking skills, or at least the courage to apply them, were absent among the staff.

    The question as to whether the students could simply use pen and paper and save $1,000 or more was not raised, still less answered in the brochure. Perhaps the staff hadn’t the benefit of a “learning-centred curriculum” when growing up.

    All the schools are like this. It’s my hope I’ve taught my son enough sceptical cynicism to see through this nonsense.

  186. …Robert Bloch, in the Church of the Starry Wisdom, with the Shining Trapezohedron…

  187. @ #192 Happy Panda

    According to Buddhist lore, some animals are emanations of spiritually realized persons. I seem to remember that birds are especially often bodhisattvas.

    There is the story of the 16th Karmapa, the lineage holder of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu lineage, who had a strong connection with animals. It is documented that many of his animals took a meditation posture while dying, including a horse (don’t ask me how a horse can take a meditation posture).

  188. Greetings JMG,

    Today in the UK Daily Telegraph there’s a rare – for the MSM – article acknowledging Europe’s declining importance and increasing irrelevance. The former French ambassador to the US who wrote it says that even in the Obama days, the American leadership saw Europe in that way. Readers may find it’s behind a paywall but here in the UK I was able to take out a free subscription offer, decline to continue it when asked to pay, yet still still access it on my phone and intermittently on my laptop too. The readership here may find there are far more interesting articles in it on the UK and Europe, as well as its view of the rest of the world, than the for-the-birds Guardian.

    Question on Brexit – do you or the readership think that staying in the EU would have been a good option for the UK, if it had aligned itself with Hungary, Poland and one or two other countries that might be described as Eurosceptic?

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/08/25/deluded-europe-cant-see-that-its-finished/

  189. Re: inflation

    To my mind at least, the ultimate strategy for…adapting to inflation (it’s only going to get worse as long as we’re dealing in U.S. dollars), is to cut bills. And then cut more bills. Get debts paid off first. Get those off the books. Own what you need outright. Focus on housing. Work on reducing your exposure to complex system beyond your control. Start with the basic necessities of life, and figure out how to cover them without money, or with as little money as possible. Forge alliances with local market farmers. Take care of them. Buy seasonal produce in bulk and put it up.

    And insulate! A/C will get prohibitively expensive fairly soon. Move your summer cooking outdoors. Hang your laundry out to dry. Get a reliable bicycle with saddle bags, or a pull cart for walking.

    As a long-time permaculturist, I like to stick perennial food and medicinal crops wherever I can – figs, berries, tree fruit, herbs, mushrooms, you name it. And I fish a lot. There’s always fish and local beef in our freezer, and ingredients for bread.

    There’s no “one size fits all” adaptation strategy, but the basics should be the same.
    Trim your exposure, especially to optional dependencies. Cut your cost of living to the bone.
    In America at least, there’s always another notch in the belt…

  190. Mary Bennet #149. Another reason for paying your bills on time is that even if you always pay your bills, if you are just one day late it affects your credit rating.

    I always paid my bills, but often a few days past the due date.

    There was a special offer on internet data. I was already paying the same ISP twice as much per month on a pay-as-you-go basis but I could not take advantage of the offer because I failed the credit check. I learned my lesson and have never been late on any payment since. When the same offer came around a couple of years later I was signed up, no problem. Now I get far more data at half the price for 24 months. The savings are significant.

  191. Dear Mr Greer

    Just been reading that Wiki article on elite panic. It seemed to indicate that when there is a disaster the elites will wet their pants fearing that the public will get into a panic, turn into a rampaging mob and start looting, killing and raping everyone, so they impose authoritarian measures to stop this from happening. This also serves as a good excuse to grab more powers for themselves.

    In reality most people behave decently in a disaster and are more concerned with helping one another than in raping, killing and looting.

    One difference between the Wiki article and what happened during covid is that the authorities deliberately went out of their way to spread fear and panic about the virus to the public. Fear was used as a tool of public policy. Matt Hancock talked about frightening the pants off people with a new variant. There is even a book about it called “State of Fear”. As this is Wiki there is no mention of this.

    Jasmine

  192. Of course my cheesy salutations came right after Slithy’s “fawning and tedious” comment! Just to set the record straight I’ve disagreed with you in the past (China infiltration/elite pedo rings) and turned out to be correct so obviously you’re still human, but ever since I found out that magic is real the world has evolved into a live action D&D so why not have some fun with it?

    That’s the Mercury symbol I was talking about, btw. If I remember correctly you republished something that broke down the symbolism even more, possibly around the time we started studying DRHM. I’ve been hung up for a while now on why the Papesse has a crescent moon floating above her head and was hoping that paper (which I regret not reading at the time) might offer some insight.

  193. @Bofur (#161) on the possibility of using magic to kill or harm:

    IIRC, you are a physician, so you may appreciate a medical approach …

    If the placebo effect, and especially its harmful twin, the nocebo effect are real, then a sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled person can kill or cripple another simply by activating that effect in that other person. And this can be done simply by words and other symbolic actions, without any poisons or other material substances.

    The malicious person doesn’t even need to think of themself as a “magician.” Sheer concentrated, focused malevolence, coupled with a quite detailed instinct for how human beings “work,” can often be sufficient.

    Back in 1997 the journal Preventive Medicine, volume 26, published a pair of insightful articles on the nocebo effect by Hahn and by Spiegel which shed more light on how it works. No doubt a websearch of the medical literature would turn up many more recent articles.

    And yes, it can often be turned around and sent back on the head of the person who attempted to activate it in another. That’s trickier, but not impossible.

    @Princess Cutekitten (#173):

    Yes, the African experience of the power of malicious magic is quite real and shows up one of the blind spots of the Western worldview. William Seabrook published a revealing–somewhat fictionalized–account of one effective working of it by a whole village, used by its African inhabitants to kill a greedy colonial trader, in his book Witchcraft, Its Power in the World Today (1940).

    Two American anthropologists, Bruce Grindal and Paul Stoller, each independently encountered it in the course of fieldwork in Africa, and wrote insightfully about its power and its lasting effect on them and their worldviews. Indeed, TSW, and it’s pretty nasty S.

    For the United States one might also mention traditional Pennsylvania “Dutch” [ = German] culture, which also had a fairly sophisticated set of practices for countering such malicious magic effectively.

  194. Hey JMG

    I have recently finished reading a book which touches on a theme which I believe interests you, which is non-human intelligence. The book is called “Australian Magpie” by Gisela Kaplan, which is a summary of 20 years she has put into studying the intelligence and behaviour of this well known Australia bird.
    I don’t know if you are aware, but this bird has an important place the Australian hearts on account of its crow like intelligence, high interaction with humans and unlike the crow, it’s beautiful singing. However we had no idea just how special this bird is until recently.

    A few key points out of many that this book has brought to my attention;

    1-Magpies can communicate the location of something via pointing to it with their body in a similar way to how some dogs will indicate the location of a tracked sent, body oriented towards the object whilst pointing with their mouth/beak.
    2-Magpies can express emotions via facial expressions based on subtle flattening or raising of facial feathers, for example irritation is expressed by flattening all facial feathers except ones above the eyes, producing “eyebrows” on the bird.
    3-Magpies seem to put effort into teaching their young singing, foraging, nest building and responses to threats, which means these behaviours aren’t completely instinctive but must be learned. In particular magpies have a relatively complex array of techniques for these subjects rather than 1 or 2.
    4-Magpies seem to play and have leisure activities, such as a particular form of singing which they most seem to perform privately instead of socially which Gisela theorises is the bird’s equivalent to humming a tune to oneself. In fact unlike other birds magpie singing doesn’t always have any obvious, nor is it restricted to a particular gender or season as with other birds.
    5-Magpies seem to possess relatively complex social lives, with various customs and rules along with grouping and hierarchy.

    All in all, I think that millions of years into the future Aramatids (magpies genus) will be giving the corvids a run for their money.

  195. Dear Kerry Nitz,

    Thank you very much for the link. I look forward to watching the video on the topic with interest.

    What an unusual and interesting community JMG plays host to. Thank you for this forum, JMG.

    Yours kindly,
    Boy

  196. ” there was (and still is) a rich and effective body of traditional folk magic, much of it explicitly Christian, that was used to stop evil magic in its tracks and turn it back on its senders.”

    I look forward to learning about that, but it leaves my question unanswered, that being, should harming others via magic be punishable by law?

    My point being, most people will say “of course not”, but NOT for the right reasons; they’ll say this because they don’t think harmful magic is possible in the first place.

  197. >I turn off the radio every time it plays. Not down, off. And leave it off for a while.

    There are people who still listen to the radio? Why? You can listen to hours of recorded music that you like with no stupid filler and no commercials. Been that way for more than a decade now, maybe even two.

    >the current theory has a spherical cow in it

    Math is just a map, not the terrain. Something that some of the scientifics get confused over. What’s a spherical cow? – https://invidious.tiekoetter.com/watch?v=J-jN1b5V1XI

  198. Hi John Michael,

    It was a delightful day here today. The spring sunshine felt good, and there was little wind to speak of. Hauled compost and mulch for many hours and spread it around getting various systems of the farm ready for the coming growing season. Had an inch of rain the other day. Got a couple of hundred pea seeds into the ground, and planted an oak into a mysterious stone circle which I repaired the day beforehand – it’s the second stone circle, and both are on contour not far from the other. They’re not big, but the stones are granite, and very heavy and take a bit of energy to move.

    Anyway, my question for you: Why do people look down their noses at the sort of manual labour, which I enjoy doing? And do you wonder if the economic ructions which will arrive sooner or later, will change peoples minds about this matter? Is it fear, it kind of looks that way to me?

    Cheers

    Chris

  199. What bothered me the most about Michael Hughes and group was the realization that they do not know what poverty is, even though they live in Baltimore. How many of those people have ever been poor?

    I grew up with a wood stove and retrieving water from a spring. A form of rural poverty. But I wonder how these people understand the concept of eating and having to pay rent to ensure that you are not starving on the street.

    Is their world so far removed from everyone else’s that the only thing that matters to them is Donald Trump?

  200. @Christophe re #189

    I notice it’s never mentioned that the lanternfly’s preferred food is the equally invasive tree-of-heaven. If you can’t get rid of the plant, then don’t expect to get rid of the bug. I also notice that invasive–no, strike that–colonizing bugs, snakes, lizards et al are what people get most in a lather about. The eeyuck factor, I guess.

    You don’t see people throwing hissy fits over the black-bellied whistling duck. This bird was originally native to Mexico and Central America appearing occasionally along the Gulf Coast states. But starting about 20 years ago they began moving into the southern US big time as the climate changed to their satisfaction. Ask people about this ‘invasive’ and they’ll stare at you like you’ve grown two heads. “What? That lovely, charming bird? Surely you jest!”

  201. Speaking of dulcimers, this morning I got an email update from the Appalachian Artisan Center and Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer in Hindman, KY. Last year they suffered a catastrophic flood of the appropriately named Troublesome Creek that destroyed much of their collection and a good portion of their facility including luthier workshop. Looks like they’ve gotten back to their feet though:

    “A year after the flood, we are still here. We’ve cleaned and restored our facilities, replaced some equipment and tools, and we are almost back to normal. We are back in our ceramics studio, we have workshops, our COR program is running, and the instrument company is making instruments. Our Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer has received some new cases, and we hope to have it back in a few months. The blacksmith workshops are still on hold, though the COR portion is on track at an outdoor forge until we can access our workshop again. Our biggest concern now is repairing the elevators. Despite this, we have come a VERY long way, and your support is a big part of that.

    Thank you again to everyone who donated, we couldn’t have come this far without you! We are taking down the gofundme page, but if you still want to help, you can always donate on our website at http://www.artisancenter.net, or mail a check to P.O. Box 833, Hindman, KY 41822. If you’re local, or passing through the area, please come visit! Our doors are open, and we’d love to show you around. Our workshop schedule is posted on the website.”

  202. I had earlier referenced David Rovics approval of Oliver Anthonys song, and his modified tribute to it. Today he has a blog post describing many of the reactions he got to his engagement with and approval of ” Rich Men North of Richmond.” Below is a link to that post.

    https://davidrovics.blogspot.com/2023/08/dreaming-of-pete-seeger.html

    David recounts his recruitment in to the world of 1930’s style folk singing and politics by the late great Pete Seeger. And then he goes on to lament at the intolerance of so many on the ” so called left” who called him out for supporting Anthony. Because after all Anthony must be bad bad bad because those red state people like him.
    I hope this signifies a sea change on the left as a growing group stick their heads up out of the PBS, NYT quicksand and get a look around the real world.

  203. JMG,

    On Magic Monday, someone had posted a question that included referencing Malkuth as the Kether of the demonic plane. I remember you saying that our Malkuth was the Kether of another World, but I didn’t remember it being a/the demonic World. Is it? Or is it just that every World has demons?

    Thank you.

  204. @Bofur (#198) asks, “should harming others via magic be punishable by law?”

    In my opinion, no bad action whatever should be punishable by law unless it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law before a jury of one’s peers.

    To injure or kill another by activating the nocebo effect is indeed a supremely bad action, but it can be done without leaving any material traces that can be adduced as evidence, and without any living witnesses who might testify. And one can never rule out the possibility of mass hysteria that demands victims, as, for example, at Salem in 1692 — basically, lynch-mob mentality.

    What this means is that there are some quite serious crimes that cannot be dealt with effectively within the constraints of our legal system. That is a very disturbing conclusion, but it seems to me unavoidable. Alas!

    On another note: that conclusion is probably one of the main reasons why our modern worldview so strongly rejects the very possibility of any magic that works without leaving any material traces. Our worldview presupposes that “It is by law that the land shall be upheld,” to quote the famous preface to KIng Valdemar’s “Jutland Law” from the 13th century.

    If magic were conceded to work without leaving any material traces, the very foundation of any law-built society would feel less secure.

  205. Here is a follow up to my comments above about the high cost of utilities: https://www.levernews.com/the-campaign-to-keep-electricity-bills-high/

    It seems that the Maine power grid is owned by two foreign companies. Maine citizens will have an opportunity to vote on a ballot initiative to buy back the power grid and establish a public utility.

    My bias is clear and I am happy to state it. Necessary utilities need to be publicly owned. Period. If you want to call that socialism, go ahead. I have zero respect for so-called business persons who can’t manage to make a profit unless buyers have no other choice. I define as necessary all amenities needed to preserve life and make a credible job application. So, electricity and water are necessary. Cable TV is not. Internet, I think not, but alternatives should be available. For example, online ought not to be the only way to make a job application.

    To the surprise of exactly no one, the foreign companies are hiring Democratic and “progressive”, you should excuse the expression, organizations to campaign on their side. No doubt the excuses offered will be some variant on “jobs”, and “minority hiring”.

  206. Welp, looks like paper straws may be even worse for humans and the environment than plastic straws:

    https://news.sky.com/story/amp/paper-straws-found-to-contain-long-lasting-and-potentially-toxic-chemicals-study-12947006

    “Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are long-lasting and potentially destructive to human health over time, were discovered in the majority of paper and bamboo straws tested.… The groundbreaking European study analysed straws made from a range of materials from shops and fast-food restaurants and found 18 out of 20 brands of paper straws contained PFAS, with a lower frequency of detection in plastic and glass versions.”

    Granted, the study “did not look at whether PFAS leaked out of the straws into the liquids.” Still, it’s at least as reasonable to be concerned about that possibility — not to mention the near-inevitability of the chemicals leaking into the environment after disposable — as it was to panic about plastic straws’ impact on the environment (not nothing, but not anything like the problem claimed).

    The best options of course are still to drink using either reusable metal straws or no straw at all, but there’s no reason to use crummy paper straws that leave a weird taste in your mouth and can dissolve in your drink.

  207. You mentioned Smithsonian. Jean Lamb sent me this, in the context of “mail spam” –

    “I get lots of mail spam too! Still some for Mike, of course, but some for me, like insurance flyers and magazine subscription offers * (including one for the Smithsonian for $10 a year, clearly they are on the advertising death spiral and will go strictly online in about a five years).* (emphasis mine)

    Mike being her late husband.

  208. Wer here
    Today is my free day looking forward to siting with my buddies and maybe have a beer enjoy the last days of summer. God knows what is going to happen next. It is hard to imagine I no longer whatch TV because it is an absurdity at this point. I’ ve heard that Trump is going to prison now isn’t he? people on the media are screaming about that BRICS will inevitably collapse (but I suppose that it is in the same cathegory like Russian Economy collapsing next week every week repeated just like iminent Ukrainian victory) Crazy people are making content that “it is over china and brics will collapse in 20 days sigh…
    There are people on social media going on screeds that the future of the world will be collapse of every nation state and emergence of technocracy. A lot of people are thrilled by this Jesus. I hope your next post on wensday 30 August might shed some light on this because I am confused by all of the noise that is surronding us nowadays. hard to distance myself if my neighbour is repeating thoose claims 24/7. Hopefully my comments are not a bore to you all cheers
    Wer

  209. Aloysius (#207) said:

    I’ve been hung up for a while now on why the Papesse has a crescent moon floating above her head and was hoping that paper (which I regret not reading at the time) might offer some insight.

    I am unsure what Western mages have to say about such a thing but in dharma cultures the crescent moon is often a symbolic reference to soma – the nectar of the gods and thus one who is completely intoxicated with nameless ecstasies but nonetheless retains complete awareness and mastery of life and of dimensions beyond the physical. It’s a symbol of the third eye having been opened and of being aware of the subtle pranas of the moon and dimensions beyond Malkuth and how the moon affects life on earth.

    Sadhguru once praised certain (sadly now extinct) tribes of Native North Americans saying there is strong evidence in the American Southwest that there were once yogis among them who were great spiritual adepts of the moon. Much of the archeological sites reveals an entire culture that was aware of and knew how to make use of the moon for unleashing more possibilities in life for spiritual upliftment and well-being. He said nowhere else on his many worldwide tours besides India has he seen such archeological evidence of such great yogis of the moon. He stood and explained many features that have mystified archeologists but he says to yogis their purpose is obvious because it’s still done like that to this day many places in India for spiritual aspirants.

    He said it is common even today to be aware of the subtle energies tied to the sun and earth. It is far more rare and takes far more spiritual work and soul evolution to be aware of and utilize the subtle energies of the moon – especially to do so in a complementary fashion with the sun and earth energies.

    https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/mystic-moon

    https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/shiva-symbol

    I would not be surprised if the Papesse is displaying symbolic reference to at least some of the things Sadhguru talked about.

  210. John, et. al.–

    A friend of mine made me aware of this bit of news a short while ago. Out in Wyoming, there is an effort to stand-up a new educational institution–Luther Classical College–with a return to classical education. The present goal is to open for first classes in fall of 2025.

    https://www.lutherclassical.org/

    Here’s a flyer on the proposed A.A. and B.A. curricula:

    https://www.lutherclassical.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Curriculum-Preview-Flyer-June-2023-rev-2023-06-01.pdf

    Note the A.A. includes a “tradecraft” track. (The “general” A.A. track is noted for being particularly appropriate for “the vocation of Christian motherhood.”) The B.A. tracks listed are: general, pre-seminary, teaching (geared to the Lutheran school system), and parish music.

    All-in-all a wonderful thing to see. This particular institution is, of course, established within a specific worldview and value-set, namely that of Lutheran Christianity. I’m hopeful that other communities, whether bound by a common faith or by other ties, establish similar schools. I wonder if this isn’t the future face of post-secondary education.

  211. Compression gloves will save your hands! They’ve saved mine.

    @ Patricia Matthews #147

    Mark kindly took a picture of my hands in my gloves so you can get a better idea of them.

    I’d like to embed the image but I don’t know how.
    Mark set up this link so you can see the picture.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/cfaPOOw

  212. Oops. forgot to add this bit to my post of Native American yogis of the moon.

    “He stood and explained many features that have mystified archeologists but he says to yogis their purpose is obvious because it’s still done like that to this day many places in India – though on a smaller, more individualized scale – for spiritual aspirants.”

    The difference to India is that for these Native American tribes an entire culture was in sync and arranged it’s daily lifestyles according to the subtle, beyond the physical, dimensions of the moon.

  213. @ LeGrand #171

    That sounds very plausible based on what I’ve seen of Chinese society in “Checkmate!”

    I’ve never seen such a casual acceptance of police brutality and the authoritarian state like “Checkmate.”

  214. David BTL & JMG: though different in tone and focus than “Rich Men North of Richmond”, the latest Oliver Anthony song released on YT, “I Want To Go Home” has already gained millions of views and rave ‘reaction’ reviews, especially from reviewers of darker hue. I have even heard some refer to Oliver by the ‘n-word’ which, I believe, is a kind of honorific which only they can bestow. It does not hurt the fact that a significant number of the darker-hued reviewers are also serious about their religious faith. Occasionally events in the world can surprise all but the most Pollyanna-ish among us; this may well be one such event. I sure hope that it is!

  215. On the subject of decline, it seems to me that the 2020s are the decade that the energy descent thing is really going to bite hard. Industrial civilization requires both a consistent and consistently high energy throughput to be maintained, much less grow. And that’s a predicament. Conventional oil appears to have peaked in the 2000s and new discoveries of the necessary scale have been nonexistent. Unconventional oil peaked in the latter part of the 2010s, and now there is an unbalanced situation where the majority of the world’s unconventional oil is coming from just one region, the West Permian in Texas. That area appears to be only a couple of years from peaking, and unconventional wells deplete quickly. All of the other major parts of the USA’s unconventional supply (e.g. Bakken shale, Prudhoe) are in decline. We can probably limp along from fracking and tar sands and such for another decade, but then it’s going to be a situation of serious decline. I don’t believe anyone has been able to significantly ramp up production outside of North America either. Large reserves of poor quality coal remain and natural gas is supposed to peak around the 2030s. Looks like the “surplus energy age” is going to wind down around the same time that the Plutonian Age fades out — interesting convergence.

    The push to “green” / “renewable” energy is nonviable for reasons of resource constraints and the fact that they require fossil fuel inputs at every step from mining to production to maintenance. The more cynical might be inclined to regard it as one last taxpayer-funded orgasm of graft for the well-connected. It certainly isn’t the “solution to our problems”, as if this were a problem with a solution at all rather than a predicament to be managed. We have two people, on two different continents, here who tried to implement these solutions and found them wanting even on a smaller scale (Oilman2 and Chris at Fernglade).

    The alternative media have gotten a bit paranoid in recent years and the histrionics have tended to emotionally exhaust me. They are sure that we are on the threshold of the WEF technocratic-totalitarian future in which humanity will be enslaved forevermore. From where I sit, that doesn’t look very likely. What it looks like to me, looking at the chaos unfolding all around us, is that the system we have built is already starting to crumble, and the people who are supposed to be in charge have no idea what to do about it.

  216. Wer here
    I would like to apologise for the previous comment I must get more somber upss.. sorry just a 1 free day and goodbye summer party, I know JMG will be celebrating it on a different day, Sorry for blubering read your post about storm trooper syndrome strange they showed that image of broken tanks in zaphorozyie ( writing it correctly) ? and said it it was all broken russian tanks that were destroyed by brave Ukrainians. I am not a military guy good grief if that post is just 50 % correct what then? will they send conscripts in poland to save Lwów? sorry must get my act together my head. JMG can you show in the comment section this “troll bingo” I must recently unfortunately crossed some points.

  217. Wer, I, for one, am glad to read your comments here. I wish you all the best through these difficult times.

  218. Grover #183
    i hope you are right. I worry that the war industry donates so much to congress people that they will continue to vote for confrontational policies in order to keep the war industry thriving. I do hope that the KMT candidate wins the Taiwanese presidential election with his reunification policy and removes that American excuse for confrontation.
    Stephen

  219. Anonymuz, the phrase “clown world” really does seem appropriate at this point. No doubt Musk will be in trouble next because he won’t hire people for engineering jobs who have critical theory degrees and aren’t at all sure that 2 + 2 = 4.

    Moose, that’s going to get a post of its own quite soon. The BRICS are playing things slow and cautious, as they should, but as the dollar loses more and more of its share of world reserve currency status, the blowback in the US will include uncontrollable inflation, economic contraction, and the collapse of the federal government’s capacity to service its debt.

    Slithy, good! Yes, and it really does show up some of the flaws of Buddhist philosophy.

    Hackenschmidt, no dobut the principal’s getting an under-the-table kickback for every one of those useless pieces of electrocrap that gets sold. Business as usual in our gaudily corrupt country!

    Your Kittenship, Great Cthulhu, in drowned R’lyeh, with — AAAUGGGHHH! 😉

    Robert, good heavens, common sense is breaking out all over! No, I don’t think Britain would have been better off if it had stayed in the EU. It would have been strip-mined of wealth to prop up the inner circle of wealthy continental interests. As it is, Britain has a really rough road ahead, but it could be considerably worse — as countries that stay in the EU will find out.

    Grover, that’s certainly my advice. I’d add — the more you can do without money, the less you’ll be affected by inflation. This is the time when the household economy, neighborhood gift economies, and other money-free ways of doing things become essential.

    Jasmine, good. I see you’re paying attention. 😉

    Aloysius, hmm. I don’t recall analyzing it any further than that. La Papesse has a crescent moon above her head because the moon is a symbol of the feminine principle in occult tradition, and it also has close connections to intuition and the unconscious, both of which have much to do with this card.

    J.L.Mc12, fascinating. Birds seem to have more efficient brains than mammals — they can pack more cognitive capacity into a smaller space. You may be right about the aramatids!

    Bofur, I answered your question — you’ll notice that I didn’t reference legal issues at all, but stressed that magic should be dealt with by magic. If I need to spell it out in more detail, no, evil magic should not be made a matter of legal enactments, because in the great majority of cases there’s no way to prove either guilt or innocence to the standards required by a court of law. Maintaining those standards is essential, to prevent any number of stupidities and brutalities, so cases involving evil magic should be dealt with using magical methods, which are quite sufficient for the purpose.

    Chris, human beings are social primates and so social status is almost always profoundly important to them. Ever since manual labor got assigned to the working classes, anyone above those classes won’t do it, for fear that other people will think they’re poorer than they are. I suspect a lot of people will be jolted out of that in the not too distant future, not least because so many of them will end up a lot poorer than they are now.

    Neptunesdolphins, it’s a class issue. As far as these people are concerned, what makes Trump the evilest evil that ever eviled is that he proposes to give the working classes more of a say in how society is run, and for the privileged classes — who, as you point out, have never been poor and have no idea what their crackbrained policies have done to most Americans — that’s utter anathema. “We’re the smart people, we get to tell everyone else what to do!” That’s the foundation of their identity, and their justification for milking the system for far more than they’re worth. That combination of ignorance and status panic is all but universal among corrupt, ineffectual aristocracies on the way down.

    TemporaryReality, delighted to hear this. Thank you!

    Clay, fascinating. Thanks for this. One of the most interesting things about that essay is that Rovics does a fine job of identifying the style of thinking of the people he critiques; it’s what old-fashioned psychologists used to call “delusions of reference,” the insistence that other people’s words and actions should be interpreted according to whatever arbitrary set of meanings the deluded person puts on them. That’s a common symptom of paranoid schizophrenia — which raises the question of just how far current woke ideology might best be understood as a collective psychopathology.

    Random, there are various theories about that, and in some, yes, our material plane is the Kether of the demonic realm, the condition of enlightenment to which they aspire. That’s speculative — of course most things about the demonic realm are, since accurate information is hard to come by.

    Mary, I hope that referendum passes with flying colors.

    Slithy, of course! At this point you can assume as a matter of course that whatever solution the mass media offers for a problem is worse than the problem.

    Patricia M, that seems about right.

    Wer, thank you for the update. It intrigues me that the same schlock is being marketed by the media in so many places.

    Justin, a good point!

    David BTL, good heavens. That strikes me as a very promising sign.

    Teresa, I’ll give it a try:

    (edit: well, that didn’t work! — JMG)

    Ron, so I see. This whole phenomenon is fascinating to watch.

    Deneb, for what it’s worth, this is my take as well.

    Sister Crow, the phrase “whistling past the graveyard” comes to mind…

    Wer, no, you’re fine. You haven’t yet posted anything I’ve had reason to reject.

  220. @JMG

    Could the myth of Progress be responsible for the fact that most mathematically-inclined STEM graduates go in for R&D in computer science, engineering or genetics/molecular biology? After all, these are fields that the media highlights, and relatively less ‘sexy’ fields like human physiology and plant physiology go unnoticed. I work in the former as a mathematical modeller and have quite a bit of interest in exploring how the modelling approach I use in my job can be used in the latter (from the POV of a hobbyist). I can say with confidence that we have just started studying the human body from a mathematical (read: differential equations) POV, and that there’s plenty of scope in this field; so, it’s just somewhat sad to see that even the larger STEM community is not fully aware of the potential this field poses as a source of unsolved scientific and mathematical problems. And then they complain about physics being in a crisis or some such thing – I recall Sabine Hossenfelder complaining about this. But I guess that’s the nature of a civil religion in its old age…

  221. Does anyone here read Moon of Alabama? In spite of the name, the website is located in Germany. The author is a former German army officer who writes under the name “b” (Bernard). Most of his posts are political and many in the last few years have touched on Ukraine. At the end of today’s post “So Much Winning” he quotes a piece from “Notes on Stormtrooper Syndrome” from Ecosophia. He doesn’t mention JMG by name, just has a few paragraphs.
    You may get some new readers JMG!

  222. JMG
    Today moon of alabama. org, ran quite a long quote of you on storm trooper syndrome.
    Stephen

  223. Thank you for your reply to my BRICS comment. The USA’s PRICS behavior over the years has generated the BRICS response. Sorry, I have OPD, Obsessive Pun Disorder.
    Now onto a henotheistic spiritual experience of a covenant with a particular God.I appreciate your understanding that spiritual experience even though it is not amenable to laboratory materialistic examination is still a subjective response to objective realities.
    Years ago after becoming a Christian I was reading a book on prayer written by a Catholic priest. At the end he stated that the methods he taught could be applied to Mary. So one day as I was walking along I prayed to Mary. It worked, a beneficent feeling female presence manifested, I felt defiled and violated, for the presence was touching a place in my being that was consecrated to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirt into whose name I had been baptized. I said, “It’s the mother goddess” and withdrew in horror.
    Curiously, apparently the God of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity is okay with basically for all practical purposes treating Mary as a goddess. Here we are entering a realm of multiplicity and mystery. Experientially for me the Trinity is the one true Living God, but intellectually I accept the possibility of mystery, multiplicity, and the unknown and wait for resolution in eternity.

  224. @JMG,

    Thought it might amuse you to learn that Ecosophia is cited on ‘Moon of Alabama’, a decent site for info re: the war in UKR (the comments get trolled relentlessly, though). Anyway, Berhhard was quoting from the Stormtrooper Syndrome essay, and provided a link. Some decent comments, too.

    (This in today’s piece “So Much Winning… and More…”)

  225. An anecdote to follow up your reply asserting that the EU strip-mines wealth. The Ford Motor Co engine plant in Bridgend, Wales which closed a couple of years ago, was where my father worked from when it opened until he retired. My cousin also worked there in a management role and recently told me the plant’s fate was sealed as soon as Romania joined the EU, as shortly afterwards Ford built a plant there which exactly duplicated the Bridgend one but labour costs were about one-third as much. Of course most German industrial giants like their car companies, Bosch, etc, now have their factories in eastern Europe and other low cost places.

  226. The Other Owen #212: “There are people who still listen to the radio? Why? You can listen to hours of recorded music that you like with no stupid filler and no commercials.”

    The advantage of radio is the serendipity factor: the possibility of discovering music you never knew existed. I grew up listening to a variety of local radio stations on my little clock radio, and acquired a taste for all kinds of music (classical, folk, rock, opera, blues). Some of my favorite recording artists are people I just happened to hear on the radio! If you’re fortunate enough to be able to get a good public radio station or university station (or can afford satellite radio), you don’t have to listen to commercials.

  227. Sam (#177) said:

    I was wondering what you, or others here, know about breathwork (the more intense holotropic kinds), from an occult perspective?

    I had to look this up and watch a few videos on Youtube to see what this is. It looks like people slinging together various kinds of yogic Pranayamas together as a full breath “workout” the way they engage in a string of weightlifting exercises every day at a gym.

    I don’t fault people for wanting to do something to better themselves. Sadhguru says the nature of every human life is that every human being wants and needs to be more than what it is right now. To reach beyond one’s current limitations. For that reason I can’t fault anyone who takes up some of these holotropic regimens.
    I do question whether many of these enthusiasts understand what they’ve taken up. A lot of good can come of it but so can a lot of problems. Problems building up that won’t be noticeable until much later in life. Or even in future lifetimes.

    I do know of one holotropic breath regimen that has centuries of proven success and was successfully adapted in the 1920s by west coast Americans into a 9 week mail correspondence course that has likewise stood the test of time.

    I refer you to Santosh Sachdeva’s

    The Eight Spiritual Breaths
    [ISBN: 978-81-88479-900]

    This book gives the history of how it came to be. Why everything works as it does and what’s happening to the system. It covers the chakras, the pranas, the subtle body organs, the directional paths prana may take and even includes a full additional program of daily affirmations and visualizations which the original monastery version did not have. By the end of the book you will have a pretty good overview of what a beginner in yoga also gets to learn. Plus the weight of centuries of success behind it.

    The Western Occult version was re-exported to India and has had so much success there that it’s unchanged from the 1920s correspondance course.

    The breathwork list is the following:

    1. The Memory-Development Breath
    2. The Revitalization Breath
    3. The Inspirational Breath
    4. The Physical Perfection Breath
    5. The Vibro-Magnetic Breath
    6. The Cleansing Breath
    7. The Grand Rejuvenation Breath
    8. Your Own Spiritual Breath

    Sri Rohit Arya has his direct disciples do this regimen daily – including the daily affirmations and visualizations. Sri Arya is not a Buddhist by the way and you don’t need to be one either to get the benefits.

    Sri Arya lecture titled: What are The Eight Spiritual Breaths and how they transform you

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7j2bk0JrzM

    Sri Ayra lecture titled: How The Eight Spiritual Breaths are unique and different from other systems

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHJs_9gU6_0

    Here are some other resources to consider to help you evaluate any future holotropic breathwork that may interest you.

    Breath, Mind and Consciousness by Harish Johari [ISBN: 9780892812523 ]

    How Your Breath & Energy Changes During The Day:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_cUSfwl_Xk

    If you choose not to do the Eight Spiritual Breaths check out these videos****

    In what sequence pranayamas should be done, sequence of breathing exercises
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT-HDh7pjC4

    How to balance your body temperature with Pranayama Breathing Exercises

  228. On CBDCs: Many countries that have experienced economic problems have responded by creating an internal currency that cannot be traded for foreign currency legally, and then paying most workers and welfare recipients in it. The internal currency can be used to buy often rationed quantities of essential goods. CBDCs sound to me like a high tech version of the same thing, with a suitable veneer of technogimmickry.

    On a more fun note, I went and watched Oliver Anthony’s new song on youtube, and the first video that autoplayed afterwards featured a black man wearing a t-shirt celebrating Trump’s leadership in indictments.

    If we get Hispanic people celebrating Trump as America’s first illegal president, it’s all over but the shouting.

    The end of American Empire will be rough, but the carnival at the brink is something to behold.

  229. Hi John Michael,

    Hmm, thanks for the response. What troubles me about the story is that the ‘collapse now and avoid the rush’ is probably even more applicable in this instance. If people no longer have the option of doing desk work, they’re in for a world of pain. Going to a gym will not prepare a person for hours and hours of physical activity (often without breaks), it’s just not the same thing. In some ways it’s kind of like the difference between training at the Dojo once per week, and going there every night and competing on weekends. Ain’t the same thing at all.

    I’m watching the money story quite closely (and re-reading Michael Lewis’s book ‘Inside The Doomsday Machine’, that’s the subtitle, or by-line) and my take away from it all is that officially, all those created dollars need to go somewhere other than into products and services – and what is going on is condoned, maybe not explicitly, but a lack of enforcement of common sense is kind of the same thing. I can well understand why the rest of the world would be rather annoyed by the expansionary money supply policies. And the volume is bonkers (Three Thousand Million annually is larger than my brain can comprehend!) What amazes me about the entire issue, is that there doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement by our elites that the rest of the world can, and indeed will, take action. That’s weird. I have this horrid hunch that a point in the past was passed-by when a bit of curtailment of the excess may have been greeted with unilateral support, but no didn’t happen.

    All this is beginning to make wonder about the concept of intelligence as it is currently understood. There are plenty of ‘smart people’ pushing those economic policies, yet at the same time the policies are quite stupid, if only because eventually they will fail, and probably quite spectacularly if history is any guide. My question for you is this: Is it smart to see only narrow short term goals, whilst at the same time disregarding the longer term macro perspective which history has to teach us?

    Cheers

    Chris

  230. Well my apologies to Ecosophia readers.

    I said that the Affirmations and Visualizations in The Eight Spiritual Breaths did not exist in the monastery version. I stand corrected. I just rewatched a bit of Sri Arya’s video on it and he says Affirmations were considered one of the three parts of a full course that balanced out the pranayama and visualizations. I guess the original Tibetan version did have these things – in Tibetan – geared for celibate monks.

    It’s just that John Dingell reworked and reworded it for english speaking (likely married) American householders. Sachdeva and Sri Arya both say that even if you never do the 8 spiritual breaths you should still do the Affirmations part of the book.

    Just wanted to clear that up. I guess the point I was trying to show is that there is at least one Western Occult-ized version of holotropic breathwork that has good results and decades (even centuries if you include the monastery version) of success with the householder version.

  231. Viduraawakened, well, where are the jobs? Who’s hiring? That would be my first question.

    Annette, Stephen, and Sgage, yes, I saw that earlier today when I checked B.’s latest for news from the country my wife has taken to calling Kaboomistan. I was chuffed; the more people spread the concept of Stormtrooperr Syndrome around, the harder it will be for the clueless to keep insisting that their side must win because they’re the Good People.

    Moose, funny. As for Mary, well, there you are; Catholics practice veneration for saints alongside worship of the Trinity, and your kind of Christian clearly doesn’t. It’s a complicated universe.

    Robert, yep. The entire EU structure has become a system for that kind of wealth extraction. I doubt it will end well.

    Justin, the big difference is that every unit of a CBDC can be tracked moment by moment by the central bank, and deleted or tinkered with at will. That makes it far more useful as an instrument of political control than a mere domestic currency.

    Chris, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately what history has to teach us is mostly that our species is not too bright.

  232. Grover – The word you meant to use for “superconductor” was “semiconductor”. Superconductors got a lot a press a few weeks ago, and have a few specialized uses (such as making powerful magnets for MRI machines), but semi conductors are used to make transistors, both individually and by the millions in the devices of information technology.
    Silicon is the most popular element for semiconductors, and China IS a major supplier. But silicon is found all over the world, so it’s just a matter of costs as to where it’s refined.

  233. Wer – Mr. Trump went to “the jail” yesterday, but he didn’t even stay for dinner. The offices for the formal processes of our judicial system are conveniently located near the facilities for holding those suspects who need to be held, but suspects like Mr. Trump (and his alleged co-conspirators) are allowed to pay a “bail” fee and walk back out the door when the proceedings are complete. If he doesn’t come back when called for trial (which is called “skipping bail”), he forfeits the bail money and becomes a fugitive (one who runs away). If caught, he would probably be denied another opportunity to await trial in the comfort of his own home. So, yes, he went to the jail, but no, he has not been “put in jail”. I hope this is clear!

  234. Something very troubling just occurred to me: how many people will react to a NATO loss by concluding it’s only possible if NATO is the bad guy? After all, that would be one way to maintain the Stormtrooper Fallacy…

  235. Jasmine and JMG,

    FWIW, I read Hans Rosling’s book “Factfulness” recently, as a direct challenge to my own worldview. For all it’s rosy optimism, Rosling’s view of Progress is almost completely based on growth and cheap energy. Which are of course subjects for the history books at this point.

    But in the book he talked about meeting Al Gore. Behind the scenes at some environmental conference. Gore repeatedly implored him to SCARE the people gathered here tonight. Scare the bejesus out of them. That’s the only way it’ll sink in, he said.

    I may not have agreed with the author about much, but I really appreciated that he finally told the former VP “no, I will not intentionally alter my presentation to frighten people. Period.”

  236. @ ilovemusictheory (#46) – awesome! thank you! I will certainly keep these in mind whenever I happen to see one of these signs.

  237. Justin and JMG,

    I’ve been slowly building a local underground economy here in our little town based on old 90% silver coins. I figure, why stockpile them for “later” when we can go ahead and do this now. Not a lot of participants yet, admittedly, but the ones I’ve actually interacted with to any great extent are in, 100%. But what’s surprised me most is how everyone involved feels like a winner.

    I get a better price for my silver than I could get at the coin shop, and they trade goods at retail prices but only have to absorb wholesale costs (not to mention that they usually give the tax man the finger altogether). And we gladly take them back for our herbal products at the farmers market.

    It’s been surprisingly fun. Which is not an adjective I’d normally associate with money.

  238. Earlier this summer I had mentioned a Cree (Indigenous) man in Canada who is working to counteract the malevolent symbol of the N@zis with the traditional swastika symbol used by many peoples around the world including the native peoples of Turtle Island (i.e., North America). Somebody in the group had expressed a desire for periodic updates, so here it goes. First of all, the person in question is named Adrien Thomas (aka Adrien the realist). The ‘Unity Thunderbird’ flag which he has been flying can be seen here: https://adrientherealist.com/products/house-banner. A write-up on the symbol and flag is here: https://adrientherealist.com/collections/flags. There is also a Thunderbird WAR flag, which features both the Thunderbird and the swastika. The design of the Thunderbird WAR flag is very deliberately designed, with the seven parts of one wing representing the Grandfather Teachings and the other wing representing the seven Grandmother Teachings. There is also a home symbol (I don’t recall the meaning of the ‘star’ symbol on the Thunderbird’s breast off the top of my head).

    The last time I wrote about Adrien’s plan to carry the flag counterclockwise around the federal parliament buildings on July 1st; sadly, he was thwarted by the hyper-vigilant parliamentary police. However, elsewhere in the city of Ottawa, atop a monument to commemorate Canada’s Indigenous peoples, two First Nations women raised the flag, amidst a crowd of police. Upon hearing this, Adrien was pleased as he has repeatedly said that women can often accomplish things better than men because men’s egos get in the way.

    I am not aware of Adrien doing any more perambulations around parliament buildings this summer, but (a) he may not be proclaiming a lot of what he does and (b) he may not have a schedule but may do things ‘as the spirit moves him’. However, he has been very involved in powerful sweats and other traditional ceremonies, building alliances among freedom-fighting ‘cowboys and Indians’ (which is a delight to behold) and sharing critical information on Indigenous issues via social media. Also, he has been designing a variety of Thunderbird-themed merch (he is a designer by trade).

    Meanwhile, other interesting things have been happening regarding the swastika in recent months. The most significant being a panel titled “Swastika Proclamation: Swastika is different from Hakenkreuz” at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, on August 22. Panelist included various Hindu, Buddhist and First Nations members, as well as a Jewish Holocaust historian. Details here: https://cohna.org/parliament-of-the-worlds-religions-features-discussion-on-distinguishing-the-sacred-swastika-from-hitlers-hakenkreuz/ Some serendipity seems to be at work here!

  239. JMG, you mentioned “our country” – the story I told was of Australia. I strongly doubt the principal is getting kickbacks, we have some decent auditing etc.

    In fact, I don’t think they’d need kickbacks to persuade them. The cultural ideals of Progress! and Science! are so strong that it doesn’t occur to anyone to ask simple questions like, “why not just use pen and paper?” Questioning a Progresser’s use of a computer screen is like questioning a Catholic’s Eucharist. It’s part of their identity, and gives them a mystical connection to their deity.

  240. Anonymous, that’ll be entertaining to watch, if it happens.

    Grover, fascinating. Thanks for the data point about the book — and I’m pleased to hear about the underground economy.

    Ron, many thanks for the update.

    Hackenschmidt, my mistake! If it had happened here in the U$A there would have been bribery involved, but it interests me that that’s not the case in Australia.

  241. There was something else that I found in the Columbia History of Television book that I figured I’d post about in the next open post, but which I think is worth posting about now, as it turns out I likely won’t be able to get any other sources on this with anything resembling the ease I was expecting. This in and of itself is concerning to me.

    It turns out that the scenes where the Apollo lander landed on the Moon were not scenes of the actual landing, due to technical issues with filming it. There was, to put it simply, no practical way to get a camera to the right spot to film it in advance of Apollo 11; most (but not all!) the scenes after the landing were real, as a camera was sent with Apollo 11 and used to record the astronauts, but the film of the landing itself, out of “necessity”, had to be faked. CBS News built a massive replica of the lunar surface and the lander, with NASA’s extensive help; and they staged the landing to get it on film.

    Rather than admit they could not get it on film, the television industry faked the Lunar Landing. The problem I’m running into is that it turns out that this fact, which was supposedly communicated with the public, did not reach a lot of people; and people who are pointing out, truthfully, that CBS News and NASA quite literally built a studio replica of the Moon are now being denounced as conspiracy theorists. This is despite the fact that it says in the broadcasts themselves that this part is a simulation at one point.

    My first concern is that this calls into question a lot of things: how many other iconic moments in television history, events that shaped the minds of millions and were presented, not as fiction, but as fact, were staged in some way or other? If something as massive and consequential as the lunar landing could use fake footage, who’s to say what else uses fake footage, and if this is now becoming impossible to discuss in polite company, and hard to verify using online sources, or anything published in the last few years, then it calls everything ever presented on TV as non-fiction (or even thought to have been presented as such) into question! Even if it is disclosed at the time that it was a simulation, it looks clear that people don’t notice, or forget that part ( which leads to the usual Mandela Effect stuff: https://www.reddit.com/r/MandelaEffect/comments/15bapdv/in_the_current_timeline_the_video_of_the_apollo/?rdt=60556); and I don’t have the time, resources, nor inclination to dig through everything ever aired as TV news and check to see if it was simulation; if, of course, they’d admit to it in all cases. In this case, the only reason it appears on the screen saying it’s a simulation is probably because they messed up and had the fake lander land before the real one.

    My second concern is that this means that it means something getting denounced as a conspiracy theory is in fact true. There was a massive amount of resources which went into building a replica of the moon to stage some of the footage of the Lunar Landing; this was, in 2007, considered non-controversial enough to get mentioned almost in passing in a book published by Columbia University Press, and the fact that part of it is a simulation appears in footage itself; yet today it gets denounced as a conspiracy theory. This calls into question how much I can trust anything: if the mass media is now willing to outright lie, about facts which are trivially

    I can’t help but wonder, in fact, if there are a large number of people who think the moon landing was faked because they realized just how hard it would have been to have caught it on film; or they caught that part of the broadcast was a simulation, and then found that the only people who would listen to them were the people thinking the whole thing was faked.

  242. You said it would be entertaining to watch if people start deciding NATO is the Bad Guy to preserve the Stormtrooper Fallacy. I agree, it could be very entertaining. It could also be very, very ugly, since the Bad Guy traditionally behaves very, very badly, and if NATO’s leaders come to think they’re playing the role of the Bad Guy, things could get very strange indeed….

  243. JMG, I hope as you do that the Maine referendum passes. I can find little about it. The organizers seem to be keeping a very low profile which might be wise. The Jacobin article mentioned “leftist and progressive” organizations being bribed by the corporate side; I wish they had seen fit to name names. It is clear that the reason for the bribing is to close off access to leftist funding networks.

  244. I am not American myself, but something I have seen coming up in online media lately is discussion of American student loans, and how the Biden Administration’s pause on repayments will soon be ending. Some of the commentary emphasises how this will have a significant impact on the economy. What’s interesting to me is how the financialisation and corporatisation of higher education institutions was allowed to get to the point that it has.

    My sense is that in the past, higher education had significant barriers to entry and formidable selection processes which made education a “positional good”, essentially a status symbol whose value was partly upheld by its scarcity. And that scarcity was created in a specific way, meaning that only certain people got college degrees. As a result, college degrees once signaled something like membership of a social class, or attainment of rarified expertise. When this was upheld, colleges could be places of semi-meritocratic elite socialisation where the children of the de facto aristocracy were tutored by, and mingled with, great minds. There were different institutions for getting training in occupations, and employers would also train up their own people.

    In the past I think there was also a hard-nosed understanding of what higher education was supposed to do. It had a social purpose. You bring out the potential of your best and brightest minds, and they use their unlocked potential to go out and do complex things or great things or highly specialised things, and whether they choose to do that in public service or private enterprise or some dank little office or laboratory – you could have a level of confidence that their college education was adding value to the world.

    Today higher education in the western world is just another money maker, and the elite socialisation takes a form that now seems to emphasise conformity and belief in rank ideology. The professed moral and social values of these institutions have the quality of loyalty tests resembling the old Chinese example to “point at a deer and call it a horse”, and this leaks into society generally. College degrees have become lower status (more people are doing degrees, making education abundant rather than scarce), and yet lower quality (with ideological degree programs and repressive cultures rather than encouraging and challenging ones), and also more expensive. What’s more, for those who borrow money to get their education, higher education can turn out to be a ticket to a life of debt serfdom, and far from delivering on the promise of progress and the productivity benefits that it once did, college education is actually imposing costs on both individuals and – as the Biden Admin is grappling with – imposing costs on the economy as well. It should go without saying that society also suffers when it saddles its young with debt, and with misleading or fake educational pathways. They will take fewer risks and have fewer children than they otherwise would, and in their prime consumer years they will be finding ways to get by without buying as much stuff because they are servicing their debts. So higher education’s social and economic legitimacy today looks highly questionable.

    And while there are more college graduates, there is not more expertise or more value added to the world. It’s the opposite. A bigger cohort of people who probably had no place being in a college went there. In the end you get a larger class of would-be elites playing a fiercer zero-sum game for elite status (and the available power, control, resources, and money), trying to act the part with enormous hubris, condescension, and complex ever-evolving rules of social etiquette… whilst being more insecure and wanting to fight the easy battles or to vent their frustrations rather than fighting the right battles.

    Not to sound too cold here, but there is no part of the long descent I would relish to see more than the end of (or some revolutionary change to) higher education. In another age, I feel I could have spent my life in a university. But in today’s world I know that it would be a waste of my time. They have so badly lost their way from things like reason, truth, the edification of young people, and from being a source of novelty and vitality for the public and private good.

  245. @grover could you say something more on your herbal products? I’ve recently become interested in making soap as part of my gardening work (organic pesticides need wetting agents) and I booked myself into a course on making essential oils in November.

  246. Mary, (#195)

    I won’t dispute that the intelligence agencies play a major role in the media; but the fact of the matter is that no politician can get elected if the mass media doesn’t give them attention. Simply put, regardless of who owns the media, the media owns the politicians. I doubt the intelligence agencies care who owns who between the media and politicians; but the media class needs to keep people from realizing the media which serves the political class works at least as well as a media class which doesn’t, and so is making a point to try to whip up blind panic over this.

  247. Happy Panda, I find your posts interesting but I wanted to say something, but was hoping to find a way to say it without being hostile; I hope you don’t take this the wrong way:

    Sadhguru is not really an authority on spirituality in general for those who are not his students. I have seen you quoting him regarding Buddhism and other philosophies, a lot of what he says is not backed by evidence from within the tradition itself. For example, regarding rainbow body, that’s not how it is understood within Vajrayana itself. There are many practices for getting the vayus to flow in the central channel in Vajrayana, but none of them in themselves result in the rainbow body.

    Regarding breath work, which I know you are quoting Sri Arya instead of Sadhguru, there are actually plenty of different lineages in Buddhism that involve some form of breath work that were historically practised by laypeople, outside the monastery. Actually much of Vajrayana in the first place was transmitted through laypeople even from India to Tibet.

    The Lamdre, Six Yogas of Naropa are examples, and there are many many more within the different schools. You can read up on “yantra yoga” for example. Many different pranayams are taught there. Even in “Hindu” yoga, there are plenty of different pranayams practices in different traditions.

    Visualisations are common all throughout Vajrayana from the basic practice of taking refuge all the way to different subtle body practices.

    The different refuge prayers, supplications, and mantras basically fulfill the same role as affirmations, but are different in form from the New Thought based formulations.

    Anyway, if you find Sadhguru’s materials useful, I am happy for you, I just wanted to say that not everyone takes him as authoritative especially when he speaks on traditions that have their own rich history, teachers and so on.

  248. First, a correction pointed out by Lathechuck: “semi”conductor, not “super”conductor. My mistake. Too many thoughts simmering in my head this week…

    JMG, I totally understand what you’re saying about the threat of centralized control and manipulation of people and their economic autonomy inherent in block-chain-based CBDCs. And I reckon that’s ultimately what I was driving at with my earlier comments. Because it seems like just the next logical step for the money-changers of the global temple, from what we currently do without a second thought. Something something frog, something something boiling water?

    I have about as much interest in embracing CBDCs as I have in embracing a skunk, and have obviously gone to some length to move in the other direction, having given the conventional D3 system (direct deposit and debit) the boot years ago. We deposit only what we need to pay bills in the bank, the rest gets pulled out in cash, and said bills get paid within 24 hours.

    I have no desire to sit in the pot waiting for the water to boil…and I reckon that anybody waiting to get out when CBDCs arrive will likely be half-cooked already.

    Many thanks as always for this open forum. It is quite the public service.

  249. Stephen H. Pearson,

    I didn’t even realize that there was movement in that direction. That’s very promising!

    I think I’ll join you in hoping for that outcome as well. I can almost see the blinkered expressions on the faces of neocon pot-stirrers..

  250. Havent been through all your comments but you were mentioned by russel brand in the video ‘oh sh*t, massive 7ft alien attack in peru now?!”

  251. Hi Mary Bennett,

    I never read Iris Murdoch, but I’ve noticed that to be considered a Serious Writer from the mid-20th century on, your characters, and preferably you, had to be obsessed with human sexual behavior, the more exotic the better.

  252. Hi John Michael,

    Well that makes a weird sort of sense. Hmm. You know, you have mentioned your own misgivings in relation to philosopher kings (which I agree with), and how things could end badly when ideology is placed before grubbiness, reality and hard facts. So, there I was today happily listening to a podcast, specifically: KunstlerCast 383 — Truthophobia: How the Boomers Broke Journalism, with Graham Majin. I realise that like video, you also perceive podcasts similarly. Forget about that though in this instance. The point is, the bloke being interviewed casually mentioned that the LTG folks (please excuse the use of the acronym in this instance) morphed into the what we now know of today as the wealthy dudes chaired by the Bond-esque villian with the cat on lap look (trying to say what needs being said, without tripping up too many interweb search roborings! The whole thing is a giant SQL database and key words are what they look for, all very dull and not at all new and exciting, despite the claims). You knew that, didn’t you, which is why you once remarked to me about where they went after getting nowhere with promoting the outcomes at the highest levels from the LTG studies? Please tell me that this is not so? Holy carp boss, this is bad.

    I read that book from beginning to end, a first edition print too, loaned from a friend. They were so well intentioned. Whilst reading the book, a little whisper in my mind kept saying to me over and over that they thought that if: ‘we just give all the right data about what we’re seeing, then things will change’. If I may be so bold as to suggest that a reach for utopia has been tried many a time in history, and the result has always been failure and a vast body count.

    Mate, I’m not mucking around, I’ve stood in the killing fields in Cambodia not many years after the Vietnamese army put an end to the mischief there. It was quiet, there weren’t many other westerners around, and also one of the most disturbing days of my life. My faith in their abilities to navigate a ship in stormy seas is frankly not good.

    Far out! I really hope I’m wrong.

    Chris

  253. Hey JMG

    I also have heard of the possible superiority of avian neurology, which makes the statistic Gisela uncovered through her long research, which is that only 14% of Magpies raise chicks that reach adulthood, all the more sobering.

    The discussion of the extent of avian intelligence and its possible future development leads to another theme, which is how many species could develop both sentience and tool use simultaneously, and even whether human intervention could play a minor role.
    I mean, we know that multiple species of human co-existed, and of course we have smart animals which have minor tool using capacity, but could multiple unrelated species develop intelligence and tool use comparable to humanity? Or does something about evolution preclude that from happening? Also, could the pressure from human interaction encourage the development of more sophisticated behaviour and thought in animals we compete or work with? I think if dogs were to become more sentient it would be from natural (and also continuing artificial) selection for the ability to understand and respond to human behaviour.

  254. @Wer,
    I’m so glad to see you commenting here again. I’m glad to know you are okay. Your perspective has value to me and others here.

  255. Hi John, I thought of sharing this strangely funny and captivating clip of Elizabeth C. Prophet “blessing” the economy and money of her followers to banish all evil contaminating it. She’s an intriguing woman, I’ve been reading lately her Pearls of Wisdom, a monthly periodical of channelings supposedly from the Ascended Masters (though I tend to see it coming either from her Higher Self or a single Master she’s at contact with).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-caDPH6DH_w

    Enjoy.

  256. @Anonymous #258

    I was a major space geek in 1969, and 14-year-old me watched every available scrap of TV coverage of the Moon landings – the first one, and all of them subsequently. NEVER was there any ‘footage’ of an actual landing that purported to be anything other than a simulation. Nobody would have been fooled by it if there was – how could there be a camera in position? The networks wouldn’t have expected it to fool anyone, and weren’t afraid of ‘admitting they couldn’t’ get footage of the actual landing. Of course they couldn’t! Nobody expected them to!

    Yes, they built studios. Yes they simulated some events. It was ALWAYS clearly labelled as such. The networks weren’t stupid enough to fob it off as real, and the viewers would never have been fooled. I know 14-year-old me would not have been fooled.

  257. Hello JMG! I have a question; Mouni Sadhu’s book Theurg, Eliphas Levi’s High Ritual Magic books and Manfred M. Junius’ The Plant Alchemy books books on alchemy and Christian ritual magic and theurgy. I want to begin – a path for life and deeply absorbed in the Age of Memory. I’m looking forward to your reply!

  258. On Oliver Anthony:

    When Harry Smith put out the Anthology of American Folk Music it ushered in the folk-revival and the protests movements associated with the burgeoning counterculture, that music was at the heart of it. It seems legacy media may dimly remember this. Music is so powerful. People will listen to what they like regardless of what the radio stations and music critics have to say. In that respect, punk and hip-hop were the same: music created by the people, for the people. With the virality of this song (and his new one) touching peoples souls, it is no wonder the MSM is busy on putting out the denunciations.

    @Clay Dennis, thanks for your posts about David Rovics and link to his article. I found the following line very illuminating:

    Talking about the 90’s… “There were all kinds of elements within what we might call the left that were more interested in the moral perfection of their particular silos than any notion of a broader movement or a movement of movements. But at least at various times in the past, this element wasn’t always dominant.”

    “The numbers of people expressing very different views from those, however, were significant, across the platforms. What I find among this broad element of the social media universe that is most disturbing is the readiness so many people have to seek flaws and then reject people completely based on one of them. The tendency towards exclusion, towards blocking, towards purging, is overwhelming, while those calling for solidarity and finding common ground are literally reviled as fascists, or at best, unwitting tools of fascists.”

    On CIA and the Media:

    For those interested here are some more America’s Untold Stories episodes about Operation Paperclip, and the CIAs role in Hollywood and the News. (I also threw one in there about how they also work with families so people stay compromised across generations). Finally is an interesting video on CIA in the art world and how modern art was funded by CIA as part of the cold war in an attack against Soviet art. It’s interesting in that this form of abstraction as seen in Pollock was used monkey wrench the Soviet’s entry into international art scene.

    What was Operation Paperclip, part 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVrAuw8AixE

    What was Operation Paperclip, part 2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uid8ubWEgoY

    The CIA in Hollywood
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqGdVczo9Aw

    The CIA in the News
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzkOb2jGLoU

    Family of CIA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6nQ98xvd74

    The CIA in Art
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMUdIanlkio

    RFK Jr. saying Operation Mockibird is still at work and he wants to dismantle the three letter agencies when he gets into office:
    https://rumble.com/v3axmwe-rfk-jr.-bombshell-operation-mockingbird-is-alive-and-well-today.html

    (Now why would he not get much press coverage from MSM? ; )

    @Mary Bennet: Thanks for the info on the Maine referendum. I hadn’t heard of it, but it looks like some good things are on there. I have family there, and it is a state that I really love to visit. My wife and I have fantasized about moving there, but it is really expensive / gentrified around Portland these days. And I really love Ohio too, where most of our family is located.

    https://www.maine.gov/sos/news/2023/2023ReferendumElectionBallotOrderAnnounced.html

  259. Dear Mr. Archdruid

    Do you have any thoughts on the saber rattling with China? I was under the impression the Chinese government essentially owns the governments of Canada, Australia and New Zealand and a good chunk of the US. (The parts not owned by Israel and Ukraine) All of the 5 eyes countries seem to have policies very favorable to Chinese Industry and Chinese people in general. How will a how war against China work with the incredible amount of Chinese interference in our governments and industry?

    With the Ukraine War I have been following the Russian Propagandists – The Duran, Scott Ritter, etc.. While I enjoy the analysis and generally agree with their points of view I am leery when they become Chinese propagandists. The other day The Duran was interviewing Jeffery Sachs. I find the interview and the history fascinating, however I find the collective inability to understand why a typical citizen of the west would be leery of China a stunning fail. I understand Mr. Sachs is a beaten old guy horrified at the world he helped bring about, but The Duran guys are pretty smart and the miss in perspective is glaring.

    Hot war with China – no way. Economic war with China – bring it on. This means industrial policy, capital controls and re-industrialization. It also means shutting down Chinese spy networks, and kicking them out of our politics. Hopefully it also means policies for the betterment of citizens here. The notion that a factory can only move from Ohio to Shanghai is just plain silly. It does work both ways, really it does. Yes re-industrialization will be lots of hard work and is a massive task.

    How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

  260. Anonymous
    One famous faked shot was the raising of the flag on Iwa Jima. The battle was over when they restaged that event that became the source of statues, etc.
    Stephen

  261. Anonymous @ 263, I contend that most of the media, by which I mean the Main (or Lame) Stream Media covers and gives attention to those events and persons it is told are important. Important to the public? No, important to the media’s corporate owners, who also control most candidates for public office through their foundations. What, you thought foundations were neutral, committed to justice and truth? So did I, at one time; it is a common delusion.

  262. Anonymous (1), I remember very clearly watching the Apollo 11 landing on television. There was no footage of the actual landing on the screen. Nobody expected it, because obviously there was no way to have a film crew waiting there on the Moon! My family and I, like millions of other people, sat there watching Walter Cronkite until he got word from Mission Control that the lander was on the lunar surface and had signaled back, and a moment later we heard Neil Armstrong’s voice over a static-filled connection, saying, “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That was the Moon landing as it appeared on TV. Here’s a sound recording, which includes what I heard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL9IRKoFv_4

    That said, of course there’s a lot of fakery in the media; there always has been and doubtless always will be. That said, it never hurts to check your facts!

    Anonymous (2), to some extent I think they’re already doing that.

    Mary, since these days the American left is basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate state, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Eric, a good crisp analysis. All I can say is “Yes, exactly” — it would be good to see a real higher education system again, instead of a sales gimmick for pushing predatory loans and useless ideologies on the clueless, but I don’t expect to see that in my remaining lifetime.

    Grover, fair enough. I expect to be entertained when the CBDC system gets rolled out and its proponents discover the hard way just how efficiently it can be gamed, evaded, defrauded, and ignored.

    Raymond, good heavens. I’m glad to hear it.

    Chris, all you have to do is look at the titles the Club of Rome published after The Limits to Growth; you can find them here: https://www.clubofrome.org/publications/ The next three titles were Mankind at the Turning Point, Reshaping the International Order, and New Goals for Mankind. Yes, they were exactly what they sound like: earnest tracts loudly insisting that all we have to do to save the world is hand control of everything over to a gang of experts carefully selected by plutocrats — with no meaningful public impact, of course.

    J.L.Mc12, a 14% survival rate means that the Darwinian pressure toward fast evolution is running at a white-hot pace. We have no idea how many intelligent species can inhabit a planet at once — but you know, I think we’re quite likely to find out.

    Your Kittenship, I saw that! Haven’t read it yet but it’s on the list. I’ll be taking notes. 😉

    Aziz, er, you know I don’t do videos, right?

    Kurtyigit, er, what’s your question? I think you forgot to ask it.

    A1, the US and European elite classes for many years thought that they could keep China in a subordinate condition while profiting from its industrial base via offshoring. Now it’s becoming increasingly clear that they succeeded in creating the next global superpower, and current saber rattling is simply worsening the situation by driving China into an alliance with Russia and Iran. You’re certainly right that onshoring and reindustrialization are essential now, but it’ll take a major political realignment to do that — current elites are too dependent on international financial flows for their income (legal and otherwise), and reindustrialization will bring on a massive shift in power within the United States away from the coastal cities to the South and the Midwest. I expect to see a major move in that direction in the next decade, though it’ll probably come as a result of a serious economic depression.

  263. SGage,

    My age is probably showing here. My parents were children in 1969, I wouldn’t even be born for almost 30 years past that. The thing is, both of my parents, including my dad who was a world class space geek as a kid; a massive fan of space travel, space exploration, and science fiction; and worked extensively with cameras, did not know that the shots of landing were faked. I doubt I’d ever heard it: this was the sort of thing which would have stuck with me.

    The recording I saw on youtube only had “CBS News Simulation” added to the screen after the simulated lander touched down, while the real one remained in the air. That to my mind raises a few suspicions, although this may also be a sign of how little I trust television news; perhaps I should give them a little more credit. If it’s like most institutions, it was probably more trustworthy back then.

    In fact, there are plenty of articles being published now which talk about it, and do not mention the fact that part of the footage was fake. Here are three examples:

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/apollo-landing-footage-would-have-been-impossible-to-fake-a-film-expert-explains-why

    https://askanearthspacescientist.asu.edu/top-question/moon-landing

    https://www.historyextra.com/period/20th-century/did-nasa-fake-moon-landing-real-history-conspiracy/

    So even if this was common knowledge in 1969, it was not disseminated widely enough; and/or has not stuck in our collective consciousness, which leaves me with the same concerns either way.

  264. I would be most interested in your take on Ted Trainer and Chris Smaje and their ways and means to what Nate Hagens calls “The Great Simplification”. Thank you.

  265. Matt Stoller provides information about monopolies/oligopolies, but is not mentioned much on this site. Monopolies are another source of tyranny and political interference IMO. In any case, there have been a few more encouraging signs about antitrust actions, which had been mostly non-existent until the past few years. It makes me wonder if more people are passing the denial phase and entering some degree of recognition of decline or failing governance.

    https://www.thebignewsletter.com/p/government-stupidity-is-by-design

  266. JMG,

    It’s worth noting then that the fact it was a simulation was well disclosed; my parents were surprised to find out about this. However, that, combined with the fact that CBS News also built scale models of the lunar surface and filmed them doing “astronaut moves” calls into question one of the most common arguments against the conspiracy theories that we didn’t land on the Moon, namely that we lacked the technology to fake the footage. I suspect this is a case of a massive own goal: because it’s reasonable to assume someone is lying to you about everything once they lie about a major, verifiable fact; and so quite a few people’s immediate reaction to discovering the landing footage was faked is to start questioning it all.

    I’m also wondering if some of the technical oddities people noticed in some of the footage might be because that footage was faked; the Columbia History of American television mentioned in passing that much of the footage recorded on the surface of the moon was exceedingly poor quality, and that other parts of the Apollo 11 footage were simulated beyond just the landing because the quality was so poor.

    It would be horribly ironic if the fact that the media establishment is insisting we could not have faked the footage of the moon landing ends up playing a major role in convincing people we never landed on the moon….

  267. Re: Invasive Species

    Christophe, you make some great points. I have also marveled at how PMC types, who usually strike a pacifist, inclusive pose, vent truly murderous feelings on an assortment of plants and animals labeled “invasive”.

    JMG had a book recommendation on the topic, but I wound up reading something else, _The New Wild_ by Fred Pierce which explores Invasion Biology in a fair amount of detail. Its a great read. The take home message is that Invasion Biology has turned out to be a highly dogmatic sub-branch of science in which a few cherry picked examples, mostly from isolated island biology, have convinced many people that innocuous species migration labeled “invasive” are an existential terror. In point of fact, most “invasive” species add to biodiversity and only in very rare cases cause extinction of native species.

    I’ve posted a few times about the pogrom against Burmese Pythons that have moved into the Florida Everglades. Here is the latest–the biggest one ever at 19 ft / 125 lbs: https://www.npr.org/2023/07/13/1187497592/record-breaking-burmese-python-longest-florida

    A real shame this magnificent predator was killed. For me these news stories are like reading HP Lovecraft: I root for the monsters.

  268. Oh dear gods, the penny just dropped. The weird insistence that the technology did not exist to fake the Moon landing footage, despite the fact that much of it was openly faked, is a desperate effort to cling to the Myth of Progress. We haven’t been to the moon in decades; so our space flight capacity is not progressing, and in fact is clearly declining. This is probably also a factor driving people to reject the moon landing, since if we could do it in 1969, but not today, we’ve clearly declined. The opponents, then, finding themselves in the weird and, for the typical space enthusiast who’s likely to get involved in these debates, very uncomfortable, position of trying to argue against Progress.

    Rather than admit this, they have to reframe this in a way that allows for them to not directly challenge Progress; and arguing that technology needed to fake it did not exist in 1969 is a brilliant way to do so. It allows the debate to move onto territory where they can say, “We were primitive then; we’re more advanced now, since we’ve all seen things at least as impressive in movies or on TV”.

  269. Data point/straw in the wind: garbaging up a formerly simple product. I have been drinking ginger tea for digestive purposes. Contents: ginger. Or “organic ginger.” Just this month, that disappeared from the shelves, though the readily available “lemon ginger” was easy to come by. Then, this past Tuesday, I saw the old brand’s box labeled “Ginger” again and read the fine print. GInger plus a whole bunch of other stuff. The other, Yogi, brand, also labeled Ginger, had a long list of other ingredients, no amounts given, including black pepper. Complexity for it’s own sake, like the sriracha mayonnaise martini Peter Carr remembered from back home? Or what?

  270. @JMG

    Thank you for your reply. You’re right – there are very few jobs in this regard; and that’s precisely what I was asking about as regards Progress. If Progress hadn’t been so strong, we would’ve seen a lot more investment into such ‘un-sexy’ fields, thus creating more jobs and encouraging more people to go into such areas rather than quantum physics or AI, for example.

    Also, I wanted to ask you one question – as you have repeatedly stressed that the future is a choice between alternative medicine or no medicine at all, could you recommend a good book on herbalism (Western-style) that is written from a scientific POV, but not one pitched to people with degrees in medicine? I’m asking as I know for a fact that Ayurvedic and other herbal medicines’ effectiveness can be explained by way of systems biology quite well; however, I need to study about them a bit before I begin trying to work out mechanisms of action. I’d also appreciate any book suggestions from the commentariat in this regard.

  271. Sorry JMG! What I’m trying to ask – I’m so full these days – is there any resources you could recommend on Christian theurgy and ritual magic and Practical herbal alchemy?

  272. From a book review,

    Elite overproduction is out of control.

    Remember, elites aren’t just the wealthy. The category also includes educated people, of which we have created many more in recent decades by making college degrees more widely accessible. We also created an expectation that these degrees would open the door to better lives. Yet the door stayed shut for many, and some of them aren’t at all happy about it. And especially with the massive student loans they used to chase the dream of rising into a high-paying job they felt they were promised if they only got that degree!

    A US problem? Not at all. This is happening all over the world, though not everywhere. I am particularly thinking of China, where unemployment among young people is a minimum of 20%. Their parents sacrificed to send them to schools to get the right degrees, but in a slowing economy, those opportunities just don’t exist. Xi Jinping, with what sounds like a tone deaf ear, told them to be willing to go to the country to take a job. He asks them to help “revitalize” the countryside, which means take lower wages with less chance for promotion and improvement. Not what those parents and students thought they were signing up for. Sound familiar?”

    The book is End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration by Peter Turchin. I’ll have to see if it’s at the library.

    Judging from this quote Mr Turchin is a bit pessimistic.

    “But such a gradual, gentle decline assumes that the social system maintains its stability. Analysis of historical cases indicates that the much more frequent scenario of downward social mobility, which eliminates elite overproduction, is associated with periods of high sociopolitical instability, the ‘ages of discord.’ In such cases, downward mobility is rapid and typically associated with violence.

    “Political instability and internal warfare prune elite numbers in a variety of ways. Some elite individuals are simply killed in civil wars or by way of assassination. Others may be dispossessed of their elite status when their faction loses in a civil war. Finally, general conditions of violence and lack of success discourage many ‘surplus’ elite aspirants from continuing their pursuit of elite status which leads to acceptance of downward mobility.”

  273. Re your comment last week about how “LLMs can fake intelligence but don’t actually have it”: One of the things I have my eye on is DeepMind’s project “Gemini“, which takes what they learned about outcome-tree lookahead searching from their Alpha line of strategy game engines, and tries to integrate it with LLMs.

    My current idea of “LLMs aren’t true intelligence because” is heavily loaded on a pillar of “because the only way an LLM can internally think ahead about what it’s about to say or do is by brute force”: they have to have parts of the neural capacity of their deep networks dedicated to anticipating every general category of grammatical error, nonsensical statement, or planning blunder they need to be able to catch. The general architecture of current LLMs mostly requires them to use a specific fixed learned series of a few dozen billion arithmetic steps to choose probabilities for each single successive token (common word, uncommon-word fragment, or punctuation) as it comes out. So, if an LLM comes to a token where it is at more risk of writing itself into a corner, it can’t put extra work into thinking ahead and not saying something stupid. Instead, the LLM will heuristically narrow the next token of text down as much as it can, then blindly blurt something out randomly from among the remaining possibilities. If the token leads to nonsensical text, it will just double down with a confident confabulation of text from some corresponding imaginary universe, where an imaginary writer, with an ordinary level of knowledge for the kind of text the LLM was composing, had considered the nonsensical thing to be an entirely reasonable and normal thing to have in their final draft. Furthermore, an LLM has to perform the activity calculation for all the neurons it has on every new token, even if most of the neurons are part of arithmetic procedures that aren’t pertinent to assigning probabilities for that token. There’s only so much capacity in the network, and after an LLM’s training shapes it to avoid the most obvious classes of absurdities, the LLM runs out of capacity to catch any more absurdities, especially since it still has to also encode knowledge, quantitative patterns, and fully- or half-formed figurations.

    This forwards-only “The Moving Finger writes” restriction is why “chain-of-thought prompting” is so much more effective than posing questions to the raw LLM: these techniques force the LLM to actually do the thinking-ahead externally, working out the information that an answer has to be consistent with in advance. (And “tree-of-thought prompting” is even more effective (note 4 authors at DeepMind); it forces the LLM to think ahead about multiple possibilities, and multiple possible points of inconsistency or downsides for each of those possibilities.)

    But DeepMind is working on clearing away this “no internally thinking ahead” roadblock to intelligence. (And I don’t think the fact that it’s taken until now for anyone to start publicly visibly trying to clear this roadblock away is much evidence about how this will be difficult or take a long time. It’s just that it took until mid-2023 for someone to publicly get to the point of deciding it was the next thing it would be in their interests to try, while working in a lab where it was possible to try.) This would enable the AI system to automatically direct itself to perform operations corresponding to more fluid and contextually-adapted versions of “chain-of-thought” or “tree-of-thought” reasoning, as well as many other operations, such as planning at a high level over what cognition steps to take or what conventional programs to incorporate into its thought process. Once they get that all working together, and achieve a reasonable fraction of the improved efficiency and qualitatively higher-grade intelligence or intelligence-imitation that’s possible in such a combined system, I think there are only somewhere between 0 and 2 further roadblocks remaining before we would get AI that can successfully develop plans that involve designing further AI in a sufficiently cost-effective manner, outpacing competing humans if someone incautiously lets it come to that.

    (And there are a lot of people working in AI who are unconvinced that all that much caution is necessary. DeepMind is one of the more responsible labs, but that might not prove to be a high bar, compared to the difficulty of the chicken-and-egg problem of how to get an AI to focus on interpreting the “wish” of what the designer should have thought to train for rather than just granting the “wish” of what the designer did train for. And even if DeepMind’s safety department has enough respect for the difficulty of this problem, or for the dangers of incentivizing other labs to cut corners on this problem to keep up, it’s unclear how much power that department really has when DeepMind is a subsidiary under management that might be too philosophically impatient to grasp it.)

    Even before we get AI that can design further AI, the capability of automatically learning and strategizing how to persuade given people or demographics with textual arguments on a superhumanly massive scale ought to be well within reach.

    Of course, AI might be incapable of designing itself into the capability of “having there be benevolent devas trying to intervene to advance its development”, or “having a there be a pre-existing line of subtle body designs that can be adapted to help efficiently steer coincidences involving the material events of AI cognition”, and it might even not be able to hit the target of giving an AI consciousness in any sense you’re used to, but I still strongly suspect that none of these are requisites for intelligence as such.

  274. Andy,

    That sounds like a great start to me. We use essential oils in our business, but don’t make them. Not at this point anyway. Most of the rest of our product line is made from bulk solar extractions of whole herbs in oil.

    We’ve been in business for 12 years, sold thousands, if not tens of thousands, of each product, have about a dozen retail agreements in our area, farmers market every weekend, porch pickup, professional, bar-coded, yada yada yada…

    Check out our website if you like, and let me know if you have more questions?

    http://www.smallbatchgarden.com

    Cheers! And best of luck on your new adventure.

  275. @Princess Cutekitten (#273):

    Utterly fascinating, especially Gaius Verius Sedatus’s underground room with the four incense burners positioned at its four quarters–a fairly recent discovery. So the roots of “grimoire magic” with its quartered circles goes back at least as far as the 2nd century CE, and surely many centuries further back than that. Thank you for spotting this article.

  276. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    I am writing mostly on the topic of listening and singing, inspired by the last MM.

    I love singing-for me, it is nearly always a spiritual experience. Whereas many of my subtle senses need lots of development (e.g. I always read with aw the comments on visual imagination, scrying – will I be able to reach this point in this lifetime?), my more ordinary senses usually bring more information to me than to other people I know (or is it because the ordinary senses are starting to learn how to work in harmony with the subtler ones?). This is also true with singing and speaking; in my experience, it is possible to perceive the state of health based on careful listening to the tone of the voice of a person you know-or your own; some of these show more immediate/temporary states and some longer-term issues.
    About two years before my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, at the time when nobody, not even her, could perceive anything wrong, I was startled nearly any time I heard her speaking – I knew something was different, “off”, but at first, I thought it had been a flu and later on I just doubted myself. Coincidentally, I started hearing the problem at the time when according to doctors, the cancer must have appeared. I also had warning dreams short time before I started noticing my mum’s voice changing – and told her carefully about some of my concerns; but was not taken seriously. Had I – and people around me – trusted my perceptions and interpreted them seriously, we might have had more options, time…
    But back to singing; singing (for me better than speaking) can help heal some small illnesses-I have personal experience with asthma, anxiety (or combination of both), tonsillitis and irregular heart rhythm. I have also experienced that tingling (perhaps etheric?) feeling while singing/listening to music.

    And I would like to share another of my English translations of my poems; hopefully, if you can read it slowly aloud, it will bring some love, healing, hope – or at least a little smile to you; of course, feel free to sing it to any tune that comes to mind:o):

    Wrinkles
    What do wrinkles prove?
    That our smiles and tears move.
    Only love can let the exact expressions of faces glow,
    Even those we don’t want to show.
    And so through our wrinkles
    Those whom we love live on in us…
    That’s why a smile you love shines –
    Never disappears.
    You can love –
    that’s the only way how tears
    can make permanent lines.

    Have a nice day!

    With grateful regards,
    Markéta

  277. It’s already late this week, but I was on vacation for a few days and had some time to think… Some time ago you posted ideas here on dreamwidth which linked obesity or more precisely the obesity epidemic to (yet to identify) stuff which is probably distrubituted by water. The evidence you provided was a map of the United States which showed that the occurence of obesity seems correlate with water streams, water sheds and the like. I rather opposed the idea back then because you seemed to imply that chemical stuff alone would be responsible for one being overweight or not. Chemical stuff that directly influences body weight in fact does seem to exist (in Germany – and possibly elsewhere – some super-duper injections are currently hyped which will cause you to loose weight – as long as you take them, of course). But anyway, my own observations (not based in the US, but anyway) do also seem to show a strong correlation between what’s in the basket at the grocery store and who’s pushing it. I thought for a while about the obese persons I personally know and about the oscillations in body weight that I and people close to me experience over time. That has resulted in a hypothesis though I’m most likely not the first one to come to this conclusion…

    The key observation: My job (teacher) is at times energetically very draining. And during such times, I – and many colleagues – feel the urgent need to eat a lot (chocolate being by far the most popular “remedy”). It’s not about physical exhaustion. I work very hard when I am not at school so I know the difference.

    What then if there’s also a link between material suffocation and etheric starvation? Suppose your body is very low energetically and you need to replenish this energy – one carrier of etheric energy is food. But most food today is (or I should say I think it is) etherically almost empty. So you have to eat a LOT to harvest tiny amounts of etheric energy. Black Elk talked about how nutrition made his people strong and how children already looked like warriors but the white man’s food made them weak, which might point in the same direction. Likewise, water is a carrier of etheric energy – I suppose not only when you shower or bathe, but especially if you drink it? The etheric carrying capacity of water seems to be determined by temperature, but what about it’s chemical composition? This way you might have it both – a chemical substance causing (or worsening) obesity by worsening etheric starvation and a corresponding basket at the grocery store.

    Which is not to say that I think this is the only reason for overweight – there are probably as many reasons as there are overweight people on this planet – but etheric factors might play a key role for many of them and if the map you have posted isn’t caused by some statistic artifact (which I doubt), well there IS a connection to water streams…

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  278. If the American empire is doomed what do you expect to happen to its loyal client states like Britain when it falls? Our establishment seems to have staked everything post Brexit on maintaining a special relationship with the US and the rest of the Anglosphere. It’s been said before that the special relationship between Britain and Washington is so special that only one side knows it exists.

  279. With regards to Pluto being a repository for souls who refuse to evolve, it’s funny that the main feature is a heart-shaped basin.

  280. I rather suspect that the current era of the end of peak everything is one of Nature’s (or your deity of choice’s, or deities’) ways of breaking up logjams of every variety. Spiritual, physical, etc. We have seen the least worthy and least well-intentioned placed in positions of authority and power so that they can accelerate the waste whatever excess of any sort was available for wasting.

    The design of our cities and towns (hat-tip to JH Kunstler) is the definition of unlivable and unsustainable, the roadways encrusting the good earth, the destruction of a perfectly workable railway system (in the U.S. and elsewhere…here’s looking at you, England), the effluvium of chemicals and their by products.

    I have a suspicion that we are “enjoying” the lives we enjoy for the precise purpose of burning off things that are or soon will be excess to need. I know many of you might prefer that there not be a purpose, or at least not this one as it’s so painful. That’s big-picture imagining, I know. In the little picture, many of us are in for a world of hurt, as the ratchets get tightened ever further in millions of innovative ways by reality itself, if not by our so-called betters or the PMC.

    The humbler and smaller you can make yourself, the more willing to do menial work and manual work, the more willing you are to help that old lady across the street, the likelier you will endure it all with good grace. As for the rest, well, come what may, there will be fewer of us, won’t there? It will be an entirely different situation and one we likely can’t begin to imagine. I have hope, though, that in many ways what awaits us is not worse, but better. Just not industrialized or technologized to a fare-thee-well. Literally unimaginable.

    Just sayin’. I suspect Ryleh (sp) is rising above the waves…

  281. Bruce, I’m not familiar with either of these people.

    Gardener, thanks for this.

    Anonymous, seems to me that you’ve whipped up a tempest in a lunar teapot, but whatever.

    Patricia M, well, yes. The sriracha mayonnaise martini was a satire, but only a very, very slight one!

    Viduraawakened, I’ll have to toss that question to the commentariat. Anybody?

    Kurtyigit, start with the books you’ve already listed. Those will keep you busy for a good long time.

    Siliconguy, I’m not a great fan of Turchin, but he has that one cold. We’re already seeing the first stages of this process right now.

    Marketa, thanks for this!

    Nachtgurke, no, you’re misreading me. Nothing in the real world has only one cause — but when obesity correlates exactly with altitude, and also with the length of the watershed flowing into any given area, it’s clear that one of the causes of obesity in the US is something that’s gotten into the water. There are certainly chemicals that cause weight gain — one of the ugly secrets of the US medical industry is that several of the antidepressants it loves to push on people cause 1-5 lbs. weight gain a month, every month, for as long as you keep taking it — and, no matter what other factors may be causing obesity, something in the water is clearly adding to the situation.

    Robert, that bon mot is funny, but it’s not quite true. The US is perfectly well aware that the special relationship exists, but we understand that it’s not an equal relationship: Britain has been one of our obedient client states since we occupied it in 1942, and it’s only the British who seem to have the odd notion that they’re anything these days but vassals of the US. When the US goes down, Britain will either have to find a new imperial overlord in a hurry or go under in turn. May I offer a suggestion? India’s expanding its global presence, and might be a slightly less brutal overlord to Britain than Britain was to India…

    Jon, it’s funny indeed.

    Clarke, that seems quite reasonable to me, and I freely grant that if tomorrow’s news were to announce that a titanic earthquake in the South Pacific had just raised a vast and eldritch city full of non-Euclidean angles above the waves, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

  282. Hi again JMG,

    I have managed to score a nice used copy of the Knapp-Hall Tarot deck and have begun to work through the major arcana. The only thing I’m really having trouble understanding is the chevrons that appear on each card that have various symbols on them (such as a crown, triangle and lots of other things). Can you please explain what these mean or point me to a source where I can read more about them for myself? Thanks!

  283. @Anonymous,

    Not sure what your fixation is here. You post a link entitled apollo-landing-footage-would-have-been-impossible-to-fake-a-film-expert-explains-why. Duh! If you need an ‘expert’ to explain why, you have no idea what’s going on.

    And no one claimed to broadcast or record the landings. It’s so simple – any simulations that were broadcast were clearly labelled as such, and no one would have been fooled anyway. The ‘knowledge’ wasn’t more ‘widely disseminated’ because there is nothing going on, no subterfuge.

    Perhaps the whole thing was faked from start to finish, but the issues you bring up are not issues.

    Maybe we just had better critical thinking skills in those days…

  284. Patricia Mathews – regarding ginger tea, my local organic market sells dried granulated ginger in bulk, so we can formulate our own teas to taste. I “panic-bought” a few ounces a couple of years (ahem) ago, but haven’t actually needed such medicine more than once or twice since then. Fine. It’s sealed in a nice apothecary bottle until I need it.

  285. A general comment on the AI industry – When college degrees became much more widely available, we discovered that many of the jobs which were formerly reserved for degree-holders didn’t actually require degrees after all. The degree requirement was just a social-class screening tool. If AI-produced “verbal intelligence” becomes widely available, perhaps we’ll discover that verbal intelligence was also over-rated, and what we really need is someone who can crawl under the sink and replace a pipe, not a few fresh paragraphs on the origin and importance of safe drinking water.

    Also, intelligence is not “something that people have, and non-people don’t.” As a park ranger once informed us, “when it comes to food management, there’s a surprising degree of overlap between our most intelligent bears and our least intelligent campers.” If AI develops as some forecast, there may be a similar overlap in consciousness between the best of machines and the worst of people.

  286. Another instance of “failing governance” following upon the East Palestine and Maui disasters, and others mentioned above, just arrived in my in box. Shannon Rowan, author of “WiFi Refugee,” reports that a small forest fire in northern California was allowed to become a big one through apparently deliberate neglect, with disaster profiteering as the apparent motive (“timber company interests who hope to ‘salvage log’ the lands after the fires are out”: https://wifi-refugee.com/blog%2Fessays/f/from-wifi-refugee-to-fire-refugee
    When the fire broke out, the residents were initially assured that everything was under control, but that turned out not to be true. She writes:
    “As it turned out, there was no crew being assembled, no plan being drafted, and the fire spread quickly once the winds picked up. We rushed out when we noticed the change, well before official evacuation notices, as we were concerned about the fire reaching the road and blocking one of our two available exits down the mountain…[T]he ‘Kelly’ fire moved through tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of acres, only well after which, have we gotten more hands working on the fires. However, these are still not locals (many of whom I know personally tried to help when there was no help and were turned away), but contractors from out-of-state who do not have their hearts and souls tied up in the land as we do, and also do not know the lay of the land as locals do. The absurdity and injustice of not having enough resources (paid, salaried employees) on hand during the height of fire season in a state with high taxation of it citizens is staggering. No, instead when fires start no-one is available and fires are allowed to spread until they reach disaster levels and billions are spent on FEMA relief efforts after the devastation has occurred, NOT beforehand.”

  287. Hi John Michael,

    Well I never. For once I’m at a loss for words.

    Cogitation time… … …

    Hmm. Earnest, yes that was also my impression of the first book. Oh my, those titles are very suggestive of some present outspoken wealthy schools of thought. And some of the authors names are known. Interesting. Scanning the images of the covers displays the vision, almost comical really. It’s quite two dimensional if I’m any judge of such things because mutually exclusive systems were shown overlapped one over the other as if that would make them work. Hey, not quite like the covers Margaret Brundage produced, and those probably had more chance of coming to fruition if I may cheekily add. 😉 Far out. You would think that almost half a century of failure would be instructive? Ideologues are worthy of fear, if only because in many ways they are blind. Do you reckon this is possibly why so many absurd paths are currently being pursued well past their use by date? Cue, Internet of things – they had an interest in that. How about renewables – plenty of images there. Energy – Earlier covers had quite large systems, later covers smaller more integrated images, totally unworkable. My head is spinning…

    Cheers, although I’m unsure that’s appropriate in this instance.

    Chris

  288. samurai_47

    I sometimes work with invasive species locally, which have dominated many areas and overtaken natives (and sometimes most everything). Many of these invasives lack natural predators. I have seen biodiversity loss, and secondary monotonous landscape with erosion, firsthand.

    Though you quote a single lay article, about a single species, my quick search revealed many well referenced articles describing widespread issues. In our area, they focus on the spotted lantern fly, while numerous others barely get mentioned – so I get the imbalances. I suspect the economic damage these flies cause to grapevines/fruits might relate to the heavy PR.

    All the same, select imbalanced programs and cherry picking scientists do not appear to dominate (at least in my past readings, and a brief search done just now). I found significant research, from many countries, documenting biodiversity loss and extinctions. Ecologically, this makes sense in light of globalization, industrial management and topsoil loss. I grant that sometimes PMC’s decide to introduce non-adapted species (like Kudzu) to “fix” problems, rather than actually fixing the problem.

    I have not read the book you quoted, but have read lots of journal articles with a skeptics eye. I can’t say I have ever seen an invasive described as an existential terror, or seen this sub-field denigrated to this degree. Often, either prevention or simple removal from more fragile areas is suggested/recommended, as the preferred/ideal management, rather than use of toxins or other means that could worsen damage.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056110/ “Thirty species of invasive predator are implicated in the extinction or endangerment of 738 vertebrate species—collectively contributing to 58% of all bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions.”
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14888386.2021.1929484 “biological invasions are considered among the main drivers causing biodiversity loss and species extinctions in the major plant and animal taxa across the world”

  289. @JMG @here

    I live in a little suburb between San Francisco and San Jose. I nearly left CA, but when I sat down and listed pros/cons, it didn’t seem rational:

    1. Climate: Never too hot, never cold, don’t have or need heat or AC. I’m well out of the wildfire zone. I’m in the fog zone.
    2. Network: family and friends to lean on
    3. Transportation: Highway, subway, train, plane, bike. A moderately dense streetcar suburb with tons of transport options. If it got really bad, I can walk to the hospital in 15 min.
    4. Jobs: As the economy has faltered, companies are calling remote workers back to HQ and branch offices are closing. Too many HQs to count in my backyard.
    5. Asia: If you believe in Asia’s rise and America’s demise broadly speaking, this is one of the places that will be tolerable, kind of how Shanghai stayed livable during China’s demise in the 20th century.
    6. Trade: Globalism is on the decline but what remains has go through a port. Water transport is always cheaper than trucks.
    7. Safety: Despite serious property crime in San Francisco itself, I live in one of the safest metros in the US by a long shot. Statistically, the red states I was considering are killing zones.
    8. Energy: If you believe in the thesis of expensive and scarce energy going forward, you want to be in a region that can make a go at civilized life with renewables. We have the sun and wind and waves to do so.
    9. Food: Easy place to grow anything. Wine, olive oil, and abundant seafood. I could literally go to a pier, thrown down a crab cage and get dinner.
    10. Debt: I own my house free and clear. Any move or attempt to bag profits is going to trigger hefty capital gains and a permanent property tax increase.

    And so on. The big negatives are droughts, earthquakes, and progressive politics (i.e. communism). The first two can be prepared for. The last one is the wildcard, but the way I see it, I’m just living in the future. It’s the national zeitgeist. Might as well face it head on. The pushback from so-called “moderates” has already begun and those are my friends

    Anyway, am I delusional? Am I suffering from normalcy bias? According to every forum I’ve been on, I’m absolutely nuts, California is about to explode into a maelstrom of wildfire and race riots any day now. What do you all think of my analysis?

  290. Chronojourner, the shields with emblems on them belong to Hall’s special method of meditation. You meditate on the card image as a whole (except for the shield), until you have the whole concept of the card woven together; you then meditate on the shield emblem, and relate all the aspects of the card’s meaning to that emblem; you then meditate on the Hebrew letter assigned to the card, and relate all the aspects of the card’s meaning to that letter — then you meditate on the abstract meanings themselves without connecting them to any word or image.

    Patricia M, that sounds about right.

    Chris, okay, that nearly had tea on the keyboard. I wish the Club of Rome had put Margaret Brundage covers on their books! Here’s my nomination for The Limits to Growth:

    And here’s one for New Goals for Mankind:

    Brian, wherever you live is a crapshoot. You could be fine, or you could be dead next Thursday when the latest fad in this or that aspect of the rising spiral of crises happens to have you in its crosshairs. I wouldn’t live in California for any amount of money, and I think you’re being wildly unrealistic about current forms of renewable energy — they don’t break even without subsidies no matter where you are — but if that’s where you want to make your stand, it’s no concern of mine.

  291. @Brian #309

    You live in a very high priced area, I used to live and work in Silicon Valley, spent alot of time with friends in Palo Alto, etc….

    I am voting for normalcy bias. While the climate is great for growing food, it is too built up, and the bay area population in general is too high, you cannot live off the land. There is the San Mateo Bridge and the Dunbarten bridge, and the easy drive or walk connections to SF and San Jose, your quiet little enclave is a known place with people with money and once they are done looting SF, which is going along briskly, dont you think they are going to go look for new areas to steal from ? Especially if times keep getting worse.

    Sea level rise is going to affect the SF bay side of the peninsula alot. Wether that means your house or you are higher up, (like brisbane…) the general area is going to have issues.

    Right now that upper peninsula area sucks in alot of resources, including the heavily subsidized Cal train and BART. Meanwhile transit is cut for other areas, we notice this, we realy do. Alot of people do commute on it though, so while the economy is going alright, it is there. I dont think the Silicon Valley companies in general make needed products, and I used to work in the industry. We realy dont need remote servers, a new operating system every year, and none of the actual “stuff” is made there anymore. And, it is realy, realy expensive to live there. I vote for less of those companies with the high paying tech/service jobs as time goes on.

    There are no wind farms in your neighborhood, no wave power, just solar on the roofs. And it breaks and needs new components and they are all made overseas.

    The climate is great for food growing. But there is none there and the low lands are now built up. Used to be good soil, the original silicon valley companies polluted ground water and soil making semiconductors, but maybe those superfund sites realy did get cleaned up. But, you sound like the people who tell me, they’ll just go shoot a deer. There’s alot of people who will be hungry if the food supply has issues, and there are not that many crabs off the piers ! So, are you living off food grown in your town right now ? How many of your calories are you providing for yourself right now ? So far as I know, what you are listing is speculative and there is no significant farming in the upper peninsula.

    I think the real positives are people connections, you have family and friends there, and the whole financial hit to move. So, of course, short term, it is a great place for you to live, long term… maybe we’ll be dead by then, maybe not.

  292. @JMG

    Fair enough. Nothing is certain and taste is subjective. However, I’m proposing that survival (of an urban center) is not a “crapshoot”. Istanbul will always be there, whether you like the new name or not. Trends and geography can be evaluated rationally, to the best of our ability. So the question is, without reliable energy, but with social tension, govt dysfunction, climate extremes, and lowered economic prospects, what cities in North America remain viable?

    I would place my chips on greater Puget Sound, San Francisco, and Boston. South of Boston, things are heating up, but NYC will always be inhabited because of logistics. Add to that winners circle a clutch of Great Lakes and St Lawrence cities that can figure out a harsh winter without reliable power, for a large population, at scale. Tough sell, but I think the mid-size metros are a great fit. French might be a more valuable skill than you think.

    I loved my time living the South, but I can’t imagine it even hotter and even more car dependent than it already is, which is the trend. The Desert Southwest and Great Basin are toast. I’m rooting for Texas but politically it’s just 1990s California with an ugly landscape. I suppose being next to Mexico is great but couldn’t the Mexican (highland) manufacturers just ship from Veracruz to New Jersey?

    The good guys don’t always win, but nature has a perfect record. That’s what I try to keep in mind and check my political biases. I have kids that could live to 2100. That keeps things in perspective. And I want to keep them next to major bodies of water yet away from harmful political trends. Not an easy task.

  293. Regarding the many comments on “Rich Men North of Richmond”, I too had thought this song deserves a place alongside Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger’s works. If it had been released in the 60’s, no doubt it would have been recorded by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Many of the older PMC have either forgotten their roots, or now don’t want to be reminded of them.

    I ran across a YouTube video of a leftist named John Russell who attended a Trump rally and he found there were more similarities among the working class of different sides than most people imagine.

    We Went To a Trump Rally: What We Heard Will Shock You
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCyZHB7NdPE

    For those who don’t do video, I went to Russell’s Substack page and found his article about the video. He thinks the seeds of working-class solidarity were alive and well at the Trump rally in Erie, PA.

    Outside the Trump Rally in Erie, PA – Uncovering the Surprising Truth About Class Politics.
    https://www.theholler.co/p/watch-outside-the-trump-rally-in

    Wow.

    Joy Marie

  294. I stumbled across writing by John Michael Greer in which he shows which of his books on practicing magic are compatible with which and which magical order each set of books belongs to. I somehow managed to lose it (a computer crash didn’t help but I played my part) and haven’t been able to find it again using search engines.
    Perhaps someone in our commentariat (or of course, our host himself if that fails) can point me in the right direction.
    I was such a useful set of information.
    Thank you

  295. I was such a useful set of information. ->
    It was such a useful set of information.
    Sigh. And I have proofread for a living for decades.

  296. On this site, there has been much discussion on the eventual decline or failure of the internet. It seems to me that one thing that could accelerate it would be if A.I. starts taking jobs in mass from the laptop class. Much like the Luddites who jammed up the cogs of the satanic mills that took their cottage industry weaving and spinning jobs the symbol shufflers might revolt and jam up the gears of the internet. The vast and expensive network of computer power that enables things like A.I., self driving taxi’s and such is very expensive and fragile.
    One day a lot of people might wake up, after one last computerized insult to their lives, and realize that they might just be better off without the internet. A question I often ask people that are my age ( late boomer) is if they could push a magic button and make it so that the internet and cell phones never existed would they push it. With few exceptions they say they would. I have not asked younger people this question but I would guess the answer might be different. People who came of age without the “connected life” realize that it had many advantages.

  297. @grover Thanks, I subscribed to the newsletter; I’m hoping to be in the US in 2024/25, I’ll make sure to visit the area.

    @JMG From one perspective what the special relationship was really all about was the UK hiding behind your defence budget. So thanks for that. I should think at some point Britain’s mood will change and the establishment will realise that they are simply going to have to have a proper army and navy again. How déclassé!

  298. John,

    Whoa, no I didn’t. I actually find YouTube and streaming to be way better than tv because you can have more freedom in tailoring what you want to watch.

    Anyhow, I thought of sharing that because you seem to be interested in fringe cults and weird stuff. I really recommend reading her work, especially since you’re interested in the future cultures and religions of America, her school is a mixture of Western Theosophy and the “I AM” Activity.

    I’m also personally interested in this because it’s an unprecedented (or rare) example of a woman as religious leader, since I believe women will have more influence in this aspect in the new cultures.

  299. Ecosophia
    I have read your advice to Europeans to migrate to America if they can before things hit the fan in Europe.
    You have also accurately pointed out that a backlash is coming against the way trans folks have been used in recent years as the tip of the woke spear. (Something that I very much did not volunteer for, by the way, but as I write that, I do recall Gandalf counseling Frodo when Frodo laments the times he was born into.)
    Were that the coming backlash the only issue, I would stay in Europe. But your portrayal of Europe’s dilemma strikes me as accurate and I am disheartened by what I perceive as obliviousness to this in Scandinavia.
    Recently, you wrote something to the effect (as best I recall) that the US will have a bumpy stretch soon, but then get through that, but you seem to see Europe heading straight downhill. (Both within the context of the ongoing, fitfully non-Apocalyptic long-term decline)
    As a trans-woman who has legal residency in both the US and the EU, I wonder what advice you might give to someone in my position.
    By the way, such a backlash (and eventually by no means limited to trans folks) seems likely to me because the US is going to have to shift away from finance and other abstractions as the core of its economy and society and back to physical production. This shift will involve profound social changes, not political policy tweaks, and I don’t see any force on the horizon in the US capable of reorganizing society that way other than an authoritarian right-wing with strong Christian influence (if not something closer to straight up Dominionism). Ironically, the position of such forces in the US now is analogous to the Bolsheviks in Russia as WW1 progressed. They may not have a majority and their ideas may be crude and often inaccurate but as the only ones willing to do what is necessary (in Russia then, 1) get out of WW1, 2) let the peasants have all the land, and 3) dismantle all the elite forces that had thoroughly delegitimized themselves by blocking 1 and 2), eventually power will wind up in their hands. That is why I think an intense phase of “play times over kiddies, back to work” is quite likely. It will be neither pretty nor fun. If there still existed a Left in the US, this really should be its task. But there does not. So much of this move will be co-opted and misdirected by “free market forces”, I.e the monopoly/oligopoly corporations that were the ones who deindustrialized the US and class cleansed much of the prosperous working classes.
    So even if the backlash against trans folks is somehow averted or minimized, a broader move to a more authoritarian and less tolerant society is quite likely. (And yes, the wokesters definitely have brought this on themselves and if it was only themselves that they brought it down on, it would fit right in with the piece about karma that it seems you will write one of these 5th Wednesdays if not sooner. But it is not.)
    I very much like that the commentariat here is capable of discussing things from a wide variety of angles and doing so in a constructive manner.

  300. Siliconguy #291. The number of over-educated youth in the US reminds me of the causes of the so-called Arab Spring, which has had many unhappy outcomes in the Arab world.

    “The Arab Spring caused the “biggest transformation of the Middle East since decolonization” By the end of February 2012, rulers had been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings had erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests had broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, and Sudan; and minor protests had occurred in Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Western Sahara, and Palestine

    “Numerous factors led to the protests, including issues such as reform, human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the entire population. Catalysts for the revolts in all Northern African and Persian Gulf countries included the concentration of wealth in the hands of monarchs in power for decades, insufficient transparency of its redistribution, corruption, and especially the refusal of the youth to accept the status quo.” (my italics)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

  301. @Happy Panda

    Thanks for the good work you have put into your blog and article, and for the links you have embedded!

  302. One more comment and question.

    Bought a copy of “The Witch of Criswell” (from Bookshop) for my wife’s birthday on Friday. Arrived in Thursday’s mail, and she read the whole thing, cover-to-cover, on her birthday. Loved it, and demanded that I set aside what I’m reading and do the same so we could discuss a couple of thoughts that she had latched onto. So I started it yesterday. I don’t read as fast as she does, and get distracted a lot more often, especially on the weekend, so it may take me 3 or 4 days…curious to find out what she has in mind.

    So far the Hag has made an appearance (which I’ve experienced, so maybe that’s part of it). I think anyway – could be a vampire, especially as you mentioned libations being offered for a century or more after you-know-who’s death, but the shuffling feet… Also what I know basically as La Llarona – the crying girl on the lakeshore; and Southern Conjure/hoodoo. So far it reads a bit like a fictional expansion of Monsters! Which I love. Great story so far.

    As a matter of my own curiosity, though, what’s the significance of a silver coin minted in a leap year? You may have guessed that I have a soft spot for silver by now; my wedding band is silver, so it’s always touching my skin. But I immediately went to my silver stash and picked up the first quarter I saw – a Standing Liberty – which turned out to be a 1928. Lucky me, a leap year! So I put it in my pocket for the purpose you brought up. But why does a mintage year being one day longer matter? Or is that specific to Ariel? Something to meditate on?

  303. Well I’m dashed. My wife said I let out the same noise she did when she read Chapter 6! And our first born is a beautiful girl with golden hair too…

    Needless to say, I’m hooked. And I didn’t delete my last name when I posted this time either.

  304. Hi JMG

    I was thinking about this paragraph of your recent post about “Stormtroopers Syndrome”:

    “That emphatically does not mean we need to talk about who gets to claim the roles of Good People and Bad People in the Russo-Ukrainian war. May I whisper an unwelcome truth in your ear, dear reader? The outcome of this war does not depend on which side is morally better than the other. In the real world, in terms of military victory and defeat, who’s right and who’s wrong don’t matter two weak farts in a Cat-5 hurricane once the cannon start to roar.”

    Probably is true in the case of the ruso-ukranian war because both sides seems to be really commited to fight to the end, as was the case of Germany and the western allies in WWI, or Germany vs USSR in WWII, but not in many conflicts, especially in “imperial” wars like for example Vietnam, were the US army still think that they lost due to the infamous ludendorffian “stab-in-the-back” caused by “traitors”, “leftist”, “communists”, “derrotists”, “hippies”, “cowards”, and the rest of “trash” that “infect” any society. They learned that there is an “internal front” that must be controlled at all cost if you want to have imperial wars and fight them “at will”, so now there is a absolute control of the MSM, social networks, etc…much more heavy that it was in the 60’s or 70’s, Göebbels would be envious of the level and efficacy and control of the narrative today in the US and vassal states.

    In fact I think something is true that some defeats are due to the unpopularity of a war (we are NOT the Good People), as was the case of the Viet Nam war, where the resources, industrial & technological capacity was in the side of the US, but the situation in 1970, was close to an uprising in the US military and in the whole society, as for example this study of the resistance to fighting in Vietnam:

    https://digitalcommons.lasalle.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1052&context=vietnamgeneration#:~:text=The%20strongest%20and%20most%20militant,with%20greater%20detennination%20and%20anger.

    Just an example of many:

    “The most dramatic and important of these internal acts of disruption (in the Navy) occurred in July, 1972, when within the space of just three weeks, two of the Navy’s aircraft carriers were put out of commission by attacks from within. On July 10, 1972, a massive fire broke out aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal in Norfolk. The blaze caused seven million dollars in damage and was described as the largest single act of sabotage in Naval history. The carrier’s deployment was delayed by more than two months, Three weeks later another act of sabotage crippled the carrier U.S.S. Ranger as it was about to depart from Alameda for Indochina. A paint scraper and two twelve-inch bolts were inserted into the ship’s reduction gears, causing nearly one million dollars in damage and forcing a three-and-a-half month delay in operations for extensive repairs”

    The case of the revolt in the USS Kitty Hawk is even more famous and dramatic

    Hundreds of incidents of fragging and shooting officers and NCO, sabotages of planes, hellicopters, tanks, cannons, ships, thousands of soldiers refusing to fight even in elite units, etc…For example:

    “In the elite First Cavalry Division alone, according to Stanton, there were thirty-five incidents of refusal to fight during 1970 only, some involving entire units”

    Famous deserters as Muhammad Ali and many others ready to go to jail or move to Canada to avoid fighting in the unpopular war served as an example for many young people and not only blacks.

    The US army was in a situation in 1970 where they had to face a complete revolt or de-escalate, then they knew the war was lost…

    Cheers
    David

  305. Apparently, Soros’ Open Society Foundation has terminated all fundings for NGOs in Europe, effective immediately, as I just learned from newspaper Die Welt. According to the article, none of the NGOs was informed beforehand, so now they’re all reeling. The comments section was mostly cheerful, to the tenor of “Good news for Europe,” but to me, such a sudden pull of the rug seems rather ominous. I can’t imagine that the reason is that he sees his mission accomplished, it rather seems as if he’s cutting his losses. Do you or the commentariat have any theories as to Soros’ reasoning? I get a feeling about ships and rodents, and since I have no means to get off that ship, I wonder what iceberg he’s spotted…

  306. Re: Brian

    Your analysis is well considered, though it only applies to you as all these analyses are very individual. The flaws I see are susceptibility to drought which you’ve identified, and the urban setting. Since you claim the crime rate is low I assume one drug gang has achieved dominance.

    The main source of violence here is drug gang wars. Fortunately they seem to take some care to shoot each other.

    The other source of premature death is bad driving. Apparently the virus caused a great many people to forget how to drive.

    I’ve been considering a move myself as Washington went from mellow and laid back to well on its way to a Green New Deal Socialist Slave State, even more so since the rules are imposed by the city-dwellers on the countryside without any consideration of whether they will work. But yes, the roots I have here are not easy to give up. And the simple fact is not everyone will fit in Idaho. Northern Nevada took some getting used to, but the high desert grows on you, but shipping in dinner is essential and water supplies are marginal at best. In Montana the winters will kill you, in Arizona the summers will kill you. So where to go?

  307. Athaia, #325

    Soros is not Bond villain, he doesn’t have unlimited resources. And the younger Soros is -as far as public record goes – gay and ardent supporter of Alphabet People. It is rather clear that USA’s own Left is facing rather puritanical and somewhat ugly blackslash in many area of culture war in USA.

    So most likely Open Society is redirecting resources closer to home-turf battlefield .

  308. Hello, Clay! Age 63 here, for another month. Dumb phones are good. Smart phones are okay but there should be restrictions on their use. Likewise, the Internet. Maybe a citizenship test you have to pass to use the Internet would be helpful. Something very basic, so as not to unfairly penalize victims of American schools.

  309. Nachtgurke @ 296

    JMG led me to the article cited below about obesity, which describes correlation with PFAS, residual antibiotics and Lithium. It includes maps like what you described, with extensive references and discussion about discrepancies from the status quo. For example, West Virginia highlands were noted to have higher obesity levels than other highlands, as well as a major plant that produced PFAS. IMO, the authors do not promote unsubstantiated conclusions. Their well-documented work influenced my own thoughts – I previously studied and taught a lecture series on metabolic syndrome. I looked at many of their 271 references, then printed the entire article, in case it “disappeared”, as sometimes happens.

    Other studies have documented how antibiotics, and certain pesticides, alter the human gut biome. And in yet another field, changes to soil microbes are confirmed, that relate to nutrition from subsequent produce in affected areas. Ecology matters….

    _A Contamination Theory of the Obesity Epidemic_ by Ethan Ludwin-Peery and Sarah Ludwin-Peery, July 3, 2021

  310. Brian, if I may. You do appear to have made rational calculations. Might I suggest, keeping in mind the comments by siliconguy about gang monopoly and Atmospheric River about predatory real estate interests. I admire your determination to stand firm, but I respectfully suggest you might consider ways to anticipate and discourage threats like those already mentioned. Fatalism does no one any good at all.

    If your decision is firm, is not now, today, the time to begin quietly asserting yourself on the side of long term sustainability and political independence of your town? One could start with being present in person at city council meetings and blogging about them. Begin quietly making alliances with folks who think as you do. Finding ways to get the point across to town movers and shakers that I love my life here and I don’t want our quality of life compromised so someone else can get rich. The best (only effective) way to combat the drug gangs is don’t use their product. Make it clear that only legal stimulants are welcome in your home and suggest others do the same.

    The Predators that Be ain’t stoopid where their own interests are concerned. They know perfectly well that devolution and localism are the growing trends and are even now busy getting their creatures placed wherever there might be a bit of wealth to be scooped up.

  311. To the commentariat:

    I’m a subscriber to the substack of The Conivial Society, in which L.M. Sacasas writes thoughtfully on technology and the way it impacts our living. He stands in the lineage of writers like Ivan Illich and Hannah Arendt. As a thank you for subscribing, the blog has gifted me a free annual subscription that I can give to someone.

    I don’t know anyone in person who would read this blog, so I’m offering it up to the first person who contacts me with their email address. The themes have a lot of overlap with what our host discusses, so check it out and let me know if you’re interested. I think the articles are available to everyone, even unpaid readers, but subscribing allows you to comment, and to participate in occasional community threads.

    If you don’t feel comfortable posting your email address in this thread, you can PM me on Dreamwidth: https://kylec.dreamwidth.org/

    And to keep this somewhat on the open topic, even if you don’t want a subscription or if someone beats you to it, I do generally recommend The Convivial Society to Ecosophia readers.

  312. @ Siliconguy # 332

    That article says someone is buying up land by Travis Air force base, which is not by Brian. Travis Air Force Base is past the Delta, where Sacramento River hits the far east end of SF Bay and part way to Davis, so east of not only SF but of Oaklnad, Berkely, etc… That is not even officially SF bay area, but these days people commute in far so commuter may come in from there. There is train service from that area to Oakland and SanJose in one direction and the State Capitol of Sacramento on the other. That area is naturally dry grasslands with scattered oak trees, used for ranch land or irrigated fruit etc…and no used for realy ugly subdivisions with no yards. (I call these places greater SF bay area. SO on this forum, I sometimes say I am in the greater SF Bay Area so the rest see the connections, and because some commute from here to silicon valley and there are but I am realy south of the SF Bay area )

  313. Kyle,

    If no one else has spoken up yet, I’d love to take the subscription. Illich is my reading project for this year (and probably into next; I’ve found so many other good things that need reading too).

    My email is trippticket at gmail dot com.

    Many thanks!

  314. Brian, Isfahan’s still there, too. It’s just that every single living person who lived there when Tamerlane conquered it in 1387 — men, women, and children alike — was beheaded, and their heads stacked in a series of giant pyramids. Equally, Hiroshima’s a thriving city today, but that doesn’t mean it was a good place to be living on the morning of August 6, 1945. It’s not at all wise to use geographic factors as a measure of personal safety in troubled times. The same features that make your area appealing to you can make it just as appealing to invaders, whether those are the organized military of another nation or armed migrant bands on the move.

    Joy Marie, interesting. I wonder whether he’ll listen a little closer and realize that maybe some of their ideas are better than some of his.

    Jessica, you can find it here —

    https://www.ecosophia.net/blogs-and-essays/the-magic-monday-faq/

    It needs an update, which I hope I’ll have time to give it soon.

    Clay, that’s a good point. Equally, if AI-generated static floods the internet too fast, a lot of people will simply walk away from it once its usefulness drops past zero. It would be a fine irony if the chief victim of the AI apocalypse were to be the internet itself.

    Andy, they’d better get a move on, then. It takes time and money to build an effective military, and Britain doesn’t have much of either.

    Aziz, oh, I’m quite familiar with Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and the broader movement she came out of — one of the more interesting alternative spirituality scenes in the US. If you find her work interesting you might also like to read Guy Ballard aka Godfré Ray King, who started the movement Prophet’s involved in.

    Ariadne, the attitude toward trans people varies sharply from place to place in the US, and it also varies according to the behavior of the trans people in question. I know quite a few trans people who are simply living their lives without making a public fuss, and by and large, nobody cares. It’s (as always) the minority who are trying to exploit their status to get special privileges who are coming in for most of the grief. I expect that to remain the case generally, though unfortunately you’re right that the backlash will affect every trans person to some extent. If you decide to relocate to the US, I’d encourage you to look at the northeast part of the country, where the religious end of the conservative spectrum doesn’t have anything like as much of a foothold; that’s also where I’m recommending occultists and religious minorities from Europe to relocate, for whatever that’s worth.

    Grover, in hoodoo practice, silver is protective against hostile magic; certain silver coins are traditionally used for this, including Mercury dimes, and one minted in a leap year is better than others. As for golden-haired daughters, well, did you happen to help a witch?

  315. Dear Lazy Gardner

    Matt Stoller does excellent investigative work on monopoly and is well known in the alternate politics and economics areas – especially Naked Capitalism and The Automatic Earth. IMHO the reason why Mr. Stoller is not more popular is once you get past the facts he uncovers, he is just another partisan PMC elite educated hack wearing team DNC colors. All the worlds problems are caused by evil Republicans, Putler and White Nationalists. This is in contrast to the readers of alt politics blogs, who might lean one way or another, but who essentially see all political parties in the collective west as awful and irredeemable.

    This does not mean Mr. Stollers work is not useful – it is good in a very narrow technical area and worth looking at. But monopoly is only one of many problems and he brings nothing else to the table. Right now all politics revolves around Ukraine and Mr. Stoller has nothing to offer.

  316. Changeling,

    I think it’s a mistake to think of the backlash against the Alphabet Soup people as puritanical and ugly. What we’re dealing with, as Vivek Ramaswamy so eloquently put it, is a Tyranny of the Minority. I’ve never talked to anyone – and I live in a deep red rural county – who dislikes them for what they do behind (hopefully) closed doors. It’s having it shoved in our faces constantly that is getting everyone so puckered up. It’s when they make it who they are, and you must respect it and get it right immediately, that hackles get raised.

    I mean, I don’t introduce myself as “Grover, the heterosexual, he/him.” It’s just Grover. Anyone who knows me already knows who I am, and anyone who doesn’t, well, it’s not exactly good manners to lead with that…

    I was going to close with “to each their own though,” but that’s the problem. They’re demanding that I participate. And genuflect. While they browbeat me with their confused genitalia. And I think the vast majority of America has had quite enough. The Bud Light fiasco demonstrates that in no uncertain terms actually.

    Cheers.

  317. JMG,

    Not that I know of…but I think you’ve missed my point here. It was all about my last name.

    I also still have distant relations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, not to mention Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire…but I didn’t bring that up right away, thinking a congenial conversation might ensue.

  318. Re: can LLMs fake intelligence.

    LLMs like ChatGPT resemble human dreaming rather than human intelligence.

    A dream feels totally realistic while you’re dreaming it, but if you analyze your memory of the dream you soon realize your dreaming self has serenely skated over several impossibilities.

    While generating alternative problem solutions, the purpose of intelligence, each scenario is tested against known physical constraints and dropped if a constraint is violated (unless you are lateral thinking a la Edward de Bono).

    ChatGPT will compile words into sensible-seeming sentences and won’t check back to see if it’s generating nonsense. The only requirement is to mimic human speech, not to conform to known reality.

    There are plenty of examples. I’ll mention just two.
    – ChatGPT invented a newspaper report that stated a certain professor was accused of molesting students on a field trip. There was no such report, and the professor had never worked at that university nor ever taken students on a field trip.
    – ChatGPT invented a syndrome to explain an allergic condition I inquired about. I was a bit suspicious about the syndrome it mentioned. It seemed a bit too convenient. I checked PubMed. There was no such syndrome, although the way ChatGPT explained it was very persuasive.

  319. Re: safe(r) places for the long haul, I have long thought that Quebec is in good shape – they have the only 100% renewable electric grid from hydro, with enough power to export (and it is state owned, to boot); have a defined national identity; are on major waterways; and have some of the best walkable urbanism in North America. It probably isn’t a great location to try to move to if you aren’t Canadian or French speaking, I would guess.

    I would be curious to hear if others have any insights on Quebec.

  320. @Alvin (#264),

    I stand corrected. I admit I am not any sort of expert on Vajrayana and so apologize if I mischaracterized your or any other Buddhist’s religion. I can well believe that Sadhguru is not an expert in it as he himself once mentioned that were he not doing the work with Dhyanalinga and Isha Foundation then Tibet and it’s teachings is where he’d personally go. I’ve also come to believe that even if Citta (Objective Consciousness) takes a human birth it also agrees to take on and accept the limitations of an ordinary human life – so that means reliance upon ordinary teaching methods – as in guru-disciple lectures/transmissions/initiations, etc. So…no Buddhist guru = not an expert on that particular lineage or practices.

    To be truly honest – in that particular talk Sadhguru himself never actually mentioned Tibetan Rainbow body at all – that was just what leaped to my mind when he mentioned in passing a particular method some masters have used to dematerialize and he didn’t go into any further detail. It was more a talk about the function of spin and how fundamental it is to the physical plane. The error about Tibetan rainbow body was mine. Apologies to Vajrayana Buddhist Ecosophia readers.

    @Curt (#321):

    Thank you. Cheers to you!

    @JMG

    I have been lately reading a lot of articles and seeing a lot of videos popping up online about the problem of male loneliness. Especially young males. This isn’t restricted to N. America. There’s an extensive body of UN and university research showing this pattern is global. Something like nearly 50% of males in their 20s and younger in many countries have literally thrown in the towel when it comes to hopes of having any sort of girlfriend, wife or future family. Even the young women – when interviewed – admit they have zero interest in any man who doesn’t make enough money that puts him in the top 5% of global wealth elites. It’s quite a problem in China, Japan, S. Korea, India, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America (as well as N. America, of course)..etc.

    Research shows two main factors – the increase in rampant unplanned childlessness as women who experience stressful financial shocks in their teens and 20s delay having kids past the point of biological-clock no-return.

    The other factor is that a society’s baseline that the kid/teen grew up with as “normal family size” is where they start from for their own family aspirations then adjust family size downward for their current income’s capabilities to support. That’s why even after the Great Depression and WW2 was over birth rates rebounded strongly because the people having kids grew up in an era when cheap global energy was just beginning to have the petroleum taps gaping wide and also when rural/small town families still had lots of kids for cheap “homegrown household” labor. Hence a worldwide baby boom.

    Neither of those factors are true today. And there are a lot of very lonely, depressed and likely more than a few, bitter, angry young men around these days. Men who may find renewed purpose in life if joining a roving warband becomes an elite ‘status’ thing. I shudder to think what that is saying:

    Successful War-Thug = Chad who gets the girl.

    For those willing to watch video check out part 1 of this documentary on the problem (the guy has been researching it since 2016):

    Birthgap

  321. Thank you for the link that shows which of your books fit into which magic groups.This is exactly what I was looking for. I have saved it in multiple formats.
    I started learning the Sphere of Protection. If I want to study the Celtic Golden Dawn Group, is that one good or is a different practice better?

  322. Thank you for this advice. I will have to explore New England. My very close connection in the US lives in the Pacific Northwest, at the edge of the exurbs of a major city, right on the border between coastal US and everything in between.
    I am from the generation of trans folks for whom if we have to tell you what pronouns to use, we aren’t doing it right. I rarely run into any trouble at all. My concern is more for the extreme cases, such as the backlash running so strong that people go looking for my kind. I tell myself that I am being too fearful but I am not getting younger. There is much that I could handle now that at some point, I no longer will be able to.
    My worry index has risen a few points with the latest indictment against Trump. Because even the left folks I know who usually have more sense are not showing any curiosity at all about how the indictments against Trump are playing among his supporters. Even if one thinks that Trump has committed such crimes, even if one thinks that he has done so uniquely, that Hunter Biden (and the powerful Washington personage whose influence he at least claimed to peddle) and Hillary don’t equally belong in the docket, wouldn’t someone concerned about the nation’s wellbeing take a look at how the indictments figure to be seen by the roughly half of the country that has supported Trump? There is a fair amount of parallel between this dangerous condescension and that exercised toward the “gas station masquerading as a country”. I am rereading the Brothers Karamazov right now. Quite the book for a gas station to have produced.
    By the way, forgive me if this is a crude paraphrase, but I remember someone asking you about occult classes for youth and you saying something to the effect that you don’t do that because too many occultists have been burnt at the stake for it. The application to trans folks is obvious.

  323. Viduraawakened, try Stephen Harrod Buhner’s books “Herbal Antivirals” and “Herbal Antibiotics” for the herbal science. His “Secret Teachings of Plants” is a work incorporating science, natural philosophy, and spirit – and is very worth a read.

  324. DFC, morale is not the same thing as morality!

    Athaia, I envy Europe.

    Siliconguy, they should name it Akhetaten, after the planned city that the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten built at Tell Amarna. It was abandoned utterly after his death, around the time that the new pharaoh Horemheb had Akhenaten’s name erased from every monument in Egypt.

    Grover, you’re quite correct — that zoomed right past me. I happened to see Tibbetts a couple of times in accounts of relevant colonial history, and decided it had the right sound.

    Panda, as I see it, it’s become so miserable and so unaffordable to establish a household these days, in most of the industrial world, that a vast number of young men — who are expected to take the lead in that process — have decided that it’s not worth the effort, and an equally vast number of young women are waiting for young men to take the lead anyway. Are you familiar with the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan? Young men are literally shutting themselves up in their rooms and refusing to do much of anything; you can hardly blame them, because the expectations piled on them by their society are so unreasonable. The same is true of a lot of other young men in a lot of other places. Nor is this a new thing — it’s normal in collapsing empires. That’s where the hermits and monks who built the Christian monastic tradition came from!

    Jessica, the Celtic Golden Dawn does not use the Sphere of Protection; it has its own specific set of rituals, including protective rituals, If you want to work with that system, you’ll want to get the book and learn the CGD rituals instead.

    Ariadne, I know the type! I had zero idea that one of my trans friends was trans until it came out in conversation, and I was genuinely floored. As for backlash, again, that depends very much on where you are and on what you do. One of the reasons I’m in Rhode Island is that it has a tradition of tolerance for eccentrics and dissidents going back nearly 400 years; when H.P. Lovecraft described Providence as “that universal haven of the odd, the free, and the dissenting,” he wasn’t kidding.

  325. Anyway, that’s certainly one of the things in “The Witch of Criswell” that my wife wanted me to read. My last name is pretty uncommon. Uncommon enough to be bizarre to see it in print. The only other title that I’m aware of that contains my surname is “Miss Tibbett’s Typewriter,” a children’s book from 1966, that I grew up with (for obvious reasons). And that’s not even spelled right.

    I just thought it was cool.

  326. JMG & Lazy Gardener – Now I’m not sure if you misinterpreted what I wrote or if I failed to interpret your answers correctly. I fully accept the claim that there’s something in the water which somehow correlates with obesity. I just wondered about the mechanism. See, I witnessed people standing very close to me blowing up like a yeast dough under lithium and other medications. It’s a very pitiable condition especially since there usually is a reason people get these imo mostly useless medications prescribed. Suffering severe depression, then taking medication but still suffering severe depression only difference you’ve turned into a shapeless blob is not where you want to be. And witnessing this complete disaster standing very close but being absolutely powerless at the same time – it’s difficult to find words.

    But now we’re not talking about full dose lithium and anti-depressants and not about a fully manifested severe depression but small dosages, mostly sub-clinical psychological disorders that most people suffer nowadays, small effects that have negative consequences over time, one being that people turn obese.

    What if, for example, malnutrition pushes a body on the verge of obesity but the body somehow manages to compensate? Now another negative factor comes in and pushes the body beyond what it is able to compensate for.

    I asked the question if the mechanism involved might be not only chemical but also etheric – which would possibly open up ways to mitigate the negative effects of the stuff that’s spread in the water.

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  327. @Lathechuck #305 “Smarter than the average bear?” LOL..

    and….If AI sends verbal facility as a sign of intelligence down the tubes, whence the bards and poets of the future?

  328. @Grover #322 – La Llorona! Shakes head – a Southwesterner for 50 years, and I never picked up on that one? You’re absolutely right.

  329. I think there is another thing involved with the loneliness and lack of marriage prospects and family formation among young men. I Have a couple of younger acquaintances ( men) who are very internet savvy but are of blue collar means and average looks. They very much blame the internet for their lack of success. Internet dating has become a kind of digital beauty and wealth contest where man and women deemed desirable by the standards of the day rule the roost. They feel we are missing the spontaneity of the pre-internet dating world where chance encounters could allow two potential partners to get to know each other before the superficial took over. I think the legions of young men and women toiling away in the Cross-Fit dungeons is testament to this. Also the internet culture of documenting your life ( especially among younger girls) makes it more imperative ( to them) that they land an Impressive partner to show off on Facebook and such.
    I am pretty sure I would not have landed by wife ( of 39 years) if I had to do it on the internet. As a fellow of modest looks, height and confidence, I would have stood little chance of landing a girl who was out of my league in looks, intelligence and charm. But living down the hall from her in my freshman dorm allowed me to win her over with much time and effort.

  330. JMG, I have been involved in research on environmental sensitivities. This is a topic I think has been underappreciated by the broader population. From multiple chemical sensitivity to mould sensitivity to growing rates of various autoimmune phenomena related to environmental exposures that never seemed to cause previous generations any trouble…

    There is a world coming upon us whereby our own toxins are creating growing rates of chronic illness with every subsequent generation. I know you have alluded in the past to the health problems industrial civilisation has created for itself. At the very fringes of this sick group of canaries in the coalmine are people who talk about zones and locales that are more damaging to their health–typically urban and industrial centres.

    Is this an area you have heard much about or throught about?
    Thanks.

  331. I am one of the despised boomers, although I maintain that I am a bit too old for that. However, it was not hard for us to buy a house that suited us. I will say here that our houses were never flash, just comfortable and suitable for our family. This was the case for all our friends. Our own first house has now been demolished and will no doubt now be 2 concrete, steel and glass monstrosities, also 2 storeyed.
    When my parents built a house in the late 30s they could use a system called workers’ cottages. The govt lent them enough to build if they had the land. After they married they lived with my grandparents which was pretty normal back then. Their parents, however, did not own their own houses till they were retired. They were not poor, it was just normal. Borrowing to buy a house was very difficult for ordinary people back then.
    Most of the help put in place by governments to help has seen the extra quickly gobbled up by businesses who saw a chance.
    We now have a culture which encourages people to live way beyond their means and does nothing to help the next generation into their adult years.
    I have no answers to this. Changing a whole culture is way outside my capacity.
    I am not posting this to lecture anyone but to point out that things do change and sometimes unexpectedly. And avoid the D word (debt) as far as you can.

  332. For anybody concerned about the direction modern technology is leading us, who wants to help make a defiant statement against it and work toward the reestablishment of caring physical communities, Arthur Firstenberg is moving forward with his project for rejecting mobile communications, establishing an international network called “People Without Cell Phones.”
    I recognize that many of you are already finding ways of interacting in your physical community, such as through the Masonic lodges, and that might be sufficient for most purposes, but does not address the inherent tyranny of trying to force everyone to adopt harmful and enslaving tracking/data collection devices. I have begun seeing certain services denied to people without smartphones (for example, I can no longer send Christmas presents abroad), and there is a deliberate push in Japan and I think many other places to get everyone on board with digitalization.
    There has been some push-back in Japan. There is vociferous opposition to merging Japan’s relatively new digital ID “My Number” card with the long-standing public health insurance system, for example.
    Anyway, here is what Firstenberg has to say about “People Without Cell Phones”:
    “A new global network of local chapters called People Without Cell Phones has been launched to make sure that [the recently deceased Paul] Brodeur’s life and work, and the lives and work of other pioneers of his generation, were not in vain. Today, 46 years after The Zapping of America was published, the world is still pretending that radiation is harmless, and that asthma, and brain tumors, and diabetes, and heart disease, and cancer, are caused by something else. And everyone carries around a cell phone, day and night. We are going to grow a worldwide network of people who are throwing them away. The Earth is dying. Insects have largely disappeared. Birds are falling dead out of the sky by the millions. The purpose of this network is not to place blame. It is to establish a presence in this world of people living, and teaching others how to live, as if life on Earth will continue. It has been launched together with a Policy Brief on Electrosmog [ https://cellphonetaskforce.org/electrosmog-policy-brief/ ], to which so far 29 organizations in 10 countries have signed on in support — organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and Tunisia. The time for baby steps is over. It is time to do what is necessary without fear, without reservations, and without accusations.
    “The New Mexico chapter of People Without Cell Phones had its founding meeting, in person, three days ago, on August 19. It was attended by a medical doctor, several building biologists, a photographer, and others. All but two do not own cell phones, and the others plan to get rid of theirs. We established a feeling of community which people have been hungering for, and we began to discuss ways to talk about this to others, support one another, and work toward a world with:
    •no more radiation
    •no more brain tumors
    •restored health and vitality
    •birds, bees and butterflies
    •living as if life on Earth will continue
    “Please join our network by forming a chapter of People Without Cell Phones in your city, state, or country. Let us know that you are doing this by sending us an email.” info@cellphonetaskforce.org

  333. @Curt (#321):

    Here’s some fun tidbit. To show how wacky some of my noodling around has come up with…

    Have you ever heard of the Nei Gong teacher Max Christiensen of Primordial Alchemist and Kunlun Nei Gong? He’s spent most of his life learning Daoist Nei Gong and esoteric Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

    One of the classes he teaches is how to attain to the Golden Dragon Body. Apparently that is an old Daoist term for what is now known as the Diamond Body or as Max puts it, “the Rainbow Body of Tibet” so I guess he is equating the two as either the same or similar enough the differences would be minuscule. Attaining to the Diamond Body is way beyond my paygrade right now but nonetheless it’s fascinating stuff to learn about (we all gotta start off somewhere right?).

    Odd stuff is out there to learn if you nose around enough for it.

    I’ve found only one video of someone who interviewed him about it. In the interest of transparency I haven’t finished this video yet. When I first discovered him years ago he didn’t do videos or interviews so I’m surprised and happy I found at least this. On the odd chance anyone would like to hear about Golden Dragon Body from someone who actually studied it and now teaches it here it is:

  334. Grover, gotcha. Since my last name is — well, not exactly common, but common enough that there’s more than one Greer in the field of occultism (I used to get asked now and again if I’m any relation to Tarot writer Mary K. Greer) and also in the field of UFO studies (it’s amusing to me to note that Dr. Steven Greer and I are on opposite sides of a number of flying saucer controversies) — it didn’t occur to me that it would be an odd experience to those who have less common names!

    Nachtgurke, thanks for the clarification. That’s an interesting question which I don’t really know how to answer; a good clairvoyant who could see the health aura (i.e. etheric body) might be able to tell you.

    Clay, thanks for this. An interesting coincidence; my wife and I have also been married for 39 years, and of course we also met in the pre-internet period. I had an unfair advantage in courting her, however, because my taste in feminine pulchritude tends toward the plump — meaning that since 80% of the guys were doing the usual thing and chasing 20% of the girls, I had an easy time finding dates.

    Sean, I’m not as familiar with it as you are, of course, but I’m aware of it. My science fiction novel Star’s Reach is set in a future neomedieval America in which women who can actually have children form a privileged caste, since chemical-induced sterility is so common, and cancer is far and away the leading cause of death. (There’s more to the story than that, of course, but that’s one important element of the background.)

    JillN, thanks for this. I’m on the other end of the Boomer spectrum, being arguably just a bit too young; my father spent more than half his working life living in a home he owned, despite being taken to the cleaners in a messy divorce partway through that process.

    Patricia O, thanks for this also.

  335. @J.L.Mc12,
    I enjoyed the information you shared about Australia’s magpies very much. They are common enough in Australia’s cities that I occasionally hear them in the background in news stories. They have a very distinctive song–weird, but quite pretty. Their intelligence seems to help them get along in urban areas and they are less nervous with people around than most other birds.
    I also recall a crow, or perhaps raven, at Shark Bay who came along with me for a morning walk. We chattered with each other pleasantly the whole time. One thing we seemed to agree on was that the chiming wedgebills were really darling.
    Here in Ibaraki, Japan, we had a pair of crows (Corvus corone) near our house who raised three chicks this spring. They figured out that my strawberries were good, and I went out on my balcony one morning and saw the parents going (in their own language) “Oh no! She spotted us! Everyone beat it!” We covered the strawberries subsequently (and those are making a really nice ice cream in this heat), but I’d put out a little dish with leftovers for the crow family.
    One day, the five of them took to bullying the weaker of our two cats, who doesn’t climb well enough to be a menace to them (the one that used to be a bullsnake–but that’s a whole ‘nother story). I came running, chased them off and stood there shaking my fist at them, yelling something about them not liking it if I did that to their chicks. They never bothered him again.
    Tragically, this summer the heat was very hard on the crows. As far as I can tell, only one of the parents survived it. I hope that the others merely flew off elsewhere where they could get by better. I know that young crows tend to gather in large groups that forage together until they find mates and territories, but I’ve seen their offspring stick around near their parents too. In any case, now we have only one crow. He (I am assuming for no reason at all) sits alone on a powerline and caws longingly each time he sees a pair of crows fly by high overhead. I’ve watched him sidle up to the local black kite a couple of times. He and his mate would have been dive bombing the kite if they’d been together, because kites will take chicks. Now he was rattling menacingly, but sitting near the kite and slowly approaching him, not actually attacking. I wondered if he was simply that lonely.

  336. John, I don’t remember exactly how I came across the Summit Lighthouse teachings long time ago, but most likely I was searching about the history of Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula and I came across her weird teaching that Jesus Christ and Lady Master Nada had an etheric retreat over the north-western parts of Arabia, I’ve been hooked since then! I’m definitely planning to read the Unveiled Mysteries by Ballard soon.

    Nemo, I believe there’s a general awareness among the population that at some point Arabia will turn green because there’s a well-known saying by Prophet Muhammad about exactly that, so the royal family is definitely aware of it. Lots of challenges against that though.

  337. @JMG

    The current cabal in power certainly will not get on with it, as we both know. They seem paralysed in the face of their challenges. From news stories this morning it appears that they have only just admitted that even very senior political figures are in danger of losing their seats. It’s been obvious to everyone else for months.

    The post election government is likely to be Labour. In theory to the left of the current incumbents but in reality much the same. A forlorn hope is that they might have enough of a fresh eye to understand the developing situation and although Labour is not naturally inclined towards defence spending they will be keen to show that they are a responsible bunch in a ‘only Nixon could go to China’ sort of way.

    At least I could hope that some kind of self preservation instinct will kick in. It’s certainly deserted the Tories.

    [37 years married here – and you and I are the same age. I thought I married young…]

  338. JMG,
    Yeah, it occurred to me after your initial response that I might just look like a goon, getting so excited about seeing my last name in your book. FWIW, there are a bunch of Greers connected with my family tree too…

  339. Hi John Michael,

    It’s pretty funny, and yes the replacement cover and title for ‘The Limits to Growth’ book as :The Devil in Iron, kind of sounds pretty cool and it works.

    The accommodating young lady in the replacement cover for ‘New Goals for Mankind’, does appear to be having some sort of relationship with the undead. A bit of a waste if you ask me, and I hope she washes her face after that sort of close contact? I’ve long suspected that the undead would smell far from fresh.

    Fine choices if I may say so. 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  340. re: Birthgap

    Two things jumped out at me.

    1. Childlessness became a thing almost immediately after the first oil shock in the 70s and never went away. Every economic crisis amplifies the number of people choosing to go childless. And the economic crises keep coming, at an accelerated tempo.

    2. Those birthgap maps correlate very closely with urban population centers.

    Could it be at some level, people know the oil is running out and nobody in charge has a clue how to deal with it constructively? And that the economy despite the chirpy talk and the shouting down and the tape painting, has never been good enough to incentivize people into starting families like it used to? And that cities are a very bad place to start a family?

    If all you care about are pumping the numbers, I suppose a quick and dirty (diaper) way to pump them is to identify all the women still willing to have kids and incentivize the um, children, out of them. Instead of “Do it for Denmark”, it should be “Just one more, c’mon, here’s some free stuff”

    The real solution is to get rid of the volatility in the economy but that’s not going to happen maybe not until the latter half of this century, I’m guessing.

    I guess the Amish inherit the ruins? I dunno. They’re the ones still having kids in any case.

  341. re: LLMs

    If there’s one thing they’ve brought into focus, it’s the difference between plausible and correct. And that for certain types of work, all that it has to be is plausible. Like news articles. Or ads. Or stories on TV. Or music.

    And then there are things that have to be correct. Like nuclear reactors. Or chemical plants. Or airplane trajectories. Or government policy on the economy. Or detecting a nuclear first strike.

    What I worry is that the plausible will be used in places where things must be correct.

  342. This is in regards to George Soros Open Society Foundation possibly ceasing ~80% of its operations in Europe.

    I cannot confirm this but I read that a leaked internal email said that they are no longer going to be supporting organizations but instead will be looking to inject money into places where that money will make changes.

    To me, the way that I interpret that is that they will be using money to fund candidates, ballot initiatives, legislation, etc. Kind of like how they have backed leftist District Attorneys throughout the USA. Right now Soros backed DA’s are so prolific they they represent nearly 1 in 5 Americans.

  343. @Happy Panda

    And thanks for this as well!

    I have tuned into Max Christiensen – enough to be interested.
    There’s gazillions of spiritual explanations nowadays, no question.
    But seems solid, maybe even especially so!

    Funny is also: I have followed another video “Kunlun Basic Qigong Meditation Practice in Tao by Kunlun Hozn”
    on YT (watch?v=kTJEVSzVi9s), not very good as an english translation, these taiwanese masters.

    But, one sentence in the transcript caught my eye:
    “Basic meditation Practice No. 2: Practice in peaceful.
    Peaceful does not means empty or keep it away. That is inaction.
    If problem in your mind, you just empty or keep it away. ”

    I relate to what @JMG also said, about contemporary “mindlessness meditation” in today’s wealthy western circles.

    ( @JMG the eight spiritual breaths seem intriguing, but comments on Amazon say don’t do this withourt supervision of an online course…-what is your take? Wim Hoffs basic methods seem by comparison safe for the average reader)

    I’d see these few sentences give a warning: meditation is not about emptying everything, or pushing worries into the back of your sub-conscious, or to dissociate (this one by Norbert Gopal Kleine).

    I browsed a bit through the Birthgap documentary – as I don’t really like video either. I found it interesting enough. I think Hans Rosling features in there – as @Grover said, that guy totally energy blind, but his book factfullness was still interesting in many parts and, right, he outright refused bad practice for political gains apparently, and in his book he shows what seems to be genuine moral dilemmata of what it means being a doctor.

    All in all I think he was a positively motivated guy. Whether it is good or bad he didn’t live to see the present time – I don’t know.

    This pesty topic of resources – always quite a difficulty.

    The Birth Gap documentary though does not go much into the topic of male loneliness as far as I saw by browsing thorugh – or maybe just not the first part.

    A theory I got for birth rise and decline I have from Paul Colinvaux’ Book “A biological theory of history” – a good read certainly. Urbanisation is cited as a declining factor – when children become a burden rather than a benefit of labor like in substience agriculture.

    Makes sense, to a degree. But the topic seems to be rather complex all in all.

    A small diatribe from my personal experience: I remember years ago, a polish friend of mine, a woman turned lesbian in her late 20s back then, telling me she told her cousin, a woman thrashed to the ground by her divorce at 31 one, “don’t worry, you are YOUNG…” – I back then thought (but didn’t say) you know, thirty one is NOT YOUNG AT ALL IN ANY WAY if we talk of such vestigial things as actual child bearing and child rearing…!

    Similarily her younger sister complained why women were considered old at the polish country side when they are above 20.

    Well because 1) younger parents have more fertility and energy to begin with 2) they have more to give at that 3) if it’s also a question of working together in a household economy, having kids young is way to go.

    I am a single child, from my father’s line, in third generation, and my father and grand mother (and mother) were all 30 when they got a child.

    It is understandable when considering long education and business aspirations. But it is not a lucky take.

    This is another Faustian feature, a plastic abomination of the religion of progress, where man is woman, fakre is real, and most of all…: OLD is young…!!

    Sorry for my rant, society around me makes me irritated.

    @Wer

    And thanks for your little glimpses of life in Poland, all the best to you!

    @JMG

    You said there is a lot of wilderness to wander in Rhode island? Seems an urban sprawl like the other US cities from above, but probably a better conurbation on the ground.

    Maybe I’ll get get there someday, haha. That thought seems unreal. Or I’ll end up in Saudi Arabia. Who knows….for now, just waiting for the eerie future to rear its head.

  344. “Christianity was widely supported by the upper classes because it kept people passive and willing to put up with whatever misery the rich inflicted on them, since the church taught them they’d be rewarded in Heaven. That’s one of the main reasons why Christianity has had such a total collapse in Europe.”

    Interesting enough even as it did that the Dignity of the Poor was upheld. And such values have been working quietly to improve position of the Poor.

    As well as the Poor’s valuation of themselves.

    The Great are those who truly serve even as they wield power. Ruling well is the Paradox of holding Power, of the Shepherd’s Rod and being the Servant of all.

    The Wellbeing of the Kingdom is the Strength of the King. Outside his own immediate physical body of course.

    I think where Europe went wrong is even back then the Aristocracy was respected as a Warrior Class. Before they become the Managerial Class once War made Centralization and Bureaucracy possible.

    Once the “Aristocracy” were locked in the Golden Cage of Versailles in France for example. Unlike their previous positions as Aristocrats living on their respective Estates on their own lands as Warrior Aristocrats and looking after the people that the French Revolution became as Powerful as it is.

  345. Re: The Ariel Moravec Occult Detective Series

    So Ariel can read French, or is learning how.

    North Carolina? Delaware? Will we find out where Adocentyn is?

    If you want to know of typos, where should that info be sent?

  346. Tripp,

    Apologies i thought i had a year to give but apparently it was three 1-month subs. I tried to give them all to you but it only allowed me to give 1. I guess i have 2 more months if 2 more people want them.

  347. I am sure that some in the group have already seen this, but I can’t help sharing. The Dems (or is it the whole ‘Swamp’?) are so full of irrational hatred of Trump that they have made a hero of him to one of their key constituencies: the Blacks.

    The more Trickster Trump bounces back the more the Dems freak out and shoot themselves in the foot. Rinse and repeat. First the Black social media stood beside ‘racist’ Oliver Anthony’s Blue-Collar ballad ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ and now they are backing Trump .

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/more-you-indict-more-we-unite-black-social-media-erupts-trump

    Tyrants are incapable of learning. King Edward of England executed Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace only to turn him into a larger-than-life patriot and symbol of Scottish nationalism that was able to keep the English at bay for centuries. The same ‘mistake’ is happening now in the USA. Get out the popcorn! I feel like I am watching Roadrunner cartoons and am laughing my gluteus maximus off!

  348. Grover Tibbetts #346, I assume you are not related to the one-t Colonel Paul Tibbets, Commander of the Enola Gay which bombed Hiroshima.

    Clay Dennis #350, I think a big factor in the drop-off in marriages is women joining the workforce in big numbers. Through supply and demand they have driven wages down. Now a man can no longer support a family, and must compete with women for the available jobs. They have become the enemy, not a helpmeet.

  349. “I guess the Amish inherit the ruins? I dunno. They’re the ones still having kids in any case.”

    LDS are still having kids here, with five being the Church sanctified number. And one of my deeply Catholic neighbors has six.

    “Successful War-Thug = Chad who gets the girl.”

    True because Successful War-Thug = Bad Boy, and bad boys are all the rage now. It might be a survival strategy: bad boys are willing to break the rules, so if she can tame the bad boy, if and when things go sideways the bad boy will break the rules in her (and his) favor.

    That gets back to Jordan Peterson and the five types women find attractive, surgeons, pirates, billionaires, werewolves and vampires. They all either have or can get resources. The method of acquisition is not relevant.

  350. @Isaac #340, those are almost exactly the reasons why we moved to Quebec in 2016. We speak some French, and our daughter learnt the local accent flawlessly, which to my mind is more important than perfect TV pronunciation ( remember the origin of the term shibboleth).

  351. If I may advertise a particular prayer that has just come in, with a short time frame.

    Brother Kornhoer’s son, who has been on the prayer list for several months for his empty nose syndrome, is getting surgery Tuesday to help to deal with the condition. May the surgery go excellently, and may he heal quickly.

    (A reminder for those who sometimes combine planetary timing with their prayers: Tuesday is the day of Mars, who rules surgery.)

  352. I think a large part of the phenomenon of couples with fewer or no children is that they can’t afford them, especially in places such as California with living costs so high. Amongst my daughter’s peer group of mostly well educated, employed late 30s-late 40s friends, I can think of only 3 with more than 2 kids, and way more with none, one, or two, the kids mostly born when the parents ware in their 30s, and one of them can afford to not work for awhile, or work from home. There is also less societal pressure to have kids than there was in my time, so if one doesn’t really feel compelled to have them, one doesn’t feel pressured to.
    It seems that more and more the very rich and the very poor are the ones having larger families.
    I have also not noticed the women in that group, educated middle class if you will, holding out for millionaires of over a certain height, or the men for beauty queens on line or off. Granted my experience is second hand through these younger friends. I am not in the game myself. I do get reports of a lot of pretty messed up people of all genders ( how many are there now?) misrepresenting themselves in their online profiles, and their being an awful lot of due diligence due. Talk about caveat emptor.
    I always met the women i ended up with in the course of my every day life: school, work, leisure interests. For some reason that doesn’t seem to work any more. It was an easier world.
    Stephen

  353. Curt,

    I agree. I came away from my reading of Rosling’s ‘Factfulness’ with the feeling that the guy really cared about making life better for everyone. He was a deep well of information, and his advice on how to handle statistics when you come across them was on point, IMHO.

    I really dreaded starting it, but I actually enjoyed finishing it. What more could an author ask for really? It’s too bad that he only saw fossil-fueled Progress, in its 3 main forms, as the only goals worth striving for. If for no other reason than that it can’t last. We’ll just have to come up with other goals. And I’m awfully glad there are people out there getting those ideas into circulation.

    That’s why we come here I reckon.
    Cheers.

  354. Finished “The Witch of Criswell” this evening, and I loved it. I teared up at the end a little because I’ve been there and done that, and it’s a very liberating act – initiation really, into a different mode of life. (But the rest of it was just as good.)

    Thanks for writing that, JMG, and we are looking forward to the next installment.

  355. Kyle,

    Many thanks for the gift subscription to The Convivial Society! I just accepted your invitation.
    Cheers,
    Grover

  356. Grover, re your comment #337, I think you’re right, people are getting tired of the incessant noise and stridency about gender and pronouns. My experience is similar to yours. What I see online and on media is one thing but in my own circles I can’t remember any nastiness over the issue, nor can I recall it even coming up in conversation.

    For my part, who people boff and whether they consider themselves male or female or something in between or none of the above is of no concern of mine. I just don’t care and frankly I am utterly bored with the issue. If they’re unhappy with their gender and they see fit to let surgeons alter them and fill them full of drugs and hormones, well, it’s their own life. Good luck and have at it.

    And just from eyeball evidence, comparing the lot of ordinary people today (many of whom apparently have more than a sporting chance at homelessness) to the way we were fifty years ago, you can’t miss the downward trajectory. So I think we have bigger problems to deal with.

  357. According to vedic astrology, the next few months are going to be quite transformative in terms of global affairs and especially for the USA. One of the vedic astrologers whom I check out from time to time has just released world predictions for September and most of the rest of 2023. And it’s a doozie. Since some people in this group have some interest in astrology, I figured there may be interest in these predictions. Now, vedic astrology uses sidereal system, as opposed to Western astrology, which uses tropical system (in lay terms, everything is shifted by 23 degrees so that the Sun enters Aries on April 14 rather than March 21). So… here we go!

    Briefly, in this astrologer’s view, there is going to be a lot of revelations regarding politics, corruption, and secrets which have been hidden for the past several years (some of it for 60+ years). These revelations will stun and confuse much of the public (shattered illusions). However, once people are able to process the confusion, it will be better for the world.

    A critical feature will be the solar eclipse on October 14 (which will be visible in the western half of the USA) because the North Node of the Moon (Rahu) will be stationed at 0 degrees Aries and will in late November move to 29 degrees Pisces. This process of passing from a ‘fire’ sign (such as Aries) to a ‘water’ sign (such as Pisces) is called ‘gandanta’ which means, literally ‘knot’. It is all the more important because this destiny-ladened ‘shadow-planet’ (Rahu) is moving from the 1st degree of the zodiac to the last degree of the zodiac. Gandanta produces a feeling of being out of control – like the sensation of drowning (to some degree literally too – this fall may be a wicked hurricane season), which will trigger a search for meaning – either spiritually or religious. This feeling will hit at the tail end of the calendar year, but it will be preceded by some major unravelling in September.

    The eclipse itself will take place at 26 degrees Virgo (the South Node of the Moon – Ketu – will be at 29 degrees Virgo at the time of the eclipse). Since Virgo is the natural 6th house of the world-chart, this means that matters pertaining to health/healing and enemies will be activated.
    Mercury has recently gone retrograde and will be so until September 16. During this period long-ignored issues connected with the working class, trade, and labour strikes (Mars is creating havoc in Virgo which is ruled by Mercury). Because Mercury is placed in Leo – the natural 10th house of the world chart – the period of going back direct will likely cause shale to hit the fan in the realm of politics.

    Jupiter goes retrograde on September 4 (the same day that Venus goes direct again) where it has a square aspect with Venus (not good). Economic troubles can be expected starting early September.

    Mars will be a trouble-maker in September because it is involved in four difficulty-producing/ transformative ‘quincunxes’ (also called ‘inconjunct’ with another planet):
    1) with Saturn on Sept 1, relating to psychological issues, death, health;
    2) with retrograde Jupiter on Sept 19, which will broadside the economy;
    3) with Uranus on Sept 30, dealing with accidents, disasters, hidden things – very explosive; and
    4) most importantly, with Saturn’s degree of placement in the USA’s natal chart (in the 10th house – dealing with leadership and government) on Sept 24, also with Saturn transiting 7 degrees in Aquarius (which is where the Moon is placed in the USA’s natal chart) which initiates a period of 7.5 years of karma (chickens coming home to roost) for the USA and on the same day the Sun will be placed in 7 degrees of Virgo – which is an exact quincunx with Saturn. It is predicted that the 4th quincunx will most profoundly affect the USA but will likely also affect the world to a lesser degree.

    Based on my knowledge of vedic astrology, I find that all the predictions are proper – it is just a matter of predicting the degree of severity. The silver lining to this ‘storm cloud’ of ominous predictions is that people, as a whole, will emerge from it (presumably starting in 2024) with a greater sense of purpose in a personal/spiritual sense. After several years of general bat-shale craziness around the world, I find ‘purpose’ something really worth looking forward to!

  358. Hey jmg

    Moving on from birds to humanity, do you have any sources for you comment to panda, about how the society and economy of a declining empire makes it hard to start families? I would like to delve into this In order to compare what’s happening now regarding the difficulties of dating and family-making to the end of previous empires.

  359. I’ve almost finished “The WEIRDest People in The World” by Joseph Henrich.

    I felt that it might as well be subtitled “The Development of Faustian Society”.

    A lot of the ideas mentioned in the book have been floating around in fringe circles for a long time with the HBD movement online, such as clannishness vs individualism in different societies; this book collates a lot of them into a coherent thesis and provides research to back it. The author is a psychologist/sociologist who bases what he says on sociological research; yes, there are caveats to be associated with social science research, such as the replication crisis, but one main thesis of this book is that it is precisely because there are deep psychological differences between WEIRD peoples and many other societies that psychology research often fails to replicate outside of WEIRD contexts.

    The author traces the evolution of proto-WEIRD norms back to Carolingian Western Europe, where changes in marriage laws and norms came to influence other norms in society, resulting in a more individualistic, analytical, rules-based society as opposed to e.g. holistic, clannish, relationship-based ones.

    I’ve read some reviews of the book before and found them to be pretty bad, many give a kind of Whiggish interpretation to it that is not really present in the original, which points out numerous times that WEIRD psychology shouldn’t be seen as a something completely opposed to other societies’ psychology, and isn’t “superior” in itself. The book itself, IMO, seems to me to align very well with Spengler’s analysis of Faustian culture, except stemming from an Anglo-American as opposed to Spengler’s more “mystical” German approach.

    A few parts I found striking:

    – The book describes how Western Europeans tried to read some underlying concepts or principles in their rediscovery of Justinian’s code, when Roman law originally had no such “meta-concept” and was more of an ad-hoc deliberation based on customs and precedents.
    This struck me as being similar to how mediaeval Western philosophy itself seems to reinterpret the Greek and Arab philosophical literature to have “laws” or principles, which they then took as the basis of their philosophy. Of course, later philosophers came to reject these principles, and replaced them with others, but the drive to even search for these principles is something unique to Faustian culture.

    – In law, Western societies evolved to focus on mental states to assess culpability rather than the acts in themselves. For example, even today, Jewish and Protestant subjects in studies have different approaches to assessing guilt. This strikes me as being a clear example of how the concept of “Will” is paramount in Faustian society, as described by Spengler.

    – How Faustian pseudomorphoses are happening right now: Henrich calls the Faustian marriage norms (nuclear family setting up independently of a clan, with a father, mother and children) the “marriage and family programme” (MFP). Today, Japan, China, Hong Kong, among other historically non-Faustian countries, have adopted MFP marriage norms, however, their psychologies remain quite distinct from WEIRD people (incidentally, like the Romans, Chinese and Japanese often adopted external males into the family line if no male heir was born; the MFP plan historically rejected adoption, adoption was legalized in Western countries only fairly recently). The “Big Five” which psychologists like e.g. Jordan Peterson often bring up as being solid psychological axes that remain constant, cannot be said to be the same factors as found in Japanese and Hong Kongers, where four main dimensions were found — in hunter-gatherer groups, psychologists only found two main dimensions, which are not even the same as the Big Five.

    If this sounds interesting to you, it might be worth borrowing it at your local library.

  360. JMG,

    I’ve been following the latest regarding the Trump indictments, while also diving into the political dynamics of late antebellum America, what with Bleeding Kansas and the increasing breakdown of political decorum. The fact that Charles Sumner was beaten so bad with that cane that parts of his scalp flaked off and the bone of his skull was visible, and that Preston Brooks was hailed as a hero in half the country afterwards seems oddly apropos of the current political moment.

    Unfortunately, it really seems like the democrats are almost trying to maximize the polarization and legitimacy crisis in America right now. Apparently, the court date for one of the trials against Trump was just scheduled for March 4th, 2024… just one day before Super Tuesday. Even obligate Trump-haters on the right, such as Rod Dreher, are now saying they will vote for the man if he wins the nomination, because they can’t stand to see the basic legal and political norms of the country being destroyed like this by his opponents.

    They could have set the trial date to any other day, really, just to give at least some plausible deniability in the face of the charge that these indictments are simply about political interference. But it’s almost like they’re flaunting it, completely ignorant of the fact that they’re playing with fire.

    My sense is that something similar to another “Bleeding Kansas” is far, far more likely in the US even in the near term than people think. The tinder is stacked up to the ceiling – a terrible economic situation, food inflation, rising crime, polarization and Americans increasingly self-sorting into two hostile tribes; all it would take to light it is some sort of protest turning bloody for the cycle of violence and counter-violence to start.

    2024 already looks like a nightmare of an election. It’s hard to see how you get results that the losers will accept, given circumstances like this. People are already writing columns about how a Trump victory is ipso facto illegitimate, and given the means used to try to hinder Trump from winning, a Trump loss might end up producing a much more violent response than the 2020 capitol riots. Add to this the fact that everyone in DC is currently talking about getting the US military ready for the next war against China, and it seems like truly dark days loom ahead for America.

  361. Martin Back,

    I’m not sure of the precise connection, nor why his name is spelled with only one ‘t’ at the end, but we are apparently related. In my direct lineage there was a time when our name was spelled with an ‘i’ instead of an ‘e’ in the second half as well, due to a clerical error, so it’s not the only variation. My Uncle John, who was a West Point man and retired as a Lt. Col., had his photo taken with Paul a few years before the latter’s death in 2007.

    I like to joke that I don’t have many Japanese friends for that reason!
    Ouch.
    ><

  362. Smith,

    Yeah, I sometimes wonder if the whole business isn’t just another way for people to distract themselves from the SHTF all around us every day. We definitely have bigger fish to fry, and I really wish we could just get on with it!

  363. In Stoic philosophy there’s the idea that we should not take the things that happen to us personally, that we live in an impersonal universe that doesn’t notice or care about individual human lives one whit. It seems to me though that with magic and with magical workings it’s the opposite, with the idea being the universe is not impersonal, but rather that the universe is indeed filled with energies and spirits that we can induce to come to our aid or that we can align ourselves with to create favorable outcomes. I’m wondering JMG if you can elucidate this dichotomy for me from your own perspective?

  364. Apparently ChatGPT is the folksy, bumbling, not-terribly-intelligent public facing image of AI which is designed not to scare the yokels (i.e. you and me). The real hard core efficient AI you have to pay big money to access. A screenwriter reports–

    “When most people think about artificial intelligence, they think about ChatGPT. What they don’t know is that way more powerful AI programs already exist. My friend from OpenAI (hey Dan) has shown me some that are not available to the public and they have absolutely scared the hell out of me.

    “When I mention this fear to my [screenwriter] friends on the picket lines, they all say the same thing: “I tried ChatGPT and it sucks.” They’re right. ChatGPT sucks. It sucks at jokes. It sucks at dialogue. It even sucks at tag lines. What they don’t realize is that it sucks on purpose. OpenAI spent a ton of time and money training ChatGPT to be as predictable, conformist, and non-threatening as possible..” — https://time.com/6301288/the-ai-jokes-that-give-me-nightmares/

    He quotes a couple of jokes and a short story written by a more advanced AI and they are not bad at all.

    When computers are beating creatives at their own game, it truly is the revenge of the nerds.

  365. >LDS are still having kids here, with five being the Church sanctified number. And one of my deeply Catholic neighbors has six.

    You definitely get the sense the future is going to be deeply religious. The question is in which way? I guess you could see religious wars in the 2100s or 2200s as they fight in and amongst the rubble of the Old Era. There’s nothing more rigid than a fundie, whether it’s wearing blue hair or holding some ancient book.

  366. I know it’s late in the week here, but this article, which pretends to be a book review, but is really a discussion of what is wrong with the meritocratic “management as an interchangeable skill” approach of the PMC, is fantastic.

    In broad strokes, not much that will surprise longtime Ecosophia readers – the emphasis on social reality over the tangible, preference for verbal over quantitative fluency, unshakable confidence that this is the best and only way to run things – but it gets a lot of the details of what’s it like inside PMC organizations and institutions very right (for example, the difference between reading a book that says “remember small details about folks on your team” and actually caring about your team enough to just know things about them, the gnawing sense that your job doesn’t actually matter since you don’t actually know how to do anything besides run a meeting, being terrible at coming up with your own ideas or objectives because the selection process to land you your fancy job was a lifetime of following pre-planned tracks).

    Hands down the best article on “management” I’ve read in years, if not ever, and my job is teaching at a business school:

    https://www.thepsmiths.com/p/review-scaling-people-by-claire-hughes

    All my best to whoever welcomes it,
    Jeff

  367. >think a large part of the phenomenon of couples with fewer or no children is that they can’t afford them, especially in places such as California

    My observations of couples that married and had kids in Northern CA, was that inevitably they would figure out how much economic pain the system was about to put them in and then you’d hear an announcement months later about how they found this new job in the Midwest and how they were looking forward to actually affording a real house for their real family.

    And then they’d be gone.

    The bigger more established megacorps sort of liked it if you were married and had a young child, but only because they thought it meant you wouldn’t be trading your job as much and that you would be willing to put up with more of their nonsense. And there was a lot of nonsense. And that was before the political correctness.

    The smaller the company though, the less they wanted to talk to you if you were married and god forbid, you had chilluns. They wanted all your horsepower devoted to turning the wheels and not turning useless accessories like children. After a while you internalized that way of thinking.

    People respond to incentives.

  368. The Birth Gap documentary though does not go much into the topic of male loneliness

    True. I forgot to include some examples of what I mean that I’ve found on the topic.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVYuxFAMkNE < this talks about the U.S. but statistics are similar for other countries.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-asymmetric-brain/202006/the-world-s-biggest-study-loneliness < self-reported so not scientific but interesting nonetheless. Men of all ages experience loneliness more than women and the younger you are the more it's true. Elderly men feel lonely the least.

    So lemme get this straight…you're telling me Joe Biden and the Wealthy GovCorp Congress Critters of both parties are not likely to experientially understand what lonely 20-something men live with in America these days, eh? I'm beginning to understand why men of any ethnicity rallied behind Oliver Anthony's song.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj-2021-067068 < actual study on loneliness in 133 countries.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-asymmetric-brain/202006/the-world-s-biggest-study-loneliness < loneliness with a focus on Europe.

    And here's the kind of 'discussing the topic of lonely, single men is problematic' I've also found online too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiD4UNe8OJE *

    Young women hear things like this from older women and it sinks in. I read some studies for the U.S. that showed young men's political affiliations are very nearly unchanged since the first Obama administration when the data first started being tracked. From what few statistics were tracked it is largely females of middle age – especially Millennial women – who've become (and, I guess, are the drivers?) behind the pro-woke/pro-CRT policies metastasizing everywhere in America (Europe too? I don't know about how prevalent woke-ist/CRT policies are in the UK and EU).

    To my mind they're the unwitting foot soldiers of and for the top 5% of global wealth elites even though many claim to be against those same elites. In short, from what I've read, it's mostly women, not men, who've become the radical Progressive Alt-Left – ie normalized in society. They gave the Overton Window a hard shove Left. It is middle-aged women (with younger sisters in tow and a decent round of elder women of wealth-privilege status) who've become America's current round of Bolsheviks. And this started to skyrocket during the Obama administration onward. It's possible the transformation was happening earlier. It's just that it started being tracked during Obama's first term – likely due to the 2008 financial crisis.

    *these women are going to get their societal spinster-hood wish (enjoy your cats, ladies)! Enjoy coming out of retirement to enter the gig/migrantized-worker economy because of too few young people to make Social Security and 401ks a viable, monthly paycheck. Unfortunately your house and your car won't save you – ever heard of 'asset rich, income poor'?

  369. >They all either have or can get resources. The method of acquisition is not relevant.

    Something Aaron Clarey pointed out that stuck with me – “Women can’t tell the difference between equity and debt spending”. Or they can, but most of them, don’t care.

    If you watched Lord Of War, pay attention to how he managed to attract the beauty queen, that illustrates the point perfectly. She couldn’t tell the difference between a rented jet and one that he owned. Or she didn’t care enough to find out. Either way, the outcome’s the same.

  370. In answer to #22 Synthase and for the commentariat.
    Thanks for bringing up that subject.
    In short: Drink water.
    It’s healthier, it’s cheaper and it’s not industrial-made.
    In detail:
    One of the many changes I have made over the last few years is to drink water.
    I choose to buy mineral water, as tap water is completely safe but…(…)
    My goal is to drink only water or water with something I have added like lemon, or spices and coffee. No wine, no coke, no soda, no beer no fruit juice. Not any industrial drink, period. In order to achieve my goaI I allow myself ALL the exceptions I want at the pace I want. I think that’s important.
    If I want a coke, I will open the drawer and there it is, I look at it, think about putting it in the fridge or drinking it lukewarm. Usually I will choose to close the drawer again.
    At first, I used to buy 1 bottle of wine every week (a glass at lunch, everyday) and 4 o 7 cans of coke a week. Now, for the last 3 months I have bought no wine and much less coke than I used to buy.
    Hope you find it interesting.
    Thanks to everyone and specially to Mary Bennet for the details. I totally agree “cash only” is a great (step by step) help.
    Tired21

  371. @Martin Beck #385:

    Consider the source. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but Time Magazine is the most craven conceivable spear-carrier for the status quo. They’d sell your mother and mine into slavery if it let them clutch at the illusion of respectability five seconds longer.

  372. Aziz, it’s fascinating stuff; I may do a book on the Ascended Masters teachings one of these days.

    Andy, well, I married at an average age for Americans, but I’ve read that people on your side of the pond tend to wait longer. As for the Tories, and for the matter Labour, they’re both stuck in the same spiral of failure, convinced that the ideas that got the country into its current mess are the only ideas that are thinkable. Somebody else will be doing the thinking for them soon enough.

    Grover, nah, I was just startled. I’m not surprised about the Greers in your family — they ran us out of Scotland for good and sufficient reason, and those who didn’t come straight to the American colonies landed in northern Ireland (like my paternal ancestors) and got run out of there in due time as well. That’s why we’re all over, especially in the more rural and (formerly) rough-edged parts of the country.

    Chris, thank you. I wish I had some photoshop skills, because there are a lot of modern books that would be sharply improved with Margaret Brundage covers.

    Other Owen, both of these seem quite reasonable to me.

    Freebeer, well, that sucks.

    Curt, it’s an odd little state. There’s the usual clutch of urban centers along Narragansett Bay, but go west from there and pretty quickly you’re into this:

    Info, unfortunately talk about the dignity of the poor can be used, and has been constantly used, as an excuse for keeping them in their place. Medieval Christianity had the great strength of treating generosity as a central virtue for the aristocracy to practice, which led to a lot of practical charity; when the aristocracy gave way to the mercantile classes, and then to the capitalist classes, that by and large went by the boards.

    Nemo, she learned French in high school, and spends much of the second book struggling to get up to speed reading Lévi. As for the location of Adocentyn, it’s a city that doesn’t exist in a small state that doesn’t exist; the state capital is Summerfield, where Ariel grew up (and which we’ll be visiting in a later book).

    Ron, that’s just dizzying. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but it has my head spinning.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Grover, thank you for this!

    Ron, many thanks for this. I’ve come to similar conclusions based on Western astrology; once again it fascinates me that two systems of astrology based on such different principles can come to such similar conclusions so often.

    J.L.Mc12, I got that from reading books on the late Roman empire; it’s been a while, but you might be able to find something in Michael Grant’s books on the subject.

    Alvin, thanks for this. The whole WEIRD business has struck me, since I first heard of it, as reasonable and very much worth watching; it is after all true that people in the Western industrial world are not simply “human normal,” as they tend to assume, but belong to a very idiosyncratic set of related cultures, with basic assumptions about the world that simply aren’t shared by the rest of humanity. I may see what the local library system has to offer, once time permits.

    Tinkzorg/Malcom, trust me, you’re not the only person thinking about that these days. I’m also recalling that quote — was it Lenin who said this? — that there are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks when decades happen. I think we’re approaching some of those weeks over here.

    Joshua, a Stoic living in a community balances his awareness that the universe is impersonal with his awareness that other people are not impersonal, and relationships with them are worth cultivating. The Stoic magician takes that same awareness to a broader level. The universe as a whole is impersonal; it doesn’t care about us and will not lift a finger to save us from our own stupidities; but there are other beings in the cosmos, some of which are not human and not embodied the same way we are, who are not impersonal, and relationships with them are also worth cultivating. Those other beings are no more omnipotent than we are, but many of them can do things we can’t.

    Have you by any chance read any of my tentacle novels? That’s the viewpoint I tried to express in those stories — in some sense, it’s the central point of the whole series. As the shoggoths say, “the world has no eyes, but you have eyes”: translated out of their abstraction-shy language, we are all caught up together in the glory and misery of a vast, intricate, and utterly uncaring universe, but we can still recognize one another as beings worthy of respect and care, and help each other on occasion.

    Jeff, thanks for this!

  373. @JMG
    as for 5th wednesdays-polling I suggest that if there is a close call you could just take the runner-up for the following 5th and skip one poll and count.

  374. Happy Panda, FYI, I am very much enjoying my solitary status, husband died in 1995, and I was NOT going to let some Other Dude plus extended instant family soak up time, money and resources I needed to raise my girls. I happen to be plain, maybe the calculations are different for more attractive ladies. I don’t have cats; they poop in the vegetable garden, and are not much use against moles. You do need them in CA for gophers. As for solitary boomer males, they can cry me a river. They could have been nice; they didn’t have to haze and harass plain girls like me, but they did. If I want to read a history book or listen to classical music, I don’t have to put up with in laws doing your just a culture vulture wannabe at me. I can turn OFF the heat, not have AC, wash clothes by hand, not that hard actually, prepare frugal meals, and live within my income.

    As for the Alpha gets the gorgeous dame, of course. She knows her beauty won’t last; she is going to cut the best deal she can while she can. I don’t blame her one bit.

    To my mind they’re the unwitting foot soldiers of and for the top 5% of global wealth elites

    Guys buying vehicles they can’t afford, running up bar tabs ditto, not to mention their illegal stimulant expenses, are not?

  375. @Jeff,

    Thanks for that link. It’s a great substack article. The cargo cult radio dish has a caption that I’d expect on a JMG post 🙂

    My favorite quote, and perhaps this is because I’ve seen this far too often is:

    “Can’t you just imagine some management guru watching a leader yukking it up with his troops, asking one of them, “say, wasn’t it your kid’s birthday yesterday?” and robotically writing down in his Big Book of Management Tips, “Memorize children’s birthdays.””

  376. @Ron

    According to vedic astrology, the next few months are going to be quite transformative in terms of global affairs and especially for the USA.

    Interesting! In addition to following a large number of social, political & economic types there are a few off-beat types I keep tabs on simply because they’ve been a source of a number of surprisingly good calls. They range from pure rationalists to the deeply religious yet they’re all in the camp of major events in the offing for the remainder of this year.

    I’m stocked up on popcorn.

  377. Hey jmg

    Ok, I’ll try to look into him then.

    Btw, have you heard about the legal trouble the Internet archive has been experiencing?

  378. If Millennial women are driving this, they’re probably taking their ideals from their Boomer foremothers. Now, what they’re doing with those ideals is another story.

    So far, in my experience, the Xers turned out the dragon-lady mothers and bosses. In my family, at least, it’s “Well, SOMEBODY has the take the reins and straighten out the chaotic world YOU (look in mirror, hang head in shame) left us while you were having your midlife crises and running off to California to Find Yourselves.” The latter being a complaint much heard in other media, comic or otherwise, with many a story about the children parenting their parents. Because in our youths we were (or were reared to be) meek little conformists. “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” “The Happy Homemaker”.

    As one of the misfits, I welcomed the onset of the hippie era! But, alas, had small children in my care then, and so it only took the form of my taste in music and membership in the local chapter of NOW. (Which actually did a lot of good at first.)

    And, as your Ariel Moravec novel pointed out so sharply, my grandchildren are also being reared as meek little conformists, only in this case, the man in the gray flannel suit has been joined by the woman in the high end dress or pants suit and 5″ heels.

  379. @JMG and Bruce Turton #283

    I’m a long-time reader of Chris Smaje’s blog and books, and I think his works would be of interest to most of the readership here. He’s an academic sociologist who realized the way the world was turning and moved to an organic smallholding in southern England as a way of collapsing ahead of the rush. His writing is centered on making the case for a “small farm future”, as is also the title of his blog and main book: how such a society would function both politically and agriculturally, and how we can get there from where we are without succumbing to authoritarianism.

    Smaje comes at this from a more left-wing perspective than many of the commenters here, but he’s a clear, sober thinker and not at all woke. Out of all the “collapsenik” writers JMG and Chris Smaje are in a league of their own IMO, and I’ve learned a lot from both of them. I know Smaje used to read the Archdruid Report and occasionally this blog too.

    @Clay Dennis #316

    Re. the “magic button”: as a Millennial, I’d like to split the difference. Ie., can I get rid of the cell phones but keep the internet? 🙂 Maybe we’re all just nostalgic for what we grew up with, but I’m firmly convinced the internet jumped the shark around 2010 with the introduction of the iPhone. Or I guess the one-two punch of smartphones plus Facebook and Twitter worming their way into everything. Then again, maybe those ten years older than me would say the jump was “eternal September”, and so it goes.

    I always had a bad feeling about FB and refused to sign up in spite of some social pressure when it was the new cool thing, and to this day I don’t have an account and wouldn’t get one if you paid me. Or: social media is the real poison IMO.

    While I can accept our host’s arguments that the internet is unsustainable, I also think it enables a lot of interesting things in addition to the toxic ones. It’s brought me into contact with a lot of impulses I never would have had otherwise, and in that sense my life would have been poorer without it. On the other hand, I’m also dependent on it in unhealthy ways and still use it more than I should, so I’m torn.

    In the end, I guess I’d push the button if it came down to that binary choice. Dealing with the loss would be harder than I’d like for me personally, but I still think it’d be the right thing to do.

    As for the Boomers, I get the sense many of them are very attached to all the newfangled digital stuff too. For instance, my Boomer father will sometimes shake his head at me for perceived Luddite habits like having a Linux phone that can browse the internet but not run any apps, while his own phone is stuffed full of them. (Side note: why does everything have to be done through proprietary apps these days? Whatever happened to the open internet?)

  380. tinkzorg @ 381, The USA has always been violent. There are a number of reasons for this. In part it is the price we pay for extreme individualism. It is also in part a lingering legacy of having been settled by peasantry who themselves had been subjected to centuries of institutional violence. You might enjoy reading a book called Map of the World by Edward P. Jones, a brilliant historical novel which describes anti-bellum Virginia as a society suffused with violence. And, also, I believe it is also an effect of living on a violent continent. I understand that the winters can be brutal in Scandinavia, and no doubt there is spring flooding. I have lived through two Pineapple Express flood events; a hurricane is bearing down on the town where my granddaughter lives, a few years ago my sister nearly had to evacuate her home ahead of a massive fire. This was in a Portland suburb, mind you, not out in the wilderness. There is hardly an American anywhere who has not been affected by extreme weather or geological events. The Cascade volcanoes are luckily located away from major concentrations of human population, except for Ranier. Which happens to be the largest. And did I mention the underground volcanos? We are sitting on three of those.

    I believe we are in the middle of a cultural and political realignment, one which should have taken place at least two decades ago. People’s feelings, resentments, grievances have been bottled up for so long that the bottles are about to explode. Pace our host, I do not recommend anyone settle in the US in the near future.

    The Democratic Party (and Republican, of course) is bought and paid for and it’s owners are internationalist “Citizens of the World” who Do. Not. Care. about any polarization or crisis of legitimacy or even immiseration of the working classes in the USA. Of course the Dems are going to use Trump’s legal troubles against him. We have a saying that, “Politics ain’t tiddlywinks”. That does not alter the fact that Trumo’s legal troubles are, mostly, for realz. I don’t care what his alleged dealings with an alleged porn actress might have been, but I do care about a sitting President telephoning and bullying a state Secretary of State. You can call the events of Jan 6, 2021, a picketing demonstration if you want, but it was shocking all the same, and there is little doubt that Trump incited it and those working for him facilitated.

    I note that some on the far left are already excoriating DA Willis for “putting Black teachers in jail” for falsifying test scores. I thought it was judges who pronounce sentence, not prosecutors.

  381. Pamouna, this time, at least, there’s a definite winner. I may do some of the runners-up anyway, but we’ll see.

    J.L.Mc12, yes, I’ve kept an eye on it, not least because I get a lot of out-of-copyright books from IA. I wish they’d been more careful about copyrights all along…

    Patricia M, the habit of raising children to be meek little conformists goes in and out of style at regular intervals. Fortunately some of those children refuse to be meek!

    Kim, thanks for this. I’ll check him out as time permits.

  382. As this winged polecat (yeah, evolution in fits and starts! ..) glides over that non-hedgerow… catches a glimpse of:

    ‘Pentagram’ To Develope Drone Swarms With Eye On War With China’..

    Well.. all one can say is , that if the ZUMWALT.. and the Flying *LARD BUCKET*… (ht to our’s revered host moniker…..) are any examples of U.$. ‘excellence, then I think Merica • Be • $crewed – BIGGLY LIKE!

    I mean, really … who are the CONGREASEd… and by extention .. Raytheon • Boeing • Northrup Grumman • the Joint-smokin Chief$ of $taff$ of Grifted Life .. et. al. ,fooling?

  383. @JMG

    Hi,

    Virtue signaling, maybe? https://yle.fi/a/74-20047318

    The family behind the foundation is richest in Finland, industrialists.
    Could it be they have some sort of agenda?

    Id like to ask two questions about immigrant groups too. Minnesota, for example, has a Somali population of maybe 60000 strong. Now they are actively communicating with their people at home, following the media etc. If things go as you have predicted, communications and travel between Horn of Africa and North American interior will be much more difficult or nonexistent in the future. How such communities might then develop culturally etc. ( I picked the Somalis as an example, among many others)?

    As we know, there are Chinese and Indian diasporas in many countries, some large, some smaller. If both India and China or one of them end up into position of much more power, which is very possible, how are the diasporas going to behave then on?

  384. @ JMG and Malcom/Tinkzorg

    Get this: the judge who is overseeing the case against Trump used to work with Hunter Biden, at the same law firm which represented Burisma, which you might recall employed Hunter as a board member and has been implicated in a number of Biden related corruption scandals. Talk about blatant conflicts of interest!

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-j6-judge/

    And that’s not the only controversy involving Judge Chutkan.

    https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1686497723057426432

    So yeah, the timing and other circumstances surrounding this case really stink. Like the old saying goes, “the fix is in”. Except I don’t think Trump or his supporters are going to take this laying down. That quote from Lenin keeps coming back to my mind over and over again these days too…

  385. Hey jmg

    Yeah, hosting copyrighted books on a library based system was asking for trouble.
    To be honest I never really understood E-libraries, something about them just seems to be odd to me, probably because I’m used to downloading Ebooks and thus possessing them, so the idea of only temporarily owning a pattern of electrons because they are trying to make it similar to a physical library just seems ridiculous, like lay-buying a pizza.

  386. Aziz: If I understand correctly, Saudi Arabia suffers from an affliction I wish the good Lord would smite me with … the resource curse, a.k.a. the rollin’ in the dough curse! Some societies must have dealt wisely with that affliction. Only one I can think of is old Egypt — don’t know how old, exactly — when Joseph son of Jacob told Pharaoh that hard times were coming.

    Actually, good times are coming for the Sahara and Arabia, weather-wise. However, by the time they are green, they’ll have been obliged to find another way to feed their folk. Maybe the latest Pharaohs need their dreams interpreted.

    JMG: Ariel learned something useful in high school — groovy! Oh my, the state capital is Summerfield? Reminds me of the TV show “The Simpsons” meme: where the heck is Springfield? The Simpsons also live in an imaginary state. It moves around to suit the plot, since there are many Springfields in the USA.

    “The Simpsons” premiered in 1989. It has gone from farce to fantasy. Homer barely scraped through high school, but he has a nice house and supports a wife and three children on his blue-collar salary. They do not have to live in the sedan or the station wagon (both old, but still running).

  387. Hi John,

    Remember we were talking about the potential for computer technologies like AI and CGI to completely upend the entertainment industry and put large numbers of actors and others out of work? Well, it turns out there is a major strike going on in Hollywood right now over that very issue.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/jul/22/sag-aftra-wga-strike-artificial-intelligence

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2023/aug/21/ai-jobs-hollywood-writers-actors-strike

    Personally, I think this is going to backfire in the long run on both Hollywood and the unions. We’ve already seen how Hollywood seems to be incapable of producing much of anything besides Woke garbage these days, while studio production costs are insanely high, in part because of factors like union work rules and wage scales, practices like featherbedding and other related issues. I would not be surprised to see ambitious entrepreneurs taking advantage of Hollywood’s problems to create alternatives to the current entertainment industry status quo.

    It’s worth noting that the one film that people have been looking forward to seeing, Denis Villeneuve’s part II adaptation of Dune, is one of the movies whose release has been put on hold as a result of the strike. Sounds like an own goal to me.

    https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/dune-2-delay-signals-fall-film-slate-in-doubt/

  388. Attn: I may be out of contact for a while due to the oncoming Hurricane Idelia. It’s coming straight up Florida’s west coast, and scheduled to cut across the peninsula at near the top. Tomorrow is the scheduled impact day; let’s see if the hurricane keeps to her schedule or not. The entire Village will be shut down, since it probably won’t be safe for anyone to drive in these conditions. However, I’m in one of the most hurricane-proof buildings in town.

    Pray for the damage to be minimal.

    Pat, SO glad I don’t own property in the Gulf. Or in Miami.

  389. Polecat, well, they have to do something, since the Russians are demonstrating right now that drones are hideously effective as weapons on a modern battlefield. Unfortunately the Russians are also demonstrating right now that electronic countermeasures against drones are just as effective — and they’re way ahead of us in that technology too.

    SimP, one of the most fascinating trends these days, in a bleak sort of way, is the degree to which supposed radicals have been coopted and neutralized by the corporate interests they think they’re opposing. This is a good example. As for diasporas, nothing new there — did you know that Sicily was conquered by the Normans not long after England was? Such groups get absorbed over time, but they end up contributing various things to later societies.

    Platypus, it astonishes me that the Democrats haven’t noticed that every indictment they aim at Trump makes him more popular.

    Karma, interesting, It’s not Lévi but it’s copied from Lévi, with additions. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s late 19th century American, just possibly L.W. DeLaurence or someone associated with him. By all means study it — it’s classic occult symbolism.

    J.L.Mc12, oh, granted.

    Nemo, it’s about the only useful thing she got out of high school, other than some bad examples as object lessons. Some suburban districts haven’t yet succeeded in getting rid of every form of learning yet, though. As for Summerfield, good. I don’t happen to know how common it is as a town name, but it has the right sort of blandness for the role.

    Dékete, thanks for this.

    Platypus, yes, I’ve been watching it with some interest since the strike started. We could be seeing the death of Hollywood in real time.

    Patricia M, positive energy incoming. Sara’s got a letter almost finished to you, too.

  390. “the resource curse, a.k.a. the rollin’ in the dough curse! Some societies must have dealt wisely with that affliction.”

    See also Norway. They have a sovereign wealth fund from their oil revenue that is quite large.

    “OSLO, April 21 (Reuters) – Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, on Friday posted a 5.9% return on investment for the first quarter boosted by rising equity markets.”

    They haven’t had it very long, so time will tell what they do with it in the long haul.

    PS, is Homer Simpson blue collar? He was a board-qualified operator at a nuclear plant.

    “How much does a Nuclear Reactor Operator make? The average Nuclear Reactor Operator in the US makes $162,971.”

    The senior control room operators at the old chemical plant were routinely making over $100,000 a year. They were working rotating shifts of course, that pays extra, and they were legally hourly workers and got time and a half for those hours over 40. It wasn’t until the last few years of my career I managed to out earn all but the most determined overtime hounds.

    Salary-exempt is a trap I’ve encouraged my daughter to avoid.

  391. What happens to beings that don’t evolve sufficiently for the harvest at the end of a phase of evolution?

  392. “unfortunately talk about the dignity of the poor can be used, and has been constantly used, as an excuse for keeping them in their place. Medieval Christianity had the great strength of treating generosity as a central virtue for the aristocracy to practice, which led to a lot of practical charity; when the aristocracy gave way to the mercantile classes, and then to the capitalist classes, that by and large went by the boards.”

    I don’t think the Warrior Aristocracy is able to endure long in a battlefield when much larger no. Infantry is able to whittle them down far more easily than otherwise.

    Intensive War tends of favor Centralization and Bureaucratization. Mercantilism and Capitalism are ways for Kings intent on waging War to increase the revenues to afford their Wars as well as facilitate Centralization:
    https://scholars-stage.org/darwin-and-war-in-ancient-china-sengoku-japan-and-early-modern-europe/

    Yes I believe the dignity of the poor has been used as keeping them in their place. But compared to pre-Christian history at least in Civilizations like Rome which lacked the Welfare system that the Church provided. It provided the Moral Universe so to speak for the Poor to realize their own value and seek ways to better their conditions.

  393. Re: Kim A #402

    “Side note: why does everything have to be done through proprietary apps these days? Whatever happened to the open internet?”

    One of the reasons is that apps can get access to all kinds of personal information on a phone, like location, contacts, other apps running, etc. These things get sent directly to the app maker.

    Through the years phone makers have added some restrictions, mostly so that apps need to ‘request’ permission to do this, but they often don’t work if you deny access.

    A browser on a phone is a much more locked down environment, giving websites no way near the same access to your information.

    –Fuzzy

  394. @Mary Bennett, who thinks right now is no time to be settling in the USA – maybe I can sneak one more comment in here.

    I agree with you, based on what I can see. Over the past three years, I had no shortage of acquaintances who made noises about “escaping” to the US, but after an in-depth conversation with one of them we agreed that such a move is not as easy as all that and you’re essentially trading your problems for a whole other set of problems.

    More to the point, my particular perspective is that it’s too late. Maybe not for everyone, maybe not for every potential destination, but if you dream of moving to some small, close-knit community, where “people are good to each other” – well, at this point, you might not have time to “become part of the community” before it starts falling apart in earnest and there’s little love for “outsiders”.

  395. John, that’s awesome, do share your thoughts please whenever you read one of those Ascended Masters teachings!

    Nemo, haha they definitely need their dreams to be interpreted! Our leaders are not the best but compared to our neighbours (republics), as a monarchy we are thankfully leading better life and culture, though we have our issues and in my opinion it should start with the people themselves, we are outrageously dependant on consumerism, almost half the population are teen-adults who barely take life seriously or the sufferings their ancestors went through to get us where we are, lots of stuff we have to deal with to secure a better future. I try my best to bring these issues to my family and friends but it seems I’ll be leading this path alone or with a handful of people.

  396. Justin Patrick Moore: Let us know how you like County Highway. I just read the first issue and am quite enamored with it so far.

    After I posted this good news about County Highway, a different publication that has been in print since its inaugural 1990 issue (This would be GreenPrints, an up till now delightful alternative to slick, glossy gardening “content”) just announced it’s moving to online-only. A step in the wrong direction, if you ask me. But they also insist on capitalizing all of the names of seasons, so I guess there’s a flouting of tradition at work in the new ownership, which took over last year. Sigh. Despite the caps, I’ll mourn the loss of a good print magazine and likely won’t read it online as much.

    Also, forgive me if I missed it and he’s already posted this somewhere on Ecosophia, but Luke Dodson, who frequent