Open Post

July 2019 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 long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic.

For those who are interested in my paral-Lovecraftian fantasies, I’m also pleased to announce that The Shoggoth Concerto is now available for sale — you can get print or e-book copies here. I realized, in the course of a discussion online a little while back, that The Shoggoth Concerto is basically the anti-Fountainhead. Those of my readers who’ve slogged their way through the least turgid of Ayn Rand’s novels know that The Fountainhead runs on the well-worn conflict between the individual genius who wants to do something new and shocking, on the one hand, and the dead weight of popular taste and tradition on the other. What do you do, though, when doing something new and shocking has become the  new conformity that’s imposed on every rising talent, and your inspiration comes not from whatever conventially new and shocking idea all your classmates are doing by rote, but from the traditional forms of Baroque music? That’s Brecken Kendall’s dilemma in The Shoggoth Concerto. Of course Howard Roark also didn’t have to deal with shoggoths…

With that said, have at it!


  1. Hello JMG and everyone else! Can any of you point me toward materials on Druidic, Shamanic, Incan or Hebrew marriage traditions and ceremonies? I am going to compose a marriage ritual for myself and my Ecuadorian fiancé culling from these traditions. We are planning to get married in a forest in Quito.

  2. JMG, You have written a while ago that the Axial Age is in the process of ending and that that will have a profound impact on the religious sensibility of the future. Do you have any idea how this factor will influence the Islamic world? I have thought about it, but without any clear idea what will happen. I’m assuming, that by the end of the Axial Age you mean a process which isn’t restricted to North America.

  3. Do folks here have any advice on how to find other Hellenic polytheists to worship with? I’ve been really hungering for shared prayer and have been a bit dismayed to find that the Hellenic resources online seem to be a bit dry and inactive. A lot of the email addresses don’t work, the pages are no longer in existence, and those that exist seem like they’re tapered off in participation in the past three years or so. Any pointers are much appreciated!

  4. A belated Happy Souther to you! When you first suggested the day and its wombat mascot, I wondered what the wombat would do on its day. Well, the first Souther fell on National Ice Cream Day, so the mascot would eat ice cream. This year’s fell on National Ice Cream Day as well and I found a song for it. Last year a band called The Wombats recorded a song with the title of “Ice Cream,” which is now the theme song for the holiday. I couldn’t have asked for a more fortuitous piece of music. So, now I’m wondering if the two of us performed some kind of working, making this an example of TSW?

  5. John–

    Before the energy-related news, I’d like to pass on two PW posts that caught my eye yesterday:

    First, Trump has done little for the working class…according to the New York Times

    (In unrelated news, the working class doesn’t care about the opinion of the Times.) Personally, I look around my little corner of the Midwest and see “Help Wanted ” signs everywhere offering solid wages. One may not care for the man, but you’re not going to get anywhere with working class voters by telling them that they’re not seeing what they’re plainly seeing.

    Second, someone recalculated the 2016 election using the projected Electoral College from the likely 2020 census results (which would be “active” for the 2024 election).

    Net result? Trump would have won by an additional 3 EVs. (All the more evidence, the comments argue, that the Elector College needs to be abolished. Sigh.)

  6. Convergent evolution…

    One thing I find interesting is how two people from opposite ends of the theological spectrum can draw such similar conclusions about the world. The people I’m referring to are Mr John Michael Greer, Druid, academic and author; and Jonathan Meades, British film maker, Atheist and author.

    I’ll try to give a couple of examples: JMG talks at length in both the ArchDruid Report, and several of his books, about how the idea of Progress has become a matter of faith. The unstoppable march of human ingenuity will somehow continue upwards forever. Meades explores this same isea in his 1997 film, Remember the Future. If you’re interested, you can see it here:

    JMG explains in his book, The End of Empire, how the actual meaning of particular words becomes subsumed by their emotional content, For Meades’ take on the same idea, his 2016 film, Ben Building, deals mainly with the Architecture of Mussolini’s Italy, but which also explores the same idea about 10 minutes in.

    Anyway, the upshot is, if you enjoy reading what JMG has to say, and you’ve never encountered Jonathan Meades before, he’s probably worth having a look at. Most of his body of work is curated by an anonymous fan here:

  7. I’ll ask an obvious one: At one point do you suppose, if ever, that the Democratic Party dog will realize it needs to let go of the Russia-Gate bone and start seriously thinking about how they will present themselves come Election 2020?

  8. Part of my devotional work includes gifting plants to folks. I’ve met up with dozens of people and given many hundreds of plants. Yesterday I went to a well-heeled, high-tone suburb to give two different folks plants. The first person had some rather…nasty vibes. After gifting her the plants I had something like three hours to wait until the second person. So I went walking in the woods, singing Orphic Hymns and praying.

    To get pots for gifting plants I usually dig through the garbage to get old bottles and plastic cups. This town had so many in recycling containers that I was delighted. While rummaging through a can I heard the screech of tires, a heavy thwunk, and a man scream “you idiot!” his wife had been hit by a teenage driver.

    I went to the library to wait for the person with the plants and waited there for about an hour. The person didn’t show up, and so I left. While leaving I saw *another car accident*, a fender bender. Driving back from the town a woman *crossed the street in front of my car without looking at all*. Luckily I drive very, very slowly.

    Returning home, I saw an email from the person who I had planned to give the plants to saying “still waiting”. I explained that I left after waiting for a long while and in the response email she began to lecture me that I shouldn’t hoax people and should find a better way of spending my time and she was informing the library of my hoax! What!?

    I heard reports that a similar amount of nastiness was experienced by other family member.

    This entire sequence of events was just wild and crazy. Really the best parts of my yesterday was being alone praying. There was so much negativity! Interesting too that if the woman who freaked out is right, we were in the same library for almost an hour, me in a very recognizable outfit I described to her beforehand and *carrying plants* and still she managed not to see me. I seriously wonder if banishing rituals kept her away for all that time. If so — thank the gods!

    Have other folks noticed a huge uptick in negativity? What’s going on? It is so strange and uncanny.

  9. And now, the regular energy-related tidbits:

    We need NG to reduce carbon emissions:

    But cities in the east are leaking methane already:

    Nuke (and coal) subsidies in OH:

    WV legislators know where their bread is buttered:

    Those pesky back-end costs of nuclear power (60 years, $1.2B):

    Trouble on the horizon:

    In other energy-related news, my neck of the grid, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (or MISO) is continuing to study the potential impacts of significant renewable penetration. (For those interested in learning more about MISO, including a visual of its territory, see: The results of its latest phase of study shows that costs of system complexity rise sharply when 40% penetration is approached, due to the need to manage the intermittency and other characteristics of wind and solar. To give some context, MISO is at ~8% wind/solar right now, but growing rapidly between projected coal retirements and projected solar/wind installation.

    Interesting times…

  10. Another thing to put on the pile of ideology getting in the way of practical solutions. There was a British company called Torotrak that specialised in unusual vehicle technology. They had three products for internal combustion vehicles. A very small and efficient supercharger that allowed an engine to be much smaller. An infinitely variable transmission. The way a diesel-electric can be very efficient by letting the engine run at its most efficient speed and the motor handling the variable load, this did a similar thing for pure IC engines. And a kinetic energy storage flywheel that allowed IC vehicles to have regenerative braking, including industrial vehicles lowering weights under control.

    Put together these technologies had the capacity to improve IC efficiency massively, including the largest vehicles that are notoriously difficult or impossible to electrify. Obviously you have to be wary with company claims, but things certainly things seemed to be moving in the right direction. For example they had managed to reduce the weight of their their bus-sized flywheel from 270kg to 180kg. It seemed like we were right on the verge of IC engines experiencing a similar leap forward in efficiency that high-bypass turbofan jet engines have achieved.

    But then the British government announced anti-IC policies and declared that in the future everything would be electric. The funding dried up and Torotrak went bankrupt. The website’s gone too, so you can’t even read the original descriptions of how it was all supposed to work. We might have been so close to something that could have made a real difference but lost it because politicians had emotions about the meaning of progress.

    *loud profanities and sound of things breaking*

    However there is an upside on the heavy vehicle front. I’ve been disdainful of the hydrogen economy for a long time and looked into it again to see if anything had changed. I was amazed to see something has finally worked, although in a very modest and practical way.

    An idea has being kicking around for decades called HHO injection, where power from the alternator runs an electrolyser making hydrogen and oxygen. These are then injected into the cylinder, making the primary fuel burn with more speed, power, efficiency, and lower emissions, without the hassle of having to carry tanks of hydrogen and oxygen. For years the EROI wasn’t worth it, but now new catalysts and precise computer control have made the energy investment worthwhile, like with a turbocharger.

    Again there should be caution about company claims, and especially their more ambitious plans for hydrogen. But the already operational technology seems reasonable. (see especially the articles linked on the main page)

  11. Hey there JMG,

    As the decline continues in fits and starts, I’m reminded of the changes/developments in religion, philosophy and magic during the downward track of the Roman empire and how they formed the philosophical basis for the next civilizations, both Magian and Faustian. What thinkers or ideas will the future ecotechnic people find from our modern day to be their philosophical bedrock in your opinion?

  12. John–

    A (pseudo-)random insight I had just now. Reflecting on the discussions in previous threads regarding the prospects of nuclear war, I noted your repeated point that the decisions/actions involved are not random events. (This was brought up, as I recall, in response to probabilistic arguments that such a war *must* eventually occur.)

    Being a math-geek, my thoughts immediately went to the mental reply of “but we model such things as though they are random in these situations.” (Thinking, among other examples of Hari Seldon and psychohistory, but also of stochastic modeling techniques generally.) Then my mind leapt to the observation that we modern humans tend to consider things outside of our personal sphere of action as random or deterministic, neither of which is an accurate representation of the world around us. There are random and deterministic components, of course, but the key point I just grasped is that the world(s) is(are) also full of sentient beings making conscious, deliberate choices. As such, assumptions of randomness and/or determinism fail to capture the nature of the space being modeled.

    There are places were such assumptions may still provide useful information (e.g. risk analysis), but this is another place where we have to remember that “the map is not the territory” and there are sometimes consequences of the simplifying assumptions that do not necessarily manifest in reality.

  13. JMG How long do we think places like New Orleans and Miami will be viable human settlements?

    Also I asked awhile back about health and you said heredity and environment trump almost everything else. I buy that wholeheartedly but I have had a really hard time figuring out which environmental variables are important to health. So what are the major factors in our environment that hurt and help our health?

  14. Considering the Cosmic Doctrine metaphors, and the immigration situation being talked about frequently, I was wondering if this situation would be good to use a platform to start a grassroots reform campaign on immigration? Personally going through immigration with my wife and son, I’ve run into all kinds of roadblocks and in my questioning the inconsistencies, people who work within the government, including Consular representatives and US Customs Agents have suggested the easiest way to legally get your family together is to make use of the grey areas within our immigration system. So, I’m recently experienced with these issues of immigration, see where some reform is needed, and wondering if the current momentum would be a good platform to try to make some reform happen.

    Thanks for any insight and advice!

  15. Hi JMG,
    I´ve wondered for a while now if you are aware of a place in Germany called ´´Externsteine´´. You can see some pictures of it here:
    It is said to be a holy place and is sometimes called ´German Stonehenge´, though I think it´s a misnomer because the stones are natural, not manmade, with stairs, engravings and little caverns hewn out of the rock. In a way it´s the home of my spirituality: I used to celebrate summer solstice there every year from the mid-1980s to 2001, when I moved to Scotland. Unfortunately the celebration got bigger and bigger and in the end it got out of hand with people behaving badly, getting too drunk and drugged, climbing the stones in that state, leaving their litter everywhere and generally behaving in an unpleasant and respectless manner. Some fell to their death, and so the authorities (police) moved in and today it´s all strictly regulated. Understandable, but still a shame. I count myself lucky to have been there when it still was a small party with drums, other musical instruments and a lot of awareness of the occasion. I saw my first real life druid threre, performing a little ceremony with incinerated herbs. When you climb the stairs up one of the stones and go over the small bridge leading to the stone that looks a bit like a lower arm with a fist, there´s a little altar (within a kind of nearly roofless room with three walls) in front of a hole in the rock that´s alined towards sunrise on solstice day:
    Since this place is supposed to be situated on import ley lines, I have a second question:
    What´s your opinion on ley lines?

  16. To all:

    After all these years of being fundamentally convinced of Peak Oil (going back to 2004), I still do not know what to think about climate change – other than forming the conclusion that the issue is so ideologically fraught that arriving at an independently reasoned conclusion is needlessly difficult.

    Would one or more of the readers on this board do me the favor of reading the recent post on this topic by Karl Denninger, and letting me know where he goes wrong? Here is the link:

  17. John–

    I’m not sold on the efficacy of the electrification of the transportation sector (electric streetcars aside), but it is a *big* thing in the industry. This promo effort came through my in-box today:

    Poaching makes sense, in a certain context. If the pie ain’t growing no more, then one’s optimal short-term strategy is to steal a slice from your neighbor. Of course, short-term optimization and longer-term optimization are two very different things, particularly when one is considering society at-large…

  18. Reading the Bloomberg article from the link supplied by David by the Lake got me thinking:

    With Conventional Peak Oil in ’05, and with Alaska, the North Sea and Cantarell long in decline, I suspect that when we hit Peak Shale, we will also hit Peak All-Liquids. I would expect that within two or three years of Peak All-Liquids, serious economic disruptions will start to mount.

    Financing issues aside, what’s the general take here as to when we hit hard, geological Peak Shale?

    Of course, if Wall Street pulls the plug, this will hasten the time and steepen the degree of post Peak Shale production.

    Antoinetta III

  19. Hi JMG,

    It seems to me that the growing amount of debt at all levels (personal, mortgage, companies, state debt) is completely unsustainable and western countries are heading to a to a series of massive debt defaults. I’ve read that, in the past, periodic debt relief and debt cancellation was the norm (e.g. the Bible mentions debt cancellation every 7 years?).

    If that was the case, wouldn’t be a clear disadvantage for those of us that cannot buy a house or start a business because we want to live debt-free?

    I don’t have any problem renting but owning a house have some advantages. I’m also afraid that in one of the next big economic downturns I could lose my job/savings and eventually be evicted while other people would at least keep their homes (purchased with now cancelled debt).

    What does history teach us about debt? Are you expecting a massive debt default followed by general forgiveness?

    Sorry for the long post and thanks

  20. Hello JMG,

    Many thanks for hosting the discussion!

    I’ve been trying to make sense of the frankly bizarre symbiosis between Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and (some types of) American Christianity. It’s not just that Rand was a staunch atheist; it’s that the two worldviews couldn’t be further apart (e.g. concerning charity). And then it dawned on me that *maybe* Objectivism was actually rather similar to one particular brand of Christianity, namely Calvinism with its doctrine of predestination.

    Now, my understanding of Calvinism and predestination mostly comes from Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom,” which I read forever ago, plus a tiny bit of supplementary reading over the years, and so I apologize in advance for any misrepresentations. But basically, according to the doctrine of predestination, a certain number of people are chosen by God for salvation before they’re even born. If you’re one of the chosen ones (the “elect”), then your salvation does not depend on anything you do. So, you can act whichever way you like, and you still have your ticket to Heaven. The tricky part is that you can never be quite sure if you’re among the elect, which is why (and this was Fromm’s point) people who buy into this often frantically search for confirmation that they are, indeed, among the elect. And that confirmation can come, for instance, in the form of worldly riches. Hence, the frantic pursuit of worldly success. (The important point is that you do not get saved *because* you got rich. It’s that your chosenness may announce/reveal itself in the form of a pile of money.) But if you are among the elect, then technically, you don’t owe anything to anyone, or at least, your salvation in no way depends on your actions. (It’s not entirely clear what happens with the rest of us. According to the – less accepted – doctrine of double predestination, some people are predestined to go to Hell. And then maybe some people go to Heaven or Hell depending on their merits. Either way, it’s far more convenient to be among the elect, obviously.)

    To me, this sounds psychologically equivalent to Rand’s philosophy (its atheism notwithstanding). There, the elect are the bold and brilliant. They are special because they are special, and they don’t owe anything to anyone. Certainly, they are not required to make use of their talents to make the world a better place; if they choose to wreck the world instead, more power to them, and they’re still special. They deserve all their rewards because, well, they are special (just like the elect are elect, just because they are). Since there’s a huge premium on being special, people will go out of their way to convince themselves that they are indeed special, that they are destined to be “saved” (technically, that they’ll get rich and famous or what have you), and that they don’t owe anything to anyone. (The problem is the lingering doubt that they might not be all that special after all, in which case, well, I suppose things get awkward.)

    So basically, I’m proposing that Objectivism is a secularized version of Calvinism. My question is: does this make sense to you? Or am I really pushing it? Do you see any other plausible explanation for the “Christian Objectivism” phenomenon?

  21. Hello JMG and commentariat … I’m planning my September tour via train – I think it would be worthwhile to meet up face to face and music is a great community builder. Here’s some of my thoughts:

    -living room / pub fundraiser for Green Wizardry,
    -raise money to buy some of JMG’s books for local libraries
    -tree planting party with bbq and music
    -basic skill teach-in with party
    -local politics fundraiser (i.e., city council campaign or policy campaign like front yard garden)

    I’m open to ideas and I’d like my journey to be as beneficial to this community as it always is to me. If you live in the continental United States near Amtrak I can get to you. I’m really excited 🙂 My email address is my name at gmail.

    And thanks @JMG for the opportunity to learn and grow.

  22. Dear JMG,
    I have a question about the, “Lonely Ones.” Do you mean to say that the study of magic will lead to a lonely life or to a solitary life?

    I have noticed an increase in my interest in doing magic and a decrease in my desire to be with people. I am much more solitary. People commented on it the last time I went to our Farmers Market but I am far from lonely, indeed, I am very happy, positive, experiencing better health, greater urge to study, better observation of nature and general contentment as well as being much nicer to the people I do interact with.

    Also, my young relative, who is living with my husband and I,has turned out to have many magical gifts and I am using wisdom gleaned from you to help her have a positive experience and stay out of trouble. At the moment, she is reading books on different magical systems before she picks one to study.
    Many Thanks,
    Maxine of Denman

  23. Hi Violet,

    Have you tried Also inquire with the local Unitarians, if there are any. Good luck!

  24. ***Is this thing on?***

    Your attention please—I have no kittens to post so anybody who wants Cute Privilege this month, have at it!

  25. Hi John Michael,

    A while back I recall reading a comment you made about a daily astrology review that you practice with Sarah. Would you be willing to share the details of what that actually consists of? I think you described it as brief but quite meaningful and I’d love to know your guidance regarding how that might be structured. Since I’m reasonably conversant with astrology I can imagine what you’re up to but please elaborate.

    Still hoping you’ll return to the topic of Pluto at some point. I find your theory about its waning influence quite fascinating and have been wondering lately if it might be especially significant for the boomers (the object of much scorn and derision here recently), possibly deeply symbolic of them as a generation whose influence was immensely transformational in so many ways but is now rapidly fading, but still clinging tenaciously to their power.

    Finally, Saturn and Pluto begin their close tango at the start of 2020 and will keep it going for two years. It occurs every 33-38 years and has an interesting history…here’s Time Nomad’s take on it:
    It’s a potent,powerful conjunction that will surely make its mark on everyone…possibly the cycle where Pluto takes its parting shots before fading to the status of a secondary/minor influence? We’ll get years 4 and 5 of the DJT administration (yes, I’m assuming reelection), a likely tip into a recession worse than 2008…lots of possibilities. What are you seeing?

    Can’t wait to dive into the wide ranging subject matters we’ll focus on this week. Thanks, in advance, to all who weigh in and don’t forget to “Remember that all is opinion” (Marcus Aurelius)


  26. @ David BTL – re: help wanted signs. I’m skeptical how much wealth is actually making down to the working classes. Here in OK, we have a wonderfully low unemployment rate (and not a massaged unemployment rate), BUT 800k Oklahomans receive food stamps (which is about 20% of the population), and rural hospitals are closing or cutting services at an alarming rate, in large part because of our government’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion (though that issue will be on the ballot as a referendum in 2020). I’m curious if the help wanted signs you are seeing indicate the creation of good paying jobs, or more Mc-jobs?

    @ JMG – I’m currently watching an HBO miniseries called “Years after Years,” which was produced by the BBC and is set, unsurprisingly, in England in the near future (episode 5 of 6 just aired, and it took place in 2029). The show follows a family as their lives are upended by global financial crises, political and ecological breakdown, and technological development pushing more people into the ‘gig’ economy. I know you’re not a fan of TV, but once one can get past the almost-obnoxious PC-ness of the main characters, it does offer an interesting glimpse into how the show creators see the next decade-plus playing out. Towards the end of the most recent episode, the new prime minister holds a secret meeting, which one of the main characters attends, in which she describes seeing centuries of millions of migrants swamping the British Isles. She then outlines a plan to move migrants, and other troublemakers, into concentration camps, and “let natural selection sort things out,” as a method of dealing with the problem. While she is portrayed as cartoonishly bad, I found it interesting that such a stark reality is being discussed on a mainstream BBC production. Your thoughts? Are the realities of our collective predicament really starting to seep into the mainstream?

  27. Hi JMG,
    jumping in with some random thoughts.

    After I listened to your podcasts more than once (and keep re-reading your old blog posts), I dream of having an online course taught by you. This can just be “Greer-ian philosophy”, cover a lot of areas from anthropology to ecology, magic and zombies, and I think it would interest a lot of people. Unfortunately I have no experience to offer, just a suggestion. That would be something that I would pay for.


  28. I’m reading Barbara Tuckman’s “A Distant Mirror,” her account of the calamitious 14th century. I’ve been following the “pressure valves” in that society. Constructive outlets for Knightly violence in the form of Crusades and tournaments, the Feast of Fools for commoners to shrug off religious seriousness, employing Jews for the necessary service of usury and then letting them take the heat for it… it strikes me as a time where there’s a lot of rules, obligations, and traditions at conflict with one another. On one hand these various pressure valves seem ingenious (from a memetic point of view, I am in no position to condone or condemn) but also point to serious internal contradictions.

    Combined with this being the high point of Scholasticism, I wonder if this is an example of Spengler’s abstraction, but I haven’t gotten far enough with him to understand this for myself.

    Do you think there’s something to be said for pressure values making life livable in a world of rigid abstraction?

  29. Hi JMG,

    Recently in a response to another poster, you mentioned Joseph Campbell straight-jacketing myths to fit into his monomyth framework. I just finished The Hero with a Thousand Faces which was a bit of a slog, mostly because Campbell in my opinion is not a great writer. I agree that he makes it a bit of a Procrustean Bed at times. Despite my quibbles, I still found it the introduction to a wide variety of world myths valuable.

    Who in your opinion has written the best material on comparative mythology or on the interpretation of myths for an occult audience?

  30. David, the analysis on Trump and the working class that I’m familiar with is in that classic Libertarian homily “The government can move wealth, but not create it.”. Trump has used the traditional goverment alchemy to put back into the heartland what most president have taken out and given to the coasts. If you live in the heartland this is obviously great, but if you live on the coasts this looks like disasterous presidenting, for the exact same reason that all of the extraction would have looked like good presidenting.
    Speak of: JMG, you discussed a bit ago that the Trump movement is pivoting to be more and more mainstream in style and substance. You also discussed, in the Kek Wars, how the original nucleus of Trump’s support was a group of disaffected facist diabolists who worshipped a frog-demon of checkable dubs. Will Trump be discarding this original base in a sort of Night of the Long Tweets, and if so, what affect will that have on the Man or the Movement?

  31. Antoinetta III asked “Financing issues aside, what’s the general take here as to when we hit hard, geological Peak Shale?” I just happened to have an article on Seeking Alpha open that declared U.S. Shale: Peak Oil Finally Arrives. The author makes the case that Peak Shale may have just happened. I’m not convinced; one week falling below trend needs more confirmation. However, the the projections from the Energy Information Administration that I have looked at predicted as far back as 2011 that we would hit a bumpy plateau about now that would last until about 2024, so I’m not surprised that we may have reached the first stage of peak tight oil in the U.S.

  32. For Deborah Bender

    I found your response to my question WRT your translation from Catullus
    of ‘Lesbia does it in doorways’ but it was too late to reply on that thread.

    I would be delighted to acknowledge you however you want.
    When I finally write the novel, I’ll also send you a copy.

    Would you email me please so we can make the arrangements?

    Reach me at tdbpeschel @ but remove the spaces.

    If you have other classical translations that could be made over into rude street songs, I’m very interested!

    Teresa From Hershey

  33. Mr. Greer, I vaguely remember you discussing this.

    Back when Brett Kavanaugh was enduring his trial by fire, there were some occult practitioners who were trying to ensure that ALL Mr. Kavanaugh’s peccadilloes would be revealed because he was as evil as sin and deserved it.
    You spoke of raspberry jam and to be careful what you ask for because everyone’s peccadilloes would be revealed, not just the target’s.

    Now we see media reports about Jeffery Epstein, Bill Clinton, and the Lolita Express.
    Could this deluge of ickiness be related to that earlier magical working to ‘reveal all’?

    Thank you for a great website.
    You’ve changed my thinking on a daily basis.

    Teresa from Hershey

  34. Hi John

    This article caught my eye today – the first stirrings of the Second Religiousity?

    Exciting drama in London today with Bojo becoming PM. He seems fairly committed to delivering Brexit by the end of 2019, a hard Brexit, if required. Will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

  35. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I wanted to know if there are any very solid, empirical studies that prove the validity of magic/prayer/ritual. As far as I understand it there are a handful of studies that show when a group of people were praying for someone the person experienced statistically significant improvements in health and/or recovery time from an injury, regardless of whether he/she knew anyone was praying for them. I was wondering if there was anything more substantial. Do you know of any experiments where people undergoing out of body experiences were able to identify information that they could not have known, or something to that effect? Or does virtually all magic/prayer/ritual limit its power to working within the confines of the practitioner’s and other directly effected minds?

  36. Hello JMG,

    Do you find it at all ironic that the last, dying grasp of the Faustian culture is the unmitigated chorus of shrill cries to abolish the archetypal Saturn (i.e. borders/boundaries, limits, scarcity, discipline, austerity, ect.), when in fact the upcoming and much-touted “Age of Aquarius” is in fact ruled by Saturn?? (according to classical astrological theories; we know that Thesophical astrologers tried to skirt this issue by claiming Uranus is the lord of Aquarius).

    And from this, do you think the actual Age of Aquarius is going to unfold in a manner quite unlike what New Age utopians might imagine it to be? It seems to me like utopian visions of Aquarius have a lot more to do with unresolved Piscean baggage than the attributes and associations of Aquarius itself.

    And finally, do you believe that meta-cultures like Faustian, Magian, ect. have their own egregores, and if so, are these egregores tethered to geographical places? You seemed to have hinted at this awhile back when you suggested the possible future “Tamanous culture” of North America is going to be fed by energies form the land it emerged from.

  37. JMG, I am not sure if you have been following the conflict over locating the thirty meter telescope (TMT) on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was on hold for a while but a judge just allowed construction to go forward and the native Hawaiians are blocking the road. Hawaiian congressperson and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard gave the following statement,” It is hypocritical that many TMT proponents speak of their own spiritual quest for knowledge and wisdom, while simultaneously closing their eyes to the spiritual inspiration and significance that Mauna Kea offers. ”

    The classic class between science and spirituality that you have outlined many times. But this time offered up by a major in the Hawaii National Guard. I am not sure who the TMT supporters think will be on their side when push comes to shove. I think the universities and contractors involved may find out that temple of science does not hold the power it once did, and certainly not with the local population on the Island of Hawaii.

  38. Some musings in the run-up to the 2020 election:

    Protesters at an ICE facility in Aurora CO tore down the American flag and hoisted the Mexican flag in its place. There was a collective official shrug from the Democrats. I was not surprised, having lived and worked in Aurora, which wears its anti-Trump, anti-Trump supporters sentiment and pro-immigrant and pro-open borders policy on its sleeves (I literally sat in a meeting that was for everyone in our college after the election of Trump where the President lamented that now everyone had real reason to fear, and we were going to support our immigrant students and defy the federal government). But to me the disregard of the American flag/American people who question open-borders in open favor of another country’s flag and citizens seems more to the forefront than it has in the past among the Democrats I know, who at least used to be willing to make concessions about border security in order to secure services and respect for those immigrants already here, especially those born and raised in the US. I have to wonder if the Democrats are counting on open borders to keep themselves in power? It seems to be heating up to be a hotter topic than identity politics this go around.

    The weeks before this happened I had watched the Democrats in my Facebook feed blow up at a company that wanted to supply beds to the facilities holding immigrant children. Then there was this concerted effort to get people to boycott companies supplying the facilities. At the end of this, the next thing they did was to blow up at the conditions of the camp. Someone I know even lamented that their sleeping conditions were atrocious! I had to laugh. At that point the whole campaign just seemed badly engineered to me.

    Finally, I’ve been thinking a lot about the political self-segregation of people in this country. I started noticing this when I went to visit friends in Massachusetts and the people I was around talked almost the whole time I was there about how they had moved to be near like minded people and didn’t have to be around the narrow minded people they had left behind. Living in Idaho the past year, I see a lot of the same thing happening among Republicans, especially from California–about 3/4 of the people I’ve met here came from California at some point to be somewhere “that shared their values more”. Is this just something weird about the people I know/where I live or is it something more?

    Anyway, as an unaffiliated voter with about a 50/50 split between Democratic and Republican friends and family, and the election heating up, I decided the time had come to cut my last link to social media–my Facebook page is no more.

    But after several elections, I have my own meme around my observations of how I could tell the Republicans from the Democrats from the third party/unaffiliated I know: if the Democrats are unhappy they threaten, “We’re going to move to Canada!” If the Republicans are unhappy they yell “Why don’t you all go live in Canada?” Meanwhile the rest think, “I’m not sure Canada wants anything to do with us!”

  39. Hello, another question occurred to me: I have read about the attack in which Donald Trump suggested to Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and two other Democrat women with migration background going back to their origin countries. The press was predictably furious and accused Trump of racism. Can you elaborate what I do need to understand about the episode? Is there more to it than the election campaign being fought with ugly means?

  40. Hi JMG and all.
    I am gobsmacked to hear of some people coming out as believing the NASA moon landings were a hoax. I agree that there has been plenty of fake news, but now Dmitry Orlov, and much of his commentariat, seems to have drank the Moon Landing Hoax Kool-aid, and he’s an engineer. Did you see his posting on this from yesterday, 7-23-2019?

    I recall, JMG, that you recently commented on this (hoax moon landing allegation) as a social phenomenon, in which believers in progress can’t handle the cognitive dissonance of believing 1) that the moon landings really happened, and 2) in the 50 years since, progress should have, well, shown some progress… I’m not sure this explanation would account for Dmitry, and others like him. JMG, do you think something else is going on? Where else might this lead?

    I just sent a comment to Dmitry’s blog, it’ll be interesting to see if he posts it and what his response is. I’ll reproduce that comment here, and hope you find it appropriate and interesting.

    Hello Dmitri. Your thesis is provocative to say the least. I think I have enough expertise to call you on 2 of the arguments used to support your “Fake Moon Landing” thesis:

    You write “Astronauts, who had cameras strapped to their chests and wore cumbersome pressurized gloves, couldn’t have plausibly framed, focused and exposed virtually all of the shots to produce perfect studio quality.” I would point out that given the intensely bright lunar environment, there would have been no need to adjust an aperture or exposure setting. These settings would have been pre-determined before launch. Don’t you remember the film camera days when you’d buy a roll of ASA 100 “Daylight” film? There was a package insert giving you the aperture and f-stop for daylight so you don’t need to measure and adjust things if you didn’t have a light meter. And there would be no need to focus because, in bright light, you need only a tiny aperture, no wider than f16 or so, which places everything farther away than 3 feet in focus. This was why you didn’t need to focus Kodak Instamatic, and similar, cameras, if you remember those.

    You write “In all of the photos the sky is completely black instead of being filled with brilliant stars, planets and galaxies.” I would ask: “brilliant” compared to what? Film, and electronic focal plane sensors, have a very limited dynamic range; in film parlance, this is called “contrast range”. Black and white film has a contrast-range of only 100:1. So it will only register details in both shadow and highlight only if the light levels in shadow are no less than 1/100th the light levels in highlight. Color film registers contrast of only 10:1; that’s why fill-in flash is used in broad daylight when you want to capture details in shadow. It’s obvious that the light levels on the day-illumined lunar surface are vastly greater than 100 times the stars, planets and galaxies, just look at the stars during a full moon, which subtends a mere 1/2 degree of arc (I acknowledge that atmospheric scattering of moonlight also contributes to loss of relative star-brightness, but the point stands). So no, one would in fact NOT expect to see stars in the lunar sky in a photo exposed for the lunar landscape that was so dazzling that the astronauts needed a sunshade over their visor.

    So Dmitri, if you accept the above as evidence for the lunar landings being fake, I question your standard of evidence.

  41. Will Rock and Roll still be the dominant popular music form when the baby boomers die off?

    If no what will replace it?

    Will music (and sports) go back to being more regional? Or will the trend to global homogeneous music continue?

  42. Janathan Simkin — a good book about Jewish wedding customs is The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant.

    David by the lake–re acting as though actions are random. It occurred to me that we act as if a result is random when it seem impossible to influence the actors involved–world leaders are an excellent example. If nuclear war could ‘almost happen’ even in the terms of ‘good presidents’ then it seems inevitable that there will be a sufficiently bad world leader to launch one. But things that rely on the decisions of more reachable people such as our fellow citizens are not treated that way. Drunk driving deaths are an example. You could look at the rate of DUI deaths and just accept that the statistics are the reality, nothing to be done. But the rate of DUI deaths in the US has fallen by 1/3 in the past three decades. !980 saw the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving – citizens, mostly women – who decided that something could be done to change the hundreds of thousands of individual decisions to drink and drive that contributed to the death rate. So they lobbied for tougher penalties, better enforcement, public service advertisements, etc. and it seems to be working.

    I recently encountered a statement about the American attitude toward progress in _Interior States: Essays_ by Meghan O’Gieblyn. She is writing in part about her own journey from evangelical home schooled childhood to secularism, but also about America’s journey. “Some of the essays in this collection examine the ways in which our increasingly secular landscape is still imprinted with the legacy of Christianity. The testimony, as a narrative form, endure in the rooms of twelve-step programs and in contemporary writing about motherhood, which often takes the form of conversion narrative. Meanwhile, the faith’s epic story of messianic redemption lives on in the utopic visions of transhumanism and in liberalism’s, endless arc of progress.” Good essays about growing up not just out of the religious mainstream, but also of growing up and returning to live in the Midwest.

  43. Hello everyone,

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  44. @ Vilet

    Re craziness

    I haven’t witnessed anything personally, but I’d agree that there is something weird in the air, so to speak. Perhaps it is simply that the internet allows us to be more aware of these events, but between the recent incidents in Disneyland, the stories about people assaulting food service workers, and the like, I have to wonder what goes through people’s minds to make them overreact to such small things. Is it an underlying, unexpressed tension in society that is rising as things come apart? Or have these things always happened, but we just didn’t hear about them?

  45. @Violet

    I meant “@Violet”, obviously 😉


    Re “help wanted” signs

    These are real jobs. We have an employer out this way, for example, offering $17 an hour for welders coming in the door with zero training. I saw a convenience store offering $13 an hour (granted it was 3rd shift, but unskilled labor). Manufacturing jobs out here are in the upper teens and lower twenties from my unscientific and opportunistic sampling. My utility just posted for an Assistant Operator (an entry level position requiring technical aptitude and a HS diploma) which has a min pay of $24+ with excellent benefits. It is difficult to assert that the working class has not benefited from these recent years in this part of the country.

  46. With all this talk about the future and progress, I had a discussion with someone about a week back that was very interesting. I can summarise it with a single quote from them “It amazing that soon we will be living like the Jetsons! All that will come true”. At that point I didn’t have the heart to keep the conversation going any longer.

    In regards to Darkest Yorkshire and hydrogen. There are many problems with hydrogen ‘anything’ and it all comes down to physics. There is a same old, yet accurate, trope that hydrogen is not an energy source but merely storage. We still have to produce the stuff. Regardless.

    The big issue for me is merely the properties of hydrogen itself. An astoundingly volatile cloud of protons. It may be very energy dense per kilogram but it is very difficult to get it to the same space to volume density as fossil fuels. A fuel tank that can hold 50kg of Petrol/Diesel can only hold approximately 1kg of hydrogen. The efficiency of electric motors combined with the approximately 2 1/2 times more energy per KG does give it a lot of advantages. It does help and it can work but it is still a far cry from what we have today.

    My other issue is that hydrogen has some astounding power density, not to be confused with energy density. It can blow up like dynamite and it is very keen to do so. To put it into perspective, wood has five times the energy density of dynamite, but dynamite can unleash all its energy in a fraction of a second. If you set a kilogram of wood on fire in a room, you can leave. Do the same on dynamite and you are toast. Hydrogen is both those issues combined. Over twice as dense as petroleum and more explosive than dynamite – to work with this stuff is absolutely terrifying, especially since it cannot be seen or smelt. It can be leaking and you would never know until you get vaporized.

  47. Dear Lady Cutekitten,

    Thanks for the thoughts! I’ve tried Meetup and it was not very helpful, and I have real doubts that a Unitarian Church would be down for a real Orphic Invocation. Maybe, with the UUs I’m frankly afraid to ask! Also, most UUs seem pretty hardcore atheist to me, and I believe it would be a grave and serious impropriety if I were to invoke a deity in their space.

    Dear David,

    What makes it all the stranger is that bluecollar folks are nice to me! They even use female pronouns for me, and don’t sneeringly call me “he” like rich folks seem to now. They smile and thank me for showing basic courtesy. I smile back, and it’s nice.

    I don’t think that this is normal behavior. I mean, there has been a real uptick in things like school shootings which I don’t think have always been happening. I think that people are snapping under the strain of failed mythic narratives.

  48. Hi Ben,

    Out here (Midwest) there are lots of jobs, but 90% of them are part time. Great for us old retired people needing pin money, not so great for keeping a society going.

  49. @Nestorian, my personal take on Mr. Denninger’s piece is: wow Mr. D, sit down and take a couple of slow deep breaths; you’re hyperventilating.

    There’s a LOT of stuff all crammed into that piece. Going item by item through everything would be, at least, tedious, and I’m not convinced it would be fruitful.

    I think his assertions are poorly founded that the folks who are most vocal about climate change (he uses B. Sanders and AOC as a couple of examples) know that if they got everything they demand that the US economy would grind to a halt and that there would be a resulting genocide. Never ascribe to evil awareness what can be explained by ignorant foolishness. And that’s where I put a lot of the “World Ending in Twelve Years” folks. Gaack, today there’s a BBC piece that says nope, twelve years is too long and it’s more like eighteen months. Huh?

    But anyway, lots of shouting going on from the Greenies and from folks like Mr. D, but none of the shouters are really helping to move us towards understanding of, acceptance of, and adaptations to, our predicaments. To adapt words of our esteemed host: there is no brighter future ahead, nor is there an apocalypse.

  50. You suggested doing a divination on wether I should start pathworking, and being out of touch with it to lack of practice, I first asked if it was a good idea. I ended up with
    Conjuctio, Fm, FM, Caput
    Rubeus, puer, Puella, FM
    Amissio, Rubeus, carcer, Laetitia
    Rw via, lw Tristitia, judge causa.

    I wasn’t pleased with that answer, because it feels like I am being scolded for starting late but then I saw you suggest someone to ask what would be the results, and I got
    Laetitia, Laetitia, Rubeus, Caput
    Fm, FM, Tristitia, Tristitia
    Populus, FM, via, Populus
    Rw FM, Lw, via, judge Fm.

    which sounds like good results but for a short time. Are these interpretations accurate?

  51. @ Violet

    Sounds like you’ve had is what I notice as an ‘out of synch day.’ A day in which you seem to be at the center of everything going wrong – machines misbehaving and people malfunctioning 🙂

    We all enjoy those days of serendipity when we feel charmed. Best thing to do when you find yourself at crosswinds is either stear away or into it if you have the energy.

  52. I am contemplating creating instructions for some beginning-level Golden Dawn-based rituals in comic book form. What I have in mind are Hellenic versions of the LBRP, the Rose Cross and the invocation of the Sun. In your opinion, magically or ethically, is there anything against such a project?

    So far my online research has disclosed only a single short existing work of this nature, presenting basic philosophy and instruction in chaos magic. It seemed magically well-informed, but I won’t name the title because frankly I wasn’t blown away by the art work. If there turns out to be a market for this sort of thing, the competition so far doesn’t look too stiff, which seems to me like a mark in favor of the project. But I’d be interested in hearing a range of opinions, should present company feel inclined to respond.


    A celebration of the August publication of the sixth and next to last book of the Lovecraftian fantasy series The Weird of Hali by John Michael Greer, published by Founders House Publishing, will be held on Sunday, August 18th from 2 to 5 PM at Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. That is in Red Hook, the location of the book’s action.

    The author will read the first chapter of the final book in the series, The Weird of Hali—Arkham, and describe “Weird of Hali: The Roleplaying Game”, to be published in 2020, among other fascinating things.

    No cover charge.

    To RSVP or for questions email For a flyer with directions to Sunny’s Bar click here.

  54. Jonathan, the Druid Revival tradition — the end of Druidry I have any business speaking for — didn’t start doing weddings until quite recently; it was standard until the 1970s for initiatory traditions to leave that to the churches. I don’t know of any publicly available resources along those lines you could use. Sorry.

    Booklover, no, the Axial Age was global, and its end will be global as well. Just as it took centuries for the influences corresponding to the Axial Age — the fixation on belief in verbal formulas as the basis for spirituality, and the rest of it — to spread out of a few isolated circles of intellectuals to reshape the world, I expect it to take centuries for that influence to fade out — and it’s quite possible that Islam, the last of the big Axial Age faiths to get going, will be the last one to let go of its Axial Age characteristics and become the raw material for natural religions to come.

    Helix, glad to hear it.

    Vince, and a happy Souther to you too! It’s anyone’s guess, but stranger things have happened. If the Wester mascot gets unusual publicity in turn, yeah, something may be afoot.

    David BTL, funny. It’s the sign of an elite’s descent into final decadence and collapse that it spends all its time trying to insist that what’s happening is not really happening, rather than trying to change what’s happening.

    Paul, this makes perfect sense to me. Any atheist who is actually a thoroughgoing atheist, and isn’t trying to smuggle in religious thinking under a pseudosecular label, ought to recognize at a glance that faith in progress is just another form of faith in divine providence, and babbling about “humanity’s destiny among the stars” is simply talk about heaven with the serial numbers filed off, since “destiny” is a religious concept! I’m glad to hear that Meades takes his atheism as seriously as I take my religion; now if only more people on both sides of that divide would do the same, and not cling to religious faith in progress while insisting that they’re really atheists, Druids, Christians, or what have you.

    Mister N, I expect that to begin sometime in December of 2020 or January of 2021…

    Violet, I haven’t noticed anything like that here in East Providence, and my end of the internet has been no crazier than usual — which admittedly isn’t saying much. Anyone else?

    Aspirant, yep. The standard model run of the original Limits to Growth remains the best model so far of our trajectory; that’ll explain why it’s been denounced so shrilly…

    David BTL, many thanks for this!

    Yorkshire, thanks for this. The thing is, there are lots of ways to make things much more efficient and cushion the descent, and one of the advantages of avolding too much top-down manipulation is precisely that bureaucrats and legislators aren’t necessarily the people who are best suited to figure these things out.

    Andrew, Eugene Odum’s work on ecosystem ecology, Stephen Wolfram’s “new kind of science,” Rupert Sheldrake’s studies of morphogenetic fields, and the whole tradition of morphological science that extends from Goethe’s scientific work through German naturphilosophie to late 20th century systems theory, look like very likely raw materials for a future ecosophical synthesis from where I stand.

    David BTL, that one’s square in the bull’s-eye. Yes, exactly — and that insistence on randomness is part and parcel of the covert insistence on the part of many people these days that they personally are the only active, intelligent, creative beings in an otherwise dead and random cosmos.

    Will, there’s no way to tell how soon Miami and New Orleans will be full fathom five. The collapse of a glacial sheet is a stochastic process with huge amounts of randomness involved, and even larger numbers of hidden variables that aren’t random but also aren’t knowable by human beings in advance. As for environmental influences, er, that’s a subject for a textbook, not a comment on a blog post. If you do some looking around you can find detailed books on that, and I’d recommend it.

    Prizm, it’s quite possible. One of the odd results of the current political scene is that a lot of people on the populist end of things have become very strong supporters of legal immigration, as part of their rejection of the illegal kind; as their influence over the system increases — and I think that’s a foregone conclusion at this point — an articulate discussion of constructive reforms might well get a hearing.

    Frank, I’ve heard of it, and If I ever have the chance to visit Germany I want to go there. As for leys, that’s a very complicated issue — I’m quite sure there’s something going on there, and just as sure that most of the pop-culture analyses of leys and earth energies generally are way off track.

    Nestorian, Denninger is guilty of the same intellectual offenses of which he accuses climate change activists. He’s dead right, for what it’s worth, that anthropogenic climate change is being used as a stalking horse for an agenda that has nothing to do with the ciimate — I’ll be presenting data on that in a post down the road a bit — and he’s also right about a couple of other facts, such as the way that the global cooling scare of the 1970s has been erased to make climate science look much more certain than it is. The problem is that he’s cherrypicking facts and figures, just like the climate activists. There’s a middle ground between “anthropogenic climate change doesn’t exist” and “anthropogenic climate change is going to kill us all by 2005 — make that 2008 — well, 2012 — okay, 2018 — all right, 2025 for sure!” I’ll be discussing that middle ground, and presenting the evidence for it, in an upcoming post.

    Oh, and he’s wrong about DDT. Take a look at the population curves for birds of prey in the US before and after the banning of DDT and the evidence that DDT was in fact wiping out bird populations is impossible to miss; what’s more, DDT was promptly replaced by other, somewhat less environmentally harmful pesticides, so his alleged genocide is a fraud — though he didn’t invent it, the chemical industry did. Still, we’ll get to that in due time.

    David, of course! I suspect also that a lot of people are looking at the situation regarding shale oil and the much more robust amounts of shale gas, and thinking that natural gas makes a good fuel for electric power plants so increasing the number of EVs is probably a good idea.

    Antoinetta, good heavens, didn’t you learn anything from the last round of predictions of imminent peak total liquids? No, what’s happened is that other countries have allowed the US to pump its shale oil supplies dry first, so we can go broke first. Expect to see some of those other countries start exploiting their shale resources next, depending on who has access to the limitless debt needed to keep shale producing (since it doesn’t really pay for itself), and net energy decline to play a much larger role in all this than the mere volume of liquids.

    Untipo, the difficulty is that it’s impossible to predict whether there will be a general debt forgiveness or not. Clearly the US will have to default on its national debt sooner or later, but that may or may not involve any sort of general debt jubilee, or a round of hyperinflation that will reduce current debt to meaninglessness (owing $1,000,000 means squat when that’s the price of a gallon of milk, after all). If you choose to go into debt to buy a house, it’s a gamble — but whether or not you want to make that gamble is of course yours to decide.

    Irena, I had a somewhat different suggestion back in the heyday of my previous blog about the admittedly very odd fit between Ayn Rand and American Christianity. I think you’re right that Calvinism has some role in the prehistory of Christian Objectivism, but there’s also the simple fact that a great deal of American Christianity has for many, many years gone out of its way to ignore the teachings of Jesus and substitute the worship of Mammon in its place.

    Aronblue, keep us posted! Providence is of course very much on the Amtrak system and I suspect quite a few of us here would be happy to get together with you when you come through this end of the country.

    Methylethyl, thanks for the data point.

    Maxine, no, not at all. What it means is that if you’re committed to a spiritual path, there’s a widening gap between you and people who aren’t on such a path. On the other hand, you’ll find a great deal of common ground with those who are — even if the path isn’t the one you follow. Manly P. Hall’s label is simply a recognition that for many people, losing common ground with friends and family members who aren’t on the Path can be distressing.

    Tim, to my mind it’s a mistake to try to force the parallels to that degree of exactness; Spengler talks about the way that incident and destiny weave together, so that the trajectory of each culture follows the same general pattern but never quite repeats any other culture’s trajectory exactly.

    Jim W, it’s quite simple. I check each day to see which planets are making aspects to what parts of our natal charts, and make plans from there. Mercury’s sextile the ruler of my 10th? Time to get that email sent to a publisher. Mars is square the ruler of my sixth? Take precautions to avoid catching a cold. The Moon allows fine tuning — if it’s in good aspect either to Mercury or the ruler of my 10th from 2 to 4 pm, for example, that’s when the email to the publisher goes out. As for Pluto, some posts on that are still on the get-to list!

    Ben, interesting. Are there other fictional portrayals of that sort of future in circulation in Britain just now?

    NomadicBeer, duly noted. I don’t have the skills to put something like that together, nor do I have the free time, but if someone else has the skills and decides to invest the time I’m not averse from such a project — and from an appropriate division of whatever the proceeds happen to be.

  55. @Nestorian,

    Karl Denninger’s post is full of “straw man” arguments; that is, disputing and mocking things that climate scientists never claimed in the first place. These are mixed in with some outright untruths, or to be as charitable as possible, unsupported and un-referenced claims that contradict real-world measurements. And a fair number of non sequiturs, claims that even if true, do nothing to dispute anthropogenic climate change.

    The unsupported un-referenced (and as far as I can tell, false) claims include that human-caused CO2 is only 3% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere; that the global temperature was 1-1.5 degrees hotter during the Medieval Warm Period; and that a best-fit curve to actual CO2 measurements shows levels of 500 ppm in the early 1800s. Atmospheric CO2 and global temperature data available for inspection from a variety of reliable sources contradicts these claims.

    The straw man arguments include that CO2 levels that are high from a climate point of view are not actually toxic to humans or animals (of course not; that’s not the problem with atmospheric CO2); that climate change will not kill us all in 12 years; and that much higher CO2 levels in the distant past did not prevent life from flourishing on the planet.

    The non sequiturs include that the Thames River froze during the Little Ice Age (how does England being colder in the past contradict global climate change happening now and in the future?); that stopping all use of fossil fuels would cause immense difficulties; and that DDT might not have been as environmentally harmful as claimed.

    All these combined, along with the overall tone, come across like a driver in a rainstorm whose passenger says “It’s raining pretty hard, maybe we should slow down,” and the driver snarls back, “It’s not raining, rain doesn’t cause cars to explode, and it snowed last February. That’s why you should be shot.”

    (Hmm, between this comment and LunarApprentice’s reply to Dmitry Orlov, this week’s discussion might start sounding a lot like the skeptics’ forum I came here from, many years ago. If that’s inappropriate, my apologies for contributing to it.)

  56. Karl Denninger can sound like that when he’s (I suppose) forgotten to take his meds, but he’s right more than he’s wrong.

    I got a new phone that tries to guess the rest of the word when you type the first letter. It must have gone to school in the Dick & Jane era. Anyway, when I type “L” it guesses “Lady,” and when I type “C” it guesses “Cutekitten of Lolcat.” Rather cute.

  57. I said a while back I hoped to have my book on Amazon by Xmas. Well, I’m an idiot. It won’t be that soon!

    I was so optimistic I was interviewing bimbos to be on the cover of my book.☺️ I actually had a promising candidate, but then the general started chatting her up and I haven’t seen either of them for two days. 👀. I should have followed our intelligent host’s lead and told a story about nice sensible shoggoths.

    (The phone will actually guess the word “shoggoth.”)

  58. Dear Booklover, I don’t know what set off the president’s tweet storm about the four congresswomen, three of whom were born in the USA (and territories), but I venture to say he did himself no favors with women voters, with whom he already has a serious problem. Disrespect a sitting member of congress and you have disrespected every citizen who voted for that member. There are very conservative districts who routinely elect members whom I dislike, but that is the way our system works. Furthermore, his attitude towards professional women in general is highly offensive–“Pocohantas”? That’s rich coming from the grandson of a brothel owner. Now, maybe I missed something, I don’t obsessively follow this president, but I can’t think of any comparable namecalling and vituperative condescension applied by him to his male opponents. Displays of raucous ignorance aren’t cute anymore when you are making personal attacks.

    The fact of the matter, as Republicans love to say, is that his party lost the midterm elections, in many cases, not just the famous four, to smart, capable young women. Against Republican Barbie, the Democrats are running Nancy Drew, and the Republicans haven’t a ghost of an idea how to run against her. Oppo research reveals maybe a traffic ticket or two. These ladies go home after work, don’t say offensive things off camera, and know what they are talking about when they discuss policy.

    A lot of folks are asking “Why now?” about the Epstein arrest. It is not as if his misdeeds haven’t been known about for years. My guess is the timing is partly payback for the fake news Russia witch hunt, partly distraction from I don’t know what, maybe the Asange affair. Also, I think maybe the admin wants to reassure women voters it is Doing Something about sex trafficking. Notice how all outlets covering this are constantly referring to pedophilia, pedophilia, even though the perp’s alleged victims seem to have been under aged teens.

  59. Regular reader, occasional commenter, going anonymous for privacy this time. My ex-husband couldn’t take the kids for the recent school holidays here in Australia as he usually does because he was whisked over to the US by his corporate American overlords for emergency meetings. Apparently said corporation is highly concerned about imminent US recession. Is this a thing that the general public in the US is aware of/talking about? I haven’t seen anything in the media about it over here. Mind you, I am not much of a media pundit, and could be missing it.

  60. @nomadicbeer and @JMG
    I am a fan of the great cources basically college lectures courses on cd or dvd and literally this morning I thought that it would be great if they produced an ecosophia course taught by JMG. Great minds think alike.

  61. All – I like to read Ken Denninger, too, but I’m more interested in his essay on national debt, which follows the linked one on “climate change”. Everything that I might do in reaction to climate change, I will be doing whether or not climate change is man-made or extraterrestrial. But I might adjust my investment strategy (and I don’t mean strictly financial investments) based on the near-future projections for macro-economics. I’ve been wondering for all of my adult life just how the US government can continue to run up the debt, and I think Ken just answered that: the surplus earnings of the Baby Boomers have been lent, through the purchase of government bonds (both by wealthy individuals and institutional investors (like pension funds and insurance companies (both domestic and international))). But when we Boomers need to draw down these investments, buyers for future debt may be scarce (at any interest rate), and the house of cards blows down.

    Unlike Ken, I think that stock ownership can be (depending on the company) a resilient move, because people are always going to need certain kinds of stuff, regardless of the dollars needed to get it. Unless the company goes bankrupt, of course, a company can have a certain amount of tangible value (e.g., a railroad company owns the trains, the rails, and the right-of-way; I’m not looking at Facebook that way) and generate profits for its owners (stockholders).

    Minimizing dependence on the national-level economy seems like a good move, whether the crisis is climate or finance.

  62. Do you think Brexit will lead to Ireland being reunified or more conflict?

  63. Like David By The Lake pointed out, here in the Midwest we have now hiring signs up everywhere. Rents, in most places are reasonable, and if you don’t like the job offerings available to you we have good quality public tech colleges that can get you skilled up to take on new job, well paid, job in a year or two.

    Which makes me wonder why everyone continues to flock to the over crowded and over priced coasts? Here you can get a good job, a nice little house that you can actually pay off and own outright. Many Midwestern cities are also turning into bicycle Mecca’s so going car free or car-lite* is a viable option. Life’s good here.

    When I go back to Seattle to visit family things just look worse and worse. But, talking to anyone back there about moving to Wisconsin and you might as well be talking to a wall. “O we could never live there!” Even though lots of people live here and do just fine.

    I truly do not understand the resistance to moving out of place you can no longer afford and where you hate the crowding and traffic and moving to a place you can afford without the traffic and crowding issues that you hate. What gives?

  64. Dear JMG,

    This Summer, my life has been a bit of a whirlwind and I have an astrological inquiry. Some details: I am married with no children and for the last five years or so our situation has been what can best be described as floating in stasis. Between a chronic illness with no good treatments and a work situation that had us tethered to a region with a super-inflated housing market and thus a choice between commuter hell or unaffordable living, floating stasis became a familiar feeling.
    We found ourselves more than a few times saying “maybe next year” to a lot of our future plans (starting a family, moving to sunnier climes, etc.) because of sheer uncertainty in what the future held.
    Then, about two months ago, everything began to fall in place. First a new treatment that we were sure would never be approved by our current doctor got the okay. Then an elective surgery to get the treatment rolling, which we were convinced would take months or the better part of a year to get a consultation on, was scheduled just a week after we knew the treatment was even a possibility (after a months-in-advance booked doctor had a sudden opening for us, no less).
    Then, mere days after my submission to a prestigious Deindustrial fiction anthology with very high standards was accepted, a long shot location transfer at my job went through, months after we’d given up on waiting to hear anything (there was only one slot and a person of much greater seniority was ahead of me in the running).
    It’s gotten to the point that I’m afraid to say no to whatever the universe presents me for fear of getting swept under by the tsunami sized wave of Fortune washing over us at the moment. It’s as if the momentum of five whole years of life event energy is being let loose all at once.
    Which brings me to my question. If I were scientifically minded, is it possible to go back several months to consult the star charts to compare notes? Can I expect to find the stars telling me to hold on to my butt because CHANGE is a coming? And if not, how do I interpret the last two months? For that matter, how long can I expect the ride to last? Is now the time to put myself and my work out there, try new things, risk more than I normally would or is that a calamitously stupid idea? Thank you for your time and consideration.

  65. Lunar,

    As an engineer myself, I was chagrined to find the literature on the ways engineers in particular become cranks, spinning complex and internally consistent theories based on flawed assumptions. Embarrassing though it may be, that phenomenon seems real and I can see my own tendencies toward crank status. So – no, being an engineer is no protection from falling for foolishness. Quite the opposite.

    Mr. Orlov has in addition the burden of certain strains of Russian culture I have observed in many, possibly all, of the Russians I have known – paranoia, a belief in countless conspiracies, and a grudge against the West among them. Perhaps it is the remnant of the worst of the Stalinist era (though a grudge against the West makes sense based in a lot of Russia’s history including the post soviet period). It is sad, because in many other ways I have found most of the Russians I have met to be impressive. And Mr Orlov himself has written some wise (and mordantly funny) things in the past.

  66. Dear JMG and others,

    I wonder if you can help me clarify my thinking around “darkness” in terms of spiritual things. This is something I’ve been trying to articulate for some time, but it came to the fore again when I read the first question on this week’s Magic Monday.

    My imprecise, inchoate beginning is something like this: Under the influence of overwhelmingly solar religious movements (including the Radiance!), our language and ordinary discourse takes it for granted that anything to do with light is good, noble, elevating, and the like, while darkness, evil, descent, and the like are all interconnected and denegrated.

    But it seems to me that this language of darkness muddles together (at least) two different things. On the one hand, we have the sort of spiritual movements and healing practices around incubation, descent into caves and the bowels of the Earth, and the like, which Peter Kingsley describes so well in In the Dark Places of Wisdom, and related practices in other times and places, which are healing and spiritually enriching. On the other hand, we have practices and beings that I would have to call demonic, involving malevolent beings that ultimately mean humans only harm, and bring misery and suffering.

    (Note that I am using “demonic” here in the modern sense. I am well aware of this word’s etymology and the more expansive account of daimones in ancient Greece, but the latter is not what I’m talking about here.)

    I’ve been seeing in various neopagan circles over the last few years a would-be corrective movement that would unquestioningly embrace whatever has been rejected as “dark,” and as a result, seems to uncritically adopt a lot of problematic (and even demonic) behaviors and practices in the course of trying to recover the healthy ways of working with darkness.

    So my questions are, (1) do you also see this confusion as something present in our cultural conversations, or am I misguided? And if you see it too, (2) how can we disentangle these two threads around “darkness,” perhaps with different language around darkness, descent, the telluric, the chthonic, etc.? and (3) can you recommend any written sources that address this apparent confusion in a useful or clarifying way?

    I’m not necessarily looking for a final answer, but really just for something that can get my thoughts on the issue un-stuck. Thank you!

  67. Dear Violet,

    To your query about negativity, and the description of your day in trying to give plants away: I have not noticed any particular change in negatively, over the very short term, of the sort you describe, though I have also been travelling to unfamiliar parts of the country where I don’t really have a good baseline for comparison. I wonder, though, if an additional factor (beyond nasty and dirty energies) might be the current Mercury retrograde. Those planetary energies could be another force pushing folks in the direction of car accidents and failures to effectively communicate.

    To the question about Hellenic polytheists: Look for an email from me shortly (probably tomorrow, since it’s getting quite late tonight).

  68. @ Violet

    Could it be a wave of “GoodPeople” meltdown over the Mueller ineptitude?

    Otherwise, certainly have encountered some flaring of tempers, but not all together. Thought the nasty oppressive heat we had recently played into that.

    Hope everyone can stay safe and well.


  69. I never thought to link Objectivism to Lovecraftian themes before, but the case could be made that Howard Roarke and John Galt are squamous abominations who have emerged from the cyclopean depths to extinguish the tiny light of human civilization in an uncaring void.

    On another note, this past Magic Monday, you discussed differences between natural religion and revealed religions. Could it be said that Judaism was once a natural religion, and transitioned to the prophetic mode? If so, are there any others that have a parallel course of development?

  70. JMG;
    I appreciate you.

    I read a comment from you about Islam being the last of the Axial age religions to let go making way for more natural religions. From my reading, Islamic doctrines are in fact quite attuned to the natural world along with it’s cycles and rhythms (in theory at least; if not in practise by the majority of Muslims).

    The Quran (the Word of God to Muslims; analogous to Christ for Christians), for example, more so than any other scripture, talks about nature.
    For eg: ‘And there is no creature on [or within] the Earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” (Quran 6:38).

    Or for example: “And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” [6:99]

    Amongst the monotheistic religions, Islam does appear to have a different take towards one’s responsibilities towards the natural world when compared to Christianity and Judaism (for eg also see: Animals in the Quran by Sarra Tlili)
    As already mentioned, while the lay-Muslim may not be the paragon of virtue in following Islamic doctrines of maintaining ‘balance’ (or ‘Meezan’ in Arabic) towards the natural world, the life of Muhammad (pbuh) and those of Islam’s saints (Sufis and mystics) are quite eloquent in demonatrating this responsibility towards it.

    Thank you for all that you do.

  71. Hi Anon,

    Does the company have any idea when this recession might begin? It would be an improvement over the depression the country is in now.

    Hi Nastarana,

    I think it would be more accurate to say that Trump has a problem with feminist voters rather than with female voters as a whole.

  72. @barefootwisdom: I’ve noticed the same thing, regarding darkness.

    I think it’s a case similar to the words “love” and “knowledge.” English has only the one word for a broad range of experiences; Greek has several for each. So yes, ‘darkness’ can refer to necessary times of withdrawal and recharging, or it can refer to the worst parts of us, and we often get these confused.

    I like James Hillman’s writings on the subject, particularly The Dream and the Underworld. But I wouldn’t ever call his books clarifying.

  73. Nothing Special, it was once a common saying among ethnologists that every taboo must have its exception. The Feast of Fools is a great example; I’m sure you can think of plenty of examples in today’s society as well.

    Simo, I don’t have one. Europe is full of little ethnic enclaves and borders that make no obvious sense, and how those get sorted out — well, that’s up to Europeans, isn’t it? The last thing you need is another clueless American telling you what to do, after all…

    Samurai_47, I prefer simply to encourage people to read plenty of mythology and come up with their own conclusions. Having someone else’s interpretations stuck in place as a filter strikes me as a dubious proposition.

    Nicholas, no, you’re rather dramatically misstating what I said about the alt-right. They weren’t his original base; they were simply one segment of society that ended up supporting him. Some of them have gone mainstream with him, others have retreated to the fringes again — very much as usual.

    Teresa, I suspect that’s part of it. One of the reasons it’s a really bad idea to do magic for justice, if what you really want is to harm someone you hate, is that you’re likely to get what you ask for rather than what you want. More generally, though, the soi-disant Magic Resistance has done a stunningly good job of defeating themselves through incompetent magic performed with a minimum of self-knowledge and a maximum of self-righteousness — always a good recipe for disaster — and the more they keep at it, the more harm they’re going to do to their own side.

    Forecastingintelligence, yep. As for BoJo, I notice to my amusement that there’s a precise equivalent of Trump Derangement Syndrome taking shape on your side of the pond. It can’t be termed Boris Derangement Syndrome, since the acronym BDS has already been taken by anti-Israel activists; I suppose, despite the double meaning, that we’ll have to refer to it as Johnson Derangement Syndrome…

    Stephen, one of the side effects of the antics of James “The Not Especially Amazing” Randi and his fellow CSICOP pseudoskeptics is that next to nobody who practices such things is interested in cooperating with an attempt to study such things experimentally. We do the work and get the results we want; what scientists do or don’t believe about such things isn’t of great interest to us.

    LaughingSage, excellent! Of course the last energies of the Piscean age are trying to pursue Piscean fantasies of limitless expansion in the teeth of hard Aquarian realities. For what it’s worth, I also assign Aquarius to Uranus, but Uranus is a malefic planet, the planet of disruption, eccentricity, madness, and alienation; it also rules natural disasters. The Age of Aquarius is not going to be anything like what the fantasies of the Sixties wanted to insist. As I see it, the Aquarian age began in 1879, and you can judge how Utopian it will be by considering what happened between 1879 and 1979. In 4039 CE, the Caprican age will begin, and Saturn’s steadying influence will begin clearing away the wreckage.

    As for the egregors of great cultures, of course. Spengler argued that a great culture is permanently linked to the land area where it first emerged, and people in other parts of the world can be influenced by it — the process he called pseudomorphosis — but can never really belong to it.

    Clay, I’ve heard a little about it. The collapse of the prestige of science continues apace.

    Cat, the Democrats are going to see that Mexican flag stuffed down their throats in the 2020 election campaign; it’s astonishing how completely they’ve lost track of the fact that they really do have to make a case to people who don’t already agree with them. As for self-segregation, that’s simply a reversion to the way things were in this country before the Second World War — one of many signs that the film of history has begun running in reverse. Watch for major pushes on all sides to hand social issues back to the states!

    Booklover, Trump’s goal is to get the Democratic Party to rush to the defense of those four congresswomen, so that he can then insist that the entire Democratic Party shares their views — which are views the vast majority of Americans don’t agree with. So far, the Dems are playing into his hand.

    LunarApprentice, I’m sorry to say that I think Dmitri has cracked. He of all people should know better than to buy into the shoddy logic he’s retailing at this point. That said, he’s not the only one to flee into delusion to avoid staring the end of progress in the face; I recall the once very sane DC energy analyst who suddenly started babbling about UFOs, because believing in alien intelligences who were about to land and save us was easier than accepting that the age of progress is over and we now face the slow unraveling of the dream.

    A1, nobody knows in advance. We’ll just have to find out.

    Aspirant, thanks for this. I’ve got quite a lot of podcast interviews out there.

    MichaelV, you’ll hear that sort of thing more and more often as the imaginary future portrayed by believers in progress fades out.

    Pablo, I’d read the first one as saying that your path is going to take you in other directions so don’t bother, and the second as saying that if you do so anyway you’ll get some benefit out of it but you’ll end up doing something else.

    Kevin, are you at all familiar with Alan Moore’s graphic novel Promethea? It’s a comic-book version of magical practices on the Tree of Life, and it’s apparently done a lot of people a lot of good. I’d say go for it.

    John, thanks for this!

  74. I just finished The Shoggoth Concerto. There were many things that I did not see coming, the most surprising being that there will be a sequel!

    My question is when in your fiction release schedule will the second part come out, before or after Arkham?

  75. Your Kittenship, if your phone is already babbling about shoggoths, you can expect it to start invoking Great Cthulhu any day now!

    Anon, there’s been some talk about that on the bearish side of the financial press, the sort of place that’s predicted ten of the last two recessions. My working guess is that we’re about to see the reverse of those “jobless recoveries” that featured so largely in recent economics, and involved ongoing transfers of wealth from the productive to the speculative end of the economy; as wealth flows the other way, speculative indices are likely to swoon while working class jobs expand rapidly.

    Conductor, I hope that Ireland will reunify within my lifetime, but we’ll see.

    Lbikeec, go figure. I’ve lived inland and on the coasts, and while I’m currently quite happy in Rhode Island I know perfectly well I could have settled in the Midwest with equal facility.

    StarNinja, if you took your birth data to a competent astrologer and got a natal chart and the last two years of progressed charts done, I’d expect you to be told “wow, your life has really taken off in recent months, hasn’t it?”

    Barefootwisdom, that’s precisely why I named the villains in my fantasy series “The Radiance” and used imagery of darkness as healing and protective all through the novels. In Druid terms, the solar current and the telluric current, light and darkness, are both good when in balance, both bad when out of balance. The demonic is the unbalanced — that’s something you’ll find in traditional Cabala and many other sources as well. Thank you for your kind words about The Shoggoth Concerto! Of all my novels so far, I’d have to say it’s my favorite just now.

    Cliff, funny. I tend to see John Galt and Howard Roark not as squamous abominations but as the deluded image that humans apply to themselves when they forget that the universe doesn’t notice them and wouldn’t care about them if it did…

    As for Judaism, exactly. The Judaism of the First Temple was a natural religion of a kind very similar to those of its neighbors — if Raphael Patai’s correct in his book The Hebrew Goddess, it wasn’t even monotheist. It was after the return from Babylon that the Jews, under Zoroastrian influence, recast their traditional faith in Axial Age form.

    Mobi, you may be amused to hear that I’ve had Christians make exactly the same argument for the natural dimension of their religion and scripture. The differentiation I made between natural and prophetic religions is rather different: a natural religion grows out of the religious experience of a people, and has no founder; a prophetic religion is created by a prophet as a rejection of the religious experience of his or her people. The natural religion of Arabia worshiped Hubal, al-Lat, al-Uzzah, Manat, and various other deities who represented forces of nature; Islam rejected all this and, in the usual fashion of prophetic religions, replaced popular religious experience with obedience to a written book, which plays the same role (and receives the same idolatrous reverence) in prophetic religions as statues of deities play in many natural religions. That’s the distinction I was making, and I think you’ll agree that Islam remains squarely on the prophetic side of that distinction.

  76. Violet and Barefootwisdom,

    Hellenic Polytheist and Ecosophian here, although I’m only an occasional commentator. If we’re exchanging emails, please do count me in. If either of your emails are posted, I’m afraid I’m not sure how to see them, but if you give yglauca a gmail domain, you can reach me.

    ~Yucca glauca

  77. @Nestorian

    You asked for it so here’s my take on Denninger,

    he kind of throws everything into one pot. Some points may be valid, some are just plainly irrelevant. I did not notice anything that was flat out wrong.
    In my experience, this is standard for most people on his side of the fence.
    His arguments seem to boil down to
    1) human co2 emission are only a small fraction of the natural co2 cycle.
    2) climate has always changed
    3) it is currently colder than during most periods of earth history
    4) there are political shenanigans and vested interests on the side opposed to his point of view.
    5) co2 is good because it feeds plants.
    6) higher co2 levels are not the end of the world.

    Here’s my take on it
    1) correct, but irrelevant
    Lets say you have a bathtub with the tap on and the plug out.
    Let’s also say that the system is adjusted, so that the flow in exactly matches the flow out and is 2 gallons per minute. This means the water level will not change. Let us call this the natural flow of the system.
    Now finally lets say that you decide to add a thimble of water every minute. Let us call this the artificial flow. This is a tiny fraction of the natural flow, but it will cause the tub to overflow in due time because the ratio of natural inflow and outflow has not changed.

    2) correct but irrelevant. Why would natural changes disprove the existence of man made changes? There is noise (natrual fluctuations) and there is a (man made) signal. The two happily coexist.

    3) see 2) and 6)

    4) half correct, but irrelevant. Half correct, because the shenenigans go on on both sides with equal enthusiasm, although the denier side seems to be better funded. At least here in australia.
    Unsurprisingly, since australia is a chinese quarry a few thousand miles west of new zealand. Totally dependent on fossil fuels.

    5) correct. Without CO2 there would be no plant life here hence except for a few extremophiles, the place would be empty and a bit more might actually improve plant growth. But that does not mean more is better without limits.
    CO2 has another beneficial side effect. Without it te average temperature of this planet would be well below freezing.
    We owe our very existence to the beneficial effects of CO2.
    Again, more is not necessaryly better. A few beers once in a while are enjoyable and healthy. Two gallons a day might be too much for most of us.

    6) correct. The planet has been much warmer for most of its history. So it will not be a problem at all for the biosphere. It has shrugged off much worse.
    I’m not so optimistic about civilisation. What if china loses a few million acres of arable land whereas siberia gains? I am sure if the chinese point that out to the russians, the russians will say: “of course we’ll shift the border. Just come on in and help yourself to whatever you need”. After all that’s just basic human nature isnt it?
    What i am trying to say in a roundabout way is that on a planet with 8+ billion people any shift in climate zones can get quite ugly quite quickly. And there will be winners and losers. And some of the losers might have guns and a really bad attitude.

    hope that was helpful

  78. Regarding your reply to forecastingintelligence:

    “As for BoJo, I notice to my amusement that there’s a precise equivalent of Trump Derangement Syndrome taking shape on your side of the pond. It can’t be termed Boris Derangement Syndrome, since the acronym BDS has already been taken by anti-Israel activists; I suppose, despite the double meaning, that we’ll have to refer to it as Johnson Derangement Syndrome…”

    Any chance we could just shorten it to Johnson Hysteria? It sounds just a bit more British to my ear, and it would make a fine London tabloid headline.

  79. I have three questions for you: first, I’ve had good effect from taking charge of my health, on the physical and etheric planes, and so I’m wondering what needs the astral body has. Would I be correct to think working through a magical system would be sufficient, or are there other exercises which would help with keeping my astral body strong and healthy?

    Second, I suspect I’ve done the etheric equivalent of pulling a muscle. I’ve been practicing a lot of music lately, and there’s one song I couldn’t get right, so I spent quite some time on it yesterday. It was exhausting, and I stopped because I felt somewhat off. I still feel off, not on a physical level, but close to it, which most likely is the etheric level. If this is the case, then working from analogy with the physical level, the best way to treat it is to rest, but are there other steps I can take to speed the healing process?

    Third, since anything goes, what do you use to keep your luxurious beard clean?

  80. @ David BTL – interesting. Wages here in Oklahoma have been fairly stagnant, especially with the current downturn in oil and gas.

    @ JMG – To my knowledge, this is the only show of its kind, at least on HBO. It’s a miniseries, so it will be over next week, but the fact the BBC produced a show set in the near future with a limits to growth subtext, I found interesting.

  81. Hey hey JMG,

    Let me ask it another way, the Roman empire was still growing in 108 BC and expanded a lot over the next three hundred years. The formation of war bands happened around 200-300 AD, -ish, (if I understand, and I may not, I have read more about it than 98% of Americans, but that puts me in the bottom 1% of people who actually know what they are talking about) and that means that war band formation is a good two to three hundred years out. But, you’ve been talking about the beginnings of war band formation recently.

    I know that we are talking about broad trends and that the details are going to be highly contingent on who does what at critical points, but I ask because you said that when a declining empire actually starts to build walls it is basically admitted defeat and the raids will be coming over the walls soon. And Hadrian’s Wall was started in 122 AD, but Israel already has walls and Trump is trying to build one and that, again, gives a two hundred year difference from the Spengler Analogizer.

    I’m just trying to get a scope of things and I’d like some real, concrete assessment. But I know that making predictions is hard, especially about the future. And, I know that a dozen years of study on the history of similar empires would inform me better, but can you humor me and give me your best guess at the nearest approximate metaphor to our present situation?


  82. Mr. JMG,

    I just spent my vacation at a cottage that had an interesting small library in it, and I found a book of predictions called People’s Almanac Presents Book of Predictions, edited by Wallace, Wallace and Wallechinsky (of The Book of Lists fame) that was published in 1980. The authors surveyed “experts” from various fields to make predictions of the future in five year increments up to the year 2030. I didn’t finish the book, but I skimmed it heavily and I estimated that 99.99% of the predictions were wrong. And of those 99.99% predictions, most of them were extremely over-optimistic.

    Most of the predictions assumed that present technology would be used in the future. For instance, in the 2000s people were predicted to still be using video tape as an entertainment medium.

    All of the experts predicted that there would be huge advances in their particular field.

    Several pessimistic experts predicted nuclear war in the 1980s.

    Not one expert predicted climate change. (However, I own a textbook on meterorolgy from my college days, which was published in 1979 and it does predict climate change!)

    Predictions included: by 2000 all forms of cancer and all communicable diseases would be eradicated, there would be a longevity pill that would eliminate aging, we’d have space stations orbiting the planet and humans would colonize planets, we’d have giant supersonic aircraft that could hold up to 4000 passengers, that we’d all be working six hours a day and have a four day work week, and there would be a presidential cabinet position devoted to leisure. In addition, world hunger would be solved.

    The expert who was asked to predict the future of physical fitness was runner and author Jim Fixx. He predicted that he would run a marathon at age 98. He died in 1984 at age 52.

    Correct predictions included: the development of the internet (though it was not called the internet — the predictor stated that people would be able to share information with each other all across the globe using computer technology; and the fall of the Soviet Union (though it was predicted to happen in the 2000s).

    Over the years I’ve read many a blog predicting imminent societal collapse or the next big stock market crash. Having looked over Book of Predictions and having found 99.99% of the experts to be wrong, I will now stop taking 99.99% of predictions seriously. It was also interesting to see that the religion of progress was just as crazy in 1980 as it is now.

  83. Misty, thank you! The sequel — The Nyogtha Variations — is finished in first draft but needs a lot of revisions; it’s another odd, quiet, rather intricate tale, about as long as The Shoggoth Concerto, and will take as much fine tuning as any good musical instrument. 😉 I expect to see it in print around the first of the year.

    Steve, sure, but that wouldn’t have the humorous implication that certain people’s, er, johnsons were deranged…

    Your Kittenship, not directly, no. I don’t generally go out of my way to deal with fanatics.

    Will J, 1) the astral body is best cleansed and strengthened with magical or religious rituals. 2) Deep slow breathing in fresh air is a good way to help your etheric body heal. 3) Plain ordinary soap. Most shampoos are full of chemical gunk that makes your hair look dirty even when it’s clean; a good natural soap — I favor Dr. Bronner’s, but that’s a legacy of my impressionable youth — does a much better job.

  84. FWIW, On The Age of Aquarius, I’ve often thought that the best image of Aquarius– the water bearer, rising from the sea when the stars are right, ruled by the planet of chaos and revolution– is none other than Great Cthulhu himself.

  85. To Violet: Yes, you aren’t imagining it, there is palpable tension among the rich. I have been on a bit of a forest hiking bender for the last two days because I took the week off for my birthday and the weather has been pleasant. The first place I went was my local Arboretum. It was a beautiful day, so the place was teeming with families there to see an exhibit of large wooden troll statues that are randomly stuck on various parts of the trail, kind of like the Pokemon Go game…. because the forest itself could never be beautiful or fascinating enough to children without some kind of gimmick, ya know? But I digress. So at any rate, pretty much every single kid there was in full-on BRAT mode. I counted at least seven different families where kids were melting down. Screeching, crying, yelling, destroying, tantrum-ing. A father flagged me down on the trail, desperate to find the way back to the Visitor’s Center. His kids weren’t crying, but they were both pouting angrily in the stroller as if an episode had just occurred or was about to. I told him I hadn’t been to the Arboretum in thirty years, so sadly I was of no help. A woman could not get her kids to cooperate near the beautiful formal gardens. I steered clear of the Children’s Garden because it sounded a bit like a junior riot scene. A particularly nasty altercation went down in an SUV that probably cost more than my entire existence — a mom was freaking out because her kid had manhandled the baby seat and “broke” it for the younger one. Oy vey.

    Today at the forest preserve, there weren’t children, just adults doing their level best to block out the sights and sounds of nature while bicycling or jogging through it. Heaven forbid they slow down and enjoy the butterflies and fireflies we are all ostensibly there to see. I saw a magnificent heron land in a dead tree. They could have seen him/her too, had they bothered to look up. As they jogged/sped by, I could feel the anxiety shimmering off them in waves, because I have the kind of psychic that doesn’t win the lottery.

    They are like a dog worrying a bone when another dog is eyeing him. Their upper middle class prosperity is fragile even if they cannot genuinely appreciate it. The ones with children have it the worst, of course, because they are the most over invested in the posh life with the most at stake. They are trying to squeeze the most they can out of the collective sponge before it dries out. They avoid any form of serious shadow-analysis because it’s too terrifying to honestly assess what their grandchildren’s lives will be like. The air of the fin de siecle is driving them mad.

  86. Dear JMG,

    I am curious about two issues.

    1) There is a question I have already asked in another comment a few years ago. It is about a difference between you and Oswald Spengler. He had the opinion that democracy is only a passing form of a civilization’s life cycle while you seem to think that it is worth of saving even if the West leaves it behind. Can you elaborate this? You answered then that you plan to write such a post but I think you haven’t, and I am still intrigued. 🙂

    2) My impression is that you expect the presidency of Trump to be a success for the little people. I see some of the signs myself and tend to believe you anyway. However, I have serious doubts about the outcome of Brexit… The centre of Western civilization seems to have a more competent elite compared to the periphery. I don’t mean that they are less corrupt or selfish but their bag of political tricks is not yet depleted. They have responses for the populist surge. The poster child of this is Macron in France but there are equivalents in several places. The European Parliamentary election and its aftermath is very instructive with federalist neoliberals as the biggest winners. It seems to me that the same thing is happening in Britain. Classical parties are losing ground and a new elitist pseudo-centre is emerging (around LibDems) against the populists of the Right (brexiteers/UKIP) and the Left (socialists/Celtic separatists). I know it is speculative but I see continental Europe as a better analogue for the UK than America. British eccentricity will be eventually lost to the uniformization of decline. The Brexit gridlock might be one of its last grand expressions, only to be swept away with cold clever tricks… What do you think?

  87. MG and Mobi, re islam and nature.

    JMG further to your comments: “Islam, the last of the big Axial Age faiths to get going, will be the last one to let go of its Axial Age characteristics and become the raw material for natural religions to come.” (I have also taken note of your further comment: ” The natural religion of Arabia worshiped … deities who represented forces of nature; Islam rejected all this”.)

    I found the following mostly Ecosophian passage (the language errors are in the official English translated from Arabic) in the Egyptian Biodiversity Strategy And Action Plan (2015 – 2030), January 2016 submitted by Egypt to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

    Among its “guiding principles” are:

    “E. Spiritual Values

    Spiritual commands us to look up to other plants, animals and creatures living with us and to consider them living communities, exactly like mankind. God created earth and all creatures living on it in due proportion and measure. So protection, conservation and development of the environment and natural resources is an obligatory Spiritual duty to which everyone should be dedicated any deliberate or intentional damage to the natural environment and resources is a kind of mischief or corruption that is forbidden. The Spiritual actions calls all individuals at all levels to protect, conserve and use environment and natural resources sustainably…”

  88. Thought I’d let you know that I just had an essayistic review of The Long Descent published in a Norwegian online magazine informally associated with the Green Party. The feedback has been very positive. Quite a few people in green circles seem to be ready to hear about this, even in this country, where the Greens have been busy marketing a techno-optimist “sustainable future” for some time. (Easy when you have near limitless amounts of hydroelectricity to play around with!)

    For those of you who can read Scandinavian languages, or want to have some fun with Google Translate, the article is here:

  89. @Stephen D re evidence of magic/prayer/ritual

    A subset of the above is studied in the world of parapsychology as DMILS Distant Mental Influence/Interaction with Living Systems, or sometimes Direct Mental Influence.

    a web search for DMILS will get you started.

    Dr. Larry Dossey has done a lot of work with prayer for healing.

    Haven’t been to the Institute of Noetic Sciences website in a while, so now lost, but I know some folks there/associated with have done work in this area in the past.
    Their chief scientist is Dean Radin, one of his books is “Real Magic”.

    William Braud has done a lot of work here.

    Has a good overview of the history of the field, where a “sender” person can influence the skin resistance response of a “receiver” person when they are in separate rooms.

    There are many others.

    The book Quantum Mind and Social Science just came to mind, a lot of pointers to hardcore quantum physicists and their work on consciousness and matter, but you won’t read about that in the mainstream journals _Nature_ or _Science_.

    JMG mentioned CSICOP, here’s a link to the story of their bungled “debunking” of the “Mars effect”

  90. @ Booklover – “…in which Donald Trump suggested to Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and two other Democrat women with migration background going back to their origin countries”

    Speaking as a migrant with a history going back many generations, of moving over and back across the Atlantic, as well as from one America to another, I cannot help but wonder if this episode does not provide our President with a sticky raspberry jam situation, as he should really not be saying such things without perfect willingness to “go back where he came from” himself.

    I know that “go back where you cane from” are words of instruction that it would be insane for me, and IMO for any American not of native ancestry, to utter.

  91. Greetings all!
    Last week on, JMG wrote:

    “In very ancient times, there was a well-developed method by which certain individuals could leave the cycle of incarnation for a time to serve as the guardian spirit of a family, a community, or a place…”

    It’s sounds like a very curious tradition. Can we have more details or reference books on the matter? It looks like another dimension to history I was not too aware of!

  92. A1

    “Will Rock and Roll still be the dominant popular music form when the baby boomers die off?”

    I’m old enough to remember a time before rock and roll (It was a regional phenomenon in the South beginning in the early Fifties, but it didn’t reach widespread airplay until until Elvis in 56.

    Before that, this is the kind of thing one heard on the radio–it was a hit, in fact.

  93. MichaelV, most of the normal arguments against hydrogen don’t apply to HHO engines, or even count in their favour. There is no problem with fuel cells or electric motors, because it doesn’t use them. It just burns. The hydrogen and oxygen are generated on the vehicle, roughly at the rate they are used. So while there may be small buffer tanks, all you really have to carry is a tank of water for the electrolyser. This also removes the need for a hydrogen transport and refuelling infrastructure. All you need is a water supply along with your regular fuel. Water is a very convenient and dense store of hydrogen and oxygen, already perfectly proportioned for combustion. 🙂

    As for how fast hydrogen burns, that’s the point. Diesel, and especially methane, have flame speeds too low to deliver optimum performance in internal combustion engines, either from a power or emissions standpoint. A tiny injection of hydrogen and oxygen solves this problem and hurries things along nicely. 🙂

  94. Dear Nastarana, Donald Trump is probably aiming his latest attack at winning people who don’t like the leadership of the Democrats anyway. Hi isn’t interested in winning over feminists and probably doesn’t need to.

    Dear JMG, thanks for the answers! As for straightening out the mess this civilization will leave behind, I think it would begin with the next round of civilizations; 4039 CE is a bit late for this; it is a time in which the new civilizations after our civilization have themselves gone under. Can you elaborate?

    Violet, the difficulty of finding like-minded people is probably due to the pronounced cultural fragmentation which is usual in late civilizations. Thwere are many subcultures, but they are quite specific and for one or the other person, there might be nothing really congenial.

  95. Violet asks, “Have other folks noticed a huge uptick in negativity? What’s going on? It is so strange and uncanny.”

    Only among the leftward end of the political spectrum, but yes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been engaged in a nice pleasant conversation with someone lately who all of a sudden starts bagging on Trump, their spirit turns sour, and I start looking for the exit…

    I used to be a Democrat but I find myself pulling for a major butt-whoopin’ in ’20. Bad enough to make them realize that they really are the overly cranky minority. Although I seriously doubt that even that would quell the rancor.


  96. @ibikeec: I can answer your question about why coastal people do not want to move to the upper Midwest out of experience. My oldest daughter, who spent all her professional life in California and was educated on the East Coast, took a very plum position here in Gainesville, FL, and had a lot of trouble in her first year. She couldn’t find people who shared her values, nor any of the usual routes for making connections, not even at UF where she worked. She did find the local PBS station.

    It was only when she realized (or somebody told her) that everything here was done through the churches, that she hunted again and joined the UU Church out here.

    Also, on my first Thanksgiving visit, I was eager to see and check out the town and asked her about it on the 2-hr ride in from JAX. She said “It’s not particularly nice.” My stomach lurched and I said “It’s mean and nasty?!?!” She answered “Oh, no; it’s just… it’s nothing special.”

    I, who am of an older order and have lived in places coastal and non-coastal, but none of them pretentious, yet, found it to be a clean, decent, very nice little town.

    Also — one side note, speaking of my stomach — the food of the bicoastal professional classes, which I still think of as “Yuppie food” is all she knows. Ask for seafood and she comes up with a place owned by a chef” in a center with “Shoppes” in its name and never understands why my stomach is braced for an obscenely large amount of “The gods forbid we be BORING” cleverly presented whatever. I had set my mouth for good old-fashioned Southern cooking. (However, take heart and visit The Flying Biscuit. Order anything with biscuits. Chicken a specialty.)

    BTW, she likes it fine now, after 4 years. Me, I’m still struggling with the Pretty Plastic Paradise surface of a Florida retirement village, in which the residents shake heads, ignore management’s every-changing rules, and continue to be their varied, diverse, stubbornly-themselves selves.


  97. I have read about the protests in Hawaii against the new observatory. One aspect seems to be that in astronomy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get meaningful and interesting results despite using ever more complex and costly equipment. The preprints on are ever more specialized, and about subjects which aren’t interesting even to astronomy nerds; while on websites like vaporware is playing a bigger and bigger role. So the public perspective shifts, probably in tandem with the first stirrings of the Second Religiosity; the religious objections to building on sacred places become higher and science loses more of its prestige and appeal with time.

  98. @Nastarana I wish people would stop making Donald Trump right. The press rushes in to say Trump is wrong and racist reflexively, and then months later, it comes out he is right.

    Warren campaigned alongside Hillary and called him “Dangerous Donald”, and repeatedly said he was going to strip women of all rights. He hit back with “Pocahontas” calling her claims of being a Native American fake. Warren did a DNA test used the Boston Globe to make it sound like results proved she was NA when in fact it showed she wasn’t. I can’t believe she announced those test results proudly. So dumb!

    Trump attacked the Governor of Puerto Rico for being corrupt after the hurricane. Remember the drama that Trump’s racism was ruining disaster relief. Well he just resigned and protestors said government officials were stealing hurricane aid. Trump was right.

    Talib said on video several times in interviews “we are going to impeach the m—f–er”. This isn’t some private conversation – this is an elected Congressperson calling the President a m—-f—er in an interview and the media just covers it up. Disagree with Trump all you want, but no need to use such foul language.

    Omar said the 9/11 attacks were our fault because of our military deployments. She refuses to condemn AQ and ISIS when repeated asked by reporters. Trump said if you have such great ideas, go back, fix your country, and then come back here and tell us how it went. Lots of people share that sentiment and just don’t say it.

    Cortez does nothing but attack Trump on twitter day after day since her election. Every day she is having an existential crisis over this President. What she is doing for her actual constituents I have no idea, but she is now the defecto head of the Dems. Trump defended Pelosi, meaning that now everyone attacked Pelosi as weak, because the reflexive “must say Trump bad”.

    Pressley is busy attacking the Black Caucus which is odd. I won’t repeat what she said about them in an interview. But her Trump attacks are just normal grumbling. Trump just included her without singling her out.

    Do you not remember how Trump attacked John McCain relentlessly? His Republican rivals? Lyin’ Ted, Low Energy Jeb, Little Marco? Trump’s attacked the Mayor of London, after the Mayor said Trump couldn’t visit because they don’t allow his kind there. His attacks are consistently in retaliation.

    The media has destroyed themselves the last three years in throwing everything they could at Trump, working alongside the Democrats to do it. I haven’t heard one counter policy argument I could support from Democrats, just drama, hatred, and foulness. They do exactly what they accuse Trump of doing, but it looks worse when they do it.

    I don’t approve of Trump’s attacks and wish he wouldn’t do it. The other side are not victims, but right there in the mud with him.

  99. Nestorian,

    One bit of evidence I’ve come across that helped solidify claims of the current warming trend in my mind stated that, yes, in the last 2000 years we’ve had some fairly significant warm and cool periods – the natural fluctuations everybody invokes – but that, according to new paleoclimatological analysis, those trends were not global. They only occurred in one region or another, not everywhere at once.

    For example, minimum temps during the so-called Little Ice Age hit their nadir around 1500 in China, but didn’t arrive in Europe and N. America until 300 years or so later.

    This time it’s global. That’s the difference. Although I still think that “weirding” is a far more useful descriptor than “warming.” FWIW.

  100. @Ben

    Re the Midwest, etc.

    That matches with what I’ve heard of OK. My brother, who I think would do well up here to WI but for various personal reasons is staying in northern FL for now, has a girlfriend whose family is from there. Her mother described something similar. Got run off her land by oil & gas developers.

    As @Ibikeec mentioned, this part of the Midwest seems to be in a good spot in terms of the balance of wage-strength and cost of living. And, for now at least, jobs are here for the taking. My wife and I went through a smaller town this past weekend and I spotted a sign out in from of a manufacturing plant advertising for open interviews. It is very possible to live modestly here on a reasonable wage. And Lake Michigan is quite beautiful 🙂

  101. @Nicholas Carter,

    If I may, I’d like to expand on JMG’s assertion that the meme-magicians are retreating to the fringes. A lot of them hung out (and probably still do) on /pol, a site whose unofficial motto is… probably unprintable. With minor censorship: “Gas the [racial slur for Jews omitted], race war now!”

    Donald Trump has proved a great friend to Israel. How much do you think they like him for that?

    They have a great deal of racist resentment towards the black population (“dindus” as in, “He dindu nothin'”) — blacks have benefited disproportionately from Trump’s economy, and he crows about it. To his supporters (who pay attention!) Trump seems honestly proud of his efforts at uplifting the black community. How much do you think /polacks like him for that?

    Trump is a civic nationalist. He is most emphatically not an ethnic nationalist, regardless of what his critics might say. Anyone on the alt-right who jumped on board the bandwagon of civic nationalism is doing fine. Those who cling to their resentments and ethnic ideals are swinging back to the fringes at least as fast as they became relevant. Both sides still use Kek and Pepe memes, last I checked.

    Across the isle, the fringe left is slowly learning how to meme, I think. Unfortunately their best memes are about antifa street violence. “Punch Nazis” and the like. In any case, hockey mascots punching people won’t with the 2020 election, and come 2024, I’m hoping it will have faded to irrelevance. We’ll see.

    Not sure about negativity here. My personal anxiety levels have been high. Many things are wearing out and breaking at the same time.

  102. A further comment, due to reading an article about Boris Johnson’s first actions as the new minister-president in Great Britain: It is astonishing how the (former) left (the Labour Party) has totally failed to get political momentum behind their ideas, while the political right-wingers and market liberalists again and again show their amazing ability to get things done according to their goals. So we will probably get a Brexit exactly one day before Samhain respective Halloween. It’s really Monty Python-like.

  103. @ Nicholas C

    Re Trump and the working class

    My qualified libertarianism makes a more subtle distinction re the role of government, but certainly one of the key functions of a national government with respect to a national economy is framing that economic activity for the benefit of the citizenry of that nation as a whole. (I am something of an economic nationalist and as I like to point out, modern economic thought has it backwards: it is the role of a national economy to serve the people of the nation, not the role of the people to serve the national economy!) Given that fly-over country has received the business-end of the neoliberal stick for decades as the benefits have been directed to to the bi-coastal enclaves and the globalized classes, I don’t doubt that some redistribution of that wealth is in order.

    If the Democrats want to win over working class voters, they can start by acknowledging that fact. I see little evidence that such an acknowledgment is forthcoming.

  104. @Your Kittenship, no idea when projected recession due, although the meetings were called very suddenly. Here’s hoping your depression segues into a mere recession soon..

  105. Nestorian, while much of what Denninger says is true, it is – or through careful social engineering, it has been made to be – a political issue composed entirely of thought-stopping phrases. I’d approach it in a much more simple way:
    1) Scientists have been completely wrong so far, not just about this, but about all kinds of things; just yesterday they reversed on aspirin. But at the very least, there’s more winter than ever and seas haven’t risen at all, so don’t panic, geological things move slow, slow, slow.
    2) CO2 injections from humans are far, far less than volcanoes and natural events. That put in perspective the human effect, which may be relevant but can be vetoed by nature in an afternoon. Speaking of, nature loves CO2 and for most of history it has been higher, and there was no runaway effect. In addition the highest times for human population and culture have been the hottest periods, not the cold ones. Be careful what you wish for: moving a city back from the ocean is easy, making up for 30% crop losses worldwide from cooling is not.
    3) Water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas, but they are still completely unable to model it, putting in perspective our predictive ability and therefore our certainty about what’s happening. More importantly,
    4) If all this were correct, it wouldn’t matter, since the primary emitters, not only of CO2 but ocean plastics, etc, are China and India, who don’t care at all and aren’t going to cut usage AT ALL. Even the Paris Accord said they, the major emitters, don’t have to, while we, the West, who are already very clean, would have to wreck our economies and cause a deadly Depression. Which leads to:
    5) since basically GDP=BTU, and BTUs and a large component of BTUs for any foreseeable future going out 50 years will be CO2, neither the East nor West can or will utterly destroy their economy and the political structure it’s based on for a theory, even a true one. Humans will NOT commit today’s suicide for tomorrow’s possibility. They WILL however, add enormous taxes – which land mostly on the poor – using CO2 credits run through unaudited Wall Street Derivative Trading funds, etc. if they can get away with it.
    6) IF any nation attempted to try, as Denninger states, they would completely collapse, economically, politically, and militarily. Aside from being conquered and enslaved by their neighbors in a few short years, at the very minimum a too-fast transition would lead to several hundred million human deaths. …And I thought AVOIDING deaths was the point of mitigating global warming. So we are going to kill everyone on the planet to save everyone on the planet? That doesn’t make sense, so practically, we can only convert as fast as we can, which we are doing already. For example, the U.S., who left the Paris Accord and mocks Global Warming as virtue-signaling, has in fact done more than anyone to reduce emissions. Why? Market forces. You need wealth and profits (and free BTUs) to invest in expensive changes that will only pay off later on. This may be counter-intuitive, but it happens regularly since before Malthus was wrong in 1789. So cheer up there, too.
    So all the shouting and fear is pointless. Nobody is going to do anything any faster because it would kill a million people, including themselves, their nation, their children, and their fortune. And they haven’t, already, despite the shouting, already, so you can be assured I’m right. On the other hand, a LOT of work is being done at a fever pace, and things continue to change rapidly, but rotating in smoothly, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. A key bridge to this is Natural Gas, which is much less polluting, and the only available _clean_ carbon we can ramp in this time-window. Despite states including Europe attempting to outlaw it – which would unnecessarily kill a few million more, almost-entirely poor people – nobody is going to stand for such ignorant trollop, and society will shout down dangerous (as per the number of certain deaths) environmental zealots, while, despite their ire and destruction, actual engineers build an actual working system that actually reduces carbon without adding, say, nuclear.

    Point being, as JMG says, it’s going to be a slow muddle which will and has to reduce energy use and even complexity overall, but it will take a long time although mathematically certain to happen. That being so, neither worry about it, or waste time with pointless shouting, but do what you can in your own life to make it better, happier, and easier, and beat the rush. Does it matter if there is CO2, Anthropological Global Warming? Not at all.

  106. Untipo this is why unbacked-debt (generally by a monopolistic central bank) is so dangerous. As soon as they start unbacked credit, anyone who recklessly and foolishly borrows can buy new equipment and out-compete the prudent and sane, and ultimately buy their competition with borrowed money and run all prudent and sensible people out of business until the whole market is a mania of raving nonsense, unmoored from all economic reality. That’s why it’s “The Madness of Crowds” and that’s why it happens in cycles, not “randomly” by some mythical “animal spirits” when humans for no reason get a hair up their nose. They don’t: it’s a specific political decision BY the reckless, the powerful, the financiers to GUARANTEE they will win every bet, and later when it collapses, to buy up all your assets at 10c on the dollar in the crisis THEY created. Welcome to Dante’s Icy Inferno, where once you allow fake money, and unjust weights and measures, all corruption up to and through Mr. Epstein follows. Solution? You can only know it’s happening and play it as you can, because once started, all consequences – the bubble and collapse — are now inevitable, and very, very profitable. I will publically say this, and oppose them, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stand on street corners waiting to be mugged. You can make the same money they do on the same laws they put in motion, and use most of the same tax loopholes. Since they wrote the laws, you are now required to, or lose everything.

  107. John–

    All sides have their respective spin-machines revved up now in the wake of the Mueller hearings, but it seems to me that it came off as a non-event over-all. Certainly, Mueller’s star has fallen within the Democratic cosmos: the some of the comments I’ve read are, shall we say, less than complementary.

    My sense is that the Dems have squandered a lot of time, effort, and political capital with yet another whiff. What is your take?

    And the internal squabble for the nomination is starting to heat up. It looks like Biden is hitting back.

    Your suggestion of the self-defeating circular firing squad is looking more probable, though we are a ways out still. It is possible that the Democrats suddenly realize that they’ve learned all the wrong lessons from 2016 and correct their course. Not holding my breath, however. I’m still thinking we’re looking at a Biden/Harris ticket come next summer, but we’ll see.

  108. Hello!

    On this blog you have offered us astrological readings on US and British politics with notable success. I must admit that I was quite a sceptic on the matter. Your readings have cast doubt on my initial position.
    Your successes would mean that there is something to astrology.

    Yet several scientific studies do not seem to validate astrology. Assuming these studies were done correctly from a statistical point of view, why is it that there is so much variance between what astrologers do and what science says? Surely if astrology is valid, then it must be valid for all and scientific studies should have uncovered a substantial effect by now?

    Now I am not trying to undermine your work given that you have made valid readings. I am only trying to understand why statistical studies can’t seem to validate astrology. what is really happening there?

    Many thanks!

  109. Nastarana:

    I was going to launch into a long response to your comment about the not-so-Fab-Four in congress, but I agree with JMG: by making the congresswomen, who are long on righteousness and fervor but quite short on actual knowledge and experience, the face of the Democratic party, he is making it harder for Dems to focus on their message and instead forcing them to spend their time answering for or defending the Squad. The ladies are not shy about supplying ample ammunition, either by running their mouths (‘we’re going to impeach the motherf***er’) or by proposing policies that are poorly thought out and/or devastatingly expensive (Green New Deal). It’s not as if Trump has to break a sweat looking for stuff.


    I’ve heard some rumblings about a recession on National Public Radio (NPR) recently and it seems to boil down to ‘this period of growth is entering its Xth year, which is far longer than any other in recent history, so we’re worried that there will be a recession, which always happens after Y years of growth’, but nobody seems to think it will be this year. The Smart People say 2020 or 2021, but maybe they’re just guessing too.

  110. Greetings JMG and fellow Commentariat:

    As the ‘Crisis at the Border’ has been is so many discussions, on people’s minds so much recently. I thought it might be helpful to do a weeeeee bit of research into what led to this crisis; for my own edification at least and hopefully for others. Since most if not all of the people in the Caravans are said to be coming from Honduras, I’ve focused my search there – what happened to engender these fairly recent unprecedented WAVES of people fleeing for their lives?

    I was only casually aware of the USA and CIA involvement (a.k.a. meddling) in many South and Central American countries’ economics and politics for the benefit of US corporations, most infamously The United Fruit Company, (as well as regime changes including assassinations in places like Chile and Panama, propping up dictators across many Latin American countries in a bid to rout out communism, etc….. But much of that did not happen in Honduras and anyway – that was waaaaay back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. That couldn’t be related to Honduras’ current troubles, could it?

    Apparently it could. The Hegemony of the USA has not really abated in Honduras (or many other Latin American countries). The USA still exerts behind the scenes power and control of many. Honduras has a long, depressingly consistent history of turbulence; of coups, corrupt dictators, ‘outsourcing’ resources, poverty. In fact Honduras was THE satellite state for which the term “Banana Republic’ was coined. You get the picture, no need to fill in the century since the collapse of the Mayan empire or the decades since the heyday of The United Fruit Company to the present. It’s pretty much the same, only the names have changed.

    Most recently, what started the recent Caravans -1) the CIA and DEA in coordination with local Colombian law enforcement were successful in stamping out Pablo Escobar and his highly organised crime syndicate in containing and ending much of the destruction and damage in Colombia. Because of ongoing corruption, Honduras became the go to for cocaine production and traffickers and of course with them came the carnage and chaos. Honduras is currently the murder capital of the world. They came to Honduras as their ‘home base’ of operations because 2) Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, in the early 2010’s was fairly successful in cracking down on the drug trade or at least centres and it’s concomitant and crime in Mexico, (PROBABLY also with the help of the CIA and DEA), 1) The Obama Administration has since 2013 been stepping UP funding and aid to stabilise Honduras’ current Corrupt Dictator, err….President, Juan Orlando Hernandez , which secured his position, enabled his corruption and subsequently opened the floodgates to drug cartels. Additionally, Hernandez Govt. is known for death squads, reminiscent of Pinochet’s, rounding up and ‘disappearing’ political opponents and any hapless peasants who may get in the way or oppose the plunder of natural resources. 4) Somewhere around 80% of the drugs end up on the streets of the USA, El Norte is THE market being supplied.

    So, it’s never been great, It’s been the murder capital of the world for decades, but the carnage and corruption have been stepped up 100-fold since Obama stepped up support for Hernandez, increasingly from 2013 to 2016. Unfortunately, the USA has a lot to do with their problems.

    I googled: “Why IS Honduras such a mess?”

  111. @Irena, although the greatest apparent contrast is that Rand was a nihilistic Atheist, the two are not far apart at all. Christianity requires people to be brave and not “Slothful” which is a deadly sin more akin to depression and despair than today’s meaning of laziness. St. Paul said, and did, require people to carry their own way, that is to be as productive as possible, even by preachers making tents. How is that different from Rand saying people should try to be upright, work hard on their dreams, and not just suck off of others? The difference, of course, is that Christianity still requires charity, but like Rand that charity MUST BE STRICTLY VOLUNTARY and not made by violent force, particularly government’s. That Charity must also be intelligent, and therefore is NOT to your lazy brother-in-law who doesn’t _feel_ like working, just ‘cause, because giving him free money would not be good for his character or his life. Giving money to frauds is only promoting more frauds and more laziness instead of engendering him to be all we know he can be, and once successful, a help to others through his own work. Then everyone becomes ever-more and not less.

    In practice, the Rand-soft Conservatives are indeed the largest givers to charity, but being voluntary gifts and non-government, they can also go to their offices and extract real accountability from them. The Left which cares so much gives far less to charity, which is embarrassing. I believe this is because, as Scrooge said, “Are there no workhouses for the poor?”, that is, “it’s the government’s job to fix it, and I pay them enough already.” Which is perfectly reasonable, except that government is notorious for helping people badly, and in annoying, inefficient ways, as well as that the Rand-soft Conservatives ALSO pay that tax, that program they didn’t want and don’t support, and are STILL provably willing to help charity more. So yes/no? I wouldn’t dive into Calvinism, especially since it’s a small unmatching subset of Christianity/Charity, the answer is much easier. Giving voluntarily and intelligently is more practical, and historically gives better results, as you can tell by following any government program, (War on Poverty anyone?) but to do so, you yourself must have surplus wealth and profits. Under today’s ethos, that surplus – the definition of “capitalism” as that surplus is “capital” — itself makes you evil despite that no charity can happen without the hard work and surplus existing FIRST.

    @Anon, yes a definite recession, and the economy or employment was never much recovered, real unemployment is probably 18% all along (and maybe 12% with 10% inflation since 2001), but it can hold off a bit and especially run up the stock market – Banana Republics can often hide inflation and a crashing economy in a rocketing stock market, and we’re no different. However, as the core currency we may come down LAST.

    @ Nicholas, Thank God we’re in the airy Age of Aquarius for the Night of the Long Tweets (wireless air and communication) seems pleasant indeed compared to its Piscean equivalent, and despite much screeching to the contrary, that seems to be the new way. Words are not violence, and I can ignore them if I want to.

  112. Thanks to all who have commented on the Denninger rant.

    But I thought that industrialization has contributed quite a substantial proportion of the increase in atmospheric carbon, not just 3 percent or so, as he claims. If I remember correctly, wasn’t the level 300 parts per million prior to industrialization, but it is now well over 400 parts per million? That is at least an order-of-magnitude higher than Denninger claims.

    What am I missing here?

  113. JMG,

    I seem to recall that you did a post on The Archdruid Report called Dark Age America: The Horde of the Nibelungs that seemed to talk about barter relationships as long term, stable economic exchanges rather than one off negotiations. Am I miss-understanding/remembering this? Do you have any more sources for information on barter as a long term relationship? The idea blinked into my head the other day so I wanted to follow up on it.

  114. @Violet – I’m sorry to hear you had such an awful day, (or it sounds like a bit longer period?) Hopefully it was a blip, a wrinkle in the fabric of life and the energy will improve.

    I, oddly enough had just the opposite! There has definitely been a feeling of dread, like something is wrong, something potentially big, but Idon’tknowwhat. Maybe just because it’s been raining non-stop for almost a week? I’ve noticed neighbours and strangers I am interacting with being so much more friendly, courteous, helpful and extending themselves to me and each other. I do feel I’m not the only one feeling this weird dread and people are reacting to that. I, m’self, TRY to do that on the daily, just because it makes me feel better, but I don’t always succeed, especially in going out of my way to be helpful as it usually reveals itself to be too FAAAAAR out of my way. In the last few days, I’ve caught a few ‘helps’ that were within my grasp, so I took them, er, gave them. I rarely notice strangers doing it, but I’ve not been the only one recently, or so I just noticed. 🙂

  115. Hi John

    A while back on MM’s I asked you about the use of the pentagram in GD ritual. It was comforting to learn that it goes back to the it happens, I’m a musician and teacher (guess my Hellenic patron deity) and have created a graphics based system of teaching theory concepts that is, essentially, geometric in nature.
    My working title for the method is “Music theory as if Pythagoras mattered”….*ahem*, but I digress.

    1) So, the ex-Catholic in me is still wondering how the heck this symbol got hijacked into being a pop culture logo for “devil-worship”? I get the historical deal with anything non-Christian being designated as evilly evil evilness and all – but then what’s with the inverted pentagram and its association with (horned) Pan and, further to that, Pan’s association with Lucifer/ Satan. Can you untangle any of this for me at all?

    2) I was in Rome once, taking in the ruins of my ancestors, and happened upon the base of a stone pillar carved with the image of a snake coiled around a tree. It was dated around 100 AD – Hadrians reign, I think. I found myself wondering how a symbol from a Jewish myth had found itself featuring on pagan architecture, after Jerusalem itself had been razed by said empire, and before said empire had adopted Christianity as the state religion. Any illumination available on that particular curiosity?

    Also, on a related track and just generally having a rant – I find it plain weird how the early Christian church founders thought it would be a good idea to append the Gospels (substantially redacted, in terms of contributing authors) to the existing Jewish religious texts.

    I have always seen this as counter-productive to the Christian message (yes, the stuff Jesus is said to have actually said), something particularly evident in todays seemingly blind devotion to Mammon and Molloch, so blatantly practiced in many evangelical circles, as you mention above.

    3) I tend to think that if the early Christian fathers had collected the writings of ALL of the disciples, and treated them more like the revolutionary way of looking at the ‘World’ that they were intended to be – without the complication of trying to maintain some kind of ‘pedigree’ with ancient writings and returning messiahs – things may have turned out differently. Any thoughts on this?

    Many thanks, as always, for your indulgence.

  116. Hi JMG,

    Yes, I have come to view one of the benefits of mythology is the inherent flexibility of interpretation. Two people may have completely different–and valid–readings of the same material, and I would also guess that a sign of a really effective mythology is whether it holds up over time as the environment around it changes.

    One issue I have been wrestling with is that our society can’t seem to articulate the value in mythology, so it leaves many people in an awkward position. Humans think and organize information in narrative form, but anything resembling a mythological story is either treated as a silly children’s stories, or incorrect historical accounts.

    I grew up in an American Protestant environment, and never received explicit direction on interpreting bible stories in a metaphorical sense. Instead, the stories were presented as miraculous truths that people were expected to take on faith, or comfortable routines that were repeated just for the sake of tradition that no one believed any more. Looking back, it seems like an incredible institutional failure.

    I still can’t really get my head around how we came to the point where most people are not able to think symbolically. I also have a sense that because I came out of that environment, I might be missing some obvious messages because I might be missing some interpretational tools that were a given in previous eras. I’m curious what you think about that.

  117. To JMG and all. I read Zero Hedge and Karl Denninger too. On ZH, there a lot of apocalyptic stories & comments about how the world is heading toward a totalitarian electronic surveillance state. It seems like we are already there. How is such a system going to continue in a declining energy situation? I think that the governments of the world are going to have a lot less control of us peons, and they know it. A fading energy supply should lead to less of everything, including travel, the internet, even electronic spying. I think that is why the governments and media are now going all out to try to brainwash everyone into compliance in a collectivist mindset.

  118. @Irena

    I grew up in a Calvinist church, and attended Calvinist schools for much of my education. They made sure we had a good grounding in Calvinist theology, such as it is. I can see where you’re coming from, but that is not the sense I got of it, from ground level.

    In practice, most people who attend Calvinist churches are basic, generic, MTD (Moralistic Therapeutic Deist) Protestants. There is a general sense that the theology is important, and that we should all familiarize ourselves with the Westminster Confession… But I seriously doubt most Calvinists give much thought to what’s in that book, once they’ve looked over it and been sworn in as members. There’s a general sense that Jesus wants us to be nice and do good. And from a theological perspective, for the vast majority of US Protestants both Calvinist and not, salvation is about checking the “belief” checkboxes: i.e. if you affirm this particular checklist of beliefs, you’re saved. There is a sense that other people will know that you’re saved by the good works you do, but because WE’RE NOT HYPOCRITES LIKE THOSE CATHOLICS, works are not necessary to be saved. After all, Christ told that thief on the cross that he’d be with Him in paradise, right? “We’re not saved by works” and all.

    My personal take on Calvinism (obviously not shared by most Calvinists) is that it’s very much a religion of timid materialism. Calvinism is made exceedingly nervous by the idea of an infinite, omniscient, omnipotent God. They pay lip service to it, of course, but then work hard to define every aspect of the Godhead– to pin it to a dissection board and neatly label all the parts. Nothing is left to the Infinite Mystery. It’s ALL explained, and a regular person, with bit of study, can learn everything there is to know about Calvinist theology. That way, you don’t have to be scared by how big, how limitless, how intense, God is. It is intellectual religion as opposed to experiential religion. You can believe that miracles are a thing that only happened in the past, and rightly expect matter to behave in predictable ways. You needn’t worry about inconvenient mystical experiences. God doesn’t need to do that stuff, and it’s probably all Catholic humbug and chicanery. Basically, if you want to belong to a church, but you don’t want to have to buy into all that low-class superstitious stuff about miracles, continuing/personal revelation (i.e. God talking to people directly), mystical experiences, the magical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and other inconvenient/embarrassing aspects of religion, Calvinism is for you! If you’re afraid of an infinite God, and need to shrink Him down to a manageable size: Calvinism! If you need a church service that is neat, orderly, and never has any surprises for you: Calvinism! It’s clean, sanitary, lecture-hall Christianity.

    If there is a connection with Objectivism, it’s the desire for things to be completely rational and explicable. But like I said, in practice, your average Presbyterian church is mostly interchangeable with other middle-class Protestant churches: get together, sing some hymns, listen to a lecture, think good thoughts about being good, and socialize with other people of your class. You won’t see an Objectivist streak in the actual pews, IMO.

  119. Continuing last week’s discussion on uses for nuclear waste, I’ve been browsing through the Open University book Energy Systems and Sustainability and found another. Spent light water reactor fuel can be used directly in a CANDU reactor without reprocessing. The name comes from ‘Canadian-deuterium-uranium’ but also refers to the reactor’s can-do attitude: it runs on material other reactors wouldn’t even consider fuel. Using all spent fuel this way would make the uranium stretch about 30% further, although the fuel rods would need to be refabricated, which is a notorious pain.

  120. John–

    Re Mueller, impeachment, etc.

    Just a quick follow-on to my previous comment and question. I’m starting to see a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth in some of the PW comment threads re the continued inaction on impeachment and the restrictions of our system of governance that prevent the swift removal of The Great Orange Julius from office. The steadier heads point out that removal was never a possibility and that winning in Nov of 2020 is the only practical course, but that advice doesn’t seem to be well-received by many. (And half the commenters in the threads are being accused of being Russian plants by the other half of the commenters. I need more popcorn.)

  121. Dear Barefootwisdom,

    That makes sense of about Mercury rx. The thing is, I’ve been tracking the movements of the stars and hadn’t seen anything like that day in that town. Luckily things seem to have relaxed. I so look forward to your email!

  122. Dear Candace,

    That could be it. As noted above in my response to Barefootwisdom, the events of that day were unique, even singular. It really seemed as if the town had gone mad. For a large portion of the day I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was acting in a theatrical production, and that I was playing the “trickster” character. It was really, really bizarre and seemed “scripted” in an uncanny way. It felt artificial rather than natural in the flow of events. I felt like I was inside a Spike Lee film about rich people in a boring suburb. Luckily, the strangeness has passed.

  123. Hello JMG,

    One Seattle related data point:

    On 4th of July long weekend I flew into SeaTac for a cousin’s wedding. SeaTac has about same passenger volume as the airports in Chengdu, China and Toronto, Canada both of which I’ve been in several times in the past 6 months (sadly I travel way to much for my job). SeaTac is noticeably older and run-down in comparison (especially compared to Chengdu) and while SeaTac is quite large it seems very aged and dated. There’s some discussion on the internet about upgrades and improvements but those are some old bones that are getting upgraded. Surprising to me considering all the wealth in the Sea-Tac corridor and the general cost-of-living of being in the PNW per my cousin.

    One reply to a previous comment a few weeks ago about how that person thought they’d have easier time living in Phoenix than Minneapolis in a low tech world:

    I couldn’t disagree more and I do not live in Minneapolis but similar weather in a city of ~1 million people. I have worked in Northern Quebec in February and Shanghai in August and I’d say 2 weeks of below -40C is possibly survivable in a low tech world (the Inuit certainly did for a long time!). Whereas two weeks of 40C and high humidity is not survivable (for me at least) in a low tech world.

    Cooling down is much more difficult than warming up because above 38C outside and all you have to cool down is the enthalpy of evaporation of water from the sweat you give off. In humid climates it’s hard to sweat enough even with a fan. Cooling in high humidity environments requires AC, which needs a refrigerant (working fluid), compressors, electrical power, metal tubing designed for pressure service, competent service reps, etc.

    Woodstoves requires some steel and something that’ll burn. In fact on some Native Reserves I’ve even seen just holes cut in the roof of their public housing and a fire running in the ‘living room’ from scrap wood on some blocks. Also having camped in the winter you can just keep bundling up until you’re warm. You might not be able to move much but you’ve still got the ability to put off 250Watts or so as long as you’ve got some food in you. Warm drinks really help. YMMV …

  124. JMG, I typed “Cthulhu” into the new phone. It guessed the name!

    The stars are right! 👀

  125. Ben, interesting. It’ll be interesting to see how it does.

    Tim, my take is that here in the US we’re already in the early phases of warband formation — the “drug cartels” astride the US-Mexican border are fine examples of proto-warbands, for example. You”d have to examine the European periphery much more closely than I have to determine the status of warband formation there.

    Lacking, I’ve seen similar books. It might be interesting to make a collection of such predictions and giggle at the flops!

    Steve, hah! That would certainly fit the Uranian imagery of the sign, since the Great Old Ones came from the stars…

    Sleiszadam, 1) My sense is that democracy, at least on a local scale, harmonizes well with the energies of the American land and will make a functional system to bridge the long interval between now and the predicted rise of an American great culture in the 26th century or so. In the heartlands of Faustian culture, if Spengler is right, its day is almost done — though we’ve still got waves of populism ahead. 2) That’s not my interpretation at all. Macron et al. are perfect examples of the plutocracy masquerading as democracy Spengler talked about, and will be swept away in due time by another wave of European Caesarism — of which Trump and Brexit are foreshocks.

    Crow Hill, that still doesn’t address the distinction between natural and prophetic religions I made. Did you miss my explanation of that distinction?

    Greenorwegian, thank you for this! I’m glad to hear that there are people in Norway receptive to the message.

    Karim, R.J. Stewart has written about it — his book The UnderWorld Initiation has some useful material on the subject.

    Jessica, thanks for this! Yeah, that sounds about right.

    Booklover, my working guess is that the next round of civilizations will spend their entire existence scrambling to cope with the mess we leave behind; it’ll be the next one that has the leisure to really clean things up. As for BoJo and the populist Right generally, it’s been a source of quite some fascination to me to watch the right suddenly sprout a wicked sense of humor and figure out how to do things, while the left falls into this weirdly robotic routine where it lurches through slogans and gestures that don’t work any more. It’s really quite odd.

    David BTL, it’s yet another flop on the part of the Dems. They’ve become obsessed with the notion that they have to defeat Trump while avoiding the one thing that could actually defeat Trump — that is, finding out what the majority of US voters want, and giving them that — and it’s going to cost them in blood.

    Karim, it’s quite simple. The scientific studies that don’t validate astrology were done by people who (a) didn’t know much about astrology and (b) wanted to disprove it, and so the studies are a mess. You might look up Michel Gauquelin’s statistical studies, which appear to show statistically significant effects for certain astrological placements.

    Caryn, of course; US control over its “near abroad” has been central to this nation’s status as a major power since the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine in the 1830s. It’s an ugly game — political power always is — and a bipartisan one. One of the things that turned a lot of people against Hillary Clinton, as you may know, was her role as Obama’s point person in overthrowing the Honduran government and launching yet another wave of repression in that long-suffering country. That said, there are better ways of improving conditions in Honduras than bringing a large fraction of its population here to serve as indentured labor for the privileged…

    Nestorian, I suspect that’s another place where Denninger is quoting inaccurate stats.

    Truly, what I talked about in that post was feudal and protofeudal relationships rather than barter. On the other hand, there’s a lot of literature on barter; it’s been a long time since I’ve surveyed it, but you ought to have an easy time finding some.

    Ric, yep. “Absurd” is the term that came to my mind…

  126. Dear Kimberly,

    Thanks for this, sadly I’ve noticed similar thing with bratty children and parents here. What’s bizarre is that I’ve noticed many public spaces here getting intensely miasmic. Like the inside of libraries — places I until recently considered to be joyous and bright — now seem like they’ve been sprayed with blood or something. I really have no way to describe it other than hellish.

    Dear Booklover,

    No doubt! It seems worth putting in the effort to work on meeting my needs in a healthy way, though.

    Dear Tripp,

    That’s a major reason that I cut nearly all of my ties with my old friends. I really don’t care about Trump, and don’t find him that interesting, novel, great, bad or whatever. I just do not care. What does worry me is the horrific miasma and demonic influence. My sense is that mere politics won’t be able to solve these dire spiritual problems.

    Dear Dusk Shine,

    I’ve had similar experiences. I’m not sure how to “be well” surrounded by so much sickness, corruption and decay. Many things in my life have literally been breaking and the vibes are so bad. It’s good to know that I’m “not alone” and for that I thank you.

    Dear Caryn,

    Delighted to hear it! Interestingly, I’ve noticed that working class folks are very nice to me, so maybe it’s just rich folks who are losing their minds. Again, glad to hear that people are acting kindly in your neck of the woods.

  127. Eugene Odum’s work on ecosystem ecology, Stephen Wolfram’s “new kind of science,” Rupert Sheldrake’s studies of morphogenetic fields, and the whole tradition of morphological science that extends from Goethe’s scientific work through German naturphilosophie to late 20th century systems theory, look like very likely raw materials for a future ecosophical synthesis from where I stand.

    Have you ever come across the work of Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)? A towering polymath genius in the Goetheian tradition. Search for Haeckel drawings and check out some of his extraordinary art. He surely deserves a place as a forefather in the emerging ecosophical synthesis.

  128. While I’m interrupting, I thought I’d share a small observation my wife and I made while traveling recently.

    JMG has been pointing out probably since the beginning of the old Archdruid Report site that certain poor areas of Miami routinely flood at high tide whenever there is an off-shore breeze. Other than a single 30-second blurb on a local news show, I’ve seen zero mention of this even in the Florida media.

    However; a heavy rain puts a couple inches of water on the streets of New York City and it’s the end of the world. Every hotel we stayed in had the Weather Chanel on in the morning, and it was just one segment after another about those poor New Yorkers dealing with all that flooding. It’s the end of the world! I… I think I can hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen!

    I realize that some of us are more equal than the rest, but boy do the pigs in pants get their tails in a twist when any little thing happens to them.

  129. Tony_A, 1) what happened with the pentagram is that back in the 1850s, Eliphas Levi — a devout if quirky Catholic, btw — published several very influential books on magic in which he used the upright pentagram as an emblem of positive magic and the inverted pentagram as an emblem of negative magic. That started the process, by making people think of the pentagram as explicitly magical, and pop-culture Wicca finished the process by taking the pentagram as its emblem; Christians looking to tar Wicca with a Satanist brush took to insisting that every pentagram everywhere is a symbol of devil worship. (I get the impression none of them ever looked at the stars on the US flag.) 2) That was a symbol in many different Pagan traditions long before Judaism, much less Christianity. 3) Remember that the Bible as we have it now was assembled by a committee under the supervision of the Roman state. The goal wasn’t to pass on a revolutionary way of looking at the world, it was to establish a set of scriptures that everyone could be commanded to accept on pain of death, as an instrument of imperial politics. Christianity has never really recovered from that.

    Samurai_47, the struggle to impose what Blake called “single vision” — a purely literal way of understanding the world, stripped of all symbolism, poetry, and magic — has been a major theme in our culture for around five centuries now, and it’s caused enormous human (and other) suffering. One of the things occultists have been trying to do for a very long time now is find ways to roll that back and teach people to see the world in a richer way.

    Dana, my take is that Zero Hedge is barking at shadows; the supposed collectivist totalitarianism they yell about all the time is a figment of their own imaginations, backed up with cherrypicked data in the usual fashion. You’re quite right that the “surveillance state” depends on steady supplies of energy and resources we can’t count on; it also depends on a degree of competence no human society has ever managed to achieve for more than a short time.

    Yorkshire, and as I recall, the CANDU reactors are, like every other nuclear reactor ever built, plagued with huge cost overruns and technical snafus.

    David BTL, I think they know perfectly well that they’re going to lose, and lose big, in 2020, thus the frantic attempts to insist they can get rid of Trump by extraelectoral means. Yean, it calls for lots of popcorn.

    Stuart, Seattle is a dump. It’s been a dump for years. I recall returning from Britain in 2003 and being struck not only by how rundown and dilapidated Sea-Tac was, but by how rundown and dilapidated Seattle was in general. I grew up there, when it was a pleasant, low-key regional hub with plenty of amenities. By the time my wife and I left in 2004, it was an overpriced roach-infested mess, and by all accounts it’s gotten worse since then.

    Your Kittenship, if people all over the place start having dreams of a city rising out of the sea, I’ll know what to think…

  130. Jackfruit Druid, no surprises there. The entire US economy these days runs on unpayable IOUs, with the US government the #1 Ponzi scheme of all; it’ll be interesting, in the apocryphal Chinese sense, to see how long they can keep that going.

    Jim W, Haeckel was one of the big names in the German Naturphilosophie movement I mentioned, so he’d definitely be someone to look at.

    Ric, true enough!

  131. John–

    Re flopping Dems and giving voters what they want

    I think the most significant challenge for the Democrats–at least from what I see in my very unscientific surveying of leftward discussion threads–is that they are fully convinced that they already have what a majority of voters want (after all, HRC *did* win the popular vote in 2016 and the party retook the House in 2018, as they constantly remind everyone), but because we aren’t a Real Democracy (TM), the fate of the country (nay, the fate of human civilization itself), lay in the unworthy and undependable hands of a few Midwestern states (*cough* Wisconsin *cough*) who have already demonstrated their lack of commitment to All Things Good. The voters (or, more accurately *those* voters) don’t properly understand what is needed, obviously.

    At least the party saw fit to hold its convention in Milwaukee, so it isn’t completely foolish, but I think the focus there is more to boost the urban and minority vote which notably stayed home three years ago.

    But, yes, it appears that the party will need to lose again before the necessary reformation can take place. David the engineer laments the waste of time, effort, and resources. David the local politician, however, understands the lay of the land and the nature of the process of change. Given the likely nominee, I will probably be doing my part to make that loss happen come next November.

  132. JMG responded to Maxine: “Manly P. Hall’s label is simply a recognition that for many people, losing common ground with friends and family members who aren’t on the Path can be distressing.”

    In my admittedly limited experience on the Path I have also noticed a drifting away from certain friends and family, but most of those folks have just shifted from sorta icky to noticeably icky during that time, from my changing perspective. I find I’m getting closer to lots of other people though, people who, like JMG said, are on some sort of spiritual path, or even people who are currently willing major lifestyle changes into being; where I live, and with the family I have, that means a lot of Christians.

    So that’s new for me…and so far, I haven’t fielded any requests for a detailed explanation of my beliefs. Maybe they are good at seeing, or sensing, a cleaner, brighter aura too? And that’s good enough for them?

    Oddly enough, I find I’m enjoying the feeling of being hungry lately too…that’s also new.

    Cheers, y’all.

  133. Re the Muller hearings:

    The general take on Muller himself is that he looked embarrassingly senile throughout the hearings.

    However, I just read a contrarian take somewhere (I think it was in a comment somewhere on Zero Hedge – doesn’t really matter) that the senile-schtick was just an act on Muller’s part to try to best position himself to endure possible pending criminal charges in view of the fraudulent nature of the dossier on which his whole investigation was based.


  134. Johnson Derangement Syndrome is hilarious…I think Trumpy’s badly afflicted with that one!

  135. Hi Jessica, JMG and all,
    saw that bit of news about the silver surfer guy falling into the Channel as well and immedately thought: to make it perfect they should play this song (or should I say hymn?) with the video:
    Meanwhile, here in Germany the old all time highest temperature (40.5 °C, from yesterday) has been surpassed by the new all time highest temperature from today (42.6°C). Now that´s what I call progress!
    Sorry about the little rant, but it´s hard to keep cool (pun intended) in these circumstances. We´ve just had the hottest June here and pretty much worldwide, the trees here are still reeling from last year´s drought and I worry about the ones I´ve planted. And most people really don´t seem to care, and that I sometimes find hard to stomach.

  136. Dear JMG,

    thank you for the answers!

    You said: “That’s not my interpretation at all. Macron et al. are perfect examples of the plutocracy masquerading as democracy Spengler talked about, and will be swept away in due time by another wave of European Caesarism — of which Trump and Brexit are foreshocks.”

    I don’t argue with this. My main point is that the timing of the process in Britain, France, Germany, etc. is different from the periphery. Countries on the outer edge of the West such as Italy, the US or Hungary (my homeland) are easier for populists to overtake. I think this is explained by the fact that pseudomorphosis doesn’t reach the deeper layers of society. (I am certainly seeing this around me.) My guess is that Macron & co will be successful in further centralization and mechanization of civil life before their time is up.

    About the locally democratic communities in America, that is the choice of your people, of course. The thing is that I don’t feel that spirit around me. Hungarians are generally quite distrustful of civil institutions, especially representative and party politics. The direct transition into some form of feudalism seems more likely. The only missing thing is an organic local leadership (nobility) in place of the imitator elite in its fanatic (wannabe-Progressive) or nihilist (wannabe-Conservative) varieties… But that absence might be too much in itself.

  137. @Tony_A

    > I found myself wondering how a symbol from a Jewish myth had found itself featuring on pagan architecture, after Jerusalem itself had been razed by said empire, and before said empire had adopted Christianity as the state religion. Any illumination available on that particular curiosity?

    Well, simply, the snake is not particularly tied to that Jewish myth. It’s a universal mythological symbol, much older than the Jewish civilization, part of the collective unconscious, whether on a tree or in other forms — including in connection to apples.

    In Greek mythology, for example, and probably where Romans at the time adopted it, Ladon is a snake figure coiled around the tree of the golden apples (one of “Hercules’ labors” — a set of epic tasks that he was assigned to do — was to steal said apples).

  138. Hi Violet,

    I don’t know your age, but have you had your eyes checked? Cataracts can make things look dark like that.

    If that’s not it , you might need to find a priest whose bishop will allow exorcisms if needed. I have read that such bishops aren’t as hard to find in the U. S. as they used to be. (There’s a book called “Hostage To The Devil,” by Malachi Martin, purporting to be the true story of 5 mid-twentieth century exorcisms. Martin fooled a lot of people. As a Roman Catholic myself, I knew it was all fictional bull-fooftawoo. In the mid-twentieth century, it would have been hard to find 5 U.S. bishops who believed in God, let alone Satan.)

    Clergy of other religions also do exorcisms but I don’t know how to find a non-Christian exorcist, or if they can serve persons not of their faith. I bet our Archdruid knows!

  139. @ Caryn

    Re US meddling in Central America and elsewhere

    It is a bit dated (published, I believe, in 1980), but William Appleman Williams’ Empire as a Way of Life provides a nice chronicling of US imperial activity up to the date of its publication.

    We in the US have a whole lot of karma build up that must be worked through on this back-slope of empire. It ain’t gonna be fun.

  140. Re; “The Age of Aquarius” (this is the dawning of…. ) just WHAT sign is famous for these qualities? “Harmony and understanding,sympathy and love abounding….” .. sounds pretty watery to me. Seem fishy to you?

  141. Dear Jonathan Simkins,

    Your post is at the very top, and I’m going to reply without scrolling through all the other comments to find out what others have said (because I don’t know whether I’ll have time to reply later).

    I happen to be working right now on a marriage ceremony for a couple, one of whom is Jewish. It is going to be based on a form of the Jewish marriage ceremony, in English and with some Wiccan influence. The objective is to create a ceremony that all the guests, regardless of their religious or non-religious background, can relate to, while including the basic elements of a Jewish marriage ceremony.

    I’ve participated in some Jewish wedding ceremonies of a liberal (non-Orthodox) type, but I needed to do additional research. If you want to know learn specific details of how and why Orthodox Jews do some ritual, there is a wealth of free information online. I have found the topic entries from Chabad to be consistently helpful. Chabad’s information comes from Orthodox Jews and is directed toward Jews who are either not very observant or not very well educated in Jewish lore, to encourage them to become more observant. Sometimes there are online essays or discussions by rabbis of various denominations that are also enlightening.

    For this occasion, I needed to go into more depth. The place where I live has enough Jews to support two museums and a couple of good Judaica shops. Jews like to write books, and there are a lot of books written for Jews about how to do Jewish weddings in contemporary or traditional ways or some combination. I went to my favorite shop, Afikomen in Berkeley, California, and asked the woman working there, who seems to be the owner, for advice on which book to choose. Afikomen has a fantastic collection of books for sale. She started pulling out books, and the one she suggested first is by Anita Diamant. The title is The Jewish Wedding Now. It includes spiritual preparations for the ceremony, what the basic elements of the ceremony are, and both traditional and alternative prayers, blessings and readings in Hebrew and English. The limitation of this book for your purposes is that it assumes that the couple are both Jewish and that the ceremony will be officiated by a rabbi. Jewish law does not require that a Jewish wedding be officiated by a rabbi, it’s only customary.

    You would probably also want to look up information about wedding ceremonies for couples who are not both Jewish. Mixed marriages have become very common, so I expect there is a lot of information online and in print about that.

    I would like to offer a personal opinion about your project. From what I’ve read and my personal experience, there are five or six core elements to a Jewish wedding ceremony. Some of them are generic enough that I see no harm in adapting them for use in a ritual by and for non-Jews. For example, a valid Jewish marriage requires witnesses. So do secular marriage ceremonies. A Jewish wedding ceremony includes blessings, traditionally seven of them. The Talmudic blessings are based on Jewish theology and directed toward Jews. Having blessings in a wedding ceremony is a good idea, and you can write your own or adapt them from any religious tradition that appeals to you (which is what I’m doing). The chuppah (marriage canopy) is specifically Jewish, but it symbolizes the home that the couple will establish, and the open sides of the chuppah symbolize hospitality. I have read that chuppahs are becoming popular among Gentiles, and I don’t see any harm in that.

    There are other elements in a Jewish marriage ceremony that I do not think should be used by people who do not have a deep understanding of the culture from which they come. Mixing together practices from different religions on the basis of surface appeal can lead to a spiritually and magically incoherent ritual if the symbolism underlying the various elements clashes.

    The particular practice I am thinking of is the breaking of the glass. If neither the officiant or either member of the couple is Jewish, I would not do this. It’s cultural appropriation.

  142. The traditional Catholic view was that “outside the [Catholic] Church, there is no salvation,” and “it is absolutely necessary for salvation to be subject to the Roman pontiff.” Now, it is doubtful that most Catholic priests, bishops, or even the pope himself really believe this anymore. However, the old rules are still on the books, so to speak.

    Mr. Greer, you have suggested in the past that Christ seems far less judgmental than his followers. Do you think this Christ is the same being who walked the streets of 1st century Palestine as a man? If so, do you think the more, shall we say “hellish” statements attributed to him were either made up by his followers or were the result of Christ’s own human limitations and upbringing?

    Living life as a devout Christian (and specifically a Catholic) and practicing Christian prayers and devotions seems to be of great spiritual benefit. However, who is this Christ? I have long held the Christian view that Christ is fully God and fully man, the second person of the Trinity. I understand a polytheist would have a different view, and I wonder what that would be?

    Thank you for reading my rambling post.

  143. JMG: Thank You for your reply. “…That said, there are better ways of improving conditions in Honduras than bringing a large fraction of its population here to serve as indentured labor for the privileged…”

    Oh no doubt. I agree, Yet here they are, like it or not. Our chickens have come home to roost.

  144. JMG
    I think I must be suffering a whiff of Boris Derangement Syndrome, or maybe it’s the unusual high and sticky temperature affecting us in the North of England just now.

    My attempt at allaying the symptoms by cutting all direct contact with any media, helps but does not get rid of it. Maybe I am just fed up with having another Old Etonian rule over us. The lot of them have not been spectacularly useful in the past. It might have helped if they had persuaded their friends and relatives to pay their not exactly onerous British taxes … but there you go.

    I daresay the game plan is for BJ to dare his own side to bring down his government, get to the end of October and crash out of the EU with ‘no-deal’ in a blaze of glory, then call a general election, crush the Farage/Brexit Party and get a solid majority for four years. He then calls Scotland and Eire bluff (and Northern Ireland) and carries on regardless in a ‘United Kingdom’.

    What happens economically I have no idea, but I bet a pound to a penny that continuing austerity, insecurity and for an increasing number, downright misery, will not change much among the less well-off half of the nation. Historical inevitability … maybe? Manufacturing is not big enough and is similar to the financial services 10% of British GDP. Financial services? … oh well.
    I got a brief relief from Craig Murray this morning, but then remembered we foolishly moved a few miles south of the Scottish Border 36 years ago. Still good luck to Craig, though his is a long shot.

    Phil H

  145. @Scotlyn re “Go back where you came from.” Cartoonists are already having a heyday with putting that in the mouths of Native Americans standing on the shores as the tall ships come in. I expect it to show up on a T-shirt (designed and made on the rez, one hopes) any day, to go with the “Fighting terrorism since 1492” one.

    Methylethyl – you should read John Barnes’ far-future novel “A Million Open Doors.” Basic situation: a young troubador from an Occitab-based colony (don’t ask) follows a friend and his own longing for adventure to a newly-instantly-accessible colony called New Caledonia. Its entire government/religion is based on a mixture of Calvinism, Randite macro-economics and its correlary, Ferengi (Trekkie reference) microeconomics. Much culture clash ensues. High point “You can’t always get what you want,” sung in dirge time, is a highly regarded Calvinist hymn.

  146. So, JMG, I have something that I’m a bit worried about that I’d like to get your opinion on. It seems like, more and more often, I’m hearing about “no-go” zones in countries where the police won’t cover crimes — like in Greece ( or Britain ( The reason I’m worried is because, a while ago, you talked about the rise of warbands in a declining empire. Do you think, like me, that these are the first stirrings of said warbands? And, if so, how long do you think it’ll take before the US equivalents (drug gangs, MS-13, and the like) get out of control?

  147. @Ric Frost: “Oh, but it’s Florida! Florida’s always getting that kind of weather!”

  148. Karim,
    I wonder how much of “what science says” (or “what science sees”) is framed within what is possible given its own metaphysical commitments – one of which is that events are repeatable and statistics are meaningful.

    If you cast your mind to yourself weighing up the pros and cons of making an important life decision – where and what to study, what work to do, who to enter into relationship with, etc, you will have done something unique and non-repeatable, and your specific relationship with your knowledge and skill, your work, and your beloved others will be completely irreplaceably by or to anyone else.

    And yet, somewhere, someone is trying to “model” your unique experience and connectedness to your life in a statistical way. They will be able to say that X% of your generation are married and Y% are marrying later than their parents did. They will be able to say that P% of your generation are now educated to third level, and that this represents an R% increase on your parents’ generation’s education achievements, and so on.

    Perhaps, if you remember that, in this example, you yourself, and your personal life choices, are the territory, and the statistical “model” is a map which may or may not be able to say something interesting about what you did, and why you did it.

    I think that astrology, and many other things in real life – for example healing – are actually not repeatable, and are therefore only poorly modelled by statistical methods.

    Statistics may be exactly as relevant in understanding such things as trying to learn to drive from a book, or learn how to communicate with your spouse from an etiquette manual.

  149. Master Druid,

    I recently forwarded Hitchens’ book, The God Delusion to my father, and I’d love to know your rebuttals for whatever in within. I couldn’t care less, as I’m a practicing Catholic, but I’d love to be armed with counter points not taken from the Christian perspective. Many thanks for all your work.

  150. JMG, a comment on dmitry orlov.

    I’ve been reading his blog occasionally and I must admit that the tone of his writing has begun to mildly resemble the way brin writes when he is angry.

    I think a lot of why we is acting like this is that the whole collapse this must remind him of how his Soviet homeland collapsed and perhaps he really doesn’t want to go through a repeat of his experience.

  151. I had to think and rethink before posting; it’s so cynical. I see the conventions shaping up for next year. Ted Nugent will play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Republican convention and the MC-5 will play “Kick out the Jams” at the Democratic convention. That’s the view from Michigan.

  152. It’s been entertaining in the extreme watching the Mueller circus. It’s even more entertaining as it sinks in that his weak performance effectively scuppered any chance of impeachment and is helping to pave the way for Trump’s reelection. When you have Michael Moore and any number of MSM talking heads admitting that Mueller blew it and blew it badly, you know the jig is nearly up.

    The latest buzz in the “lamestream media” is that Mueller said Trump can still be prosecuted for his alleged crimes after he leaves office as a sort of consolation prize. This brings a couple of interrelated thoughts to mind.

    1) When he leaves office in 2025, Trump will have fulfilled his historical mission as the Changer, as you discussed in your last post on the Kek Wars. Oswald Spengler related in the Decline of the West that Napoleon once said that he had a deep sense he was on a historical mission and that once that mission was completed, an atom would suffice to shatter him, but until then, nothing could stop him. The same could very well be true of Trump. As Spengler pointed out in the same work, the workings of Destiny and Incident are very mysterious indeed.

    2) Any attempt by the Democrats to prosecute Trump after he leaves office will almost certainly backfire for the same reason the Clinton impeachment fiasco blew up in the faces of the Republicans. This is because any such attempt will be seen as a blatantly partisan abuse of the legal system motivated by a desire for revenge and would generate widespread sympathy for Trump and as well as an angry backlash towards his persecutors, especially from the working class. Nothing would further the long-term cause of the populist conservative movement Trump kick-started than turning the Changer into a martyr after he leaves office.

  153. Re: CANDU nuclear reactors

    The CANDU reactors are expensive and very dangerous from the point of view of inherent risks and also for the nuclear proliferation.

    a) The design has, like the soviets RMBK types (Chernobyl), a positive void coefficient, so it can sustain a runaway reactions in the case of severe cooling problems.

    b) The design of the reactor is very intrincate and it is prone to SCC (Stress Corrosion Cracking) very difficult to detect due the geometry of the system, and depending of the form of the failure (if it is “guillotine” type) the LOCA (Loss of Coolant Accident) could be well “Beyond Design Basis” (meltdowns). This failure mode was not anticipated in the design (as usual) and this kind of failure is behind serious problem for example in Pont Lepreau and Pickering reactors

    c) The CANDU reactors allow to use natural uranium as fuel without previous costly and complex enrichment, that was the reason India, Pakistan, South Korea, Romania, etc… almost all the states that had nuclear weapons programs in the past wanted to have one of them. In fact the plutonium for the first indian nuclear bomb was extracted from the CIRUS-CANDU reactor, and Pakistan, of course use the KANUPP also as a source.

    d) CANDU can use fuel from others reactors, theoretically it can produce less volume of waste, but it is very risky and expensive process and I do not know of any reactor using spent fuel from others; as far as I know all of them use natural uranium which become more contaminated waste. People are studying to use the CANDU waste in fast reactors

    e) The temperatures in the reactors are lower compared with other designs so the thermal efficiency is lower

    Outside Canada only a few countries have installed CANDU and almost all of them for some kind of nuclear weapons program or “safeguard” for the future, which is the main advantage of CANDU, Ok well and in Canada because is canadian


  154. @JMG @BarefootWisdom and others interested in the discussion on “darkness” vs “demonic”…

    Well, I ruminated a wee bit on this topic during today’s bicycle ride…

    Some of the thoughts which came up, in no particular order.

    If the chief (Christian) demon’s name is Lucifer (a name associated with light, obviously), how have we come to see the demonic as so strongly associated with darkness, anyway?

    Then, pondering on JMG’s comment to the effect that that it is not so much light vs darkness, but balance vs imbalance, I suddenly remembered the scene from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, where one of the Beavers says that the White (Light?) Witch has made it eternally winter, but never Christmas.

    This led to the thought that Christmas might be thought of as the tiny white circle found within the deepest black part of the Tai Yin symbol – the glimmering of a promise of light in the deepest dark of winter. To enforce a winter with no Christmas is to force the cycle to come to a stop. The season is fixed, there can never be change, everything is fixed forever. And who knows, perhaps the White Witch was an idealist, who loved winter, and devoted herself to bringing her ideal about in reality, vanquishing all others?

    And, I hesitate to venture so far, but it does seem to me that the desire to freeze everything at X spot is what has always struck me as, well, I won’t say “evil”, but certainly “not right”.

    In particular, the thought of “eternal life” always seemed like a yearning to achieve a certain state and then stay in it forever – without death or decay, and, by the same token, without babies or new births, or the prospect of change.

    And yet, winter must succeed to spring and spring to summer and summer to autumn and autumn to winter, and so bring continuous possibility, continuous scope for agency and action and change.

    Perhaps darkness as part of a day night cycle, which is flowing, is different from a desire to freeze everything in a constant stasis, whether that is stasis of darkness or stasis of life.

  155. Dear Denys, et al

    I better make clear I gave up on the Dems in 2010 because a. they refused to support AG Holder when he proposed to bring an anti-trust suit against Monsanto, and b. Pres. Obama signed the 2010 Food Safety Act. I know, single issue voter, but for those of us who can’t afford health care or insurance, the quality of food we eat is a matter of urgent concern. I am afraid food quality is a bit more important to me than someone else’s business, investment or even job. I was Working Families for a while and am now an independent.

    I had forgotten about Lyin Ted, etc. so I stand corrected there. The four congresswomen don’t represent my district and I think I do owe a modicum of respect to the voters of other congressional districts and their right to elect whom they choose. Clearly, the president thinks otherwise. I do in fact think that being elected to congress is itself an accomplishment worthy of some respect, unless done by fraud, and women don’t get elected by being photogenic and wearing stunning designer outfits.

    When I say ‘women voters’ I mean women voters, not ‘feminists’, which IMHO is a term so invested with emotion as to be useless. I recently saw an article, sorry, forgot where, about Republican outreach to women for the 2020 election in which one operative was quoted as saying she meets women who like some of what the present administration is doing but don’t like the president personally. Maybe it really is just me, I am a bit of a hermit, but the women I do talk with and hear about do seem to be as fed up with deliberate rude and crude as I am.

    About the four Congresswomen themselves: Cortez gets my thanks for taking out a member of the Dems inner circle, who was, if not himself as corrupt as the rest, at least willing to go along with the rest. Omar I view with the gravest suspicion; I would really like to read or hear an accurate and verified account of how she and family arrived here. Tlaib seems to me a coattail riding lightweight who won’t be around much longer. Pressley, OTOH, personal opinion only, is one to watch. (The Congressional Black Caucus are known in some circles as part of the Black Missleadership Class, see for example The Black Agenda Report). I suspect Pressley has a long career in congress ahead of her, as do Representatives Perry from CA, Jayapal from Seattle and Gabbard from Hawaii, among others. The self styled Pregressive Insurgency is not going away.

  156. Well it’s 38C in London the hottest I have ever experienced. I notice those concerned about global warming have suddenly hit on the novel idea of planting trees. Who’d have thought there could be a natural non techie solution??

    JMG how many books roughly do you own and also how long did it take you to write each Hali novel?

    Also I now think that social media is another form of cacomagic just like TV and advertising. No wonder Tech execs limit their kids’ access to it. They know how addictive it is!

    Violet have you googled for Hecate devotees? I know that she is the most popular Greek god it would seem right now. Also nice idea about gifting plants as a form of devotion. I will do the same.

    PS did you name yourself after Dion?

  157. A few random thoughts:

    Honduras wasn’t the only coup Hillary was involved in. Hillary and her cronies in the Obama administration did a bang-up job of turning that benighted country into a facsimile of Hell on Earth. Nor was Honduras the only such example. We had for instance Libya, where Hillary famously said of Muammar Gadhafi “we came, we saw, he died”. Gadhafi was a bad man by any reasonable standard, but his death was particularly horrific: sodomized with a knife before being beaten to death by a lynch mob. And this is the person a prominent “progressive” activist claimed is “light itself”?

    Hillary’s acolytes at the State Department and elsewhere were also behind the 2014 coup in Kiev (the so-called Maidan Revolution) and a great deal of the malicious mischief that unfolded in Syria.

    The American working class weren’t the only victims of neo-liberal economic policies pushed by Hillary’s husband Bill and continued by Dubya and Obama. Millions of Mexican farmers and small business owners lost their livelihoods thanks to NAFTA because they couldn’t compete with cheap imports of maize from Gringostan or against the predatory business practices of North American retail chains like Mal-Wart, the same predatory business practices the devastated small-town economies throughout the USA as documented by independent journalists like Jim Kunstler. Many of the illegal immigrants from Mexico were displaced farmers and other working class poor people from Mexico who were forced seek work where they could find it.

    JMG said:

    There are better ways of improving conditions in Honduras than bringing a large fraction of its population here to serve as indentured labor for the privileged…

    That’s one of the things that many of us find so disgusting about the Privileged Progressives: the disingenuous and manipulative use of humanitarian rhetoric to rationalize cynically exploitative behavior by affluent liberals. These people have a lot to answer for.

    It’s also striking that the cities that are the most politically liberal also tend to be the most run-down and have the worst social problems. Chicago (murder capital of the US), San Francisco (which has become the world’s largest open air toilet) and Seattle (anyone here see the documentary Seattle is Dying?) all come to mind. New York City, which made a huge amount of progress under Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg, is sinking back into its previous status as a dysfunctional, crime-ridden pesthole under Bill de Blasio, who is a standard issue liberal Democrat with a penchant for playing the race card.

  158. While its on my mind, and its possible someone else has mentioned it before (girl with a goldfish memory here) but as I watch my cat go on a murderous rampage through the local wildlife and my fishpond because I had a baby and he’s lost his treasured position I can’t help relate it to others.

    It seems to be among people mostly who have low self esteem resulting from lack of close connection with their mother or another parental figure that helps them overcome their adversities (i say this with a large grain of salt because its a bit of an assumption which may not always be accurate or I could be totally wrong) and these people are then given what they want or see others in the world getting a lot and instead of feeling bad they respond by twisting their thoughts around the bad feeling and turn it into the world owes them this because they are sure they must be special, in so doing making them disconnect from their feelings btw so in extreme cases can make someone totally narcissistic.

    Its very common in our society that has so much pressure on woman and families and has evolved to often completely remove value from the role of motherhood and the effects her love has on the developing psyche of her infant and child.

    And that’s what I think trump rage is. And that’s why its not going away anytime soon because its tapping into a large hole in a bulk of the populations psyches, it will keep manifesting in different forms all over the place, and none of those forms will be pretty or short lived.

  159. re: electronic surveillance state, here’s an experiment anyone with a smartphone can do. With the phone on standby (not doing anything, just waiting for calls), discuss a random item you might be interested in purchasing. A friend of mine had a conversation about having to feed a donkey. Wait.

    What adds to you see when you next activate the phone? (spoiler alert: my friend was inundated with adds organic, GMO-free donkey feed.) The Facebook and Instagram apps are (apparently) especially bad for this sor of eavesdropping targeted advertisement. This is second hand because I do not have such a device. Most of us here are probably somewhat cut off, so don’t quite realize how far things have gone in that direction. What is truly bizarre is that my coworkers can discuss and laugh about this “oh, ha-ha, our corporate overlords know everything!”

    … then again, they are self-styled Good People(tm). What could they possibly fear from the system? I think what they forget is that the Gulag archipelago was stuffed with good Party members. (Forget? Most of them never heard of GULAG.) Luckily it’s a fragile, incredibly energy-intensive system and will be falling apart forthwith, but! While it lasts? Orwellian in the extreme.

  160. A coupla people mentioned the medieval warm period was local. I believe this is damage control, somewhat like when they try to pretend that the global cooling scare didn’t happen. And the medieval warm period was not the only one. There were the Roman and the Bronze Age warm periods also.

    One of the red flags for me is the way that so many insist that there cannot be any good or mitigating news. It always has to be confirmed that the worst is true.

    Another oddity, quite a coincidence really, is that if one looks at a graph of CO2 levels in the past half billion years, we are at a low spot. And it just so happened that a species, human, had this thing called a scientific revolution during this time and gained the ability to measure things, like atmospheric CO2. When levels began to rise (modestly!) people thought it meant we were leaving the norm. But why are we convinced that out of all the fluctuating levels, only the one at that instant when we learned to measure it is acceptable?

    I think of CO2 as a lab value. I know one lab value, blood pH, is very tightly controlled, but others have more leeway. I think it is highly unlikely that CO2 is a tightly controlled lab value for two reasons. One, as we ourselves are carbon based life forms, carbon is ubiquitous. Pretty much everything that exists and much you have never thought of, all participate in the carbon cycle. Its just everywhere. Unlikely it could be tightly controlled. And two, we see that CO2 levels actually vary tremendously while life seems to thrive.

    The bathtub and thimble analogy does not necessarily translate into the real world, very big and complex system of planetary weather.

    Regarding people’s attachment to catastrophism, a different take comes from the Saturn sun theory. It’s funny because on first hearing of it, I would tend to dismiss it as utterly out of consideration. But as a friend of mine is really into it, I have read a couple of his books. I am gobsmacked at the endless, and I do mean that, evidence that world wide, and I do mean China, India, South America, etc, – people worshiped Saturn. Hebrews too. Many gods are named multiple times and it is also true of Saturn. The Roman Saturnalia is a good case in point, and one of the aspects of that great celebration was that they were remembering times of old, the golden age – when Saturn reigned. As our sun and god.

    Certainly the incredibly prominent place for both Saturn and Jupiter are very odd if they always had their current positions and luminosity. Even mainstream astronomy has said of both Saturn and Jupiter that they may have been failed stars or failed dwarves.

    Velikovsky also believed that there was a huge shakeup in the solar system. He thought Venus was a comet that caused destruction on earth. Certainly I was surprised at reading some excerpts from the Odyssey in which Venus and Mars were battling fiercely and specific destructions on earth were named. One of his books is called Mankind in Amnesia. He believed (he was a psychologist) that humanity suffered such severe trauma at that time (again, worldwide records accepts matter-of-factly that there had been a deluge) that we have not recovered and worse, that we are careening toward encouraging destruction again because that is how the psyche works with unprocessed trauma. He felt it was critical for people to remember so as to process it in a healthier way than bringing on a repeat.

    In that light, I have rethought certain scriptures which speak of a future apocalypse and say that the old earth will be gone and a new one will take its place. Is this really the future, or is it the past? Deeply held in the subconscious!
    Because the analyses of what happened then, and it was really not just one time, there were several iterations during a period of instability, new mountains were erected, Grand Canons were carved out (electrically) land and water changed places, and most things died. It really was true that the old earth was gone and a new one had taken its place. Then consider that the new sky looked completely different as well.

    And it all looked from earth like Saturn, the immovable and primeval god of humanity, had begun to ‘create’ earth. So, the many creation stories (again, lots of continuity between cultures) are something that humanity witnessed as it unfolded.

  161. @ Jasper–re natural gas usage–Berkeley, CA has just voted to ban natural gas in new construction of residential units up to three stories. In CA gas is mostly used for ranges and ovens, water heaters and residential heating, and some home laundry dryers. Claims are that new generation electrical appliances will be less expensive. OTH some claim costs will go up and greatly affect apartment dwellers. There is an earlier generation of ‘all electric’ homes from the 60s and 70s. Berkeley power customers have the option of buying 100% carbon free electricity or paying more for 100% renewable electricity of just buying from PG &E (unofficial company motto “We didn’t start the fire . . . “)

  162. Truly,

    Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years treats historical economics, micro as well as macro, from a historical-anthropological perspective.


    Democrat establishment mission accomplished! Remember, the Democrat establishment doesn’t want the Squad getting in the way of their “business” of collecting rents and servicing donors, take it as thou wilt. The corporate media already knows not to talk about alternatives to neoliberal economics, so they will play up the social engineering that also serves to get radical liberals (not leftists in any way that counts) boosting the brand and turning out to vote.

    Two points: first, political speech is not binding, therefore proves only that candidates can deliver a sales pitch. Even if it were binding, no plan survives contact with the enemy, especially when said enemy is given a two-year head start to lobby against it. Frankly, I’d much rather these Pirates of Bien-Pensance drop the comity and bring back lethal duelling, so that they can stop blathering about skin in the game and start having it. Second, the Congressional Black Caucus consists largely of finance-funded Obama wannabes hiding behind idpol, and anyone who does not want private finance dictating to the economy in its own private interest is right to have a problem with the CBC.

  163. @Darkest Yorkshire, JMG,

    Yeah, CANDU is even more expensive than a regular nuclear reactor. They’re also notoriously ‘cranky’, having lower uptime than other designs. If we were actually using them to reduce waste, that extra cost might be well worth it… as far as I know, though, no one is actually shovelling spent LWR fuel into CANDUs. They did burn up a lot of ex-Soviet weapons grade Plutonium through the 90s, though, so there’s that. Ironically enough, they’re also somewhat easier to get plutonium out of… (India’s nukes? Blame Canada. Pakistan, too. Oops!)

  164. @Ibikeec

    My wife and I moved to the Seattle area from Minnesota (not the Twin Cities) in 2006, so I can speak to your question.

    Yes, this area is getting worse in many ways. It will be interesting to see how the Boeing situation plays out and affects the economy.
    I’ll try to relate why we moved here:

    -We were both tired of our (very well paying) jobs, ready to try something new.
    -We were both tired of months of winter and driving in/dealing with heavy snow.
    -We were both tired of months of high humidity combined with high temperatures.
    -I wanted to garden for 11-12 months of the year (not 4-5) and produce a lot of food, and I really do!
    -(So basically the climate here is pretty sweet)
    -Mountains- We hiked out butts off, climbing many minor peaks, for the first seven years.
    -Pacific Ocean- We took many short trips to the ocean with our dog, for the first 10 years.
    -(Why not anymore? We can no longer afford to, and the traffic/population has become a nightmare.
    -I really like the weird vibe here, the city that we left in Minnesota had a “soul sucking lack of weirdness”
    -(the lack of weirdness could be described as an extreme conservatism, and I’m not talking politics here)
    -Our neighbors in Minnesota were always “up in our business”. Around here its do your own thing, live and let live.

    With all of that said, I’m actively lobbying to move elsewhere due to the high cost of living and the crush of the rapidly increasing population. Where we live now the time between hearing an aircraft overhead is measured in seconds, not minutes. Fourth of July is a nightmare, most people launch very expensive and powerful fireworks from July 2 until about July 10. They are completely illegal and completely ignored by the police (live and let live?) but the Native Americans sell them on the nearby reservations, so its all good I guess? But my wife doesn’t want to leave, she has a great group of friends and is her own boss (self employed). If we stay we will have to live an “impoverished” lifestyle as compared to all of our neighbors, and retiring here will definitely not be feasible as this is one of the highest cost places for retirees.

    I understand completely why you ask the question though. Mostly we would still really like it here if it weren’t so expensive, but the increased population pressure makes it hard to justify traveling out of our own town on a regular basis.

  165. Hello all,

    I will take up Lady LOLcat of Cutekitten’s free pass for posting a picture of cute kittens, and share a link to our two, Bertie and Minerva.

    (Nearly all of my facebook posts are friends-only, but I made an exception and made this one public for sharing purposes)

    FWIW, neither seem to have any interest in Donald or Boris, but have a great interest in what is in the food dish, where the crumpled paper ball might be hiding, and in keeping me sitting still for as long as possible while they think important thoughts on my lap.


  166. David BTL, oh, granted. They’re still going to lose, er, bigly — and maybe after that they’ll extract their brains from between their tightly clenched glutei maximi and start acting like a political partly again.

    Tripp, I know the feeling!

    Nestorian, I didn’t watch the hearings, so I’m open to every possibility at the moment.

    Jim, I think a lot of johnsons are pretty deranged at the moment…

    Frank, stay cool and keep those trees watered! If heat waves like this one recur, you may want to consider planting trees from Mediterranean climates, since that may be what you end up with.

    Sleiszadam, I’d suggest that at this point Britain is behaving like part of the periphery, not like part of the core. As for Hungary, well, of course — different land, different energies, and so a different historical pattern can be expected. I know practically nothing about Hungary’s history and culture, and most of that little comes from a children’s book by Hungarian-American author Kate Seredy, The White Stag, retelling old Hungarian legends about the coming of Attila the Hun — thus I appreciate the data points. Organic local leadership tends to emerge fairly readily when things get really ugly, though, so I suspect your new equivalents of Álmos, Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba and Töhötöm are not so far away.

    Patricia, hah! I like it. As for the Age of Aquarius as described in that song, yeah, it’s typically Piscean — that is, the affirmation of one of the two fishes and the denial of the other

    Christopher, well, I’m hardly a specialist in Christology, but I tend to see the belief you reference as one of those verbal formulae rooted more in early church politics than in spiritual reality. Gods are not human beings and human beings are not gods, and insisting that in this one case, an apple can also be an orangutan seems like an improbable stretch to me. Dion Fortune — a devout if eccentric Christian — makes more sense to me when she suggests that Jesus is a person but the Christ is a principle, and if the one embodied the other in as much fullness as possible for a human being, that’s not the same thing as identity — though the claim that having done so, Jesus ascended into heaven (understood not as a place but a condition of eternal being) and remains a living and potent presence there is hardly unreasonable in the light of other spiritual traditions.

    As for how so many modern Christians got the pale and wrathful lord of death at war with biological life that they seem to worship, names are tricky things. The Church of the Sub-Genius is a bunch of merry pranksters, but I think they were on to something when they talked about the Plague of False Jesii — yes, that’s the Texas plural of Jesus. There are a lot of beings, and things, that people pray to when they claim that they’re praying to Jesus, and to judge by the man’s own words — “by their fruits ye shall know them” — some of those things are not the kind of entity you’d want to meet in a dark alley on the astral plane…

  167. John, et al.

    Re something completely different

    I just had an experience which makes me a whole lot more optimistic about our future and demonstrated to me that young people are probably far more clued-in than we middle-age folks give them credit for.

    My wife and took a walk today (in celebration of the 10th anniversary of our first date…we married 61 days later) and finally had a chance to visit the newest shop in town, an ice cream parlor. The thing is, this business, which just opened this summer, was launched by a 17 year-old who just graduated from high school and who decided to become an entrepreneur rather than going to college.

    An impressive young woman. I asked her what it was that prompted her to make that decision and take the plunge. She said, “I thought it was a good idea and I asked myself ‘Why not?’”

    If young people like her are willing to look at the future clear-eyed like that and buck the conventional wisdom, perhaps there is hope yet for a more palatable path forward.

  168. Re: latest on Mueller: bottom line, same-old, same-old: Scots “not proven” verdict. Yawn – will read it I have insomnia.

  169. @spenglerian: don’t forget Brazil in your regime change list, though that has been a long-term project from 2013 to 2019.

  170. @Tony_A- I’d be very interested in learning more about your music theory/geometry idea. What format does it take, and would it work for self-study?

  171. I wonder if you had read Wayne Jonas’ “How Healing works”? In particular the studies of sham knee surgery being about as effective as “real” surgery. Is the western materialistic POV doomed? Another observation I enjoyed is that the closer to China you are the better acupuncture works even if the patient says they don’t believe in it, and a similar observation regarding surgery and the west.

  172. @Dusk Shine:
    “Luckily it’s a fragile, incredibly energy-intensive system and will be falling apart forthwith, but! While it lasts? Orwellian in the extreme.”
    Aye, as I’ve reflected before, it’s nice late industrial civilization is helping put us a bit more at ease with its passing. 🙂

    (But yeah, thanks for the information (and, while I’m here, the later bit about CANDU details); never having had a smartphone, I indeed had no idea it was already that bad. (Though I _do_ recall on some occasions looking suspiciously at some of the few online ads that reach me and wondering why they seemed so specific.))

  173. @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat,

    You write in your post timestamped July 25, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    “Hi Violet,

    I don’t know your age, but have you had your eyes checked? Cataracts can make things look dark like that.

    If that’s not it , you might need to find a priest whose bishop will allow exorcisms if needed. I have read that such bishops aren’t as hard to find in the U. S. as they used to be. (There’s a book called “Hostage To The Devil,” by Malachi Martin, purporting to be the true story of 5 mid-twentieth century exorcisms. Martin fooled a lot of people. As a Roman Catholic myself, I knew it was all fictional bull-fooftawoo. In the mid-twentieth century, it would have been hard to find 5 U.S. bishops who believed in God, let alone Satan.)

    Clergy of other religions also do exorcisms but I don’t know how to find a non-Christian exorcist, or if they can serve persons not of their faith. I bet our Archdruid knows!”

    Whoa! Are you joking that I’m possessed by demons? If so, I find that exceedingly rude. If you actually have a concern that’s fine, but frankly I think that you are trolling me.

  174. Dear JMG,

    As I implied in my response to the commenter Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat, I think that her last comment to me may breech the comment policy in that it is, to my mind, exceedingly rude. Of course, you’re the arbiter of that ultimately, but I feel strongly that the language she used is the sort of trolling that so harms internet discourse. I’ve commented here for the past 6 years and have engaged with a lot of folks and never felt that someone went over the line. Her last comment feels this way — it reads to me that she is trolling. May I ask you opinion on the matter — does her comment violate your policy?

  175. @JMG – thanks – I will keep you updated – would love to put together a bookreading / musical night in Providence especially with your new book just launched – wish I could be there for the reading at Sunny’s – it’s a great place with excellent music

  176. Lady Cutekitten — re exorcism –Lon Milo Duquette who is a magician and a Gnostic bishop, describes an exorcism he performed of a Roman Catholic High School in his book _Low Magick: It’s all in Your Head . . . You Just Have no Idea How Big Your Head Is._ It is a fascinating account.

  177. Dear Bridge,

    Thanks for the thoughts! I really love gifting plants and hope it catches on. As for my name, it wasn’t something I took; it was given in a very intense visionary experience.

  178. Hi Violet,

    No, I thought you might possibly be being harassed, not possessed. Sorry. May you find a solution to your problems.

  179. Lucifer has become a trope — he was turned into a DC Vertigo comic book character by the 1990s and if I’m not mistaken, there’s a TV series about him in its fifth or sixth season. The association of Lucifer, the Devil, Satan, etc. with darkness, winter, and nighttime is both the usual shadow projection and hatred of Nature.

    Last winter was a beast in the Midwestern US, perhaps even a Beast 666 to some. Nobody wants to allow the Earth to rest. Among the people I felt I could trust, I made comments to the effect of “Mama needs more sleep, I’m glad she’s getting it” when the umpteenth Polar Vortex came whistling down our alleys. I was rather lonely in that opinion. Our culture says GO GO GO all the time and isn’t about to stop its quest for more and faster because of some bitterly cold weather.

    Evil is a matter of perspective. If you are hell-bent on keeping up with the Joneses, evil takes the form of Nature herself. You resist and fear that inconvenient, SUV-wrecking, snow-dumping blizzard with a passion equal to any uptight church lady’s hatred of the Devil.

  180. I also thought the demonic possession comment aimed at Violet was off kilter, bumbling, and potentially very rude. According to some research I’ve been doing on demonic possession, many people don’t survive it. It’s no light matter to be possessed by a demon; it’s serious. Being possessed seems like the spiritual equivalent of having a horrendous infectious disease, except one key difference: most people don’t invite infectious disease into their body. Violet is the opposite of a person who would invite that sort of being into her life.

  181. Caryn, they’re here because of a deliberate policy on the part of previous administrations to encourage them to come here, which the current administration is trying with some success to reverse. I support that reversal, for what it’s worth — and yes, that means some people who have been here illegally for some time are facing expulsion. I’m very much in favor of legal immigration, but either we have the rule of law or we don’t.

    Phil H, well, we’ll see. To judge by the reports from readers of mine in the Midwest and South, comparable policies on this side of the Atlantic have significantly improved the lot of a great many working class people.

    Ethan, you’re wise to be concerned. Those “no-go zones” represent the collapse of the rule of law in the countries that permit them. Sooner or later either the police and military will have to reassert the rule of law, or the countries in question will go under; history shows that there’s no third option.

    Brian, Dawkins rants exclusively about the god of Abrahamic monotheism in that book, and in his writings more generally. He apparently doesn’t realize that there are any other ways to think about gods, and so he rehashes the tired old arguments against intelligent design, omnipotence and omniscience, without ever noticing that there are a vast number of religions whose gods aren’t omniscient, aren’t omnipotent, and aren’t supposed to have created the universe. Thus I don’t have a lot to say about Dawkins’ dreary ranting, other than that he would make a very devout Christian if only he believed in the god he seems so obsessively concerned with.

    J.L.Mc12, I’d also noted the similarity with Brin. The thing is, Dmitry talked at length years ago about how likely it was that the US would go through a Soviet-style collapse, so if that’s what has him bent out of shape, he’s really lost his grip.

    Phutatorius, no doubt!

    Spenglerian, I ain’t arguing. I think there are other reasons besides destiny in Spengler’s sense behind Trump’s momentum, but we’ll get to those.

    DFC, thanks for this. So clearly they CANDU a lot of damage.

    Scotlyn, excellent! Yes, exactly — it’s the desire to make everything stop in some desired condition that leads to a vast amount of human nastiness.

    Bridge, I’ve had 65 books published so far. The novels of The Weird of Hali varied in how long it took me to write them; the first, Innsmouth, came together in eight weeks of raw inspiration; the slowest, Chorazin, took five months of slogging.

    Spenglerian, in one of his few serious poems, written during the Second World War, Ogden Nash had something by no means irrelevant to say:

    Gentlemen of the High Command,
    Who crucify the slums,
    There was an earlier Golgotha.
    The third day comes.

    Rose, that’s an excellent point. I’m not sure it’s entirely a function of lack of positive parenting, as our entire society feeds the delusion of entitlement that drives the behavior you’re describing; still, it’s part of the picture.

    Dusk Shine, and that’s one of the many good reasons why more and more people are discarding their smartphones and getting old-fashioned flip phones instead, or going all the way back to land lines.

    Onething, have you ever read Hamlet’s Mill by de Santillana and von Dechend? They offer a very different and, to my mind, much more plausible explanation for the importance of Jupiter and Saturn in ancient times: not catastrophe, but timekeeping…

    Dusk Shine, thanks for this!

    David BTL, delighted to hear it. Thank you.

    Bradley, fascinating. I’ve gotten good results from Chinese medicine even while living on the other side of the planet, for what it’s worth.

    Violet, let’s see. Your Kittenship, would you care to explain yourself in the light of Violet’s response?

    Aronblue, let’s see what we can work out!

  182. Hi JMG and Violet,

    My response is there at 2315. I was not trying to be rude and will refrain from throwing out suggestions in the future, sorry. There are plenty of other topics.

  183. JMG,

    Just to elaborate a bit on what you posted several weeks ago re: dysfunctional kundalini:

    It certainly is true that I can’t ever attempt any serious magic workings nor can I do anything but dabble in pursuits such as astrology, etc. At this juncture I’m not particularly afraid such pursuits would kill me – though at one time the K did actually come close to killing me – but that they would create a good deal of mental and psychic blurriness and fatigue. Btw, I did in fact do my best to anchor myself physically after the my K awakening, and I did it intuitively – I quit college, went to work on the floor of a factory for a number of years, and then worked as a lineboy at a small airport refueling private planes. That helped, and I couldn’t have handled college courses at that time anyway.

    I should add that over time, a dysfunctional K improves considerably. I can’t live a “normal” life by any means, in fact I’m something of an invalid, but I’m now able to converse without too much difficulty, read, think, meet my daily responsibilities, and be productive in my own fashion. I can now pray and meditate to a degree that would have been impossible 25 years ago. To any dysfunctional K sufferers I would say, as much as it now seems an impossibility, hang on as best you can, things will get better. Just don’t try to “break through” or do anything foolish that would dangerously stimulate K activity. (heh, for me at one time that would have included contemplating the multitude of colors in a neighbor’s garden).

    And I stress that though a dysfunctional K may mean that you can’t pursue in-depth magical study and activity, it doesn’t mean that your spiritual life be dead or stagnant. As much as a K sufferer may feel for a lengthy period of time as if he or she has been erased from the Book of Life, it *is* the active, risen K, which means a heightened psychic and spiritual sensitivity. True, the experience can be overwhelming to put it mildly, and though it may take a long time to integrate and consciously realize them, the spiritual insights it can eventually bestow are real – and you can manifest them in your daily activity and your interpersonal relations. I honestly imagine that if my spiritual life had indeed died and that my life’s purpose had been destroyed, I would have been recycled out a long time ago.

    The last thing I would counsel the K sufferer is simply *acceptance*. You’re not going to get the toothpaste back in the tube; it’s useless to bemoan the loss of normality, and the burden that you carry with you. When it gets down to the nub of things, that’s what I’d counsel anybody re: the unavoidability of suffering in this material dimension.

  184. JMG,

    Left, err… right field question: Have you heard of “hick-hop”? Also called “country rap”. I like to explore musical corners (my last obsession was byzantine music) and somehow I went down a rabbit hole that started with Merle Haggard in ended in hick hop.

    Anyhoo, these rappers talk about the usual country things: girls, drinking, blue collar pride and problems… Some of the songs are pretty catchy: What’s most striking to me is the lack of irony in adopting black urban culture. Or maybe it’s not ironic. It’s all about being “loyal to the soil” and defending your honor by any means necessary. The setting is different but the theme the same.

    The coastal urbanite concept of honor is so different as you know. I’m a city slicker at heart but I kind of like rednecks and wouldn’t mind trading places for a while. My feelings used to be pretty common but now it’s viewed as treason to admit any empathy for flyover country or vice versa if you’re on the other side.

    So how do you view this cultural balkanization playing out the rest of the 21st century? With a country that’s literally locked and loaded (yes I can verify even people in San Francisco have guns), I worry about my kids.

  185. On occasion of the comment of Tripp about The Path I would like to add that my own experiences on The Path, so far, seems rather to be that it has become somewhat easier to be liked by some people. I don’t have many acquaintances, and I didn’t lose any of them and it seems that I won’t lose any of them.

  186. All,

    I think I have an idea of part of why our society has gone insane lately. Plenty of baby-boomers hold two such ideas: first, progress, and second, nostalgia for their childhood. These aren’t immediately apparent as contradictory, but they are for reasons which are fairly simple.

    In order for progress to be true, the present must be better than the past. In order for it to be true over any timescale which matters to human beings, the present must be noticeably better than 50 years ago (1969), which is part of childhood for all but the oldest of the baby-boomers. Given how bad most of them find the present, the only way this is possible is if 1969 was hell on Earth.

    So, many of the baby-boomers have redefined their childhood as being hell on Earth. I’ve heard from many of them how horrible the 60s and 70s and even 80s were, and what strikes me is that this is completely irrational. It’s not based on reason, but based on the necessity of supporting their belief in the myth of progress. Yet, look on TV, which serves as a collective window into the collective soul of our society, and on it is a ton of nostalgia shows aimed at boomers, set during the 1960s-1980s. Young Sheldon, The Kids are Alright, The Americans, etc.

    They are nostalgic for a period of time which their religion requires them to believe is hell on Earth. The cognitive dissonance there must be enough to drive them insane. This would also feed into TDS: what is Trump proposing? Make America Great Again. They know, deep down, what the means: he wants to turn the clock back to the 1980s, 1970s, or 1960s. In other words, he wants to make the country back into the one they’re nostalgic for, making his very existence a reminder of the cognitive dissonance they have.


    Many thanks for the advice. My etheric body seems to have healed quite nicely, so I’m almost back to where I was. I’m going to give it a few days and then try that piece of music again. I suspect it was also heat that caused me a problem: it was quite hot here, and (etheric) exercise in the heat may not have been the best idea…..


    Any chance you’d consider coming up to Canada? I live in a city with Viarail, and I know there are a few others who hang out here, so I suspect there’d be interest in meeting you here as well.


    I had a particularly nasty incident tonight, so it may not just be you. Someone decided to speed through a red light while I was crossing, almost hitting me. He then felt the need to get out to yell at me. It was fairly weird….

  187. Bonnie K Henderson-Winnie,

    Nice looking kits. I, too, have a tiger and a panther in the house, both rescues for which they show about as much appreciation as does Rep. Ilhan Omar for the USA that rescued her from the hellscape that is Somalia.

    That said, they are great batteries for house energy-charging.

  188. Well this might be more of a MM question inspired by discussion between Violet and Lady CC. Is regular banishing and other practice likely to bring about a very bright ethic body or aura of some type? And if you are around people who are accustomed to murky not bright spiritual bodies could it be that they respond like the sun is too bright and they don’t have sunglasses?

    I remember JMG talking about some people who do regular banishing bringing a sense of calm to a room, but might that only be pleasant to those of us who like calm. If you are used to a roiling atmosphere could the change actually make you frightened or angry? If so is there a “dampening” that might be necessary in those circumstances?

    I apologize if this is very ignorant. I am practicing the SoP daily myself and feel that it is helpful. But I am not nearly as adept as Kimberly or Violet, so I admit if I could end up “too bright” I would like to know, I work with a great many people in distress and in some dark spaces and I don’t want to create a hostile reaction.


  189. @ Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat,

    Okay, I believe that I may understand where things got derailed. Exorcism is used for demonic possession, which, as Kimberly points out is extremely serious and even life threatening. Demonic influence is much less so. One common way of lessoning demonic influence is protective magic, which I do a lot of. Another is religion which I likewise practice daily. One doesn’t need an exorcist until things have gotten really, spectacularly, septically bad. If you read the accounts it becomes clear how nasty a condition demonic possession is. A priest is for confessing sins, dealing with temptation, and general spiritual counsel. An exorcist is much more specialized.

    The issue with the dark things that I see is that other folks with psychic senses readily see them as well. Indeed, the ancient Greeks had a name for what I’m seeing and that is miasma. Many of us can physically feel the presence of malign, stagnant, and putrefying energy. That doesn’t put this perception at the level of a personal problem, though. That would be like smelling burning tires is a personal problem — regardless if I or any other human smells it, those tires are on fire!

    The thing is, I’ve had many of these psychic impressions my entire life. When I was a young child, many adults called me crazy and I personally find discourse that strays close to people calling my psychic realities wrong something I have very little tolerance for. Simply put, I had to fight adults on this point from the age of 6. I had to play very subtle, dangerous games with them in order to keep possession of my soul. These things were forced on me, and they traumatized me very deeply. I feel I lost my innocence very, very quickly in the fray of the psychic warfare I was forced to engage in. After all, once enough of the right sort of people decide a person is crazy, that person loses their autonomy and rights, and innocence is no virtue when others with the heft of authority have the power and will to destroy you and you are forced into the incessant conflict of brutal mind games in which no one can be entirely trusted. This is what I mean by “subtle and dangerous”. As an adult, I’ve ended friendships and left communities over people insinuating that I’m insane, spiritually diseased, or incapable of the discernment needed for my own spiritual life.

    That is all to say that your comment which I found offensive touches on those things but, of course, is not those things. I am willing to trust that you were coming from a sincere place and don’t conflate what you wrote with experiences that traumatized me decades ago. I have no desire whatsoever to bully you. Obviously, I bring a lot of my own baggage to this exchange, and I don’t hold you in the least bit accountable for why I carry it. In that spirit, I accept your apology timestamped July 25, 2019 at 11:15 pm and am content to let the matter drop.

  190. @ Darkest Yorkshire, I really admire your optimism in regards to these hydrogen products, it is always good to see that people are trying to produce solutions; but my inner physicist is looking at those machines and is very concerned for many reasons. My gut feeling is it just doesn’t add up or they aren’t giving the full story.

    Maybe they have managed to do something truly amazing and the noble prize for physics will go to them in a few years time but they are very keen to avoid talking about specific details on how the machine even runs. They are very careful in what they write and it looks like a good sleight-of-pen job going on.

    It looks like hydrogen electrolysis with the hydrogen pumped into the fuel source. The problem with that model is two fold.

    Firstly, it always takes more energy to split water and get hydrogen than you get out of burning it and that is in the best case scenario. It is crazy to think that the ocean is the ashes of a once ecstatic time of the universe but there it is. Newtons second law of thermodynamics essentially defines energy systems as only going one direction. No individual or thing has even been able to break this, entropy rules everything. Things break down, not break upwards.

    People have been trying to get more energy out of hydrogen that it takes to acquire it for decades with absolutely no luck. Even the Sun that runs on the stuff can only do what it does because all the energy was present before hand.

    Secondly, pumping this fuel into an internal combustion engine is awfully wasteful. ICE’s are about 25% efficient at best relative to forwards motion, most of the energy is converted in Heat and Sound. This hasn’t been a problem with fossil fuels because we didn’t produce them, we stumbled onto them. Humans have never created energy, merely captured it. At least if this was a fuel cell/electric motor then the efficiency would be int he 60% range.

    It all just looks a little too fishy, the red flags are very present. It may be that they just haven’t given away the little secret of what they are doing differently but only time can tell. A beautiful and elegant system/idea/theory can be crushed by a single dirty ugly little truth, hopefully not this time.

  191. DK: JMG and Readers: I would be grateful if you could recommend serious books by contemporary authors on North American First Nation spirituality focusing on the ethics and kinship of humans and wildlife etc. Eventually how this fits together with the former warrior aspects of these nations.

  192. I’m also disappointed with Orlov’s current posts that are not up to the standard of his 2016 book “Shrinking the Technosphere” which you reviewed and whose thesis is still very interesting.

  193. @JMG. “Caryn, they’re here because of a deliberate policy on the part of previous administrations to encourage them to come here, which the current administration is trying with some success to reverse”

    The deliberate policies that led to them “being here” (and which are subject to current reversal) are not the same as the deliberate policies that led to them finding it impossible to continue living there…

    When I arrived in the US in 1978 from Central America, where I had grown up, it seemed to me that a state of deep ignorance about such policies (which I saw as highly relevant to a citizinry which might indeed see the coming home to roost of the chickens officially being let fly) seemed to be fostored at every level.

    While the discussion of boundaries and how and for what purposes to keep them is necessary, I also think one cannot sidestep consequences already set in motion, including consequences of deliberately and effectively salting the earth other people are trying to care for and maintain, rendering them homeless and setting them on the move.

    If the “better” policies you conceive of include “unsalting” other people’s homelands and ceasing to steal their stuff, then I certainly see this as fruitful. But, as yet, I have not seen any interest in this kind of policy from any official US quarter.

  194. @David, by the lake: re: randomness

    Have you read the lecture “On Divination & Synchronicity: The Psychology of Meaningful Chance” by Marie-Louise von Franz? She was a colleague of C.G. Jung’s and the essay touches on exactly these topics.

    I found especially interesting how our current western science and mathematics is only interested in repeatable phenomenon and probabilities while other thought systems and for instance divination concerns itself only with the individual outcome. Quite thought-provoking.

    I’ll be happy to send you a PDF, just contact me at my username lowercase and without space

  195. @ExMNan – re: lobbying to move elsewhere….

    Do you (and your wife) know about the seismic hazards in the Seattle area?
    Lots of areas of landfill and loose sediment, and some areas of landslide hazard and tsunami hazard. Hoping you folks are NOT subject to them, but thought I’d ask.

    I recommend “Peace of Mind in Earthquake Country” – 3rd edition by Peter Yanev and Andrew C.T. Thompson
    I got and paid attention to (prior edition of) it before moving to SF Bay area, California in 1980; and was glad I did, come the 1989 Loma Prieta quake.
    Also, in seismic zones there are usually some fairly detailed USGS hazard maps.

    Last big quake in the area would be the 2001 Nisqually quake, so you got there AFTER the hoopla had died down.

  196. JMG – do you have any experience with/knowledge of Astrocartography? If so, any thoughts about it?

  197. Ethan, I noticed that one of the listed no-go areas is Small Heath in Birmingham. That’s where Peaky Blinders is set. That era (1920s and 30s) also saw the Glasgow razor gangs of No Mean City. So this isn’t exactly a new thing.

    Bradley, my understanding of the fake knee surgery is that it still involves cutting into the knee. That triggers a healing response from the body that can fix the original problem. There’s a similar thing with horses – if a horse gets a knee injury, one alternative to putting it down is to burn the skin around the knee. It swells up massively, but in the process of healing fixes the knee as well. I wouldn’t have thought horses would get a placebo effect, but I just looked up placebo effect in animals, and it’s complicated – So it’s difficult to separate what is having the effect.

  198. JMG, a big hacking scandal has recently unveiled in Brazil. More than one thousand high profile public figures, from multiple parties, had their phones hacked, and the content of their private messages stolen. I will not bother you with the political repercurssions of all this, but you may be interested to know that a significant number of Brazilian movers and shakers have now begun to talk about delicate and private matters in person only, or through letters.

  199. @Jonathon It’s pretty clear that the Democrats are the party of corporations and tech companies now and could care less about middle American – geography or economic. They pander for the votes of the 40% who make too little to even file income taxes, and the people on the coasts constantly lecturing about how awful America is, and that’s it.

    @Nastarana It looks like AG Holder also didn’t prosecute Epstein although all the papers were filed to do so. Just saw the release of some files through FOIA. Now that Dems think Trump and Epstein are tangled up together they are all for prosecuting him finally.

    It also looks like DOJ put in change the guy who smash Hillary’s devices with a hammer, rather than turn them over to the FBI, to investigate Russian collusion and Trump.

    Washington DC stinks from the left to right. And they wonder how Trump got elected!

    Like I said, I was never a fan of Trump, but what he gets accused of isn’t what he is actually doing and its not fair. Let’s criticize him on what he actually does.

  200. Have you ever stopped to imagine what it must be like to be one of these coastal elites who are so against Trump, manufacturing all sort of attacks against him for three years – rotating through he’s crazy, he’s racist, he’s unpredictable, he’s incompetent, he’s dangerous – and yet, Trump goes on? It’s beginning to get like Wiley E. Coyote trying to get the Road Runner!

    The Senate has now put 43 judges in Appeals Courts, 86 judges in Districts Courts, and they are doing 19 more next week. Trump gets reelected, he’ll have another Supreme Court appointment or two. Wow.

  201. re: Honduras and Guatamala
    If you want to know what is *actually* going on there, I would encourage anyone to find a former Peace Corps volunteer who served there. Peace Corps left Honduras in 2012 and haven’t returned (obviously).

    I can tell you from when I served in Swaziland that in November 1993, Peace Corps evacuated all the volunteers from Rwanda. Some were reassigned to our country, and they told us of the tensions between the two ethnic groups was getting unworkable. The Rwanda genocide happened in April 1994. So our government knew it was coming, saved American’s butts, and didn’t do anything to stop it. The Clinton Admin did that one. Must not have been a scandal he needed to cover up at the time with a bombing of a country.

  202. Hi, JMG and esteemed members of the commentariat. Given that the topic of Eastern ‘mind-emptying’ meditation techniques arises from time to time in this blog, I thought I would share an article about mindfulness meditation that explores its disturbing philosophical roots – which helps to explain its ‘dark side’:

    Like any tool, mindfulness meditation has its proper uses – but only for the right person under the right circumstances who needs what this practice gives; it is not to be practiced by everyone for everything.

  203. @ Nestorian – re climate “ideologically fraught”
    (And @anyone else concerned about the truth of climate change)

    As someone with a chemistry, laser and solar cell background, I don’t really see any need for ideology (except empiricism) about the climate issues. Save the ideology for debating which solutions to implement.

    The post by Denninger is typical denier screed, full of (to be blunt) lies or irrelevancies.

    I don’t have any shortcuts to learning enough about it to see that: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it comes from human activities, warming is occurring, and on the whole it’s bad for people. I think people ought to be truthfully educated about this important issue, and I don’t think it’s _that_ much work to understand the basics, though it will take some work. (but then again, I have a physical science background, so YMMV).
    I have no idea what your science background is, hopefully you have some exposure at some level of school. I can just hope you care enough to learn the basic science, so I invite you peruse these suggested resources, and I welcome your feedback.

    First, for quick and easy debunking of specific issues is this website that debunks the most common denier myths, in both a basic and intermediate, and sometimes an advanced explanation, as you have time and interest:

    There you can find most all the lies from Denninger debunked, with many references.

    Second, a book called _The Discovery of Global Warming_ by Spencer Weart
    Either the physical book or the online version at:
    The online version has a nice clear 10 minute summary to whet your appetite, and one can then delve into individual topics, or proceed chronologically. I’d recommend at least the “Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect”, then “Simple Models”.

    This is real history of science, full of twists and turn, mistakes and missteps, then clarity and correction.

    You may find (parts of) the wiki article on black body radiation helpful.
    The key concept for climate is that the sun provides mostly visible light, which mostly penetrates the atmosphere. That which isn’t reflected warms the earth, which radiates in the far infrared, and greenhouse gases absorb this far infrared light, then either transfer it to other gases in the atmosphere, or re-radiate in a random direction (eg. “down” warming things as well as “up”). The more greenhouse gases, the more trouble for the far infrared to escape, thus the warmer the planet and air.

    I hesitate to recommend the next thing, but being into both science and history I find it fascinating, namely John Tyndall’s 1861 paper on “The Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours”. Yes, EIGHTEEN sixty one. It isn’t the easiest reading, so if it doesn’t appeal, then don’t slog through it. Some terms: “carbonic acid” == CO2, “olefiant gas” == ethane, the next heaviest alkane after methane.

    Next is Berkeley Earth
    A group of skeptical scientists doubted the temperature statistics of NASA, NOAA and the Hadley Centre. Supported in part by Koch Brothers money, they examined as much temperature data as they could find, using different statistical methods. What they found was, that basically the above mentioned temperature statistics were OK after all.

    Real Climate is a good site as well, technical but not overwhelming (IMHO), with articles and discussion. Also links to many climate models and their data.

    A recent article concerns the “plant trees and save the climate” story, unfortunately it’s too good to be true (at least all by itself).

    I won’t cover all of Denniger’s “facts, which cannot be disputed”, but do note that high indoor levels of CO2 are in fact associated with cognitive difficulties.
    This study was done in a controlled environment with artificial CO2 levels, showing people have cognitive and problem solving issues with higher CO2 levels.

    This study is of actual CO2 levels in Texas classrooms, which are sometimes higher than the levels in the artificial study.

    Not only will climate change make us poorer and unhealthier, it will make us act stupider!

  204. Re: Democratic machine

    One thing that puzzles me is the way the Millennials are ignored in all this. To me, what’s going on is simply a generational shift that’s now due according to the 80-year cycle I use to understand these things.

    The old guard isn’t going to get a clue. It’s going to be replaced by the younger insurgents, and well past time. The amount of damage is going to be proportional to how long they manage to hang on before being ousted.

  205. Just in case somebody is interested in the kind of things I like to tinker, I have made recently some DIY projects of solar powered gadgets and LED lamps. This is a photo of 3 of them:

    Some more details:

    a) Li-ion battery powered by solar panel 4,5W-6V, 4500 mAh battery, with 5VDC outlet, my son made the “Camino de Santiago de Compostela” from Lugo to Santiago during 5 complete days and he did not need to use the grid for his mobile phone in all the time. It can be used also as a source for lighting. It cost me around 16€ in components:

    b) Solar powered pocket radio receiver powered by 1w-6V solar panel and one small Li-ion battery (600mAh, 3,7V). I have been using it for weeks and it is (for the moment) self-sustainable even in winter (radio + headphone use low energy). It cost me in total 11€ :

    In the future I will try to build also a radio transmitter-receiver with similar specs (pocket solar powered), but only with raw analog components (not easy). When battery die you can still hear radio with solar light

    c) Solar powered Bluetooth speaker (in wood) it can be also be powered by 5V, and can receive the audio signal from jack connection (without Bluetooth); use 3 solar panels 1W-6V, and one 2600mAh 18650 Li-on battery (like the Tesla cars but they use 7.000). It cost me around 20€ in materials:

    I have also made some lamps to be powered by 5V (using my solar powered batteries), using different kind of LED’s; some SMD leds and some “normal” ones. Each “lamp” have a cost between 0,32€ (LEDs and resistor SMD) to 0,52€ (Epistar 1W led with heatsink, 1W resistor); the SMD leds ref. 5730 cost 1,23€/200units, and the SMD 1206 47 Ohm resistor cost around 3,68€/660units (I bought assortment kits of the most normal used resistors).
    I have used them when the power grid fails and with the solar powered batteries and also my son also used them in his outdoor trips without any problem:

    The power consumption of these “lamps” is around 110mAh, so at 5V they consume = 0,11 x 5 = 0,55W and they give enough light to pass a dark night off-grid (like the old candles). You do not need to light all the room and all the rooms, but the place you are or the book you are reading (like in the old times). With a full 4000mAh, 3,7V battery you can have light continuously during around 26 hours without any sunlight (recharging), much more than enough.

    In general it is much more efficient to use low voltage electric and electronic components in DC than to produce DC power in solar panels, increase the voltage, convert DC-AC, and then convert again to DC for the LED lamps or for the electronic components; for me the future should be to use the electrical power in low DC voltage (12-24VDC) and step by step forget the 220VAC. I am tinkering with all of this right now.

    Normally I give this gadgets to my friends and family, they like them but they not see any real practical use (I think “for the moment”); in any case what I like is to make & improve them step by step



    Hi, Jmg. Please Check that out. The territory is an important military base, especially for the Russian Navy. Almost never freezes and is located on the southern shore of the Baltic sea.
    Well, what I meant is the population, how they would they change over long time(you have stated multiple times that land (spirits) change people, citing the American experience). The region has a long an and colorful history, WWII and following era being only a small part of it. I suppose geographical isolation from rest of the country has its influence.

    America is also full of ethnic pockets and is regionally diverse. They just happen to live under one central government, so far.

  207. @David BTL: YES!! I absolutely agree. The thing is in my recent, (admittedly not very in depth) research, the overall picture hasn’t really changed, so the 1980 summary may be pretty valid. In fact it’s been turbo-charged. That’s the problem!

    @JMG, and anyone else who cares to comment: Again, Thank You for your reply, it is not unexpected. (paraphrasing) “it was the previous administration that did this. the current administration is trying to reverse it” I think this leads down the path to the heart of my personal quandary with the whole darned mess.

    I’m not remotely as eloquent a writer as many here, but Im’ma try to bumble on through and hope my meaning and question gets across.

    Can we be ‘proud’ of the good that our country does/has done without taking responsibility and shame for the bad it has done/is doing? We are all the lucky beneficiaries of the lop-sided system our leaders have created, even if we didn’t vote for them personally. Even if “big corporations” get more than us ordinary folk. We still benefit.

    Can we shirk the shame or guilt of the bad our country has done, (even if in secondary/tertiary ways we benefit from living in this first world society) if we didn’t personally support or vote for the ‘bad’ leaders who brought those lop-sided things to pass?

    E.g.: Are you outside of, or ‘exonerated’ from the guilt or shame of the negatives brought about by Bill Clinton, Obama (& HRC)? Am I exonerated from the guilt and shame of the death and destruction of the Iraq war because I’ve never supported GW Bush? Even if we both live in this 1st world country and reap the benefits of this unfair system? You still got or had access to cheap T-shirts (or other products) made in Honduras and even if you didn’t buy them – because they were cheap, the price of other T-shirts was also lower. I still got cheap gas and all of the products and services brought in by cheap gas.

    * note, I am purposefully not bringing up the current administration or opposition because I do think they are still too fraught with emotional investment to see and analyse with as much clarity.

    I’m at the point of saying “no, we can’t”. Unfair or unfortunate as that may be – we are all culpable. We will all have to face the reckoning, (if it ever comes) or simply own the shame and guilt of being a beneficiary part of this. The Universe owes us nothing, not even a clear conscience. Without accepting that, it is a false and completely unfounded ‘Pride” we may take in the good our country / collective society has done. It’s disingenuous; engaging in a cognitive dissonance of sorts that will/is driving us batty.

  208. John–

    Apparently, TDS is becoming a topic of broader discussion

    Also, separately, I saw something in a recent comment feed that caught my attention. Perhaps it is nothing but froth, or perhaps it is an early indicator, but in the on-going saga of Mueller testimony post-game discussion, there is one regular commenter who has long lambasted practically everyone and everything: Republicans for their traitorous support of a traitorous President, Democrats for their spinelessness and refusal to impeach. He has a penchant for emphasizing his points in ALL CAPS and replying to his own long screeds with further elucidation in long screeds. I find them entertaining. (Among other things, I’ve gathered that he is a SF area resident, which makes his views more understandable–or at least gives them a context.)

    Anyway, what caught my eye was a comment he made in one of his more recent rants where he stated his growing conviction that “the Union might just have to be dissolved.” Given that this is coming from the Left, even if it is only one random person, I thought the comment worth noting. Of course, in his view, the blue states would form a bi-coastal federation (the viability of such a thing was not discussed) “still open to the world and still adhering to the tenets of democracy, while the “other states can have their banana republic” and fall into well-deserved decay and benighted ignorance.

    I wonder if there will be a growing sense of desperation on the Left, even to the point of becoming open to notions traditionally associated with the Right (understanding, of course, that there are long-standing independence movements in blue states as well, such as Vermont), particularly if Trump does indeed win re-election next fall.

  209. @Christopher Kinyon

    re: Christ and “hellish sayings”

    1) Are either of you familiar with the book _Raising Hell: Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire_ by Julie Ferwerda?

    Her thesis is that Universalism – all are saved, regardless – is what many/most of the earliest Christians believed. And that hell is a johnny-come-lately fabrication of Christians long after Jesus.

    2) Are either of you familiar with the book _Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Saviour_ by Bart Ehrman?

    Bart shows how malleable memory is, and then provides some examples of the diversity of early Christian belief, and how much was changed.

    And also a new (to me) example of a forgery. In John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus “except ye be born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God”. Then Nicodemus says “… How can I reenter my mother’s womb?”. Jesus then says one has to be born of water and Spirit.
    Bart points out that the word used is actually “anothen”, as in “except ye be born anothen …”.
    Anothen is a Greek word, with 3 meanings: again, from the top down, or from above.
    But Jesus and the disciples spoke Aramaic, not Greek. There is no single word in Aramaic that means both “from above” and “again”. So Nicodemus could not have heard Jesus say “anothen” and (mis)interpret it as “again” when Jesus meant “from above”. So this part of John 3 is a witty story (at Nicodemus’ expense) invented by an intellectual Greek literate person long after Jesus was gone.

  210. Re: Berzerkly ect: – the Sierra Club has set its face against a Florida power plant which is converting from coal to natural gas, because natural gas is still a fossil fuel and hence dirty; it should be powered totally by renewables. Hint: I sincerely doubt there are any expert on power plant technical and economic feasibility in the local Sierra Club. Sigh: “Do away with your baby steps, we want you to run a marathon! Now! Or else!”

    My take, of course: it’s an improvement. Go for it! And if Florida has a dairy industry or any other source of organically created natural gas, there’s a much easier way to convert to renewables than whatever the Sierra Club has in mind.

    (“Ugh! Ick! Oh, GROSS! Nasty! And Backward! Primitive! Not cutting edge!”)

    Hey, I’m not squeamish. As long as they scrub it for odor.

  211. Today, July 26, is M. John Harrison’s birthday. Let us pause to celebrate the deindustrial writers who have paved the way before us. A trip to the Pastel City is always worth the time!

  212. JMG –

    I have a question for you, and I usually miss posting in Magic Monday, so thank you for this monthly bonus.

    I have a dear friend who I have seen as a client for three years now who practices healing using craniosacral therapy, Reiki, and Essalen massage. She is advancing in her Qigong studies, and I am working through the Druid Handbook and my daily SOP/discursive meditation/Ogham triad (secretly, I might add). Could our conflicting energy centers cause any problems?

    I would love to continue working with her, and have had wonderful results dealing with deep-seated abuse and trauma, but I am scared of mixing the two systems. I feel very open and vulnerable during a session, which has me thinking that I might be opening myself up to harm.

    Thanks again,


  213. @David, by the lake: Re “Nuke (and coal) subsidies in OH”

    Don’t know whether you’re familiar with the work of Tim Morgan over at Surplus Energy Economics ( He argues that energy subsidies will become mandatory and universally adopted, first by developed and then by developing economies. His clearest explanation is in his post “#148: Where now for energy?” (

    Of course this has been happening here in the US for some time now, but previously as a perq for energy companies. Dr, Morgan argues that was once a perq will very soon become a necessity.

  214. For all those interested in real exorcism -and not the kind of hysterical bullfrack conjured up by Hollywood- I can think of no better book to read on the subject -and to learn practical aspects of practicing as an exorcist if that is the lonely road you are called to- than Josephine McCarthy’s The Exorcists Handbook. It is not tied to any particular religious path, but is the work of someone steeped in the Western Mystery Tradition. It does not dissappoint -and will scare the shale out of you in a way no horror movie ever could. It doesn’t scare in horror kind of way at all -but just in the, “oh, this is so for real, kind of way, that I best not mess with any of it unless I really know need to/know what I’m doing, not to be trifled with” kind of way.

    re: darkness & light.

    Modern westerners are really dark deprived. I’m sure artificial lighting is part of the modernity stew which contributes to the plethora of mental health issues more people experience these days. We are unbalanced in our preference for lighting up everything. And that’s made it bad for city slicker kids who grow up never seeing the stellar light.

  215. @aronblue: Hi! Your September train tour sounds intriguing. Could you tell us more about it -maybe I missed in comments in previous blog posts if you have in the pat? How long have you been doing it and what is it all about? Sounds fun.

  216. JMG, you often promote solar water heaters. I like the idea and it seems sensible for warmer climates, but here in New England such systems get complicated in order to avoid freezing. I tend to distrust complex systems, especially ones that do not degrade gracefully – a solar water heater that freezes due to a broken pump will probably need to be replaced entirely.

    An alternate option I have considered is having a few PV panels connected to a heat pump water heater (HPWH). Our roof is not suitable for more than a few panels so we haven’t pursued grid tied PV, but maybe a direct wired DC system just for hot water would make sense. Do you (or any readers) have any experience with such a thing?

  217. Apropos of nothing, JMG, did you know that “World Full of Gods” was cited in a new book, “Being Viking” by Jefferson Calico? It’s an ethnographic study of American Heathenry, published by Equinox Press, which also puts out “Pomegranate: the international journal of Pagan studies”.

    It’s a good book, in-depth regarding the culture and nuanced regarding religious practices, and while he doesn’t shy away from the volkisch issue, he doesn’t spend all his time on N@zis and Brosatru either…no matter what the title might suggest. If someone’s looking for an introduction to the Heathen movement (rather than a guide to religious practice), it’s a solid but profitable read. Made better, of course, by his use of JMG’s work to approach the concept of polytheism!

  218. JMG
    I thought you and everybody would be interested in this.

    Phil H
    Underwater melting

    How fast does warm ocean water melt glaciers that terminate in the sea? That question is central to understanding how fast ice sheets may lose mass, and thus how fast sea level will rise, in response to global warming, but there are few data about the process. Sutherland et al. used repeat multibeam sonar surveys to observe an Alaskan subsurface tidewater glacier face to create a time series of its melting and calving patterns. They observed melt rates up to a hundred times larger than those predicted by theory, observations that compel us to reevaluate predictions of such ice loss.
    Science 26 July 2019 p. 369


    Ice loss from the world’s glaciers and ice sheets contributes to sea level rise, influences ocean circulation, and affects ecosystem productivity. Ongoing changes in glaciers and ice sheets are driven by submarine melting and iceberg calving from tidewater glacier margins. However, predictions of glacier change largely rest on unconstrained theory for submarine melting. Here, we use repeat multibeam sonar surveys to image a subsurface tidewater glacier face and document a time-variable, three-dimensional geometry linked to melting and calving patterns. Submarine melt rates are high across the entire ice face over both seasons surveyed and increase from spring to summer. The observed melt rates are up to two orders of magnitude greater than predicted by theory, challenging current simulations of ice loss from tidewater glaciers.
    Tidewater, or marine-terminating, glaciers are the literal ice–ocean boundary in high-latitude environments, connecting the oceans to the continental ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica, as well as smaller ice caps and ice fields such as those found in Alaska. …

  219. Did you catch that Trump is going to use existing information in federal government databases to count illegal aliens? This article mentions Homeland Security and IRS databases, another one mentioned Social Security Administration databases, and in the press conference Trump said the executive order was for every agency and department to give all their data on citizens and non-citizens to Commerce Dept.

    I think Medicaid pays for emergency room and pregnancy/maternity care for illegal aliens, and Ben Carson mention that 40% of federal housing goes to illegal aliens. I never got a straight answer if illegal aliens can get food stamps, I suspect yes.

    So…..this data will not only tell us how many illegal aliens there are, but what it costs us. Interesting….

  220. If anyone wants an explainer on how we got here with Trump, Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Case for Trump” lays it all out. Each chapter is a theme that circles back to Bush the first and the policies that both sides enacted and got it where we are today. His chapter on The Swamp/Deep State detailing the marriages and family relationships between career government officials, the media and corporate boards/Wall Street is nauseating. It isn’t very pro-Trump, more like “well this is what you get after decades of elite arrogance in decisions and disdain for everyday people”.

  221. Christopher Kinyon,

    In my opinion, the simplistic hell teaching of the churches is the indigestible, pathological kernel in Christian theology. Consider that the Old Testament never mentions it! Wouldn’t you think that God, when he was warning Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit, would have said a little more than that they would die? How about going to hell and most of their descendants?

    My answer is that it is mostly mistranslation, some deliberate. The best antidote and a fascinating detour, is to go to and learn. They have many articles that dissect the hell teachings.

    The hell teachings are teachings out of the fervid imaginations of men. Again, MY OPINION is that until one is able to fully move past belief in such a thing that one is actually excluded from the joy and even from much progress in the Christian path.

    Yes, it really is that serious. I would say that if one gets the jist of the gospels and epistles, it is about unconditional love. That’s the Christian path. And believing that God created many or most people for a hopeless destination without forgiveness or mercy, blocks most people from achieving it.

    And then there is love for God. Again, my opinion, but if you believe God sends people to hell, you cannot love or admire such an entity. It’s a lousy plan!
    From personal experience, when I understood (through grace of the Holy Spirit) that God is actually good (as scripture says, no darkness in Him at all), I fell in love with God in a spectacular way. No reservations. No need for excuses. No ifs, ands or buts. No fear.

  222. @ Caryn, et al.

    Re karma and consequences of empire

    I don’t disagree.

    The first step, of course, to dealing with disagreeable consequences is to stop creating more of them. Hence, my prescription would be a unilateral withdrawal from empire. We stop involving ourselves in the affairs of other nations, stop pouring our limited resources into the maintenance of an empire we’re going to lose regardless, put up the tariff walls, redirect those resources toward producing our own goods for our own use with our own natural resources and our own labor. We mind our own business, defend our borders (and only our borders), support the well-being of our citizens, and let the rest of the world go on its merry way. Easy to say difficult to do.

    We are well-entrenched in empire. Our best option would have been to have not gone down that path to begin with. We failed to do so on at least three distinct points in history: 1) the Mexican-American War, Manifest Destiny, and the western expansion generally; 2) the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of overseas colonies, and 3) our intervention in the First World War. To use a socially-unacceptable term today that was common in my youth, empire is a tar-baby (if you’re at all familiar with Uncle Remus, Brer Fox, and Brer Rabbit), one with which we are well-entangled. Disentangling ourselves will be difficult and messy. There is no clean solution. But I’d still go with a direct and methodical break, letting the chips fall where they may. Yes, there would be a power vacuum in Europe. Let Europe deal with that. Yes, global trade would have to adjust. Let that happen. Yes, some other power would probably rise to hegemonic status before modern industrial civilization whimpers to a close. That’s going to happen anyway, since our empire is already dying. The best we can do is to begin building a society that will better be able to weather the coming storm of resource constraints, proliferating resource conflicts, and all-around bad stuff. And we can best do that behind the protective shelter of our economic and political borders, having disengaged from the broader system to the best of our ability.

    I don’t expect we’ll do that, however.

  223. Hi Candace, I’m anything but “adept”, though it’s nice of you to say. I have been doing the SoP every day now for a year and eight months. For whatever reason, I have somehow managed not to skip a single day in that time. If anything, my daily banishings have helped me deal with people in distress to the degree where I’m considering doing Ogham readings as a form of affordable, accessible, under the radar counseling. There is definitely a need for compassionate counselors who don’t go through the health insurance sick-care system and who don’t charge the exorbitant prices of that system.

    I’m a music teacher of private lessons and have been for the last quarter of a century, so I am often in the thick of adolescent sturm und drang and I take on the unwitting role of counselor. My “brightness” as it were from the SoP, meditation, and divination has made my practice even more popular than it was, and to keep it short, my cup overflows in almost direct proportion to my attempts to simplify my life. If anything, the SoP has helped me define the boundaries of where I end and the people around me begin. I’ve learned what advice NOT to give, and that may be more important than what actually does come out of my mouth. For this sea change in my life, I owe an eternity of gratitude to the gods and to JMG for his writings.

    How long have you been doing the SoP?

  224. I have a mostly flippant question for you: Are you ever tempted to wonder if we’re all in Judeo-Christian Hell right now, and our punishment is for it to be 2016 forever?

  225. Book alert: Those who are more well versed than I in the current state of the academy may already be well aware of the work of Michael Rectenwald. I just cataloged his book “Springtime for snowflakes: social justice and its postmodern parentage : an academics memoir” this past hour. The books is fascinating -especially his time with Allen Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute. It looks like it will be a fascinating read, as he’d been through the belly of the academic beast with advanced degrees in theory and the like and now lives to tell his tale -and warn others.

  226. Hi john

    Interesting comments in regard to Bojo.

    Eurointelligence had an interesting take on Johnson in their briefing today.

    “One of the bellwethers for a shift in UK politics is the sheer sense of panic among Guardian columnists. They all agree that Johnson is really bad news. But we noted Rafael Behr now predicting that Johnson will be in Number 10 for a very long time. And we thought that this, from Suzanne Moore, is truly remarkable:

    “While everyone, most importantly the EU itself, says that Johnson cannot achieve what he wants to, it feels as if at last a decision has been made. Do not underestimate how appealing to the electorate that may be.”

    But what will happen once they realise that Germany is about to face tariffs in the two largest export markets for its cars, the US and the UK? We think that complacency will turn to panic overnight, as it so often does in European politics. The EU will need a strategy to deal with the Johnson administration. EU leaders will need to explore among themselves how far they will go in opening up the discussion on the Irish backstop. And they will need a no-deal strategy that goes beyond the regulatory preparations of the European Commission.

    The same applies to the other side. We agree with Ambrose Evans Pritchard, who warned Johnson to heed the mistakes of Alexis Tsipras and of Theresa May: you cannot bluff your way through Brussels. The EU will not be impressed by a threat to withhold the €44bn. But the EU would care about a no-deal Brexit that would bind the UK politically, commercially, and technologically closer to the US.

    Overall, the strategic implications for the rest of Europe with a hard Brexit is fascinating and not discussed much. I agree with you that the UK is drifting away from Europe although I disagree that Britain will give up on its democracy.

    That may be the case for much of the Continent in the coming decades but Britain’s democratic system is too rooted in history for that to happen.

  227. HI Mister Nobody,

    😄 *chortle*. I’ve been saying for years that Purgatory is a roomful of radios, all tuned at full blast to Rush Limbaugh.

    In Hell, Limbaugh makes personal appearance.

  228. I would just like to say how refreshing it is to have seen what could have been a very nasty conflict between two of our commentors resolved by judicious language, patience and good will on all sides. This is the kind of interchange that makes Ecosophia an intellectual oasis. Blessings to all involved and to our esteemed moderator.

  229. JMG,

    I know today is not Magic Monday, but I do have a magic-related question to you. I’ve just finished listening to a recording of a basic course on Kabbalah. And well, its somewhat confusing to say the least. The most burning question I have is the question of free will. Because in Kabbalah there doesn’t seem to be much of it at all, we are ruled by external forces and factors. They say the only choice we can make is to choose a good environment (for our soul, I suppose). I suppose you’re familiar with Kabbalah since it is the basis of Golden Dawn which you have mastered. So could you clarify this question a little bit for me please?

  230. Darkest Yorkshire. Many of the non-western healing techniques mentioned by Jonas involve challenging or stressing the body followed by rest, so what you are saying about horses makes sense.

  231. Hi Violet,

    It is one of my firm, if few, principles, that no explanations are necessary when Mercury is retrograde. May you quickly find solutions to your problems.

  232. Booklover. Check out Goldman’s “How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)”. Goldman channels Oswald Spengler to interpret current events. He writes under the name Spengler for Asia Time and elsewhere.

  233. Three recent articles (all within the last year) about a perception that paganism is growing. Was surprised to find all these during a search for something tangentially related. There seems to be a perception it’s related to the current astrology boom.

    UK youth oriented style mag, mentions a decrease in attendance at real-life events alongside an increase in online and solitary interest:

    US, not very substantial article:

    NYT, really not something I’d expected to see in there, in part seems very coastal, but also imagines a possible future of something syncretic, which ties into some of your posts about natural religions, the waning of the axial age, dark age America etc:

    Apologies if these have been posted before.

  234. @Bendith

    I sent you an email re that essay you mentioned. Many thanks!

    @ JMG, et al.

    Re determinism, randomness, and will

    Just thinking out loud here.

    I’ve been trying to find the third element to transform the apparent deterministic/stochastic binary into a trinary in terms of mathematical modeling of processes.

    So, I have a process. Traditionally, I would break it down into two components, a deterministic component and a stochastic component, which are modeled separately and combined in some way (nominally, by addition).

    For some input vector x and time t, I have P(x,t) = D(x,t) + S(t), where D is my deterministic function and S is my stochastic function (the latter defined over some probability space).

    How does one account for will?

    In typical decision theory, one models the decision-maker as a rational maximizer of some value (e.g. “utility”), thereby transforming the process into a deterministic one, perhaps with some stochastic elements to represent imperfect knowledge or other unknown information. But this, of course, begs the question of how one defines “utility,” particularly given that what one person sees as valuable, another person may not. And one may make an “irrational” choice for any number of reasons.

    I may like chocolate ice cream. This preference could be reflected in my utility function. But today I might choose strawberry, because I feel like it. This is not a random choice, but a deliberate decision. There isn’t a probability distribution in the back of my mind and a random number generator that results in “strawberry.”

    Chance has a role, of course. I may or may not notice something. It may or may not rain that day. A whole host of things may or may not happen which would influence (but not necessarily determine) my choice. But there is still the final act of volition.

    If a (sub)process is neither deterministic (identical input produces identical output) nor stochastic (input produces output according to some probability distribution, but is otherwise random), how does one represent that mathematically?

  235. @Mister Nobody
    “I have a mostly flippant question for you: Are you ever tempted to wonder if we’re all in Judeo-Christian Hell right now, and our punishment is for it to be 2016 forever?”

    Well actually 2016 was a pretty good year for me. I got married, the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump signified the beginning of the end of the Earth-destroying, soul-draining neoliberal and globalist madness.

    I even bet money (in a friendly wager) on Trump’s victory after JMG’s prediction and I won. By the way thanks, JMG. I used the money to buy more of your books.

    What I’m saying is it was a time of joy and hope for the future. The Devil wants to punish me? Oh no! Not in the briar patch of 2016!

    But the only constant in life is change. “This too shall pass” is an aphorism to be remembered both in times of joy and sorrow.

    You’re probably complaining that the pace of change is not fast enough and everything seems the same as in 2016. But everything is indeed changing. Come 2020 I bet things are going to start changing a lot faster. The complete implosion of the political left in America after Trump’s reelection is going to be fun to watch. There’s going to be a lot of Schadenfreude.

  236. I worked with hydrogen for 15 years; As MichaelV points out, it is a hazardous substance to handle. And it escapes with ease. If you think the methane leaks in that infrastructure are bad, with until you try to contain hydrogen. And its potential for “kaboom” is unmatched.

    Quick google search results;

    “The minimum ignition energy (MIE) of a hydrogen–air mixture is only 0.019 mJ, whereas that of other flammable gases such as petrol, methane, ethane, propane, butane, and benzene is usually on the order of 0.1 mJ according to Lewis and von Elbe [1].”

  237. I am getting real tired of environmental problems getting pinned on the little guy… Now I am not supposed to use plastic straws, eat meat, or run AC? The MSM has been demonizing all of these things as of late.

  238. Responding to J.L.Mc12 and JMG,
    Why should an impending collapse of the US would upset Dmitry? I understand he relocated to Russia in the St. Petersberg region several years ago. He can just kick back and serve himself a bowl of popcorn with a 6-pack of Baltika.

  239. @ David BTL – I’m sure another factor that keeps wages low in OK is the degree to which our state government has lurched so far to the right economically, using the state tax code to push more and more costs of governance onto the lower end of the income ladder, while simultaneously cutting costs for those at the top. The results have been dreary: OK ranks in the bottom 5 in terms of educational performance, health outcomes and wages. We don’t have much of a manufacturing sector, so far any positive effects of the trade war have been negligible. Glad WI is doing better.

    @ JMG – the final episode comes out next week, so I’ll let you know how it turns out. My guess is the LTG-inspired tension brought to the fore my the newly elected Prime Minister; what do we do as a society when presented with no ‘good’ solutions, will get resolved in a disappointing manner.

  240. Isaac, we’ve had evacuated tube solar thermal since 2010 and it’s amazing. It’s the only heat we need in summer and even in winter it’s good for a few degrees to take some strain off the gas boiler. I’ve seen it work under three inches of snow (the light still got through) and two hours after dark (it got up over 200 celsius in the day and retained the heat until there was more water to warm up). They don’t freeze because the fluid in them is propylene glycol – antifreeze. The only problem we’ve had is two pump failures. It was a credit to the company that when the first one failed almost immediately, they wanted it back to see what had gone wrong. We got a spare to keep in the house so it can be fixed quickly when it happens next. Along with insulation it’s probably the best energy efficiency option with no downsides. Ours cost about £4000-5000 but it was difficult to be exact as we had the whole roof redone at the same time.

    I know some heat pump installers. If you want a full system done right (it’s the fiddliest of all ecotech to design and install correctly) you’re looking at a minimum of £10,000. That will get get you an air source heat pump with coefficient of performance of 5, equal to the best ground source systems. Air source also works better if you’re in a high humidity climate. However if you just want water heating without central heating, there may be another option – a smaller and cheaper indoor heat pump. This only works if you have a particularly warm and damp room, such as a kitchen or laundry room, that is like that most of the time (it’s usually done in hotels). The heat pump will then move the heat to the water cylinder while improving the environment in the room. Like an air conditioner, but one that puts the waste heat to use. Heat pumps are almost certainly worth doing on a new build or a complete gut and strip, but in other circumstances it’s harder to justify.

    Also if you take a lot of showers, and have about six feet of vertical space below your shower, consider grey water heat recovery. It’s another bit of no downside energy efficiency. Something like this –

  241. John–

    Re my previous mathematical rambling

    It seems to me, too, that these components line up with the triad of elements:

    Calas – fixed – deterministic
    Gwyar – random – stochastic
    Nwyfre – will(ful) – ?

    But what might “?” be?

  242. “Being VIking” – nice recommendation. But, alas, have you seen the price on that sucker? I’ll wait for the e-book.

  243. Looks like the Dems are jumping on the impeachment bandwagon again. Mueller’s testimony proved to be a dud and the “Russia-Gate” narrative being peddled by Trump’s political enemies proved to be a hound that wouldn’t hunt, but the “Privileged Progressives” in the Democrat Party seem determined to double down no matter what.

    From the perspective of Trump and the MAGA movement, this would be the best thing that could happen, for the reasons I have already outlined. It would be a clear case of overreaching that would alienate large numbers of people, just like the GOP’s attempt to impeach Bill Clinton because he lied about getting a BJ hurt the Republicans in the 1998 elections. There is no chance of Trump being removed by the Senate. 20 Republicans would have to cross the aisle and vote with the Dems and that’s not going to happen. Those who do can count on being primaried by Trump loyalists in the upcoming Congressional races. So the result would be a humiliating defeat going into the 2020 elections.

    The PeePee’s (Privileged Progressives) never learn, do they?

  244. @Will J

    Re: Canada .. I love Via Rail – I’ve visited Montreal and Toronto using it in the past and it is fun to travel to a foreign country on the train –makes me feel like I’m living in Retrotopia. But ***I would never officially perform in Canada without getting an artist visa.*** Ever. On the record. They are really strict about that – I’ve had my whole car taken apart and been set aside for special extra questions on many occasions—when I wasn’t performing–and it’s really stressful. Carrying a guitar into Canada puts a target on your back for the border patrol, and they have a lot of access to information … not that they need to do super detective work to see a pic of me being dragged away by cops – It’s a bummer 🙁 I would love to meet up with you and your friends though.

    @ Justin Patrick Moore

    Amtrak offers a rail pass for really cheap considering – 689 for a month of travel, and you can get on and off 12 times in that month. It’s truly awesome for one person, and if you don’t mind sleeping in coach (neck pillow, earplugs, small frame) you can travel the whole country and play shows. It’s very interesting, and I’ve met so many cool people.

    I tried it with a car, too, but it’s too dangerous to drive alone for a million reasons plus you can’t control expenses as well. I can’t get any of my fellow musicians to come with me ever, so I always play solo on the road.

    My first rail pass tour was in 2017. Last summer, I traveled across via car, and was able to go to the first potluck, which was so fun btw. I was very unhappy to miss this years, but I was doing the reverse trip back to LA, which is why I’m glad to be able to maybe make it up this September. It’s been bumpy, I’m not going to lie. But I’m still doing it.

    As for my style of music, I’m a singer-songwriter and guitarist, playing original music in a classic country blues style. I post links to things here occasionally, which JMG very graciously allows me to do, and my appreciation for that is boundless, btw. I’m a little off the mainstream radar, to say the least. Unless they’re trying to keep me from going to Canada LOL

  245. Dear Denys, Were the original charges against Epstein federal or state? I believe the infamous plea deal was in a State of Florida court, do I have that right? As for the Democrats now baying for his blood, that is what is known as a limited hangout. What that means is you admit what you have to admit as a way of diverting attention from what you really can’t allow to see the light of day. I doubt it will work this time, but we shall see. There is no need for crazy theorizing to understand that a lot more folks are implicated than we have yet heard of. There is some good coverage of this over at mint press.

    As for Trump, I am also seeing improvement in blue collar employment where I live. What I am not seeing is any decline in prices of essentials, such as housing and utilities.

  246. @sunnnv

    “Do you (and your wife) know about the seismic hazards in the Seattle area?”

    Ha! Yes of course we’re aware, I think there’s an earthquake story in the Seattle Times every few weeks. we just had a temblor two weeks ago that woke my wife at 2am. Sadly, me and the dog did not feel it and were unaware until she woke us up. I hope to experience one some day before I’m six feet under…be careful what you wish for, eh? Our house is not in a zone of liquefaction, landslide, tsunami or –the scariest of all– lahar. We looked into that before buying, insurance companies make sure that you do. However, it is so poorly built that I wouldn’t be surprised if it toppled during a 5.5.

    Reason for the “Ha” is that we frequently watch the news of natural disasters occurring all over the country, look at each other and say: “I’ll take Cascadias earthquake risk over any of that, thank you very much!”

    Different strokes I guess. I honestly worried more about large hail and high winds –that occurred every single summer in Minnesota– wrecking my garden than I do about earthquakes now.

    Just to add another “new” negative for Cascadia, wildfire smoke –and even some ash– was a major problem the last two summers. This did not occur at all from 2006-2016, and it is predicted to be the normal situation for the foreseeable future.

  247. John–

    Re modeling,etc.

    I’m probably just thinking myself in circles here, but a few more things that came to me.

    One of the issues is, of course, that all of this is perceptual. We model a process as though is were some mathematical function, not that it is that mathematical function (again, map does not equal territory). So if I’m looking at your decisions and trying to understand how you think, I might regress the outcomes on a whole host of input variables, extract what correlative relationships I could, and model the rest as uncertainty via a random variable.

    Or, we might say that everything is ultimately deterministic, just extremely complex, and we short-cut some of that complexity by modeling it as random. But if we were actually able to have all possible information, then the outcomes are perfectly knowable. (This might be the Calvinistic deity.)

    Or, we might say that everything is ultimately random, just that some elements have such tight standard deviations that those elements appear to be deterministic. But if we zoomed in close enough, we’d see that the outcomes are actually fuzzy distributions. (This might be the quantum universe.)

    Is will simply a combination of these two elements? Is it something completely different? Is everything will and the deterministic/stochastic components themselves merely apparent phenomena? Is it even possible to know?

  248. @ JMG –

    Thanks! You encourage me.
    I am indeed familiar with Alan Moore’s “Promethea,” and consider it to be work of a high order. I will proceed forthwith.

    Congrats on publishing “The Shoggoth Concerto,” whose protagonist’s creative dilemma bears some resemblance to my own. Also, I know someone who is likely to be highly interested in your Lovecraftian game once that becomes available.

  249. To all the readers in Europe:

    The heat wave has become topic number one in conversations with our relatives in northern Europe this month. Please, all of you who live there, be safe! There are places in the US where temperatures over 100º (38ºC) are common, perhaps Ecosophia commenters who live in these places might have some suggestions for our European friends? Well, besides hiding in air conditioning, which fewer people there have compared to here.
    It was plenty hot (94ºF) in Vermont for two days last week, felt like we’d died and gone to hell, but it’s cooled down to normal and the last few nights have been around 55º (12.7ºC) which is kinda perfect.

  250. @David BTL

    “Speaker of the House meets with member of her own party”

    That’s an easy one to understand. Pelosi’s job –and shes doing it very well– is to protect those that are slightly further right than she is, from the true left, and AOC (along with Sanders) is one of the first meager glimmers of any sort of true left in DC. “The party” is meaningless, they are –at least for the time being– arch enemies.

  251. Dear David by the Lake and Mr. Greer, I wish to ask you, David BTL, as someone with experience in governance and elections, and you, Mr. Greer, as one of our leading public intellectuals, what would it take to bring about a viable third party whose first goal would be disengagement from empire as David BTL has so well described at July 26, 2019 at 1:44 pm?

    For posters from, or living in, places like Honduras and Brazil, I know it must cold comfort indeed to be told that Mme. Clinton lost the 2016 election primarily because of her appalling record at State. I continue to believe that a large part of the vote for Trump was an anti-war vote, and another part was anti-illegal immigration.

    I will assert that the appropriate response to our activities in, e.g., Honduras, would be to indict and prosecute those guilty of war crimes, beginning with Mme. Clinton, and not excepting the neo-con instigators (Bill C. ought to be prosecuted for fraud in relation to the funds donated for relief of Haiti), and to pay reparations to the effected countries, the funds to come in large part from confiscatory fines levied against those who profited from said crimes.

  252. @Dusk Shine

    I don’t have a smartphone, but I’ve had some fun “training” the targeted advertising on my desktop, by picking a target item to get it to advertise, and then doing a few related searches and clicking on a few links. I “win” if I can get all my ads to try to sell me my target item, and then watching how long the advertising blitz lasts. We’ve run through bras, dresses, lesbian dating services, furniture, and a few other things, none of which I purchase online. It’s like playing Simon Says with an AI. If you must have a spy in your pocket, it’s important to feed it plenty of false and irrelevant data!

    Sometimes, though, it is truly creepy. We have an aging desktop with no built-in microphones, and one evening we read the classic children’s book “caps for sale” to the kids at bedtime, and immediately after, FB was trying to sell my husband men’s flat caps (exactly the kind featured in the story). One suspects sorcery.


    Maybe the plants didn’t want to go there!

    I won’t claim to understand completely what you’re experiencing re: miasmas etc., but it has a familiar ring. I feel like… there are certain conditions one is born with, or grows up with (dysfunctional neurological, spiritual, family dynamics…), that can force you to develop a “feel” for underlying situations/dynamics (particularly dangerous ones!) and ulterior motives, as a survival mechanism. For something that is intuitive, and helps you survive childhood, these things can be remarkably maladaptive in the adult social world, because knowing a situation is bad, feels icky, has a psychic stink (instinct: run! hide!) is not remotely the same as being able to explain *why* in a way that any normal person would understand, and causes you to respond to things in “weird” ways. Which is frustrating.

    It’s like… you’re the crazy person when you’re the only one in the room who doesn’t like the con artist. Time will prove you right, but people who realize their mistake after they’ve been bilked will never forgive you for warning them ahead of time. I don’t know of a solution to that problem.

    Sorry you’re having a rough time of it, and I hope your environment grows more congenial. We’ve had a few incidents of very puzzling neighbor-harassment lately (three grown men following various members of my family, in a car, shouting obscenities, for no discernible reason). I sincerely hope it’s a random one-off thing, and not part of a more general malaise.

    For what it’s worth: in Eastern Orthodoxy, exorcism is routine, not just for cases of possession. We exorcise everything! It’s more like a preventive measure: we exorcise babies before baptism and catechumens before they join the church. We exorcise new cars. We exorcise our houses once a year, around theophany, and whenever we move to a new house. There is lots of incense, flinging of holy water, and spitting involved. Fun for the whole family 😉


    I’ll keep an eye out for that book. It sounds amusing.

  253. What’s your take on Hell?

    Do you think there is a place of fire and suffering like salvationist Christians believe in? Does it apply to Christians only? Is Satan a real entity? Alive and malevolent as ever today?

    I admit I tend to view such stories as scare tactics to keep people in the pews and in line with dogma.

  254. JMG,

    Regarding the problems with contemporary science, do you think anything useful could be done from within the scientific establishment? If so, what kind of things do you think might be possible?

    “Useful” can mean useful for improving the current situation, or useful for salvaging things worth preserving elsewhere.

    I happen to be in the situation of having a couple degrees already and having the option of continuing for the terminal degree in biology. I’m not terribly happy with the current state of the discipline, but I’m considering what constructive action from within might look like, or if it’s even possible at this point.

    Your post on zebra muscles was a catalyst for thinking about this, as I have connections to areas that work with similar “problems.”

    Pragmatically, I’d be in a position where I’d be getting a small monetary gain–rather than racking up more debt–and I’d be going into it knowing that I’ll have to be prepared to find another source of income in a hurry if the academic ship goes down while I’m still trying to smuggle things off it.

    Coincidentally, I have a certain familiarity with and interest in Goethe and the tradition you mentioned to Andrew through Anthroposophical channels.

    That last one leads to one other important question:

    You’ve talked a little bit about possible connections between nuclear science, the sub-natural realm, and serious miasmic implications. Do you have any idea if genetic work might also be indivisible from a spiritual standpoint? At this point, it’s basically impossible to say anything in biology without doing genetic testing to make it look good–even if you’re not involved with any kind of genetic manipulation–so that’ll be something I’ll end up doing if I do stay in the field.

  255. @David BTL re: the PoliticalWire post–

    I wonder if the author of that post would be amused or appalled to hear that the right-wing Kurt Schlichter has written a trilogy with just that premise in mind…

  256. @David BTL – clarification: PoliticalWire post being referred to is the “Trump Anxiety Syndrome” one. I apologize; I forgot to clarify.

  257. Justin Patrick Moore:

    I’m reminded of the darkness-starved lifestyle of most Americans every time we have weekend guests. On top of our mountain, surrounded by other mountains and not a lot of people, you can see everything in the sky. For city or suburban people it’s one of the rare times they can see the night sky unimpeded by artificial light. Even more magical are the thousands and thousands of lightening bugs in the woods on the mountain at night in June. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. I kind of enjoy our guests’ enjoyment, because we get so used to it that we almost don’t notice.


    The news that Trump had ordered other government agencies to cough up their immigrant information was met with a ‘ho-hum’ on NPR, because, according to the report, the information from these other sources has been used before and won’t make a difference in determining the number of illegals in any given congressional district. I certainly hope NPR is wrong. It’s ridiculous that urban districts with high levels of illegal aliens end up with more representation in congress than rural areas. I really wish the citizenship question was going to appear on the census forms.

  258. Dusk Shine,

    Personally, I avoid apps wherever possible and simply use the browser to access the web site built for the desktop. If there isn’t a web site for me to do my business on, or if they try hard to nag me onto their “app”, maybe it’s not an online service I need.

    Ad-blockers also help, but are often much harder to install than they ought to be.

  259. JMG: Tomxyza here a fan and a once in awhile commenter. I noticed DBTLs comment at 7/25/1:55pm and felt moved to comment. My training as an engineer, long ago, left me very much a materialist nerd but thanks to JMG I have been moving away from that mind frame. It seems to me that math since I was in school has clearly defined and named a form of chaos that is deterministic but not predictable. Therefore it seems to me that reality is on a continuum from truly random to completely clock work determinism. The problem is that science is understood by the general population to be deterministic and therefore a clockwork. This is clearly not true from most scientists perspectives but again there is a lot of space on the continuum. I was particularly intrigued by an essay by Kelly Clancy recently. Her website is here: and the essay in particular is here:
    It is a discussion on the possibility that our brains operate by managing chaos and using chaotic systems to do so. a most interesting read that I wanted to share.

    My other comment is for Nestorian regarding climate change. “A Brian for all Seasons” by Calvin is a read that will provide an interesting history on climate that will show that the 10,000 years of recorded history is an anomaly of stability in terms of the long term record. Humans mucking in the atmospheric CO2 balance even if only a small portion of the overall CO2 balance are looking for trouble. When climate falls off its current run of stability we are all in trouble. Going back to historic variability is going to cause great problems for the current human population that has only known relative stability.


  260. Your Kittenship, fair enough. I was typing when your comment came in.

    Will M, thanks for this. You seem to have gotten through a very dangerous experience in good shape, and of course that doesn’t always happen; I recall Manly P. Hall’s calm and unnerving description of what happened when a bunch of Theosophists in California in his time got hold of some books by Arthur Avalon and decided to practice kundalini yoga on their own. (The short form: there were no survivors.)

    Brian, no, I hadn’t — but I’m not at all surprised; the African-American community has been the engine of musical innovation in the US since not long after the end of slavery, with ragtime, jazz, and rock just some of the high points in that process. It makes perfect sense that the vocal poetry of the rap scene has found its way into country circles as well.

    Will J, glad to hear it. You may be right about the cognitive dissonance — but it also interests me that their idea of progress is stuck permanently in the notions of progress that were current in the 1950s and 1960s…

    Candace, it’s not a dumb question at all. The SoP is the ritual you want; its effects are gentle, and I’ve never heard of anyone who wasn’t actively nasty finding it uncomfortable to be around someone who practices it. The Pentagram rituals can be a little harsher, and the full range of Golden Dawn magic can definitely produce a magnesium-flare aura! The SoP, by contrast, uses the elemental powers to charge and balance the aura, which has a good strong effect without being too overwhelming.

    Dominique, I’d encourage you to ask Native American spiritual teachers for their advice along those lines. I have no right to speak for their traditions and, history being what it is, I tend to shy away from sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. As for Dmitry, that’s why I’m worried about his mental health. He used to be far, far more cogent than this.

    Scotlyn, no question,the US has done a very bad job of managing its relations with its near abroad. I’m far from sure, though, that I’d agree with the claim that the flood of economic migrants are coming here because it’s “impossible for them to live” in Guatemala et al. Au contraire, a great many of them seem to be responding to the simple fact that even as indentured labor, they can make more money here than there. And of course the migration is by no means without funding and other encouragement from this side of the border…

  261. Beekeeper – tell me about it! I have massive light pollution in my own Deluxe Efficiency at night – frim my own desktop. And router. And power strip. And the printer’s Fax button, which is bright shiny blue and the default. Which – oh, *there’s* the “off button.” Tiny and slow to respond. Etc. (Maybe a beach towel over the whole kit & caboodle. )

    Everyone whatever you think of our billionaire space enthusiasts, the Starhopper was built with – get this – plain old-fashioned hillbilly tech. Is that cool, or is it not?

    [ On Jul 26, 2019, at 3:32 PM, Bobby Hardenbrook wrote:

    “The crazy thing is that the actual test vehicle was literally built by a company that normally constructs things like water towers. It’s just plain old steel parts welded together. No clean room conditions, no super-duper materials, etc. Now, granted, the actual engine itself is much more advanced and the result of a much longer development cycle. But still!
    Apparently the test hopper they are assembling in Florida is bit more polished….but still being thrown together absurdly quickly.”


    Bobby did not send a link, alas.

  262. @Nastarana

    Re a possible 3rd party and/or disengagement from empire

    Honestly, I cannot say. I’m much more effective as a utility analyst and engineer than as a politician. (I mean, I can’t even get front-yard potato plants legalized, for crying out loud…) My assessment, for what it’s worth, is that things will have to fall apart a good deal more than they have before enough people will see through the facade of our imperial mirage. One thing I have learned in my few years of political experience is that having a coherent, well-constructed, and effective plan is one thing. Getting others to buy into that plan so that it can be put into action is something completely different. And the latter has little to do with logical argument or reasoned discussion. If people don’t want to agree with you, they won’t and they don’t have to explain why. Persuasion is a totally different skill set.

    I am beginning to think that th straightforward approach I described, despite being efficient in terms of time and resources, ultimately cannot be implemented because it ignores the human element in the transition. We have to convince people of the necessity of the change before change is possible. And, of course, one has to combat the forces opposing that change. This is why I find myself wondering if the seemingly slipshod, haphazard, half-donkeyed manner in which Trump is proceeding is, in fact, the only way our disengagement can be accomplished at this point in time, keeping those oppositional forces off balance and doing the whole look-over-there-while-I-do-this-thing-over-here schtick. And settling for what partial measures one can get. I do lament the waste of time we can ill-afford, not to mention the lives and resources foolishly squandered.

  263. Here’s a scary thought: suppose we are not all in hell. Suppose we are all in heaven. 👀😳

  264. Sunnnv, I’ve worked with it and don’t find it as helpful as other methods. The best method I know, which I learned from my favorite Llewellyn George textbook, is to recast your natal chart for the moment of your birth, correcting as needed for time zones, in the place to which you’re considering moving. Study your new Ascendant and Midheaven, and the houses into which your planets have moved; those will tell you how things will go for you in the new place.

    Bruno, sooner or later it really will sink in that nothing electronic is private, ever…

    Denys, remember that I grew up in Seattle, lived there until 2004, and then spent the next five years in Ashland, OR, which is even further to the left! (That latter experience was what completed the process of my becoming a moderate Burkean conservative.) I know exactly what’s going through their minds right now…

    David BTL, it’s a big deal, because Pelosi and AOC are de facto heads of two major factions of a party at war with itself.

    Ron M, thanks for this! Agreed — and I’d add that mindfulness meditation belongs in its proper context, that of Theravadin Buddhist faith and practice, and is much more likely to mess you up if it’s pulled out of that context.

    John, the difficulty is of course that the Boomers can’t simply see themselves as an ordinary generation being ousted in the ordinary way of things. Too many people in my generation were raised to see themselves as the most important people ever, and letting go of the reins of power means that they have to relinquish that delusion.

    Simo, I’ll never live there, or within two thousand miles of there. Nor will the events that affect it have any significant impact on me or, in all probability, anybody I will ever know personally. Tell me this: how concerned are you about the stretch of territory in the Atacama that used to belong to Bolivia, was seized by Chile in a war between 1879 and 1884, and remains a source of friction between the two nations? That’s how much I’m concerned about the Kaliningrad oblast.

    Caryn, there are immense dangers in this habit of cultivating a sense of collective guilt. Of course the history of the US is a very mixed bag, as is the history of every other nation; those who made decisions that have had bad consequences bear responsibility for those decisions — but this notion that every American citizen is personally guilty of everything bad any American politician has ever done seems to me uncomfortably similar to the notion, once widely promoted by the medieval Christian church, that every Jew was personally guilty of the murder of Christ. You are responsible for what you personally do, I am responsible for what I personally do, and the buck stops there. That’s how I see it, at least.

  265. Dear Methylethyl,

    Thanks for your kind comment. First, thanks for that bit about the use of exorcism in Eastern Orthodoxy. That sounds very sensible. In my own practice I fling holy water and burn frankincense daily, and I find it helps.

    I find your thoughts on psychism very helpful, thank you! you’re right — so much of socializing is going along to get along, and there’s so much of that I can’t really do in good faith given the dynamics of my inner senses. The best I’ve come up with is to, for all intents and purposes, give up on having a social life. I exchange maybe 250 words total with my family per day and hang out with friends about once a month. The upshot of that is that I never look at my cell phone and I can’t even remember if it ran out of juice or if I turned it off.

    I think you’re right — I don’t think that there is a solution to the problem, and I don’t know how to meet my needs for human contact in this time of social fragmentation, atomization and partisan hatred. Luckily, I believe in reincarnation and karma and so trust that I either richly deserve my past, present and ongoing suffering, or will learn from it and become wiser and stronger on its account.

    As for the plants not wanting to go there, I find it interesting that I prayed to my patron deity that the plants would be blessed with having their material needs met, among other blessings in the same vein. So you might be on to something…

    I’m so sorry to hear about the neighbor-harassment! That sounds absolutely harrowing and I hope, as well, that it’s a random one off thing!

  266. Beekeeper, Europeans and others suffering in the high temps this summer –

    Living in a true desert, with the lowest socioeconomic status in our state, I do have a few ideas on keeping cooler, cheaply.

    Firstly, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, a la internet. Function accordingly.

    During the daytime, tie something wet around your neck and shoulders, we use cloth napkins while working in the garden. Evaporative cooling really helps at the back of your neck, and cooling happens rapidly between your upper thighs and under your arm pits – larger arteries there. Shake out the wet cloth as needed to re-chill.

    Cover windows in the afternoon. We have a brick-faced western wall that houses our living room, so from the spring through fall we hang bamboo shades to stop the sun from hitting the brick. Otherwise, our living room is unbearably hot all night from the solar energy stored in the brick being released hour after hour. Take a look outside and see if there is anything you can do to shade the western side of your dwelling, before the sun hits said dwelling. Even just a white sheet could could greatly increase your comfort.

    Keep your winter rice bag, or whatever other bed heating method you use – (I’ve seen walnut shells and other random things sewn into bags to microwave or oven heat for taking into bed, any of these work. I just made mine from rice and flannel, sewn into a channeled bag) – and keep it in the freezer or fridge. At least four hours under chill. I stick them in the freezer after beds are made in the morning for routine sake. You can also fill a hot water bottle with ice and water. If going the hot water bottle method or using a store bought gel-type ice pack, be sure to wrap it in a hand towel. Add to your bed up at the chest while doing your night routine, then move down to your feet when you crawl in. Chills the air under your top sheet and chills the mattress so you can fall asleep.

    Spraying down your top sheet with water from a spray bottle and sleeping with a fan blowing on said sheet can help you get to sleep on the hottest nights, we usually use this in combination with the rice bags for all night comfort. Shower or sink bath with cold water before bed for even more comfort. Again with the evaporative cooling.

    May all your days be filled with the knowledge that we can adapt to many climates.

    shewhoholdstensions – who’s current forecast is 105′, 108′ 103′, etc.

  267. I find the discourse around whether or not Jews murdered Christ to be symbolic of the root of our modern dysfunction. Was Christ murdered by a clique of Jews (meaning a bounded group of people who are Jewish) ?Probably (indirectly, through the Romans). Was Christ murdered by all Jews that have and will ever exist? Um, no. And yet, no rational discussion is possible – the disinterested Romans who cared little for Palestinian squabbles who unjustly killed Christ were convinced to do so by a gang of morally deficient Jews, or you want to try for 12 million this time…

  268. Dominique,

    I teach the book Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions (as told to Richard Erdoes) in my high school mythology class. John Fire (Lame Deer) is a Lakota Sioux medicine man who lived from 1900 to 1975. In the book, he shares ideas, experiences, and traditions from his life and culture.

    I and some of my students have found it to be a powerful account. Also, two of my native friends have vouched for its substance.


  269. DT:

    If you’re frustrated by not being able to get plastic straws in your favorite restaurant, you can bring along your own. If you want to see heads explode, order a package of Trump straws. They’re a real thing and I hear they’re popular.


    Maybe Portland is giving Seattle and Ashland a run for their money?

    “I have a friend, let’s call her Karen. Karen bootstrapped several Portland businesses, including a coffee shop. She walks in one day and the barista, who is trans, says she had a man come in earlier wearing a MAGA cap and is she obliged to serve people like him? Karen asks, did he say something to you? No, says the barista, but he’s a white supremacist. Karen tells her, first, you don’t know that, and second, you cannot discriminate based on the way someone is dressed. And that, Karen thinks, is that, but no, the barista relays the story to another barista we will call Jen, who goes onto Facebook and posts, “My boss Karen is a Nazi.” Karen learns of this while she is on vacation. She calls her manager and tells her to get Jen into the office. Jen may intuit as much, as when the manager says she needs to speak with her, Jen gets on the floor behind the espresso bar and curls into a fetal position. And you might think, if anyone should maybe not be in customer service, it’s Jen, but no, people prove sympathetic to her and the other barista’s fears and start an online inquisition and can Karen prove she is not a Nazi? And should she not be more concerned with the safety of her employees than some random Republican wanting a cup of coffee?”

    The rest is here:

  270. HI JMG

    Which Manly P. Hall book talks about the unfortunate kundalini experiment?

  271. In 8 days I am going to be hosting something of a spin off from the green Wizard Tower idea. I am calling it the Hedge Meeting as the word ‘hedge’ has an abundance of useful and interesting connotations and hasn’t been worn out like so much ‘green’ vocabulary.

    The vague notion is to pilfer some techniques from 12 step groups and various support groups to try setting up a discussion group on how we can be less dependant on the undependable, as individuals, a group, and a community. I am going to be flying by the seat of my pants for the exact form of the event, but the general notion is that I am going to prime the topic with some of my concerns about the future, stressing the significance of uncertainty so that folks with differing perspectives can feel welcome to take part. We don’t have to agre on the details of the future to encourage each other to make our best efforts to have a go at getting better. Then over a pot luck meal pass the conversation around the table encouraging folks to voice concerns about the future, how those concerns have or could shape their actions, and what kinds of support they desire to up their game. One of the only guiding ideas I have for structuring the first topic is a request for speakers to address the group with their own thoughts, and not address individuals with critiques of others perspectives.

    I am recalling an attempt I made back while living in Fort collins colorado to start a general permaculture guild which failed because I wasn’t paying atention to the needs of the folks who were actually showing up at the meetings. The came to a permaculture guild, but they really wanted a support group for a scary future. So I am starting this focused more on being an inperson discussion group in imitation of this digital discourse digest with an opening intention to make those who show up feel encouraged to give their best to what they think might help. I hope that it may lead to a spin off group that is more focused on developing skills and finding ecotechinic work for the membership, a guild so to speak, but I belive that it is profitable to approach that goal from a tangent. Even if that hope don’t come to fruition I still think there is merit in luring folks into opening up about their concerns in a setting primed for mutual encouragment.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on how to make the best of a pot luck conversation, and also prayers, well wishes, and good luck mojo according to what you have to offer.

    This is the flier I have been handing out to the venders at my region’s farmer’s markets and craft markets (trying to dope the sample with extra folks who have a lot of their smarts in their hands, so to speak, and I have invested a couple of years helping people set up or take down booths around market to become something of a regional mascot, so I have social capital to call in on this effort.)

    The Hedge Meeting
    Sunday Dinner Conversation.

    August 4th, and the first Sunday of each month
    At the Sharehouse, 30-D North Beech, Cortez Colorado

    Come at 4:30
    Sit down to eat and talk together 5:00.

    The only requirement to attend is the willingness to participate in a respectful conversation, but please bring a pot luck dish and a tip to support the venue.

    Instigated by Raymond Wharton

    A conversation on our concerns about an uncertain future, and what we can do about it. Many are worried about potential economic, ecological, or social instability looming before us, which the conventional ways of our time seem unprepared to meet. But the discourse on these topics in public life is waylaid by worn out rhetoric, the intense emotionality of the topic, and profound uncertainty about the situation; questions of what might or might not make a difference. If these concerns seem worthy of public conversation to you, please join us to share your perspective on our situation and what that means to you and your life. In doing so, we may be able to rise to the challenges with clearer heads, and perhaps even a new found source of support to try what we might to make the best of our situation as individuals, as a group, and as a community.

  272. Bradley Lowry, thanks for the recommendation! But it seems to me that the author is at times a bit superficial; he accepts too uncritically the narrative of the moral superiority of the Western world.

  273. I’m not all that surprised at Orlov going off the deep end. I saw a lot of disdain for religion and spirituality in “Shrinking the Technosphere.”

    That may seem like a non-sequitur. My feeling is that unless you address the underlying worldview of industrial civilization, and figure out a workable alternative to it, you’ll only ever get so far criticizing modern life. The situation we’re in is the precise outcome demanded by the logic of Western industrialism.

    We’ve been promised for centuries that the good life is found in the accumulation of material comforts. Take that away, and replace it with a promise of privation and grief, and all of a sudden you have a convincing case for suicide. Unless that original false promise is replaced with something more durable.

    So Orlov, being a materialist AFAICT, winds up not having anything to offer for when the noisome fluids hit the fan. His only hope of the good life lies in the same mounds of techno-goodies he’s been critiquing. Queue the crackup.

  274. Hi Kimberly and JMG,

    Thank you for the helpful feed back! I have had a good experience practicing daily since about the Spring equinox. It has helped me keep my balance dealing with a person that I have been trying to help, which mostly turned out to remind me that there is a reason people primarily work with helping strangers through groups/agencies. Getting a manipulative person into your life is pretty easy. Getting them out of your life takes a great deal of time and patience. :(. But I think the subtle approach is the one I want. I am also praying for guidance and getting reacquainted with using divination. It occurs to me I was asking for a teacher earlier this year.., so I will chalk this part of my life to “be careful what you ask for”…

    Thank you!

  275. David BTL, when Dubya won reelection I remember people on the Left talking about how the country needed to be divided into the US and Jesustan, so it’s not entirely new — but I won’t be at all surprised to see that recurring after the 2020 election.

    Sunnnv, I’ve seen some very solid theological arguments by Bible-believing Protestant Christians in favor of Universalism, and they frankly seem far more convincing to me than the counterarguments. Still, not my faith, not my tenets.

    Justin, thanks for this! I’ll raise a glass to tegeus-Cromis and Viriconium any time. As for (former) Judge Hunter, no, that’s not going to end well, is it?

    Shewhoholdstensions, that should be fine. I’ve had reiki, massage, and craniosacral therapy with no ill effects.

    David BTL, yep. Every single one of us will be dead within a century…

    Isaac, solar water heater technology solved that in the 1970s. Look into active water heater systems that circulate an antifreeze compound through the collectors and a heat exchanger to transfer the heat to water. The New Alchemy Institute ran systems of this kind on Cape Cod and Prince Edward Island for years.

    Sister Crow, I’m delighted to hear it! More generally, I’m really pleased that A World Full of Gods has been so useful to the Heathen community. I’ve gotten more fan mail for that book from Heathens than from all other flavors of Paganism and polytheism put together.

    Phil H., many thanks for this.

    Denys, I did indeed — and Hanson is always interesting; his book The Other Greeks was a real eye-opener for me.

    Mister N, 2016 was a good year for me; my blogging got its highest readership numbers ever, my books Dark Age America and Retrotopia saw print, and my fiction finally started getting some serious attention. If that’s Hell, I clearly didn’t sin much.

    Justin, fascinating. That sounds worth a read.

    Forecasting, if BoJo has the brains the gods gave geese, he’s already been on the phone with the prime ministers of Canada, Australia, India, and as many other Commonwealth nations as he can, setting up negotiations for juicy new trade agreements. Tomorrow he can have the same conversation with Trump, who’s eager to cut a deal. Once those negotiations are well under way, and Britain can be sure of getting the consumer goods it needs in the wake of a hard Brexit, he can announce that if Brussels won’t negotiate in good faith, all European goods will be facing steep tariffs and outright trade barriers starting the day Brexit happens, and Britain will take its business elsewhere. My guess is that once European businesses realize he’s serious, and they could lose their entire market share in the lucrative British market to businesses from the Commonwealth and the US, Brussels will crumple in a hurry. You’re right that you can’t bluff Brussels, but BoJo doesn’t need to bluff; he can inflict serious pain on the EU. (And if they don’t crumple, why, there are plenty of farmers in Florida who would be happy to provide British shoppers with all the courgettes they can eat, and plenty of ranchers in Queensland who are eager to make sure that nobody in Britain has to do without a Sunday roast…)

    Rita, thank you. I appreciate the fact that both of the people involved in the misunderstanding approached it as a problem to be solved, not an opportunity to take offense; that shows a degree of maturity not as common these days as one might wish.

    Aspirant, that was one oddball version of Cabala, then! In the Golden Dawn version of the tradition, your Higher Will or True Will is one of the three eternal parts of the self — there’s the yechidah or spiritual essence of the self, the chiah or true will, and the neshamah or higher perceptive capacities. The ordinary, lower will is part of the ruach or ordinary personality; it’s relatively unfree in the undeveloped soul, but becomes more capable of free action as repeated incarnations bring self-knowledge and differentiate the ruach from the nephesh, the “automatic consciousness” or animal soul, and overcome the negative persona, the reflection of the demonic sphere in the human soul. The purpose of spiritual practice is to strengthen and purify all five aspects of the ruach — thought, emotion, imagination, will, and memory — so that the negative persona is entirely conquered, the nephesh becomes the strong servant of the ruach, and the ruach itself freely aligns itself with the three eternal principles — memory and thought becoming wholly aligned with the neshamah, emotion and will becoming wholly aligned with the chiah, and imagination becoming the vehicle of the yechidah. In all this will, free will, is central.

    Antonomasia, interesting. Did any of them mention that spending across the whole Neopagan market has been in decline since 2007?

    David BTL, I have no idea how to represent it mathematically! Math isn’t my strong suit…

    DT, all those things are virtue signaling, meant to allow the privileged to keep on with their extravagantly energy-wasting lifestyles and still pretend that they care about the planet. May I make a suggestion? Don’t worry about straws; see if you can arrange to plant a tree or two somewhere, and keep it watered and tended until it’s well established. That’ll do more good for the environment than just about anything else.

    LunarApprentice, I have no idea. I’m really taken aback by these latest effusions of his.

    Ben, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    Spenglerian, I really think a lot of this is blowback from the incompetent attempts on the part of people on the Left to place a magical binding on Donald Trump. What’s happened, of course, as trad occult philosophy would predict, is that they’ve bound themselves; they’re going to keep on going through the same ineffectual motions over, and over, and over again, long after those motions have lost all their relevance and any hope of reaching their goals has been left far behind in the past. In 2040 or so, it’s quite possible that there will still be little cliques that are all that’s left of the Democratic Party — the two national parties then will be the Republican and the Populist Parties — that are still insisting that any day now they’ll have enough evidence to convict Donald Trump, even though Trump’s been dead for years and the Trump Memorial is being built on the Mall in Washington DC…

    David BTL, you can say that everything is random, or you can say that everything is determined, or you can say that everything is a matter of conscious beings making deliberate choices — which is neither random or determined…

    Kevin, you’re welcome and thank you! I’m glad you liked Concerto. As for the game, it’s being playtested as I write — initial comments are very positive — and it should be in print sometime in the new year. I’ll keep everyone posted.

    Nastarana, a viable third party wouldn’t be all that hard to found right now, though it would take plenty of work. Choose a name, get a provisional leadership in place, and then get to work with grassroots organizing, helping interested people form local caucuses and lay the groundwork for county and state conventions. Impose a hard and fast rule against consensus methods — those are used by professional activists to hijack and neutralize popular movements all the time — and have classes in basic parliamentary procedure, so that your people learn how to use democratic process to make their voices heard. Keep it rolling, make the finances totally transparent, let the grassroots take the lead, and watch it take off.

    Tripp, the nature of your afterlife experience does seem to correlate fairly well with how you live your life. Some people who have near-death experiences report something pretty hellish! In terms of occult philosophy, that’s what you would expect, since what you experience when you die depends on what level of the astral plane you resonate with, and that in turn depends on your attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words here and now. There are some very pleasant places in the upper astral, but there are also some very unpleasant places down in the lower astral. The one thing to keep in mind is that none of these states are permanent; you cycle through them, and then are reborn into a new life that also depends very much on the attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words in this one — and that can also be very pleasant or the opposite.

    Letsnottemptgoogle, the problem with the current scientific establishment is that it’s become committed to certain rigid political and philosophical viewpoints which prevent it from doing much of anything helpful at this point. Individuals can still do quite a bit — but you may have to be fairly covert about it. As far as genetics is concerned, I know of nothing wrong with genetic testing; if you can enter a field that has nothing to do with genetic manipulation, you should be fine.

    Tom, thanks for this! I’ll let you and David work something out — as I noted in response to his post, math isn’t my strong suit at all.

    Your Kittenship, what if it’s either one, depending on your attitude? 😉

    Justin, I ain’t arguing.

    Beekeeper, Portland is neck deep in it too — and it’s got a city government that’s hand in glove with the Antifa thugs, in exactly the same way that the Portland city government in the 1920s was hand in glove with the Klan. I used to visit Portland fairly often, and enjoyed it, but I’ll be taking my tourist dollars elsewhere, thank you very much.

    Your Kittenship, iirc it was Self-Unfoldment Through Disciplines of Realization, Hall’s main textbook of spiritual practice.

    Ray, I’m delighted to hear it! Keep us posted on how it goes.

    Your Kittenship, you can always claim that your sign’s Arachne, the thirteenth sign of the Zodiac, and encourage anyone who questions you to read James Vogh’s book Arachne Rising, which is all about that. (Vogh’s real name was John Sladek — yes, the SF writer — and he wrote it as a prank to try to mess with New Agers, but it’s a good dodge if you want to mess with people’s heads…)

    Cliff, the fascinating thing is that when I last talked to Dmitry, he was talking enthusiastically about how great religion was as a basis for sustainability, even though he couldn’t bring himself to believe in a religion. So close, yet so far…

  276. Hello JMG,

    Talking to Nastarana about how to set up a third party, you write : “Impose a hard and fast rule against consensus methods — those are used by professional activists to hijack and neutralize popular movements all the time”.

    Having up to now believed consensus methods were good from a democratic point of view and living in a country which promotes them, it would be important for me to understand why this is in fact not the case. So thanks in advance for your explanations.

  277. JMG’s Comment:

    “I’m far from sure, though, that I’d agree with the claim that the flood of economic migrants are coming here because it’s “impossible for them to live” in Guatemala et al. Au contraire, a great many of them seem to be responding to the simple fact that even as indentured labor, they can make more money here than there.”:

    The same thing can be said about migrants to Europe. They come because there’s a whole propaganda machine in their own countries to tell them that the only acceptable lifestyle is the Western consumeristic one and since it’s ready-made in the West, why not get it immediately.

    To be fair, for the more intellectual migrants, there are also advantages in Western countries concerning freedom of expression, since military governments are often needed in their native countries to make the only internationally acceptable economic and social model work.

    Population growth is also a very important factor. Obviously governments in those countries cannot keep up with their rapidly constantly growing populations, and there is high youth unemployment.

  278. @Caryn Banker, July 26, 2019 at 9:30 am, David, by the lake, July 26, 2019 at 1:44 pm, JMG and all,
    two years ago there was a similar discussion on this forum, and in the Open Post on September 27, 2017 I submitted a by my standards rather long comment in which I wrote (on the topic of immigration into the EU) :
    ´´I think that people can´t be held accountable for what their ancestors did, and I show everyone who is trying to blame me for what the Nazis did my metaphorical middle finger (but I also know that a lot of people all over the world beg to differ: humans can hold grudges like that for a very long time indeed). When it comes to curent policies though, it´s not quite the same, because, after all, Germany is a democracy and so are the other EU countries. The agricultural policy of the EU towards other (poorer) countries is a disgrace, and has been for a long time: farmers within the EU are being heavily subsidized and get guaranteed sales, so there is every incentive to overproduce, and the surplus is being dumped on African countries and ruining the local farmer´s livelihoods (yes, I know things are a bit more complicated, but it´s a fairly accurate description of the outcome). And all that´s not even saying anything about degrading fish stocks, climate change, deforestation and the use of the best agricutural areas for things like coffee, bananas, chocolate and peanuts (!), and who is responsible for that. This has been known and going on for decades, and there were plenty of warning voices even in the mainstream media that something like the current wave of migration is going to happen (heck, the BBC even made a TV- drama about it in 1990: , as well available in German: )´´
    This still is my opinion on this, and I also very much agree with Caryn:
    ´´Can we be ‘proud’ of the good that our country does/has done without taking responsibility and shame for the bad it has done/is doing?……I’m at the point of saying “no, we can’t”. ´´
    My conclusion is slightly different, though, because I also agree with what JMG responded:
    ´´Caryn, there are immense dangers in this habit of cultivating a sense of collective guilt. Of course the history of the US is a very mixed bag, as is the history of every other nation; those who made decisions that have had bad consequences bear responsibility for those decisions — but this notion that every American citizen is personally guilty of everything bad any American politician has ever done seems to me uncomfortably similar to the notion, once widely promoted by the medieval Christian church, that every Jew was personally guilty of the murder of Christ. You are responsible for what you personally do, I am responsible for what I personally do, and the buck stops there.´´
    I´ve had quite a few discussions with various people from different countries about this, and I´ve always argued that it is indeed irrational to take pride in your country´s achievements without being ashamed about its wrongdoings. My take on it is that one cannot be proud of the achievements of others, but neither does one have to accept collective guilt; that is why I sometimes struggle with the concepts of ´´Nation´´ or ´´State´´.
    But in the real world nations do exist and people do take pride in their countries without having a sense of collective guilt and they will probably carry on being merrily irrational, and I´ve no idea what one could do about it or wether one even should try to do something about it.
    So, I can also see the point of what David, by the lake is saying:
    ´´The first step, of course, to dealing with disagreeable consequences is to stop creating more of them. Hence, my prescription would be a unilateral withdrawal from empire. We stop involving ourselves in the affairs of other nations, stop pouring our limited resources into the maintenance of an empire we’re going to lose regardless, put up the tariff walls, redirect those resources toward producing our own goods for our own use with our own natural resources and our own labor. We mind our own business, defend our borders (and only our borders), support the well-being of our citizens, and let the rest of the world go on its merry way. Easy to say difficult to do.´´
    I suppose we just have to live with this dilemma and try to mitigate the bad consequences thereof as best as we can whenever and whereever we encounter them.

  279. I will just offer a comment and prediction on the UK situation. I’ve been watching the political situation there for a while now (and have munched my way through at least several bags of popcorn, its been quite a show!)

    Boris Johnson for me, I think he stirs up such a frenzy (Johnson derangement syndrome), because like Trump he is clear and unequivocal evidence that the politcial institutions are rotten to the core. Even Theresa May could maintain at least a thin veneer of respectability. With Johnson in charge, the rot in the institutions is all layed bare (just like with Trump in america)

    I can’t help but think of how appropriate Johnson is at this stage, he’s sort of a weird managed combination of an old British aristocrat, monty python sketch and late 20/ early 21st century celbraty . He kind of the last 100 years or so of British history rolled in to one man.

    As for how he’ll go as prime minster? well of course the conservatives will know by now if the uk isn”t out of the EU by October 31st they’re toast and Nigel Farage will be on his way to number 10. So they’ll engage in full on hostitles with the EU (as JMG predicted last year) and pivot troopers america and the other commonwealth countries. I think they’ll avoid a general election as long as possible if they can (before the UK leaves)

    Having gotten the UK out of the EU, what they’ll need to do next to see off Corbyn is to pivot to the left on economics, promising funding for infrastructure etc in the north or even moving towards re nationalisation of railways etc? They’ll have figured out by now they need to do this kind of thing to keep Corbyn out of number 10.

    The Lib dems in my opinion are merely riding on a temporary wave of support because of the brexit climate. Their vote will diminish post brexit, opening the door for Corbyn to rip into the tories.
    (Your remember what the polls said at the last election about labour…)

    Finally a comment on Corbyn. The establishment are more or less universally united against him (even if he reaches no 10, they’ll make his life a living hell).
    I’ve long had the impression with Corbyn though is the point of him is to lay the foundations for change rather than to be the change himself. If he forces the tories to pivot to the left on comics, he’s already achieved this. Or it might be a case of Boris the brexit hero being turfed out just after the uk leaves the eu.. (rather like winston churchill after WW2)… we will see. fascinating stuff to watch!

    On a completely different note. I think I may have convinced someone to downgrade to a older dumbpone. I showed her my dumbphone ( I’ve had it for 7 years now.. never been any trouble!, she was both shocked and inspired.. times are a changing!!)

  280. More on light pollution: No, ordinary blinds do not keep out the lights from the street, campus, or whatever urban environment you’re in. Blackout curtains, curtain rods, and, clip-on curtain rings are an effective and low-tech solution: cheap, at Walmart. Option may not be available to renters.

    Hunters/gatherers in a warm climate, if they slept under the stars, would see just about as much light as we city folk, from the stars and the moon and the fires they kept going against wild animals etc. The houses, longhouses, and lodges whose footprints we see all over Ice Age sites would be darker; a medieval farmhouse or cottage likewise, since curfews existed and were backed up by some kind of firewatch, in cities, at least.

    The light pollution from own devices yielded, in my place, to three dishcloths draped over the router, the power strip, and the landline. And my own eyes, to a blindfold, stashed with my pjs and worn nightly.

    But yes, it’s probably a factor in our not getting much good quality rest. And of course, after a long enough time in the city, the “urban serenade” (symphony for police, fire, and ambulance, with a bass chorus of rumbling traffic and the occasional horn or car alarm solo) becomes a lullaby.

  281. Hi JMG,
    you wrote: ´´David BTL, you can say that everything is random, or you can say that everything is determined, or you can say that everything is a matter of conscious beings making deliberate choices — which is neither random or determined…´´
    Couldn´t you also say it´s a mixture of all these ? 😉

  282. @David, by the Lake

    I really like what you are doing, trying to find the ternary that resolves the binary between determinism and stochasticism.

    But. I’m not sure that will, per se, is useful anywhere in this binary, since both terms of the binary refer to what a “system” (which may include a number of players, as well as represent an individual) looks like from OUTSIDE.

    Will, is what is at work from INSIDE, whether of the individual being modelled, or each of the collection of individuals being modelled, and that is categorically different. It can only be appreciated and/or experienced from INSIDE, and from outside it can only be guessed at, never proven.

    In my view, systems that are operated, both jointly and severally, in concert and at cross purposes, from within the multitude of their individual wilful players, can look, from outside, equally plausibly as being deterministic or being stochastic. However, that is only because insider knowledge/experience is inaccessible from there.

    However, like you, I would like a word that expresses this idea – that everything occurs as a result of willful beings in action. The appearance of “determinism” rises from within the purposes each wilful being determines to follow, while the appearance of “randomness” arises from the continual surprises that wilful beings that are different from ourselves, present us with.

  283. JMG recently someone asked about the availability of your fiction in audiobook form.

    What of your oeuvre is available as audiobooks? What exists? What future plans? Man, I’d love for someone to read ARD to me!


  284. Ah, @JMG of course it is neither my duty, nor my intention, to convince folk of anything… Especially not when they are taken by the kind of fey mood which prompts em to cite a meme. 🙂

    I am only and always bearing witness to my own (different) perspective and POV. FWIW.

    Be well.

  285. @Tom

    Re chaos theory and math

    If I’m following, what you’re describing is a deterministic system that is highly sensitive to small perturbations, such that very slight changes in input parameters result in wildly different outputs. Though each “run” is itself is a deterministic function. (I rather wished I’d done more dynamic systems theory. I focused on operations research and statistical forecasting methods.)


    I guessing that if I ask, Whomever She May Be will answer somewhere along the lines of “Why do you need to know?” That, at least, has been my experience is these sorts of questions so far…

  286. JMG
    You write in answer to ‘forecasting’:
    ‘if BoJo has the brains the gods gave geese, he’s already been on the phone with the prime ministers of Canada, Australia, India, and as many other Commonwealth nations as he can, setting up negotiations for juicy new trade agreements.’

    :Hmmm … I can’t help being the elderly skeptic. (inscrutable smile)
    Sounds more like an attempt at returning to old Imperial Preference without the benefit of a hegemonic trading currency. Who knows what the global investors who own much of our productive assets as well as our less productive built environment will think about extracting profit from the new challenges and opportunities?

    That recent nuclear power station deal (EDF & China) is a spectacularly expensive permanent profit extraction mechanism imposed on British electricity consumers in perpetuity. With more external funding like that ‘the poor’ are set to know a bit more austerity. Maybe the USA can help by selling us more of their health and higher education industries?

    We do not actually (like the old days) live on bread nor even modern courgettes. With modern inputs (and Texan or Dutch machinery) we grow more bread-quality wheat these days:
    “Imports accounted for an average 11% of UK wheat demand over the past 10 years, according to the report, although this varied between seven and 20%”.

    For British beef, I quote:

    “The UK is 75% self-sufficient in Beef leaving us plenty room for producers to grow more beef for the home market [The leading form of meat consumption is ‘mince’ at 38%]
    81% of beef sold in the UK is under the British logo…
    The UK exports 24,000 tonnes of beef and imports 60,000 tonnes. Exports are mainly to the EU”

    Relative cost of inputs into Britain and other parts of our cost structure are due to change along with any value added by our economy – which interacts with our exchange rate and ability of financial services to make up for the hefty import imbalance in goods and resources. As I wrote up-thread, I have no idea … really!

    Phil H

  287. Your picture of the kid in the paper crown bawling is perfect! The more they cry and carry on the more it empowers Trump. He wakes up everyday with all this hatred flung at him and just keeps going. Bush the Third or Romney or McCain would have resigned before even taking office in Jan 2017!

    I think we are all going to have to go on high alert for people taking violent public actions against others. Now they are bleating that we only have 14 months left to save the planet, so we must extreme action immediately.

    We had a saying in the Peace Corps to new volunteers – “if you came here as a liberal, you’ll leave as a conservative.” We were always a part of some host county project to change something and the projects never worked. People don’t want to be changed. They want the opportunity to learn and choose for themselves. Dropping pallets of cash would have been 100x effective.

    I’m going to put The Other Greeks on my reading list – thanks for the suggestion!

  288. Nastarana –
    @Techno_fog on Twitter posted the filing papers with the DOJ from 2007-2009. Ken Starr was Epstein’s lawyer at the time??? There was some sort of plea agreement with the Feds but the Feds never followed through on their end. It never occurred to me that if a prosecutor just “forgets” to file papers with the court and follow through, cases just go away. Everything filed with courts is publicly available and usually someone in journalism at some level pursues what cases courts are doing, but Epstein was just forgotten.

    I think Ann Coulter wrote about it and went into detail about the case starting in Florida, and then they dropped it and the Feds picked it up. I know Ann Coulter isn’t well loved by many, but she was a Clerk for the Supreme Court so she knows law and can clearly and simply explain it.

  289. Hi JMG,

    Another long time Dmitry reader. My take on him is that he is very independent and feels most comfortable going against the grain of society. This sort of thinking resulted in questioning the very value systems that produce and reward individuality and independent thinking and so he put a lot of faith in religious communities etc – things that I think he does not naturally take to. I’ve watched how much difficulty he seems to have engaging in the comment sections with his followers. He doesn’t seem to be someone who would either want to join a community of the type he admires, and certainly could not stand to have one form around him (I suspect this would be some sort of nightmare for him).

    I look to him as an industrious island, a very intelligent person who is highly motivated to explore unusual avenues in response to our energy predicament, both in terms of research and actual physical work. I take things he posts these days often with more than a grain of salt but sometimes find that they stimulate something in me that is useful. He does things I find very strange, like he writes a book about technic in the style of Jacques Ellul or Ted Kaczynski, and then a year later or so is promoting nuclear power, but I don’t look to him for consistency, and I don’t model my life after him even though certain talks and essays of his have had very strong impacts on me and have become parts of my worldview that are likely to persist. He has generated a lot of ideas, some of them being very good and pointed to many odd avenues for exploration.

    He and a Russian colleague I had at work were canaries in the coal mine for me (personal anecdotal evidence, I guess) of where we are at with regards to North America vs Russia. I would say that I knew something about the ascent of one and the descent of the other when they’d both moved back, and for what it’s worth they’ve both moved back.


  290. @JMG
    Whats your thoughts on Julius Evolas book “revolt against the modern world”?

    And his view of the history of mythology and religion?

  291. JMG – could you say more about how activists in grassroots movements use consensus governance to hijack the movement and take control? I remember you saying something similar about Black Lives Matter or the Occupy movement or similar some time ago but not clear on the details of how it happens.

    On another note, I keep seeing this whole “European no-go zones” meme bandied around. I even read the Gatestone website article on no go zones in Britain that Ethan posted above.

    I can’t speak to other countries, but it’s nonsense in the UK.

    Source: I was a beat cop for ten years (till last year), walking the streets in London, in one of the “no-go zones” listed in the Gatestone report. I lived in a different so-called “no-go zone” in a nearby part of London, and my wife teaches in a 70% Muslim school in the local “no-go” area. I don’t know them as well obviously but I’ve also visited or driven through several areas in other parts of England that have been described as “no-go areas”.

    Or in other words, I have much more experience of these areas than anyone who came within a mile of writing that Gatestone article which basically reads as if someone started with an agenda and did a couple og days googling statistics and media articles that supported their view.

    I don’t even know where to begin, because I’d be here all day if I went through it in detail. But it’s a strange mix of things that are flat out wrong, and things that are presented misleadingly or over simplified.

    In particular, real social problems in deprived areas – high crime, low trust, lack of opportunities, low social cohesion etc (which are genuine problems – the areas listed in the report are – not at all coincidentally – the poorest parts of the UK) have been somehow turned into “Muslim” issues, which is both wrong and misleading.

    Couple of other points –

    It’s also misleading to look at “white flight” statistics in the context of “White British” only. While this is a real phenomenon, the reasons for it are complex, and the implication (that the neighbourhood left behind is a uniform sea of brown and black) is wrong – usually the “White British” are replaced by a large number of (white) Eastern Europeans, and even the non-white population is far more diverse, both in terms of religion and ethnicity than just labelling them “Muslim”.

    Which brings me to my next point – talking about “Muslims” as a homogenous bloc is about as useful as talking about “white people” in the same way, as if there’s no difference between a working class urban Greek from Athens, a white British aristocrat from London and a white Antifa activist in Portland, Oregon There are vast differences between (Muslims from) Somalia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia/Indonesia and so on. For that matter, reading that article it’s even worse – it assumes anyone who has brown skin is Muslim, and therefore any crime by a brown person is a “Muslim” crime done in furtherance of some kind of jihad – when in fact there’s a good chance they are Hindu or Christian, and even if Muslim, 99% of the time the crime has nothing to do with religion.

    In my experience (and that of my wife), the problems with integration have far more to do with class and education, and far less to do with religion. There is (for example) a huge difference between the immigrants from a village in rural Pakistan and Turkey (in relation to whom many of the stereotypes do apply) and those from Lahore and Istanbul (to say nothing of those from Bombay or Kuala Lumpur).

    The crime problems also have more to do with gangs and deprivation than religion as such (even if many of the criminals happen to be coincidentally Muslim – the gangs are not defined by religion, at least not in East London).

    None of this is to dismiss or diminish the real problems in those deprived areas – but it’s ridiculous to call them “no go zones”. It’s simply not true in my personal experience. There are a few small areas where the police sometimes hesitate to go alone or in pairs – in certain council estates (what Americans call “projects” I think). But that has to do with gang problems and anti-police sentiment there – not religion, and police *do* go there – just in larger groups (and even that is usually temporary).

  292. > Remember that the Bible as we have it now was assembled by a committee under the supervision of the Roman state. The goal wasn’t to pass on a revolutionary way of looking at the world, it was to establish a set of scriptures that everyone could be commanded to accept on pain of death, as an instrument of imperial politics.

    Sorry, but that’s as a crude way of looking at the synods (not to mention the septuagint translation, which was much older, but also included in the modern Bible), as the establishment has on looking at magic…

    The bible wasn’t some political scheme (and it includes all kinds of parts that contain “revolutionary way of looking at the world”), and the people assembled weren’t some ass covering bureaucrats in service of the state, but for the most part true believers. There was also not some one-off decree from the higher authority what to include, but lots of debate among them (decades of it)…

  293. Hi JMG,

    A question and possible data point for you, are you familiar at all with the Japanese animator Miyazaki? I am not recommending you watch his films, but for a while I have thought you might be interested in being aware of his influence as I think it has become quite large among young people in North America and many of his themes are ones that I think you would be happy to know are among the myths that have gained ground. It is rare when his films have good guy vs bad guy structures, and even when they do, the reality is more complex and the resolutions unusual.

    My Neighbour Totoro is probably his most popular film, it’s been my nieces favorite movie her whole life and many young people hold it in a very dear place from what I can tell. It’s about girls moving into an old country house with their dad that they find happily haunted. They befriend the spirits living there and the movie is a series of small offerings to them and exchanges between them where the spirits help them:

    Nausicaa is the one I first saw in the 80s as a kid (I don’t think it is as popular with kids as some others, but I thought you would find it’s Jack Vance elements and the way it aligns with your post on Zebra mussels and invasive species worth note). This one exists also as a longer story in comic form (Miyazaki wrote and illustrated it I think after the cartoon came out):

    He has many more (as does his company), all with similar themes, climaxes involving great compromises and changes in perspective. He is quite famous so apologies if you know this all, it just occurred to me that it might be under your radar and worth passing along.


  294. @Patricia Matthews:
    The paperback version of Being Viking costs the same (minus shipping) as the ebook for personal use, £35.00 / $45.00.

    Here, I have decided that buying hardcover is a no-go; I can get more books in paperback. They are less durable, but this was the low hanging fruit I could harvest to go farther into my books wishlist.

    We are at the topic of hardcover books, so…

    I bought long ago the two first volumes of The Weird of Hali in hardcover, and also a set for my brother. I didn’t like one thing on them, the way they were just a hardcover sewn over the paperback book, trimming a part of the image on the cover. I thought I would actually prefer them to be without the cover, then the first volume was released like that… and after that, the publisher was switched.

    I am sure that the day I offer the books in holocaust to the gods, the missing volumes will be published. It could be worse, at least I didn’t buy the horribly expensive versions within free paper boxes.

    I remember once you telling us to never buy incomplete stories, like A Song of Ice and Fire; this bitter lesson is now extended to fancy rare sets.

  295. @Nastarana-

    You should be proud of the single issue voter thing! Each individual can only take a stand on so many things. What is more important than food? For me, it was all the broken environmental promises that caused me to leave the Democrats. I’m now Independent too.

    You stated: “women don’t get elected by being photogenic and wearing stunning designer outfits”

    Perhaps not, but they can certainly get nominated by political organizations that way. Are you aware that AOC auditioned for her part as part of a casting call held by an organization called the Justice Democrats? She got an audition after her brother sent in a picture of her. She was selected out of hundreds of others.

    (Source: “In reality, it is quite common for Political Action Committees (PACs) to recruit candidates for office. The Justice Democrats made no attempt to hide this effort and openly discuss their recruitment process on their website and in videos published to their public YouTube page” )

    (See also: )

    I haven’t looked into it, but I’ve heard that may be the case with Omar as well. Maybe somebody else here has.

  296. Patricia Matthews:

    I don’t know if this is a tip that’s usable for you, but we have heard here and there that living 24/7 surrounded by wifi is not healthy, although nobody seems to know for sure. Therefore, since we use the computer mostly in the morning to check emails and then later at night, I have put the power plug for our router on a simple lamp timer: it’s on from 8am to lunch time, then from 7pm until midnight. I checked with our provider, pointing out that after a power outage the router comes back on just fine so all we’re doing is creating an artificial outage and they said it wouldn’t be a problem. As a result all of this stuff is off all night and there are no annoying lights, it also means that there’s no temptation to spend unnecessary time online. When our kids come to visit the wifi has to be on constantly of course and newer timers have an override button in order to do that, but since the timer (and override) are in the basement it’s just inconvenient enough that we don’t change the timer much.

  297. @Tom, @JMG

    Re will, mathematics, etc.

    Bringing in the three components of fate, destiny, and will. If these correspond to calas, gwyar, and nwyfre, respectively, then things also get interesting. I recall John mentioning his perspective that, in the end, all things are Will. Given the teaching that the One Life (nwyfre) differentiates into the three elements, then this correspondence would align with that view.

    So, looking through a mathematical lens, I see the following: calas/fate/determinism is karma, the consequences of my past decisions, the single trajectory behind me as I move through time; gywar/destiny is the “pull’ ahead of me, that stochastic spectrum of possibilities, the shape of which is defined by some probability distribution which gives contours to my future without defining it explicitly; and nwyfre/will is that point of intersection, of decision, where possibility actualizes into reality and then becomes integrated with the past, as destiny flows into fate. Perhaps part of the difficulty I’m having is that will is not a thing like the others, but rather an interface between the two.

    As to the idea of complex determinism (or is it deterministic complexity?), I do wonder. If I am merely a complex algorithm, are my choices simply a function of this host of implicit and explicit inputs? Or, if I am an algorithm which can learn, which can rewrite itself, does that not beg the question of what/who governs the rewriting?

    But then, if I am merely a mask that the One Life puts on for a time and then sets down to pick up another, does any of this really matter in the end? Because, you know, the point of the Dance is itself…

  298. I wanted to weigh in on the mindfulness topic. I agree with everything previously said, and agree with a lot of the article. It is a little annoying how mindfulness has become a spirituality-lite kind of practice, getting up there with fancy yoga pants and interesting eastern tattoos as signifiers of upper middle class New Ageiness.

    But at the same time, you have to start where you are. If you’re a stressed-out corporate exec, who really needs to reassess and change their life, you’re probably not to going just wake up one day and decide to enroll in a course of rigorous religious transformation. I mean it’s happened, but it’s got to be rare. More likely you need an entry-level way to start to change. Maybe, for example, a company-sponsored mindfulness course could start the process of getting in touch with yourself, with difficult inner feelings. And then you take it from there – either nothing happens and you go back to ransacking the planet, or maybe you decide to take it a little further and explore a bit. That was my experience, at least, stressed out yuppie in my 40s to a regular mindfulness practice to ultimately having to deal with a lot of stuffed away trauma, for which I needed some outside help which in turn took me to discursive meditation. It’s a journey. It’s incredible how tightly our minds can try to steer us away from touching inner pain, so anything that can get a little crack of light in there can potentially be helpful.

    I highly doubt there are hordes of zombiefied ex-mindfulness practitioners who mislaid their ego some time ago and just sat down in confusion in the middle of the road. But that could make for an interesting short story.

  299. @aronblue: Thanks for the cliff notes version of your travels by train (I love travelogues btw -and the story of a traveling musician doing shows around the country by train would make a great memoir or subject for a blog). That is a really wonderful way to do a tour and cut costs & carbon. As you say, it might not work as well with a full fledged band, but for a solo musician it is doable.

    I’ll keep an eye out for when you post songs here. I still fill in at the community radio station a couple times a year, so if I get a chance in the next few months, I’ll try to give your music some air time. Do you have a website, or is it mostly on youtube?

    That Amtrak pass too sounds like it would make an affordable way to see the country sometime given a few weeks off work or retirement. Thank you!

    @Beekeeper: I’m glad you are not darkness deprived. A year ago the missus and I put in black out curtains in the bedroom & that has really helped my sleep. A city street light is pretty much right out of our bedroom window.

    Just about a month ago we went about 45 minutes out of the city to attend a twice monthly stargazing event held by amateur astronomers who are members of the Cincinnati Observatory. It was really cool -and we swam in the lake at the state park there first which was nice. I’ve been fortunate to be able to see the stars when I get away from the city and am always eager to spend some time in darkness when camping. Haven’t seen as many fireflies in the city this year, come to think of it, now that you brought them up. Sometimes it takes visitors to remind us of all the great things we have around us which is also true when folks come to the city and want to see the museums & such.

    I have family in Maine and we love to get up that way as we are able. Last year was about five years ago and had some great experiences in Baxter State Park before going to Portland to see the cousins.

  300. Nastarana,

    If Epstein is what they are admitting to so as to hide what they don’t want to see the light of day, then what is it that they are hiding?

  301. JMG or whomever

    I am confused by the very short distances that the jet packs achieve with heavy fuel tanks. I would have thought that with just the weight of a human body, you’d get about 75 miles to the gallon.

  302. Oh, JMG,

    I am not sure if I read Hamlets Mill. If so, it was 30 years ago and I remember little. I will add it to my long list of things to do or change or work on if I live – chances of which are something like 50%. I am leaving Monday to go to an alternative cancer clinic. I have been trying like anything for over two years to conquer this.

    So – All: Please pray for me.

  303. @Beekeeper Interesting that NPR called the data collection “nothing”. It feels to me like the typical reflexive media response to what Trump does – it’s either 1)he’s a dummy who has no idea what he’s doing, 2)he’s a dummy and he’s going to make the situation worse, 3)he’s a racist/liar/authoritarian.

    We’ve been told by the MSM for years now that illegal aliens use $0 government assistance programs, when in fact they are significant users of such programs. Barr said he thinks 90% or more illegal aliens can be counted through this data collection and it will likely be more effective than the citizen question asking because people could lie on it (and likely would have been told to by the media). So 90% of illegal aliens are filing paperwork of some kind with the federal government? Huh??? That’s hardly what I would call “living in hiding” as the media likes to portray it.

    I’m truly dumbfounded that citizens are not in the front of the line for government assistance from our tax dollars and anyone who walks across the border can get anything by filling out paperwork.

    The bigger fight will be apportionment of representation based on citizenship status. I’m assuming that is making its way through the courts or will shortly. Have you heard anything?

  304. Re renters who need blackout curtains—they can be clothespinned to the blinds or curtains, whichever your landlord insists you have, in seconds, and removed and hidden equally quickly when he shows up to inspect the apartment.

  305. More of a Magic Monday question.

    I go through periodic waves of feeling very drawn to a particular Christian church, so I decided to cast a geomantic chart on the question, “What will be the result if I were to convert?”

    The results were not good, with Carcer in the first house, Amissio in the 9th house, and no modes of perfection. In addition, Carcer is also in the 12th house, thus making a square to the 9th. Since the 12th is the house of hidden enemies, is it possible that the waves of interest I feel in this church are in fact the effects of prayers by members of the church?

  306. Please take this with many grains of salt as it is only my mind’s wanderings: I still speculate Orlov got bought or otherwise cornered by some creepy scion of the energy industry (these mega-rich creeper types always seem to have a penchant for blackmail and entrapment), hence his pro-nuclear shift. He wrote a thinly-veiled trouble in paradise blog entry a few years ago which hinted strongly that his wife did not like living on a boat. I’m willing to bet he has tried a magical/spiritual approach at least once and failed to make it past the first blocks placed in his path by the Watcher at the Threshold. This might also serve to explain why he’s doubled down on materialism and egocentrism: his pride was badly hurt when he delved into the occult, so of course all that spiritual stuff doesn’t actually exist. It’s sad. He’s a smart dude and he’s said extremely valuable things about dealing with collapse.

    To Justin Patrick Moore: Thank you for recommending The Exorcist’s Handbook! Wow! It’s deeply fascinating, scary, and absolutely hilarious… when I read the part about angels acting in an Aspergers fashion I fell off my couch laughing. To Candace: Maybe read The Exorcist’s Handbook? I haven’t gotten through the whole thing yet, though I know it’s going to be a book I read multiple times. Of course you aren’t exorcising anyone, nevertheless, the book may be of interest as it talks a great deal about etheric and astral hygiene when dealing with people who have various infestations and also discerning which parts of it are mental illness and what is coming from outside non-corporeal entities. Josephine McCarthy is my new favorite author.

    Thanks JMG for revealing the book where Manly P. Hall reports so icily on why nobody should toy with the Kundalini… yikes. I was curious about that. Thanks to Your Kittenship for asking the original question.

  307. Johnny, I remember my first Miyazaki film – Laputa, Christmas 1988. I loved it so much and even today my sense of aesthetics and beauty are largely influenced by it. It was the early English dub done by Japan Air Lines as an inflight movie. Despite a few questionable translations, the voice acting was basically as good as the modern one, but the original music was so much better. The new music isn’t bad, but leans more towards action comedy than the original, which could define ‘achingly beautiful’. I think the modern DVD lets you select any combination of voice and music you want. When they prepared it for the first DVD release they made a few little changes and one that jumped out at me was when the main characters hide from the pirates in the mining village, both versions have a socialist poster on the wall. But the new version made it far brighter and more noticable.

    With My Neighbour Totoro, I prefer the subtitled Japanese version to the dub. Because Japanese is such a fast-spoken language, it really enhances the hyperactive energy of the two girls, which the English version deadens somewhat, despite the best efforts of the actors.

    Onething, I saw a documentary about jetpacks, and what we usually think of as jetpacks are actually rocket belts. If I remember rightly they use hydrogen peroxide fuel. On the upside the reaction loses heat very fast so they don’t burn the backs of their legs, but the energy density and fuel efficiency is terrible. There was a true jetpack developed that had much more respectable endurance, somewhere between 30-40 minutes. But the tiny jet engine was revolutionary, it was classified and now powers cruise missiles. It looks like the guy who ended up in the Channel is trying to bring something like that back. But the jets have to do all the work with no help. The guy with the jet-powered wingsuit probably gets much better range with the advantage of aerodynamic lift.

  308. Azeroth, your information about “no-go zones” is interesting. Due to the decline and the increasingly propagandizing nature of of the mass media, it is becoming more and more difficult to assess what’s really going on.

    Regarding the SOP, my initial impression is, that it works somewhat like a filter, where one still can sense bad vibes, cacomagic and the like, but they don’t influence and manipulate one anymore in the usual degree.

  309. Dominique, the downside of consensus methods is that, as practiced in activist circles in the US, there’s no way to stop a small faction with an agenda from taking over the process and hijacking it for their own benefit. That’s why the Occupy movement fell over and died — a group of professional activists moved in to each local group, pressured everyone else into accepting consensus methods, used their mastery of consensus-based dirty tricks to get control of the money, and then ran the group into the ground — since there was no way to remove a corrupt moderator or force them to stop monopolizing meeting time, that was easy. In democratic process, by contrast, the moderator of an assembly can be removed at any time by majority vote, and there are various effective means to shut down a small group that’s trying to force its will on everyone else.

    Many thanks also for your comments on the European migrant situation! It’s increasingly clear to me that the official narrative about illegal immigration being marketed by the corporate media is very, very far from what’s actually happening…

  310. @DavidBTL, if I may… I think the way to clear that deterministic/stochastic roadblock is to think of things from a Bayesian perspective. From that framework, probabilities are subjective (-ish) and a result of unknown — or in world of quantum mechanics if I understand correctly, in some cases *unknowable* — information.

    Suppose Gerald and Aleister are at a pub and they wager a drink on a game of rock, paper, scissors they’re about to play.

    Gerald has decided to play paper. From his perspective, the probabilities that he will throw rock, paper, and scissors respectively are 0, 1, 0 for this particular game.

    His friend Dion knows that Gerald’s parents died in a horrific fire at a scissors factory, so he never plays scissors. From her perspective, the probabilities of Gerald throwing R/P/S are 1/2, 1/2, 0.

    Aleister, though, knows absolutely nothing. Thus from his perspective the probabilities are 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

    Who’s right? Everyone is, given the information they each hold.

    There’s a result (I can’t recall the formal name for it at the moment) showing that if folks exchange the information they hold — and given some other conditions — everyone’s probabilities will converge. In this case, once Gerald reveals his information by actually throwing paper, everyone will converge on 0, 1, 0.

    Some people find this approach intuitive, if not obvious. Some people though find this hard to wrap their minds around; if that’s you, don’t feel bad as mathematicians generally considered this a bunch of mumbo-jumbo for quite a while. There’s way, way, more to Bayesian methods than can fit in a blog comment, but fortunately there’s ample material online.

    To bring it back to your problem, the agent exercising will or making a decision will have a different probability distribution than the one an outside observer would have.

  311. @ExMNan

    re: Minnesota “up in your business”

    Here’s my story about Minnesota. I do part-time work as a transcriptionist because I can do it remotely – if it paid better it would be really sweet but whatever. It’s like a being professional eavesdropper sometimes. So here’s some gossip 😉

    I had one project from Minnesota where it was clear party one was stealth recording to avoid a lawsuit. The other party was his brother-in-law. Brother-in-law had been brought up to Minnesota from California by his sister, party one’s wife, to work at the family firm with a promise of advancement, but they were squeezing him out (I discerned this from typing out a really tedious 2 hour lunch conversation), which brother-in-law was well aware of.

    And you know why? Because he didn’t go to church enough. Because he had crystals in his apartment and his girlfriend had bought tarot cards while they were on vacation. And party one, a cursing glengarry glen ross kind of business guy at the end blurted out that the cards were of the devil.

    Not that this anecdote should paint all Minnesotans as uptight busybody jesus freaks who will cut out their own family if they don’t toe the line … but it was an eyebrow raiser.

    And it is true that cesspits like LA, Seattle, and the cities along the north side of the eastern seaboard have a strong culture of MYOB which is a precious commodity in any gathering of people.

  312. I hadn’t heard that statistic before about spending in the Neopagan sector. (I am guessing for the USA?) It must be difficult to quantify, as nowadays, many such items will be sold via eBay, Etsy and Amazon – from big companies selling general goods (e.g. candles, books, tarot cards) or from individual sellers making items by hand at home or dealing in small quantities of items like jewellery as a hobby – often not from dedicated bricks and mortar stores. People buy on big sites online, the specialist stores close, fewer people can find specialist stores to buy in… Then there is the “experiences not things” preference of a lot of younger and middle class people these days, which has taken hold ever since the recession.

  313. I’m a bit in despair now. To my horror, I found out that common inkjet printings are supposed to last about 25 years. More durable ink is, of course, more expensive; color printings are less durable, because there is more ink applied to the paper (four pigments instead of one, making a thicker layer less resistant to normal page folding).

    I have no idea on what kind of ink is used to make Print On Demand books. I am not sure archival possibilities are taken into account. Here on Brazil, we still have problems with acidic paper being used in books.

    Are you here, Shaun Kilgore? What about Founders House Publishing books?

  314. @ Justin Patrick Moore

    Thanks for your interest … it’s a bit of a lonely life sometimes and the brokeness is real. Being raised by a family that fought tooth and claw to make it to respectability, I struggle with how easily I tossed that aside.

    The best place to find my music right now is soundcloud –

  315. I had a weird thought pop into my head while meditating recently: “Life with a purpose is madness.” This seems to have a lot of levels, and I plan on spending many sessions of meditation unpacking it, but one of them is relevant for Dmitri Orlov.

    What’s the purpose of his life? I mean this quite seriously: what’s the point for Dmitry Orlov of living through the collapse of society?

    If you accept the materialist worldview, there isn’t one. Shale happens. Now, while this can be a liberating thought, it can also be horrific. Shale happens, and then what? I think a big part of it is not the US facing a Soviet style collapse, but rather: in a few decades Russia will face it again. Then the US will fact it again. Rinse and repeat until you reach the new dark ages. Historically, there’s no alternatives.

    What’s the point of it? From a strictly materialist worldview, there isn’t one. Which means we happen to be living in a fracked up time, and it’ll just keep on getting worse, and worse. Now, if you believe we only have one life, it’s hard to face the fact that your life, the only one you get, is stuck in this mess. If you believe in higher powers, then perhaps it was planned this way, and faith in them may help, but if you don’t….

    Your one and only life was fracked from the moment you were conceived, by circumstances not just beyond your control, but worse, for no point at all. This would be enough to drive anyone insane.

    There are only two ways out: the first is to find a purpose which is acceptable from a materialistic worldview. There seem to be only three of those which can function: the first is progress, the second is desire to save something from the present, and the third is aiming to live the most virtuous life possible. The second one requires three things though: the first is a willingness to get to work, the second is a vision of what can be saved, and the third is devotion to the task. Unless all three are there, the goal of preserving something can not be met. The third option, a virtuous life, is tricky, since most people lack the self-discipline to do it, nor for that matter the vision, and if you only have one life, a single mistake can ruin it anyway.

    Thus, from a materialistic worldview, for most people, progress is the only viable purpose to life: it’s the only one which doesn’t require we create our own vision.

    The other way out though is to reject materialism. Since Dmitry ruled it out, he’s stuck in vision 1. He’s rejected progress, but doesn’t seem to have found something which can give his life purpose, and so he seems to have made himself a case study for one of the many meanings of “Life without a purpose is madness.”

  316. Also possibly more suited for Magic Monday.

    What is the relationship between the 7 sub-planes of the physical plane and the 4 (5, 7) elements? Are they simply different models, non-overlapping? Or are the elements patterns on the Astral plane, which manifest at once in patterns of thoughts and behaviors, in the structures of human societies, and in the nature of things on the physical level? Or are solid, liquid and gas Earth, Water and Air, with the ethers assigned to Fire– or with the chemical Ether as fire, and the other three belonging to the subdivisions of Spirit? Or something else?

  317. This may be a somwhat “esoteric” question. I´ve been wondering how (or if) natural religions and prophetic religions could be reconciled, and also monotheism and polytheism, since all seem to be based on actual spiritual experiences. You mentioned that the physical world is actually much larger than just our physical plane, and that some people withb “resurrection bodies” live on other physical planes. Could this be the explanation for apocalyptic visions of a quasi-material “millennium”? Do the prophets simply see other physical planes than our own?

  318. Hi all–
    Very interesting topics this week!
    I have a project to propose, and questions to ask about it:

    A lot of us have been practicing Geomancy, made much more accessible by JMG’s book, “The Art and Practice of Geomancy.”

    Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I am very interested in the next occurrence of the plate slip along the Juan de Fuca fault line, which runs in the ocean near Vancouver BC, Washington State, and Oregon. Over the last 10,000 years, the geological record tells us that there is a fault slip (with attending quake and tidal wave) every 243 years on average, and that about every tenth such slip is a REALLY Big One. The most recent slip occurred in January 1700, and was a REALLY Big One. So on average, the next plate slip was due about 1943 and is, at this writing, 76 years overdue. For a good summary, you can read this article from the New Yorker magazine:

    Geomancy can be used to discover the timing of events, SOOO…

    I would like to invite any Geomancer who is interested to do a geomantic reading on the timing of the next Juan de Fuca plate slip, and post their results as a comment to my blog posting on this topic. While you _could_ look at my readings and then do yours, it would be much more informative to do your readings first, then post, then review the readings of others. The blog post is here:

    The best quesited/question I could formulate was,
    “How many years will it be until the next Juan-de-Fuca plate slip occurs?”

    Feel free to use that one, or any other such question you think would be best.

    Question for JMG (or anyone else with an opinion);

    Is there any downside to multiple people doing Geomantic readings on a large event of this kind?

    Can anyone think of a better question than the one above, upon which to base the reading?

    Thanks to all!

    Emmanuel G.

  319. @ Nestorian

    Re: Denninger

    I haven’t gone through all the comments and apologize if this has been addressed. I think the confusion relates to the distinction between annual emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, and total carbon that has been added to the atmosphere as a result of human activity. In other words, it’s a stock versus flow issue. My understanding from an atmospheric science class long ago is that human activity adds 3% to 4% to the “carbon cycle” each year. However, the carbon stays in the atmosphere for an extended period of time (from decades to more than a century), so as humans burn more carbon it continues to accumulate even if the addition to the cycle is only around 3% in any given year. I haven’t had a chance to read Denninger’s rant, but this is my understanding of how the cycle works and may explain the difference in the numbers.

  320. I am typing chapter 6 of the adventures of my poor benighted souls. (In my opinion, no society without Looney Tunes can ever be truly civilized.)

    This brings up frightening implications for sword-heavy epic fantasy. You can’t have Looney Tunes without viewers being at least sort of aware of how gunpowder works. Yikes. 😳👀. This is not to be taken as a criticism of J. R. R. Tolkien. He couldn’t have gunpowder in his story; if he had, all Sauron, or Saruman for that matter, would have had to do would be bomb Hobbiton and environs flat and then have orcs sift the rubble till they found the Ring. 😄

    Why IS epic fantasy sword-heavy, anyway? I’ve always wondered. The convention is so strong that swords show up even where they make no sense, Barsoom for example. (I can’t remember which book it was, but there’s a scene where John Carter is fighting off a crowd of baddies with his sword ⚔️. Reinforcement baddies arrive. John appraises the new odds, which aren’t good for a lone man with a sword, says “Ah, to heck with it,” and takes out his raygun and fries everybody. Leaving the reader to yell “So why the fooftawoo didn’t you do that three pages ago?” 😄)

  321. @packshaud You might want to contact AGEA Editoria (they’re easy to find online). The books they publish are printed artisanally in limited, numbered editions, which may be more than what you’re looking to do, but you might be able to have a productive conversation with them about inks, since their production values are high.

  322. I feel for you folks caught up in this unusual heatwave. At the same time, whatever it is that’s saddling you with all that excess heat seems to be sucking it OUT of my region, where it normally resides. Weather here in the north Georgia mountains is extremely clement, with the promise of further fine weather on the way!

  323. Pondering further on the Civil Religion of Progress which got us here and why it’s so hard for people to let go, quite apart from the normal human tendency to continue to hand on to whatever has worked in the past, I’ve identified a key figure: the “Lone Iconoclast”.
    Now, most stories across history have a single hero as the point of focus, whether real or imaginary, e.g. Cuchulain or Myamoto Musashi, but what they all do is exemplify the ideal of the culture or civilization that is telling the story. In the tales of Cuchulain he exemplifies the ideal of a warrior of his tribe. In the case of Musashi, a recurring theme is his misery at being unable to shave his head and so be a proper Samurai even as he perfects his art and works for the benefit of his society. Note that neither one upsets any social order or ushers in great changes. In most of OUR stories, the hero is someone who, working alone, works out some knowledge that everyone else has overlooked or ignored or develops some new technology that will change the world (for the better, of course). The Lone Iconoclast must then overcome resistance from the hidebound and close-minded Authority, particularly those who control the institutions of learning and knowledge, so that this Truth (which is always in conformity with the gospel of Western Science) can usher in some great leap forward.
    I see this popular mythology recurs in our stories all over: in over-simplified history: “Copernicus and the Heliocentric Theory”, or “Galileo discovers the Moons of Jupiter”, or “Mendel proves Genetic Inheritance”. This figure occurs in literature: Mary Shelly’s lone hero “Dr. Frankenstein” and Reginald Rose’s holdout Juror No 8 in “12 Angry Men”. This figure occurs in movies: Gary Cooper stands alone against the town he saves in “High Noon”. This figure occurs in police dramas wherein the rogue detective is right and the Chief of Police is wrong: “Lethal Weapon” and “Demolition Man” come immediately to mind. It’s in political dramas. it’s in medical dramas. Everywhere, we see some individual as the lone iconoclast outsmarting the unimaginative, hidebound leadership. It is the narrative of WWI, of the “lions led by donkeys” reduction.
    (Notably, Tolkien produced his epic series in which no individual is more important than the goal of the group, quite the reverse of the hoary mainstream imagery. Perhaps that is why it is so appealing.)

    I perceive two major effects of the iconography of the Heroic Lone Iconoclast:

    Firstly, it supports the delusion that any individual is smarter than the collective and smarter than any conventional expert. This, in turn, amplifies the Dunning-Kruger effect across society as a whole, and one result is a general turning away from, and ignoring the advice of, experts. Notwithstanding the fact that so many arrogant, high-profile experts have been so spectacularly wrong about important issues, it does not follow that “anyone” else would have better results. People then stop listening to facts which challenge their own preconceptions, because they imagine themselves as being that mythic iconoclast who is right in the face of conventional wisdom. (Even if they hold the most conventional and unimaginative viewpoints, they still believe they are being highly individualistic and creative.) The result, aside from the metastasizing of conspiracy theories in public discourse, is that when experts give advice people don’t like, they tend to ignore it even more than they ordinarily would and thus fiercely resist changing their lifestyle even though it is untenable.

    Secondly, it elevates the individual interest over the collective well-being. In Western culture, particularly in North America, the individual takes primacy over the group. That is, of course, at the core of the current sexual-identity culture wars, it is also a big factor in people looking at every possible “solution” for the climate crisis, except to change their personal, entropic, suburban lifestyle. If you recall, in Star Trek, it was the alien from another world who argued for the needs of the many vs. the Captain arguing for the rights of the individual. What that portends for the future is that people are even more adverse to considering the idea of reducing their standard of living for the benefit of everyone else, that much less willing to make voluntary sacrifices. This is probably a big part of the maudlin tub-thumping about “thanking” all veterans for “their service” even as actual benefits are provided as parsimoniously as possible, because sacrifice on behalf of society is apparently an aberration that requires comment.

    I don’t know if the Lone Iconoclast as a trope has been explored by anyone, but this occurred to me when I heard a particular obvious urban myth, but took about a week to figure out why, and this is the best explanation I could come up with.


  324. re: Boris and trade deals,

    Apparently he has already started negotiating with the Donald. Glomming onto the US economy might actually be a better idea. I can’t speak for the other Commonwealth Realms, but I do know that here in Canada, Justin Trudeau would almost certainly rebuff Johnson for ideological reasons, regardless of how little economic sense it made. From what I’ve heard, there were negotiations in the background… until Johnson got the nod to move into No.10. They’re blaming ‘uncertainty’ over hard brexit, among other things, but I smell the same sort of derangement that hurt us Canucks so badly in the post-NAFTA talks.

    This might be old news to y’all, but Tulsi Gabbard (who I think many here would point to as their best hope in the Democrat primaries) is suing google for election interference:

    Frankly, I think the populations of every democratic nation on the planet ought to hop in as a class-action suit…

  325. JMG,

    In your response to Candace about the various daily banishing rituals you mention that the SoP is an elemental and balancing ritual, and that pentagram rituals can be somewhat harsher. I’ve just started contemplating the 4 elements when I visualize the archangels and the pentagrams at the 4 corners. At this point I mean that I simply acknowledge that Raphael, the 1st pentagram, and the name YHVH are associated with the East and the element of Air, and so forth.

    Should I not be doing that? My nature seems to be one that slowly adds in correspondences as I get familiar and fluent enough to notice and use them. Didn’t occur to me that maybe I was mixing things together that ought not be mixed. Am I doing it right? Or messing it up?


  326. @ Kimberly

    RE: The Exorcists Handbook, I’ll look it up! Thanks for the recommendation.

    @ Onething,

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers


  327. Denys:

    Peter van Buren wrote a book about his experiences rebuilding Iraq after the US invasion and it’s both sad and funny: “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People”. Maybe similar to your time in the Peace Corp.

    I haven’t heard anything about the apportionment issue, but for all its reputation as an unbiased presenter of news, NPR isn’t especially unbiased. I heard nothing about the Antifa attack on Andy Ngo a few weeks ago and not a murmur about the attempted bombing of the ICE detention center. Bad optics for the Left, no doubt; best not to mention it. At any rate, ‘All Things Considered’ and especially ‘Weekend Edition’ increasingly have an air of hair on fire/we’re moments away from full-blown fascism/everything is racism syndrome which is making it difficult for me to listen. Even the chickens are getting edgy, I may have to find another station for the coop all day. 😉

    As far as the public services are concerned, I was able to find this from 2018: “The Trump administration is making new rules that would prevent immigrants from settling in the country or receiving a green card if they or their families have received benefits from a wide array of federal, state, and local programs—even if the benefits were for an immigrant’s U.S.-citizen children.

    The language in the administration’s rule change, first reported by Reuters, shows that immigrants who enroll their children in public programs like Head Start or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) risk having their visa applications rejected.

    The same goes for immigrants who apply for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, along with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) assistance for poor pregnant or nursing women and their children.”

    I am not sure that these regulations have actually been passed and are in force though.


    I will certainly keep you in my prayers.


    What a great list of suggestions! None of them is expensive and all use common items most people have already. Thank you!

  328. Frank, thank you for a reasoned discussion of a very loaded issue. My take is that “pride in one’s country” is a complex thing; the mere fact that you’re a citizen of Germany, say, doesn’t make you personally responsible for Adolf Hitler any more than it makes you personally responsible for Beethoven and Goethe; it implies, if anything, a call to a certain degree of humility in the face of a complex past. I was born almost a century after slavery was abolished in the US, and my family never owned slaves, so claiming that I’m somehow guilty of slavery purely because of my skin color is as absurd as claiming that I should take credit for liberating the inmates of the Dachau concentration camp — something else white American men did before I was born, btw, and in which my family also had no part. Of course it’s important to recognize all sides of a nation’s history, the bad as well as the good — but that doesn’t justify claiming that only the bad counts a,nd that the nation’s current residents, or those who are tarred by the media “by the color of their skin” rather than “the content of their character,” are to blame for all of it.

    BB, thanks for this! BoJo is a fascinating character, and no question, he would have done a fine job as a member of the Monty Python troupe — instead, he gets to be Prime Minister of a nation in extremis. It’ll be interesting, in the sense of the apocryphal Chinese curse, to see how it all works out.

    Frank, of course!

    Stinkhorn, I’ve tried to get audio book companies interested in doing my fiction and the collected Archdruid Report, with zero result — they’re perfectly willing to sell copies if I pay to have it done (I don’t have the money) and make all the arrangements (I don’t have the technical or business skills). I own all the subsidiary rights to all my novels except Twilight’s Last Gleaming and to the Archdruid Report volumes, if any audiobook firm happens to be listening…

    Scotlyn, nah, it wasn’t a fey mood. It was because that meme does an excellent job of pointing out that the narrative about illegal immigration being pushed by the corporate media is being backed up with staged photo shoots — a point that itself raises huge questions about that narrative…

    David BTL, well, can you think of a reason why you need to know that? It’s not impossible that if you give her a good reason, you’ll get an answer…

    Phil H, fair enough! I simply noted that the Remainers were waxing emotive about shortages of courgettes, and decided to respond to that. I’m delighted to hear that Britain is so close to self-sufficient in its beef supply; good news all around — well, except for the steers. 😉

    David BTL, yep. One of the advantages of getting to name justices to the Supreme Court is that such things happen…

    Denys, I’ve expected for some time that when the whole Resistance thing falls apart — my guess is that’ll be around the time Trump wins reelection — a lot of people will be found curled up in a fetal position, rocking back and forth, mindlessly babbling “Trump Trump Trump…” But it’s possible that some of them will turn to pointless violence first. I gather that Trump has tweeted a threat that Antifa may be defined as a terrorist organization, possibly in anticipation of such events.

    Johnny, fair enough. I’ve enjoyed all my face to face interactions with Dmitry, and no question, the guy’s been responsible for putting some fine ideas into circulation.

    Info, I really do have to do a post on that one of these days, don’t I? The very short form is that there’s nothing actually traditional about Evola’s “Tradition;” he cobbled it together out of common themes in the intellectual pop culture of his time — read Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Johann Jakob Bachofen’s Mother-Right, and Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character, in particular, and you’ll find that he’s lifted every theme in Revolt Against the Modern World out of those utterly modern (to him) sources. That’s almost always true of people who think they’re revolting against modernity — they inevitably copy all its features faithfully in their supposed revolt. (He was also a really poor teacher of magic, but that’s another matter entirely.)

    Azeroth, thanks for this. With regard to consensus, the problem is specifically with the forms of consensus used here in US activist circles, which make it impossible — and appear to be designed to make it impossible — to stop a small minority with an agenda from seizing control of the discussion and preventing the majority from moving in any direction they don’t approve. In proper democratic process, a biased moderator can be removed by vote of the assembly, attempts to revisit the same issue over and over again can be stopped, and a participant who refuses to let the assembly do its job can be removed; in a consensus system — or at least the versions of consensus practiced over here — none of these things are possible, and as a result the minority with an agenda can hold the whole group hostage. That’s what happened to the Occupy protests; a small group of professional activists moved in, insisted on using consensus methods, took control of the discussion, bogged things down in endless circular debates, saw to it that all the money ended up in their hands, and then ran the movement into the ground. It’s far from the first time that’s happened!

    Fkarian, of course it’s a simplification — any reasonably detailed discussion of how the Bible as we know it was patched together out of a mass of disparate documents would take a good-sized book. I’d argue, though, that the point of view I’ve offered here is a part of the story, and one that has been largely neglected for the last twenty centuries or so.

    Johnny, yes, I’m slightly familiar with his work, and with that of his firm Studio Ghibli generally. They’re the one production firm to which I’d be willing to sell the movie rights for my fantasy novels. (Hollywood is right out; the thought of a giggling blonde bimbo playing Laura Marsh or Brecken Kendall — which is of course what would happen — is enough to make me set new records in the projectile-vomiting Olympics, and let’s not even talk about what they’d do to the plots.)

    Packshaud, I wish I knew what to say. At least I’m managing to get the rest into print!

    Mark D, the problem is that mindfulness meditation as taught in corporate America has serious downsides that are not being explained to participants in advance. Practitioners quite routinely end up with serious problems ranging from out-of-control anxiety and depression, insomnia, and anorexia through suicidal ideation and full-blown psychosis. Vipassana is a potent technique not that well suited to beginners; there are many safer methods of meditation that could be taught to beginners, but mindfulness has better marketing these days.

    Phil K, thanks for this.

    Onething, that would be true if they were powering a motorcycle! The problem is that if you have a jetpack, most of your thrust has to go into lifting the jet pack and person off the ground and keeping them there against the force of gravity. Wheeled vehicles don’t have that problem — the tires do that all by themselves. As for your health, my prayers will be with you; may all go well.

    Pogokitten, I’ll declare the fungi honorary cats for present purrrposes. 😉

    Steve, that’s how I would read it — they’re praying at you, trying to control your thoughts and assimilate you. It’s a common and nasty kind of hostile magic.

    Kimberly, Hall’s never icy. He’s calm and gentle — he was apparently that way in person as well, and it comes across in his writings, especially once he was over his slightly arrogant youth — and that’s one of the things that makes his descriptions of that and other modes of spiritual failure so terrifying.

    Antonomasia, it was for North America generally, and included online sales. It’s been a few years since I got to see the (private) presentation that covered that, but I see no reason to think that things have changed.

    Packshaud, I’ll see what I can do for long-term editions down the road a bit!

    Will, okay, I’m confused, Is it life with a purpose, or without one, that’s madness?

    Steve, what an excellent theme for a couple of weeks of meditation!

    Tidlosa, that’s also a great theme for meditation…

    Emmanuel, fascinating. I don’t know of any downside to it, no.

  329. Booklover, Among many things, Goldman is a Germanist, meaning that he has studied Germany a lot. He’s acutely aware of the moral imperfections of the west. Everyone needs a place to stand, otherwise they are just confused. I don’t agree with Greer’s metaphysics, but I respect his opinion and find he gives insights that are just not available elsewhere, I find the same with Goldman.

  330. Hey hey JMG,

    What was the name of the kids books that you liked for building one’s own radio and generally learning about electronics? I’m thinking about doing some book binding and would like to make a couple of copies for my niece and nephews.


  331. @ Darkest Yorkshire,

    Thanks for mentioning the grey water heat recovery systems. As it happens, I have the floor assembly open right underneath my shower for an unrelated project, but it is the perfect opportunity to put one in. Perfectly timed suggestion!

    @ Isaac,

    re: solar hot water in New England, I have installed two. One interesting idea someone suggested was to pair the solar hot water panel with a small PV panel and use a DC pump to circulate the glycol solution. That way you have a self-contained, “off grid” solution in the Northern climate zones.

    Also, I highly recommend Convert Your Home to Solar Energy by Provey and Barber, which was written in Connecticut and uses multiple New England case studies. The strength of the book is that the authors understand the concept of embodied energy and suggest practical sequencing of energy retrofits. This means insulation and air sealing first, solar thermal hot water next, and PV electrical generation last.

  332. Regarding jet packs:

    The amount of power needed to hold a given amount of weight in the air is determined primarily by the size of the actuator disk aka the surface area of the rotors (or in this case, turbine blades). Although it wouldn’t work outdoors due to the breeze, a helicopter like one I linked could easily fly for 200 hours using the fuel supply that jetpack needs for 10 minutes and a 15% efficient engine – more like 400 hours in reality.

    This is a fundamental physical issue – consider the difference between the prototype solar-electric aircraft Solar Impulse, a typical jet liner and a fighter jet – the difference in their body shapes precisely mirror the differences between an albatross, a duck and a falcon for exactly the same reasons. In general, if you want to fly, you want to push on as much air as gently as possible – the downside of that being that the air gets to push on you much more readily.

  333. Honorary KITTENS?

    Curses. Foiled again! Grumble grumble.

    (Every time I think I’ve snuck something past our leader, he one-ups me with something like honorary kittens!)

  334. Onething, I will keep you in my thoughts and dedicate this week’s incense offerings to you. May you be well.

  335. JMG and Stinkhorn,

    I’ve actually been contemplating the notion lately of investing in the gizmos to start a home audiobook recording studio—it seems like an interesting cranny of work that I might enjoy—and I’d thought of proposing to do The Weird of Hali to get myself started. I haven’t done any voice work or acting yet, so I can’t point to any recorded samples, but for whatever it’s worth, people I’ve idly mentioned this plan to have told me I’d be good at it and that my voice is “soothing”. (Though I later reflected that most people would find something positive to say about the voice of just about anyone who expressed such plans.) More to the point, I have a little background in linguistics, so I should be able to convincingly deliver, for example Weird of Hali‘s Latin archaica, French quotations, and Aklo incantations.

    I’ve so far stopped short of proposing the idea, both being a bit busy and figuring that such a high-tech alternative to printed books might not find much purchase among an audience that, I imagine, skews toward the Luddite. But it seems like it’s time to revisit that guess. Is it time for me to shop for microphones? If so, I can leave my contact information so I can get in touch with the relevant parties.

  336. @ David, by the lake,

    Consider modeling the chocolate vs. strawberry ice cream decision as a contest between two latent possibilities. “You will choose chocolate” has a large persistent advantage (your preference for chocolate) which usually results in it winning. But in some given instance, “you will choose strawberry” might benefit from a cumulation of advantages of its own (it’s a change from the usual if your last several consecutive ice creams have been chocolate; it’s early summer and strawberries seem in season; you had something else chocolate earlier in the day; you happened to see an appealing advertising image of strawberries recently) and pull off an upset.

    This might seem like just a different way of describing a utility function, but it’s more general. You might not remember seeing the advertising image, and even if you did, you wouldn’t perceive any increased utility for matching your choice with the image. So, you wouldn’t include it in a calculation of which option has higher perceived (let alone actual) utility for you. Yet, research shows that people’s decisions are influenced nonetheless. Think of the effect of having seen the image as a little “+1 buff” for strawberry in a competition to become manifest.

    You could model the “contest” itself as deterministic (highest point total always wins) or stochastic (highest point total usually wins, with some probability distribution). Since a fair number of the “points” that figure in any given “contest” are hidden, even from our conscious selves, we can’t really tell the difference.

    I guess this doesn’t really break open the polarity of deterministic versus stochastic, but it might be a step closer. There appear to be “contentious consensus” (rather a tongue twister, that) decisions throughout nature, affecting such things as whether a neuron does or doesn’t fire, whether an organism does or doesn’t pass its genes to offspring, and whether a market price goes up or down.

  337. Jmg , out of curiosity, if an ecotechnic civilisation wanted to explore space how would it go about it?
    I would imagine radio astronomy would be a major part of it, but could they send robots if they wanted to? I would not be too surprised if they could not but I cannot help but wonder if they could.

    On an unrelated note, I just finished making a haybox cooker today , and just cooked pasta with it.

  338. Regarding vipassana:

    Whatever one may think about Rajneesh (later known as Osho) he certainly knew a great deal about meditation. When he was in Poona (Pune) he frequently warned westerners against the dangers of vipassana, both in his discourses and in darshan (which was originally a semi-private meeting with Rajneesh).

    It is true that his ashram included vipassana workshops, but those who attended them also carried out ‘dynamic meditation’ (a cathartic method that he had devised) every morning while the workshop continued. His view was that westerners should use a cathartic method for at least one or two years, depending on the invdividual. Only then should they switch to a silent meditation method such as vipassana.

    Nor did he regard vipassana as any sort of ‘ultimate’ meditation that everybody should aim at. He knew vast numbers of meditation methods (he once gave a series of discourses describing 112 of them in detail) and would often prescribe a specific technique for a particular individual.

    I do not know whether he ever talked about discursive meditation methods, but would be surprised if he did not. Clearly they have much in common with cathartic techniques, in that both bring the practitioner to an awareness of inner conflicts and problems that would need to be resolved before the practitioner was ready to practise vipassana. Discursive techniques are probably easier on the neighbours, though!

  339. @Clay & JMG, it is interesting watching the sciences decline in stature over the years. I used to be be a part of a Skeptics community, that is – not to say lightly – completely blinded and obsessed with the modern definition of ‘Science’, it is practically considered an institution to be worshiped itself. I eventually left it as over time I learned of its limitations. As William Blake once said “The fool who persist in their folly shall eventually become wise” – I don’t think it is always true but in this case it was.

    The mental skills you can learn from the skeptics are useful but only in the right context. Like any set of rigid set of rules that do not accept the eventual feed back from the world they exist in it hits the limits, that being the essential nature of the universe itself.

    Science used to be called ‘Nature Philosophy’, I do think that the name change did a bit to obscure the original purpose in the mind of those that work in it. Nature Philosophy, to understand nature itself and to ponder its knowledge and meanings.

    Science if it were a person has isolated itself, deemed anything other than themselves as being the enemy and has decided to ignore anything to contradicts the set narrative… and anyone that disagrees is ignorant!

    Nowadays by having people hoist it up as an infallible god of knowledge, it is only a matter of time until a lot of folks look behind to curtain and see that ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ doesn’t live up to the specter of it all. It is understandable why people are turning away, for every great claim that is made it is done in the ruins of predictions and claims past.

  340. @JMG – it still seems to me a bit fey for you to push back at a corporate media campaign when you might instead have been responding as one human being to another to the entirely different point made by me, your erstwhile but known real human commenter, based on her personal life experience.

    A point which, incidentally, was not in any way, shape or form aimed at promoting a “no borders” policy such as the one you are pushing back against.

    Did I temporarily became the personification, for you, of the corporate narrative you dislike, which prompted you to decide to address that, instead of what I actually said?

    FWIW, this is a common enough human failing and I certainly recognise it as the kind of thing I have myself often done. I also realise there are a lot of comments that you steadily devote yourself to addressing week in, week out, no matter what, which can be tiring and distracting.

    So as one human being to another human being, I’ll just add… all is well. Be well. 🙂

  341. John—

    A bit of a head-scratcher here.

    I think the writer of the article (who presumably came up with the headline, or perhaps that was the editor) and the general being quoted are talking about different things. I don’t see how being able to push through a daunting logistical challenge prevents a nation from ever being defeated. The headline and the body of the piece don’t jive with one another at all. I’m sure it’s not uncommon, but this one just struck me oddly.

  342. @BCV re: a prince and his toys, WSJ – the site is paywalled, unfortunately. But I get the idea. Trey Sunna Gwen’s equivalent in that part of the world after the new renaissance will have an archaeological field day with this one!

  343. In no particular order:

    @Bruce / Renaissance Man, Yes, absolutely! I’ve noticed that as well, The lone iconoclast of individualism is definitely the American ideal, and IMHO, to an unhealthy imbalanced degree. I can’t speak to the rest of the “Western” developed world. After 17 years living in China, where ‘Harmonious Society’ was the greatest ideal, (also IMHO to an unhealthy imbalance degree). I think somewhere in the middle might serve a society better.

    @Frank from Germany:

    Thank You for that reflection. Your last sentence, “I suppose we just have to live with this dilemma and try to mitigate the bad consequences thereof as best as we can whenever and whereever we encounter them.” is a good way forward. I think it’s the best I can come up with as well. That and well, just remaining honest about what I see as the reality of it.

    As I prefaced -My apologies to JMG, David, Scotlyn and any other readers trying to parse this out: I’m bumbling through these thoughts, so with it out “on paper” to see –

    I would amend – I’m not so worried about self-flagellation for the HISTORY or PAST of what my country has done, but accepting/facing up to my part in the present and most importantly the PRESENT BENEFITS that I, (we first worlders, especially white folks of a certain economic range) receive, even if unasked for. These current benefits is what drags me into a culpability of some sort. Many of these benefits are directly or indirectly at the expense or exploitation of other people, here and abroad, (and “near-abroad”.) You have discussed this at length time and time again. Yes it is the elites and the salaried class that benefit the most, but all first-worlders, even “peasants” (for lack of a better and still short word) benefit miles above the near-abroad “peasants” that bear the brunt of the current exchange.

    Frank’s reply is very helpful, perhaps the best we can do.

  344. @JMG, Not sure where to begin with that meme. TBH I think it’s embarrassing, (or should be) I’m going to just ignore it like a toot in church. Don’t get me wrong – I think your writing and thought processes are generally brilliant and so very helpful, that’s why I’m here, but everyone has their er, moments. 🙂

    You also replied: “…Au contraire, a great many of them seem to be responding to the simple fact that even as indentured labor, they can make more money here than there.”

    I would not disagree, but does that fact not make one ponder, “How the heck LOW is their current economic position? Starving? It has to be pretty darned low then!”

    And I’m reminded of the reaction, (back in Hong Kong) my Filipino friends had upon seeing news footage of the Hurricane Katrina victims: “THAT’S America’s poor? They’re so fat! They can’t be poor. This can’t be real”. I thought, “Oh yeah right. “Poor” in America is very different than “poor” in Asia or other parts of the world”.

    I know we can’t take in the whole starving world, even those for whom our country created the situation of starvation. I’m just saying – I don’t see the need for rancour against these people themselves. David BTL’s proposals to mind our own business moving forward, (I doubt we can isolate totally, but as much as we can) is the best one I can see.

    Many thanks to Violet, Kimberly Steele and others for opening up the discussion on malignant energies or forces. I’m not much of a spiritualist or soul searcher. I am blessedly a dumb/blunt object in terms of psychic perception, (My Chinese zodiac sign is the Ox, LOL) but even I can feel ‘something in the air’ that is not positive, wholesome or healthy and this discussion has brought to me a good perspective to pay attention to those and avoid where possible. That’s very helpful. Thank You.

    @Onething: In spite of being a psychic door-stop, I am sending prayers, healing thoughts and vibes your way to battling this. Hoping for a good result.


  345. JMG, thanks for the insight on Mindfulness meditation. You have given me a lot to ponder. I was thinking of doing some MBSR teaching as one of several potential late-in-life sources of income. I’ll reassess.

  346. Don’t be too hard on Dmitry Orlov. It is easier to believe it is just craziness, but it is more complex than that. I was very good friends with my Russian teacher for over 20 years, until she died of cancer. I can’t read Orlov because I read his words, but I start hearing her voice in my head as I am reading them. It is just too painful. I think Russians are predisposed to believe that the US did not actually go to the moon. After all, the Soviet Union didn’t, and they had a fantastic space program. Russians have a strong pride in their culture, and the moon landings kind of irritate them. My take. I would also say that if he has actually moved back to Russia, he probably has.some internal mental pressure to show he is a good Russian, lest the NKVD come knocking.

    My father’s uncle had interactions with the NKVD. I am sure it was very scary for him. You can read a 3 page article about it here:

    Or you can just read the Gulag Archipelago.

    I know a lot of engineers that believe a lot of weird things. Everyone can fall into the trap of confirmation bias. I would say Orlov has just had his biases reinforced enough to believe the moon landing is a hoax. Probably not worth the effort to either talk him out of it or worry about it too much.

    It might be more interesting to ask him about Alaska and if there was a secret deal to return it to Russia after 99 years, or something. My Russian teacher made that claim. I laughed and told her “No way, man, we bought that stolen land fair and square.” I miss my Russian teacher.

  347. @Caryn About collective guilt for America’s past……do you feel like this is in anyway related to the slobification of America? If America was never really great (Andrew Cuomo), and there no magic wand to fix what is wrong and those jobs aren’t coming back (Barak Obama), does this have an impact on how people view themselves and their role in the country?

    Put another way, if the only people who are viewed as valuable live in coastal cities and work in glass towers, then what is the point of the lives of those who live in the vast middle and do manual work?

    What’s the impact of collective guilt and this attitude of the ruling class?

    Curious of your thoughts, since as you stated, we are opposite sides of the political spectrum.

  348. In other news, if anyone has been following the protests (or Riots if you prefer) in Hong Kong.

    I’m still in contact with friends there and a part of the 800,000 strong “Hong Kong Moms” group who have been posting personal phone- videos and publicised accounts of the daily rallies, protests and skirmishes:

    Yes, they “riot” very differently, after every rally, the protesters have come back the following day with trash bags to clean up water bottles, broken umbrellas or other debris.

    Yeung Long MTR station: Some protesters were on their way home after a rally. White shorted triads in masks, beating protesters and uninvolved civilian train passengers with bats , pipes and batons.

    Police did not assist. They said the calls jammed their phone lines and most calls could not come through.

    Peaceful rally at the airport, estimated around 100,000 people, no incidents.;_ylt=AwrDQynd2T1dAEwAUEQ0nIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDMTM1MTE5NTcwMARfcgMyBGFjdG4DY2xrBGNzcmNwdmlkA0puY3JRVEV3TGpIUEdxQm1YVFp0N0FEeE1qWXdNd0FBQUFBRm1IZDEEZnIDeWhzLWlyeS1mdWxseWhvc3RlZF8wMTEEZnIyA3NhLWdwBGdwcmlkA0ZIa2VEUkhrUXJHRmg0RHJTblA5a0EEbl9yc2x0AzEwBG5fc3VnZwMwBG9yaWdpbgN2aWRlby5zZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tBHBvcwMwBHBxc3RyAwRwcXN0cmwDBHFzdHJsAzI5BHF1ZXJ5A2hvbmclMjBrb25nJTIwYWlycG9ydCUyMHJhbGx5BHRfc3RtcAMxNTY0MzM1MDY0?p=hong+kong+airport+rally&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Asa&fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_011&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_011&hspart=iry#id=1&vid=bec2c8ea9d5ffdb41e88f54d0d5aa869&action=view

    And inside the Admiralty MTR station a few days ago:

    In some instances protesters ( really are more accurately called rioters) as they threw bricks and rocks at police in riot gear. Police used tear gas, shields and batons.

    It’s just not calming down. Even the number of active protesters is not really thinning ou very much. I have no idea how this will end. 🙁

  349. Dear Mr. Greer (Archdruid, Ret.) – I’m reading “The Green Man” (Basford, 1978). I wondered if you had any thoughts on the fellow? Two things that occurred to me (not mentioned in the book) was 1.) he shows up in a lot of church sculpture. I wonder if there’s any connection with the Christian habit of building churches on pagan worship sites. And, 2.) if the Green Man has any connection to “The Watcher in the Woods.” (Which I need to look into.)

    I wasn’t going to link to the following article, but, it gave me a giggle and might give you a laugh, too. An archaeologist and a historian are theorizing that the Druids, did not exist. I think I’m smelling, artificial stoked controversy to stoke an academic career.


  350. Hi Denys:

    I did mis-speak my meaning. I don’t really mean America’s past so much as our present, (in my subsequent post). It never occurred to me that it might be somehow related to the “slobification” or that malaise of giving up we’ve both noticed. But as you’ve offered in possible explanation, I can see how that might fit. Yes, it might be a contributor.

    As to my earlier posts/question – IMHO, I think simply facing and owning the reality of the inequality and my position in it goes a really long way in settling my mind. It’s a hard hurdle to jump initially, but accepting I’m unfairly privileged in certain ways, even though I’m under-privileged in other ways, (it’s all relative no? LOL) makes more sense / feels more true than not. Without facing it as honestly, brutally as I am capable of, yes, I felt living in a malaise of cognitive dissonance. So maybe that’s how it fits in for everyone (slobs) who suffers this collective malaise? As we’ve discussed so often on this blog – it’s far more than some collective guilt that our society is not facing. It’s “The Party’s Over!”they/we are not facing which is probably causing most if not all of it.

    I mostly blame the health care industry (someone upthread called it the sickness/care industry), disaster we have. Many of the ‘slobs’ I’ve seen do seem sick in some way and I’m guessing may BE sick in some physical way and can’t get the care or information to self-care they need to so they kind of give up on life getting better. I’m guessing at that, but I could empathise if that is the case. Kind of like “Why do poor people smoke?” It’s so expensive, it’s unhealthy and so self defeating! or “Why do poor people waste their money on pets or stupid trinkets?” If they’re trying to save money, they’re self-defeating, but everyone needs some sort of break, (a ciggie), treat (trinkets or candy), cuddle (pet). Everyone needs that and these are the only things they can access and afford. Does that make sense?

    Incidentally, I was born and raise in So Cal, and lived in NYC as a young adult. I was a designer in Theater and film – a serious hipster. I was honestly a true-blue Bi-Coastal snob! So from those years, I can understand that haughty mentality. Then during our overseas years, our USA anchor was in WY, and we’ve been in “fly-over country” ever since. By choice. Neither my husband nor I will ever go back to living on the coasts again LOL. & it is so easy to spot and interesting to see the self-importance / self-delusion in some Bi-Coastals we meet now. Neither in NV, WY nor here in FL, (which partially counts as fly-over country), I don’t see any kind of inferiority complex & it’s not just the Trump populist uprising. I don’t see it amongst liberals or the ‘I’m-not-political’ people I know either. I did see it before. Before the internet, before the coasts became too expensive to survive on less than $300,000 a year…..before.

  351. I stumbled across an intriguing reference to Charles Kingsley while reading something by Wm. G. Gray. It, by association, led me to the Wikipedia article on “Christian Socialism.” That got even more interesting, given the history of the last 70 or so years and, especially, what American Christianity has become during that time. More study is needed.

  352. On last week’s topic involving flying cars, another Icon A-5 has crashed, this time here in Michigan. It’s not exactly a flying car; rather it’s a trailerable flying boat with folding wings and an interior designed to resemble a car interior. It’s marketed as a toy, sort of like a jet-ski with wings, rather than as a serious means of transportation. To me the A-5 seems like a pretty good surrogate for all the things that can go wrong with a bad idea like a flying car.

  353. Your Kittenship, that’s a heck of a good question. Swords have a strong romantic element in modern Western cultures, but is that all of it? I don’t know.

    Renaissance, that’s an excellent point. I’ve discussed the same mythology in posts on the old blog as the morality play into which our society force-fits its history, and it’s something I’ve gone out of my way to avoid in my fiction — in fact, readers familiar with my novels will notice that a certain number of the villains are exactly that kind of lone iconoclast, convinced that their superior knowledge gives them the right to slaughter other human beings by the truckload — but I don’t know that anyone’s really given it the detailed study that it deserves.

    Dusk Shine, I was delighted to see Gabbard’s lawsuit, which appears to be entirely justified. I hope she wins, er, bigly. As for Boris and the trade deals — that does sound like the name of a Sixties rock group, doesn’t it? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the next Canadian federal election scheduled to take place not long before Brexit day? If your Conservative party and BoJo want to double-team Trudeau, all that would be necessary is that Boris offers a lavish trade deal, Trudeau snubs him, Conservatives across Canada pick that up and use it as a club to belabor the Liberals, and Trudeau’s chances of keeping a majority in the Canadian parliament become even more dubious than they look already.

  354. Lot’s of good comments this week as always. First, I must apologise for typos in my comments; I usually see them about 2 seconds after I post and I haven’t seen anyway to edit. Anyway, my thoughts about topics that have come up in this weeks blog.

    I admit that I don’t know the answers to the pressing questions of our time but I do know a little of engineering and science. When I heard someone use the phrase ‘denier’ or ‘Science tells us’ then I know I an addressing a religous statement, not a scientific one. I also have way to much experience with modeling and predicting Newtonian mechancial systems and the pitfalls to put my unbridled faith in models attempting to predict chaotic systems. like the IPCC models do. A recent study by Finnish researchers, for example, found that the IPCC models neglect the impact of low cloud cover, and concluded that anthromorphic causes were not as big as previous models had assumed. My own look at temperature profiles by MetEirann here in Ireland shows no noticable temperature trends which is probably a localised phenomenon. It does say panic to eliminate diesel with its consequences may be premature, especially as diesel’s meeting the latest EU standards equal EV emissions. The Mersecour free trade agreement with South American countries importing lots of beef also seems to fly in the face of climate emergency action. I am watching the World 4 model to see if it anticipates the turning points.

    My own look at early Christianity supports the idea the historical Jesus was a 4th century fabrication or synthesis which introduced heaven and hell as a way to raise money for the Western Church using indulgences. The fact the the stories arose far apart and none in Aramic which is the opposite if a historical even had occured radiating our. My favourite book on the subject is The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty. That said, there is wealth of imagery and symbolism in the stories of the Bible, including early gospels found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jordon Peterson does a very interesting discussion of the meaning from a psychological perspective in the book Maps of Meanings. The symbolism of the apple, snake etc are ones which may tie into our evolutionary beginnings. Although not a Christian, it is interesting as it formed the basis for Western philosphical thought for a couple thousand years.

    I have solar dynamic hot water which is basically a solar powered heat pump used to heat water. It uses some electricity for the compressor (PV’s provide some of that) but it provides hot water through the cold and cloudy days here in Ireland pretty well so far.

    Can’t say enough good things about Miyasaki and Studio Ghibli. They have tackled some tough issues like child prostitution (Spirited Away) and ecological collapse and recover (Nausicaa) while provide role models characters for young men and women.

    I agree with JMG about collective guilt. It seems to be a far bigger issue tied in with the whole identity politics in North America than it is here. I do believe that on a personal level, you support those people , issues etc that align with what you believe and you don’t support those that don’t. In my case, that meant giving up very lucrative employment in the defense industry and emmigrating to another country which didn’t spend most of its existence and tax income of war and world domination. It also means shopping at your local shops and buying from companies that act in ways you support. It will often mean paying more or earning less, but following your beliefs usually requires sacrifice. I am most amused by people living off the military (spouse in military with all the income and benefits), especially overseas, who then protest (not too loudly) about the injustice of the American system.

    Lastly, thank you to all for all the good intelligent conversation and great leads to other books, sites etc!

  355. Hi onething,
    I don´t pray often and only since I picked up some wonderful lines from Bonnie Henderson-Winnie in the November 2017 Open Post, but I did today and of course I included you. I hope all goes well for you.

  356. @ Bipeninsular JB

    Re Bayesian methodologies

    Interesting. I do have a good text of Bayesian stochastic methods that I peruse from time to time, though I have not had occasion to employ them in my regular job.

    The example you give is true from a subjective standpoint. We frequently utilize stochastic methods to model relative uncertainty. However, if we are talking about *objective* perspectives, then I’d argue that things shift considerably. The perspective of the two friends are reasonable from a relative point of view, but not objectively. Once Gerald makes his decision, the choice is set and the other (subjective) probability distributions are simply wrong. The question arises, however, *before* Gerald makes his decision. Is his decision already predetermined from other inputs? If it is his free will that determines that this versus that play shall be made, then how does one model this choice?

    The issue, I think, in modeling uncertainty as randomness is that it implies that the choice is something that happens to someone, rather than a choice someone consciously makes.

  357. John, et al.—

    Re life, resiliency, etc.

    Contemplating the morning on my back deck (an elaboration, if there ever was one), I observed something that made me more optimistic re the ability of life to withstand whatever obstacles humanity might toss in its path. At the corner of my back neighbor’s yard, there stands a pear tree. Some years ago, two or three, my neighbor lopped the tree to its trunk, leaving it a twisted tangle of gnarled and woody limbs. Today, it looks rather like a giant bush, festooned with green branches anywhere from a half-inch to three quarters an inch in diameter, resembling a giant chia pet with its bushy green leaves.

    If a mere tree can recover f on such a traumatic experience, then surely the web of life is as resilient, if not far more so. Methinks the lamenting of the destruction of life on this planet is premature, to say the least. Modern industrial civilization, however, is another thing entirely…

  358. Lady Cutekitten et al:

    If I may be so bold, swords are something of which I have some knowledge.
    From their first development in the mists of the Bronze Age, several thousand years ago, swords were primarily the sidearm of the aristocracy and warrior class because they were expensive and required a lot of training to use. Peasants didn’t have the time or funds.
    Ordinary levees of infantry carried a shield with a spear as their primary weapon, until about the early 16th Century. Spears and pikes were (are) cheap to manufacture and quite easy to learn to use. Mike Loades demonstrated it’s possible to teach a group of people to become moderately proficient at creating an effective shield wall in a single afternoon. (See: Weapons that made Britain: the Shield) Note that, absolutely unlike virtually every Hollywood film and every TV show ever made, battles did not promptly degenerate into a disorganized brawl of 1 on 1 combats in the first 5 minutes after contact. Battle lines stood shoulder to shoulder, each side pressing forward as a mass, those in front stabbing through gaps in the shield wall in front, trying to take out opponents until one side became too weak to resist and then withdrew or broke up. Not really exciting to watch, tho’. So the ordinary peasant-levy foot-soldier learned to use a spear and a shield and to stand in formation no matter what. They had knives at their side, of course, but not swords. With the development of firearms, they transformed, first into masses of pikemen interspersed with harquebusiers, then into masses of riflemen with bayonets used like spears, right up until the middle of the Second World War.
    Even Cavalry predominantly used spears or longer lances as their primary weapon.

    The sword was borne by the elite, whether the best warriors or the aristocracy, and has, from the earliest records, been equated with status, even after they became relatively common sidearms at various times in history. The Egyptian armies of the Middle Kingdom equipped their ordinary troops with the Khepesh, the Roman legions all carried the Gladius, and the sword was ubiquitous in the war-bands of the migration era, yet it still retained its mystical symbolism of status. Still today, officers on parade carry swords, while the troops carry rifles.

    The longsword so beloved of the fantasy genre made its appearance in the mid-14th Century, as plate began to cover mail and shields became unnecessary for protection. Without the need to occupy one hand with a shield, they could use two-hands on longer swords. Only those wealthy enough to afford plate armour would carry a two-handed sword. Thus the longsword has become fixed in the imagination as THE ultimate status symbol. When the 19th Century Europeans romanticized the Middle Ages, it became the prominent symbol associated with Chevaliers and Knights in their shining armour. When fantasy fiction located their magical realms in the age before gunpowder (presumably because “natural” magic would be useless against the primary weapon of the armies of the Church of Eternal Progress), that meant the High Middle ages, which meant longswords.

    I think the use of the sword instead of a blaster by John Carter on Barsoom is just a case of fantasy tropes meeting Checkov’s Rule: If there is a shotgun over the fireplace in Act I, it must be fired before the end of Act III. i.e. if it’s in the story, it must be used somehow. Because this fantasy, the warrior hero must carry the warrior status symbol. Ergo, if the elite hero carries a sword, said hero must use said sword at some point.


  359. All—

    Just as a follow up to last month’s open post

    For those in the Midwest (and WI, specifically) who’d be interested in getting together face-toface, please shoot me a comment in the above post with you email. I’d like to get an email chain discussion going for a possible get-together, if not this fall, then next spring. (Winter would likely be a challenge, but I’m open to the possibility if others are.). Nominally, Fond du Lac appears to be a reasonably central location, but of course, this is all open for discussion. I’ve gotten one email so far, but would prefer to have several before opening the conversation. As mentioned previously, I’ll delete the comment once I’ve noted the email, for privacy purposes.

  360. @Frank, Caryn and JMG –

    All very thoughtful points on the entangled issues of guilt, responsibility, benefits, costs, acts, and consequences.

    I actually happen to agree with both Frank and JMG that people cannot and should not be held accountable for acts committed by others (including their own ancestors). If free will means anything it means your own actions are yours to own, but others’ actions are not.

    And, of course guilt is a human concept, adjudicated in human courts, whether formal or informal – whereby the consequences of being found guilty are substantial, whether the court has formal powers, or only the power of heaping social anathema upon those informally deemed guilty.

    However, consequences that arise from acts undertaken by individuals, are subject to larger powers, fates, and destinies, than those framed within the social life of humans. When consequences are baked into a situation by the actions of whomever, the consequences will fall regardless, and they will not care if they fall upon those humans consider to be guilty or innocent. They will not even stop to consider if the intentions of the actors whose acts set them in train, were good or evil.

    We are living in a time where consequences for many acts taken by our ancestors, or suffered by our ancestors, or witnessed by our ancestors, or resisted by our ancestors, can no longer be avoided or evaded, and those of us now, and in the future, who suffer them, will not be the same as those whose acts made those consequences inevitable.

    I think it comes down to a point I had been ruminating upon earlier. Yes, a free willed being is accountable for their acts. But we often confuse our acts with their outcomes, which pass out of our control the very moment we take the action, and it becomes a “track” in the larger world, one that affects not only ourselves, and not only the people and conditions we intended to affect, but which goes on and on, touching much else, affecting much else, whether we will it or no.

    To say that there will be consequences in our world, because of acts taken in that world by previous generations, is not to assign guilt. It is simply to comment on the shape of this time and this place in which we are situated.

  361. HI JMG,

    One thing I have noticed is that the more a woman hates guns and their owners, fears them, or both, the more fascinated she is with edged weapons. This does not seem to be true of the male so far as I have noticed. This has got me into some interesting complexities with my little SJW, who has been thrown into a world where a lot of guys are packing swords AND guns, at least in the high-crime area she’s in.

    Don‘t think I’m anti-sword. The movies would be much less fun without them, for one thing! (A world with Mifune Toshiro and without swords would have been a sadder world indeed.)

    Hi Caryn,

    Is there anything good about hipsters these days? I hope so. It’s saddening to think of people who have NO redeeming features.

  362. …. addendum to my previous…

    As to the present, each of us, as free willed beings, have the opportunity, at every moment, to respond to outcomes and consequences of past acts with new acts, which may give them new directions.

    *nod to David, by the Lake* And that is the power of the present, the power of free will. Which we do not lose.

  363. Jmg, an interesting article on the destruction of the tram system in Sydney, Australia.

    Basically the local government in Sydney was convinced that trans increased congestion and were also seduced by American car ownership, so they got all the trams and burnt them in a bonfire.
    Unsurprisingly not only did this not ease congestion, it hurt local businesses by encouraging out of city shopping.

  364. @Caryn I appreciate your thoughtful response to my question. I don’t have any answers over here either. I’m keeping my antennas up collecting thoughts and ideas.

    I was pondering today about how factories just closed up and left by the thousands, leaving whole communities with no work to do, and our elected officials just shrugged their shoulders. I’m surprised in retrospect there wasn’t more of rebellion then. A lot of those politicians got reelected for decades more.

    The Clinton/Bush/Obama answer was that we all had to figure it out on our own. That really stinks. It really does. Other countries got rich, the rich made more from investments in those countries, but everyday Americans were told to deal with it.

    So I think the funk has been around for awhile, and I agree it’s more obvious now. I find myself just wanting to pray for people, and I’m not a praying type person!

  365. @Patricia Mathews re: Sierra Club and Tampa Electric (TECO) power plant

    IMHO it’s “a pox on both their houses” – Florida utilities have been very resistant to renewables until recently, _AND_ if the TECO plant doesn’t convert to gas _NOW_, the neighbors will have to continue to breath coal pollution (from a plant that is far less efficient than the new gas powered plant).

    The neighboring utility, Florida Power and Light, is now at the forefront of solar AND battery.

    And no longer resistant to cooperating with things like this solar powered community.

    re: biogas

    I would encourage people to DO THE MATH and not just speculate.

    125,000 dairy cows in Florida

    40 net cubic feet of biogas/day-cow
    60% methane (40% CO2), 600 BTU/cubic foot

    125,000 cows * 40 cubic feet/day-cow = 5,000,000 cubic feet/day.

    5,000,000 cubic feet/day * 600 BTU/cubic foot = 3,000,000,000 BTU/day.

    Assume 60% efficiency for modernized combined cycle turbine, like TECO is building.
    3,000,000,000 BTU/day * .6 = 1,800,000,000 BTU/day electricity

    convert to kWh (Mac calc tool, or online sites)
    527,528 kWh/day max possible generated by all the dairy biogas in Florida.

    The Tampa Electric Big Bend modernization will consist of a 1,090 MW combined cycle plant.

    1,090 MW is 1,090,000 kW power
    1,090,000 kW * 24 hrs / day = 26,160,000 kWh energy /day

    All the biogas from Florida’s dairy cows will make 527,528 kWh/day, so the biogas would replace:
    527,528 / 26,160,000 = 0.020,or 2% of what the new natural gas plant could make. (neglecting actual capacity factor of something like 60-90%) So, far from “much easier”, it is woefully insufficient.

    BTW, TECO already has more than 209 MWp of solar completed, and is committed to 600 MWp total by 2021. (will be 7% of their power).

    Assume a 20% capacity factor for solar in Florida (conservative):
    209 MWp * 24 hrs/day * .2 (capacity factor) = 1,003.2 MWh/day = 1,003,200 kWh/day
    TECO’s solar is already DOUBLE what one can make from dairy biogas from the ENTIRE state.

    So, one can scratch the biogas option off the list (for TECO),
    before even beginning to wonder about the transport of mass quantities of cow manure to central plants (and the digested sludge back to the countryside) or piping gas from the dairy farms (almost certain that most dairy farms are not connected to gas mains).

    I do support the dairy farmers using biogas _locally_, to heat their wash water and generate electricity to power their operations. Any surplus electricity can be fed into the power lines that likely connect them to the grid. One turns methane immediately into CO2 for less warming, and the sludge from the gas digesters is better for the fields, and stinks less than a manure pile.

  366. To JMG, yes, you are right, “icy” is the wrong word. Manly P. Hall had an ebullient warmth about him. I enjoy listening to the lectures he gave that have been captured and re-published by various Youtubers. This is one of my favorites:

    In it, he talks about how people like to scapegoat tradition for what they believe is holding them back, which harkens full circle to the discussion of Julius Evola.

    To Caryn: I’m an Ox as well and have mangled many situations like a bull in a china shop. Yet I look back now and see how literal and Harry Potter my expectations about psychism were because of culture and upbringing. I did have profound moments of intuition stretching back to babyhood, as well as the natural ability to communicate with unseen forces, spirits, and the dead, even through the decade and a half when I was a hard-nosed atheist and would deny my own experience seconds after having it. So maybe take a second look via discursive meditation; you never know.

  367. David by the Lake. Please send me an email as I would like to open a discussion about your inquiry into randomness and determinism. I would also like to talk about other things of a utility nature that are not suitable for JMGs blog. My email is Tomxyza at no spaces.

    Tom Andeson

  368. Tripp, no, you’re fine. That’s standard practice with the pentagram ritual. The difference with the SoP is that the SoP uses the elements as its primary energies, while in the LBRP they’re just part of the mix.

    Tim, that was The Boy’s First (etc.) Book of Radio and Electronics by Alfred Morgan. (As I recall there were six of them in all.) They were worth their weight in gold; the basic idea is that you took some wire, some readily available objects, and a few spare electronic parts and started building things that work.

    Justin, of course! What makes jetpacks fail isn’t that human beings can’t fly. It’s that flight is subject to Seton’s law: “there are two ways you can do anything: throw a lot of resources at it or know what you’re doing.” Jetpacks use raw thrust to try to overcome gravity; ultralights (helicopter or otherwise) use knowledge instead. (Do you happen to know if anybody’s done an ultralight autogiro, btw? Autogiros are a technology that would be well worth bringing back into common use!)

    Your Kittenship, remember that I’ve been contending with trolls, doombats, and a range of other truly fanciful critters on a near-daily since I started blogging in 2006. Honorary kittens are all in a day’s work! I don’t triumph every time, but as Conan’s kid brother Melvin the Barbarian liked to say, “That which does not kill us makes us grumpy…”

    Onething, got it in one. If you want a flying equivalent of a motorcycle, check out ultralights — they get excellent gas mileage, and you don’t get much more motorcyclish than this: